More Mr. Fixit

Another fixit job nailed (or not?). I think I mentioned that the mower was in the shop. No complaints – it’s about 10 years old and never failed to start on the first pull. It needed a carburetor, replaced or cleaned, and a coil. They charged $75 which I thought was reasonable. On it’s first run since getting it back it ran perfectly but I noticed that it was really taking a lot of effort to do the job. It’s self propelled but really didn’t seem to be. I had noticed that before but attributed it to a loss of power that would be fixed along with the tuneup. Nope, lots of power to cut grass but nothing to drive the wheels. I took the wheels off to see if maybe that area had become clogged and immediately noticed that the gears on the wheels were totally stripped, worn down. I went online and found the replacement wheels – how tough could it be to change tires? In the nothing is ever easy column, I found the replacements and ordered a set in a matter of minutes. They arrived about 4 days later. I unpacked the shipping box and found there were two different wheels – the correct one and another that lacked the internal gearing necessary to self propel the mower. Interestingly both were labeled with the same SKU # although clearly they were two different parts. It took about 20 minutes to get the error corrected and a replacement part on the way but I had to send the discrepant part back. That means at least a week before I get to mow again – assuming the new parts work and I can install them correctly – so that’s not too bad.
Update – Got the replacement part and the new wheels were installed within the next 5 minutes. Works like a world champ. And to continue my “fix-it” streak, I successfully glued the rear view mirror back on the truck. I’ve done this a few times before but it’s never lasted thru a summer – just too hot inside the truck I guess. This time I used a Gorilla gel glue but I won’t know for sure how long lasting the fix will last until it makes a summer.

Old dog, new tricks. I take Nancy to her quilt meeting every Tuesday then go to the library to kill a couple of hours. This time I went to the gardening section and picked up a book on vegetable gardening in Florida. I wanted to be sure I knew everything there is to know and check to make sure the author was a good gardener. I actually picked up three useful bits of info (so far). One, there are indeed turnip varieties grown specifically for the tuber and others that are grown for greens. Two, never cover carrot seeds with dirt. When you water lightly, enough dirt will splash onto the tiny, tiny seeds to get the job done. I always covered mine. And three, as potato plants grow (above ground) you should mound dirt around the plant so that only the top few branches are out. Apparently the potatoes will form in the built up area and you’ll get way more potatoes from each bush. I’ve never done that – until now. It may be too late since the plants are fairly tall but I’ll give it a try anyway.

Simon stopped by on his way back to Alabama and spent the night. We managed to catch a few fish and were able to fit the float boat into his car so he’ll now have a fishing craft at home. It disassembled much easier than I thought after sitting outside in the jungle for over a year. My concern was that it would have rusted together and been forever in the assembled mode. He lives close to a first class river and the float boat should be just perfect. He’s looking at a 20 mile stretch where he can launch at one end and have a buddy with a pickup truck meet him downstream later. Knowing Simon, if there are clear beaches along the way, it’ll turn into a multi day camping trip.

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