Saturday, November 16, 2019
Maintenance and Upkeep
As is not uncommon, a number of pop-up tasks have, well, popped up over the last ten days or so. They're the kind of tasks which which only rarely represent any kind of emergency, yet are things which almost always need to be addressed immediately or within a few hours at most. I like to think of these things as living -- or at least animated -- creatures, lurking in the shadows and in clever hiding places, biding their time and waiting for an opportunity to spring out and drag me down just as I'm in the middle of a VIT, or Very Important Task. VIT's are routine but are tasks which must be done each day, and must be done correctly and completely. Checking cows and water, for instance.
That way of thinking about unanticipated pop-up tasks is for my own amusement only, for pop-up tasks are only in rare instances actually surprising. When I imagine them as lurking predators I'm actually giving myself a bit of grief, along the lines of, "If that had been a snake it would have bitten you right on the..."
The truth about these pop-up tasks is that they are almost exclusively back-burner items which have simmered long enough and now must be finished.
All of the foregoing is meant to set the stage for this; I've not produced very good posts of late, and I recognize the fact for what it is. It makes me uncomfortable. I'm struggling with some family dynamics just now, and that's, well, a struggle. The hardest part of the struggle there is actually me. I know very well that there's a difference between what I can control and what I can't. In simple terms, I can control me, and that's it. Whenever I seek to control others it's a failure, and there's a great danger of violating my core principles and beliefs. THERE. BE. DRAGONS! Fortunately for me TBGWABMO stands ever ready to rescue me and set me back upon the proper path.
All of the foregoing is meant to set the stage for this; I've not produced very good posts of late, and I recognize the fact for what it is. It makes me uncomfortable. This blog thing is part of me too, and the relationship I have with you readers is important in and of itself and represents relationships I cherish.
The point I think I'm trying to make is that in a very real sense it's all important. Everything I do is part of my life, and it all deserves my own respect and the giving of a good solid effort.
Hope that doesn't sound too cryptic or goofy. Sometimes spelling things out like this helps to clarify and solidify my scattered thoughts. In this way you readers -- my friends -- do me a large favor indeed, and for that you all have my thanks and gratitude.
The story of today is fairly simple. My major task was to get the bobcat running again after leaving it in the middle of an oil change.
Things started at the hardware store for no particular reason.
Leaving equipment in the middle of an oil change is really not the best way to go, and I know it. Sometimes you have no choice though, as pop-up tasks come to the fore and other challenges crop up. On this particular job it was both a pop-up task -- quickly handled -- and an unanticipated challenge. Anyway, how 'bout a video? This is how the oil change works.
Not exactly the same model but close. The unanticipated problem was that the oil filter stuck and I crushed it while trying to make do with the wrong size filter wrench. Ever hear the old adage, there's never enough time to do it right but there's always enough time to do it over? Yeah, that's me. The fuel filter was stuck too.
The problem with the stuck filters arises from the fact that the ranch equipment was owned and maintained by my Dad, and he wasn't into the whole routine/preventative maintenance thing. Given that, I let things slide myself rather than choosing to die over and over on a hill I would never be able to take. It's not an excuse, no one held a gun to my head and made me do it that way. And at the end of the day it doesn't matter because we have to live in and deal with the world the way it is, period.
Once I'd purchased another proper tool and added it to my tool box, changing the filters went the way things usually go when you use the correct tool. From that point on the task was straightforward and enjoyable.
The bobcat, which wasn't running right before, is still not running right. So it's into the tender arms of the mechanic I'm afraid. And that's okay, because it's simply the reality of the situation.
While I was at it I got to work on discovering just what kind of train wreck of a welding rig I've purchased. It's a trailer unit with a gas engine powered stick welder and oxy-acetylene rig. I didn't pay much but the rig has been sitting outside for 20 years. No major signs of deterioration but there's a bit of condensation water in the crank case of the gas engine. It seems salvageable and the welder should be more or less okay, but we'll find out. Of course the gas welding hoses and regulators are shot but that's an easy fix (replacement).
I knocked down a lot of other odds and ends throughout the day in addition to the usual chores of checking cattle and water and taking the pulse of the ecosystem.
One chore was watering chickens and gathering eggs. Not much of a chore, really, except when it's very cold and windy outside, and today was not that. So eggs. Look at that monster!
Really big. Nearly 3" x 2".
Here's one that's more average, essentially a supermarket "large" size egg.
And here's a white one from this morning, merely supermarket "jumbo" sized.
While I was checking cows I wandered over to the snake den I didn't video well yesterday and took a couple of pictures. Far:
Butt not too close!
The day was supposed to be windy, cloudy, rainy, and relatively warmish. We never got the wind or rain but it was cloudy all day and pleasantly warm, so all in all a delightful day to non-labouriously labor. Pretty at times too.
Hope you're all well and enjoying the blessings of liberty!
*The Big Guy Who Always Bails Me Out