Tractor Woe, Bird Woe
October 28, 2010 by Yugen Lakey
What A Mess!
You know how you sometimes plan the whole week ahead, in a degree of detail that although not accounting for each hour per se, you can see clearly how everything that needs to be done can be fitted in to the allotted time? This morning I had a clear vision of exactly how my week would pan out - the majority of it spent perched atop of the tractor, working on the road. And then the wheel fell off. Well, not literally. Actually the bevel gear assembly in the right axle case came loose and fell off, taking with it the oil cap that hold the 2 quarts of gear oil in place. It is not the first time that this has happened. It first occurred (to my knowledge) about a year ago, at which point I took a shot at fixing it by seeing how the parts went back together and hoping for the best. It held good for one year. It then came apart last week. I put it back together, filled it with another 2qts of oil and figured we were good to go. And then today, yet again, the whole thing comes off and the tractor bleeds that uniquely weird smelling gear oil all over the road. So this time I am taking it more seriously. I pulled out the parts list for the tractor and realized we are missing a small collar which could be accounting for the continuing falling apart of the bevel gear assembly. The part is on order, as is a service manual I found on eBay for $20 (they often cost over $150!) so this time I hope to do it right. That means, however, the road work will be behind and the tractor is out of order until early next week at the earliest. I still have to wait to see if I need any specialist tools which may have to be ordered (unless any one has a 1-13/16" impact socket they could lend me?), and possibly someone with the specialist skills to use them, so this thing could drag on and become, let's say, a unique challenge with its own set of peculiar difficulties - AKA a pain in the butt.
Poor Little Thing...
This morning on my way up to the kitchen, I stopped to pet the dogs. I noticed Coco was staring fixedly at the wall. I thought maybe she had been hanging around us too much and was doing a bit of Bodhidharma style wall-gazing, but no, she had something a bit more substantial in her sights. It turned out to be a small bird. This poor creature was clinging to the wall in a peculiar way and looked to be shivering. Coco slunk off to sit on the picnic tables. I took a photo and went to get Jishin from the kitchen to see if she had any thoughts on whether we should do anything with it. I wondered if it was some kind of night bird, stuck out in the daylight, vampire-esque, shielding itself from the bright sun. Or perhaps a creeper who hadn't quite gotten the hang of telling trees apart from non-trees. When I returned with Jishin, a slightly sheepish looking Coco had the bird in her jaw. I'm not sure if Coco had jumped up or if the bird had fallen. Either way, its fate had been sealed.