Cool, possibly cold, and rain in the forecast. Yesterday sure got nice once the sun heated up the day. I was in shirtsleeves for most of the day.
We are supposed to get really cold, maybe freezing and possibly get rain later today. Didn’t look like it was coming when I went to bed. We’ll see later, I guess.
Spent the day doing stuff. And stopping because of failures.
First challenge o the day was my wife working from here. Cell as hotspot, VPN, applications running on back end servers in the office, and a lot of latency. Not a good combination. Lazy programmers, assuming everyone is on a fast connection, erroring out if something takes too long…. not a pleasant day. The real problem was laptop battery life though.
It’s good. So good she doesn’t think about it most of the time. So when she got the low battery alert and went to connect the power brick… and didn’t have the AC cord, it was suddenly an issue. I’ve got cords up here. I’ve got cords in my other truck. I’ve got BOXES of cords at home. I didn’t have the one that looks like mickey mouse here though. She ended up going into town to try to find a cord. Walmart SAID yes, but was wrong. Dollar Store, everywhere else, no dice. Last chance, and why not, the pawn shop had one. She paid $15 but didn’t have to drive a couple hours round trip to get one. It is DIFFERENT up here in the country.
My day was similar. I decided that knee high weeds instead of lawn wouldn’t do, so I got the mower charged up and started cutting. I didn’t do my annual maintenance first, thinking I would bang the snot out of it one last time, then start my season with new stuff. Well…. While I was waiting for the battery to charge, I got out my string trimmer and started clearing edges and flower beds. Ran out of string. Since I didn’t have a gas string trimmer here, I took the string home to use with the trimmer there…. and brought that trimmer up but didn’t bring any string. GAHHH.
However, I have a trimmer here, new in the box, not even assembled yet. It probably came with string… so I took the time to set that up. Called my wife and had her get some string while she was at Walmart. Used the new trimmer until it’s string ran out. Started the mower up and SLOWLY began cutting grass like plants. Tall and tough plants. I ended up cutting only a 1/4 of the width of the deck on each pass. More would bog the mower down. It took a long time to make progress but I was about 85% done when the drive belt for the mower deck failed.
No more mowing for me. A belt was not one of the maintenance items I bought for the annual. (It will be next year.) Wife came home with some line, and I went back to work. It only fit the old trimmer head. Which was fine until I dropped the trimmer and broke the gas tank… OK, switch the head to the new trimmer motor and get back to work. At least until I ran out of string again, because my wife bought a whole lot less than I hoped and asked for.
So switch gears again. Put the blower attachment on the new trimmer engine and cleaned up where I could. Until I ran out of 40:1 premix fuel…
That’s a whole lotta gum flappin’, but it shows the value of having two (the trimmers) and the pain of only having one (the drive belt.) And the value of a simple cord when you need it but don’t have it…
Hopefully, either my fisherman buddy or one of the stores in town will have a belt to get me back up and mowing. I’ll probably end up going in to town in any case to get fuel and string for the trimmer. If they have the belt, I’ll buy it and return my buddy’s (assuming his spare will fit my mower.)
None of this stuff is critical, but it could have been. Have spares. Have maintenance items BEFORE you need them. Have duplicates of critical equipment. Barring that, have good contacts and local help. There might be someone up here that has the power cord my wife needed, but I didn’t even think to ask until afterwards. One of the neighbors who is a full timer has a sign business, and probably has computers and a junk box of cords. Next time, I’ll ask him if we need something similar…
Stacks. You need them, even if you don’t think you do.
ps. Wife was able to D/L and use a phone app for access to the database for work, without the latency of the pc connected to the hotspot connected to the nearest cell site…not ideal, but she can work with it.