Monday 12.13.10

Some of what you missed while you were not in Wisconsin…

Ah, winter. I knew it was coming. We always know. You’d think after many years I’d be prepared this time. I should have it down by now. I thought I did, I thought I did.

The forecast was for a bunch of snow and then for the temperatures to plummet. So far, right on. Right now my computer thermometer suggests that it is 5 degrees out there. In weather like this it can be hard to keep warm. Thank goodness for the boneheadedness of some of the people I know – or don’t even know, like the guy who plowed me at the shop.

Our shop property is this weird triangular shape. On the street side there are two entry areas. There used to be one very large one but with recent street “improvements” over the last few years it was decided that no entry could be more than 35 feet wide. So, we now have two with a little curb in the middle. Just enough to be in the way when all of these trucks drive in and out. Every one of them hits the “green area” that was planned and because of that it will never be a green area. More like a muck hole. Good plan.

Back to boneheads, me included. I have two snow blowers. One is quite a few years old but when it works, it really works very nicely. I’ve known for years that I need to adjust the carburetor to run the right fuel/air/speed combination. I tinker around on it and baby it and get through another year. I also have a new blower which ran like a top last year. It is one speed, self propelled and kind of slow. I figured it would at least do the job and I would not have to screw around with the other one as much – so the other one was not tinkered with prior to the snow. Nothing like waiting until the last minute.

I figured I had better start the new one up, just to make sure it was going to work. Of course, it did not. I knew that fuel from last year must have crudded something up but figured I would just break out my tinkering skills and get it going. The new blower has a different kind of carburetor than the old one – none of my tinkering options were available. Shit. Now what? Learn about this carburetor was the answer. Of course, this was after I had tried other things and wound up pulling my guts out trying to get it going… right up to the point where the recoil string just quit working. Shit again. Well, I’ll fix the recoil- I’m determined because I thought I almost heard it pop over on that last pull.

I was wrong. I did fix the recoil string. Then to the internet to figure out what the hell the deal was with this carburetor. A fuel cup with some corrosion and plugged little holes in the jet bolt was preventing fuel from getting where it needed to go. Finally, I figured the damn thing out and I’m back in business.

While all of this was taking place, it snowed about 7 inches. Sunday morning I was kind of concerned that I might really fall behind in removing the snow around the shop. I make signs for a lot of people and some of those people actually still owe me for that work… and some of those people are either snow removal people or small engine repair people or both. In the back of my head I figured I had this covered. Someone would come through and clean me out.

Nope.

So, I dug things out at home in the morning and went down to the shop. I could not turn in because the street guys had a mountain of snow piled in the middle of the street. As I was passing by to find another entry area (several blocks to go) I noticed a plow guy cleaning out the place next door to the shop. Ok, I’ll break down and hire this guy to do the shop area. I made it around the blocks and came in the back way. I pulled up, got out of the truck and flagged the plow guy down.

I guess I should probably mention that there’s no real noticeable boundary between me and the place next door and that because of this, their plow guy often piles their shit in MY way. This is the first time I’ve had a chance to actually talk about it with him, so I figure that this will finally be fixed. I said “I don’t know what you charge but why don’t you just plan to clean me out when you clean them out from now on.” He was unsure where the boundaries were, so I showed him. News to him was that he had no idea previously. He did mention that he gave me a complimentary swipe once in a while. I pointed to his complimentary swipe and said that it was great but than I had to clean up the pile of shit he left in the middle of the property. I told him I needed it cleaned out in the front for customers, the side for parking and the back door needed to be cleared as I actually use it to drive vehicles in and out once in a while. Sounds pretty simple. I even showed him where he could pile extra snow in an out of the way place in the back. “Ok, no problem but I can’t do it now… I have some other things to clean out and then I’ll be back.”

Well, “back” must have been this morning sometime. Of course, the snow was exactly where it should not have been…

Just to make the point…

(later today after some clean up…)

Meanwhile, the street guys were cleaning the pile from the middle of the street…

My reaction to the pile. In the photograph you can not hear me saying “what the fuck?”

The 5 degree temps won’t bother me much as now I have to remove this pile of snow from the back. Ah… winter.

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