Friday, September 19, 2014

Car Problems

I made a trip today out to my parent's property.  They have a grove of Black Locust.  Some of them have outstanding tree form.  Others look like they were drawn by Dr Seuss.


Black Locust with good form.
Somewhere in Whoville

Another Whovillian tree.  The four stems all join at the ground into a single trunk.

My plan was to drill some diagonal holes into the nasty looking trees and shoot them full of herbicide.  Cutting Black Locust does not work because it suckers profusely.  The number of trees with inferior genetics would increase rather than decrease.

That plan fell apart because Black Locust wood is both hard and the chips are gummy.  My drill was not up to the task.  I will have to use a chain saw to make some diagonal slices into the tree.

Meanwhile

On the way to my parent's property my exhaust system fell apart.  I was two miles from my parent's and about 30 miles from home.

Houston, we have a problem.  We might not be meeting the Federal emissions standard.  Normal direction of travel would have the vehicle moving toward the left.
The rearmost part of the system was dragging on the ground.  Think "Pole vaulting".

My thinking was that if I could run a length of dead tree beneath the broken piece of pipe I could lift if off the ground and drive the 35 miles or so back home.  Coming up with a piece of dead tree was no problem.


"Beefy" mid-Western guys don't fit underneath Cavaliers very well.  They (the Cavaliers) are built too close to the ground.
Hmmm.  If you cannot lift up the car maybe there is some way to make the ground move away from the car?  The Cavalier astraddle a ditch.  Yup, lots of room now.

Left over right, right over left.

Pretty discrete.

A length of dead tree,  a little bit of rope.  At least the pipe is not skipping on the ground.  US Patent applied for.

The car was VERY loud so I took back roads home.  No sense calling unwanted attention to my car by driving through towns. 

I was very proud of myself

...until...


It died 9 miles from home.

The only place I could push it to get it off the public road was here


The Diamondback Motorcycle Club.  Photo color enhanced to make the writing legible.
I was in the parking lot for an honest three minutes when a pickup truck came flying over the berm and skidded to a stop next to me.  A fellow dressed completely in black popped out the driver's door.

"What are you doing here?" he asked.

"My car broke down.  I just checked the fuse to the fuel pump but that is fine." I replied.  His interest was piqued.

Saved by the brotherhood of Ἥφαιστος, we were fellow acolytes of St Eligius.

He apologized for being so abrupt.  They had problems with people doing donuts in the yard and he happened to be driving by and saw my car...thought he had caught the culprit in the act.  He suggested a few things we could check out.

We were not able to figure it out.  He suggested that I put a sign in the window, "Monk gave me permission to park here for 24 hours." with my phone number.  He said it was Friday night and the club was scheduled to have "a meeting". 

For what it is worth, the vehicle had not been touched when we came back to haul it away.  Because of Monk's blessing it was as safe from molestation as it would have been on an island in the middle of a shark tank.

It now sits in my driveway awaiting funds to get it fixed.  While it is here I will change the fuel filter and check for fuel flow.  I will check for spark and all of the other easy things.  Maybe I will get lucky.

One thing about retirement is that less-money means fewer-resources means better-and-more-frequent-communication with one's spouse.  That is not a bad thing.

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