Friday, December 21, 2007

Up and early

12/21/07 Friday
Got up and out early catching another great sunrise. I’ve decided to try and water the last areas I planted rye in with the hope some of it will come up. Tomorrow night another freeze comes through. Don’t have a lot of hope but I’ve got to try. It seems that the freezes or something broke loose the algae growing in one of the hoses and it totally plugged up the sprinkler. My hands got pretty cold from the water so I came in to warm up. I’ve had four or five cups of coffee so that’s probably what has me sweating. Cherie’s out gleaning one of the last two cotton fields she has to do. They finally harvested it. I’m jacking up the truck and putting it on jack stands in preparation for removing the axle to replace the u-joints. I’ll have to put the puppies in cause the second I lay down they are on me licking my face and stuff. Can’t work with that going on and it’s not real safe either. I’m warm now so time to get to work. Got a headache but that’s nothing new and it’s not bad.
The headache was a precursor for a slowdown as they sometimes are. I got the truck up on jacks but had to go slow and careful, thinking out each step as I went. Moving that heavy jack is a chore in the caliche dirt of our drive. When I went to jack up the truck the jack began to sink into the ground so I found some pieces of plywood to put it and the jack stands on to be safe. Last thing I need is for a truck to fall on me. I’m beat up enough as it is. I left the jack under the truck holding the axle as an extra measure.
Got the drive shaft out. Was happy to see it’s one of those heavy duty aluminum ones made by Dana-Spicer. Another good product from Toledo. Unfortunately I can’t hammer the U-joints out like I can with the old steel drive shafts. These need to be pressed. I tried one of the C-clamps I have but it’s too cheap and just bent. I called Danny’s Auto where we took Cherie’s car and asked if they could do it. While talking I brought up the doubts I have regarding replacing three month old spark plug wires. He said he had them right there on his desk if I wanted to come and look at them. Then he explained that the spark plug bases were rusty so it caused “carbon firing”? That’s understandable I suppose but did it ruin the rubber on the new wires? It doesn’t matter now so I’ll drop it. I’m the kind of guy who cleans and reuses as much as I can and that’s not what a good shop does unless it’s one of the backstreet ones that serves the poor. That’s the kind I’m used to, being a shade tree mechanic as it is.

He can do it but of course it will cost. He did suggest how to do it myself and that was a big help. I’ll need to buy a heavy duty C-clamp or small press. I can get one of those at Harbor Freight. I think I will look at that option first as it’s something that would be good to have and a valuable part of the shop I’m putting together little by little. Need a good shop for a farm you know. Being a former machinist I would love to have a lathe and mill cause I could build about anything with them.

OK, back to reality. I’m not slow now, which is always a good thing. I let Cherie know that I’ll need to run to Odessa and suggested she go. That way she can visit the Music City Mall we see advertised but have never gone to. I’ll be able to get the press or at least a heavy C-clamp because of the donation a friend made through the PayPal button on the right column. Thanks Don by the way. I don’t think I remembered to thank you earlier so here’s a late one.

I noticed some rye coming up in one of the areas I was concerned about so that was a big relief. Haven’t had a chance to look at the rest of the field yet but it is encouraging just to see this little patch. Had to totally take apart the sprinkler to get the algae out. Have to do the other one also as it too plugged up. Time to plant some wildflower mix or something. As soon as I walk out the door there will be something to do.

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