Monday, April 06, 2009

Another cold morning

4/6/09 Monday
It’s another cold morning and will be chilly all day long. Tonight they are predicting temperatures will drop to the freezing mark. I’ll have to go cut some wood for the woodstove. Figures. Just when I thought we were done with this a freeze comes. We pretty much burned most of our firewood but there are plenty of scraps I can gather for tonight. Hope this doesn’t hit our strawberries to hard.

Yesterday, when I went to take Cherie’s truck to church I was appalled to hear the grinding metal on metal sound of the brakes. Calling Cherie I asked if she had heard this and she said she had but forgot to tell me. At this point brakes are on the verge of total failure so it’s a potential life threatening situation. The more I thought about it the more upset I got. Sure this is a common TBI issue, to dwell on something till it gets you upset, but I think it’s justified. Four weeks ago the truck had been taken to a shop where the windshield was replaced and other work had been done. I made a specific request that the brakes be inspected because I was bothered by the fact that the brake pedal went almost to the floor before they engaged, plus they were a little mushy. That’s usually a sign that they needed to be bled. We were told that the brakes were “just fine”. Four weeks later it’s metal on metal, the brake pad was totally gone. I suspect that the mechanic just drove it and decided it was ok without pulling the wheels and physically looking at them to determine how much pad was left. Brakes can work fine until the pads are worn out, that’s why it’s important to do a visual inspection. Actually I think that’s the law just like the legal requirements on how much tire tread is left.

So this morning I had Cherie follow me in my truck while I carefully drove hers’ to the shop. I also asked them to inspect the front end because when you turn right the tires feel like they are sliding. It doesn’t do it when you turn left, only right. While pulling the trailer, even without the tractor on it, this problem was more evident and even a little scary. Hopefully it just needs an alignment but we know the truck had blown a tire and one side is pretty dinged up so there’s a possibility a tie rod is bent or something. I don’t know, just want my lovely wife to be as safe as possible when she drives.

Yesterday I got the gas tank off the tractor. There was some definite southern engineering done on it. Where the fuel line screws into the tank it had been patched with some kind of epoxy. I can’t tell if that is where the gas leaks from but will carefully remove the epoxy to see what’s underneath. I got a lot of gas on my shirt and hands so left the shirt outside so we didn’t have to smell it all night. Even after washing my hands three times they still smelled like gas. That’s not good as gasoline is absorbed right through the skin and can damage the liver and kidneys. I used to wash my hands in gas to get oil and grease off when I was working on cars. Try to avoid that now but it couldn’t be helped when I pulled the gas tank.

What will I do today? I’ll see if the gas tank can be finished so I can get the tractor up and running. Then I want to work on installing drip tape on the borders of the garden plots. That way I can get the Sudan planted that will operate as a wind break and protect the garden plants. The other thing I need to do is get electricity run to were the seed starting area is being set up. With that done I can start getting the seeds going. I am using an electric blanket, that’s covered with plastic to protect it from water, to heat everything up. It’s a trick I learned online.

Time to get moving folks. See ya next time.

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