Dad’s Alaska

A toast to the Americans who want to and have gone back to work with or without government approval.

13 May 2020 Wednesday. A beautiful sunny day. Absorbed my usual too much coffee for one human being. I was having one of those day. I just wasn’t feeling it. My ‘get up and go’ had got up and went. Everything was a like slogging thru knee deep swamp mud. I had the project of finishing the door side of the hoop house. There seemed to be a constant, unseen effort to keep me from finishing. It should have taken 30-40 minutes. In the end it was about two hours. Time, also, flies when you aren’t having fun.

The hoop house completion wasn’t my first activity of the day. I took the dump truck to East End Services and purchased another four yards of top soil. Since Aftershock rebuilt the carburetor the dump truck runs infinitely better. I am climbing hills without having to downshift and when I do have to down shift it is only one gear down. A good example is the Greer Road hill. I don’t know what percentage of grade it is but it is very steep. Before the carb repair I’d have to shift into the low gear axle and be in 2nd gear to climb the hill and the truck was really straining to do it. I came up the hill today with 4 yards of very wet top soil. I climbed the Greer Road hill in the low gear axle but in 4th gear. I, actually, had to slow down to turn on to our street. I am ecstatic about the improvement in the performance. I said “She’s a keepah” like the old Foster’s Australian beer commercials. I always like to give the equipment a name just because it is a verbal shortcut. When I had the HVAC business years ago I could tell an employee to “Take Bertha and go pick up the old unit at the the Tinkerson’s house, Bill”. That way Bill instantly knew which truck to use for the job. Since I used the phrase above I decided that the dump truck should be named Sheila. In Australian vernacular a woman or a girl is often referred to as a Sheila. So Sheila it is. She’s a big orange girl with a whole lot of personality.

I didn’t exactly plow a straight furrow with the tiller
Summer’s Tomato Palace planted
Sheila and the dirt

After finishing the hoop house, I decide to rotor till an area that gets sun all day. Summer wants to plant some corn and I thought that this area would do. Tilling up here in the dirt that has about 10 rocks per foot, is a project. I hit several rocks large enough to stall the tiller completely. I, also, tilled up sticks and a part of an old bed frame. How part of a bed frame got into the ground is a mystery without a single clue. How ever it managed to get there it brought the tiller to a dead stop. While I was about to restart the tiller I looked over to where the tractor was parked. I saw a large oil leak under the tractor. The source of the leak was a faulty gasket. Apparently, the guy i bought the parts tractor from had removed the outer axle assembly and destroyed the gasket. I did not know his or I would have repaired it at the same time I put the new gasket on the inner axle assembly. This discovery led to moving the tractor back up to the Conex area and jacking it up. I took off the tire and pulled all of the bolts out of the axle assembly only to discover that the axle wouldn’t come out. This led to manufacturing a tool to pull the axle. I needed a slide hammer and, of course, I didn’t have one big enough for the job. I went to my ‘possibles pile’ and found a short piece of angle iron. This I took to the drill press and put the holes in it to match the lug bolts on the axle and one in the center for the slide rod. After that I scrounged around and found only two of the four nuts I needed on the threaded rod I was using to hold the slide hammer weight. This meant that I needed to go to the hardware store to complete the assembly. BUT it was 5:00 PM and I was just too tired. This was a project to be continued on Thursday. As I stated earlier my ‘get up and go’ was gone.

The infamous slide hammer I built mostly from scraps

Summer went to Dan’s house for dinner and I ate a couple of TV dinners washed down with sweet tea. I seemed like a very long day even though I didn’t get started until about 10:00 AM.


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