See: Everything was working all right, but the blower was beginning to bog down in the deep snow and not blow. I figured, "Well, I guess that belt's had it," and hauled it into the garage to look. Sure enough the belt had rolled over and wasn't working correctly any longer, so I set out to run my errands and get a new belt.
Ace Hardware has an entire rack of V-belts of various sizes. Guess which one they're out of. Just guess. I tried the next size smaller, but it simply would not fit over the pullies, so it went back. Then I hit Menards.
Menards? Don't make me laugh! Menards has already got their outdoor department set for summer! There's three fucking feet of snow on the ground, but let's set up the trimmers and lawn mowers! After all, it's early February and the grass might start growing in SIX GODDAMNED WEEKS!
Wait, here are a few belts! Well, even at $19 apiece, Menards didn't have the belt I needed. As was the case with Ace, they had the next size larger--which is only almost as good as no belt at all because I have to pay money for it!--and the next size smaller (same condition).
So I hit Pep Boys. They found a belt which was the right width and almost the right length, being just a smidge larger in diameter. So I bought it, brought it home, put it on...and got exactly the same behavior as with the old belt, because this belt is simply too long.
(Yes, the thing that engages the drive belt is adjustable. No, I cannot adjust it far enough to make either shorter or longer belts work. Nice design, assholes.)
Plan "B" was for me to put the old belt back on, blow down the middle part of the driveway--the part I could do with the belt slipping so much--and get a new belt on Friday. So off I went to the races, and to my surprise the snowblower was working quite well again. I was in the middle of my second pass at the middle part of the driveway when VRMMM! the thing unloaded and stopped blowing snow. Snarling curses and opining that it had thrown the belt, I dragged it up to the garage, pulled off the side cover, and--sure enough--the damned old belt had snapped in two.
I am not frustrated because my snowblower stopped working. I got four years plus out of the belt in it. I knew I really needed to have a replacement on hand. I also knew that it was going to be an enormous fucking pain in the ass to go out and find a replacement, which is why I put off doing it--but I'd wager it would have been easier in July than it is in February, when everyone needs a new drive belt for his snowblower.
I am frustrated because I wasted my entire afternoon on BULLSHIT, and going to three f-ing stores did not get me the part I needed.
On the plus side, there's enough clear driveway that Mrs. Fungus can get out, and the Jeep is nifty enough to deal with the snow that's there, so I'm not worried about either of us getting stuck.
So the next step will be for me to get the model number and start making phone calls on Friday, in order to find the right motherfucking belt somewhere so I can blow down my fuckin' driveway.
And yes, I'm buying two.
* * *
No. Just no. Observing the universe is not going to make it vanish in a puff of quantum detritus, and any theory which claims it can is rubbish.
This sort of stupidity is apparently necessary to make dark matter work. QED.
* * *
Anyway, I'm still pissed off and frustrated and all I want to do is go on WoW and kill shit. More later.