First step: get gasoline and toilet paper.
Mowers won't run without gasoline, and we're down to the emergency pack of Angel Soft (which is neither) so I had to hie myself out to get TP. Ended up spending near $20 at the grocery store, because bread and peanut butter and grape jam, as well as butt cleanser, so there we were with that.
Because I did about 200 miles' worth of driving in the Jeep this week (I am exaggerating...I think) I needed gas; I put two gallons into the can and another several into the Jeep, total outlay $20-ish. *sigh*
Second step: cut grass.
Before I could cut the grass I needed to get the tractor out of its mothballs. Hooked up the battery, cranked 'er up, took her around to the front of the garage to fill the tires. Once that was done, on with the mowing!
The oil in the tractor is still that lovely golden color. Is there any reason to change it? I'm n ot sure; what I do know is that Briggs and Stratton engines will run just about forever on clean thoughts and righteous living, regardless of the age of their lubricants; as long as the oil is still slippery and doesn't contain any water or other junk, the thing will trundle along just fine.
Regardless the oil was fine for today, so I got a-cuttin'.
Finished with the tractor and parked it, then got out the pusher. I had to get the bag out to clean up the front yard--the lawn was overly shaggy and it looked horrible with the clippings laying all over the place--then trimmed and got the south side of the house. Put the pusher away.
Third step: defoliation.
Got the chain saw out and cut down the bushes I had intended to cut down. It leaves the front of the house looking much less jungle-ized than it did, and as a bonus I'll now be able to run the hose from the faucet without wearing chainmail. Win.
There's now a huge pile of brush out front, waiting for the tree grinders on Monday. And by Tuesday I expect I'm going to have to cut the grass again. *sigh*
Forth step: aiggh.
Feeling embalmed, I put everything away and came into the house, immediately stripping off my shirt, shoes, and socks, and moving a fan to where it could blow cool air on me. I have itching welts all over my arms and legs where the pyracantha fought back, but its pathetic attempts at self-defense went entirely unnoticed by the might of the Ed Juggernaut, and now amount to mere irritations.
The next step will be for me to hack the rest of the sumac trees and other junk out of the bushes on the southwest corner, then get some white KILZ and paint the fence. A little raking, a little pruning, I can have this place looking halfway decent.
Looking at the birch tree in the back yard, I have concluded that it's going to have to come down this year. Probably before July. I've already begun to think about how to take it down.
But I have done enough for this week.
* * *
The other night I was looking at some videos on YouTube where this guy makes things. He made a speaker out of a paper plate, some cardboard, wire, paper, tape, and a magnet. There's no real reason to do this except to fool around with physics, but it's the kind of thing I could do if I ever thought to do it.
Only I never do.
One neat thing I saw: apparently you can make a fairly powerful laser using the components found in an old computer, providing the computer has a DVD-R drive of a certain speed. You need to get the right kind of mount for the diode, and you need to have a good heat sink for it, but the mount costs about $3, and once you've got those things you can burn stuff with a laser. Whee!
...it would be interesting to see if one could use this sort of junkyard laser in an x-y plotter arrangement to do laser etching. The commercial units tend to use a moving mirror rather than moving the whole laser, but if it works, why not?
* * *
Looks like it was about this time last year that I cleared out the nonsense in the front yard. Whee! It's a tradition!
* * *
Checked the tire pressure on the bike, and it's about 20-odd PSI. Not flat.
...when I pumped the tire up yesterday, after checking it for leaks, I thought I'd check the valve core. The valve cap has a core removal tool in it, so I was able to do that without having to find one, and I discovered that the core was a shade loose. When I turned it to the left it immediately began leaking air, and I didn't have to break it free because it was already loose. I tightened it and gave it an extra tweak.
Today, there is still pressure in the tire.
I am going to go buy a pack of new valve cores and start replacing them on leaky tires, just because.
* * *
It's so nice to sit in my chair on a Friday evening and enjoy the peace and quiet after a pleasantly productive day.