Came home from work with a relatively simple plan in mind: clean the carb and change the oil on the pusher. Simple, right?
OH no. This is a TORO lawn mower! Why should anything be SIMPLE?
I mean, doing the carb--there are no adjustments and it's dead simple, and the only reason I had to disassemble three times was because I kept forgetting to put in gaskets--one for the air cleaner and one for the float bowl. No other gaskets, adjustments, or anything. No, the real pain was changing the oil.
You see, they didn't bother to put a drain plug under the engine, so if you need to change the oil, you have to turn the thing over and drain it through the fill pipe. At least, I think that's right; I didn't see a drain plug and I wasn't about to tear the entire underside of the mower apart to find it. Suffice it to say there was none in evidence. But, what the hell, I could do that, anyway, right?
Sure! No problem. And I drained it, and it was fine. And then I dug out the 30 weight and tried putting in about 20 ounces of it, as specified on the dipstick. I went a bit over, but that shouldn't be a problem, right?
Put the dipstick in, and it was WAY over. Like, the markings are in the first inch of the stick, and the oil level was three inches up. I tipped it up and drained some, checked again, and it was still way too far up, so I took the cover off, took the fuel tank off, took the oil fill off...and the oil level was right at the lip of the boss for the oil fill tube.
If the actual oil level were three inches too high, the entire damned crankcase would be full of oil, and it would have come gushing out as soon as I pulled the fill tube off. I don't know what Toro thought they were doing here, but it's a MASSIVE FUCKING FAIL. (Yes, I had wiped the oil out of the fill tube. Got the same result.)
In any case, I reassembled the mower, put it on the ground, gassed it up, pulled the cord...and it cranked up on the first pull, no surging or anything. So, fantastic!
The other thing I did was to suss out where the battery is, pull it out, and hook it to the trickle charger to charge up. It's a 12v sealed lead-acid battery, like you'd find in a UPS or something; probably a standard size. I want to try charging it first. If it won't take a charge I bet I can find one on Amazon or somewhere.
This time, instead of doing most of the work sitting on the ground, I put the mower up on a table and worked on it there. Much easier, and it makes me even more determined to get some kind of lifting work surface for this kind of shit.
After cleaning everything up, I cut the front and sides, but was so tired that I decided that'd be enough work for today. I mean, I only spent an hour and a half on routine maintenance!
The first really warm day we've had for a while. I rode the bike back to work after lunch; it was very windy on the way home but of course by the time I got the mower ready to go the wind had died down. So I'm all hot, and I'm sitting in front of a fan and trying to cool off a bit, and I'm not entirely certain that I'm not going to make it to June without turning on the AC.
* * *
Over in Oregon, five counties have voted to look into seceding from Oregon and joining Idaho.
My prediction: they won't be allowed to. Why? Because they'd take their congressional districts with them.
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The world is a mess. I mean, it's a mess. I have given up trying to make sense of it; I am a simple man who wants only to do his work and to enjoy his leisure. I don't drink; I don't smoke; I don't take narcotics. My only real vice is diet soda.
All I can do now is to pray.
* * *
The book is a classic. The movie was shit. I saw the movie in the theater; while I was watching it I enjoyed it immensely. But as soon as the movie was over and I was walking out of the theater, then I realized how awful it truly was.
Paul Verhoeven is not a good director, and why anyone thought it was a good idea to give him Starship Troopers to direct is beyond me. Except, of course, that it was Heinlein, and it had to be ruined.
* * *
Anyway, I'm hot, and I don't know how to cope with it.