A diary of the projects, hurdles, rewards and family life at we recorded at Wise Acres, our former homestead in Horsefly, BC. (Careers and teenagers have forced us back into the city, at least for a little while.)
Friday, January 30, 2009
Some magic isn't...
This photo of last week's hoar-frost is far better than any of the snowblower we have.
Whenever I visited my farm-raised (free-range?) cousins, something would break down (a snowmobile, a dirt bike, an old Datsun pickup, or a chainsaw...), and they'd spend an hour fixing it. It was magic to me when they got it working again - the seemingly random little jiggles and jostles of a choke or a throttle somehow did the trick.
I'm pretty excited to say that the magic is gone (is that the first time that phrase has been uttered?), and I can see the science behind it all now. Having had to get the chainsaw or snowblower working when they didn't want to has taught me a few things about combustion engines.
A related lesson was that the snowblower should be covered. It wasn't, and one day a week ago I started it, but could not get the 2nd stage auger (which blows the snow away) to move - it had been frozen to the body after a recent thaw. I chipped away at the ice, and eventually got it running again. It was too late though, and after 10 somewhat successful minutes, the auger stopped, and I smelled burnt rubber.
A quick review of the manual indicated the auger belt was the culprit (or more accurately, the victim) - I opened the covering and confirmed it. I was able to find the belt online and ordered it. Today, after some wrestling, the snowblower works again.
Each little repair, each sequence of failure and success, reinforces the feeling of rightness. I appreciate and will always seek out specialists when the situation calls for it, but I'm moving that line of distinction out bit by bit. Engines and machines aren't magic...
Hoar-frost though, that's magic.