Saturday, March 11, 2006

My arch-nemesis

This post is about my arch-nemesis: A real villain that I can't figure out how to defeat. My formidable foe is over seven feet tall, weighs hundreds of pounds, has lots of nasty sharp teeth, and won't get out of my truck.

But let me back up a little...

We moved into a new house last fall, just as cold weather was setting in. Now, with winter winding down, I have a huge list of outdoor projects lined up. And I'm pretty sure I can hear Spring lurking in the woods nearby, waiting for its opportunity to pounce.... I really want to get a vegetable garden started, build a grape arbor to shade our south-facing windows in summertime (and to provide tasty grapes), plant a windbreak on the northwest edge of our property, plant a small orchard, do a little landscaping, take care of some drainage problems around the property...

So here's the real issue: Dependencies.

I don't want to order the grapevine from my favorite mail-order catalog until I'm sure I can get the grape arbor built. I can't build the arbor until I get the sickle bar mower out of the truck (more on that later), because I need the truck to transport the materials. I can't get the sickle bar mower out of the truck until I get the tractor started because it's too heavy to move any other way. I can't get the tractor started because... well, because I don't know what's wrong with it. The truck has something wrong with it too. It's batteries can't hold a charge. Something is draining the charge even when the keys are not in it. I even had a mechanic wire an on/off switch to the batteries, so that, theoretically, when the switch is off, the batteries are totally disconnected. (Keep in mind that this is an old, sad truck.) Too bad the switch doesn't work.

So how about another project? Fruit trees. What could be simpler? Well, I can't plant the orchard trees until I get the drainage problems worked out. I can hire somebody to fix the drainage problems, or dig some very long ditches and drop some drain pipe in them and hope I know what I'm doing. The first option reqires access to a fax machine so that the contractor can send me a detailed estimate for the various things I want to get done. Getting the fax machine ready is just a matter of figuring out our fax number. We use our second line for internet access as well as fax, and since we never use the fax machine, we don't have the number memorized. I'm not even sure if I have it written down anywhere at this point. Of course, hiring somebody costs more also, which would cut into money for another project. The second option requiers use of the truck, and as we established in the previous paragraph, that's a non-trivial requirement.

I could give several more examples, but you get the idea. I have the dominoes all lined up, but in most cases, one key domino is my rusty, toothy acquaintance in the truck. The thing only has one wheel. One wheel! How does that work? A farm implement that doubles as a unicycle?

So you're probably wondering why I bought a sickle bar mower. That's a very good question. I knew they were handy for very small scale haymaking. I got it off eBay for next-to-nothing. Unfortunately, the more I look at it, the more I poke at it, the more mystified I get about how it's actually going to do anything. Or how I'm going to get it out of the #@&% bed of the $@#% truck.



At 3/11/2006 7:15 PM, Blogger Morgan said...

Congrats on getting your blog up and running. Nicely writen. Keep it up I need a new blog to read!

At 3/12/2006 3:53 AM, Blogger Morgan said...

Hey E!

Tell me what your tractor isn't doing exactly. I have been known to have a way with machines. Of course, I am a very long way away from it, so my effectiveness will probably be reduced somewhat. It probably depends on how many edge switches are involved...



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