Thursday, April 26, 2007

Ah, spring

Spring. It is my favorite time of year. And, even though I am married, I do find that this time of year my mind wonders. I try to remain focused and give Ellie Mae the appropriate amount of attention, but I am a man. This time of year my eyes tend to wonder to... well... you know...

Yes, tractors. Of course, as an unemployed (unemployable?) semi-retiree, it is really hard to justify the cost of a tractor, though I am still trying really hard.

What if... I started mowing pastures and bought it as a business expense?

What if... I joined the circus and used it to scoop elephant poo?

Sunday, April 15, 2007

ro lems Res lved

Af er a w ek of se ere pa k t lo s it se ms to fin lly have g ne away. (If you t ink p cket l ss su ks on a r al li k, you s ould see w at it d es to a dial up l nk!)

I have been scratching my head daily, working to figure this out. Is it the ISP? Is it the modem? Has something gone amiss with my house wiring? No, it is a kernel problem.

I recently moved from my old reliable Fedora Core 3 system to Fedora Core 6. They were nice enough to drop support for FC3, so you pretty much have to play along and move forward. Let me assure you: in this day and age an operating system is not made for dial up networking. I have been working for almost a month to get updates in... and I am almost there. (Fortunately, a Linux box is at least dial up friendly enough to put in updates in single packages, unlike that other major OS vendor that wants you to download one huge ass chunk.)

If I were a monster geek, I would even track my update process with some sort of graph or something.... oh wait, I am a monster geek.

Monday, April 2, 2007

A tale of 3 lawnmowers

You would think, after writing about it in the RANTs section, I would be done. But if you think that, you dont know me very well.

The last 3 mowers I have owned, in summary:

1. Sears Craftsman. This was a pile of dookey. Sears has started really making them cheap. I paid a little over $200, used it 7 years. The wheels were literally falling off. I dont mean "yeah, I mowed until the wheels fell off." I mean, the wheels were ACTUALLY FALLING OFF. I sold it on ebay in that condition for $100. I still feel a tad guilty, but I listed it accurately and they saw it and still took it. Net cost: $100 for 7 years

2. Rusted out used Murray. Ok, if the Craftsman was dookey, this was slimy dookey. It lived previously on the Texas coast and was rusted from the inside out. The rings were most likely broken if not disintegrated. I paid $20 and used it for a year. I mowed saplings that were an inch or more around. I chucked rocks. I hit stumps. The only thing that stopped this junker was that it finally had so little compression that it just couldnt run. Net cost: $20 for 1 year

3. The Honda. A piece of beauty. I remember one time, very vaguely, when it took 2 pulls to start it. But the moon was full, the stars were not in alignment and it had sit for a winter without running. This would surely be the last mower I ever owned. I could picture myself at 82 pushing this from behind a motorized wheelchair. Yes, this is surely the mower of the gods. The problem is they built this too good. I hit stumps with the Murray and it turned the blade into a pretzel. I beat it flat with a hammer. I hit one damn stump with this thing and the blade bends. I hammer. Nothing. I heat it red hot with a torch and hammer. Nothing. The freaking blade is made of hardened steel that was also used for Japanese samarai swords. Now lets do math: something has to give/ Either you make a pretzel out of a blade, you break a clutch or ... OR YOU BEND THE DAMN CRANKSHAFT AND THROW A ROD.