Wednesday, March 20, 2013

First day of Spring????

Started officially at 7:02 am today. Yet the scene that greeted us was 12 more inches of wet heavy snow. Thankfully the new chute I made for the snow blower seems to work quite nicely.
Tuesday it snowed for 36 hours . . . . Last year on this date it was 80 deg F and folks were at the beach sunbathing in their bikinis.
And here is why I dislike it so much. After shoveling off the deck once, then clearing the driveway and a path around the house, I have to rake the roof off . . . .  and  . . . .
then try to remove the rock hard snow from the deck.
Not sure whats easier, fighting the shovel or the machine . . .  I remove the snow from the roof as rafters are only 2"x6",  24" on center spanning 18 feet so I have some structural concerns should we get an other load or worse rain. And if I don't remove the snow from the roof the melting just makes a perpetual mess on the deck.

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Habemus fumabat tructa

We have Smoked Steel-Head trout . . . . The white smoke from my smoker box signals it is so . . . . smoke from apple and mesquite wood around these parts have a more pedestrian significance than the smoke of burning ballots in Rome . . . . Yes we have a new Pope as well. An Argentinean fellow, Pope Francis his chosen name was the Cardinal from Buenosaires. A Jesuit, Jorge Mario Bergoglio I hear tell is a man of humble manners. As a Cardinal he refused the accoutrements accorded his rank such as cooks and chauffeured limousines, preferring to live in his own rented apartment and ride the bus back and forth to work. Lets see if Mr Bergoglio can scare some good Jesuit sense in to Mrs Kirshner and her goons in the rest of South-America, much the same way John Paul II faced off Mr Jaruzelski in Poland together with Reagan and Lech Walesa taking down the soviet empire.
. . . as I was saying . . . . I salted up an other batch of Steel Head trout last night
after a couple of hours under the fan this morning it went in to the smoker
5 hours of smoking
the results
The real sharp ones among you you will note one less piece than went in the smoker... that's because it has already gone down my gullet along with a nice beer.

Saturday, March 9, 2013

Adventures in snow-blower repair

The chute on my Cra-p-sman Snow-blower has seen better days. One to many chunks of ice has gone through it shattering the brittle plastic in the bitter cold. The lower bolt holes busted out this winter and the chute would no longer stay on the geared mounting collar. I mended it with bailing wire just to make it through the winter.
Multiple repairs over the years. Including epoxy on the inside to keep things more or less contoured so the snow would not hang up on the rivet heads from the patches.
As Sears closed its repair and spare part annex last year spares are not available for Craftsman products locally. So I resolved to make a new one..... hmmmmm that 7 inch sewer pipe I left by the road crew on my lawn when they put in the new sewer lines a few years back might just do the trick. A few slices with the circular saw and a bit of heat seemed to do the trick.
On my first attempt the angled bit was not long enough so we did a second try. 10 inches long is just about right. I may actually elongate the holes in order to make it adjustable.
A bit of work with the heat gun does wonders to reshape PVC plastic
And as the insides of the new chute are much smoother than the old one the thing now shoots snow quite nicely.
The old chute would spit snow from the gap of the deflector hinge back on the hot exhaust of the engine at causing steam thus making the engine quit. In order to keep it running I had an aluminum shield over the engine. My new improved version has no gap thus no snow on the hot exhaust and no need for the shield.
The first sunny day in more than 3 weeks brought us nearly 40 deg F and in the sun in front of the garage and no wind it must have been nearly 70 deg F. An other successful repair.