Thursday, July 18, 2024

Evil Critter Mayhem

  Seems the last two years we've had a bumper crop of tree rats .

That's this year's crop . There's at least five , possible six young ones in the nest in the maple tree in the front yard , in addition to the six from last year .

In addition to chewing on the lead flashing on the roof they seem to have developed a taste for PVC plastics . That's the conduit for the 220 volt line that goes underground to the garage under the deck . 

My solution was to wrap it in Bituthane / Ice and Water Shield in order to cover the holes they made and it seems the tree rats  don't care for the flavor or texture of rubber adhesive. 

Good enough . . .  for now .

Then this morning we spotted one chewing on the PVC sleeves over the wooden posts of the fence around an old house slab that is our back patio . 

So dissuasive measure is applied

On all posts .

Never had them before but red squirrels also seem to have made an appearance this year . The slinky trick was no obstacle for this little creep as he simply crawled up the pipe inside the slinky and made himself right at home on the bird feeder .

So I doubled up on the slinky and added a big dome in this case a repurposed aluminum disc sled from the 1970s . That seems to have done the trick . . .  for now . 

If this continues much longer more drastic measures may be in order .

Friday, July 5, 2024

So many tears today

 My ten dollar Pearl

11 / 6 / 2004  - 7 / 5 / 2024

We only had you for the last nine of those and they were not nearly long enough .


Friday, June 28, 2024

Fly-in Fea-Market Score


Went over to a little Fly-in Flea-Market in Middleton NH a couple week ends ago and the host had a big spread of machine shop tooling  purportedly from the old Chance-Vought plant in Connecticut that used to build the Corsairs back in WW2 . 

No prices , just pick a handful for ten bucks sorta deal .

Some of it identifiable some of it absolutely foreign to my eyes .

Didn't need any of it but it was just too good a deal to pass up so I picked a handful .

A roll of  . 0200 safety wire .  A . 2488 thousands reamer. A fractional drill gauge and a two pound bag of stubby drill bits in assorted sizes all for ten dollars .

Oddest darn things too . Never seen anything like it . Top quality stuff , diamond sharp edges . But I've never seen the blunt end like that . Some kind of quick disconnect deal for a gang drill set up where multiple holes were all drilled at once in aircraft spars and skins . They are used tool room refurbished as all had brand new edges and fresh blueing on them . They work slick in my hand held drill too and the stubby bits are real nice for precise drilling as there is absolutely no wobble with them . Now I wish I'd have grabbed a couple more handfuls . 

Tuesday, June 11, 2024

DEPORTATION . . . because it's the only solution .

 There . . . that should trigger a few window licking libtards .

So about a week ago I saw this around the back side of the garage . A new hole going under the slab . Seems we have a bumper crop of little shit-munks this year and they are digging new burrows wherever they feel like .

Not good as that location is a low spot that tends to flood and freeze in late winter with the likelihood of water now going under the slab and the resulting ice pushing up and busting the concrete .

I dug down about a foot and put some half inch wire mesh against the edge , covered it with soil and put some cinder blocks over it .

 But it made no difference , they found a way around my obstacles .

Time to get serious then , and there was only one solution .



Looking at what Tractor Supply had for traps none was small enough and they were asking close to $50 for the smallest they had . Screw that . A half hour of tinkering with the available scraps in my garage produced this .

Just like the store bought only at zero cost .

Works slicker than snot too .

Number one found the sunflower seeds in the bottle cap irresistible and was caught within fifteen minutes .

So did number two .

 As did number three . 

 . . . number four

. . .  number five . . .

 and number six , all caught within fifteen minutes of setting up the trap . Four of them just today .

Now isn't that a much more idyllic place to live than under my garage slab  ?

And no one will care where you dig your burrows .

I am sure Mr Woodchuck from last July would be quite happy to have you as neighbors . No I did not pay for that trap either . Someone down the street put it out by the curb with a FREE sign . That one is worth a couple hundred dollars if you had to pay for it today . 

Overall my home built shit-munk trap is a raging success . 

That's five . . . six of them caught within two days .

Friday, June 7, 2024

Silence is Golden . . .

 My little shit-box hundred dollar mower has had little to no attention since I bought it used from the Oak Hill hardware store twenty years ago . A display model they used to mow the strip in front of the store and sold cheap at the end of the season . 


I may have changed the oil in it once or twice but that's about it . It never fails to start on the first or second pull no matter how much I neglect it . I run it for fifteen minutes once a week in the summer to trim up the edges and corners I can't get into with the riding mower . In the last couple years it started surging a bit and fuel consumption was significantly greater , but you know how it goes . If it runs don't mess with it . This spring it started as easy a ever on the second pull , but the surging was definitely a bit worse this time around . All this means that the thing needed attention as the carb diaphragm was toast and it was running mostly on the choke circuit . So time for some attention .

It's one of those 500 series 3.75 hp Brigg and Stratton with the plastic carb mounted right on the tank .

This is the part you need . Diaphragm goes against the tank with the paper gasket over it .

 While it was apart I cleaned it and blew some carb cleaner through all the jets and passages and put it all back together . And it now starts and runs with absolutely no surging at all . 

Just for shits and giggles I replaced the two governor springs on the carb as the smaller idle control one had gone missing a while back and the larger one was mangled badly .

As to the silence part . . . yea this thing is not very quiet . It will rattle the fillings out of your teeth and leave your ears ringing in a couple minutes . It is downright painful .

So . . . 

About ten years ago I picked up a box of these brass drain fittings at Mardens Discount for about fifty cents a piece, figuring they may be useful for some project .

And I think this one is just about right after some modificating with a hacksaw, a drill and the right size socket to stretch the neck a little bit .  Smashed the end down over a large screwdriver, drilled some 3/16ths holes on one side and folded the corners over to pinch it tight .

It actually makes for a real nice press fit on the can that passes for a "muffler" on this thing.

And it drops the harsh rap of the engine to a much more tolerable level . 

Silence is indeed golden now .

Thursday, June 6, 2024

Cat Food

 Because marketing . . .

Exactly the same junk . Imported from Holland too. Embiggen to read fine print.

Pearl approves

Saturday, June 1, 2024

Sold Dad's old Ford 8N today

 I hate to see it go but I have not started it in three years and really don't have much use for it anymore .

The young man that does the mowing and plowing for mom wanted it and agreed to take it in exchange for $2500 of his services . 

 He showed me photos of another one like it he and his brother just restored and it really looks nice , so I trust it is in good hands .

As we could not get it to fire up I raised the bucket with my jack and we braced it in place . Had to pump up the left hand tire and miraculously it actually held pressure though it was pissing the calcium chloride out the valve stem . . .

. . .  and they towed it a mile up the road to his house behind his truck .

 It's sad to see it leave , but in the end we are only temporary custodians of these marvelous relics .

Thursday, May 23, 2024

Damned Tree Rats . . .


Heard someone gnawing on the house about five AM this morning , so after my morning coffee I got my extension ladder and went to see what it was all about .

Seems one of the local tree rats has found a pleasing taste to the lead flashing cap on the fascia returns . They run up the telephone pole by the curb and across the wire to the house .

As we are in an urban setting and feeding them some more lead with the 22 would likely get me in trouble this was the best I could do for now .


Added three wraps of twelve inch wide aluminum flashing to the telephone pole to keep the tree rats from climbing up the pole . Seems to do the job too. Spray painted it tan so it would not be so obnoxious flashing in the sunlight . 

Tuesday, May 21, 2024

Bonny Eagle 5/19/24 Car Show

 Despite being a gray day , and chasing some electron gremlins in the Volvo , we got brave and made the thirty minute ride over to Bonny Eagle for the car show last Sunday . We were told there were over five hundred cars there , so it was impossible to photograph them all . We did do a quick walk through the American Muscle car section that had tons of Mustangs, Corvettes , Camaros , Chevelle's and GTOs of all flavors , but as it's not really what motivates me I did not get any photos of them .

Here are some of the ones I found interesting .

We got to park among some fine British convertibles .

The only Volvo besides ours was Joe Kendal's pristine 1971 142 .

One of the ones that caught my eye was this 1975 Super Beetle , as my first car was exactly this in grasshopper green .

An earlier highly modified Bug .

And a nearly original sixties vintage one .

A 4WD double cab Synchro imported from Holland by this lady .

Even a crazy custom sand rail .

What externally appears to be a Bug is not at all. In fact it is some kind of UTV with a bug tub on it .

There were of course some higher brow vintage examples like this mint 1967 Mercedes 250 .

A couple mint seventies vintage Datsun Z cars being worked on by Andrew and Krystal at Moto-Resto on Warren avenue .

Our friends Marty and Margaret were brave to ride his home built Mini-Moke all the way from Ossipee NH in the drizzle . This is NOT a factory built Moke . This is something Marty built from scratch , from a pile of parts he collected over the years . Frame and sheet metal are all his own handy work .

Using the "sewing machine motor" and drive-line pulled from his Mini-Cooper when he replaced that for the Mazda engine in it now .

Among the other special interest types was this smart Ford Van conversion .

This Cab Over Engine except now its a mid engine .

And a wild WW2 vintage Jeep with some kind of Caterpillar turbo diesel on airbags .

An old International Harvester wrecker .

And a 55 Chevy rat truck . . .

. . .  with a unique finish that really really popped in the rain .

A 37 Packard with no finish .

 A crazy chopped and slammed Pontiac Silver Streak . . .

. . . that really caught my eye . . .

. . . perhaps because the lines are not all that different than my own Volvo .

Chief Pontiac Hood ornament gleaming in the drizzle .

With no windows that will surely be a wet ride home .

 No I'd never do this to my Volvo .

This had to be without a doubt the noisiest machine there . The engine is a humongous Detroit diesel from an old airport snow blower .

There were of course some much more refined and expertly done up vehicles .

As was this most meticulously restored 67? Ford F100 . The owner was able to track down the original 93 year old owner and share with him a book with all the photos of the restoration .

 A lovely 110 inch Landrover in classic blue

An immaculate 1980 Toyota Celica 


with less than 60K miles on the clock .

A couple of 4WD right hand drive Japanese domestic market Mitsubishi Vans

 An eight foot bed early Ford ranger with a small block V8 in mint condition


 A late model Subaru WRX that like so many of them blew a head gasket at 200K miles  . . .

. . . . so the owner replaced it with a 6.2 liter Vortec / LS V8


A behemoth Lincoln Cosmopolitan survivor that the owner managed to sell at the show .

Probably the oldest car at the show was this 1913 Buick with carbide gas headlights that will be in for a wet ride back to Parsonsfield .

Awards done by 2 pm , Marty and Margaret head out back to Ossipee in the rain .