Thursday, August 18, 2011

The answer is

Once you get the questions right, the answer is often obvious.

In spite of my malaise I needed to repair the iron horse. Our grass, cut maybe 4 times a season, needed to be cut before we left for Boston and it's worse now, only the mower is not working well.

The iron horse is dependent upon a belt to drive the blades, and the belt kept falling off. Replacing it isn't difficult, merely time consuming, and since I had to go to the trouble of installing I chose to replace the belt with a new one. Half a dozen installs, reinstalls, coupled with rough words later, I referred to the teachings of one of the brightest men I ever worked for.

An engineer by trade, he taught all the youngsters working for him to do 3 things whenever effecting a repair. 1. Observe first second and third before picking up any tool or making any decision. 2. Do what doctors do, first do no harm. Make certain you don't break one thing while repairing another. 3. Solve the problem not the symptom.

That advice has become second nature to me except for when I KNOW what's wrong. (reread the third para) So today I sat in my observing chair, simply staring at the mower deck.

I visualized its operation. I compared one side to the other looking for differences. There it was staring back at me all along.

Why was the top of one pulley shiny and the other not? Somehow it worked lose, spinning freely until it became out of round. A few dollars and half an hour later all was well, until next time, and another lesson reinforced and probably soon forgotten.



Shelley said...

Well, I'm impressed. I could stare at the thing all day and not figure out how to fix it! Well done.

Kathleen said...

I admire someone who fixes their own mower.

Good job.

Anonymous said...

Toad, is that an older 3 series BMW in the background? My first car was an '88 which i drove until it had 245K on it. On my 3rd BMW now...wonderful cars if you maintain them.

Brohammas said...

I cannot resist...
Having nosed around the menswear and lifestyle blogosphere, I find this post not only unusual but remarkable, yet oddly not out of place.
You have taken the mundane and dirty task of mower repair, and rather than looking down upon it, you have given the notion that you personally solved the problem by simply looking at it.
You have created a mental image of yourself sitting in that empty chair, perhaps wearing searsucker suit, drink in hand, and staring at that ugly metal monster till it simply gave in and became repaired.

LOVED it. with good common sense instruction to boot.

Barbara Bussey {The Treasured Home} said...

As things go in Blogville, I happened upon you over at Empress of the Eye. You are writing a novel, I hope! Great writer! But, "Toad"?

Toad said...

Anon, aye it is. Rag top too. It belongs to my neighbor and has sat in my garage for going on 5 years untouched. It runs, but I have no idea what caused him to stop driving it. Most likely having a teen age daughter, who would look very cute behind the wheel.

Brohammas, I love your prints! A closer mental image would include ghurka shorts, dirty knees, white linen shirt and barked knuckles. But I thank you anyway.

Barbara, most names are bestowed, few get to create their own monikers. Wasn't every child captivated by The Wind in the Willows?

brandon sargent said...

somehow this post is reminiscent of a winnie-the-pooh story...