Wednesday, February 20, 2019

BSA Progress

 Progress on the BSA has been slow unless you count me reporting about slow progress then progress is about normal. This pic is from March 2017:

And this pic is from February 2019:

 Actually it looks like I'm going backwards because the tank isn't sitting on it but the fact is nothing has happened unless you count all the shit that has collected on the lift table. I think about working on it and how I want it to look. Is that progress?


Sunday, February 17, 2019

Big Ass Station Wagon

 I got the Yukon back from the body shop after a deer strike caused $5100 damage to the front end. The team at Baird GM did a wonderful job of putting it back together for me and keeping me informed of progress along the way.

  I missed not having the rig for a couple weeks. After spending a lot of time searching for a replacement pickup truck and settling for this, it turns out this is really what fits my lifestyle. Yesterday we had five adults in it for about an hour. Sure a four door truck can do that but not as comfortably as this with its three rows of seating. Theres enough room in the back to haul a 4x8 sheet of plywood so thats really all I need.
 We went out to dinner last night and on the way home all I could think about was hitting another deer and my $1000 deductible. Don't want to go through that again anytime soon.


Tuesday, February 12, 2019

More Snow

 I'm writing this on Tuesday evening because I have to get some sleep and be back in the truck by 2am. We got another all day snow event that currently measures about a foot but its still coming down. I got home and grabbed the Toro snowblower to start clearing the drive. It went about 6 feet before a cable broke. I don't get why they are making these things with plastic parts and cables. Its just asking for a failure. Lucky for me I keep a backup snow blower. This one is an old Ariens, probably from the seventies. Its only rated at 6 hp but seems to have the power of a modern day 10 horse. The drive engagement is a steel lever with a control rod and so is the forward speed/reverse lever. The auger is the old widow maker style and keeps running even if you walk away from the machine.

 I guess it took about an hour to clear that foot of snow. The berm at the road was about 2 feet high and the machine crawled right through it without hesitation or belt slippage while in low gear. Actually it probably ran better than my work truck did today. Thirteen hours of deep snow and I couldn't use four wheel drive. Whenever I engage 4wd, the accelerator pedal goes dead. The answer to this problem is to load 3 yards of salt in the truck and just do the best I could in 2wd. It goes in tomorrow for repair but not before another plowing session early Wednesday morning. I gotta go.


Sunday, February 10, 2019

Double Birdie

  Yesterday I was heading home from work just minding my own business, when some jackwad in a vw passes me on the right. This has happened before and will happen again because its in a spot where two lanes merge before increasing to hiway speed. Being passed bothers me. Being passed on the right pisses me off. Being wildly cut off by some unskilled bitch in a shitbox car really pisses me off. She would have hit me if I didn't brake. Not that it would have mattered to me because I'm in a loaner car while they repair the deer damage to the big ass station wagon.
 OK so I'm pissy but not too terribly. Theres no road rage going on here but I felt she should know how I feel about her driving habits so she got the double birdies. The thing is, she won't even look in the mirror. I'm right behind her and can see that shes just looking straight ahead and ignoring me. So now I'm a little more pissy cuz I didn't get any justice here. Five miles down the road and we get to a red light. Still not one single glance in the mirror but I know that she knows that I know shes a bitch. Oh well, I'm over it. The light turns green and she takes off.

 The car had Wisconsin plates on it but I don't think she was from around here because when she took off it was like a bat out of hell. I kept thinking if there is any justice in this world then that state trooper that sometimes sits over this hill will be waiting. Sure as shit I see her brake lights but it was too late for her. The trooper must have caught her speed as she crested the hill cuz he had her pulled over before I even got there. It was like a huge weight was lifted off  my chest. I've been in this situation before but the cop was never there waiting. I slowly drove past and just waved but she didn't even look up and acknowledge me. Oh well, she knows that I know that I'm not the only one questioning her driving habits. Justice served.


Tuesday, February 5, 2019

Breaking Stereotypes

 As I've posted in the past, a few of my bikes come in the house for the winter months. The two that are in this year are the Rat Turd which is a Kawasaki and the Harley Sportster. Guess which one has been pissing on the floor.

 Yep the jap bike is the incontinent bitch that can't hold its oil. The Sporty is doing just fine and yes theres oil in it.

 Again, I really should get my ass in gear and sort out this bike so its ready for spring when I'm ready to ride before the roads are clean enough for the Ultra.


Sunday, February 3, 2019

Happy Birthday Sweetums!

 Today is the birthday of my wife Stacey and I want to wish her a wonderful day. I was searching for my favorite pic of her and couldn't find it so I'll post this one from about 25 years ago.

 In my eyes she pretty much looks the same so its legit. Have fun on your lunch date and I'll have dinner ready tonight. Happy Birthday!


Wednesday, January 30, 2019

Snow and Cold and Wind

 It seems like every winter we get at least one decent snow storm and hopefully the one we just got is the biggest for the season. Don't get me wrong, I like plowing snow but a foot or more of the stuff dragged out over twenty four hours is bullshit to deal with. Maybe not for the home owner doing their own drive once or twice for the whole event but for us plow jockeys that need to babysit factories it can be challenging.
 I got in the truck at 1am when there was only threeish inches on the ground. We knew a lot more was coming but the plan is to plow with the storm and not let any one area get too deep. I had about four hours before the early birds arrived followed by the bulk of first shift and hundreds of cars that would fight for good parking in about a dozen lots associated with this factory. When one of these workers sees a spot they want its like they have blinders on and can't see the plow truck they just cut off to get it. Screw em, they can walk through the snow. If they would have had 10 seconds of patience the spot would have been clean.
 I'd been at it for a while and was starting to get lonely. What I mean by that is all the big iron in my crew was MIA. When I can, I like to plow with the window down and just as I was about to call and find out where they were I heard a loud noise.

 No it wasn't a train but was just as loud. The three pieces of equipment I was waiting for just went rolling by heading toward the shop. The big tractor was towing the big loader and that was being pushed by the smaller loader. Right then I knew it was gonna be a long day.
 At about four hours in I just gave up on parking lots and we started cleaning production areas. What I mean by that is areas where truck and forklift traffic has to happen or plant production stops. This factory goes way back and there are many buildings joined together and a lot of outside forklift movement and foot traffic. Also because of the layout and the three separate locations in the city there is a lot of truck traffic moving product around. I'm sure the bean counters wish it was all under one big roof. Oh and to keep things interesting theres an active set of train tracks splitting the main plant in half.
 Eight hours in and I'm finding that this 16' back blade works wonders in deep dry snow. I'm easily doubling production. This is the third year for me running this blade and I still find new ways to use it. The rear blade has down pressure but because its snowing so hard and its too cold for salt the truck traffic is really packing it down and the blade can skid over the top. The hydraulics on the blade won't lift the rear of the truck with 3 tons of salt in it but I've found a way to help it along. Eventually the extra pressure broke the 3/4" bolt holding the lift ram. No problem, I have a spare in my pocket.
 Nine and a half hours in I heard another loud noise. This time I immediately recognized it as my stomach growling. Time for snow plowers brunch.

 A gas station sammich and a bag of donuts. Wash the whole thing down with Red Bull and get back to work.
 The snow is stacking up pretty good anywhere it hasn't been touched. Temps are pretty cold and the salt in my truck has been in there from the start. All that its good for is adding weight and traction so I can plow mostly in 2wd in flat areas. The wind is blowing so salting is really only done where absolutely necessary.
 The eleventh hour caught me off guard. I got a call that they just announced shutting down for the day due to blizzard conditions. Normally the plan is to have parking lot lanes open so workers can easily walk to their cars and drive off once out of their parking space. That wasn't gonna happen but I did have time to scrape a few main employee exits. I then went and found a remote area to work in for a while till exiting traffic diminished.
 The funny thing is that it stopped snowing just about the time they shut er down. Oh sure a good handful of people (cars) remained but for the most part the lots were empty. Now it was just a race to clear as many lots as possible in the next five hours. That was the planned quitting time for our shift with a return time of 1am again. We were having so much fun that we ran an hour over.
 By the time I got home, cleared the end of the driveway and ate dinner there was time for a three hour nap. Overnight winds weren't as bad as expected. While everything had a good dusting on it from wind blown snow, many of them didn't need service. Thats a good thing because the ones that needed it took a while. I told you this old factory was pieced together and that means there are areas that are like cubby holes where the snow drifts in and there is no place to put it. I suppose in the big city you either truck it out or maybe melt it. Our plan is to push, pull or drag all that snow down the road to empty lots owned by the factory. Some of these lots are a few blocks down the road but this plan is easy and inexpensive. Its also quieter and that matters because this place has residential neighborhoods on three sides.
 We were able to get all the lots done before first shift arrived. This is the only account I'm responsible for and when I'm done with the big iron operators I send them off to help elsewhere. That leaves me to run around and do inspections and cleanup. Usually that means cleaning empty semi trailer stalls, pushing back piles or just detail work. This time there was a lot of detail work that needed attention and I spent three hours putzing around.
 So thats my plow story. Eighteen hours in the truck followed by three hours of sleep and then another eight hours in the truck. I then worked around the shop till noon and called it a day. I much prefer a two inch snow. Everything gets done once and I can be home like it was a regular work day. The weather liars messed up on the timing of the event as usual but their 10-14" estimate came in right around 12 or 14. Now we need to push piles back and make room for the next storm.