Sunday, September 26, 2010

Short Stories

The Lawn Mower Man
Imagine a cute little house with a small front lawn. Now imagine that lawn that hasn't been mowed in about a month. Welcome to the dilemma of the $30 dollar lawn mower. (Do you hear the haunting music yet?) To go back to the beginning of the story, I've always tried to save a buck or two especially on items that may cost more money when new.
At the beginning of the summer I helped the Boy Scouts of America clean out a block of of downtown Provo City. Bags after bags were filling up with junk, garbage, and trash has been left to time to decay on the back lots of Provo. Among the heaps that were found was a small, green craftsman lawn mower. The scouts and leaders that found it, tossed it into a pile to load up and ship off to the junk yard. I couldn't resist! So I pulled it off to the side, loaded it up in my truck, and took it home.
I knew my hopes of starting the mower would be useless without a little work, so I began to dismantle the forgotten warrior. The air filter was so black that a moonless midnight looked bright, garbage. Spark plug, usable but a new one is $5, garbage. A new 1 gallon gas can $9, and one gallon of gas $3... ish. So after the internet, four trips to the Sears Repair shop, and 4 hours of fiddling I bought a o-ring gasket for $2.50, and then I mowed my lawn. Once I was assured that the forgotten warrior was going to live I then changed its oil and gave it a new mower blade.
This warrior has mowed my lawn without fail every other week for the whole summer, until September. I tried to fire it up and it would crank, but it would stall out shortly there after. After five minutes of cranking and stalling, I pushed it into the garage and said I will deal with it later. Which brings us full circle. After two weeks of not dealing with it, I decided the lawn can not wait any longer. I pulled it out of the garage and then started taking it apart, again. After 30 minutes I found the $2.50 gasket had swollen and no longer makes a seal with the carburetor. Tinker, tinker, tinker and then mowed the lawn.
I know that I will have to fix it again, but for the time being the warrior lives and will cut again another day.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Lean and O2

In every sense of the word you would think that these two words are great! and everyone wants it. I disagree. This past week I have been battling both on my car. The infamous check engine light has been on for more than a year. I finally Check the numbers and it shows a P0171 and P0174. These code tell me that the engine is running lean in banks one and two. Simple talk, not enough fuel is being mixed with the air combustion process. I looked at simple means to fix the problem. I cleaned the air intake with a injector cleaner, followed the directions exactly. Fired up the old car and she turned over. Turned over a new problem. Now that I may have fixed the problem by cleaning out the throttle body, I cleared all the code and boom... check engine light again. Ok... now I have 8 more sensor telling me that something is wrong. All the Oxygen sensor are now having a cow. So I may need to replace them as well at $60 each. By the way the car has to have four o2 sensors. Two before and two after the catalytic converter.
You may ask, "Whats the big deal"? I can't pass my safety and emissions test until I get the check engine light turned off. So instead of enjoying a trouble free car, I and debating on putting at least $300 in parts into my car, if I can't convince the sweet wife to just buy a new(er) car with 4 doors.

It seems that small problems always turn into big problem when you need to renew registration.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Labor Day Weekend

Four tumbling little children down a massive hill, and yes a couple of adults too.
I know that it has been a week since all the fun, but I wanted to write a little bit about the fun the family had.
So the week prior to Labor Day weekend I was able to play host to Eleesha as she was working and playing. She would barricade herself in on of my rooms, mainly because Evan is so darn irresistible that if she didn't she would end up playing with him and not getting any work done, still she ended up staying all week.
On Friday the family got together to have a picnic, we were originally planning on something up Provo canyon but decided that it was quite the distance and decided on something that was closer. Rock Canyon Park which has an unforgettable memory attached to the place were we went (See link if interested in the Jet plane Slip n Slide click here).
This hill needless to say takes a lot of abuse. Just down the way from our four little kids rolling from this hill there were ice blockers sliding down this hill.
For me one of the funniest things was watching Evan running down the hill. He couldn't keep his legs under him and... BOOM face plant, and a mouthful of grass. Still he was happy and laughing, and got up and did it two more times before realizing that face plants are not so much fun.
We stayed until it started getting dark, playing with all the kiddys and chasing... mainly Bella a 2 year old child that knows no fear!
The following day I took Eleesha to Bountiful for Vanessa's Baby Shower. I hung out long enough to go to lunch with Caleb and left Eleesha with him. She was going to be leaving to go back to DC on a red-eye flight.
It was the best weekend ever!

Saturday, September 4, 2010

Weekly writing.

So I have been given an assignment. It's purpose is mainly to get me writing, and improve my writing in the process. I hope that the topics I find will interesting enough that people will enjoy a short read. Whether enjoyable, enlightening, or sad we will see what the next semester brings.