Sunday, February 25, 2007

Wasted Effort

I have spent the better part of this beautiful Sunday in front of this computer attempting to bring my blog up to date. A recent change in the structure of the blogging network I am part of indicated I should make some necessary changes to my blog. These changes, they promised, would make my experience here more delightful and filled with more fun.

It seems I can now add labels to my blog so that any visitor to my site can punch up all the posts under certain categories. They then do not waste time on posts they know they will have no interest in. But in order to add this spiffy new feature, I must first complete a transformation to the new blogging protocol.

Promising a relatively pain free process, I willingly punched the appropriate button. Now 3 hours later, I sit wondering why the Hell I even tried. The blog transformed just fine. But now I have a whole new set of editing duties to fulfill on each of the 300 or so posts in order to bring them up to speed. At this point, I have 40 or so done. The rest can wait. I need to make a point now. Or an observation. A notation. A conclusion? Whatever.

Why do I bother to update the navigating aspects of a blog that has no vistors in need of navigation easement? I have had no vistors in so long, I am sure this blog has been marroned on some internet desert isle somewhere akin to a sandy atoll 3000 miles from anywhere. Yet, I still followed through with the renovation as if there were eyes other than mine around to appreciate it. If nothing else, I have made another small step in my blogging education.

A Brothel of Mechanical Whores - Part One

5 years ago the 1976 16HP Yard Man tractor my dad left me finally shit the bed. Something in the tranny went ka-blooey and it would only go forward in 5th gear. Tired of the increasing tendency of old parts failing at the wrong moment, I shoved it in the back of the garage and began mowing my 2 acre yard with a walk behind mower.

Lack of deep enough pockets kept me from even contemplating a new riding mower. That was then, this is now. I have 5 years of pushing a 22" swath through 2 plus acres of incessant green. I also find my pockets could now handle the idea of a new riding mower. Add in the fact that I have met my wife's criteria of no new equipment until the old had been tossed and the time was ripe for me to begin to dream.

So a few weeks ago while on a quest for other DIY stuff from Loew's, I told myself I would check out their mower section for a minute. When I found their display area, that minute turned into an hour. There were 12 or so riders sitting there seductively, all gleaming and shiny, promising a no hassle beautiful lawn should I just plop down the card and take one home. It was a brothel of mechanical whores.

I was instantly in love again. Only this time, not one but 12 lovers beckoned me and I could not choose. I would stand next to a Husky and run my fingers over it's hood and that red paint shouted sexual lawn pleasure should I fire up it's beefy 23 HP twin V motor and allow the 54 inch deck to hover over my grass. Mowing with this little beauty promised pleasures beyond my comprehension.

But soon I noticed a red Troy Bilt winking at me. She had a confident air and clean look that drew me away from the Husky. I fondled her mower deck and I swear she shivered. I was in lawn mowing heaven.

But then I looked across the aisle and there before my eyes the green and yellow paint of 5 different John Deere's shook their little PTO's at me and I was smitten. I almost ran over to them. I had heard about JD's. They had the rep. They always delivered.

Almost too bashful to even touch them I just circled each one and carefully turned over the teaser cards found attached to each steering wheel. I think I read the specs. I am not sure now though. All I remember is the fit like a glove feeling I got as I boldly climbed up on one and sat down. That yellow weather resistant seat caressed my ass and fit my back like it knew me intimately or soon would should I take her home.

The steering wheel was soft to the touch but hinted at rugged determination should the terrain get dicey. I swear it purred with pleasure as I gripped her wheel hard. As I sat lost in my fantasy, I gazed down at a dash full of intriguing knobs and small lights. I could only guess their purpose. I was sure they would enhance the experience though. These painted up hussies had turned my head.

At some point I remembered my original mission and regretfully left that alluring brood of mechanical seductresses and found the heating duct parts I had come for in the first place. To say it was a letdown to find myself taking home duct work instead of a new girlfriend would be an understatement. The severe case of mechanical blue balls I drove home with drove in my disappointment with every pothole I encountered.

End of Part One

Sunday, February 18, 2007

The Dripping Faucet

It has been over a month since I last posted here. Not being one to multi-task in a big way, I allowed another activity to steal my blog time. Considering that this theft of blog time was looked upon kindly by my wife of 26 plus years, I should feel okay about it. But I don't. I am guilt ridden and ashamed of my lack of participation in the blogging culture. At least while I am explaining myself here I am going to be full of regret. When confronted by my darling signifigant other, that regret will melt away as if it never even crossed the barren landscape of my mind.

Coming back here after such a long absence is tough. Those re-directed creative juices must now switch from construction of physical things to construction of subjective things. With a healthy dose of self doubt, I often feel my efforts in either direction might be better spent buying finished products than attempting to create them. But self doubt always loses to ego in my case. Misplaced confidence maybe. But there it is.

For 3 weeks of the last 4, I have holed up in my basement toiling away at renovations and reconstructions that have been successfully neglected and ignored for 20 years. A load bearing wall down there had lost it's plate to years of Spring run off that insists on passing through my basement on it's way to the ocean. The floor above dropped an inch or so. Walls began to crack and doors started acting funny.

This did not happen over night. And while I would like to say it sneaked up on me, I cannot. I watched it unfold and did nothing. Not sure why. I have the carpentry experience and tools to handle the fix. Laziness? Um maybe. But it was more than that. A perfect vehicle by which I exposed one of my more irritating character flaws. I have always had a high tolerance to problems. I always make them hit a critical point before I do anything about them. In inter-personal relationships and when dealing with the physical world. I can listen to a faucet drip forever without wishing to fix it. It nearly broke up my marriage in the early years until she got over it.

Unlike many of the emotional and personal glitches of my life, when I decide to fix something I really fix it. No half ass solutions. Over kill all the way. The new wall I built was no exception. It is stronger, better looking, and water proof. It will definitely outlast my time left on this planet.