Relative Something

*this* John W. Hays' take on things and experiences

Posts Tagged ‘changing plans

Plans Change

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I changed my mind. I wasn’t going to show my latest sculpture project until I was done but apparently, I’ve used up all my patience trying to train Asher lately. I’m not waiting any longer. It may seem like an illogical time of year to begin an idle pleasure that has the potential to occupy many hours when spring growth is happening faster than can be managed in a day.

Since when is artistic whim logical?

The trigger for me was the accommodating weather allowing me to work outdoors on creating wood shrapnel and sanding dust. I decided to see if there might be a heart shape hiding in this Y-section of a maple tree we cut down at some point.

It’s lopsided, so I’m trying to decide if I’m feeling moved to compensate for that or let it remain imperfectly balanced.

I chose to give it more attention yesterday because the air quality was poor due to Canadian wildfires and I didn’t want my lungs to suffer from my panting away on a bicycle. Since the air made wearing a mask worthy, I figured I might as well work on something that is incredibly dusty.

I hesitate to reveal the vision I have for the bottom portion because I don’t have a firm plan on how I will accomplish it. Maybe if I state it, doing so will add incentive for me to keep after it, one way or another.

I hope to achieve the appearance of a melting heart. There are so many times when I feel moved to say that something melts my heart. A visual representation makes sense to me.

Somehow, I will need to try to fit the next level of sculpting in between mowing and trimming sessions, because if I stop now, I may never finish. It would get added to my trophy case of umpteen other art projects that I started but have yet to complete. I’m guessing this risk is why I was considering not talking about the melting heart until it was actually a thing.

Well, self, the plan has changed and the challenge accepted.




Changed Plans

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How many times lately have we heard that plans have changed? More than a few, I dare say. It reaches a point where I’m finding myself less inclined to make any future plans of substance. My 6-month dental checkup and cleaning appointment due in March was rescheduled when the shutdowns started occurring.

I LOVE the feeling after having my teeth professional cleared of plaque and asked for the next earliest appointment. They gave me Tuesday, May 19. Last Thursday, the scheduler called me to cancel that appointment and said they can’t even guess when the next possible chance will be.

Yesterday, I had planned to connect the chipper to the diesel tractor PTO to convert those tree branches to woodchips before the coming rain arrived. The weather allowed the whole day as the precipitation didn’t begin until dusk. The tractor did not cooperate. It was rather depressing.

I am not a tractor mechanic, but I am willing to naively explore possible solutions to problems. My best guess is that one of the multiple safety interlocks is keeping the starter from working. It’s actually happened before. The very first time I tried to start the tractor, I couldn’t get it to work. The seller had just changed the battery and assured me he would pay to have a service person look at it.

That technician arrived and immediately put the tractor on his flatbed truck, but decided to try one last time before hauling to the shop. It fired right up. I asked what he did differently than me and he said he didn’t know. We assumed it was making sure the gears and PTO were properly in the off/neutral position.

Last year, this happened to me again, but I persevered and after multiple tries, it fired up. Problem was forgotten.

Until yesterday. I tried the same thing over and over again so many times I surpassed the “insanity” definition ten times over. I finally broke down and called my next-door neighbor for advice. He knows tractors as a guy who collects them, refurbishes them, and buys and sells them. He even owns the exact same New Holland model as mine, among his many International Harvester collection.

Diagnosing remotely, he worried about the battery, since I admitted I hadn’t ever cleaned the connections. Well, his concern was well placed, as the neglect was evident and cleaning was warranted. But it wasn’t the problem.

I tracked wires and disconnected and reconnected junctions. While rummaging around beneath the belly of the beast, I found how much corrosion resulted from the mess after the valve stem broke on the liquid-filled tire last year. I spent hours tinkering cluelessly, interspersed with the repeated insanity of positioning and repositioning the PTO lever that I think is the problem. Nothing changed.

Eventually, I gave in to a change of plan and moved on to something else to salvage some glimmer of accomplishment for the day. I removed 24 blocks from six pallets that got added as eight rows to our boardwalk in the woods on our main perimeter trail.

That will be valuable since we’ve already received 1.5″ of rain overnight and it’s still falling.

I plan to call a professional to service the tractor.