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Old Guy Photography


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The Old Guy … Gretchen … Ain’t Missin’ Nothin’ …

Ain't Missin' Nothin'

Ain’t Missin’ Nothin’

When Gretchen isn’t happy with me she goes out into the yard as far as her leash will reach, sixteen feet, and lays down in the shade. This was true of this week because it was flea and tick treatment week. It is a week she is not happy with me or anything else.

She won’t respond to her name, other names, whistles or attention getting noise. A look through a long lens does tell me … though playing Possum … she “Ain’t Missin’ Nothin … ” as the old saying goes.

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Next Week Or So … Something Interesting or something current … just don’t know …

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The Old Guy … The Snapper Mower … A Worthy Adversary … Part 1 of 2

About the middle of the fall season this year past, my Antique Snapper Riding Lawn Mower stopped running. The darn thing just wouldn’t start and the carburetor was designated as the main culprit. This trouble came at bad time since multi-colored leaves from a handful of trees were falling at an accelerated pace. I was, by my estimate, looking at knee deep leaves with nothing to mulch them up with.

Deep in the treasured annuals of lawn mower maintenance and fix-it-yourself folklore a solution was extracted and then suggested by someone who heard from a friend that had a friend of an Uncle that fixed his own carburetor for little or no cost at all. Well now, that sort of advice seemed “somewhat” logical at the time, though I did have several reservations about the solutions pedigree but didn’t give voice to any one of them. After all, we are not supposed to look a gift horse in the mouth.

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The Antique Snapper

So, I found myself taking my carburetor off the engine and soaking it and all the small pieces which could be removed in a large steel cooking pan full of PineSol kitchen cleaner.

The carburetor and associated parts were supposed to soak in the pleasant smelling liquid (Lavender scented picked up by accident) overnight …

Despite all the cleaning and diligent polishing, the carburetor still didn’t work though for a few days the old Snapper smelled quite pleasant. So during the winter months, I saved my change in Mason jars. By the time my efforts were counted out, I had saved half the cost of the new, highly prized part. And it worked beautifully. I put it on the engine, vented out the air from the gasoline lines and it started with hardly a whimper or hint of protest.

Well, off I went down through the backyard and back forty. I cut each section twice since the grass had gone free range during the winter and had gotten quite tall in places. And of course twice during the cutting, the mower blade belt came off which facilitated stopping and re-threading the serpentine beast. This had to be done despite hot parts and cramped spaces that have a tendency to pinch, scrape, cut and burn hands, wrists, and fingers.

Oh well … onward and upward …

So … off I went to the parts store for a new mower deck belt which turned out to be cheaper than I thought it would be. Next came the semi-difficult task of putting it on. Years ago I had put a new belt on the old machine and all I could remember about the experience was that it was exceptionally difficult. Pushing the antique Snapper into position out by the shed went smoothly. Yep … onward and upward as they say.

Oh well … onward and upward. That statement comes home to roost being that the task in the description proved easier said … than done. The installation of a new mower deck belt requires for the rear-end of the old Snapper to be elevated. This was accomplished with an old car jack and a quantity of various sizes of broken concrete which was of proven quality since each piece had been used many times over.

A large flat corrugated box was placed on the ground behind the mower since I had to lay flat on my stomach and perch on my elbows in order to reach into the machine to persuade and align the belt into proper position. Yeah … the problem with that type of superficial instructions is that this belt alignment and placement has to be mostly done by touch since there are only a few small holes in the rear of the mower to look into and see what was going on. The sun darting in and out of the clouds was an annoyance. But a successful installation is possible even under adverse conditions. By memory, I had put two new belts on the mower deck over the last four years or so.

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Read on  … Part 2 of 2 of  … The Snapper Mower … A Worthy Adversary …

 

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The Old Guy … The Snapper Mower … A Worthy Adversary … Part 2 of 2

Continued from part 1 of 2 … The Snapper Mower … A Worthy Adversary …

I was determined not to be bested by a supposedly inanimate object …

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The Fix-the-clutch Maintenance Position …

I was unsuccessful the first three tries at the belt installation. I was cut, scraped, savagely pinched and bleeding. My hands and fingers were cramping into claw-like appendages and the corrugated box had put rug-type bleeding burns on both of my elbows. During the beginning and ending of each attempt, I took cool off and getting your breath back breaks on the back porch. Several times, I had to wait until I got my legs back before wobbling back to the old building and my adversary.

The fourth attempt had the belt stuck in such a way that I had to cut it out of the machine and go get another mower belt from the Snapper dealer. During the fifth attempt, I remembered a step that made the installation easier. I was happy to get it on correctly without further injury or mental anguish but had to shake my head for forgetting an important installation fact.

Starting the faded red machine up, I cut the backyard and back forty once again. The antique mowing powerhouse worked like a new one …

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A Four, Going On Five, Year Old 33 inch Cutting Blade That Yet Hasn’t Cut A Single Blade Of Grass …

Two days later, before the rains were supposed to show up, I went out to do a little cutting. The Snapper started right up like never before and as I pushed in on the clutch I heard something like an off key bell ring loudly. No matter what I did, the twenty-plus year old machine would not go into gear. It just sat there running smoothly like never before … Knowingly, I turned it off and pushed it over in front of the small red out building. Fifty years earlier in my lifetime, you wouldn’t have believed the stream of sailor profanity that would have addressed my new-found situation. But alas … we haven’t done that nonsense for ever and a day …

The online owner’s manual said to work on the clutch and drive system the machine needed to be setup on its rear-end. Well, common sense says if that is to happen successfully you better take the gas tank off, remove the engine oil and take the battery off … or else.

I fooled with it … jerked it sideways, tapped it gingerly and sat an stared at the machine. Common sense told me the clutch was working properly and the problem was elsewhere. Friends showed up one day to look it over. While that was going on they managed to get the old cutting blade off and my four year old replacement blade put on. For years I had not been able to get it off the machine by myself and here they managed quite nicely. The bright red paint stands out from a distance for sure even though the blade has never cut a single blade of grass.

My deductions surmised that either a drive shaft or drive chain was broken. A simple test proved I was correct. Unfortunately, rain and cool temperatures have kept me from fooling with the old fossil. I will later in the summer. Somehow I will have to get the chain case off and inspect the parts. Right now I am reduced to using the push mower and dividing the yard into sections with cutting a section a day until done.

So … the antique cutting machine remains standing on its rear-end, tied semi-securely to the old red out building. One day it may head out into the back forty, but then it may not. I haven’t given up on it but as they say … time will tell. So far … it has been a worthy adversary.

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The Snapper During Better Days

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Next Week … Something different … just don’t know …

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The Old Guy … Images From The Front Porch #3 …

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Images From The Front Porch #3 …

Soft Landing ...

Soft Landing …

Brown Thrasher On The Fence ...

Brown Thrasher On The Fence …

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Yes … I Am Watching You …

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Next Week Or So … I Just Don’t Know …

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The Old Guy … The Acme Professional & Amateur Wildlife Photographers Kit #17 …

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Wildlife Photography With The Old Guy …

The Acme Professional & Amateur Wildlife Photographers Kit #17 shone with an authentic green plastic wood grain cast Genuine Adirondack type Chair and genuine green molded plastic four-legged foot stool. Also included is an Acme Faux cotton fiber pillow with semi-soft stuffing resembling synthetic horse hair in Dark Blue and imitation white plastic photography accessory table.

Note: Camera, plants, small black and tan dog, white straw hat, luke warm coffee in a souvenir high impact plastic non-spill mug that says Virginia Is For Lovers and salted in the shell peanuts not included.

Warning Dizziness And Sleep Fall Risk: if you are underage … Do Not Use The Acme Professional & Amateur Wildlife Photographers Kit #17 for an excessive amount of time without proper adult supervision!

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Unfortunately … The Acme Company, due to dwindling demand and excessive current litigation in fourteen states and Canada, no longer offers The Acme Professional & Amateur Wildlife Photographers Kit #17with or without accessories.

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Next Week … Maybe Something Interesting … I just don’t know …

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The Old Guy … Images From The Front Porch #2…

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Images From The Front Porch #2 …

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Nuthatch Lunch …

Courting Dance ...

Courting Dance …

House Finch w\Watching ...

House Finch Watching …

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Next Week Or So … I Just Don’t Know …

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The Old Guy … Images From The Front Porch #1…

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Images From The Front Porch #1 …

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Enjoying The Day …

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Something Interesting Down There …

Someone Is Always Watching

Remember … Someone Is Always Watching

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Next Week Or So … I Just Don’t Know …

For Additional Photographs Click on This 500 px Link …

For More Additional Photographs Click On This Flicker Link …