Monday, November 09, 2009

A day of gasoline powered things

Sunday was as pretty a day as one can expect in early November for New England. It must have been close to 60F and sunny. It was the perfect time to run over leaves with the mulching mower. I was about half way through my 2nd tank of gas and the mower had been getting increasingly sluggish, so I figured it was time to clean the air filter. Indeed, it turned out to be fully packed with leaf dust--I really wondered how it could have run at all with such clogging. The machine had other ideas: I put the clean filter back on and the mower would not start, or would start for a second and then quit. I checked the gas. I checked the oil. I cleaned the spark plug. I adjusted the carburetor. I got blisters on my hand from the pull-cord. Finally it began to run and ran like a champ til I was done: A tank and a half later.

After that, my wife wanted to run the leaf grinder--to deal with leaves in places I cannot mow, like flower beds. Given my bad experience with gasoline-powered devices, I approached starting the leaf shredder with dread. It got going on the first pull, not bad considering that it hadn't been used since last Fall.

Since I had reached the back of the garden shed I figured I may as well pre-position the snow blower to the front of the house. It too started right up and it still had old gas from last Winter in it.

Just for the sake of completeness, I should have seen if I could get the chainsaw running. It is a good thing I didn't think of this: If I got the saw running I would want to cut down a tree (lots of them need to be cut down) and this would have just created a lot of work for myself. It was already Sunday afternoon and I had the rain gutters to clean still.

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