Repair without ripping, 4 hour mow, Everest, 13 hours, double dogs, furry father

tractorspindleSo on Saturday morning I felt I needed to get the mower deck on the tractor put back together.  The grass was already at a shaggy state and in need of mowing.  I was a bit worried about doing the work with the stitches in my shoulder but most of the tension and pulling I felt in the area had faded by that point.

I had bought the stuff to replace the spindle and pulley on the other side of the deck as well.  I decided mid-repair to not bother doing the second pulley since it was was working just fine.  I had a number of challenges putting stuff back together, mostly due from a week passing from when I took it apart.  The time passed was enough for the details of how it all went together to become fuzzy.  Multiple times I pulled the SD card out and reviewed the week old video to remind me of what went where.

It took awhile but I finally got everything back together and functional.  Processing the video I shot of the repair was actually more problematic than the repair itself.  I had to make no less than 15 attempts over two days until I finally got the video ripped.  For some reason Camtasia was bombing out during the process and falsely reporting certain files as being corrupt.  I finally had to do a tag team process to get it produced, doing part of it in Camtasia and the last part in Movie Maker.

We did a run to Rural King Saturday morning even though it wasn’t really necessary.  It was an excuse to let Tank walk around the aisles and have fun.

Saturday afternoon I gave my repair an extensive test.  I decided to mow pretty much EVERYTHING, taking advantage of the lack of standing water on the property.  In addition to mowing the area around the house, I mowed the large back yard area including the parts of the property outside the fence line.  In total I was out there closing in on 4 hours, sort of crazy.  I did notice that my repair seemed to make a dramatic difference in mowing performance.  I have no idea how long the pulley was stripped but the end result of it would be the blade spinning at less than it’s intended speed which meant less cutting power.  I was able to rip through the high grass, in most cases not needing to make a second pass like I have been become accustomed to.

I was worried that I may have torn my stitches when I was moving the 200 and 300 pound tire out of the way to mow.  Both tires were heavier than normal due to the standing water laying in both of them.  Ironically the incident happened when I was trying to lift the lighter of the two tires.  I initially tried to lift the tire just with my right arm to protect the stitches on my left shoulder.  Well as I lifted the tire started to fall towards the left and I instinctively grabbed it with my left hand.  The moment I did I felt a pain and stretch in the incision area.  I was seriously worried I tore some of the stitches loose.  I was relieved when I looked in the mirror later and saw they all seemed to be intact.

Saturday night we stayed home and watched Everest, my latest Netflex rental.  It is a true story about a bad tragedy on Mount Everest where a number of climbers died after being trapped by a massive storm.  The movie did an incredible job of depicting just how harsh and unforgiving the conditions are on the mountain.  Why anyone would want to subject themselves to that sort of torture is beyond my sphere of logic.  Since it was a true story that means that happy endings are not guaranteed as in man-made story lines.  I did find it very difficult to hear some of the dialogue with the repeated scenes involving horrible weather.  It’s a B+ flick even without hearing everything.

On Sunday morning I wanted to get out and run, not wanting to lose the momentum I had from the prior week where I ran three times.  Cindy was feeling lousy after Tank kept her up pretty much all night with his placement in the bed.  I told her I would just go to the track and get a quick run in solo.  I was literally solo as nobody else was at the track the entire time I was there. I didn’t wear a watch but I felt like I ran at a similar pace as I have been in the mid to low 9’s.  By the time I was done with the 13 laps I was soaked from the humidity.  It felt good to get the mileage in although I didn’t feel particularly good doing it.

When I got back we headed out after I took a quick shower.  We stopped at Ali’s place to pick up Sadie who is staying with us for a couple weeks while Ali is away on a trip.  We brought Tank with.  He had a blast going through the four dog toy baskets pulling out as many toys as possible.

Since it was Father’s Day I was hoping to mostly take it easy during the day.  Of course I am not a father in the traditional sense but I am the closest thing the chickens, Tuki and Sadie have to a dad.  I was pretty successful, only doing a few chores during the day.  I bought myself a Father’s Day present at Home Depot later in the afternoon, a 20V DeWalt impact driver which should help me when high torque is necessary.

Last night we watched 13 Hours, the movie about Benghazi.  Perhaps I was just really poorly informed but I knew nothing about the attack on the secret CIA operation that was a mile from the embassy.  I also had no idea that soldiers from that operation were at the embassy beating back the initial attack.  The movie was an eye opener on several levels.

It is obvious that the embassy was woefully understaffed from a security standpoint.  I also didn’t understand why the “safe room” wasn’t all that safe.  That thing should have been air tight and bomb shelter tough.  The movie also depicted why it has to be maddening for soldiers to operate in the region.  There is no easy way to tell the bad guys from the good guys.  You never know if the guy smiling at you has a gun under his robe, ready to turn your lights out.

The movie was long, dramatic, and a sad reminder of the tragedy of war.  The lessons it teaches just never seem to be learned for long.  I give the movie a very somber A rating.


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