There’s a special piece of the road about a mile from home. The sides are lined with the tall, arrow-straight, Loblolly pines that are common here, and there’s a big, sweeping, uphill curve. After I shoot down the previous hill and begin to climb this hill, for a space of maybe 300 feet I can see, or rather hear into the future. I noticed this, because each time I climbed the hill I’d hear traffic behind me, look in the “third eye” (rear view mirror), and there’d be nothing there. What I was hearing was the sound of the traffic coming toward me that I couldn’t even see yet, because of the curve. The echo of this future traffic was bouncing off the trees behind me.
I don’t know, but hearing (behind you) into the future, well that’s just kind of weird. I’ve decided to look into buying the piece of land that lines the road right there, simply because of its value as a strange portal into the future. Wonder what it would reveal about the Pony’s future. Might I hear its engine start, before it really does? That’s something I’d like to know.
Moving on. Here’s another basic truism from the Boehmke book of such things. “Rarely is something, nothing.” You can stick your head in the sand, you can look the other way, you can rationalize, but if there is a little, nagging something, and it is something you’ve not seen, heard or felt before, it’s probably not nothing, which being a double negative, means IT’S SOMETHING! My most recent example. I was doing the morning 40, riding out toward Saxapahaw (yes, that’s a real town), and I heard my right shifter kind of chattering. I thought, hmmm, that’s different. Half a mile later I had no shifting on that side, argh! I did the next 30 miles with only two gears.
That reminds me, this time of year, a lot of snakes have recently hatched and they’re all over the place. The morning 40 is a good opportunity to spot snakes that have slithered onto the road and then met their demise. Here’s a couple of recent photos.
Of course, he’s been squashed a bit, but you still get a pretty good view of a Copperhead here. These are venomous and extremely dangerous, so naturally our area is literally crawling with them. And here’s something I didn’t know until just tonight. I was doing a little reading about snakes and came across it on MedlinePlus an internet site sponsored by the U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health: “…a snake can actually bite for up to an hour after its dead (from a reflex).” Guess I’m going to have to show even the dead ones a little more respect.
I hadn’t seen one of these before, so I grabbed my phone and took this guy’s picture. With a little noodling around on the web tonight, and with an assist from son Andrew, I identified this one as a juvenile rat snake. They bite, of course, but they’re non-poisonous. All right, that’s enough road-kill for one post. What’s going on with the Pony?
Well, part of the answer to that question is the fact that it has rained here for four straight days, and “oops,” I just looked out the window and the pavement down below is wet, make that 5 days. So, work has been limited to the garage. I’ve been refurbishing the clutch, mostly wire brushing old rust. I’ve bought a new clutch disk and throw-out bearing. I also finished painting the transmission cover, and am now working on the reinstalling the shifting mechanism that’s attached to it. There was a diagram of that shifting mechanism is the earlier post, “Sometimes Ya Just Get Lucky.” The Princess and I scored two new 1/4 inch ball bearings at the Ace Hardware this afternoon, so I’ll be able to replace the worn ones. Cost of the new balls, 49 cents, so under C.O.M. rules, being under 50 cents these will not go in the Cost-O-Meter. As luck would have it the Ace Hardware is in the same strip mall with a new favorite place of ours, Yo PoP. Strange name, but boy they’ve got great frozen yogurt and toppings, mmm, mmm.
Gene was able to remove most of the steering system from the Pony this week, so Friday I dragged that home from his place. That’ll be another good bit of garage work, dismantling and refurbishing that nasty thing.