Dear readers, as you may suspect from the headline, there isn’t a lot of current tractor news to report, but there is some, and I’ll get there in a minute. First, a few “housekeeping” items:
1. I have edited the “About” page to include a little bit more information about me and the rest of the cast of That Idiotic Tractor.
2. Our little blog has not yet gone viral, but its got the “sniffles.” Google has found us! So, if you’re just too lazy to put in the www or http whatever into your browser, you can now put the words “that idiotic tractor” into Google, and up she’ll come. Or, lets say you’re talking to a friend (on your cell phone, while you’re driving, which is where you do all you’re talking when it’s not really of any import), and for some unfathomable reason the thought pops into your head and you say “Ooh, you’ve just got to see this new blog I’ve been reading,” you can just tell him/her to stick the words up…wait that’s not coming out right…how about “…input the words into Google.”
3. I got a nice comment from Gene Tencza (not my Gene) advising that he’d added a link in his web site: http://www.retiredtractors.com referring his readers to mine. He’s really got an antique John Deere web site, not M-H, but we don’t have any green/yellow prejudice here and appreciate the referral. Thanks Gene.
4. Finally, thanks to frequent reader, Steve, for his very clever encouragement: “Keep twisting the Pony tale;” I love that.
I wasn’t sure whether you’d prefer the tractor news next, or last (or never!), but I’ve decided, let’s go with the flash back first. I thought it might be fun to go back to 1952, the year the Pony came off the assembly line up in Canada, eh? It was actually a pretty amazing year. The Korean War was raging, it was an election year, and I turned 5 years-old. Below is a brief list of the year’s high lights, with the ones I thought really important in bold:
* The first “Today Show” airs with Dave Garroway.
* Dick Button performs the first triple jump in competition during 1952 Winter Olympics.
* Sam Snead wins the Masters.
* My older brother, Jim, pinches me all during church and I coin the phrase, “Mom, he’s picking on me!” Check it out, have you heard of it being used anywhere before 1952?
* Herman Wouk wins the Pulitzer for The Caine Mutiny.
* Dragnet premieres with Jack Webb.
* Clarence Birdseye markets frozen peas. Huh? How does this make the list. Have you ever tasted worse peas than frozen? Even canned are better. But man this reminds me of pea shooters, Jeez do you remember those? And corn guns, they actually shot unpopped popcorn kernels; don’t see those anymore; “They’ll put your eye out!” My god, long car trips, before interstates, back up to Minnesota, shooting peas out the window of the old Buick, but I get ahead of myself; that wasn’t until 1955.
* Eisenhower elected president. Just a fact. Readers, for your information and ease of mind, this blog will remain strictly apolitical. Republicans, Democrats, etc., have you noticed, the world just keeps on a spinnin’.
* I’m sitting in kindergarten class (Randall Elementary, Waukesha WI), no desks in kindergarten, and from underneath the dress of the little girl next to me comes an increasingly alarming flood of pee. I’m too embarrassed to say anything and yet, don’t want to become Noah in a sea of pee, so I inch further and further away, and just miss getting swept away. Why is it that to this day, this the one memory I carry with me from kindergarten?
* The maiden flight of the B-52.
* In London 4000 to 8000 people die from smog. I don’t know, that’s a pretty wide range, makes me wonder about this fact.
* Those of you who are 1952 aficionados have probably been waiting for this one, and here it is: in 1952 Mr. Potato Head is introduced, and is also the first toy advertised on TV. Woo hooooo!
* The Princess, while attending Assumption BVM on the south side of Chicago has picture taken on a pony, but not The Pony. If I get enough requests, I’ll print this picture in a future post…dont disappoint me; I need this to be your fault.
Alright, on to tractor news. After the Pony was deposited at Gene’s, he immediately left town for an extended time. Do you think there is any connection between these things?
The next real step is to find out if the Pony’s engine will turn over. For my readers who are not “gear heads,” (neither am I) this means simply finding out whether the pistons will go up and down (and, therefore, aren’t frozen) rather than actually starting the engine. So under advice of counsel (mechanical, not legal), my first job was to remove the spark plugs, and blast a decent amount of penetrating oil through the spark plug holes, thereby improving the odds of getting her to turn.
On Friday I tried to remove the plugs and couldn’t make ’em budge, so I applied penetrating oil all around each of them. I’ve inserted a photo here, but when I look at it, it appears as if I’m thinking, “My hand is stuck in here, and I can’t get it out.” Saturday I returned, tried again, but still no luck. Sunday I went out, and “bingo,” one of them came out. The others still wouldn’t budge, so I added a breaker bar (thanks, Gene) to my wrench, applied all the incredible strength I wish I had, and finally got the other three out. Gobs of oil have been sprayed into all the holes, and we’ll now let it sit for a while before seeing if the old girl will turn over. I’m thinking that when Gene gets back (You are coming back, aren’t you Gene?) we should also drain the old oil from the crank case and maybe remove the manifold, because if there’s water in the engine (and I think there is) that isn’t doing us any good.
Also, a little bit of good news, I brought my air compressor out and filled all the tires. Incredibly, three of the four are holding air, with the left rear leaking from the valve. With some luck we might be able to get that baby out with a valve tool, clean it up, retighten and have four inflated tires. I’ll let you know.
Uh oh, on proofing these changes I noticed that in the revised “About” page, The Pony gets second billing and the Princess, third. I’m going to take a chance and just leave it. Ya think she’ll notice?