I Misspoke…Means I Was Wrong!

Listen, you folks need to read carefully and when I screw-up, you need to call me to task.  I’ll be the first to admit I don’t know what I’m doing, so it follows that I don’t know what I’m talking about either.  And I’m not going to be like people who try to make their errors sound like something less than just plain wrong.  Don’t worry, I can take the flack of hearing about it when I’m wrong.  But don’t misunderstand, I am trying to get things right.

So, anyway, in the last post I said the following, “the adjustable end (of the lifter) goes through one of The Pony’s new valve seats into the drive train compartment.”  That’s baloney, and I realized it as I was downstairs yesterday working on the engine.  First, I meant to say valve guides, and that would have been wrong too.  Forget about valve seats and valve guides, the adjustable ends of the lifters go through some ports that are part of the engine casting.  Whew!  It feels good to get that off my chest.  I guess that’s my Sunday confession. 

Oh, and I think there should be a rule.  You can’t come back and say, you know that post you did a month ago…no, you have to call me out before I do the next post.  Otherwise its like pro football; if you’re going to throw the “challenge flag,” it has to be done before the other team (me) gets the next play off.

Moving on.  Every now and then I read something that sets me off, and that happened again this week.  A writer for AP published a piece entitled “Baby Boomers Near 65 with Retirements in Jeopardy.”  I tried to send him an email directly, but these guys hide behind so many actual and cyber protections these days that you just can’t get at em. 

So I’m sorry, but I’m going to write it here and hope that somehow the word gets back.  LAY OFF THE BABY BOOMERS!  I mean it. I’m sick of opening the paper, or turning on the radio or tv and hearing that we boomers are somehow different.  I’m gonna say it, WE ARE NOT DIFFERENT, at least as individuals.  The only reason that the boomers have a greater impact on society is the sheer size of the group, which is something our generation cannot be blamed for.  But while we’re on that subject, “What were our parents thinking?”  Woo hoo, the war’s over, let’s make more babies than anyone can imagine?  That was real mature.

This guy’s article is a case in point.  He tries to make the case that the baby boomers have been worse savers for retirement than other generations, and that because of this they are going to have various negative impacts on society.  Again, there are going to be a lot of boomers that are not prepared for retirement, but the only reason its being talked about is that the size of the group is so large.  These poor saver/planners are just a subgroup of the gigantic boomer generation, but I’d suggest to you that as a percentage they are no greater proportion than other generations.  And I don’t know, but the succeeding generations, Xer’s, Yer’s what have you, I’m not going to say they are any worse either, but I sure see a lot of young lifestyles supported by loans, credit cards and wait for it…their baby boomer parents.

And this is certainly no new problem.  Remember Aesop’s fable about the Ant and Grasshopper.  The story goes that the ant and the grasshopper are neighbors and while the ant works all day saving up for the winter, the grasshopper screws around having fun and tries to convince the ant to do likewise.  Then, of course, winter comes and the ant is all set, and tells the grasshopper to “bugger off” when he comes looking for a hand-out.  To me that story tells it all.  It’s a problem as old as man has walked the earth and ants and grasshoppers for that matter.  Alright, sorry about the rant.

Not much in the tractor news department to report.  I did get the the last engine bearing cap sanded down (sorry Art).  Art, is a design engineer, biker (both kinds) and reader of this blog.  Poor guy.  Anyway, he has actually designed an entire tractor.  Here’s a picture of it.

Isn’t that something.  That tractor makes The Pony want to put his head under the covers and hide.  Anyway, Art is very unhappy with me for taking the “make do” approach with respect to the crankshaft and its bearings.  Art’s a perfectionist, and I totally understand his position.  Nevertheless, I’m assured by certain parties on the West Coast (God help me), that getting clearances down to acceptable levels by this method “…has kept many a Model A running for quite a while…”  I guess the proof will be in the results, pressure, pressure, pressure…

I’m also in a bit of a fix.  I seemed to have misplaced (alright, since I’m espousing totally honesty “lost” might be a better word) certain necessary engine parts.  There are three thrust shims (see in Pony Tech, tab on the Home Page) that go on the front end of the crankshaft that have gone missing.  Gene and I were being so careful putting everything in labeled, Zip-Lock bags, but somehow between The Pony, Gene’s garage and my Garage, those dang things have disappeared.  We could probably get some big washers to work in place of the shims (just kidding, Art).  Maybe as a last resort I could get Maggie Simpson, Parts Detective down here to root them out.  One more thorough search and if they don’t show up, I’m calling her.

More snow due here in the Carolina’s today, with a Winter Storm Warning out.  We’ll handle it the way we usually do, by stayin home and doin nuthin for 3 days.  Well, there is that 21-year-old bottle of Scotch I got for Christmas… 
Thanks for reading.


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