Said the Female Hamster, “It’s Good to be Me!”

I cannot believe the number of comments both on and off blog that I’ve received over my “two-bit” repair job reported in the last post.  Most folks were trying to keep me honest by reminding me to add 50 cents to the Cost-O-Meter.  One guy said I’d better be on the look-out, as the Feds would be coming to arrest me for defacing US currency.  Then there was the guy who said good work, but that I’d cheated by using quarters.  He was from South Wales in the UK, so I’m guessing it was just sour grapes over my not using some coin with the Queen Mum on it.  With The Princess watching me close, that would never have flown here.  Well, I had a lot of fun with that and again thank Jim for the suggestion.  To put this matter to rest, y’all will note that the Cost-O-Meter has been bumped up $1 (I rounded up).

Speaking of round-ups and critters you might round-up, I read a piece in the Wall Street Journal this week about hamsters.  Yeah, that’s what I said it was in the WSJ, you know that human interest story they always place at the bottom of page one.  Here’s a picture they included.

He is really cute isn’t he?  The article was about wild hamsters in France and how the once prolific little beggars are now endanged.  A rather horrific detail they included pertained to the sexual habits of these seemingly harmless animals.  The female of the species, doing the black widow spider one better, when confronted with a mate that does not appeal to her, simply kills it.  Gads!  I’m sure glad I’m not a hamster.  Think of the scene at pick-up joints if the female of our species acted that way.  I’m thinking guys would be a bit more careful with their pick-up lines, and maybe only use them when they’re close to a door?  The Princess can be a little like this when she gets jealous; she actually coined the phrase, “I’ll scratch her eyes out.”  Yikes!

Anyway, this  article reminded me of two things.  First, the picture reminded me of Bill Murray’s nemesis (the gopher) in the movie “Caddy Shack.”  You could not find a much stupider film, nor one with more laugh-out-loud moments.  Just great!  Second, I was reminded of the numerous hamsters that lived (and died) under the care, or lack there of, provided by my brothers and me while we were growing up.  I remember specifically the first pair we had.  We lived in an older home with a big old converted coal furnace in the basement.  The ducts from the furnace led up to big wooden grates in the hardwood floors.

One day we noticed both hamsters were out of their cage, probably bored with spinning that damn wheel.  Jim and I looked everywhere, but couldn’t find em, so we enlisted the help of our parents.  Dad decided to test the hypothesis that the hamsters had pulled a Louis and Clark and disappeared down through the furnace floor grate seeking, I don’t know, what were Louis and Clark seeking?

Systematically we went from one grate to another lowering a string with a weight and a piece of lettuce attached.  After trying this a number of times, sure enough, a stumbling, groggy, exhausted explorer followed that lettuce right up the duct.  Now that other hamster, I don’t know, but the next day there was a smell, something like grilled chicken coming from the duct in the dining room.

Enough nonsense, I’ve got tractor stuff to report.  I spent several days down in the garage bringing various Pony parts back to life.    Below are before and after pictures of the cap of the Pony’s air intake stack.

That’s just the brown primer, but it sure looks a lot better.  This was my first attempt at spray painting.  I decided not to try to hammer out the crease in the top, thinking this will give the Pony a little more character.  Almost looks like an old felt hat with a crease in it.  I also sprayed primer on the now famous, repaired oil pan (before and after’s below).

As much progress as I’ve made, it seems there is always another nasty looking part that needs refurbishing.  It was a nice break from that work to have Gene come over on Saturday to do some engine work. 

Our main accomplishment was tightening up the rod and main bearing bolts and fixing them in place.  We first put blue lock tight on the threads of each bolt, and finger-tightened it.  Then each bolt was tightened to spec with the torque wrench, 20 foot pounds for the rod bearing bolts, and 55 foot pounds for the main bearings.  The “mains” actually called for more, but 55 was what I could get.  Here’s a shot of me showing that torque wrench who’s boss.

Not bad, eh, for two guys, one recovering from hernia surgery and the other, shoulder surgery?  Following the torque down, we had to put the mechanic’s wire on the main bearing bolts.  This is an extra precaution which serves to hold the bolts in place should they begin to loosen during engine operation.  We followed a diagram supplied by Dr. Fullofit that he guarantees will hold those bolts secure.  This next shot shows our wire job on one of the main bearings.

With this job done, as soon as I finish painting the oil pan, we’ll be able to close-up the crankcase.

Until next time,  approach those females carefully, know your exit route and thanks for reading.

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One response to “Said the Female Hamster, “It’s Good to be Me!”

  1. You just never know when you might need a good old fashioned wire hanger!!
    Your hampster story reminded me of when I was young and my dad let me get a hampster. I named him Leo. My dad then made the mistake of letting me get another which as it turned out, was female (Leona). Boy do they have a lot of babies!! YIKES!! I found a boy who lived in the next block who took them all off my hands. That many hampsters can stink up a teenage girls bedroom.
    Have a fantastic week and tell Cindy I said hi!

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