Best When Used By…

Cripes!  I ached so bad when I got up yesterday.  Sounds like the start of a Johnny Carson joke, so ok, how bad did you ache blog boy?  I ached so bad I backed up to the bathroom mirror to see if there was a “Best When Used By” date on my ass.  The older I get, the more bothersome little things there are to contend with.  It goes back to that old Boehmke expression, well not that old, but I believe I’ve mentioned it before in this blog, “Eventually almost everything turns to s$%t,” and that everything includes me!  So far though, there’s nothing that a little surgery and massive quantities of ibuprofen won’t take care of.  So, after popping three, I jumped on the bike for the morning 40.

Naturally, I get to daydreaming while out there alone in the countryside.  After a little thought I decided to make public a new Boehmke maxim.  Here it is:
“Rarely when things are going great do the underlying facts support that.”  Unfortunately, this does not work both ways, so the flip side actually is, “When things look horrible, they’re likely even worse.”  This all has to do with the human psyche and the tendency to want things to be great, even when they’re just “fair to midlin,” and to want things to be better, even though they’re bad.  I’ve decided to call these “The Pollyanna Principles.”  I have become almost an expert at applying these principles and yet am continually surprised when the facts bear them out.  This only means I’m a slow learner, but just as proof, I submit this whole dang Pony narrative, and I’m sure you can see how both generally and on numerous specific occasions they have been proven to be true.  

Now that you know this valuable information, I’ll expect that you will all be better decision makers and face the world intrepidly recognizing the crap behind the good news and the horrendous crap behind the bad.  I’m going to imbed a note here to a psychologist I know (fellow blogger and reader) and ask that she comment on The Pollyanna Principles.

On Car Talk  each week they have a “puzzler.”  Here’s TIT’s first puzzler, and this one fits into the non-tractor, numerical category.   My son, Andrew, and I were born in years that end in the same two digits, 4 and 7 (1947 and 1974).  Those last two digits add up to 11.  Once every 11 years our birthdays again share the same last two digits, so when Andy turned 36 last year, I was 63.  This will happen again (God willing) in 2021 when he will be 47 and I will be 74.  Hmmm, I hadn’t even thought of this, but not only will our digits match again, but this time they will once again add up to 11.  If anyone can tell us the math theory that supports this oddity, write the answer on a $20 bill, slip it inside a brand new, aluminized Stanley muffler that fits a Continental, N62, 4 cylinder engine and send it to the Pony.  All those supplying an answer that sounds even vaguely like it might be correct (cus how would I know), will get credit in next week’s post.

I had plans to go out to Gene’s twice this week and cancelled both times.  I do have excuses, but this business with the earthquake, and now the hurricane, it just makes me wonder what that third thing might be.  Don’t worry Gene, I’ll make it eventually.  In the meantime, and under the theory that when we go to start the engine, it’s going to need gas, I’ve been working on the gas tank and the big bracket that supports the gas tank.  I spent a few hours sanding and wire brushing the bracket this week, and this morning while the winds were still calm I applied the first coat of primer.  If you’ll recall, I had the tank run through the caustic soda bath last fall, and since then, I’ve sanded and primed it too.  Here’s how they look right now.


In the first picture I’m actually whirling the tank around, and that’s why the picture is a little blurry.  There’s a four-foot piece of chain inside, and for several months, every time I go down to work in the garage I whirl the chain around inside to help knock off most of the corrosion inside.  This is prep work before I pour in the gas tank sealant, which is an epoxy-like stuff.  The sealant will seal the junk left in there, under the coating and keep it from contaminating the gas.

This is kind of cool, well, I guess only if you like tractors.  I’ve got a soft spot for the Ford Model 8N.  It was made between 1947 (my birth year) and 1952 (the Pony’s birth year).  I saw one on my page-a-day calendar last week that had a V8 engine in it, but Gene, you’re right, from the factory they came stock with a 4 cylinder engine.  Anyway, as I was noodling around on the internet this week I found an article about a guy who passed away a few years ago.  He collected these 8N’s and eventually amassed a collection of 64!  They all ran, and once a year he’d drive em all out on the lawn and display them.  Here’s a couple of shots of his collection.

So, in light of the earthquake earlier this week, and tomorrow’s hurricane, and the fact that &^%# like this is said to happen in three’s, here are the Pony’s top five predictions for the third catastrophe:
5.  Gold will be discovered (again) in North Carolina in such massive quantities that the price of gold will plummet to under $100/ounce.  The gold the Pony had saved-up will no longer cover the cost of his paint job.
4.  Global warming, which was down-graded to climate change (by S&P), will be found to have simply resulted from giant farts (from somewhere in Livermore, CA).  Regrettably, there is no cure.
3.  The numbers 4 and 7 will be found to have been a hoax all along.
2.  The Yankees win the World Series.  What?  Well, I guess that would be a catastrophe.
1.  And the number one candidate for the third catastrophe…oooo, with the words candidate and catastrophe, this is so tempting, but no, not going to go there….  It’s the Ford 8N Model Tractor.  Oh Pony, don’t worry, I’m not changing horses…yet.

Thanks for reading.

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3 responses to “Best When Used By…

  1. Man, you nuts!
    You sloshin’ that Webber grill around like that and then adding an explosive like Gasoline::You’re a goner.
    Put the dang Webber back on it’s 3 legs and get a real gas can!
    I thought I learnt you better’n that.
    Dr. F.

  2. Bruce,

    The Ford 8N with the V-8’s were specially ordered by the military to tow air planes during the war.

    • George, this is great! First, it proves once again that there’s always an exception to the rule. Second, it is truely life imitating fiction if you will remember the post I did about the “rapid attack tractors” that were enlisted during the war. Thanks!

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