100, 65, What’s in a Number Anyway?

Ya know, there’s The Rose Bowl, The Peach Bowl, The Cotton Bowl, etc., each now amended with the name of some commercial backer like Chiquita Bananas or Samsung Electronics, or Wheaties.  Here in ThatIdioticTractorLand we only have one bowl; Massey-Harris sponsors it, and it’s called The Sediment Bowl.  Have a look.

This bowl will be filled with gas, not fans and it will filter gas coming from the gas tank prior to it’s going into the carb.  With the exception of one small gasket, this little gizmo is ready to go into action.  Not much other tractor work this week, but we’ve got big plans for next week. 

After about a year in my garage, if all goes as planned, the engine will rejoin the rest of the Pony out at Gene’s this Thursday.  Gene and his son, Joel, will join my son, Andrew, and me, and together, we’re going to lift the engine into Gene’s minivan and drive it out to his place andmaneuver it into place on the chassis.  The Princess has agreed to serve as photographer.  Cross your fingers, I’m nervous as a billy-goat.

It’s appropriate that we reach this important step in the Pony’s restoration now, as this post is number 100 since this whole business began.  Can you believe it?  I mean…it feels like 200!  The time did NOT fly by; this is an agonizingly slow process only punctuated by little successes along the way.  Of course, as we’ve seen, the rest of life can get in the way of progress at times.  But it really has been worth it.  After all this time, no longer does life get in the way.  The Pony has wheedled his way into our lives, mine and yours, so that it’s all just one life, albeit an “idiotic” one.

Speaking of numbers, we don’t talk about The Princess’s age around here.  It’s “ok” to celebrate birthdays, we just don’t dwell on the number.  Today, October 9, is The Princess’s special day.  As she decreed, it was a sunny, mid-70’s day, so to celebrate I went out on the morning 40 and didn’t even wake her as I left the house.  Later, we went to a matinée movie, (Hedgehog), took a walk, and then went out to dinner.  Those wishing to appropriately acknowledge The Princess’s birthday may leave a comment, or write Happy Birthday on a $20 bill and send it in care of the Pony at ThatIdioticTractor.  He’ll find some good use for it I’m sure.  Here’s a hint on the number, as of this month The Princess is royally insured by Medicare.  Happy Birthday Princess!

Remember some time ago I told you about how I had declared war on the letter A.  I decided that the cross-bar in it was superfluous; you just don’t need it to know that it’s an A, and by skipping it one saves time, ink and pencil lead.  I started to do everything, especially the daily cross-word, with what appears to be an upside down V. Now something kind of interesting has happened.  This has turned out to be a sort of left brain experiment.  I’ve been doing this for months now, my A’s over and over again, without the crossbars, through repetition training my brain to see an A in a different way.  This week while doing the cross-word, several times I noticed that when I write H’s I have a strong inclination to skip the cross-bar.  The H, of course, is similarly constructed with two lines, joined by a cross-bar. 

Wow, this is really interesting, and kind of scary too.  Apparently I’m trainable, but only to do really useless, stupid stuff.  Then to top it off, I involuntarily start doing other  stupid stuff.  The mind, they say, is a terrible thing to waste, but apparently not in my case. 

There was an interesting side-affect to this experiment.  Whenever The Princess picks up one of my unfinished cross-words, she sees my upside down V’s and fills in all the cross-bars.  Dammit!  She can’t seem to help herself, and see’s it almost as her duty to correct me.  Of course, nuthin new there…

Just one more thing.  Steve Jobs death this week although not a total shock, nevertheless hit a lot of people pretty hard.  Probably a genius, the man had tremendous imagination and insight, a uncany ability to not just see into the future, but to make the future.  If you’re thinking, wow, he sounds a lot like your idiotic author, you may not be totally mistaken.  A couple of posts ago I was talking about a place where I could hear into the future, and I said this:  “I don’t know, but hearing (behind you) into the future, well that’s just kind of weird.”  This week the press dragged out an old commencement speech given by Jobs that contained this quote:  “…you can’t connect the dots looking forward, you can only connect them looking backwards.  You have to trust in something…” 
Well, I trust that that dang Pony motor will start.  I can hear it behind me already.
Thanks for reading.


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