Monthly Archives: August 2012

Meet Poodie

Decades before Jerry McGuire “shop-lifted the Poodie” in the movie “Jerry McGuire, we owned the Poodie.  Our son Andy had a floating, rubber tub toy that we named Poodie.  When he outgrew the Poodster, let’s see, he’s 38 now, so 5 years ago, The  Princess and I inherited him.  Since he has great sentimental value we decided we needed to keep him and display him.  His place of honor is on one of the night stands in the master bedroom.  Gradually Poodie’s display area has morphed into a shrine of sorts.  We decided some years ago that Poodie should be revered, praised and feared somewhat like a god. 

All found money (not too many pennies, he doesn’t like ’em) and all small trinkets and oddities I find while biking are brought to Poodie.  The money goes into his vintage dresser bank that has a trick money drawer.  That dresser has already filled up once, so we’ve had to expand the shrine to include a jam jar to hold overflow money.  Poodie had a great week.  On the bike, I found a quarter laying in the middle of the road, and another quarter from under the seat cushion of a dentist’s office chair.  I was so close to what felt like a dime at another dentist’s office (God bless The Princess’s lousy teeth), but even with my arm down under the cushion, man I was in there up to my elbow, the little bugger just kept pushing further into the chair.  I had to give it up when another patient came in the door and spotted me in my contorted position.  I tried to be nonchalant as I gradually eased my arm out of the crease and pretended to look at my iPad.  Anyway, banner week for Poodie, so I thought I’d take a picture for you, so you can see what a happy god looks like.

Can you imagine trying to sleep with that thing next to the bed.  I’ll say this, “Don’t try shop-lifting that Poodie.”

Tractor  work proceeds apace.  Hmmm, I use that word, “apace,” but perhaps I should look that up.  A few minutes passes.  Ok, looked it up, and since the dictionary says that apace means “rapidly or swiftly” I’d better back off use of that word.  As a matter of fact, as of this month I’ve been working (using that term loosely) on the Pony for exactly two years.  So, alright, the work proceeds slowly, but recent progress includes completion of the second front wheel, spindle axle and hub, plus I’ve primed the right front end.  Here’s a shot taken by Gene Sunday afternoon.

When this section has its coats of “Pony Red,” Gene and I will be able to attach the newly finished wheel, etc.  Then, since all the other steering parts have already been rehabbed, we’ll make some pretty quick progress installing all that.  In between coats of paint, I’m working on the brake drums.  The compartments that house the brakes were full of water, so everything in there was pretty rusty, including the drums. 

That’s a shot of the left brake drum compartment after sanding and wire brushing all of the rust out of there.  I’m working  on the right side now.  A final bit of Pony business.  I got some encouragement last week from my “page-a-day” calendar when this image showed up on the 16th:

One of these days…
Thanks for sticking with me for the last two years and 140 posts to ThatIdioticTractor.com.  Have a great week everyone.

Mumblety Peg

I was just leaving on the morning 40 the other day, standing at a light waiting for it to turn.  I glanced down at my bike computer and was startled to see the digits whipping by and a speed of over 60 mph.  I was racking up miles and flying like the wind…while just standing there.  I looked to my right and noticed that a little white car called a “Fit” had pulled up next to me.  When a break in the traffic came, the Fit turned right and the odometer settled down.  I looked this car up on Google and found that it’s a fairly highly rated Honda.  Anyone got an idea why this car in particular would cause my odometer to well…have a fit?

The poor Princess, today I had to take her to the dentist…again…this time for a tooth extraction.  I sat in the lobby after they led the lamb off to the…poor thing.  I’d been sitting there for about 15 minutes when I heard back in the office a door slam loudly.  I thought of for cripe sakes, I coulda done it that way myself.  On the way home we stopped at Wendy’s and bought 4 Frosties for medicinal purposes.  She’s resting quietly now with just a lingering bit of Frosty-induced brain freeze.

On the subject of The Princess, she tricked me last week.  We were on our way to Target going past a strip mall and she gets frantic and insists that I pull in.  We cruise the parking lot and she finally says, “Stop, I just gotta get my hair cut,” and sure enough, there it was Ayn Rand’s Laissez fHair.  She bolts in, dashes back out and says,  “Go away and come back in 30 minutes.”  This is how I ended up skulking around in Target buying things I didn’t need and worrying about what she’d look like when I went back and what it’d cost me to get her out of Ayn’s clutches.  I went back, and told the guy at the desk, “If she doesn’t come out lookin like those gals in the posters, I’m gonna sue.”  No smile, just please have a seat in our snazzy lounge.  Uh ohh, these people have no sense of humor. 

Man, I waited forEVER.  The Princess explained later that the cutter had misunderstood her and essentially had to do the whole back-end over again.  At long last she emerges, Ayn tagging closely behind smiling gamely and selling hair products as they walked.  God, I thought she really is mercenary.  And The Princess’s hair, well she really liked it, but I…well I just  shrugged.

Now, the title story.  I’ll bet not more than maybe 3 people who read this will know what mumblety peg is.  It was writing about caddying in last week’s post that got me to thinking about it.  First, for young people I have to explain that in the early 1960’s most kids still carried jack knives in their pockets.  These days, I think any jack knives that haven’t been confiscated by parents or airport security are languishing in the dresser drawers old guys like me.  I feel so sorry for kids today.  So anyway, mumblety peg is a game played with jack knives, and at the time I was caddying (early 1960’s) the game was THE major way to pass the time behind the caddy shack while waiting for a bag. 

By the way, I looked mumblety peg up on Wikipedia, and for the first time since I’ve been using that resource they got it totally wrong.  According to them, the game is played by to guys standing across from one another and taking turns throwing the jack-knife into the ground and the guy that throws it closest to his own foot wins.  They even went so far as to say that if one of the guys actually throws it into his foot, he wins by default.  Well, come on, where’s the skill in that!  Oh, and the loser (after he gets done laughing his ass off at the poor shmuck who speared himself) has to eat a small wooden peg out of the ground that has been pounded in with three good whacks of the handle of the jack-knife.

Now the bit about the loser’s penalty, that’s correct, but the rest is malarkey.  What the game truly involved was an entire series of skilled flips of the jack-knife wherein the participant flipped the knife from various points on the ground and his body, after each of which the blade had to stick in the ground.  The starting positions on the body gradually moved up from wrist and elbow and shoulder and onto chin, lips, forehead and back of the head.  I’m not kidding; it was very tricky.  But with hours and hours to practice I got really good at it.  Truth is, I was a lousy caddy, but an excellent mumblety peg player.  Although the game was often played for money the traditional penalty (and the one used in true grudge matches) was eating the peg.  And I must say, there was strategy in the peg pounding too.  The thing to do there was to use your blade to spade up the soil until it got good and soft.  This would allow maximum depth to be reached when the peg was hit, rendering it all but uneatable by the loser.  Oh, I’m telling you, I saw some guys with faces full of dirt back then…but not on mine.

So parents, this is why kids need jack knives.  Oh, and I just for the record, this is not how the idiotic brother and I contracted parasitic worms.  That happened much earlier and had nothing to do with knives.

Pony Baloney
Your idiotic author has not been sitting on his hands.  I’ve got the other front wheel primed, the spindle axle cleaned, all contents of the hub degreased and exterior parts primed.  I even came up with some accidental Pony art.

That’s the hubcap with its primer drying slowly (in this insufferable humidity), but I thought as I looked at it that it was a pretty neat little sculpture.  Here’s another photo.

Those are the “new” brake springs that I told you about in the last post.  Look at the old label on those babies; what a lucky find they were.

That caps-off another one.  Enjoy your week everyone, and thanks for reading.