Monthly Archives: June 2013

A Grand Day in Siler City

Dr. Reinhold was in a clinic associated with our hospital this week.  Yes, that’s right, sometimes even Dr. Reinhold must seek professional advice.  It took the woman behind the counter about 10 minutes to check him in, so while she checked him in, he checked her out.  She was the amazing “sparkly” 40-something.  She had a dozen shiny, jewel-encrusted bracelets, a couple of hickory nut sized rings, again plastered with clear stones, dangley, spangley earings, a diamond stud through the left nostril and silver sequins here and there on her low-cut blouse.  Since the Doc was standing and she was sitting, well, you can imagine.  Just as he was thinking, this gal has decorated just about everything, she spun around in her chair and stood to go retrieve some copies from the printer.  That’s when Doc was treated to the view of her flowered thong riding high above her pants which were riding low.  Yikes!  Thanks goodness Dr. Reinhold is used to examining women in a purely professional manner.

Old Business
Remember that stuck rear wheel on the Pony?  Following advice received, on Tuesday Gene and I literally “took a whack at it.”  Gene held a block of 4×4 up against the inside rim while I took aim at the block with a six-pound sledge.  My first swing was a little timid, but with my second off she popped.  Those of you not familiar with the rear wheels of a tractor may not realize that they are built to be heavy (aids in traction).  On top of that, the inner tubes are filled with water, so there’s some real weight there.  Well, when that big, heavy bugger came off it caught one of us off-balance (not naming names here) sending that person into a full sprawl on the garage floor.  Again, since Gene and I are both doctors, we were able to quickly deduce that no physical injury was incurred…only some minor injury to the ego.

Money, money, money
This was truly my week.  I struck gold three times.  First, I won $4 playing the lottery.  That money was immediately reinvested (results will likely be just as you would expect).  Then, while riding “the morning 40” down to Pittsboro, I spotted what looked like a credit card along the road.  A couple of years back, I found an active credit card in the road; coincidentally that was also in Pittsboro.  I did a uturn (or is that a “youturn”), scooped it up and noticed that better than a credit card, it was a $50 debit card (even better, unsigned). Ok, don’t get too excited for me, because in checking on-line I found that its remaining balance was $2.17.  Rather than investing that in the lottery too, I immediately spent it more wisely on a $2.08 cup of coffee at Starbucks.  Then the really big one arrived, a check in Friday’s mail, my share of some class action settlement I don’t even remember being a part of.  After “the blood sucking lawyers” (direct quote from the movie “The Money Pit”) took their cut, my share was $8.23.  I’m not sure what’s more pathetic, the scrawny amounts of these little victories, or the fact that I got so excited about them.  Woo hoo!

Speaking of money, lookie what the Cost-O-meter bought today.  The two-slide sequence below shows the Pony’s hydraulic lines. 

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Slideshow

Since I don’t plan on using the hydraulics, I had the lines cut and replaced by a U-shaped hose.  The job, complete with brazed-on fittings:  $34.61.  It was over a year ago that I found the shop that eventually did this work.  The shop is down in Siler City, which I’m familiar with, since they’ve got a Tractor Supply Store that I frequent.  More than that, this busy little farm town has everything that a farmer needs to keep the tractor and farm running:  several tractor dealerships, repair shops and automotive stores.  And to keep the farmer going, they’ve got Johnson’s Drive-In.  Johnson’s is a cheese burger place that’s been in business, run by the same family, since 1946.  I’d never stopped in at Johnson’s, but since it was going to take about an hour for the shop to reconfigure the hydraulic lines, I thought here’s my chance.

When I arrived at 11:20, there was already a line.  I was lucky being a “single” and got the last seat at the counter.  The owner (son of the original owner)operates the grill and was at work right in front of me.  Every morning he personally exams the beef as it arrives at the diner, and then grinds it for the day’s patties.  His technique is to squash about a dozen preformed balls of ground beef on the griddle, and fry them a while.  Then he hand cuts a thick slice of Velveeta and places that on top.  After the Velveeta gets all nice and “melty,” he slaps on the top half of the bun.  A little more time on the griddle and he slides them off onto the bottom half of buns that an employee has prepared with fixins as ordered by the customer.  The result is an incredibly messy, but tasty burger, which is eaten while finding out all about your seat mates, the diner and the owner.  Things heard while eating:
*After Saturday the place is closing for two weeks of vacation.  Owner said he’ll just take things slow for a while, do odd jobs around the place and relax.
*The owner asked the woman on my right how’s it going.  “Bout the same,  husband constantly traveling, Paris, Jamaica, Germany, few other places I can’t remember.”
*Owner said he’d never been on an airplane.  “I figure if God meant me to fly, he’d a give me wings.”
*I asked the guy on my left how long he’d been coming to the diner.  “Since I was a little boy.”
*Woman to my right to the guy on my left, “Do you remember when they had car hop service?”  “No, I musta started coming in shortly after that.”
*The woman two seats to my left shouts over the guy and me to the woman on my right.  “You see they got the sanctuary nearly finished.  Their ’bout to move the pews back in.  Everything pretty much the same, except the lighting’s a bit better.”
Guy on my left is a farmer.  He comes in regularly to Clapp Brothers, one of the tractor dealers in town.  Whenever he makes that trip, he comes to Johnson’s.  A perfect opportunity for me, “Yeah, I’m havin’ some work done too.  Got my hydraulic lines in for work just down street at Chatham Industrial Supply.”
*Again the woman two seats left, “I’ll probably lose 16 pounds while their closed for the next two weeks.”
And on it goes…
Here’s a nice little video done by Our State magazine about Johnson’s.  Don’t forget to hit that back arrow when it’s over.

video

That’s all for this week.  Thanks for reading.

Don’t Force It!

Reader and “friend of the blog,” Joe, asked for a current “before and after.”  I’m happy to oblige, but everyone please understand that I have a lot of work to do yet.  Here you go.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Old Business

Listen folks, are you praying for the Pony, or not?  I don’t think so.  As a matter of fact, I know so, because there’s been an unmarked, black van out in the street in front of Gene’s for the last week.  Yeah, that’s right, the FBI knows there’s another leaker in the garage.  Talk about damaging material coming out.  Sheesh!  Next thing you know, the Pony will be seeking asylum some “banana republic” like Ecuador.  Haven’t received a single prayer-inscribed $20 bill (Canadian accepted) in the mailbox either.  Dont give me that baloney about God helps those who help themselves.  If that were really true we wouldn’t even need God; he’d just be sitting around on his hands all day, while we did his work.  So, come on try again…I so want to believe!  I don’t really feel right about trying to bargain either, you know, “Hey God, if you fix the Pony’s differential leak, I’ll go to church next Sunday…for a month?…a year?”  Just musing here, not bargaining, I’d go for a month, but a year is out of the question.

Ok, it’s time to play the game What Popped Out of Bruce’s Brain this week? 
The answer is:  Gerald McBoing Boing! 
Don’t remember when exactly, but it crystalized sometime during the last 7 days, but unfortunately nothing else came along with it.  I knew it went way back, so I checked-in with the Idiotic Brother.  He said he remembered the name too, but nothing else.  Yup, time to consult the web.  In an instant, there it was, it was an 8 minute cartoon produced back in 1950 and written by none other than Dr. Seuss.  I was able to find a YouTube video of the cartoon and supply it below as just another valuable, free service of ThatIdioticTractor.  Don’t forget, after you’ve viewed the cartoon, hit your “back arrow” to return to this post.  I’d hate to lose you!

Wasn’t that about as cute as kittens?

New Business
I was painting Pony parts out at Gene’s on Saturday, and when I’d done all I could on that for the day I started thinking about getting back under the tractor to finish up the Sistine rear end.  I suggested to Gene that we remove one of the rear wheels in order to make the job easier, so we went to work taking off the right wheel, which hadn’t been off the tractor in over 20 years.  And as I write this, it’s still not off.  We removed the lug nuts, but the wheel wouldn’t come free.  Not wanting to screw anything up, I suggested we hold-off until I had a chance to check with the Massey tractor forum.  Those of you that are relatively new to the blog don’t have the benefit of knowing some of the other great advice I’ve received from the helpful guys that respond to questions posted to the forum.  Suffice to say, one very early blog post was titled “Fire in the Hole!”  You may click on that old title if you’d like to get up to speed with the rest of us.

Anyway, I shot off the following to the forum:
Question
Back wheels have not been off tractor in over 20 years.  Removed lug nuts, but  wheel does not come away.  Is there something else necessary to remove, or is it corrosion and other garbage keeping  wheel on at this point?
Answer:  “Don’t force them off, just get a big hammer and knock them off.”
Follow-up from another reader:  “Is there a difference?”
I’m not kidding, this exchange had me chuckling off and on for at least half an hour.  So Gene, we’ve got our marching orders…kind of.  I say we put one of our 4×4 blocks up against the rim, so as not to dent it, and whack it with the biggest sledge you’ve got.  But by all means, let’s not “force it!”

Have a wonderful week everyone and thanks for reading.

Ask Dr. Reinhold…E.D. Explained

After Dr. Reinhold’s first post to this blog, he’s picked-up quite a following, and folks are now writing him emails like this:

“Dear Dr. Reinhold,
I’m wondering.  All these commercials on TV purporting fixes for erectile dysfunction, what is that?  Is an erectile a type of projectile?  When it dysfunctions does it go-off “half-cocked” missing its intended target?  It’s great to have you as a trusted source of information so readily available on the internet.  Thanks in advance for your answer.”
Dick Johnson (name changed to protect the ignorant)

As soon as that came in, Dr. Reinhold and I put our heads together and came up with this response:

“Dear Mr. Johnson,
Thanks for your email.  I get a lot of emails on the subject of E.D.  Yours, however, showed the greatest degree of confusion.  I’m guessing your from Minnesota.
Many boys who grew-up in the 1950’s and 1960’s suffered from this embarrassing problem.  On getting an Erector Set for Christmas, they would try to build the complex machines described in the instructions.  Not having engineering degrees, the machines they built often dysfunctioned, and thus the term erectile dysfunction. 
The embarrassment these boys suffered often hangs on into adulthood and makes it difficult for them to “perform.”  Perhaps a visual aid will help in clarifying the problem as it is exhibited in adulthood.

E.D

The drugs advertised on TV can help with your problem, but unfortunately for this traffic cone, its damage is irreparable.  Thanks for writing.
Dr. Reinhold”

Moving on.  What did I eat last night that gave the craziest dream?  Since I’ve been known to stretch the truth a bit, I’ll preface this by saying that what I’ll relate next is EXACTLY as I remember it.  I was out at Gene’s, and the Pony was not in the garage as it should be.  As I’m scratching my head as to why it’s not there, roaring out into the drive from the side of Gene’s garage comes the Pony.  Who’s driving it?  You’ll never guess, the Idiotic Mom!  That’s right, it’s  my mom, soon to be 90 years young, and looking perfectly comfortable up there, and I mean she’s moving.  After doing a turn-around out in the street she parks the Pony in the garage.  I go in and I can’t believe what I’m seeing; she’s blown the rear tire.  It’s in shreds and half off the wheel.  Last thing I remember is that I was madder than hell at her, and wouldn’t let it go.  I’m telling you, Mom, if I go out there this afternoon, and find that, that tire is really blown, you’re in trouble!

While we’re on the subject of family, I’ve got to relate a story that involves the Idiotic Brother and me.  This little vignette could be called, “Well, it all Depends on Your Point of View.”  We were chatting on the phone last week and got to reminiscing.  He asked if I remembered our first house in Waukesha, WI and how it was right across the street from a golf course.  I said that I certainly did.  He described how much fun he had looking for golf balls in the weeds along the course, putting them in egg cartons and selling them to the golfers by the dozens.  I said, “Well isn’t that just great.  I was just three years old at the time, and I’d go walking with you looking for balls too.  But the reason I remember this is that I remember running home crying to mom, because you always stole the balls I found.  And now come to find out years later, you not only stole them, but you made money off them.  I’m thinking, with interest, you owe me after 60 years, probably $5000.  I’ll be waiting for the check!”

More on the subject of family.  Here it is Fathers Day…again, my 38th, and I think back about my dad and my memories of him as a kid.  It’s funny, but almost all my memories are shared ones with my brothers.  I only remember one instance where my dad did something just with me.  I’m talking as a kid here;  we spent many times alone on the golf course as adults, him almost always beating me.  This goes back to the Waukesha days as well, so I would have been no more than age 8; dad took me along on a business trip with him.  We took the train down to Chicago, and I remember sitting in a window seat trying to count the telephone poles until they went by too fast to count.  He had meetings in a tall downtown building, and I remember waiting for him in the reception area under the receptionist’s watchful eye, gazing down at people walking the sidewalks far below.  Dad finished his business at around lunch, and took me to eat in one of those old automats with the food behind small glass doors.  Quite a treat for a kid that rarely ate in a restaurant.  I remember this from about 60 years ago, and I’m sure that I remember this trip, because it was something dad did…just for me.  Dad’s gone now almost 10 years, but I’ll always have that special memory. 

Pony News.  I spent some more hours this past week underneath the Pony with red paint.  Cousin Bill thinks I look like Michelangelo under there.  If there is any similarity, I feel sorry for ol’ Mike, because my back hurts from just the small amount of time I’ve spent under there.  Here’s the pathetic thing about the comparison to Michelangelo.  He did the whole Sistine Chapel in 4 years.  I’m coming up on three years, and where am I?  Sheesh!

Beyond the painting, I did have some fun with the old Pony this week.  I’ve been a little afraid to tackle it, but I finally decided to apply the decals to the Pony’s hood and grill.  Here’s a little slide show showing the technique I used in applying them.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

And now here’s a short video of the completed decal project.  When done viewing it, be sure to hit your browser’s “back” arrow to return to the post.

http://www.youtube.com/embed/auPfKFg3MYY?rel=0

Finally, here’s a parting shot for the scrapbook courtesy of project photographer, Lynne.

decal pic for the scrapbook

The day’s mail brought my Fathers Day card.  It’s terrific Andy…a lot like you.  Thanks!

And thank you all for reading.  Have a great weekend and a happy Fathers Day.

It’s Official, Pony Proclaimed Fool’s Mission!

Remember this one from elementary school:
“Great, green gobs of greasy, grimy gopher guts,
Mutilated monkey meat,
Dirty little birdies feet,
Great, green gobs of greasy, grimy gopher guts,
And me without my spoon.”
That little ditty has been running through the waste land of my mind for the last week.   I just love it, probably close to 60 years ago and that really valuable piece of information is still stashed away, and pops out occasionally.  It was driving me nuts though, not because it’s so stupid, but because I couldn’t remember that line, “Dirty little birdies feet.”  But proving once again that you can find almost anything on the internet, I just put the words “Great, green gobs…” into Google, and up popped the lyrics.  Fabulous!

Gophers, boy that brings a few things to mind.  Of course, there’s Caddy Shack, one of the greatest films of all time, and in terms of being really stupid, on a par with the Great, green gobs thing.  Then, at about the same time that I learned the Ggg jingle, my brothers and I also discovered that actual gophers could be a barrel of fun.  I’m telling you, we would absolutely laugh and roll in the grass when after sticking a water hose down a gopher’s entrance hole, he’d come flying out the escape hole, directly into the carefully placed milk bottle.  That almost musical “thunk” made by a gopher hitting the bottom of a glass milk bottle at high speed is another thing that I remember like it was yesterday…and it still makes me smile.  We tried keeping a gopher as a pet once, put him in a cardboard box in the garage, of course gone in the morning, having eaten his way out.

Moving on.  Down in The Princess’s studio, the always challenging process of creating great art got harder this week.  A shipping box of paint for the Pony yielded some packing that I just had to make use of, so I took it into the studio.

snake in the studio 1 

Now she’s having a devil of a time working while trying to fight off that snake. 

Great news!  As I was typing this the phone rang, and it turned out to be a nice lady from UNC.  She told me that I had won a door prize from the big (804 pints) UNC blood drive that I participated in yesterday.  I hardly ever win anything, but it must have finally been my turn.  A $25 gift certificate is heading my way.  By the way, this definitely qualifies as Guinea Pig-O-Meter funds, so on the home page you’ll see a little “bump” there.  I suppose though, while we’re on the subject of the meters, I’d better reference the Cost-O-Meter.  I’ve dutifully caught it up, and it is truly frightening to see that costs now exceed $3000. 

I was telling Gene the other day that the project, having now exceeded in cost (by about twice) what I could ever expect to get from a sale of the Pony, can officially be categorized as a “fools mission,” or more specifically, an Idiotic Fools Mission.  Now stop it, you did not know that two years before me.

A couple of people said recently how much they enjoyed the last post.  Must have just been a fluke.  But listen, I need for you people to stop hoping that I never finish work on the Pony.  I’m pretty sure it’s stifling progress.  The fear seems to be that when the Pony is done, so is the blog.  If I promise to keep writing even after the Pony has moved on, will you send along some positive vibes, good wishes, maybe even prayers?  Wouldn’t that leak coming from the differential be a good thing to stick into one of your bedtime prayers?
  
“And finally God, bless that idiot with the Pony (serial no. PGA 18564), and through some kind of heavenly intervention stop the oil from leaking out of the left oil seal of the differential.  Amen.”
  
If He has to ask which side is “left,” then you’re not talking to the right guy, and you’ll need to redirect your efforts.  The real God would have known that.  Some of you may feel uncomfortable praying…especially for the Pony, so if you just want to write the prayer on a twenty-dollar bill and send it to me that would be “ok” too.

Pony News
I’m spending  lot of time underneath the Pony painting.  There are a million little nooks and crannies under there, and every one needs to be primed and given three coats of red.  Here are a few pics of the Pony’s “soft underbelly.”

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

The shot of me under there is courtesy of Lynne.

EMERGENCY PUBLIC SERVICE ANNOUNCEMENT
I know it’s hard to believe, but sometimes I work on a post for more than one day.  All that stuff above was written over the last two days, and it’s now Friday morning.  I’ve just returned from a trip to the pharmacy for some vitamin D.  Ok, ok, it wasn’t the pharmacy; it was Krispy Kreme, but the word donut does start with a D.  Amazingly, and I don’t know how I almost missed this, today turns out to be National Donut Day!!!  They’re givin’ out free donuts, so get down there quick, and pick-up your prescription.

Thanks for reading.