Potty Training

You may remember that in what seems like another life, at least to me, back in the 1960’s, I obtained a college degree, in English.  I realized the error of my ways a few years out of school, went back and got an MBA, and spent the rest of my life in the business world.  I did always feel, however, that my English degree helped me a lot, in getting my thoughts across to others without a lot of effort.  The downside of that degree is that when I hear English used, or perhaps I should say abused, it really grates.  Earlier this week I was trying to find out why the co-pay went up on a drug I’m taking.  I called my insurer and after getting bounced around quite a bit, I got a lady who had the answer.  “The price of your drug has went up.”  I’m not sure what made me madder, the fact that the price of an astonishingly expensive drug went up 10%, or that in telling me about it this woman sounded like a three-year-old.  How low must this company have “set the bar” so as to have allowed this person to represent it.  Holy Moly!

Pony News
The Pony has developed an annoying habit.  Much like a poorly trained dog, when I’m not looking he’ll take a leak right on Gene’s garage floor.  It’s coolant, and while the Pony does an admirable job of “holding it” both during and after a ride, sometime after I leave he just loses control.  I can return in a week and find one to two cups of coolant in a drip pan.  Those of you who’ve followed this blog from the outset will remember that I tried to do the right thing, bringing the radiator to a shop, having it flushed, pressure tested and cleaned.  It got a totally clean bill of health and a supposed new lease on life.  Ha!  That was probably three years ago, and now even with several subsequent applications of radiator stop-leak I’ve got a leaker.

This weekend I was staring down at the collection of green coolant in the drip pan and musing.  Gene was in the garage, and I told him that it looked like this fall when the weather cooled I was going to have to take the old boy apart enough to pull the radiator.  He said, “Or you could just put up with it,” and I had an idea.  The Pony never leaks while running, so I don’t really have a situation that impairs  normal, safe operation.  What would be wrong with just taking the coolant that collects in the drip pan and pouring it right back in the radiator?  I stuck a funnel in the top of the radiator, put an old rag in it for a strainer, and dumped in the used coolant. Voila!  Problem solved.  So I started the old boy up and took a short ride.

One more thing on the Pony.  It took me a long time, but I finally got an acceptable fourth coat of paint on that second side-panel.  Then there was the usual process:  a week’s worth of setting it out in the sun each day to bake, then wet-sanding with 2000 grit sand paper, followed by the vigorous application of rubbing compound and finished off with a carnuba wax polishing.  Periodically The Princess would come through the garage, shake her head and say, “You still rubbin’ on that thing?”  Here’s a photo of the final result.

Version 2

Left Side Panel

Now the hard part, trying to make those holes and slots line up with the corresponding holes on the tractor.  Plus, I’m going to try to figure a way to make this one kind of “quick release,” so that I can get in at things behind it easily.  I’ll keep you posted on that.

This doesn’t happen often, but I feel like I had a particularly good week.  There were some nervous days at the beginning, watching the stock market’s crazy reaction to Brexit, but by the end of the week everything was thankfully back to normal.  On this subject, I heard that the Brits who had voted to “leave” are now bemoaning the negative effect on the pound sterling and the trickle-down effects of that on prices, etc., now want a do-over?  Unbelievable!  I coined a phrase for them, “If you Brexit, you bought it!”  If you now hear or read that anywhere, remember, you read it here first.

Then, let’s see, oh yeah, The Princess always has a deck of cards out, so that in odd moments she can play a few hands of solitaire.  She’s really gotten quite good at it, and often she’ll be sitting there and call it out, “Solitaire!”  I can’t figure out how she gets it so often, but I should drag her out to Las Vegas like “Rain man,” and see how we do.  I on the other hand, never get solitaire.  So it was another part of a great week when I sat down at the table, played one hand and, yup, got solitaire.  Of course, I immediately quit on that high note.

Then there was the $100 chance at a Porsche that I bought at the North Carolina Museum of Art, and although I did not win, The Princess (our book-keeper) did not get too mad at me when she was reviewing the AMEX charges and came across that one.  Small victory, and hey, it’s a tax deductible contribution.

Then when I was rearranging the cushions on my favorite chair I found a lottery ticket that had fallen between.  No, I did not win that either, but can you imagine how awful it would have been if that had been the winner and I’d never found it?

Funny about the cushions thing, The Princess was rearranging the cushions on her rocker in the bedroom and while doing so found a quarter I’d lost months ago.  It was the “lucky quarter” I’d found in that guy’s driveway who’d sharpened the Pony’s hatchet.  I’d been so bummed when it went missing, but now, hallelujah, that prodigal quarter is back!  Can you imagine how lucky my next week is going to be?

Better wrap this up.  Of course, tomorrow is July 4th, the day set aside to set-off fireworks in honor of the our wedding anniversary on the 5th.  As the years slide by, it gets harder and harder to calculate just how many years the Princess and I have been arguing.  It doesn’t really matter though; what matters is…we’re still still counting.
Happy 4th everyone, and thanks for reading.


3 responses to “Potty Training

  1. Steve sanford

    Happy Anniversary!

  2. Interesting story! Our local Central Washington Ag Museum recently restored a Massey Harris Pony as well. If you ever make it to Washington State we’d love you to meet the ‘restorer’ and swap stories!

    • Thanks for the comment, Patrick. Interestingly, when this came in I had just returned from a vacation where? Yup, Washington State! Sounds like I wasn’t too close by though, as I was on the San Juan Islands. It was just beautiful, and we had a rain-free week of super weather.

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