Oily Hands

I had rather oily hands (actually it was just my left hand) this evening and a somewhat oily shirt too. The shirt actually was the recipient of some of that left hand oil--it was easier than going inside to get a rag or paper towel.

This past Sunday was my first bout of lawn mowing of the year. It lasted less than an hour and what terminated the session was my running out of gas. Or so I thought. Today when I commenced session two (it normally takes me 3 sessions to mow my lawn though this early when I'm not used to it, it'll take me 4) I found that I couldn't start the motor. The pull cord would not even budge---I nearly tore out my elbow discovering that little gem of information. When you're expecting to move your arm 2+ feet in a smooth motion with a lot of torque and you only actually move it a few inches... let's just say that it's not good for you.

Anyway, it turns out that the reason the mower quit on Sunday was that a huge clod of dried grass from last season--yes, I don't maintain the damn thing very well--and some new grass from that day had solidly clogged the blade. Unfortunately when I removed the clog it didn't change the reluctance of the pull cord to move. It was like the motor was frozen stuck.

I turned the beast upside down and examined the beneath-deck parts and I felt just a little naughty doing this. It was too much like one of those Japanese upskirt sites, y'know? But this was to no avail, nothing was wrong down-under. Next I checked the oil and just wiped the dipstick with my fingers, which is why my hand was oily, since I didn't want to bother to get anything more appropriate for the wiping. I checked this 'cause I had that nasty thought that I'd gone dry and the engine was a goner. Nope. Plenty of oil. Tried moving the blade manually and while it would move, it was VERY reluctant. Definitely a problem here.

Tried restarting engine. That cord was still not moving illustrating the inability of the pistons to move. (I know nothing about engines so take my analysis with a lot of grains of salt)

Next I checked the self-propelling mechanism though that shouldn't affect the ability of the engine to turn over. I grabbed the rubber belt and moved it though its paces a bit. No probably with it moving. Tried restarting again to no avail. I turned the beast over again and manually moved the blade around a few times. Still stiff as could be. Tried starting the engine again, pulled easily and the motor purred like a kitten. What the fuck? Nothing I did should have helped there at the end. So why is the mower happy now? Did it just want attention??? I don't know, but at least it's working now. And while it took a couple of washings, my hands are oil free--and pollen free too.


Into the Light said…
Lawn mowing and hiking all in one day! I'm impressed!

Think about it, Dave. Even I know why the engine started at the end....
tiff said…
Isn't turning your mower over a no-no? I always thought so.
GA Girl said…
I hope you arm is feeling better - you and the mower were both wrenched ;)
Bob-kat said…
I always think that machines want attention. Ever notice how you fix one thing and then something else will go wrong? Attention seeking, that's what it is!
carli said…
I live in an apartment :)

And you totally dropped the F bomb in this post! How can you be a 0% cusser? (Rounding, I guess.)

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