Tag Archives: lawn mowers

A working Saturday

The weekend is here, but at least for the first half, it’s going to be all work and no play for the dull boy.

The good news is the lawn mower repair went very smoothly, if you disregard the fact that I lost one of the screws. It was just a mental lapse. I reached for my camera to take a picture of the progress and laid the screw down somewhere other than bowl I had specifically brought with me for that purpose. Fortunately, we have an Ace Hardware about a mile away. One screw and six cents later (the last of the big spenders) I had a replacement screw that worked just fine.

As I mentioned in an earlier post, I was really concerned about this project, but this one was just about as easy as Dale at Acme Lawn Mower Repair said it would be. Remove six screws. Lay the cover/gas tank to the side. Remove the thingy and put the new thingy in its place. (Go to hardware store and buy new screw.) Replace the screws and start it up. There was no one more surprised than I was when it didn’t blow up when I pulled the starter cord.

The Beginning

The Beginning

The Middle

The Middle

Success!!!

Success!!!

Now that the mower was working, it meant I had to actually use it. I spent the rest of the day mowing and edging the front lawn, cleaning the pool, poop patrolling the back yard and cleaning off the deck and patio.

Mrs. Poolman started to help and actually edged some of the front walk. However, Writer Princess called around mid-day and asked if she could come out and play with her. So they went off to shop, go to lunch and generally do the mother-daughter bonding thing.

I finished off the afternoon with a trip to Home Depot to get some concrete blocks and rebar to construct a dog-tunnel proof barrier under one of our fences. (This is the subject of tomorrow’s post.)

In the midst of all the yard work, some of the neighborhood kids came down and set up a lemonade stand in our front yard. We are on a fairly busy corner, while they live at the end of a cul de sac with no traffic to speak of.

Nice sign!

Nice sign!

The lemonade was really pretty lousy. It was a powder mix, warm (no ice) and only about six ounces for $.75.

At one point an older lady yelled to me asking if I had any extra ice. I think she thought the kids belonged to me. At the time I was in the midst of doing yard work in 90 degree plus sun and was not really happy. I responded:

Lady, I’m working my a** off here. Do I really look like I care about your ice? No, I’m sorry I don’t.”

Eventually, I pulled a bag of ice from our garage-freezer, put it in a cooler and gave it to the kids to improve their product quality.

The overpriced, low quality product didn’t seem to deter the customers though..What they really were selling was “cute.” It sure worked. About half way through the afternoon, one of the young ladies was dancing around and waving a fist of dollar bills in the air.

“We are rich! We have $21!”

Interesting business plan. I wonder what the child-labor folks would think of someone doing it on a larger scale?

This should be interesting…

As anyone who knows me, especially Mrs. Poolman, can attest, I am not the most mechanically minded individual in the world. For the most part, the world of electricity, plumbing and anything to do with automobiles is something to be left to someone who actually knows what they are doing. Not that I don’t try. Stories of my blunders are legendary in our family. I am not totally to blame for this, however. Mrs. Poolman is the eternal optimist, encouraging me each step of the way.

“Oh, come on, we don’t need to call a repairman/electrician/plumber/mechanic for that. You OUGHT to be able to do it yourself (if you were any kind of competent adult male with even a drop of testosterone in your body.)”

Hence comes one of our laws of relationships: “Nothing is impossible for the person who doesn’t have to do it.”

This week I faced the problem of a broken lawn mower. I needed to go in search of someone to fix it without costing more than the price of a brand new one.

A note here – I bought my first lawn mower in 1984, an entry-level, gas powered push mower, and ran it until it finally died in 2004. The running joke was that I wanted to make sure I got my money out of it — $125 in 1984. In 2004, I bought pretty much the same thing again, just a different brand.

After calling around, I found someone who would work on my model, but he told me over the phone that I would be better off buying a part and fixing it myself. (Oh no!) The problem is it apparently needs a new starter assembly – the thing that turns around on top of the motor when you pull the starter cord. Mine turns but doesn’t engage and start the engine. He told me:

“If you want, I’ll be happy to work on it for you, but I’m telling you, I’m going to probably have to charge you more than you have in it.”

At least he was honest about it. Since I had the mower in the back of the car anyway, I told him I would bring it by his shop so he could see exactly  the problem and sell me the right part.

The Patient

The Patient

Do you think it as strange as I do that you can purchase a brand new product like a lawn mower for less than it takes to make a fairly minor repair? I hate the idea of trashing an entire lawn mower just because of one non-functioning part.

I took my lunch hour to drive to his shop, which turned out to be a combination used bookstore and lawn mower sales and repair shop. What is that all about? In any case, my new friend, Dale, turned out to be a gem of a human being. He didn’t have the part, but he directed me to where I could buy it elsewhere, and even wrote down the part number for me. He also described the way to install it. He couldn’t have been more helpful, and I didn’t spend a dime with him. Props to Dale at Acme Mower Repair and Used Book Store! We’ll be back. Mrs. Poolman has been depressed ever since the cheap used bookstore across town closed down a few months ago. She will be very excited.

I spent the next hour driving all over the west side of town, to find the S*ars warehouse and repair/parts center. I eventually found it and walked out $46 lighter and in possession of the starter-thingy replacement.

Come Saturday morning, I’ll take screwdriver in hand and attempt to perform surgery on the mower. Well the worst that can happen is I’ll be out $46 and need to buy a new mower. It should be interesting. Check back and see how it goes.