Excuse the absence

I apologize for the gap in my blog posts.  A couple of things tied me up a bit.

First, one of Verizon’s many limitations on their so-called “unlimited” wireless plan tripped me up.  If you have been following my blog posts you will know that I was on vacation in eastern Canada for the past 6 weeks. Before I left Georgia, I upgraded my wireless plan with Verizon Wireless to their new “unlimited plan”, in part because it included free roaming in Canada for voice, text, and data. Data is limited to 500MB per day but that seemed like an acceptable limitation.  That still allowed me to use my cell phone to do blog posts while in Canada. Roaming limitations are just some of the many limitations on Verizon’s new unlimited plan; but that is a subject for a rant on another day. In past years you had to pay extra for roaming in Canada and it did not include any data, only voice and text. Well it turns out that another limitation of roaming in Canada is that they cut your data off after 30 days.  So, 2/3 of the way through my trip, they cut off my data capabilities.  I could have gone to McDonalds or some other restaurant to use a free wifi hot-spot but that was just too inconvenient.  Sorry, lazy me.

Second issue, once I arrived back home I has a few very busy days. After 6 weeks of neglect my lawn needed attention. I am thankful that my sons, and my neighbor mowed it a couple of times while I was away, but I am fussy about my grass, as I say, it needed attention. My lawn is over 4 acres in size so it needed a lot of attention. So, I went to get out my lawn mower and weed whacker and go to work. I always try to keep 2 lawn mowers running because, as I have found out, they don’t build these things very well and it seems like one or the other is always breaking down and needs attention. As I mentioned, I have a large lawn, and here in the south you are mowing 10 months of the year.  Anyway, the first mower I tried to start was totally dead.  So I put the battery charger on it and went to the next one.  It stared right up but did not mow.  Inspection revealed that the deck drive belt had come off.  It was pretty worn and not worth reinstalling.  So, log on to ebay, and order a new belt. Delivery will take 2 days. Meantime, since the machine with the bad belt was a “Yard Man” model made by MTD you have to remove the entire mowing deck to replace a belt. Nobody except MTD would would design a mower like that! The letters MTD have become the 3 most hated letters in the alphabet to me.  Anyway I start removing the deck while waiting for the new belt to arrive.  While I was doing that my neighbor showed up.  Seeing my dilemma, he kindly offered me the loan of his mower to clean up the yard while waiting for one battery to charge and one belt to arrive. Here I digress a bit; my neighbor’s mower was a Husqvarna zero turn mower.  I had always considered the zero turns to be a bit of a gimmick. More expensive than a standard ride on but still, they just cut grass. Well, my opinion sure did change.  After a couple hours mowing with the zero turn mower I am a convert.  My next mower purchase will be a zero turn. Anyway, back to my 2 disabled mowers, the totally dead one was still dead after fully charging the battery over night.  Some troubleshooting turned up a bad fuse.  New fuse and one lawn mower back in service. New belt arrived in my mailbox in record time, and after a few hours of cursing MTD I had it installed and the mower deck re-installed.  Back to my norm of 2 mowers working. So all this and a couple of days of trimming, weeding, and raking, my lawn is back to the way I like it. But that is not the end.  While I was away, 2 very large oak trees fell down in a wind storm. Luckily they were not in my yard but in my pasture. Next chore, get out the chain saw and the tractor and cut up the downed trees and haul them out to the yard near my wood shed so I can cut them up and split them for fire wood.

Finally after a few days of rushing around after getting home, life is returning to a normal pace.  Now I can spend some time on the blog.