Wilder by Far

A look at life with the Wilder family. Updated most weekends and some vacation days. You can contact me at movingnorth@gmail.com..

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Wednesday, October 12, 2005

"Those parts mean a lot to me." -Hal, Malcolm in the Middle

Parts for The Coveted John Deere Snow-Blower Attachment (Some Assembly Required)

Despite the impression that you may have gotten in the last few posts, it isn't all fun and games here at Life In Alaska. We take time out to drink, too.

And while we drink we build things.

Take, for example, our latest family acquisition: The Coveted John Deere Snow-Blower Attachment (Some Assembly Required).

It's pictured above. At least parts of it are.

I love to put things together. When I was a kid I used to take things apart just to put them back together. And during my "electricity" phase I discovered that you can make a letter opener turn into an arc welder in your bedroom, at least until the breaker blows.

Putting things together is a relaxing way to spend time in the garage, teaching The Boy about tools, about mechanics, and about words The Mrs. would rather he not know when some metal object slips from my hands and begins traveling at approximately the speed of an asteroid impacting the Yucatan before it impacts my knuckles. Yeah, I'm not proud of it, but a time or two he's heard me say things about our Lord that would have gotten me a stake-burning or worse back in the good old days of the Inquisition. Plus, I can keep an eye on the boy and make sure that he starts with real arc welders first. But, I'm wandering on a tangent.

I love to put things together. Normally, I work pretty quickly, and most things require only a cursory look at the instructions to complete construction. The Coveted John Deere Snow-Blower Attachment (Some Assembly Required) was not one of them.

I didn't say I didn't enjoy it. The Coveted John Deere Snow-Blower Attachment (Some Assembly Required)was just hard to put together. First off, the instructions were written with the assumption that I knew what the in-house name of each part might be. No, I don't. Then, somebody in the John Deere Technical Manual Writing Department got a camera.

A camera does a great job at allowing the company to quickly make clear pictures that completely and clearly illustrate information that has nothing to do with the construction step you're on. And then make thousands of copies of it. It was similar to attempting to reconstruct a Boeing 737 starting with a pile of parts and several internal pictures of assembled parts of the airplane that are of unknown location.

"Look, Fred, I got the landing gear together. I think this is the auto-clevis-restraint-torque-pin."

"Great, Charlie. Do you think they intended to put the nose landing gear in the rear lavatory?"

"I dunno. Let's look at the picture. See, that blurry grey thing could be the lavatory door . . . "

Hey, it might sound like I'm whining, but I really did love putting the thing together. It garnered me quality time with The Boy in the world of men (he can fetch either a socket wrench or a beer at lightning speed) doing guy stuff. Listening to music, chatting, cursing, and solving problems.

The closest thing I can equate this to is the construction of one of those 3-D foam puzzles. You have a picture, a box, and lots of parts that you have no idea where to put. If you screw one of those up, Westminster Abbey ends up looking like the Addams Family house.

If you screw up the Coveted John Deere Snow-Blower Attachment (Some Assembly Required), you've end up with parts moving at 72,000 RPM attempting to change your nick-name to "Lefty," or "Peg-Leg" or "Eunuch".

Just for fun, here's the Wikipedia entry for Eunuch, but in Bork-Text:

Frum Veekipedia, zee free-a eecyclupedeea.

A ioonooch is a hoomun mele-a vhuse-a testicles hefe-a ieezeer beee remufed oor ere-a nun-fooncshunel. Zee ierleeest recurds fur intenshunel cestreshun tu prudooce-a ioonoochs ere-a frum zee Soomereeun ceety ooff Legesh in zee 21st centoory B.C. Oofer zee meellennia seence-a, zeey hefe-a perffurmed a veede-a fereeety ooff fooncshuns in muny deefffferent cooltoores sooch es meelitery cummunders, seengers, releegiuoos speceeelists, gufernment ooffffeeciels, und ifee gooerdeeuns ooff vumee.

I swear that I didn't edit that. It's official. The only words that translate as exactly the same in Bork as in English are "a", "is", "in", and "testicles".

Let's move away from that, though. Suffice it to say, uncontrolled whirling metal blades can lead to more visits to the emergency room, and The Mrs. has indicated that taking a bleeding husband twice to the emergency room is already two times too many for one year. (Stylistic note for authors - note I used to, too, and two in the last sentence. Correctly. I think that means I finally pass 4th grade English.)

So, after four(!) nights, two cases of beer two beers, and untold befuddlement (there were times I held the instruction book upside down with a puzzled expression on my face)the Coveted John Deere Snow-Blower Attachment (Some Assembly Required) was finally complete.

I think.

I haven't tried it yet. Here's a picture of the completed product.

The finished Coveted John Deere Snow-Blower Attachment (Some Assembly Required). The worst part may have been lifting the thing from the back of the Wildermobile into the garage.

There were extra parts. This is normally not what is considered good. And, since I want to keep all my parts I may wear my hockey gear while I crank it up for the first time. So, if you see a guy dressed up like Jason from the Friday the 13th series of movies (they don't make 'em like that anymore, do they) snowblowing his yard, well, come on in and say "Howdy."

Oh, the blood-spattered machete? Nothing. Say, cold weather we're having . . .


Blogger Lady Luck said...

Oh, my word, John! You sure have interesting way of telling how you put a lawn mower together!

(and that is why I continue to read your posts....you take what could have been a perfectly boring story and turn it into something funny enough to read!)

6:07 AM  
Blogger Duck Hunter said...

Did you use parts off of that wagon for your attachment? I noticed the wagon sitting on its back.

7:16 AM  
Blogger the Witch said...

Back in my neck of the woods, kids hollow out large piles of snow to form iglu/forts from which to assault unsuspecting fashionista pedestrians.

I'm guessing this wouldn't fly out there in Alaska, no?

2:43 PM  
Blogger Woofwoof said...

You don't mess around with snow, do you? I can understand that big yellow shovel thing, but what the heck are those blades for? Cutting down trees?

8:27 PM  
Blogger John said...

lady luck,
Thank you!!! It's comments like that which keep me running this Seinfeld of a blog!

duck hunter,
No, the wagon just died. And despite the "code blue" with WD-40, it's a goner. Or, maybe a planter come spring.

it does work here. But high fashion is a parka. Over a wool coat. If you're wearing khakis.

Plus, everyone might be armed. So, some sort of bulletproof snow castle is advisable.

Actually, when real winter is here, the snow is too powdery just after it falls (no fort) or like concrete after it sets (need a pick and shovel).

Actually, except for the fashion, I think that's very Alaska.

why mess around when you can use a serious power tool????

This is actually a two-stage snowblower. Stage One: Drink. Stage Two: Try to remember which tree the snowblower hit.

9:07 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Feel free to come and do my driveway anytime. We're now puzzling over the fact that there is almost no sideyard at our house. Where is the snow supposed to go?

11:48 AM  

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