Woke up this morning to an unexpected heavy snow fall. It was supposed to hit Cleveland more in the snow belt and leave the west side of town with next to nothing.
Y'know, when you've got 5 inches of snow with 15 degree temperatures there's only one thing to do!
That's right! Fire up Ole Red! Yeah!
Things were going along swimmingly well until all of a sudden I heard a sickening screech coming from the Ole Fire breathing Powerhouse. The last time I heard a sound like that was back in Dallas when I ran a brand new lawn mower without oil. Brilliant.
I pushed the hulk into the garage going over in my head how I was going to tell the wife that I blew the engine on another expensive piece of apparatus. "It was...soap. Poisoning..."
First thing I did was check the oil. If the dip stick was bone dry and smoke poured out of engine then I knew the engine was toast. But the dip stick indicated there was plenty of fresh oil in the crankcase. What the?
So I plugged the starter back in and cranked the engine. Started right up!
Thing was, when I engaged the blades it stalled out again with he same sickening screech. Something was wrong. Quick check up and inside the blower and I found what was the matter.
Is it spring yet?
Our boys still talk about this vacation we took just before we moved north to Cleveland from Dallas.
This southwest driving vacation took us through most of Texas, New Mexico, Arizona, and Oklahoma. On the way we stopped in a field off I-40 in Amarillo to get a closer look at the famous, "Cadillac Ranch".
Cadillac Ranch features 10 Cadillacs buried halfway into the ground. The idea is highlight the history of the tailfin from 1949 to 1963.
They encourage you to spray paint the cars.
Well there she sits buddy just a-gleaming in the sun
Eldorado fins, whitewalls and skirts
Rides just like a little bit of heaven here on earth
Long and dark shiny and black
Open up your engines let `em roar
Tearing up the highway like a big old dinosaur
When I die throw my body in the back
And drive me to the junkyard in my Cadillac
You're my last love you're my last chance
Don't let `em take me to the Cadillac Ranch
Carrie looks absolutely stunning in this video for her most recent smash, "Two Black Cadillacs". And most importantly, that's a NINETEEN SIXTY FOUR Cadillac Coupe deVille she's piloting. Sweet.
The '62-'64 Cadillacs, in my very humble opinion, where the finest post World War II Cadillacs. While it still has a little bit of tailfin, it's very understated. Especially compared to the cartoonish '59. The workmanship and quality of parts on the interior were second to none for the time. The 390 cubic inch V8, exclusive to Cadillac, was not the largest V8 engine available in a luxury car (Imperial and Lincoln had larger engines), but it was certainly the smoothest and to the seat of your pants, the most powerful in its class. It was said back then that Cadillacs could pass anything on the road. Except a gas station.
One little nit picky thing...those big fat whitewalls on Carrie's Caddy in the vid are not period correct. That car did come with white walls but they were much, much narrower than what we see here. :-) Enjoy!
These wonderful machines come with a handy, dandy little shovel that has one purpose; to unclog that there chute. So, shut er down, break out the little shovel and scoop out the goop! Do not put your hand in there. Don't do it. Don't even think about it.
I have always loved snow. We have 15 and 14 year old boys and they love it too so it's hard not to get psyched whenever the words "accumulating snow" are in the forecast. Snow is the best thing about winter! When we lived in Dallas it hardly ever snowed but it still got cold. Same thing in Nashville. It got cold but not really cold enough to snow so, what's the point of the cold? The cold, in case you haven't noticed, is the WORST thing about winter. Snow = good. Cold = not good. Anyways, Mrs. Shotgun, the kittens and I are ready for whatever blows across Cleveland because we have a 14 horsepower, 26 inch snow thrower I refer to lovingly as, "Big Red".
With this bad boy I can clear out our driveway of more than a foot of snow in about 20 minutes. If I really step on it less than 15! Most times I'm just getting warmed up by the time I'm done so I do our neighbor's walkways too. One time last winter I was having so much fun with this beast I did the whole block! Folks next door thought I was so nice they dropped off a case of Girl Scout Cookies for us.
Back on Long Island I had the (stupid) idea to put a snow plow blade on my ride on lawnmower. For about half the cost of what Big Red cost us I got hooked up with a plow blade, weights and tire chains. Huh? Yeah. Ya see, with all that weight in the front it actually picked up the back of the mower reducing traction to zilch. The weights counter balanced the whole thing and the tire chains gave me precious traction. Quite the production number to set up too. Worse yet, I never prepped the thing at the end of the mowing season; you'd always find me flat on back doing the conversion just as the snow flakes started flying. Good times. Between the stinging cold, the endless minutia of the conversion from mower to plower, the chains falling off in the midst of snow removal combat and the steering mechanism freezing I was meaner than the abombinable snow man. When we moved to Dallas we promptly said buh-bye to the snow plow. And the ride on mower for that matter.
That's why when we moved "back North" one of the first things we did last year was get "Big Red". Now, Red is a snow thrower not be confused with a snow blower. A snow thrower sucks the snow in, chops it up and then literally throws it. It's so cool. In the case of my over powered baddie here as far as 30 feet! Woo-hoo! A snow blower just blows snow. Fine for some people but not for me. I need to THROW my snow far, far away. This thing IS A BLAST!
Snowthrowers can be dangerous if, IF you're not careful. There are warning labels all over mine and I scratch my head and wonder how a whole bunch of people, no doubt many smarter than me, can get their digits (or worse) choppped off each winter.
Well, honestly, it's pretty easy. With a light, fluffy, dry snow fall the incidences of choppage of fingers, hands, toes, (feet?) are minimal. However, when the snow is wet (moist) and dense, snowthrowers can get clogged. Rather than shut the engine off, folks will stick there hands down there and attempt to free the snow/ice clog. Fa-wing! There's goes a finger. I found that most snows last winter here were pretty light and fluffy so Big Red never got clogged. That was until a heavy, dense snow fall in MID-APRIL!! All of a sudden Big Red stopped throwing snow. Huh?? Sure enough. Clogged. Clogged with an ice berg that could resink the Titantic. It was then that I realized how easy it could be to lose an appendage. I was tired and at the end of my run and pulling the chord to fire it back up would make me even more tired. But I did it anyway and still have all my fingers. Good boy. Take the half second of time and shut the engine off if you got a clog. And be sure to use the handy little shovel that comes with these things.
Give us your best shot, Mom Nature. We're ready for ya. Bring it!