Saturday, March 17, 2018

Finally able to take pictures again.

I finally got my new phone up and running.  It is a Moto/Lenovo G5 plus.  So here are some pictures of how much snow we got out of the last storm.  Keep in mind that we have had a couple days of sunshine and above freezing temps to melt it down several inches.

The bank at the of the road is up to the hood of my truck. 

The wheeler was buried too. 

As you can see the snowblower was shorter than the snow.  Before it melted down a bit, I had to go over everything multiple times because we got more snow than it could handle.

The house managed to survive it fine, for which I am thankful.  It melts off really quick too; it is already down to about a foot.  On a side note: don't use digital zoom, this picture looks awful.

The front camera on my phone works fine.

I got the wheeler unburied.  There was a lot on it.  I didn't clear it off after the last storm, and there were still feet on it.

I put Dad's redneck plow back on it. 

I expected it to disintegrate when I went to use it, but it actually survived.  I did the bottom portion of the driveway with it.  It worked poorly.  It couldn't push the 18-20" very well.  It would get a couple of feet and then stop.  I had to plow it, then ram the bank again.  Since the wheeler turns like a slug, this wasn't easy given how narrow the driveway is.  Of course if the driveway was wider it wouldn't have been able to push it

The reason it couldn't push it is because it rapidly became taller than the plow.

It never fell off, but the smaller clamp didn't stay on very well. 

I switched over to the snowblower further up since I hadn't cleared the center line.  I might try the wheeler again when I get to the slab. 

I stopped mid afternoon when it warmed up outside.  There seems to be an issue with the snowblower and running when it is warm.  The snow collects on it really badly.  It was like this every 5-10 feet.

I will try to finish it up tomorrow after everything refreezes. 

Wednesday, March 7, 2018

So much for an early spring

The storm last weekend left dropped more snow than expected, I am guessing around 6-8 inches in Sullivan.  It was all rain in Keene, and only about an inch of snow at my apartment.  I went to NYC for Krass' birthday and drove through the heart of the storm much to my dismay.  I had expected that as I got further south it would be all rain, but that turned out to be a lie.  The interstates most of the way down were backed up because you couldn't see the road, the signs were completely coated, so I had to trust my GPS.  What a mistake.  For whatever reason it decided to take me in on a different route than normal, which sent me through some of the heaviest traffic near the city.  It took me almost an hour to cross the George Washington bridge on I95.  That aside though, the trip was worth it.  I got to play with a lot of VR (virtual reality) stuff, which was pretty awesome. 

On the homestead front, we are supposed to be getting another monster storm today.  I have seen anywhere from 6-10 to 12-20.  It is supposed to be wet snow too unfortunately, so I know what I will be doing all weekend.  I fired up the snowblower last night to clear the bank by the road, and it didn't run worth a damn.  I didn't put any of the carb cleaner in the last batch of gas, so I will pick some up before I go and abuse it.  It has also been a month since it last ran, which is why I decided to go up and test it.

I have been looking at new cameras, but I think instead I am going to replace my phone.  The battery life in my phone has become pretty unsavory, and I would likely have to replace it in the next year or so anyways, so I think that is a better use of money.  I am looking at a Moto G5 Plus, so it isn't an expensive one; I can then wait and buy a slightly nicer camera when the time comes that I need it.  Bringing a camera to the work site has resulted in the deaths of the last couple of cameras, but my phone survived.  The phone has a decent camera in it, it should be on par with the camera that just recently no longer counted itself among the living, though I lose the optical zoom.

Sunday, February 25, 2018

Back from France, snow almost gone.

I have uploaded the pictures from France to my Google Photos.  Unfortuantely, I didn't get very many.  The camera had a motor failure, the servo that extends and contracts the lens got hosed.  

Most of the pictures I ended up taking with my phone, which are absolutely junk since it doesn't focus.  The ones I did get can be found here:

Here are a few of the highlights though:
The beach was very nice and clean.  The water was crystal clear.  The "sand" wasn't actually sand but very tiny river rock, very smooth rocks.

The rocky hills and the general terrain reminded me a lot of Utah without the visibility.

It is already spring there.

Selfie with the Mediterranean.  The front camera on my phone is the only one that functions, and is also the crappiest.  I was the only one on the beach.  It was a tad too chilly for swimming, the water was in the upper 50s, and it was rainy (but warm) outside.

I was still unusually jet-lagged yesterday so while I did get up to the property, I didn't do much.  Everything we got while I was gone had melted off, so it was muddy.  

There is still some ice though.

Don't walk on it.

I also snagged Greg's old storage shed.

It appears that I need to find some new mousetraps.  I was only able to locate three of them.  There used to be 6.

It snowed last night, but turned to rain today, so I am waiting to see how much of it melts off.  It is supposed to be sunny and warmer most of the week, so I am guessing it will all melt off before the storm next weekend.  Not that sunset is approaching 5:30, on days I get out of work early, I can go up and work after work again.  That said, I have visits lined up for the next couple of weekends, so that my calendar is free once spring rolls around.

Sunday, February 11, 2018

Plow failure

So it looks like I didn't get the right measurements when I went to go see if the plow would fit.  I looked at length, arbor and things like that, but there were a few critical elements that I missed.

For starters, where it mounts:  I had a pretty good idea this would happen.  Because of the welded on hooks, the post isn't tall enough.

As I mentioned, I had a pretty good idea that would happen, and was planning on just bolting it together using the hole for the ball; not a big deal.  There is one other thing you might notice about the above picture though, the frame rail for the plow is right up against the brake drum and the differential, the frame rail is too wide.  The problem gets worse if you use the ball to mount it to the wheeler because of the angle that it sits at.

That was the first error.  The second was on the front.  I did measure the front part that hooks into the frame, but I didn't measure exactly where it would lie when the plow was attached.  It doesn't reach far enough back to directly bolt to the frame; it only reaches the front part where it widens.  This would actually be really easy to fix with some large U bolts attached to the framing I had for the wood plow, so this isn't really a big issue.

The last error I didn't even think to measure for.  The framing angles down a bit at the back, and then comes up again a smidgen in the front, so that it clears everything underneath the wheeler.  This plow came off a 2002 Polaris 500HO though, and while it is a universal style plow, it was nonetheless made for a much bigger machine.  Even with the back clamped up to the hitch, and the front as low as it would go, the plow still didn't have enough angle to actually hit the ground.  It needs the wheeler to be a lot taller.  And this was without me sitting on it.  It wasn't quite high enough to fit my foot completely under it, but it was close.

The first two I might be able to come up with something to work around it, or build an adapter for the back that runs underneath the differential and brakes for example, but those kind of kludges would make the third issue much much worse.  Unfortunately I don't know how to fix the third one without destroying the plow itself.

While I was up there, I tried to finish it with the snowblower.  That was a bad joke.  It has been raining the past two days, so everything is slush, and the snowblower wouldn't throw it.

This is probably the last post for a while, I am going on a work trip for the next two weeks to France.  I hope to visit Switzerland and the south shores of France over the weekend, maybe go swimming if the Mediterranean is warm enough.  I will take lots of pictures and will post them when I get home.

Saturday, February 10, 2018

Cold rainy day

I went up to the property to finish the snowblowing last night.  Turns out the snowblower wouldn't start.  I pushed the button for the electric start and it wound up and made a whirring noise but never turned over.  With the recoil broken, that is rather problematic. 

I also recovered the wheeler It was snowing, even though it wasn't supposed to be. 

Today it rained all day, and was freezing rain up at the property, so I didn't go up.  I did however get around to look at the plow.  It was just barely long enough, so it might not be the easiest to adjust the angle.  It is a heavy V-plow and the V adjustments are seized, but I don't need them.  I will hose them down and try to deal with it later.

If it does end up being too short, I could always mount it with the ball instead of the normal mount.

I do intend to try to mount it tomorrow and hopefully finish the clearing. 

Thursday, February 8, 2018

More snow.

I was supposed to go and look at a plow for the wheeler today, but the guy bailed on me.  Nevertheless, I still got the snowblower up there, and despite losing a bunch of time waiting for the dude managed to get a good chunk of the driveway done.  I ended up stopping because I was nearly out of gas (the can was empty, the snowblower had maybe an inch left in it) and I broke a shear pin.  I didn't have the spares in the truck since I emptied it out when I went to pick up Rachel with it. 

It didn't change over to ice up there like it did in Keene and Swanzey, but it still wasn't bad, only about 6 or so inches.  Still enough that the bank at the end of the road was taller than the snowblower though. 

I got the mailbox cleared out too.  I ended up doing it by hand with a regular dirt shovel since my snow shovel was at the apartment, I broke my snow shovel there and forgot to toss it back in the truck. 

The guy did eventually get back to me, so hopefully I will get to go look at it tomorrow.  I need to make sure that the arm is at least 75 inches long, and that the ball has a 7/8 or smaller shank.

Unfortunately my camera just isn't good enough, but I tried to take a picture of the stars before I left.  I left after all my neighbors had turned off their outside lights, and the sky was crystal clear.  Even at ISO3200 though, I don't have a long enough exposure (the camera is limited to a second).  You can see a couple of dots in it if you blow it up, but it needed more time.  Oh well.

Saturday, February 3, 2018

Long overdue update.

Last weekend Rachel was here.  One of the things we did was go up and visit the ice castles in Lincoln.  They were a little smaller than I was hoping but still really cool and worth it.  The ice castle photos can be found here:

I worked late most of the week, and didn't get much done, but did get up there today with the wheeler.  It fired right up despite it being really cold. 

Along with its shiny new tires.  They are mud tires, not snows, but I expect most of its use will be mud.

I thought there was a cover on this, but the cable is at least secured which it wasn't before.

Despite the ice we got last week being all snow up there, the truck drove up with no issue.  It was about 4-5" deep. 

The bank at the end was deep enough that the wheeler was dragging.

I cleared a few parts by hand, since I haven't repaired the plow yet.  I did up by the house. 

And down by the road and mailbox. 

It was chilly when I got there, but when the sun came out, it warmed up pretty nice.  I decided to go and play for a bit.  Not the most productive decision, but it was fun.  I made a lot of tracks up to the shed. 

Hey look, my driveway is cleared...

I also went down and checked out the creek.  It is still mostly skinned over, though water was running underneath.  I wasn't brave enough to take the wheeler in it. 

Unfortunately my back yard isn't really big enough to play too much.  The wheeler has a surprisingly large turning radius.  I was able punch it around and toss some snow though.  Not really deep enough to drift with a 4 wheel drive that has new tires on it.

I also did some exploring.  I tried to go up the hill beside the shed.  It didn't make it.  I could have made it with some velocity but that isn't a real good idea up there.  Common sense got the better of me and I didn't try it.

I did however go around the other side and rode up to the back of the shed. 

It wasn't an easy ride, it is rougher than it looks.  Those trees and the debris was no match for the wheeler though.

This is where I went up from the back yard.

After a couple of hours, I had my fill of fun, and covered it up.  You might have noticed that apparently the repair shop's overflow for wheelers that they aren't working on was outside.  I did at least cover it with a tarp.  At least mostly anyways.  Most of the tarp was frozen into the ground. 

I might get up there tomorrow to do some work, though if it is as snowy and icy as predicted, I might pass and stay home and work on the chair.  I also grabbed my spare wood while I was up there, so I have the 2x6 needed to repair the plow.  I might work on that tomorrow instead.  I did check on the house while I was up there, and for the most part, the insulation seemed untouched, which was good.  One little corner looks like a mouse might have investigated it, but it wasn't living in it.

Go Eagles!