This past Thursday, we had an almost blizzard, again, here on Long Island. I say almost because the winds weren't high enough to be a blizzard, though we did have white out conditions. It started about 3 am and continued to about 3 pm.
My wife, Marcy, wasn't planning to go to work. Neither was I. My wife got the phone call around 10 am that her store wasn't opening. It was just as well, as our street was unplowed.
I got the call around 12:30 pm from work. The store would s close around 3:00 pm. That’s when I was supposed to start working.
The roads were still unplowed. I wasn't going anywhere, anyway. I got ready to clear the snow.
Marcy, Melissa and I went outside, around 3:30 pm, after the plow cleared the street. They start shoveling the porch and walkway, cleaning off the cars, too. I head to the garage and start the snow blower and it is running fine. I just had to replace the bottom scraper blade and the side height adjusters because they were all rusted.
I manage to get down the driveway, and as soon as I started to cut into the end of the driveway, the engine died. I cleaned out the augur housing and throw chute, and started it up again. As soon as I hit that heavy, wet snow, the engine died again. I tried this several times before I gave up.
Luckily, our next-door neighbour was just coming out with his snow blower. He said that he would clean out the end of the driveway and do the sidewalk. I thanked him and went inside to warm up.
I figured there were two things that could cause the engine to lose power like that. The first was a bad spark plug, and the other was bad gas. On Friday, I headed out to get a new spark plug and gas stabilizer, and new gas.
When I got home, I managed to change the spark plug without a hassle, and poured the stabilizer into the gas I just got. I didn't fill up the gas tank though, as I didn't want to mix the old with the new. First, I started it up, and it ran well. Then I hit a snow bank and the engine didn't stall. Success!
When I'm off on Tuesday, my intent is to let the engine run until the old gas is gone, and then I'll fill it up with the new gas. We're supposed to be getting another snowstorm this Thursday, and I want to be ready.
I found the original receipt from Sears dated 10/09/03. I didn't realize that I had this machine that long. It is starting to show its age, so, as soon as I can, I want to sand down some of the rust that is starting to build up. Then I’ll use a spray paint primer on it and hit it with the hunter green spray paint. If I can inhibit the rust, hopefully, it will last a lot longer.
As I cannot, and will not shovel anymore because of my bad back, the snow blower is the only way to go for me. If I ever have to buy another one, I will buy a lighter weight model that's easier to handle. This thing has to weigh at least 200 pounds, and after muscling it around for a couple of hours, it feels even heavier.
I still wouldn't trade the old, green machine for anything. We've been through a lot together.
Matt Seinberg lives on Long Island, a few minutes east of New York City. He looks at everything around him and notices much. Somewhat less cynical than dyed in the wool New Yorkers, Seinberg believes those who don't see what he does like reading about what he sees and what it means to him. Seinberg columns revel in the silly little things of life and laughter as well as much well-directed anger at inept, foolish public officials. Mostly, Seinberg writes for those who laugh easily at their own foibles as well as those of others.
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