It is well known that Jason and I are experts at breaking things. If you have something that is functioning unusually well give us a call and we'll be happy to stand in its presence and break it for you. Our latest broken thing was our old Kubota tractor. Even though the tractor looks awful and is about 30 years old it is worthy of the title old reliable. It always starts. Always. It can sit for months unused and in the cold and it will start. Our much newer Ford tractor on the other hand is a much more fickle piece of equipment. So although we don't live in fear that anyone would ever want to steal our old Kubota I think Jason would break down in tears if that actually happened.
When it refused to start yesterday Jason wasn't too worried at first. He thought it simply needed a new battery. He changed the battery today and he got nothing, nada. Jason was starting to look worried. Really worried. I asked him if we should call the tractor mechanic. He looked at me like i was stupid. Out came one of his toolboxes. The creative uses of vocabulary began.
He started opening panels, checking wires, crawling around, getting dirty. He kept trying to start the tractor. He kept getting nothing. I asked again if we should call the tractor mechanic. I got another "stop making such stupid suggestions" look.
Then Jason announced that it must be something with the ignition switch or the neutral safety switch. He fished out a large screwdriver and decided to try and jump the tractor by shorting out the solenoid with the screwdriver.
Me: I don't think we should do this
Jason; Don't you remember I had to start the Ford tractor that way for months
Me: I also remember you saying it was stupid and not safe
Jason: Walks over to the tractor and proceeds to short out the solenoid with the screwdriver
not a happy Jason
Envision large sparks flying everywhere, including near the brand new, currently uncovered battery on the tractor. Jason lets out a few yelps and wisely jumps away from the tractor. I say a third time "maybe we should call a tractor mechanic." Jason acts like he can't hear me.
Me: Since you aren't going to listen to anything I have to say I want to go eat lunch. Can I leave or are you going to continue to do stupid things?
Jason: Maybe you should stay here a few more minutes (in other words he is going to do more stupid things)
Jason asked me if I knew where any gloves were and I tell him where they are. He comes out with gloves on, picks up the screwdriver and proceeds to short out the solenoid again. Massive sparks fly everywhere as Jason doggedly holds onto the screwdriver hoping the tractor will start. It doesn't start. It doesn't even think about starting.
After a few seconds Jason cannot take the sparks anymore and hands me the screwdriver and stomps off. Thescrewdriver felt like it had just been on fire. I almost dropped it because it is so hot. I understood why Jason opted to wear gloves for his second go with the solenoid. As I looked more closely at the screwdriver I realized that in the few seconds Jason was using it when the sparks were flying it got so hot part of the screwdriver had burned off.
click on these pictures to enlarge and you will see where part of the screwdriver burned off on the end
Jason came back with a towing chain as he decided he was going to have to tow our Kubota tractor out of the way with the Ford tractor since it was blocking access to our feed bin. He got the tractors hooked up and then ordered me onto the Kubota and told me to steer while he towed it with the Ford tractor. I sang the theme song from Green Acres as I rolled along, steering our dead Kubota. I also had the thought that it was a bad day at Paradigm Farms when the temperamental, high maintenance tractor was towing the dead, super reliable tractor.
We got the tractor moved out of the way and Jason decided he was going to call a mechanic. He acted like this was a completely new thought, like I hadn't already brought the concept up three times. Amazingly the mechanic came about an hour later. He found the problem, a bad relay, in about five minutes. Old Reliable is back on the job. I didn't even say "I told you so" as the mechanic was driving away. I waited until the mechanic was pulling out onto the road before I said it.
Timbit popping in to visit Rubrico and River. Timbit isn't going to know what to do with all his free time when we take this paddock down soon and he cannot go any more excursions.
Rip, Ritchie and Trigger
Remmy and Walden grooming
Fabrizzio, Bruno and Duesy
Sam and Johnny
Taco and Africa
Moe and Homer
Grand and Baby
Gibson, Lofty and Cocomo
Maisie and Cuffie
Merlin, Remmy and Hesse
Bergie grazing, Oskar and Largo grooming
2 of the 3 World's Cutest Fainting Goats hanging out; Miss Lyle and Mina