Weekend Work

Forty bags of 0.75 cubic feet topsoil weighing approximately forty pounds each sounds like a lot, right? It certainly feels like a lot, especially to the fat, old man who handled every one of them four times yesterday morning. But when it comes to filling significant holes in one’s long neglected back yard, forty bags isn’t even a good start. I got one hole mostly filled in and a second one about half full. There are three more significant holes, and about a dozen smaller areas that need attention. Another hundred bags might take care of the worst of it.

In addition to the topsoil, I also bought a Poulan Wood Shark 14″ chainsaw. With it, I cut down the remaining ten or so trees that remained in the open area of my back yard. I dragged everything to the burn area and piled it up.

After this, I mowed the back yard. All in all, a good day.

Today, not so much. I tried to do a burn. I knew that the fresh stuff from yesterday wouldn’t burn very easily, but there were enough dry leftovers at the bottom of the pile, I didn’t anticipate any problems. Two Walmart bags full of old mail and a pint of gasoline were the only things that burned. Oh, well. I guess I will have to wait a few weeks and try again. This leaves me no place to put the trees from the front yard that I want to cut down, but I needn’t have worried.

The chainsaw started and ran fine, but wouldn’t move the chain. Pour the coal to it, and smoke rolls off the clutch, but no rotation. I pulled the blade and made sure that there was nothing wedged anywhere. All clear, but she was locked up tight. I guess I’ll find out on Monday how good Poulan’s warranty service is.

I moved on to mowing the front yard. About thirty minutes in, I bent a blade. I already had a mulching kit, but I wanted to make sure that all the blade damaging elements were clear before installing it. The bent blade forced my hand.

Installation was reasonably easy, and soon I was back in business. Briefly. Three passes later, I snagged a tree root. Hard. And bent the hell out of one of the new blades. To wit:


The top blade is the undamaged but beat to hell original blade. In the middle is the bent original blade. On the bottom is the new mulching blade with the shit bent out of it.

I took that as my cue to quit for the day. I’ve showered, and I’m going to see if Dr. Pepper and Fireball whisky go as well together as it sounds like they should. After I find some new blades and get them ordered. Walmart probably carries them, but there is no way I’m going there on a Saturday afternoon. I have a rule. Never go anywhere without enough ammo to kill everyone who is under the same roof or within a hundred yards (if outside). I can’t carry that many rounds.

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11 Responses to Weekend Work

  1. Steve says:

    Check the chainsaw for the anti-kickback brake being engaged. It’s supposed to stop the chain when the saw kicks, so you don’t get cut up. It’s saved me once.

    — Steve

    • alaskan454 says:

      Thank you. That was it. I feel like an idiot, but that’s not new for me. 🙂

      • Oldawg says:

        Don’t feel like an idiot about the chainsaw brake – I think many of us have done the same thing. At least you didn’t have to suffer the embarrassment of taking it back and have them point out the problem!

      • alaskan454 says:

        That would’ve sucked. I’d found the nearest repair center and was planning to take it in this morning after work…

  2. Sucks about the lawnmower blades. And about the burn pile being too wet to burn. I may not have the same types of frustration, but I definitely understand the frustration.

    How did the Dr. Pepper and Fireball mix?

  3. Oldawg says:

    Going thru all these frustrations is supposed to make you stronger isn’t it? You ought to be one muscular sonofabitch soon!

  4. bbuddha says:

    Start a compost pile, free dirt! Bonus it is good dirt for growing things in. You could start a garden. I find mine very therapeutic. Well the vegetable garden is therapeutic, the flower garden is maddening 🙂

    • alaskan454 says:

      I plan to start a compost pile, but they are slow. I have so much to deal with now that burning is the more appealing option. Once I get to the maintain stage, the compost pile will become a reality.

      I plan to do a garden, but not this year. There’s just so much to do to recover from the years of neglect for me to have time for a garden. And I have no intention of attempting a flower garden. Veggies only. Starting next year.

      Thanks for the advice. 🙂

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