We interrupt this blog – Friday, April 12, 2013 -- I never much liked yard work, and right now it’s really a pain because working on the boat would be much more fun. But, we have two acres of lawn, we will be gone for two weeks, and my neighbor is a nice guy. He deserves to see a decent lawn since we don’t have a fence between our two back yards. The whole lawn job takes about six hours. Riding mower, push mower, string trimmer, edger, blower… My friend Fred assures me that the lawn will not look so nice once the boat is in the water, he calls it “Sailor lawn.”
The push mower has been acting like it has a stuck choke. Starts easily, runs badly when it’s hot, emits black smoke. Admittedly I am not great on maintenance, but I do change the oil, spark plug and blade once a year. I have no idea how fix a stuck choke, but the boat calls and there is no time to take the mower in to get repaired. The worst that can happen is that it won’t get any worse, so I pop the cover and look at the carburetor. There is no choke. The little rubber button you push three times squirts a little raw gas into the carburetor throat. So why does it act like the choke is stuck? An examination of the filter tells the story. It is totally plugged. It hasn’t been cleaned since we bought it. Clean it out with a little raw gas; reassemble; runs like new.
Ask Patti, “Hon, when did we buy that $99 Sears lawn mower?” Answer: “When we got married—23 years ago.” Moral of the story: Clean the air filter every couple of decades and you won’t waste time you could have spent on the boat.