Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Falling Downs announces "Dorkshit of the year 2013" award winner

I was thinking about that the other day, when I was working on the snowblower drive-chain in the -10 cold.

The drive-chain snapped the last time I used the snowblower, must have been back in March. I had all summer, spring and fall too, to fix it. But who wants to fiddle with a snowblower when it's July? So I let it slide...

Dorkshit of the year? Well, there's a lot of candidates, large and small. Besides, how exactly do you define "dorkshit"?

Through most of the autumn I kept deferring the snowblower repair because I was convinced there was lots more autumn ahead before the snows came. In fact, I was waiting for Indian Summer well into December.

Wonder why it's called "Indian Summer"?

When that chain snapped it wound itself around the drive sprocket real good. Took a good half hour with a hammer and chisel and angle grinder to get it unwound. In a blizzard at -10.

That's on top of the hour and a half to attach the snowblower to the tractor. When winter, instead of Indian Summer, arrived here in early December I was flabbergasted. That Ford 4000 is a diesel, and diesels of her vintage don't start in cold weather unless they're plugged in. I'd conveniently parked the tractor about ten feet beyond the reach of any extension cord in my possession, back when I was still convinced Indian Summer was just around the corner.

That's an easy enough fix of course; just buy a longer extension cord.

Finding the chain links to fix the chain was another matter. Oddly enough, the drive chain hadn't snapped at the master link, it had taken out a regular link in the chain. I inquired at the shop where I get the Stihl serviced, but they told me they didn't carry stuff that size.

Maybe "Indian Summer" is one of those racist constructs, like "Indian bar." An Indian bar is a bar that specializes in over-serving First Nation folks. I've never heard of an Indian bar that was run by native folks; it's pretty much always white guys running these joints.

Alcoholism among the First Nations is a well-trod trope that I don't need to elaborate on. Over the years there has been plenty of ink spilled on why our native brothers are so prone to alcohol dependency. Many a thesis on the topic has launched the academic careers of the (generally) white folks looking into the issue.

And while I don't mean to demean the work of the many social scientists who have made careers out of studying the matter, I think it's pretty obvious that relentless grinding poverty and ubiquitous systemic racism have a considerable role in the state of things.

But that's just a wild guess, because I'm not a social scientist and I haven't properly researched the matter in an objective scientific manner.

Instead of Indian Summer we got real cold deep-snow winter, and there I am with no snow clearing technology of any kind. Once I got the blower attached to the tractor, at least I could push the snow around. In these parts, being the guy who can't fix his drive chain and therefore uses his snowblower to push the snow pretty much marks you as an irredeemable dorkshit.

If not a complete retard.

But for two or three weeks I was pushing the snow around with the snowblower.

Orville next door actually came over and blew the driveway out a couple times, I think because the stigma of living next to the retard who pushes the snow with his snowblower was becoming a bit much for him.

The folks where I get the Stihl serviced referred me to Barfoot Welding. I've been there before. Old school welding and machine shop in Wiarton. They got so much old shit hanging in their tiny reception area that you're never sure if you're in a shop or a museum.

I walk in with my drive chain in hand, and the 75 year old woman behind the counter asks me straight out if that's a 50 or a 60.


The old girl obviously knows way more about this stuff than I do.

On close scrutiny of my drive chain we ascertain that it is a 50, and the old girl fixes me up with two master links and a half-link, in case I need to tighten up the chain.

Total cost, about five bucks.

So there I am fitting the various chain bits together in the -10 cold, and I realize there's only one dorkshit in this scenario.


Gonna keep the Dorkshit of the Year award right here in my pocket. Nobody deserves it better.

1 comment:

  1. It IS a museum!

    It's also recently under new management.

    Enjoying your (incredibly prolific) blog!