September 7th, 2002


Leaves of Grass

Finally got the lawn mowed today. Unfortunately, it was with a borrowed mower. This was after spending a couple of hours trying to get my mower to start. Got another new plug and a new air filter, so I swapped them in. Still wouldn't start. I know there's fuel in the cylinder, and with the new air filter, there's air. Tried cranking the engine with the plug out of the cylinder, to see if it was actually sparking. Aha! No sparkage! That shouldn't be, not for an engine this new. Checking some diagnostic advice on the web gave me some massively bad options (like a broken flywheel key or a blown ignition module), as well as a simple one (the wire came loose at the coil). My good friend Occam says that the simplest explanation is most likely, so I tried to check the plug wire.

The plug end looked good. Now to check the coil end. Big problem. For the life of me, I couldn't figure out how to remove the engine sheathing and the gas tank so that I could actually take a close look at the engine components. Managed to get the muffler off, and got the flywheel cover off, but despite removing all the obvious nuts and bolts, the tank assembly wouldn't budge. The owner's manual was very helpful - "Take the mower to your authorized Craftsman service center."

It was 3 p.m., and I'd had enough, so I loaded the mower onto the pickup, and took it to the mower repair shop in Wickford. Which closes at noon on Saturdays.
I'll see if I can drop it off at lunch on Monday. As long as I was out, I went over to work and borrowed that lawn mower, which performed like a champ. Except that it isn't self-propelled, so now I am beat from shoving the thing around the yard for two hours. This episode of first world problems has been brought to you by...


Sci-Fi has cancelled Farscape, despite initially picking it up for a fifth season. This is just terribly annoying. I suspect they will replace it with another one of their cheesy pseudo-reality shows, which are cheap to produce, and attract a larger and more desirable (from an advertiser's point of view) demographic, that is to say, morons.

I do wonder if the network execs took a look at the recent episodes and couldn't figure out what the frell was going on, and if that had anything to do with it. Many of us have been saying that Kemper appears to have been on the good monkey crack over the past run of episodes. Although I have thoroughly enjoyed this season, the episodes have been difficult follow at times, and almost require second and even third viewings to make sense. This has got to be a problem with casual fans, or even Stargate fans who stay tuned and can't figure out what's going on. To be fair, I always felt that way about Lexx, but I digress. Anyhow, I can see how someone who does not follow the series could be totally lost, which means that it's tough to increase viewership. When you're paying that much for a series, you need to see the numbers go up.

Oh, bother...
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