Saturday, July 10, 2004

I didn't spray anything today. When I went to TSC to pick up some 2-4D the pickings were slim. They were out of 2 1/2 gallon jugs and only had two gallons of 2-4D Anime (water based, which is what I need), but they had plenty of 2-4D ester (oil based, more expensive), so I gave up on it until I can go to the co-op (which is what I should have done to start with.

I did get to do something neat today. I got to drive a Combine. I've never driven one before. It's a very interesting experience because you're sitting about eight feet off the ground with a thirteen foot wide wheat head on the front. Steering takes a bit of getting used to as the drive wheels are in the front and the steering axles is in the rear.

The reason I was able to do this is complicated, I really wish we'd had a camera today. TC wanted to combine his fescue before we mow it for hay, but the problem was the combine had sat for nearly three years without being moved. He's been tinkering with it for a couple of weeks and finally got it running this morning. The problem comes in with the engine, specifically the carburetor. The throttle cable and the choke cable are broken. TC needed to ride on the back with the engine to keep it revved up while someone else drove.

I am sure this was a very interesting sight. The neighbors already think I'm loco, I'm sure they think TC is now.

He gave me a crash-course in combine operation and down the road we went. I asked him before we started down the road "What'll I do if we meet a car?"

"Don't worry, they'll get out of the way."

I know if I met something that big coming down the road toward me I'd sure as hell move.

We weren't able to get anything down as there is evidently something wrong with the innards of the beast. We made about three rounds and only got a handful of seed. It was HOT today and after a little tinkering, TC said to heck with it and we headed back up the road.

Did I mention this thing doesn't have air? Even with a fan the thing is like a big glass oven. I have a newfound respect for farmers who drove these mobile saunas around back in the sixties.

And now I offer more equipment porn

This is a newer version of TC's machine. He has an F2 Gleaner with a six cylinder gas engine. Back when gas was thirty cents a gallon they didn't care how much fuel they burned. Nowadays no one builds anything like this in a gas burner.