Sunday, August 28, 2005

Murphy's Law is in full effect

At least around here. I don't know if I can take another weekend like this.

To start with, the hay I mowed Wednesday was still too green to bale yesterday, so we had to wait until today. The power steering on the Ferguson went out, but I was able to borrow a spare pump from one of my neighbors. I put it on (twice, because I had to take it back off and change the fittings) yesterday evening. DR came over in the midst of this. He was sitting on one of the wagons watching me slowly become covered with hydraulic fluid and antifreeze when he asked why did I borrow the pump when I could've borrowed the whole tractor? I told him I couldn't do that, because would be logical. See, the boy is smarter than me!

Anyhoo, today I started square baling at 11:30, some of the first bales were still a little damp, but that wasn't a real big problem, because the dew burned off pretty fast. Baled about forty or so and somehow screwed up the baler pickup (knocked a chain out of it's track). Had to stop and repair that. About this time it starts raining. We dropped the wagon from behind the baler, hooked it up to my truck and took off for the barn. We got pulled in, unhooked the wagon and pushed it into the barn (I have too much hay in there to drive through it now). It then stops raining. Not even enough rain to settle the dust, but enough to hold us up for an hour.

Started baling again. Got the Ford stuck in a boggy place. Then broke the chute extension on the square baler, so we couldn't pull the wagon behind it anymore. Started dropping bales on the ground. Dropped about 12 and then had a steering cylinder on the Ford break, so that put it out of commission. Swapped tractors, which stinks because I already had the Ferguson hooked up to the round baler. Baled a few more with the Ferguson and then started popping shear pins right and left. Ok, piss on it, time to get the Gehl and roll the rest of it. But before we can do that, we need to get the square bales up and under cover.

I hooked one of the almost-fully loaded wagons behind my truck and started going around and picking up the random bales on the ground. I was easing down a hill when I realized I didn't have any brakes. It seems I blew a brake line on the passenger side front, so this put my truck out of commission for moving wagons. No problem, we'll use Josh's truck (a guy who came to help me) He's got a receiver hitch, so I Pull my hitch (which doesn't have a ball on it so I can use it to move equipment with), but there is a problem. Josh has one of those combination-lock hitch pins and he doesn't know the combination... Well, we could take the ball off his hitch, but he doesn't have any tools, I have tools, but they're in the bed of my truck underneath a whole stack of hay...

We finally got all that mess situated and everybody else went home. I'm getting ready to go start round baling when I see that the baler has a low tire. No problem, I'll just fire up the ole' air compressor, right? Wrong! The poor little Briggs just doesn't want to run. I pulled and pulled and then pulled some more. Never could get the damn thing to run. Decided to heck with, it ain't that low, so I'll go ahead and try to bale.

Get to the first field. Start up the windrow and everything is going great. Make my first roll, tie it off , whilst noting that my little fix I'd made this morning to the twine feed seems to have fixed the problems I'd been having with it... Drop the roll. Driveshaft falls off. What the %&*^%? This is VERY annoying because it's stiff from lack of use and putting it on requires the prodigious use of a large ball pene hammer (which, incidentally, was still buried in the bed of my truck).

Finally, after much sweat and swearing get it back on, started the next roll. It rolls up great. Go to drop it and the door won't open. What the %^&$% is it this time? Ok, no biggie, the hydraulic line came loose. Put that back on. Drop the roll. The drive shaft falls off...

Rinse and repeat. Several times.

I finally quit when two of the belts on the baler somehow got twisted together. I think one of them got out of it's track. Doesn't matter, because by this time I'd managed to bale or roll everything that was in windrows so I quit.

Did I mention that I still have this gawdawfull cold? No? Well, I do. Interesting byproduct of having this cold, my daily nosebleeds have stopped. I would've thought that they'd have gotten worse.

Tried to fix my truck, but that was an exercise in futility because the parts stores are of course closed... Finally drove (in first gear and cringing all the way, 'cause I had almost NO brakes at all) it over to the garage where I hope to have it fixed tomorrow.

Soooo, how was your weekend?