Tuesday, July 31, 2012

From the Garden(s)

Having amassed numerous zucchini and cucumbers from our garden and Joe's, Terry went into cooking mode today.

First she baked up seven loaves of zucchini bread which will now be heading to the bowls of the freezer. Then she made up a double batch of sweet pickle relish. That gets canned in one cup jars and is in the process of being boiled as I type. We should get around a dozen jars to go on the shelf.

There are still plenty of cucumbers to deal with (thanks Joe!) and they will be turned into bread-and-butter pickles.

Meanwhile, the zucchini and cucumbers are still producing as are string beans. The onions are about ready to harvest and the beets will come out of the ground in a couple of days. There are a couple of green bell peppers that need to be taken off the plants before they weigh the poor things down. And tomatoes...if all those that set turn ripe we're going to be up to our whazzoo in cherry tomatoes, Early Girls and whatever the third variety is. Now that the ground hog has been hustled off to the pearly gates (or the fires of Hell, whichever) the tomatoes are doing just fine. And the lettuce is producing again, too.

Then there's the head of cabbage Joe gave us. That will be turned into stuffed cabbage and some will be eaten while the bulk will get frozen.

The eggplant were delicious, BTW. One got chopped up with onions, peppers, sausage, a little mozzarella cheese and a bit of tomato sauce. That was served on a bed of rice. One got sliced thin, breaded and fried. Add some tomato sauce and mozzarella on a bun and we got two meals out of it and a couple of slices got eaten along the way.

Used Farm Equipment For Sale

Received this via email this evening. I'm posting it because Dana Carvey and Jon Lovitz have been complaining that comedians just aren't doing enough with all the material coming from D.C. this cycle.
[UPDATE 8/1 Added a link and corrected Mr. Lovitz's first name spelling.]

Fifty-year old manure spreader. Not sure of brand. Said to have been produced in Kenya. Used for a few years in Indonesia before being smuggled into the US via Hawaii. Of questionable pedigree. Does not appear to have ever been worked hard. Apparently it was pampered by various owners over the years. It doesn't work very often, but when it does it can really sling the manure for amazing distances. I am hoping to retire the manure spreader next November.
I really don't want it hanging around getting in the way. I would prefer a foreign buyer to relocate the manure spreader out of the country. I would be willing to trade it for a nicely framed copy of the United States Constitution.
Location: Currently being stored in a big white house in Washington , D.C

Sunday, July 29, 2012

We did some socializing on Saturday.

We did some socializing yesterday.

The Rutgers' Alumni Club of Central Pennsylvania had a planned Summer Sendoff for kids in our area that were going to Rutgers this fall. It was held at the home of the gal who has become the default club president (Hey! It was her idea to form the group.) down near Lewisburg. Mindy said she had heard back from a little more than a dozen folks that they would try to attend and we thought it would be pretty cool to see who else in the area were RU grads.

Turned out that the four students (from as far flung places as Altoona and Bloomsburg) couldn't make it. One was on a family vacation, one was already at RU attending "captains' practices" with the football team (incoming QB prospect from Bloomsburg), and the other two...well, they didn't respond. And the Alumnae weren't much better. We ended up with just four couples. Terry and I and Mindy and her husband are all grads. Then one of her neighbors, Cheryll, is a grad of Cook and another gent--Roy, a retired law enforcement officer--was also a Cook graduate. (CAES and Cook were pretty well covered!) All of us were once resident's of New Jersey but moved to PA for pretty much the same reasons--taxes, cost of homes, and/or jobs.

We had a  good time visiting and talking about New Jersey and PA. Terry and I were by far the oldest couple there having graduated in 1971. The next oldest graduate, Cheryll, got her degree in 1991. Roy got his in 1997. (He obviously was working while a student.) Mindy and her husband are babies in comparison!


We left Mindy's house around 4 PM heading over to Jersey Shore to visit Joe and Pat. Joe had called early Saturday to ask for some help. He had a slew of cucumbers and wanted to know if we wanted any so we were going to swing by and pick a bucket of them up. We ended up with a whole lot more.

Heading north we saw some pretty impressive thunderheads in the distance and ran into a brief heavy downpour as we turned west on I-80. Turns out if we had been heading home through Williamsport we would have really hit some rain! They got over 4 inches in 2 hours around the time we would have been passing through. (Holy Buckets!) As it was, once we were out of the little rain we hit just as we left Route 15 to head west on I-80, we got nothing. There was no rain at Joe's at all.

We had a great time visiting with Pat and Joe, had a very nice--if unexpected--dinner, and came home with a two gallon bucket filled with cucumbers, a huge head of lettuce (Stonehead, I think Joe called it) and a couple of very nice eggplants.

Just a little of Joe's produce.

Joe has a heck of a green thumb when it comes to growing vegetables. The two of them also do pretty good with flowers.

Terry and I finally got home around 8:30 PM to be greeted by three cats who were complaining of having been seriously shorted on their crunchy quota.


Thursday's line of severe storms that produced  the damaging tornado in Elmira are now being credited with a tornado in Coudersport, two in Corning and two more in eastern PA (Montrose and somewhere else I can't recall).

Friday, July 27, 2012

Small business appreciation day.

I did some business with our local sporting goods store today. 
Back in '89 or '90 I bought a Daisy Legacy Model 2202 for Rick to shoot in the Adirondacks. It's a small bolt action .22 with a composite stock that was adjustable as the kid's arms lengthened and had a 10 round barrel magazine. We used it two, maybe three, times before scout camp came along and he out grew it and was big enough to use the full sized Marlin and the shotgun. It's been sitting in the back room up north ever since with the booklets and in the original box (price sticker said I paid $75 for it.) I had no use for it and felt it was time to get rid of it. 
I put it on the counter at Cooper's Sporting Goods in Mansfield and opened the box. Tim looked at it. "Wow," he says, "I've never seen one of these before." 
He picked the rifle up examining it closely and worked the bolt. Then he pulled out his "Bible" and looked it up and says to me, "I'll give you $100 for it." 
I almost fell over. I hoped to get between $25 and $50. He showed me in the book that a model like mine in "Very Fine" condition was valued at $150--twice the original retail price.
Seems Daisy only made this rifle for three years, 1989-1991. 
I took the money and said thank you!
Checked on the internet when I got home (Yeah, should have done that first.) and it seems that there are only a few of these out there and for a .22, bolt action collector they can go up to $200. (More if they have the scope which mine didn't.)
I'm not sorry about getting "just" $100 for the Legacy. Parts are hard to come by for this little rifle and that alone would result in it seldom getting used. Tim can have the fun of finding a buyer and closing that deal. Hey, he's got the FFL so even if I did locate a buyer, it would probably have to go through him anyway.

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Thursday's Activities

We had a line of thunderstorms move through during the night. There was some booming and banging and enough rain (0.26 inches) to make it worth while in a gardening sense. (Maybe that's why this morning's ground hog--the dead one--was out feeding on the grass and not the tomatoes.) Things were cooler this morning and the overcast sky kept them that way through the morning hours.

Terry and I took advantage of the cool, overcast but dry skies to visit the Morris Chair Shop and purchase a new table and six chairs. Delivery will be in about 8 weeks as they do not keep any tables "in stock" as it were. Much too bulky and item for a small company to keep laying about. The table is 54" long and 36" wide with two 16" leafs on the ends. It's Mission style (or Prairie, if you will) and made from quarter-sawn white oak. The chairs are of the same style and materials. As Terry said, "We've been married 40 years, and this is the first table of our own we've ever had." (Previous tables were hand-me-downs from Grandparents, cousins and aunts.)

On our way back, we stopped for lunch at The Landing Strip in Liberty (excellent meatball sub with fries) and then at the bank to replenish our wallets after putting our deposit on the furniture. (Heh. I didn't know the Morris Chair Shop didn't take credit cards.)

The sun has struggled to come through the clouds and the temperature has risen to a muggy 85 degrees. The national weather service has put us under a severe thunderstorm watch until at least 10 PM. Areas to the north in New York have a tornado watch. Currently there's a thin line of yellow and red stretching from the western Finger Lakes southwest to Pittsburgh and on nearly to Charleston, WVA. That line is inching it's way eastward and is likely to reach us in a couple of hours.

Me 1; Ground hogs 0

I brought the .22 bolt action Marlin down from the Bolt Hole to the Aerie because the ground hogs had put on so much fat eating up my garden and lawn that the air rifle just wasn't going to do the job.

Today that decision paid off. After seeing ground hogs twice with no chance of a shot, I laid a fat ole boy to rest. Took two shots--although the first would have been lethal by itself. Darn thing tried to crawl away after a chest hit and got stuck in the wire fence I've got around the herbs, beets, lettuce and onions. Had to put a second round behind his ear execution style so I could drag the carcass out of the fence and into the woods.

Normally I hate the idea of having a critter suffer after being shot, but if he had made it to the weeds, I would have been okay with the knowledge he would probably die in his hole. his rotting corpse would have probably discouraged other ground hogs from moving in what is now a vacancy in prime territory. (I say "prime" based upon the weight and size of the ground hog I slew today.)

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

What I did today.

So, Terry had a small knot of stitchers over for a sit-and-stitch luncheon today. Like any sensible, sensitive male, I hit the road. I would have gone to the Lamb's Creek Range to shoot, but it's closed this week because the NRA sponsored International YHEC (Youth Hunter Education Challenge) events that are spilling over from the Mill Cove Environmental Area

So, instead, I did a tour of the county with a few stops along the way. Out Route 660 to Leonard Harrison State Park and the Grand Canyon of PA, then back through Stony Fork to the Wellsboro's Green Public Library (didn't find the books I was looking for), the Tioga County Courthouse (to obtain a concealed carry application), and AAA (for a new Road Atlas--we wear them out after two years). Then back to Mansfield and Lowes (to complain about carpet delivery and price deck stain), Agway (black-oil sunflower seed is on sale! $22.95 per 50 pounds. I got ten bags), McDonald's for lunch (because we don't have a Chick-fil-a nearby), Richmond Township offices (just to say "Hi! to Deb and let her know I'm putting her husband, Don, down as a reference on my cc application, and then, as I was driving up the hill with intentions to wander about Tioga State Forest on top of Armenia Mountain, Terry called to give me the all clear.

Good news! The ladies didn't eat many of the brownies and left some of the Cool Whip and pineapple cake.

Sur-prise, sur-prise!

A week and a half ago, Terry and I went to Lowes to order an 8x10 area rug for the dinning area. (We had been using the 6x8 carpet that once was part of Jessica's apartment at UMass many, many moons ago.) We found a nice one for under $400 with free delivery. The pattern on the carpet is Mission style and goes well with most of the furniture we have purchased. The color is a sage green and matches the sofa and chairs we bought last year.

Yesterday it got delivered. No fuss, no muss, no door bell ring or knock. The thing just magically appeared on the front steps. Although wrapped in plastic, if it had rained it would have gotten soaked. Someone (me mostly) was home all day yet never did we hear a truck pull up or a carpet get dumped on the front steps. (I guess, it could have come while I was behind the house cutting grass behind Terry's sewing room. The lawn mower noise could have masked the sound of the ruck and delivery.) If Terry hadn't gone out to sweep the steps in preparation for company coming today, we would not have known it was there.

I stopped at Lowes today to mention this little faux pas to the customer service desk. They looked at my sales receipt and told me that it wasn't one of their deliveries. Since we arranged to have the carpet direct delivered, it was probably delivered by the Big Brown Box truck. That I believe, he often backs into the driveway and puts packages on front porch with out ringing the door bell. But, this was a huge freakin' carpet left laying on the steps half out under the sky! This guy (or gal) will get an earful the next time we get a delivery and snag him or her before they run off.

Tomorrow we go shopping for a new dinning room table and chairs at the Morris Chair Shop. They had a nice one on display when we visited two months ago. Probably should have bought it then, but we were about to head for Cape Cod and then Portland, OR. Delivery would have been a problem. Hopefully , they don't change their floor models too frequently.

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Good Morning!

This morning's wake up call came courtesy of a couple of snorting deer in the brush to the south of the Bolt Hole.

The increasing volume and cadence put me in mind of the "Dueling Banjos" tune of "Deliverance" fame. The clamour finally caused me to get the hell out of bed and get dressed. By the time I got down stairs, they had STFU and departed. Bastards! (Or bitches, as the case may be.)

Yesterday it was a single doe with her twin fawns out back. The kids must have been romping about int he apple trees while Mom checked the ripeness of the fruit (still very, very green) and nibbled alternately on apple twigs and tall grass. The twins got Mom to stand still for a few minutes and nursed enthusiastically before the trio wandered off and out of sight.

For a secluded area with only distant neighbors, this is one noisy place. Bears and deer crashing about in the brush and--in the case of the bears--climbing trees in the night, an unknown something (not a deer or canine as far as I could tell--fox? possum?) bleating in the area between Mark's cabin and the Bolt Hole during the night, White-throated sparrows singing their high-pitched, sweetly whistled "Sam Peabody, Peabody, Peabody" song also in the middle of the night, and, of course, the early morning/late afternoon chattering of the red squirrels.

There are considerably fewer red squirrels thanks to a little 3x scope on a .22 caliber Marlin bolt action rifle, but there are still red squirrels. Don't know if Nature's Law of Vacuum or just a very, very prolific sex life of both squirrel and pine tree that makes the small area immediately behind the Bolt Hole loaded with red squirrels, but DANG! I've disposed of at least 10 within 50 yards of the house so far in June and July, yet they just keep on appearing. Peeled and striped pine cones are everywhere inside and out.


Got a call from my buddy Joe yesterday. He's heard from Caesar's and we are good to go on our August fishing expedition to Quebec. He reminded me of the balance due, reservoir fees, and fishing license costs so I will be able to bring enough cash with me. We talked about what gear to bring, who's truck we would take (mine) and how his menu/food planning was going.

We'll drive out of the Aerie on August 8th and head north on I-81 crossing the border at the terminus. Through Ottawa, and up towards the small town of Clova and we fly to the northern end of Gouin Reservoir from there.

Looking forward to it!


Terry called yesterday to complain about the blankety-blank ground hog she spotted in the garden eating green tomatoes. Either she's go to learn to shoot or I'll have to make the fence more critter proof. Maybe a few Claymore mines would help.

Later she called to tell me there was a standoff at the screen door between Julie and some stray beige cat that just wanted to get out of the rain. They sat on either side of the barrier sort of rumbling at one another while Chester and Shadow sat silently a couple of feet behind Julie as observers/supporters. Terry closed the class door just so no one got the idea to go barreling through the screen or claw it any further. Stray kitteh was NOT to be allowed in the house!

Well, that's about all for now.

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Senior Moments

Been there. Done that. (Well most of that, anyway. I think.)

Monday, July 16, 2012

Computer worries.

My Toshiba laptop has been acting wonky for a couple of months. It refuses to go to sleep. (The screen will go dark if I walk away from the computer for more than 10 minutes--sometimes--but usually not.) It refuses to shut off. (It freezes after going through 99% of the process.) And, today upon arrival at the Bolt Hole, when I started it up after shutting it off at the Aerie, it did not show anything on the screen when I started it up. Not seeing a log in screen, I shut it off and then turned it on again...three times. Nothing but I could hear the usual sounds in the background so I typed in my password and hit "Enter" and heard the usual sounds from my normal sign in routine. WTF?

I started looking around to see if there was a button I might have accidentally pushed that caused the screen to go dark. AHA! Function-F5 seemed the likely culprit. It switches to a monitor as the output device--and back. Perhaps if I pushed Function-F5....

BINGO! The screen came alive again.

This is the first time this has happened and I've no idea how or why it occurred. It's virtually impossible to accidentally hit Function-F5 so it must have something to do with the poor behavior at Shutdown.

This little Toshiba Satellite has served me well for at least five years with nary a hitch until the last 6 months. (One exception: Windows Defender fails to load "The handle is invalid," it says. Of course, no Windows Defender means I can't control the start-up programs.) I did upgrade its memory at one point when it was having some issues running PhotoShop Elements. (Issues that are still occurring, BTW.) It's running Windows Vista (Home Premium) which is not the most stable of systems. Perhaps it's time to start looking for a new machine.

(There! Let's see if the little bugger gets the hint!)

Well, don't blame me!

Retail Purchases in U.S. Unexpectedly Decrease 0.5%

Retail sales in the U.S. unexpectedly fell for a third month in June as limited employment gains took a toll on consumers.

The 0.5 percent drop followed a 0.2 percent decrease in May, Commerce Department figures showed today in Washington. The decline exceeded the most pessimistic forecast in a Bloomberg News survey that called for a median 0.2 percent gain in sales. Other reports today showed manufacturing in the New York region picked up this month and U.S. inventories increased in May.

The retail figures prompted economists at Morgan Stanley, Goldman Sachs Group Inc. and Credit Suisse to lower their forecasts for economic growth in the second quarter. A cooling job market is sapping the household spending that makes up 70 percent of the economy, curbing sales at retailers such asTarget Corp. (TGT) and Macy’s Inc. (M) 
(h/t Instapundit.)

Not. My. Fault. I just dropped close to a grand at Bass Pro Shop and Cabelas. And Terry and I just purchased a new carpet for the dining room from Lowe's. Then there's the upcoming bill for the ATV repair...Oh, wait, all that was since July 1st. In June we just had a ball spending money all over the country for gas, meals and motel rooms. (Don't know if those count as "consumer spending" but I've nothing to show for it except miles on the odometer, a couple of extra pounds on the waist and several good night's sleep.) I guess we can expect the report for July to be a bit better since we did our part and will probably do even more. (There's a new dining room set in the near future. You know, to go with the carpet.) Unless you guys are slacking off, that is!

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Fun Times North and South

While Terry was driving up to Syracuse for a meeting/stitching session with some of her friends, I drove south to the Harrisburg/Hamburg areas of PA to visit the Bass Pro Shop and Cabelas.

If Terry had driven a little further she would have reached Lake Ontario, about as far due north of the Aerie as you can go without reaching Canada. She ended up spending the night when the ladies went out to dinner and didn't finish until 9 PM. She says they had a great time and the restaurant was an excellent Italian place on the north side of town in Dewitt near the airport.

I, too, had a great day even though I stayed in state. First, I visited the Bass Pro Shop for the first time and dropped about $100 on "necessities" for the upcoming fishing trip: lures, knife, polarized clip-on sunglasses and such. Second, I drove over to Cabelas and bought myself a new "tool" in the form of a S&W M&P in .40 caliber. Plus tools to clean it and all my other "tools" and ammo. I've been looking for a long time and had narrowed my choice down to Smith & Wesson and Springfield. Both had excellent reviews on the Cabelas' site but then I found out that the Springfields are manufactured overseas so I paid a bit more for the S&W kit. The only "bad" thing about the purchase was that the digital background check system was/is down while they make some changes. That meant filling out the paperwork the old fashioned way and then hanging around for close to an hour while they did the phone in thing. Good thing it was a slow WEdnesday afternoon and not a busy Saturday morning. (And why do they need to know if you're Hispanic/Latino? That's one of the specific questions on the form. Some of the others are just plain dumb. "Are you an illegal alien?" Really?)

Just doing our best to boost the economy. 

Oh, and I got to drive around a lot (350 miles round trip) and walk around the two stores a lot and my knees did NOT hurt! Not at all. Hooray!

Monday, July 09, 2012

It may be Monday but...

...it's been a fairly productive day at the Aerie.

Terry and I started off with breakfast at Grandma's Kitchen in Mansfield and then went up to Murphy's Blueberry Farm to do some picking. We were there for just a little over an hour and came home with 10 pounds of berries which we packaged in Zip-Loc bags for the freezer.

Then we trailered the ATV up to Elmira to drop it off at Glider City Powersports. I told them my tale of woe and asked them to get the thing running. The shop has about a week's worth of backlog but he promised to get to it when its time rolls around.

Back home again we did some picking of string beans and inspected the damage done to the zucchini by the ground hogs. The plants are putting out flowers like crazy and there are a couple of small zukes forming but if the ground hogs aren't stopped, they'll probably eat those before we get to. The cukes also have flowers galore but there are no signs of any fruit forming yet. Tomatoes are doing very well. They've lots of flowers and green fruit but only a couple Early Girls that are turning red. Some beets are about ready to be pulled and the onions are knocked over under their own weight. When the stalks turn brown I'll be able to harvest some very, very large white onions. The lettuce is pretty well done having succumbed to both the heat and some critter (deer?) that's nibbled them over the low fence.

I'm spending some time cleaning a few dozen canning jars that Mark gave me. He came across them while cleaning out his Dad's stuff. Most are the old fashioned kind with the glass tops and wire springs that hold them on. All we need to do is find a source for the rubber rings that they require. A few are wide mouth jars of the more modern variety that use the rings and lids. I'm pretty sure I can get the proper sized lids at the local Agway. They might even carry the rubber rings.

Today is sunny but much cooler than last week. The high has been around 78 degrees and the breeze makes it feel even cooler in the shade. I'd take a summer of days like these.

Sunday, July 08, 2012

Aerie weather

Saturday at the Aerie was a scorcher. The temperature reached 88 F before noon and would have gone higher except that Mother Nature pushed a blanket of clouds our way. Said clouds brought severe thunderstorms to our north and south as they swept in from the northwest. Us? We didn't get anything...until later in the afternoon.

That's when a cell of T-storms several miles in diameter took direct aim at the Aerie and slowly (there was remarkably little wind) moved overhead. In 15 to 20 minutes we had a couple of dozen lightening strikes--some so close I barely had time to say "one one thou...", more than a quarter inch of rain--there was 0.32 inches in the rain gauge this morning, and a drop in the temperature of 10 degrees from 83 F to 73 F.

We got a little more rain during the night but the sky has been mostly clear with a few fair weather cumulus clouds today. The temperature has been pleasant as well and hasn't yet reached 80 degrees. Tonight's low is supposed to be in the mid 50s so it might be good to turn the bedroom AC off and enjoy the quiet.

Looking at the 10-day forecast at weather.com and it shows little chance of precipitation during that period. Just one day is listed as 30%, ONE day--Sunday, July 15th! All the rest are 0-10% chance with most of them being the 0. Highs are listed as low to mid 80s but we're usually a few degrees cooler here at 2100 feet, and the lows are mid 50s to low 60s. (The lows are usually pretty accurate except during the winter. Cold air sinks and accumulates in the valley then and we are a couple of degrees warmer. During the summer, that cold air has to get past us first.)

If I can stop the depredations of the ground hogs, I'll be watering the garden regularly.

Friday, July 06, 2012

Well, that was...


After charging all night, the new ATV battery was ready for installation. (Just as soon as I finished cutting the grass.) No problem at all getting the old battery out and the new one in since the Prohauler was still on the trailer and the battery location was about chest height.

New battery in place, I turned the key and pushed the start button. The engine growled but didn't catch. Got some starter fluid and sprayed it in the air intake hose and tried again. Nothing but growls. Made sure all the settings were correct (gas tank on, choke on, kill switch set to "Run," etc.) and tried once more. Still nothing but a few growls. Drained a bit of gas from the carburetor (a tiny amount of water but nothing significant). Pulled the new (in May) spark plug and it was moist with fuel. While holding the spark plug in my hand and under the shade of the engine I pushed the start button again. No spark! Shit! I pulled the air filter and checked all the wire connections. They seemed fine. Now I'm at a total loss.

I put the things I took apart back where they belonged and went int to have lunch thinking I would have to wait three weeks to haul it to Larry's to get it repaired.

Meanwhile I had to take the Tundra over to Sayre to have it serviced--again. Just an oil change and quick inspection after our trip to the west coast. Everything with the Tundra was fine. They even wanted to do the state inspection for which I'm due in September. I held off on that since I'm not sure whether Joe and I will take the Tundra up to northern Quebec for our fishing trip or use his vehicle. Might need another oil change in September if we do use the Tundra! For now, I'm good for another 7K miles.

On the way back, I swung over to Elmira to locate the Yamaha dealer there. Found it easily enough and asked about his service department's backlog. "One week," was the reply. Then I told him all about my Prohauler's malady and said I had talked to Larry's. "Yeah," he said, "I hear they're a month behind. Bring yours in and we'll see what we can do for you." So Monday morning I'll be hauling the Prohauler up to Elmira to have the guys at Glider City Powersports take a look and, hopefully, get it up and running before the month is out.

Thursday, July 05, 2012

Back at the Aerie hauling the hauler

After several very sunny, hot days at the Bolt Hole during which I did little but cower in the cabin, I drove home to the Aerie early today.

Wednesday, Mark and I had tried to get the Yamaha Prohauler started. We checked over all the wiring. Checked over just about anything we two could think of (but being non-mechanics, that wasn't much!) and then even tried jump starting the thing by towing it behind Mark's van and slamming it into gear. (It's difficult to do when the gear shift is a foot lever and you'd like to get into 2nd gear.) We had no success and ended up pushing the ATV onto the utility trailer for a trip back to PA.

I researched Yamaha dealers/servicers in the area and found three: One in Elmira, NY; one in Hugesville, PA and Larry's Sport Center in Galeton, PA. I decided I'd rather deal with someone from God's Country (that's what they call Potter County, PA which is home to Galeton) and so made plans to call Larry's when I got close to home.

I did make that call from a rest area just north of the NY/PA border on Route 15--in case I could bring the ATV out there via Routes 49, 349 and 6--only to find that the service department has a month's worth of work on their hands. They also sell motorcycles (Harleys) and this was a prime season for repairs and maintenance.The service manager was sorry he couldn't help, ASAP but asked what the problem was. I described the "click-click-click" I was getting and he surprised me by saying that it sounded like I might have a weak battery. That was the last thing I would have thought of since the lights seemed bright enough and the charger had indicated no problems with the battery. He suggested that I try using the truck's battery ("Do NOT turn the truck on!" he warned.) and a set of jumper cables to see if I could get a response from the ATV's engine.

In the driveway of the Aerie, I ran the jumper cables from the truck to the ATV, turned the key, pushed the starter and got a much more familiar "grrrr-grrrr-grrr" as the ATV's engine attempted to turn over. That was enough to convince me that the problem (probably? hopefully?) lies with the battery.

Terry and I took the drive this afternoon out to Galeton and bought a replacement battery from Larry's Sport Center. It's charging in the garage right now and will be ready for installation tomorrow or Saturday. If it get's the ATV to run, I'll have saved myself a bundle on repairs--and Larry's will be the first place I go when I decide to purchase a new ATV.

Sunday, July 01, 2012

Saturday morning was...

...a bummer.

In May I fired up the 1989 Yamaha Pro Hauler (an ATV designated YTU1W) at the Aerie. After sitting in the garage all winter, it was a bit reluctant at first but draining some of the water laden gas out of the carburetor and giving it a new spark plug had it soon humming along just fine. So I loaded it onto the utility trailer and hauled it up to the Bolt Hole.

When I got to the Adirondacks, the blasted thing would not start. All I could get out of it was a rapid "click-click-click..." from somewhere along the starting line. I traced the sound to the starter relay and, thinking that was the problem, ordered a new one from Village Motor Sports in Speculator.

What with our preplanned travel and my gimpy knees, I wasn't able to pick up the part until Friday afternoon.

Saturday I installed the new starter relay, turned the key and hit the starter button: "Click-click-click...." Damn! The freaking machine still will not turn over and I'm now at a loss as to what the problem might be. It could be something incredibly simple or something that needs to be totally rebuilt or replaced. I'm no mechanic! Hell, I barely understand the principle behind the internal combustion engine and when it comes to the electrical side of the damn thing, I've not got the slightest clue as to what those little black boxes do.

I guess I'll have to wrestle the beast onto the utility trailer and haul it home again and then out to a shop nearer to the Aerie. (The shop in Speculator is also a snowmobile/boat shop and--being in the middle of lake country with summer here--is busier than a one armed paper hanger. There's no telling how long it would take them to get around to working on the beast.)