The weekend Farm Report comes to us from Ben.
A little more snow came down, some rain too, which means a lotta mud. But a lot of snow has melted, and the Red Wing Blackbirds are back, and I’d expect to hear Killdeer anytime, and it could be spring any day now.
Will you smell it first or see it first?
There’s a road coming up out of Rochester that the old timers call ‘Guysinger Hill’. Must have been Guysingers living there at some point. It’s a 3/4-mile uphill curved road and one of the main routes out of the NE side of town. If you’ve been in Rochester less than 30 years, you probably don’t know it by that name.
Same with ‘Samples Hill’, ‘Signal Hill’, or the other colloquial names.
Back in 1983 or ‘84, I was coming home after a cast party and there had been 5” of wet snow and it was all I could manage to get up Guysinger in grandmas ‘67 Plymouth Valiant.
Rear wheel drive you know.
It was late at night, and I was going as fast as I dared when I hit the bottom of the hill. Lost speed the whole way up, and when I finally reached the top, the car was barely crawling, my white knuckles grasping the wheel. At the time there wasn’t a more direct route to our house. There were other roads several miles out of my way and those roads had their own hills. (Rochester was built in a bowl: that’s why the flooding can be so devastating.)
Now days there are several other routes home, but I still often take Guysinger hill. And on snowy days, usually when following someone in the snow driving slower than me as happen last week, I think about that scary night in 1983.
Last week I posted a photo of the junk drawers in the shed. I was in those drawers trying to find some hydraulic fittings.
I’m making some hoses to plug into the hydraulics from the loader, which are in the middle of the tractor, so that I can have a third hydraulic at the back of the tractor for the tilt function on my rear blade. I figured this would be easy. Couple 8-foot hoses, couple connectors, Budda Bing Budda Boom, Bobs your uncle.
Well first, Fleet Farm didn’t have two, 8-foot,1/2-inch hydraulic hoses. Nor did they have the right combination of 1/2-inch couplers (The male and female end. There are different kinds of couplers too; pipe thread, and ‘O-ring’ and I think something else I don’t know what it’s called) They did have two, 3/8-inch, 6-foot hydraulic hoses and I decided maybe I could make that work. Found a couple 3/8-inch male and female ends that I needed and got home to discover 6 feet was too short. Back the next day to Fleet Farm, and got two, 2’ foot hydraulic hoses, and a couple unions to attach the two hoses together. Built the first hose and got it in place, the next day built the second hose and realized I put the wrong ends on the one end. A hydraulic hose, like an extension cord, typically has a male and a female end. But because this was special, and I was trying to make it do something unusual, I need two female ends. I was feeling pretty stupid about this point; it should have been obvious to me.
When I start back at the college in the fall, it always takes me a while to get back in the swing of things in the shop. I feel like I’ve forgotten how to cut a board. Measure four times, cut five.
That’s what I felt like here, I forgot how to farm. Plus I just felt dumb that I didn’t realize some of these things in the first place. The next day I was up at John Deere and I bought the 1/2-inch correct ends. Took the hoses back out, swapped the ends, got them back in place, hooked them up to the loader connections, went back to plug-in the blade and, I realize a 1/2-inch male plug on the blade will not plug into a 3/8-inch female connector on the hose.
You would think I’d know that.
You would think I would’ve realized, 3/8 is not the same as 1/2. I know this. I know that 3/8-inch is not 1/2-inch. Why that didn’t dawn on me sooner, I don’t know. I was just so excited that I was creating this. I was being inventive, and problem-solving. And blinded by my creativity.
So. I can buy a 3/8 to 1/2 adapter and use the 3/8-inch inch male ends I bought in the first place and change the half inch ends on the blade the 3/8, or I can buy two more female 1/2-inch ends and the 1/2 to 3/8 adapters and change the ends on the new hoses. Jeepers creepers. I’m not sure I’m smart enough to be a farmer yet.
This reminds me of replacing a window screen last summer. Took me three trips to the hardware store to get that mostly right. A friend kept telling me I could have taken it to the hardware store, and had them do it, and it would have cost less and been done right the first time. Right, but this way I learned something.
What I’m learning about hydraulic hoses on this project is that I really need to think it though more.
What have you overlooked lately? When’s the last time you were on a swing? Board, tire, or rope?