captainsblog (captainsblog) wrote,

Parts is Parts

I wasn't sure, going into today, if I would be spending outdoor time mowing the lawn for the first time since last summer, shoveling snow, or both.  Fortunately, the latter held off, though it was still plenty chilly for mid-April, so I checked the battery on the good not-so-old electric B&D mower (fully charged after seven months!), headed down to the sidewalk strip,... and remembered why this thing drove me crazy LAST summer.  Behold the beast in question:

and now see how something relatively compact could have over 200 replacement parts:

Our problem lies with the part of the part I yellowed there. Basically, its male end broke off neatly just outside the point where it was bolted into a female hole in the lower frame. All last summer, I kludged it with a combination of duct tape and a bungee cord, but after the thing popped out five times in today's maiden voyage around just the front yard (the back has way more tight spots that encourage poppage), I resolved to get the damn thing fixed before going any further into the season.

Once Eleanor got home with the bigger car, I loaded it in and headed to old reliable Hector's Hardware- a local chain that survives the big boxes by having legacy staffing and knowledge of such things.  Before I could even get it out of the trunk, Minion called "the boss" to look at it, who promptly informed me that they don't service electrics.  But he did look at the issue, and thought it would be a simple enough deal for me to order a replacement part from B&D and then simply remove the one bolt holding the severed penis to the frame and then screw in the new one.

Uh huh.  As the old TV theme asked, Part 54, Where Are You?


Soon as I researched the above diagram, Step One quickly faded out of sight:

I tried similar sites and got similar results. I even checked to see if I could buy the entire unit, maybe less a battery or something, without luck.  Then Eleanor decided this would be her latest Tall Building to leap over in a single bound. I can fabricate a piece of metal to attach and then bolt onto the upper handle, which we can then bolt into the hole. All we have to do is get the severed part out!

Welp. Remember the Ballad of Remove Screws from a few weeks back?  Apparently this mower was built at the same factory. We were able, with some WD40 and the correct nut driver (which, amazingly, I found YAY!), to loosen the nut holding the severed penis onto the frame- but it still wouldn't completely disengage. Plus, we determined there was a fairly large head on the bolt anchoring it, so we'd have to come at it from the other end. And THAT involved removing screws. Lots of them.  Close to a dozen, at least four of them buried down shafts full of multiyear accumulations of dead grass, dirt, dog poop and recently applied WD40.  We finally gave up around 5 this afternoon, just as I proposed the very kind of There I Fixed It Idea that Eleanor usually hates:

Why not just drill an access panel in the plastic OVER the top of the bolt holding the thing in, and leave the rest of the cover and the 30,000 screws in place? Then we can unscrew the ONE bolt from the top, duct tape over the hole, USE the damn thing until the replacement piece can be engineered, and then unpeel/repeel when it's ready.

She liked it! Hey Mikey! We just haven't done it yet.

It just frosts me that this piece of equipment was basically built designed to (a) fail and (b) not be serviceable.  I go back to a time when the best advice was NOT to buy extended warranties or "purchase protection" as they now call it, because they usually never resulted in you getting your money's worth for them because of that damned quality American workmanship.  Now, though, after a bad-turned-good experience with a dryer that we DID buy (though briefly forgot about buying) an extended warranty on, and an even worse one with the Case of the Riveting Laptop linked to above where I also did buy it but not for long enough, I'm convinced that these things are worth the investment. If we'd had the coverage and called it in, they likely would have declined the repair and just sent us a gift card for the original purchase price to go out and buy a new one. Which would, of course, have had purchase protection on it. And so on and so on and so on.


While we were doing all of that, the new Brothers of Different Mothers advised us that they'd pretty much worked out any differences they may have had in their first full week together:

Oh, was this YOUR bed? Your bad....

Moments later, they took it a step further, heading from cuddle right to kink:

Well, we wound up dealing with B&D all day, so why shouldn't they?


One final missing part. I meant to work this in to my rant the other day about the current state of craziness in our country's polity.

I learned the other day, trawling around news from the Nuts Running America's bankruptcy case, that the former CFO of the NRA is named Wilson Phillips.


It's enough to make you break into song:

♫Some day somebody's gonna make you want to turn around and shoot them dead
Until then, baby, you think you can stop the change the people said?
Don't you know? Don't you know, things can change, things'll go our way
If you Shoot Down the NRA!♫

Thanks. I'm here all week. Unless I get shot in the back or run over by a lawnmower. This entry was originally posted at Please comment here, or there using OpenID.

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