Monday, August 27, 2012

Awesome Post on How to Butcher a Hog

Don't ask me.

Go here:  Garand Gal

Neal's Gap

Ran across this in an old picture album.  My Grandfather was Superintendent of a company that built roads and mined limerock. (No, not "limestone."  What are ya, some kinda yankee?)  It was taken when my Grandparents were in North Georgia building a road.  Vogel State Park had only been open for a few years then

Then I found this on line by Googling Neal's Gap.

Looks like it was taken from just a few feet West of and about 70 years later than the older one.    Kind of neat.  Definitely not taken in November though.

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Mary Ann

She haunts me sometimes.  No, she doesn't float into my bedroom like a vapor or anything like that.  Its just that, sometimes when I think about how things were in my own past, I let that spill over into thinking about how different things were during the lives of people that I knew.  I mean, hell, my Dad knew a man who fought for our side 150 years ago.  

When I was young and visiting Grandmother's house there was a picture of a very pretty girl that was kept inside a glass china cabinet.  We were never allowed to open the cabinet but we could see the picture.  It was meant to be seen.  When asked, Grandmother would explain that the girl was her niece, Mary Ann, and that she had been killed by her father years ago. The story was that he was gassed in World War One and had killed her during a flashback.   We wouldn't learn the truth for many years.

The first child of my Grandmother, Mary Ann was conceived in the act of rape.  Grandmother was savagely beaten and left for dead in a cemetery.  She survived but, being just fourteen when the child would be born, she was sent to stay with her sister Edna, in South Florida so the locals wouldn't know she was no longer pure or that the child was illegitimate or something like that. 

Mary Ann was raised by  Edna and Edna's husband, LeRoy and, so far as we know, was never told that her parents had been switched at birth.  No one was told until shortly before Grandmother died almost seventy years later.  Only Grandmother's immediate family knew.  Before Grandmother married, she told my Grandfather about it because she didn't want  to be dishonest by not telling him.  Of course, it made no difference.  He loved her and that was what mattered.  She was lucky that she got him. Outside of her parents, her siblings, her own husband and Leroy, nobody knew.  

After Grandmother died we found many more pictures of Mary Ann.  Many of them had been cropped to remove someone.  Probably LeRoy.

In those that include both Mary Ann and my Grandmother, the two are always next to each other.  Grandmother's hand will often be on the girl's shoulder.  Her "official" parents will be a foot or two away. 

At the time it made sense for a 14 year old farm girl to give up her child to her wealthy sister and the sister's wealthy husband.  LeRoy had made a pile of money in construction during the 1920s  real estate boom in South Florida.  We don't know how much but he had an Auburn and that wasn't a cheap car.  Logic and the customs of the time left nothing, really, to decide.

Unfortunately, the boom ended.  LeRoy lost everything and evidently became hard to live with.  Edna packed up and moved herself and Mary Ann back to the small, North Florida town where she was born to be close to family.  Mary Ann attended school and Edna worked in a diner across from the boarding house where they lived.

I've talked to people who knew her and they all agreed that she was stunningly attractive.  Just look at the second picture.  This was no plain, plump, corn-fed farm girl.   All remembered her as a having a sweet, cheerful personality.  One old fellow got a kind of wistful look in his eye as he talked about her.  I had been asking around the town for anyone who might have known her and been directed to him as the man to see.  I now wonder if he wasn't the fellow in the top picture because of the inscription on its back.

On April 6, 1938, my Grandmother, Grandfather and their almost eight year old son, my Father, were living in the next town up the highway.  They had no phone in the house  but didn't need one that day.  Grandmother woke up screaming that "Mary Ann is dead and Edna is hurt."  She grabbed my Dad and the three of them headed for the diner where Edna worked.  They arrived before the Sheriff got there and learned that LeRoy had shot Edna and then crossed the street and killed Mary Ann in her bed with a single shot to the heart.  He then killed himself with a shot to the heart and one to the head.

There weren't many details to find out later but the newspaper account said that he had entered the diner and tossed a note in one man's breakfast plate and then asked his estranged wife if he could see their daughter.  When Edna told him where she was, he produced the gun and fired two shots into her midsection.  He then crossed the street and finished his plan.

I cannot get my head around the idea that someone would kill the girl.  She had no part in any of it.  How was she to blame for anything?  She was just fourteen.   I have only slightly less problem figuring out why nobody in the diner so much as shouted at LeRoy as he crossed the street to commit murder.  In 1987, I talked to two people who had known her.  One was the man who had the note thrown in his plate.  It was almost fifty years after it happened and he still wished that he or someone else had done something.  You could tell that it still hurt.  I cannot imagine a Mother being so proud of her child and not being able to tell anyone "yes, that's my daughter!"  I don't even want to think about having a child murdered and not being able to grieve as a parent.  That's what haunts me.  I cannot begin to fathom one damn thing about it.

Today, Mary Ann's remains lie in my Grandmother's family plot in a small North Florida cemetery.  Its across the highway from the farm where Grandmother was born.  The graves are in the back in the old section of the cemetery.  I've looked at aerial photos and the family plot is almost straight across from the old farmhouse.  Its almost eerie.  All the graves are gray granite and all include a last name except hers.  Her's has a distinctive white granite slab inscribed "Our Loved One Mary Ann" and a poem that reads.

We loved you, yes we loved you
But Jesus loved you more
And he has sweetly called you
To yonder shining shore

The golden gates were open
A gentle voice said "come"
With farewells left unspoken
You comely entered home.

I was always told that Grandmother wrote the poem for the marker.  Googling the words yields many, many hits on the same poem on gravestones all through the 19th and early 20th centuries.  It was not original to her but I have no doubt that it was she who selected it.    I know that she also selected the plot.  Mary Ann is right next to Grandmother.  Just like in all the pictures.

After Grandmother died and we started going through the old pictures, we found that many  bear inscriptions such as "Mary Ann's boyfriend who wanted to marry her when she finished high school." That's what's on the back of the top picture.  That's why I wonder if the old man who clouded up when I talked to him in his office fifty something years later  might  be the young man in the picture.  The inscriptions on her pictures are all written in a very old, feeble hand.  Grandmother had gone through the pictures one last time before she died and made sure the girl's memory wouldn't vanish after she was gone.  Then she told  my Dad who Mary Ann really was. She wanted someone living to know.   I guess she did the best she could for her daughter right up to the end.

Figuring Out Blogger

Have fiddled around for an hour now trying to get a reading list started.  Can't be too hard.  Every other blog that I read has one. 

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Progress on All Fronts

The old tractor mowed the entire lawn flawlessly today.  I even went across the street and mowed the five foot tall weeds in the ditch.  It did it without a hiccup.   Not really a big deal in itself but the change from the months of tractor-related frustration is worth celebrating.

Before I did that, I took Ruth, the old Jeep (named for Festus' Mule on Gunsmoke) and a trailer load of branches and such to the dump, filled her and a 5 gallon can up and made it home without any parts falling off either of us.

I have decided that I will load a minimum of 50 rounds of something every week.  That will keep me coming back to the reloading room and will take away one thing that has hindered my getting to a range lately.  That thing being lack of ammo.

The range on my buddy's farm is already underwater and we should get some more rain out of Mr. Isaac starting tomorrow so I have time to do a lot of loading even at just 50 rounds per week.

OK.  The range isn't quite that bad but it is underwater.

In what was perhaps my best  ever gun show reloading deal, I was able, some years back, to buy four Little Dandy measures and a cigar box full of  every rotor made for it for $40.

 I usually keep one on a CH  'H Press' because I put together a home made internal funnel contraption to adapt the measures to my charging dies and its a good way to keep track of the funnel.   When I'm not planning to load on a Communist  Progressive press, I usually use the CH because its fast enough for me.

Went into the reloading room thinking I'd load my 50 this evening but the wrong rotor for what I wanted to load was in the measure.  Either that or I had put a different Little Dandy on that particular press to load something different.   Anyway, I didn't feel like changing things around so I decided to kick back and write about it instead.

Consumer Research

Sunday, August 19, 2012


That's the word we're supposed to worship now, right?  Well, here's some sustainability in action.

A couple of the 30-06 cases that I annealed had cracks in their necks.  I annealed them anyway because the 30-06 is the parent for a lot of shorter cases.  Ok, I know the 8mm Mauser came out in 1888.   Its the Grandfather then.

So, to sort of proof test the annealing and prove a point, I decided to take the 30-06 cases that had split necks and salvage them by turning them into something shorter.  What better to prove a point with than the original short magnum, the 300 Savage?  Its shorter than a 308 Winchester and has more body taper so if a full length case made of thick military brass is going to crumple being reformed it ought to crumple being made into a 300 Savage.

The procedure is simple. Take the annealed 30-06 case, lube it, paying attention to the inside of the neck, and run it into the 300 Savage sizing die.

What comes out looks like the case in the middle.  On the left is a 30-06.  Center is an identical case as it comes out of the 300 Savage sizing die and on the right is another one like the center one in my secret case forming tool.  Its one of those cheap, plastic mini-tubing cutters that you can get at any auto parts store.  I used a round file to bevel one side just enough to position the case neck under the cutting wheel and leave the neck a tad long so I can finish trimming it with a case trimmer.

Above is what the case looks like after its cut to rough length.

And finally: the parent case, sized but not trimmed case and "new" 300 Savage case along with the highly technical tools needed for this kind of case forming.

Honestly, I'm sure that the little Savage case is going to need its neck reamed.  The new neck is made from the original case wall and its a lot thicker than a neck should be.   My point here wasn't to finish the Savage case.  It was to show how much an annealed case can be squeezed down without crumpling it and, in so doing, suggest that there might be another alternative besides taking pliers and crushing the cases with split necks.  

I'm not entirely pleased with the neck reaming setup that I have so I'm not going to fool with that until I get a new one.  Also, I suspect that forming something like a .358 Winchester or .338 Federal would be easier.   I saved the split neck cases from last week for that experiment.  That will give me something to write about during the week.

Gonna post this without proof reading.  Lightening storm headed this way.

Friday, August 17, 2012

Gonna Have A Hot Time Tonight

I loaded up about 42 or 43 rounds of Garand ammo last weekend.  Started out with 50 cases but 2 were Berdan primed and the rest split their necks when I sized them.  It was a mixed bag of "Once Fired" brass that I bought at a gun show a decade or more ago.  I didn't expect it to really be Just Once Fired but they were cheap so I figured I could use them for something someday.  I have about 100 more from the same pile and I think I'm going to anneal them before I do any more loading.  No sense in losing another 10% to split necks.

The Lovely Bride says the torch heats up the kitchen too much so I'm banished to the patio.  I haven't annealed anything in several years so I'm going to wait until its getting dark so I can see the brass start to give off the dull red color that says its done and still see well enough to see discoloration from the annealing get to the shoulder.

Apparently annealing has gotten a lot more complicated since I last did any.  I see now that you have to use special crayons that tell you how hot the metal is or you'll ruin your brass.  You have to use an expensive machine or at least a cordless drill to spin the cases too.   If you are any kind of reloader you'll have a setup that resembles this:

 I did ruin a few cases the first time I tried it but that was because I had read that you are supposed to heat the brass until the neck and shoulder are "cherry red" and I was inside with the lights on.  It never got cherry red.  I just burned all the zinc out of it before I saw any red at all. 

The next time I tried it, I made sure the room was dark.  Dull Red is more like it.  Like "I can barely tell that its red at all" red.  That brass sized like a dream and I used it for years. 

Having gotten the hang of it, I decided to try something different just to see how much difference annealing can really make.   If you have nothing better to do you can make 7.62x54R out of 45-70 brass.  You don't need special dies.  You just gotta anneal it first.   I honestly can't believe that there ever was a weekend in my life when I had nothing better to do than that but the cases are on the shelf so there it is.  My point being that its not that hard to anneal cases.   The more you read about it, the more intimidating it gets but, once you actually start annealing stuff, it just ain't that big a deal.

I don't have a fancy machine to help either.  I just use a piece of 1/4" threaded rod.  Stick the case on one end, hold it so the neck and shoulder are in the propane torch's flame and twirl until its annealed.  I forget how many seconds to twirl before plunking them in the pot of water but I'll figure it out again once I get started.  It ain't like I'm heat treating 1903 Springfield receivers by sight.  You can see how far down the case the brass gets annealed because the annealing discolors it as on this old Kynoch ammo.

Ok.  So I ain't Oleg Volk.  Look close and you'll see that the neck and shoulder are a slightly different color than the rest of the case.  The color changes maybe 1/4" below the shoulder.

I'm going to do the ones with split necks too.  Might be able to cut them to length and make a few 300 Savage cases.  Stranger things happen around here all the time.

Had no Idea My Sister Bought A Truck

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Let's Ban High Capacity Back Packs

Clearly, if he didn't have access to High Capacity Back Packs this could not have happened.  We need to ban back packs capable of holding more than ten sandwiches.

I don't think he was planning on eating the sandwiches as he was shooting people.  I think he planned to leave them behind as a message.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012


That's our phone company.  They have gotten into the TV signal business and they are sending people around knocking on doors selling the service.

They talked my Dad into it.  He has dementia.  He's obviously not all there but that just made him a good prospect.  They got him on board and he made my Mom agree.  They neglected to tell either of them that they'd need access to their attic to install whatever needs to be installed.  When the first installer got done with his deal and told my Mom that the next guy would have to go in the attic, that killed it.   Being territorial is part of having dementia, at least in my Dad's brand it is, and my Dad won't let anybody in the attic.  Nice of them to not mention what they were going to do until my parents were already on the hook for the installation.

They first hit our neighborhood a couple of months ago.  I was at work and two of them came by.  One was a fairly large guy who looked as professional as you can look going door to door in 98 degree temperatures and near 100% humidity.  The other one looked like he just dropped his "Will Work For Food" sign by the mailbox.  They pounded on the door so hard that the Lovely Bride hid in the bedroom.  She had peeked out the window and seen the scruffy looking one and thought  they were going to do a home invasion.  They came by three times that day.   The third time I was home and the "professional" looking one told me that I had a problem because I didn't want to talk to him. 

I went to the Centurylink building downtown the next day.  I was going to complain and ask them to make a note to take me off their prospect list.  Couldn't find an entrance that didn't require me to have a key to get in.   

They came back about a month later.  I was on the couch with some gut trouble that was making me wonder if I was going to have a second diveritculitis surgery.  A different guy this time.  I told him that I had already said "No" to the first pair and that them telling me that I had a problem precluded my ever using their TV service.  He starts in with a sales pitch and I told him that I was too sick to argue and that he had to leave.    He was back a half hour later.  Didn't give a damn if I was sick.  Didn't care that he was causing me physical pain.   They're like friggin' mosquitoes.   I had to yell at him to get him to leave.

So today another one shows up.  I tried to be polite when I told him that I had already told three other Centurylink people "No" and to get off my porch.  He started in with how that wasn't him and I told him that it was Centurylink, that he was wearing a Centurylink shirt and I had told Centurylink to leave me alone and I'd get a restraining order against Centurylink if they didn't leave me alone and get off my property.  He kept telling me that it wasn't him and I finally lost it and said that I don't want SH** from Centurylink and  get    off    my    property. 


I really felt bad afterward.  Felt sorry for the guy who didn't know the legacy his predecessors had left for him.  He's just trying to make a living.  Felt like crap for cussing.   I know that whatever the Preacher preaches on this Sunday will sound like he was right there on the porch with the guy.  Maybe I should put up a picture of Captain Kangaroo instead of Clint Eastwood.  Heck.  Even Mr. Green Jeans would have turned into the Hulk after all this.

Seriously though.  Why would I do business with a company the comes to my door and scares my wife half to death?  Comes to my door with an attitude that there is something wrong with me because I don't want what they are selling?  Why would I do business with a company that shows complete contempt for my right to determine who can't come on my property? They don't pay the freakin' property taxes or the mortgage on this place.  I do.

Lovely Bride is going to buy some "No Soliciting" signs tomorrow.  I doubt they will do any good.   Concertina wire is prohibited by our deed restrictions.  Maybe some new "landscaping" would do it.

We Know He's Not A Muslim...

...Because if he was they wouldn't call it domestic terrorism.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Confuser Woes

Some years back, I bought QuickLOAD 'cause I thought it might help me conjure up a load for a 303 Savage with a 190 grain bullet.  30-30 Winchester data is fine to use in the 303 Savage but I was unable to find any for a 190 grain bullet.   I tinkered with it for a while, kept coming up with loads that were really hot and decided to just go back to my old books.

Two computers later, I thought it might be nice to try QuickLOAD again and decided to install it on my current machine.  It don't work!  My machine thinks the disc is blank and wants to format it.  It will install on the Lovely Bride's computer.  We have the same version of Winders but mine is holding its breath and stomping its feet.  It will install on my office computer.  The only computer we have that it won't install on is my laptop.  

My rule of thumb is that when something just absolutely falls apart or just absolutely won't work at all, the problem is something fundamental.  Its often something small.   So I gave up fooling with it.  I even left the disc at work the last two days so I won't be tempted to try installing it again any time soon.  I have many and better ways to waste an afternoon

Sunday, August 12, 2012

The "Gift" that Keeps on Giving

When I was younger, that's what we called Herpes.  Now it seems to fit Fast and Furious better:

You Might Be A Winner

My old tractor had been so troublesome the past several weeks that I had begun to wonder if it wasn't prophetic that the engine was made by Onan.   I decided to tackle this week's breakdown early yesterday morning.  A little tinkering with the float level and the tractor ran like a charm.  Kept running when I put it in gear and it kept running when I engaged the mower deck.  It mowed grass.  It even kept running when I ran over a pile of copper wire that wrapped around the blades and stopped them from moving.   That's how strongly it is supposed to run and it did.

When I got done mowing and cutting the wire off the blades, I checked the lottery ticket that I bought on Monday.  I don't usually buy lottery tickets but I don't usually find myself in Leesburg either so, while I was there Monday, I figured it couldn't hurt.  I won five bucks.  Winning is winning and don't try to tell me any different.  I won the lottery - dammit!

With two victories under my belt I decided to go for broke and hit the reloading room wherein I assembled a small quantity of M2 Ball equivalent. 

Three tiny little "victories" in one day.   Nice.

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Its All a Joke

Of course, I think it would be more accurate if Abbott's last line were "Now you're thinking like a liberal."

Stolen from American Perspective:

Sunday, August 5, 2012

Rain Dance

I'm not the big NASCAR fan of the house.  Haven't really cared much about it since they went to the small blocks back in the mid 70's.  Then Richard Petty retired and they stopped driving stock cars.  Ugh.

So there wasn't much chance that I'd be the one watching when Jeff Gordon went underneath the 4 cars that wrecked a few minutes ago and took first place.   Yep.  The Lovely Bride and hard core Jeff Gordon fan was so tied up in yelling at Jimmy Johnson for wrecking that she didn't see Jeff drive under the wreck, take the lead and win the race.  They called it for rain without ever coming out of the caution.

He deserved a little good luck for once this season.

Now I have to meet with Mr. Dillon and do some of that loading stuff that this blog is supposed to be about.

No.  Not that Mr. Dillon.

This Mr. Dillon:

Got all the way through breakfast and realized that I hadn't crumbled any of my bacon up in my grits and eggs.  Insipid yankee culture slithers into everything.  What's next?  Talking through my nose and minding everybody else's business?

Saturday, August 4, 2012

The Crevasse House

Just finished reading Black Cloud, The Great Hurricane of 1928 , a book about the 1928 Hurricane that hit West Palm.  My Grandmother was there visiting family and lived through it.  She was about 14 at the time and recalls going to a big tent full of corpses to look for her sister's body.   The sister  turned up a day or so later very much alive.  She never talked about the storm itself.  I think I understand better why Grandmother would scream whenever lightening struck close to the house.

My Dad recalls a hurricane that came through when the family lived in Crystal River during the mid 1930s.  By the time they decided to leave, the road was flooded deeper than their car's running boards.  He remembers watching his Father walking out in front of the car with a flashlight in the driving rain making sure the road was still there as his Mother drove the car behind him.

By 1965, when we lived in Cedar Key and one came through, Dad packed us up and sent us to Gainesville to stay at Grandmother's house.  He had planned that we'd stay on the island but asked the landlord how well the old house that we rented held up in "the last one."  Cedar Key ain't that far from Crystal River.   The old timer said that it held up really well.  The storm took off part of the roof but didn't hurt it a bit.  Somehow that convinced Dad that we should sit this one out inland.  When Dad called him the day after the storm and learned that the house was fine, he asked how far the water had come up during the storm.  The the landlord said that it barely got into the back yard.  The house was two blocks from the water.  Two blocks,  two houses and a trailer park from the water.

That old house was built in the 1880s right after the big hurricane that tore up everything from Cedar Key to past Virginia. It came up the Gulf of Mexico and was so strong that the low pressure drew the water away from the East side of the Gulf around Cedar Key.  Eye witnesses said there was nothing but mud all the way to the horizon.  The water made a dome out in the Gulf and as the winds got closer, they pushed that dome of water over the little islands and miles inland.  It left Florida around Jacksonville and then went up through Washington DC taking the gutters off the White House as it went.

The Crevasse family was one of the big local names at the time and the house we lived in had been built by one of them not too long after that big storm passed.  We don't know which Crevasse built it but some had been on Atsena Oatie Key and they relocated to the “high ground” of Cedar Key after that storm destroyed their house. They used lumber from the destroyed house to build the new one. The one we lived in might have been the one they built.  It was on the National Register of Historic Places some years after we moved out. This is it around 1995 or 1996; thirty years after we left.

The small room at the far left was the kitchen.  It was built as a detached building because you don't want the heat of a wood stove in your house during most of the year in Florida.  Fire was also a huge concern.  The section behind the goofy looking guy in the hat was a screen porch when we lived there.  You had to cross the screen porch to get to the kitchen.

The porch was built over the well and Mother would have to crawl up under the porch to reset the pump whenever it would decide to trip.  She couldn't do laundry unless the tide was in because there wouldn't be enough water in the well.  The hallway had a panel in the wall that Dad would remove every now and then.  It concealed a staircase that led to the attic.  You cannot imagine how cool that house was to a trio of four to seven year old boys.

Its gone now.  It got in the way of a condominium development.  About seven years ago my brother happened to be at Cedar Key and saw it taken apart and sitting on two house moving trucks.  We emailed people, asked residents, talked to realtors and everybody we could think of to see where they took it and almost nobody even remembered the place.  Even a lady who owned it once had no idea where it went.  The Cedar Key Historical Society never even bothered to answer my email.  Finally, this past weekend, we got on a boat to go see the lighthouse and the skipper of the pontoon boat knew our Dad and knew where the house went.

The house sits up on stilts about 4 or 5 blocks from where it was built.  Its been totally rebuilt.  The porches are gone.  They raised the roof and the  attic is now a bona-fide second floor.  Even the kitchen is attached now.  So the house is still there.  Reincarnated but still there.   The condos weren't its doom.  They actually saved it.   Funny thing is, they never did build those condos.  The economy tanked about the time they moved the house and the lot just sits there vacant.  While writing this, I stumbled on a 2005 article from the Cedar Key News.  The last paragraph shows how close it came to being demolished.


 So-named because my Dad found him dodging cars in a busy intersection and he "tagged along"  to safety and a new home with us.  At least that's the story I was told.  The pictures were taken before I was born.  

Taggie wasn't a big dog but he must have had spunk.  A couple of years after these were developed, we moved to a town so small that it might have been a crossroads community if it had more than one road.  The local dogs were bigger and there were sometimes horrendous fights that my Dad would break up with a blast into the air from a .410 shotgun.  Much more portable than a garden hose.

Taggie died around 1966.  Until last week I didn't know we had any pictures of him.

Friday, August 3, 2012

Das Tractor.

Sticking with the Das Boot (That's pronounced "BOAT") theme, had I been the Captain of U96, it would be sitting at the bottom of the Straits of Gibraltar with a suffocated crew.  The pump wouldn't have worked, blowing the tanks would have righted the boat but not provided quite  enough buoyancy to float it and even if it had managed to get to the surface the engines wouldn't have started.  We would have sat there until the Brits came back and shot us all to mince meat.

Got home today, no rain, no work scheduled.  Noting to do but putz around the house.  Hopped on the tractor to mow the yard and the battery ist kaput.  Dead cell. These "Lawn and Garden" batteries that the auto parts places sell around here seem to be designed to last one summer.  This one dates to February 2011 so it has been on borrowed time for a while.

I could use the push mower except that the First Wife (same person as the "Lovely Bride" depending on whether she's ticked me off) thought the air filter was clogged (it was) and that the engine could get more air if she took it out and put it in backwards so the clean side was out.  (It didn't).

No.  I did not make that up.

So, instead of loading ammo or shooting or  hunting or even working, I am going to spend my Saturday buying a battery for the tractor and cleaning the push mower's carburetor.  I ain't buyin' no Lawn and Garden battery neither.  I'm gonna get the biggest car battery that I can stuff under that tractor's hood.  I'm gonna take welding cable and make new battery cables for it while I'm at it.  Maybe after all that is done I will be able to actually mow the yard like anybody else.

That's a big "maybe."