Saturday, December 21, 2013

It's official. I am an Idiot.

As many of you know, I'm an old fart.  And being an old fart, I like old farty kind of things.  Things like my 1952 Ferguson TO-30 tractor.  This thing is a marvel.  At 61 years old, it's still a tireless workhorse.

Bessie the Tractor was stuck at the bottom of our driveway.  Our all-wheel-drive Kia Sorrento couldn't climb up our steep driveway, so it was no shame that Bessie couldn't do it, even with chains and big iron wheel weights.

Today was above freezing, and the driveway was softening up.  I need to plow Earl and Judi's driveway so we can fetch hay for Jeremiah the Horse, and to get the horse trailer out so we can take him to Florida with us.

I checked Bessie's gas tank and it was about a third full.   I fetched the 6 gallon red gas jug.  It had four or five gallons in it.  I poured it in Bessie's tank.  She fired right up.  I was letting it idle to warm up a bit, and it suddenly stalled.  Huh?  Bessie never does that.  I started her up again, and she ran for a minute and stalled.  I started her again, and she ran for a few seconds and stalled, and then refused to start.  Crap.

I went inside the Unabomber Cabin.

"Did you get the tractor out?" asked Pam.

"No.  It  stalled, and now it won't start," said  I.

"What's wrong?"

"I don't know.  That was gasoline in the gas can, right?"

"You put that in the tractor??   That's kerosene for the kerosene heater.  Don't you remember sending me out for kerosene and handing me that jug?"

I just stood there  with a deer-in-the-headlights look.  Our yellow kerosene/diesel jugs are over on our property a mile away, and the red one was right there...

"I can't believe you did that!" said Pam.

I can.  I do stupid stuff all the time.  It's who I am.

So I wandered back out to Bessie.  I removed the sediment bowl and let the gasoline/kerosene mixture drain into a bucket, and removed the drain plug from the carburetor.  I then had to drive off the mountain to Meco to buy gasoline.  When I got back, the tank was empty.  I put the sediment bowl back on, put the plug back into the carburetor, filled up the tank with gasoline, and Bessie fired up instantly.

What a relief.

I then drove the mile to Earl and Judi's and plowed their driveway.  I'll write about the experience of plowing with a tractor some other time.


  1. Better to put kerosene in a gas engine than to put gas in a your kerosene heater!! Then your Unabomber cabin would be a Bomb...

  2. Welcome to the club Dave! We have lots of fun in our "club" though we keep really busy fixing all the IDIOTIC things we do.

    BTW, thought of your driveway yesterday as I went outside to our 3/4 inch of ice here in OKC. Not fun.....