The Useful Duck!

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Monday, February 26, 2024

The recovery process is longer than one would hope for

The sun came out. We had a couple nice days here in Western Oregon. Of course I took the Gator apart instead of spraying. This was somewhat poor judgement. It is somewhat telling as to my mental issues.

Saturday was a beautiful day for a drive. Note that I am the passenger. Rode with my brother to get the mail.

In all fairness I am a cripple most of the time. I say most of the time, as sometimes I feel really good and the next day I don't. The other issue is just figuring out what I can and can't do. The issues that bothers me the most is going from inaction to action. I get out of bed or out of the chair and my leg and knees are super stiff and hurt. After I walk around a bit, it all loosens up and I feel better. I stop moving and then I am back to pain and suffering until I get moving again.

I am going to ask the Doc about at my next appointment. Maybe I need to drink more water.

Sunday I put the Gator back together. I still have a bucket of tools to sort. Today it is alternating rain, sun, sleet, sun, rain, wind. (Actually that wind came from a Duck that has been hiding behind my chair. It has terrible breath)

I want to use the Gator to spray ditches and spot spray a few fields. I have an electric sprayer that fits in the back and I have a wand and homebuilt boom. I think I may have to do some upgrades. 

I needed to get to the electrical circuits for the lights and accessories and I needed to repair the cab mounts. I had been trying to access the wiring from under the dash. Saturday I unbolted the cab, lifted the front of the cab up, and removed the "hood." I could see all the wiring which brought up the standard problem of old equipment. The wiring was a mess of taped and faded wires. There seems to be only two colors of factory wiring, Yellow, and Black. Generally, black meant a ground wire, but everything else was yellow with a different colored strip. Finally I just got irritated with it all and ran jumpers around what appeared to be open circuits that were buried deep in a taped up wiring harness.

I really wanted brake lights and there was no power on the positive side of the brake light switch. I ran a jumper from the ignition switch so the brake lights are going to work when the key is on. I was going to rewire the whole light and signal wiring to the rear but it was too much for a Sunday.

Look at me! I got a beacon, I have at least one turn signal, I have lights!

I also hooked up a volt gauge and a cigar lighter so I can charge my phone or run a sprayer monitor and I can tell if the electric sprayer is draining the battery. The gauge reads 12.5 volts fully charged so I suspect there is not a lot of charging capacity.

My good friend from work came to see me Sunday. He cleaned out my locker for me when I separated from my employment. I thought I had cleaned out anything of value as soon as my daughter graduated as I planned on walking as soon as I got my PTO down but there was actually some good stuff. I was really happy to see my A/C certification as it has my registration number.

We went though the accumulated crap from eight years of employment and got to talking about the really toxic and incompetent people that Linfield has not fired and laughing a bit at myself. Good grief that place was a toxic place to work. The toxicity varied on what your job was and how much you could just do by yourself, but how that place stays in business is beyond me.

One story that came to mind was when I got the job with the Steam Line company working on campus and the main part of the interview was to drive the dumptruck after work and see if I felt comfortable driving.  The constructor foreman left the keys under the floor mat of the dumptruck. Basically, if I could figure out how to drive it I was hired. So, I took my friend for a dump truck ride around campus.

The next morning I was called into his supervisor's office and questioned about driving the dump truck. I thought it was all a joke and exclaimed, "well they left the keys under the floor mat!"

The supervisor was a cool guy but had to explain that someone had actually reported me for joyriding in the dump truck. 

I was not allowed to drive the dump truck or work for the company while wearing anything related to Linfield. I had to change my hat and my shirt before going to work.

The other funny thing about the construction job is that they would leave the key to the excavator and dump truck under the seat and they just trusted me to run the equipment. Yet, when I worked at Linfield I had to return every key to a lock box every evening. All the lawn mowing equipment owned by the college did not add up to the value of an excavator and dump truck plus the damage that could be done if I went rogue after work.

What a bunch of idiots. I am so glad to be gone.

But, I digress...

The sun is out and I am going to try hooking up my sprayer.

Also, just adding a bit that I thought of later in regards to the college.

A couple days ago the former President of the University gave me a call. He has a really fun new job and is pretty happy. He said he just wanted to know how I was doing and said he appreciated me. We had a nice conversation. It made me feel better about life. I made some really good friends in my eight years as a groundskeeper and I am really thankful for that.

Have a nice day!


  1. Groundskeeping here at present involves a snow shovel and much heavy clothing at below zero temps. Trying to identify the dash on the vehicle you are riding in the first photo. Old Ford pickup?

  2. 1966 Ford pickup. I have had it for close to 30 years. It has been setting for quite a few years. My nephews revived it. There was a problem with the distributor gear. Now the radio doesn't work.


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