The Papa Files
by VINCENT CARDEGIN
Award Winning Columnist
I finally took the flat tire off my car late this morning, after over a month of letting it sit in the driveway. Turns out it wasn’t a loose, flapping edge of the wheel well that was shredding the rubber, as I thought, but the exposed wire mesh of the bald inner treads that was hitting and tearing up the back end of the plastic wall. My fault for not rotating, I guess. I admit I’ve enjoyed not being tasked to drive somewhere, but now I’m annoyed with being stuck at home during my wife’s workweek.
Señor Cargador came by for smokes, brisk tea, and flatscreen news. My wife was off, so we put the tire in the Soov, and he and I went first to Exwork, but their auto place was still closed, then to another, and they were also closed. Finally, we drove to the new Firestone, and they were open and their bays were full. Dropped the tire off, and next we went back to Exwork for a chainsaw.
As I feared, they didn’t have gas- or cord-powered, only a lithium-ion battery version. My Exwork friend, Shuffy, pointed out a new brand I’d never heard of, but I didn’t examine their products because they were too expensive. I got the Hyper Tough 20-volt 10-inch model. If I still worked there, I’d inform anyone I observed purchasing that tool to “Please read the instructions!” because the chain is not attached to the drive sprocket. You have to remove the cover and do so yourself. If you don’t, the plastic casing might shatter and take out an eye and possibly a finger or two. Shame on Hyper Tough for packaging it that way, and shame on Exwork for selling it that way. The one I had before, bought in early ’98, was fully assembled; I added oil, plugged it in, and started cutting.
My battery-driven weed eater, blower, and hedge trimmer work fine, but I’m not convinced about a chainsaw. I haven’t used it yet. Personally, I can’t wait for the quicker-charging, longer-lasting batteries made of stacked, one-atom layers of copper. When that comes out, I might buy an electric car.
After getting the chainsaw, and a new straw hat—they actually had real ones, not those one size fits all stacks of crap—we went to Wawa for cheese steak, etc. Back in my garage, we ate while watching S1/E7 of All in the Family. I remember the episode from my teens, and it’s why I always pull a pinch of sock away from my big toes before putting on shoes.
While I was out and about, my wife had fun “canning” all day. She made six jars of strawberry jam (store bought berries), three and a half jars of Jalapeno jelly (from her garden and I’m looking forward to trying that on buttered toast), six jars of new Bread-n-Butter Pickles (cucumbers also from her garden), three jars of Sauerkraut (her garden cabbage), and more baggies of dried garlic and onions (not yet from her garden, but soon).
Oh, hold on, I have to take the garbage to the curb—not really a curb, just a crumbling edge of an asphalt street. You know what? I want a motorized garbage can with a remote control so I can move that big blue dumpster from the smoky comfort of my office. Yeah, a tank-drone garbage container! And drone recycle tubes! And a flying mailbox!
Ok, I’m back.
Naturally my wife complained that she needs more shelves for all her canning supplies in the hall closet and garage shrunks. (A shrunk is a movable closet. First saw them in Germany. We have two in the garage.) Before I could again explain the logistics of purchasing the necessary wire and plywood shelving, and cutting the plywood, and the various brackets and exact length of screws I’d need (or a nail gun...?) she insisted I replace the kitchen faucet with the one she bought earlier this year. She told me she’d put blankets on the kitchen floor for me, and I told her I’d need to use our mattress. Yeah, not going to happen. I looked at the instructions, and it seems less complicated than the last one I replaced in Old House. Still, I’ve already started limping on both knees just thinking about it. [email protected]