Archive forNovember, 2009

Start Your Engines…

Start Your Engines…


“I think I’ll start up my vehicles” Brian says as he browses through a booklet on the newest computer thingamajigs (This word is actually in the dictionary, I kid you not). How looking at computer stuff kicked his brain into thinking about cars and trucks is a mystery to me, but so is Stephen Harper, people who wear spandex, and getting the wrapper off a new CD case.


“You mean the ones out in the cow pasture?” I query, although I already knew the answer as we were at his parents farm where he has several stationary vehicles, by which I mean they’re parked and are not moving nor, as far as I can tell, will be moving any time soon.


He offers a “Ya ya” as he puts aside the booklet, leans back and grins at me as if he’s just discovered out how to get the wrapper off a new CD case. My simple “Why?” was greeted with “Just to see if they will.” In the year plus that I’ve been going to the farm with him, he’s never tried to start up his collection of vehicles. In fact I didn’t think any of them even HAD the ability to start anymore, and were more like conversation pieces for the cows…

          “You know Mable, I think that grey one with the big eyes

is kind of cute. Seems a little standoffish though. I asked if he’d

like to play Dodge The Cow Pie, but he won’t even look me in

the eye”

          “I’m kind of fond of that older white one, but I know what

           you mean Dorothy. None of them are very friendly. Look how

           they stay in their own little group and act like we’re not here.”

          “Well who needs them anyway. Come on, let’s go see Beth. I

  heard she had implants.”


Anyway, when I had asked why he had so many vehicles he said “I might need one some day” and “If nothing else, the parts alone are worth it.” And I’m thinking “Worth what??” I mean really, how many carburetors, starters, rear view mirrors and thingamabobs (distant cousin to thingamajigs) should a person have “just in case”? How many vehicles does he intend to have along the way that these parts will be compatible with, hmmm? This guy has enough parts strewn about the farm to open up his own shop. Don’t get me wrong, it’s not like everything is in a big pile in the middle of the front yard. Some of it is in his shed (which is smaller than a warehouse but bigger than a Mini Lube station), some is in his stepdads workshop (I don’t know why, considering there’s no work being done with them), and some of it is…….ok, it’s in a pile…or two…but covered up (mostly) and not in the front yard.


Anyway, my curiosity was piqued ((I didn’t have anything else to do) and  after Brian found (hopefully) all the keys, I headed out to the field with the company of Freckles (the dog) and he drove our car (to use as a boost) As I approached the area, the first vehicle to catch my eye is what I call Farley, which is a big old Fargo truck that Brian (at the time of purchase) was sure would be a breeze to fix (ha) and is (six months later) still parked in the field and NOT fixed. Well, we stop at Farley and next thing I know Brian is in the back, passing me parts and whatchamacallits (second cousin once removed to thingamabobs) that I then either put on the ground or into a wheelbarrow. Can anyone say “Side tracked”? Said parts were then taken to the “shed” to be protected from the upcoming winter elements, meaning Farley is going to be parked in the field for at least another six months…sigh.  


Eventually we made our way back to the other vehicles that were nestled ever so cozy amongst grass, brush, hay and cow patties. Freckles had lost interest and headed off to find something to dig up, chew or roll in. Brian picked out a few cars and checked under the hoods to find they didn’t all have batteries. No problem, we’ll just shuffle batteries around as needed. After hooking up our car battery with the first vehicle, my job was to get in and try to start it. Well I was totally surprised when it started up after only a couple of tries, and if the look on Brians face was any indication so was he, even though he denies he had any doubt (I believe you dear). Anyway, once all the smoke cleared, our coughing subsided to a low hack, and our eyes stopped watering enough for us to see, we continued down the line and after some tinkering and a few…um…words of encouragement, successfully started five vehicles. Sounded like a good time to stop. No sense taking a chance on ruining our perfect score or putting one of us into a carcinogenic coma. And besides, I needed to pee.


Later that evening Brian beamed with pride as he told the family of the successful start ups, like a father boasting after his child has used the potty for the first time. I’m waiting for the day when I see these vehicles MOVE and not just start, or at least contribute in some way other than increasing our carbon footprint, and providing the cows with something other than each other to mooo at.


I’m just saying J

Comments (2)

It’s Sheer Magnetism…

It’s Sheer Magnetism…

“Maybe I should make my own magnets”

I’m reading a book while sitting next to Brian on the sofa when he throws that tidbit out into the room. The statement itself doesn’t surprise me as he’s been interested in magnets and magnetic motors for some time. One of his goals, and there are a few, is to actually produce his own permanent magnetic motor, and so he often researches the topic.

So there I sit, minding my own business, when he puts forth that question, and once again before I catch myself, my mouth opens and I query “Ok, but how is a magnet made?” I immediately realize what I’ve done and sure enough his reply is “Don’t you remember learning it in school?” only to receive my Don’t Go There look, to which I get “Well look it up.” My shoulders slump and I quietly moan. As we don’t have regular internet at this time (Google is your friend), I’m handed a physics book and he even tells me where to find the information on magnets ……I know! If I was to look up something in one of my medical books I definitely probably might be able to pick the right book, but I would most likely probably definitely have to look up what page(s) I needed to reference. Then again, Brian reads and rereads books on physics, math, chemistry and the like, just to pass the time, and considers them light reading. My idea of light reading is the front of a cereal box.

Now don’t get me wrong. I’m all for learning…really. I believe it’s important to expand ones knowledge. However, these days my search for knowledge runs more in the direction of Fiction and puzzles like Sudoku books and not so much on Study books. Now bless Brian the dear man because he means well, but whenever he asks me a question and I respond with a No, I don’t know, or give the deer in the headlights stare, I feel a bit sorry for him because the look he gives me back is quite painful…for him…or maybe it’s just gas. But I digress.

Anyway, I did remember that magnets have “poles”, one north and one south. I got that part, but they lost me after that when the book went on about the relationship between magnetic poles and geographic poles. Something about north poles being south poles but pointed north, or maybe it was south poles being north poles pointing north, or was that south, and does that mean Santa really lives at the south pole, not the north pole, because that might explain why my letters to him keep coming back. And then the book starts showing equations of which I’m not a big fan. At this stage of my life, the only equation I want to figure out is how many pieces of chocolate it will take to stabilize my mood swing after I’ve been reading a physics book.

So anyway, the next day I hear a “Huh” from Brian, which usually means he’s thinking and there’s more to follow. Sure enough, a few seconds later, he’s standing next to me saying “You’ll sit there and do a meaningless puzzle, but you read a couple of pages in one of my books and whine I can’t do this…It’s too hard…I don’t get it, to which I say “I am exercising my brain…I can do this…It’s not too hard…and I do get it.” He walked away smiling, his eyes rolling, and his head shaking.

In the end I did learn how to make a magnet, albeit a small one, and when the time comes for Brian to develop his magnetic motor, I’ll be right along side him with my magnet, picking up paper clips as needed and giving him all the support I can muster.

In the meantime, I have a new cereal box to read, a puzzle to finish, and Brian says if I don’t do my homework Santa won’t bring me what I want…sigh. 🙂

Comments (3)