Tuesday, January 3, 2017

Fake News, All The Time

My favorite source of fake news is the National Weather Service. In their defense, they constantly revise their reports and by the time the weather disaster is over, they've generally got it called perfectly.

For this reason it's generally more important to follow the forecast trend than it is to just look at the forecast and move on. They've been calling for sub-zero temps and snow for about a week now so it seems pretty likely. As of this morning it looked like 3-7 inches starting Wednesday night and ending Thursday. Now the TV folks are saying this storm is going to make itself at home around here until Friday evening with accumulations up to a foot depending on what suburb you live in.

By Monday we're supposed to be back to 60 degree highs. "'Tis a privilege to live in Colorado." as the local fishwrap used to proclaim.

By way of getting ready, I've finally gotten around to replacing the rubber blades on my blower. This is a medium duty, single stage MTD with the spiral metal auger with rubber edges attached. 5 fasteners per long blade and two little ones in the middle. Now you would think that all those fasteners would be identical wouldn't you? You'd be wrong! There are 2 large(ish) sheet metal screws, 3 smaller sheet metal screws, and one large headed pop rivet (WTF) on each blade.

I tapped the pop rivet holes and replaced them with 1/4" machine screws so now at least the blades can be replaced with ordinary tools, but really! Who thought 3 different fasteners were needed here? I gather that MTD is just one iteration of a company with pretty good products that has changed hands and names a number of times. After a while you begin to understand why.

Not to be dissing the product, it works fine, just has a couple of quirks. It also has one of the better ideas I've seen on snow blowers, an electric starter. And not one of those battery jobs that's dead every winter when the first snow hits either, but a 120 volt job that will crank the thing at full chat until it fires off. If you shut it off for a few minutes out at the end of the sidewalk, no fear, the rope starter works fine on a warm engine. Full marks on that starter. More gas tools should include this, especially lawn mowers.

1 comment:

Dave said...

Been having much better results with The Weather Channel - www.weather.com
Neither of them are 100% but TWC gets it righter oftener. I love it that one of the co-founders is Dr. John Coleman who says that Anthropogenic Global Warming is a bunch of political hooey.