Apparently, after a month of daily posting, I'm reaching for the stars and going for a post every 5 days. But in my defense, I did work a run of 5 overnights and no sooner was that over than we got walloped by the first winter storm of the season which left 13 inches of the white stuff on the ground in less than 24 hours. This is big even for us - folks in the Dakotas and Colorado and Michigan would scoff at this, but it pretty much paralyzed the state. Anna STILL doesn't have school today, probably due more to the fact that the roads are not completely cleared.
It was made even more stressful by the fact that I went out last week to make sure the snowblower worked and it decidedly did not. Motherfuck, it was the last thing I needed. I figured that it was probably a clogged gas line or something, but I tried putting some fresh gas in it anyway and again, nothing. So I left it and decided to mess with it later. When later arrived, I noticed that there was a large puddle that looked suspiciously like gasoline underneath the snowblower. Since we had surpassed my abilities in dealing with it, it looked like I was going to have to take it in and have it serviced. Of course, with the "storm of the century" (as the local news was calling it despite the fact that there are still 90 years left in this century) bearing down on us, every place was swamped with repair requests.
When I was out there dropping it off, the guy showed me how the blade was damaged from years of use and how it was probably reaching the end of its life. I told him to try to get it running anyway, thinking that I'd limp by another season on this on and then save next year for a new one, because if there was any one thing I couldn't do, it was plunk down the cash for a new snowblower.
Well, the universe usually conspires to teach you a lesson, even (and especially) when you close your ears to it and the next day we woke up to snow coming down and rapidly deteriorating roads. I called out to the repair place and they said they'd probably have it done by 3pm, which was fine, but Heidi and I decided to stop out there after dropping Anna off at school. We talked to the guy and he proceeded to explain to us how we were looking at a couple hundred bucks worth of repairs AT LEAST. At that point, it was becoming clear to us that fixing it would ultimately result in throwing good money after bad so we made the decision right then and there to buy a new one.
It killed me to spend the money, but what are you going to do when they're talking about 10-14" of snow and you have a 100 foot long drive to clear?
In the end, we bought a mid-range Toro and even that cost a small fortune. However, it cleared the snow quite admirably over the last couple of days. It also started right up each time I tried it (electric start - I was not compromising on that) and here's hoping that it lasts until Anna's graduated from college.
If I had known that I was going to be buying a snowblower, I never would have replaced our TV the day after Thanksgiving. But you win some and you lose some. In the ultimate example of the law of averages, working all those overnights will end up just about paying for the snowblower (I worked a crapload of overtime covering those shifts). Easy come, easy go. I was hoping to buy something a little more sexy with all that extra cash, but I'll settle for functional.