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Thread: Ryan's Thread Of General Thoughts And Musings

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    Default Re: Ryan's Thread Of General Thoughts And Musings

    Lol
    Libertatem Prius!


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    Creepy Ass Cracka & Site Owner Ryan Ruck's Avatar
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    Default Re: Ryan's Thread Of General Thoughts And Musings

    Spent over an hour tied up in traffic because of this earlier today.





    Person Airlifted From I-275 Crash Scene In Sharonville

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    Default Re: Ryan's Thread Of General Thoughts And Musings

    OOF!

    Is that a corpse just to left of the car, under the jack?
    "Far better it is to dare mighty things, to win glorious triumphs even though checkered by failure, than to rank with those poor spirits who neither enjoy nor suffer much because they live in the gray twilight that knows neither victory nor defeat."
    -- Theodore Roosevelt


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    Default Re: Ryan's Thread Of General Thoughts And Musings

    I don't think so. The article didn't indicate any fatalities.

    Also, of the fatal accidents I've seen, the first responders have had privacy curtains up quickly. At the time I had gotten through, they definitely would have by then.

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    Default Re: Ryan's Thread Of General Thoughts And Musings

    CAUTION: Very long, cool story ahead. Proceed at your own risk.

    First, a little background on my lawn tractor.

    It's your typical Craftsman rider you'd get from the big box store with a 25hp Briggs and a 48" deck, 2004 model. Picked it up running for $150 about 2-3 years ago to replace my worn out 19hp, 46" Craftsman I had had for about 3 years, which had replaced the exact same Craftsman I had picked up about 3 years before that. None of them new but not too beat on. They all needed bits and pieces over their life, probably totaling about what I paid for them. All bought for under $500. Owner needed to get rid of it so I got a good price. Figured why not since it was a big 25hp engine and larger deck.

    Right after I got the current one, I replaced the mandrels, put new blades on it, and gave it a tuneup. Add in about another $100 into it in those repairs. Also fixed a hillbilly repair where someone added the wrong electric PTO to it (likely to replace a broken one) and didn't secure it properly, all the while connecting it with a section of electrical extension cord. I used some slotted bar stock I had sitting around to secure the PTO and proper wiring to fix it correctly.

    This Spring when firing it up for the first time after Winter, I couldn't get it to stay running. After a lot of troubleshooting to include running new fuel line and a new fuel filter, it turned out to be a cracked pulse vacuum line from the crankcase to the fuel pump. At the time, I was frustrated enough to start considering a new mower. I had had enough of the nickle and diming from these stupid MTD mowers I had dealt with over the last 10 years.

    I thought having a zero turn would be nice as they are a lot quicker however I knew from a friend that owns a landscaping business, residential zero turns (the type you buy from a big box store) are crap. I've seen it first hand with my land lady's Cub Cadet residential zero turn she's used on a couple acres over the last 8 years. It currently has just under 500 hours and it looks like a worn out whore and has had several hundred dollars in repairs, including a new PTO. If I remember, she paid something like $3200 new. So I really had my eyes set on a used (but not abused) commercial zero turn, hopefully no more than $2000. Hunted Craigslist for a couple weeks and found a Husqvarna that I don't recall the specs on with about 1400 hours which looked decent for for $1800. Got snatched up before I could get in touch with the seller. It was Spring and mowers weren't lasting long. Since I got the Craftsman running I kind of let it slide and forgot about getting a new mower.

    Fast forward to 2 weekends ago. Was cutting the grass, doing a final pass around the house in the opposite direction of the first cut when the mower deck of my Craftsman caught on the walkway and slammed me to a stop. Add to that I was going about full speed since it was a final pass to clean things up and rain was moving in. Didn't throw me off or anything but it threw the belt completely off the PTO and shook me up good. With the rain moving in I didn't feel like dicking with it and parked it.

    Fast forward again to last weekend. Finally decided to take a look at the damage. Put the belt back on with no real problem but I found the deck height was all jacked up. The front was not level with the rear because there wasn't enough tension being put on the front of the deck via the connecting rods that go to the chassis. Looking closer I found that when the deck had impacted the walk, it had pulled the entire cross bar that the deck is mounted to, which the front wheels are also connected to, backward slightly and beginning to fracture. Without the forward tension on the deck it wouldn't sit level and the only way to fix that would be to thread the connecting rods further down to allow it to pull forward further leaving the fractures still there () or pull out the crossbar forward and rewelding it ().

    Went for option C and started using it as is since it was mostly close to where I normally cut (though a little lower). After several passes around the house I noticed the blade speed slowing down randomly and smoke started coming out from the deck area. Shut it off and couldn't see anything. Re-engaged it and left it running a few and that's when the deck decided to self destruct. A pulley either seized or something else happened but I had a pulley off and its shaft bent. Didn't care enough to really look. Was pissed and about to just set it on fire, in fact.

    That was the last straw. And all I can say is thank God for 401k loans!

    Started looking on Craigslist that afternoon. Unfortunately nothing but 1400-1700 hour retired commercial mowers, all for $3000+. Anything under that either had even more hours or was a sub-50" deck and/or a crappy engine. Thursday during lunch I found an '05 Exmark with recently rebuilt hydraulics and a 23hp Kawasaki engine (the preferred engine brand), plus an extra set of blades and striping roller with just 770 hours (worked out to about 8.5 hours per mowing month over the last 10 years). Seller wanted $3000 exactly. A hell of a deal but at the top end of what I would have preferred to spend. The listing had just been put up the night before. Emailed the seller but didn't hear back until 6pm (note, after 6pm, just about every bank is closed). Said he was firm on $3000 but, I told him $3000 was fair and set up a time to meet the next day after 1pm to give it a look over before I committed (I mean, who hands someone $3000 on a piece of equipment sight unseen/untested?). Right around 1 I was able to get by the bank and get $3000 out. Texted the seller and get a reply saying, "Sorry, sold the mower this morning. Didn't know you wanted to actually buy it. Thought you just wanted to look at it." Who tells someone a price is agreeable and then sets up a specific time to stop by, providing plenty of contact information, if they aren't a serious buyer? I was pissed enough I could chew glass. Didn't have the decency to give me a heads up or tell the other guy he had someone coming by later that day. In my defense, I did not ever call him a cocksucker.

    Once again the hunt began... After work while looking, I found a Ferris commercial zero turn with a 52" deck and a 25hp Kawasaki engine with 699 hours. Unfortunately the seller was asking $3500, above my $3000 budget. Figuring the seller might negotiate and since I still had $3000 cash in hand, I did a little reading on Ferris to see if it was worth the effort. I knew they are a big name in the commercial mower world but I didn't know a whole lot about them (I'm most familiar with Exmark since that's what my friend with the landscape business runs). Found out that some people don't like that Ferris makes their decks on the thinner side (10ga vs most companies' 7ga) and that maintenance can be a bit tough since everything is somewhat compact on them. None of those deal breakers, in my opinion. On the plus side, their mowers have something else none of the other commercial zero turns have, actual coil-over suspension! A lot of people like this feature since it helps keep you from getting beat up on the ride like you'd find on other zero turns, since zero turns don't typically have any suspension.

    Got in touch with the seller and set up a meeting on Saturday. Fortunately he managed not to sell it before I got there. Frankly, I was beyond surprised with how clean this thing was. The owner only used it to mow several acres on his property, no commercial use, and was meticulous in cleaning it and regularly having maintenance done on it by the dealer. I honestly had no idea how he managed to put nearly 700 hours on it with it looking as nice as it did. He said he was selling it only because he got a larger Ferris to better cut his and his neighboring father's lawns. I pulled out the $3000 and told him I came prepared but he wasn't going for it. No surprise since he had quite a spread and didn't look like a desperate seller. I asked him to give me a couple minutes to think it over. Test drove it and it handled beautifully. Told myself, "It's here now, the hours are low, the suspension is a nice feature, and this thing has clearly been babied." Asked the seller his absolute bottom dollar and was told $3400. Mulled it over a little longer. I finally bit even though it was a bit over budget. Since it was Saturday and I only had the $3000 on hand I asked him if I gave him the $3000 if he'd hold on to it until I came back today with my landscaping friend and his trailer with the extra $400. Figured this wasn't a big deal since, given his house, he didn't look like the thieving type. He agreed to hold on to it and taking the listing down.

    Went back up today, gave the man his extra $400, and I am now the new owner of a Ferris IS1500Z. The only flaw my friend could find when he looked it over was the blades were dull as hell. We figured he probably used it several more times after he got the new Ferris but didn't bother to sharpen the blades since he knew he was going to be selling it. No big deal... Already have a new set of blades on the way.

    According to my friend I should have many, many years of service left in this mower assuming just doing my yard.

    Anyway, here it is. This thing is pretty damn fast and takes rough terrain like a champ! Played around with it in my yard a bit today even though it didn't need cut since we're short on rainfall at the moment. My luck, since I just dropped massive coin on this mower we'll be in a drought the rest of Summer.



    I've never understood why most every one of these commercial mowers have no lighting on them for near dark use so I'm going to add some LED light bars front and rear. I'll post a couple pics after they're installed.

  6. #86
    Super Moderator Malsua's Avatar
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    Default Re: Ryan's Thread Of General Thoughts And Musings

    Very nice. I love a good ZTR mower. My mom/step dad has a John Deere that is fun to run.

    I've had guys sell out from under me like you had, but what can you do. They just want it sold.

    I'm thinking of getting a self-propelled, I'm tired of pushing even though it's not even that much grass. I'd love to have a nice mower like that but I'd mow the lawn in 5 minutes and probably damage something since my lawn is sloped and angled and whatever.
    "Far better it is to dare mighty things, to win glorious triumphs even though checkered by failure, than to rank with those poor spirits who neither enjoy nor suffer much because they live in the gray twilight that knows neither victory nor defeat."
    -- Theodore Roosevelt


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    Creepy Ass Cracka & Site Owner Ryan Ruck's Avatar
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    Default Re: Ryan's Thread Of General Thoughts And Musings

    Yeah, with the old Craftsman, it would take me 2.5-3 hours to cut my approximately 1 acre depending on how high it was. Not a bad thing necessarily as it gave me time to kick back and listen to music/talk radio but, I could be doing other things with that time. It adds up!

    With my land lady's Cub Cadet which I've used when one of my mowers has been down it only takes 45 minutes to an hour. I imagine I'll have my yard done in 30 minutes or so with this new one.

    Since it's always taken me so long to cut I usually cut down to about 2" so I don't have to do it as often, which causes the yard to brown out when there's less rain like right now. Now I can probably afford to cut the grass twice a week and allow it to grow thicker to like 4".

    The only catch is that by this fall my brother and I are going to be moving out of this old farm house and into something newer, bigger, and more energy efficient since he's making more money now. We've been looking but there's a chance we could end up in a subdivisional home (in one of the neighborhoods out where I am now, no chance we're moving closer to the city) so, I could end up with a postage stamp yard and this big ass mower! Would have the yard done in 5 minutes like you said!

    With the self propelled, I'd definitely recommend one. I've got a rear drive push mower for some of the smaller areas and it is very nice to have that feature. They've got all wheel drive ones now.

    Truth be told I'm not as pissed about the Exmark as I was when it happened since I think this was as good and possibly even a better deal than it was.

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    Creepy Ass Cracka & Site Owner Ryan Ruck's Avatar
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    Default Re: Ryan's Thread Of General Thoughts And Musings

    With Christmas just over a week away, I've had something sticking in my craw for the last several days...

    I'm feeling like there is less "holiday spirit" this year than any time I remember before.

    I don't know if it's the unusually warm weather we've been having or what but it also seems there is less "celebration" of the holiday where I am than in the past.

    There are far fewer Christmas lights up on houses than I ever remember, the small towns' municipal decorations are pretty minimal as well. Stores, while they're selling decorations or advertising Christmas sales, don't seem to really be celebrating it either.

    People I'm interacting with every day at work don't really seem to be wishing others a merry Christmas or even happy holidays.

    I don't know... Maybe I'm just imagining things or it's just a localized thing but that's just the vibe I'm getting. Anybody else getting this?

  9. #89
    Super Moderator Malsua's Avatar
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    Default Re: Ryan's Thread Of General Thoughts And Musings

    I think it's a combination of things really.

    First, the left's war on Christmas is paying dividends.
    Next, the warmth. Christmas cold always brings people together in shared misery. Warmth is complacency. If you want to know why Africa and the middle east don't produce anything, it's because it's too warm and they don't have to.

    As for lights...plenty on around my area. Here's my house this year. Taken with my wife's phone so it's shitty picture compared to what I usually do.

    "Far better it is to dare mighty things, to win glorious triumphs even though checkered by failure, than to rank with those poor spirits who neither enjoy nor suffer much because they live in the gray twilight that knows neither victory nor defeat."
    -- Theodore Roosevelt


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    Default Re: Ryan's Thread Of General Thoughts And Musings

    Quote Originally Posted by Malsua View Post
    I think it's a combination of things really.

    First, the left's war on Christmas is paying dividends.
    Next, the warmth. Christmas cold always brings people together in shared misery. Warmth is complacency. If you want to know why Africa and the middle east don't produce anything, it's because it's too warm and they don't have to.

    As for lights...plenty on around my area. Here's my house this year. Taken with my wife's phone so it's shitty picture compared to what I usually do.

    Very nice! Glad to hear there's plenty of lights in your area. I posed the question to both of my brothers (including the one who's the deputy that patrols our county) and they agree with my observation on fewer displays so, it might just be a local thing.

    The part I highlighted in red was what a big part of what my gut was telling me. That combined with the fact we're dealing with a very real malaise in the nation under Obama, with a whole lot of indifference on a whole lot of things. I also suspect many people are in a financial crunch and spending money on decorations isn't as high a priority as perhaps making sure there are gifts under the tree.

    And don't get me wrong, as much as I love snow, the lower energy bills are not unwelcome.

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    Default Re: Ryan's Thread Of General Thoughts And Musings

    Wouldn't it be great if the left declared war on Islam instead of embracing it? Many of our problems would resolve rather neatly as we'd be naming the enemy for who it is.
    "Far better it is to dare mighty things, to win glorious triumphs even though checkered by failure, than to rank with those poor spirits who neither enjoy nor suffer much because they live in the gray twilight that knows neither victory nor defeat."
    -- Theodore Roosevelt


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    Creepy Ass Cracka & Site Owner Ryan Ruck's Avatar
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    Default Re: Ryan's Thread Of General Thoughts And Musings

    You ain't kidding.

    I'd even settle for them hating all religions equally.

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    Default Re: Ryan's Thread Of General Thoughts And Musings

    The wife made the same comment to me a couple of days ago about Christmas. "Doesn't seem like Christmas, does it?" I told it didn't.

    No snow, warmth, the fact we aren't where we wanted to be this time of year and are back where we started... injuries, broken stuff, spending more money than we have... the whole thing. And the money spent wasn't even on presents for the kids.

    The whole country is depressed. People are acting out. The government is acting up. I think it's time to take some of that energy of the people, and direct it at the government.
    Libertatem Prius!


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    Default Re: Ryan's Thread Of General Thoughts And Musings

    It's going to be 70 here on Christmas Eve. That's a first. I remember some very cold and snowy ones, this will be my warmest.
    "Far better it is to dare mighty things, to win glorious triumphs even though checkered by failure, than to rank with those poor spirits who neither enjoy nor suffer much because they live in the gray twilight that knows neither victory nor defeat."
    -- Theodore Roosevelt


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    Default Re: Ryan's Thread Of General Thoughts And Musings

    Will be 43 where I'm at but a low of 17 at night. Slight chance of snow on Christmas Day (55%)
    Libertatem Prius!


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    Creepy Ass Cracka & Site Owner Ryan Ruck's Avatar
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    Default Re: Ryan's Thread Of General Thoughts And Musings

    We're under a severe thunderstorm watch right now with tornado watches just west in Indiana.

    There's actually a tornado warning due to a radar indicated tornado just south of me right now.

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    Default Re: Ryan's Thread Of General Thoughts And Musings

    I saw first hand today why Sears is going under.

    I had a cracked 3/4" - 1/2" drive Craftsman socket I needed to trade in. Tossed it in my van's cup holder so I could stop in at the next K-Mart or Sears I happened across and remembered to stop into.

    Today I was headed home from my last service call and was passing through Lawrenceburg, IN. Saw a "Sears Hometown Store" sign and decided to pull in.

    Walk in and the place is dimly lit, a bit rundown and dingy looking, and practically empty. I see 3 people. Two are a man and woman sitting near the door on some outdoor furniture not doing much else. Why? Who knows but they were sitting there the whole time I was in the store. The other was some younger guy sitting at a computer, dressed in casual clothes. I look around trying to find someone who works there. Turns out the guy sitting at the computer is the guy that works there when he asks if he can help me (not bothering to get up of course). No clothing or name tag to ID him as a Sears employee.

    So I explain to him why I'm there and what I've got.

    He manages to get up and we head over to the tool area where he spends several minutes looking through the sockets. Low and behold, the don't have one in stock! Something as common as a 3/4" - 1/2" drive socket not in stock!

    I end up having to have them order me a replacement that they will ship to me at no cost.

    Crazy!

    I guarantee I could take any of my lifetime guaranteed Harbor Freight tools into any Harbor Freight and walk out with a replacement in hand. Funny thing is the Harbor Freight hand tools I have are just as solid, if not more so, as my Craftsman. And with Craftsman moving their tool production to China, why would I pay 2x-3x for the same or inferior Craftsman quality? In fact, I'm pretty fond of my Harbor Freight ratcheting flex head wrenches that only cost me $20 for 5 common SAE sizes. I've used them a ton and the ratcheting action feels just as solid as it did when I first got them and the flex heads show no sign of any problems. I'm also really coming to love my Earthquake impact gun and air wrench as well. They've been working perfectly working on my truck!

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    Default Re: Ryan's Thread Of General Thoughts And Musings

    Decided to stop by Chick-Fil-A for dinner on my way home and saw this after getting off of the interchange.



    A young, thin girl "panhandling". That's a new one for around here.

    That's about as close as I got as I headed on down the road but she didn't look too bad. Didn't see any meth sores.

    I can't help but think that street sign is giving some sound advice though...




    I suppose that beats the black guy I saw standing near downtown Cincinnati holding a sign that simply said "I'm fucked up".

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    Default Re: Ryan's Thread Of General Thoughts And Musings

    At least the black guy was being honest?
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    Default Re: Ryan's Thread Of General Thoughts And Musings

    There are tons of young, thin, white women panhandling in NYC these days. They are mostly druggies but some are simply too lazy to work for the man and would rather experience life than slaving away in a cubical. They sell their dignity, their bodies and eventually their life but hey, no one was holding them back!
    "Far better it is to dare mighty things, to win glorious triumphs even though checkered by failure, than to rank with those poor spirits who neither enjoy nor suffer much because they live in the gray twilight that knows neither victory nor defeat."
    -- Theodore Roosevelt


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