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Monday November 14, 2016
Mariposa has not been hemorrhaging much for more than a day so we may be out of the woods soon. It would be so nice for things to get back to a semblance of normalcy around here.
Having been raised by prairie farmers who survived the Dirty 30’s meant that we learned to save broken things that could have other uses. Garden hose often became tricycle tires for instance. So I don’t apologize for having areas in my house where I store such broken things. There are no Home Depot’s in Ecuador for one-stop shopping and Ecuadorians are quite good at fixing things in innovative ways themselves.
Today I resolved to scratch another item off of my to-do list. I had 2 quite expensive office chairs, which I had grudgingly bought after I got tired of buying several $35 secretarial chairs that would last less than a year. But both of those broke too and I was back to using a secretaial chair! Fortunately, the two were broken in different fashions, one in the hydraulics, and the other had lost the seat back. Today I decided to make one good chair out of both. Removing the good hydraulic with the wheels from the backless chair was relatively easy.
However, removing the crappy hydraulic from the good chair was another story. I managed to get the wheel assembly off (still have good wheels..) but the hydraulic would not remove itself from the seat no matter how much I twisted, pounded and cussed. In this process, I also discovered that the metal around the receptacle for the hydraulic was failing, ¾ broken… And I couldn’t swap assemblies because the bolt holes were way different. So I threw it on my back and trudged 5 blocks to my neighbourhood metal man. It took a while to explain that I only wanted 2 things: 1. Remove the buggered hydraulic, and 2. Weld the metal around the receptacle, without damaging the receptacle itself. After bouncing around ideas between the 3 of us, we removed the receptacle from the seat which gave us a back entry to use a hammer and punch. It only took a few good hits and it finally popped out.
Next we tried to pry back the receptacle itself into a reasonably level position before welding it solidly. The owner, who has done quite a bit of work for me, heckuva nice guy, drove me home so I wouldn’t have to break my back again. He charged me $10 and I tipped him 20% more. Hopefully this chair will last a long time again.
I asked him how business was, and he said it is way down. He used to have 3 employees, now he is down to only one, who luckily speaks a little English.
November and December are the best months in Cuenca and the blue skies and sunshine are more than welcomed. I even just had a visit from Andrea the Giant (hummingbird) a few seconds ago, but she got shy when I aimed the camera.
I hope you enjoy the photos. That was the day's excitement. Cheers, Al
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|Gotta love it when a plan comes together!|