I wasn't the least bit surprised this morning when I ambled into the garage to start the snowblower for the first time this season. I poured in some year-old gas, pushed the primer button a few times and pulled the cord -- about 20 times.
Before I even walked out the door, I said to my wife, "Wanna take bets on whether the snowblower starts?" She politely declined.
As I spent the next hour shoveling like a sucker, I pondered the reasons the old Toro failed me in my time of need:
- I didn't completely empty the tank last spring.
- I didn't so much as check the spark plugs.
- I didn't buy new gas for the season.
- I didn't try to start it before my neighborhood got hit with a bunch of snow.
So I totally had it coming. But wait, I have an excuse!
I actually have three, yes three, snowblowers in my garage. My father-in-law gave them to me a few years ago: one good one, one crappy one and one for parts.
The "good" one worked perfectly when he demonstrated it to me. Then, the day I fired it up for the first time, it worked for about 30 seconds, then died. And never started again. The most impressive thing I could get it to do was to shoot a blue flame out the side (yes, I know it's probably a carburetor issue).
I even changed the spark plug, which turned into an empowering but useless venture. Finally, I stuffed the "good" snowblower into the corner and began using the crappy one.
The crappy one has been fickle but generally useful. It seems to start when it feels like it, and usually refuses to work during heavy snowstorms.
That's why, last Saturday, I finally took the "good" snowblower to Ace Hardware to get it fixed.
And, like the rest of Milwaukee, I'll probably wait till July to have it ready.
So no, I wasn't surprised when the crappy snowblower didn't start, and I admit that it's probably my fault. But somehow that didn't make me feel any better during my morning shoveling.
Next call: Ace, to get an update on that repair ...
NinaMarie.....if that is your photo on your page...you should have the guys lining up to shovel your walk for you.....very cute....
That's pretty funny. I don't have a snow-blower, but I did spy an 80lb bag of salt that the old tenants left in my garage. I'm about to head out there and unleash that baby all over my driveway, hoping it melts something.
I too have a Simplicity older than every other powered peice of equipment in my garage. Heavy, metal, and dangerous in every sense. I aso have a "Snow Pup" given by my father-in-law for my wife to use if needed. Let's face it the older one is to heavy even for me to use if it is slippery. Yet the snow pup sat there like an old dog, didn't even start. My Simplicity started like a charm and my only worry is when I need to stick the broom handle down the shoot to unclog it.
It is the envy of the block for it's massive size and ability to do even the largest piles left by the city in front of my driveway.
TosaJimBob--my Simplicity snowblower (37) is older than I am (34). It also still works like a champ.
5 comments about this article.
Post your comment/review now
Disclaimer: Please note that Facebook comments are posted through Facebook and cannot be approved, edited or declined by OnMilwaukee.com. The opinions expressed in Facebook comments do not necessarily reflect those of OnMilwaukee.com or its staff.
Recent Articles & Blogs by Andy Tarnoff
Published Feb. 18, 2015
Doctors are very clear with their warnings that alcohol will not warm you up in the dead of winter. So, obviously, unless you have a Saint Bernard with a little flask of brandy, you should not drink to thaw yourself out during these subzero temperatures in Milwaukee right now. You may, however, drink to take your mind off winter. And it being Bar Month, we tracked down some excellent cocktail recipes from our sponsor brands.
Published Feb. 18, 2015
Karen Leahy, a CPA and Milwaukee native, doesn't really talk about her other career - something she's been doing straight through since the '80s. "I'd rather be known for brains than beauty," says Leahy, who is also a successful part-time model. "I should have been a boy," she says, nuzzling her dog in her chic Downtown condo. "I like cars, sports and sex."
Published Feb. 9, 2015
As we trudge through another winter, thinking we've got it the worst - and we hear about it the most on TV - industry insiders say that's not quite right. Everyone, everywhere complains about their city's weather and its weather coverage. Yet for the most part, every TV station reports on it the same way. Here's an in-depth look at the changing face of Milwaukee weather.
Published Feb. 3, 2015
There aren't many bars in Milwaukee where no money changes hands, you don't order your own drinks and all of the imbibing goes on in the middle of the day. But that's the world of Lisa Semerad, a bartender at the Miller Inn, the last stop on the Miller Brewery Tour at 4251 W. State St. Her customers are always in a great mood, and for Semerad, Miller is a family tradition. No wonder she loves her job.
Published Feb. 3, 2015
I remember helping a friend out in college after his grandmother died, and one of our tasks was going through her old photos and deciding what to keep and what to toss. This was a really sad task, and I felt like I was intruding on someone's life, throwing away memories that meant nothing to me. What will it be like for our generation?
Published Jan. 6, 2015
I remember back in college, I came to the realization that several different versions existed of me. Those different versions of me continue to this day, but nowhere are they more pronounced than on social media. I embraced Twitter long before Facebook and Instagram, but now active on all three, you'll experience a totally different Andy Tarnoff if you only look in one place.
Published Dec. 30, 2014
These year-end lists are always fun to write, because they are so open-ended. So bear with me if I skip the regular categories and think outside the box a little for this one.
Published Dec. 29, 2014
As you can imagine, it's not easy being a four-season bike shop in a state where it's possible to see snow on the ground for eight months out of the year. But Steve Whitford, co-owner of South Shore Cyclery in Cudahy, says he knows no other way.
Published Dec. 22, 2014
I remember vividly how hard school was. Not just the homework, but the routine of waking up early, navigating its social intricacies. Granted, my daughter is only in K5, but still, she works hard - so I like to reward her with plenty of family fun when seasonal school vacations come around.
Published Dec. 17, 2014
Yesterday, I walked around Packard Avenue in Cudahy for the first time in a long time. I mean, I drive through or around Cudahy all the time, but yesterday was different. I stopped to smell the roses. Every real Milwaukeeans should pay a visit to downtown Cudahy every now and then. It's like a window into our past, and it's still alive and kicking today.