Several years ago I bought some of the components to convert the tractor's rear blade to hydraulic operation. But I never seemed to get around to installing them until I mentioned it to our new neighbor Bert. He works as a mechanic and welder and told me to "just bring it over some time and we'll get'er done." A few weeks later I drove the tractor down to his garage with everything in the loader bucket. In a few hours, he had brackets welded to the rear blade and installed the hydraulic cylinder and controls, so all we needed were the hoses. The next day we went to town and ordered the hoses and fittings, installing them and adding hydraulic fluid as soon as we got back. Well as luck would have it, it didn't work. I had bought the wrong type of hydraulic control. Since I'd gotten it used on ebay, it couldn't be returned, so I had to order a new one. A week or so later, the new one arrived and we installed it on the tractor. Now I have this great hydraulic rear blade and a new driveway to plow. Thanks Bert!
It's always great to start the new year with a new year's eve party and this year was no exception. We had some friends over last night and except for a few who had trouble staying awake until midnight, a good time was had by all. But this morning, it was the usual sobering news of the so-called "fiscal cliff". In an attempt to reduce the deficit, congress had created a deadline for automatic spending cuts and tax increases if a new budget wasn't passed by Jan 1. This evening they finally passed a compromise budget, but it's only in effect for two months and actually raises the deficit. What a clown show.