Saturday, March 29, 2008

Rescuing the Kubota

Unexpected prerequisite to cooking dinner: de-icing the tofu. The refrigerator in our RV is great, but temperature stability is not its strong suit, so for some reason the tofu freezes. Oddly, other stuff in the fridge seems fine.

I didn't measure distance today - it's pretty clear that I'm making good progress, and in fact I had to stop today because I'd gone far enough that I need to do some serious orienteering to get the plans straight. Up until this point, I was just getting the trench down to where we're building, but at this point I'm in—or at least near—the footprint of the house, and so precision actually matters for a change.

I had an interesting experience with the Kubota today. Because I'm now tunneling through brush, I decided to back the Kubota out along the trench I'd dug. Problem is, you have to back up very precisely to avoid a wheel going into the trench. Apparently I am not that precise. I was nearly to the bridge I'd left when I backed the front wheel into the trench. The Kubota tilted hard to the right, although it didn't go over. It was actually quite happy perched there, but obviously there wasn't going to be any moving it in that position.

Fortunately, when Keith was telling me about the Kubota, he mentioned that it can self-rescue in situations like that, so I figured I'd give it a try. I was able to lever it up out of the trench with the backhoe, and then move the wheel back over solid dirt again. I'm oversimplifying, but the bottom line is that with a bit of fiddling with the bucket and the hoe, I managed to get it back up out of the trench and drive it away.

I think I'll just cut a path along the rest of the trench line so that I don't have a repeat of this fiasco. I'm going to have to shovel out a few spots in the trench because of the damage caused by all the fussing around there.

In other news, the OLPC battery runs down pretty fast if you plug in an external hard drive... Shocking, I tell you. Shocking. :')


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