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So, Captain OCD comes in the house, the fresh-from-the-garden cucumber, tomato, and basil salad that he’s prepared in the fridge, the steak strips that he’ll barbeque later marinating while he finishes a little work outside, and says, “When’s the last time you drove the Bobcat?” The comment suggests that whatever he’s got going on out there now requires two people to move the Bobcat. Not often a good sign:

 

bobcat2

Periodically, for years, I’ve suggested that it would be nice to get all the blackberries and other undesirable brush cleared out from the other side of what used to be the pond before it began silting in to a sad shadow of its former self. I could, of course, whack the weeds by hand, but it would take me weeks to do what can be done with the Bobcat and a skilled operator in half an hour, which means it’s simply not possible to do it by hand. At least not by my hands. The skilled operator lives here, but the Bobcat is rarely home and instead spends its time moving from job to job, so when it is home I like to put it to use. Or, rather, put someone else to use using it. Someone who knows it so well and has been driving it so long that he could use it in a Tiddlywinks tournament and take home the gold.

Because it hasn’t been cleared out for a few years, and because the shoreline of the pond is always changing (and no longer visible under all the brush), it’s not easy to determine where the edge turns too soft. This is one way to find that edge. Or, rather, just beyond the edge. But, hey, if you always operate on the edge, you’re bound to go over it every once in a while. Or down into it.

He has lots of experience getting things unstuck. One is to use the bucket to push the machine up out of the muck and slowly walk it backwards. See too-soft edge, above. I’m guessing that more than several minutes were spent trying that before he came in the house to inquire about my Bobcat-driving skills, which are not good enough for this sort of situation. If you ever need a Bobcat driven up and down a hard, straight, flat driveway, though, you call me. Another way is to chain it up to the truck and pull it out while someone else drives it in reverse. See the truck’s front driveline – the one that puts the terminal “4” in “4×4”in multiple pieces in the carport. If you’re good at math, you know that that leaves a 4×2, which is not much help in pulling machinery out of deep and slippery mud. For now, the Bobcat is chained to a tree so it doesn’t sink any deeper and we’ll revisit the situation when it’s daylight again.