Wednesday afternoon was my last (hopefully) mowing of the year. I've had little problems with the mower this year - gas in the carburetor, some kind of belt broke - but for some reason I actually enjoy riding around on the mower so I get things fixed and continue on instead of going back to the guy that I used to have cut my grass.
Most of the things that have gone wrong with the mower were things I could fix if I knew how. Replacing a belt isn't the same as rebuilding a carburetor, but how hard can replacing a belt be? According to a 10 minute YouTube video it's not impossible for the common man. But I lack the fortitude to get in there and try to fix something and not give up in exasperation before something goes wrong. That's why I ended up spending over $100 to replace a $10 belt. Labor and getting the mower carried back and forth adds up.
At some point I decided I was too good to learn how to fix things with wheels. I can narrow it down to when I had my Camaro, and thanks to the combination of being in my teens/early twenties and not able to afford to have someone else fix all the little things that go wrong with a car that was 10 years old when I bought it, me and Terry were constantly fixing all the little things that go wrong with a car that old. And of course, fixing it once NEVER meant not having to fix it again.
With the above said, yesterday when I started to mow I noticed the front right tire didn't look right. My front tires on the mower aren't aligned correctly, I think thanks to hitting a trench not filled in deep enough from my water line replacement 2 years ago (this is on my "get them to fix it next year during the mower tune up" trip list). The tire looked low, not like a car tire does where the weight just kinds of flattens it out, but low as if the tire was skewing on the wheel rim. I hopped off the mower and pressed down on the tire. Yep, it was flat. Well, crap, what do I do now? How do I get air in a mower tire at home?
Back on June 5, 2013, I purchased a Black & Decker air compressor for Amazon. Why? Dunno. At the time I thought I needed one. In the garage, inside a cabinet, I finally opened the box which held that air compressor and read the instructions. Fortunately those instructions boiled down to "plug in, attach hose, inflate" and I was able to continue on mowing with a tire full of air.
It's likely that tire's been flat for a while and it's only my paranoia of getting through 1 last ride for the year before putting the mower away that made me actually notice something was wrong. I felt way to proud that I was able to put air in a tire all by myself. I wish I knew how to (confidently) take care of the other things the mower needs on an annual basis, things my grandfather used to do both at work and just in general - for some reason I remember him sharpening mower blades for our mower when I was little. I have no idea how to sharpen a mower blade, or even change the oil or whatever filter(s) the thing has. While the internet can show the steps for all of this, there's a part about getting your hands dirty and twisting everything around that I tend to screw up.
This sounds like some type of night class that should be available out there. Likely taught by some 14 year old kid.