Manic good and bad all mashed together

Posted: February 16, 2012 in Life, Stupidity
Tags: , ,

Monday, we had a party. We had planned it for a while in advance. It was supposed to celebrate the completion of the garden beds (which still have no dirt in them) but then it changed motive to be a general purpose party and a goodbye to EasternBlocBob who has become a good friend. Saturday was spent acquiring all the food and whatnot, Sunday was spent cooking and prepping, and Monday morning was for preparing the yard.

Sunday you already read about, with the power line oddities and the blackout. Monday, however, we wake up again to not having any electricity (it would happen again every day at different times, and today it would be out for 5 hours during the hottest time of the day). The yard needed some attention so I pulled the lawnmower out of storage. I started it up and it ran for a few minutes and then choked and died. It still had a full tank of fuel.

Normally I would have torn it apart to find the problem and fix it but I had limited time with the rest of the yard prep: setting out furniture, tables, getting the fire pit set up and laying out the lights and power cables if we might happen to have electricity. It should be mentioned that this lawnmower is the exact same model of Briggs and Stratton invincible Yard Machines lawnmower that I pushed in mom’s yard for many years and she still has today, and it never had a problem except need of a blade sharpening once. Mine, however, I have had for maybe 6 months and it won’t work because it’s in Uruguay.

It has been fathomed for a long long time why machines and appliances here never work right out of the box, and we recently got a bit of urban-legend proof from friends in Argentina. All of the items that do not pass muster during quality control inspections in China make their way to Argentina, and those not needed in Argentina make their way to Uruguay. Same with the rejects from Brazil. Made in China, for Argentina, is apparently a special class of crap. Made in China for Argentina and passed on to Uruguay is even worse. I cannot vouch for the truthfulness of this information but it makes sense considering our various experiences with appliances sucking or not working at all.

So the lawnmower won’t restart and I throw my shoulder out trying to get it restarted after draining and replacing the old gas with new to see if it will help. No good. Then I get out the Hyundai (decent brand) weedwhacker, which is only a couple of months old, start it up, and it runs for only a few minutes before it conks out and won’t restart. I do the same gas drain and refill with fresh stuff but it didn’t work here either.

Now I am pissed and in pain, and I still have yard work to do, raking all the 5 million tons of pine needles out of the lawn, so I throw the mower and weedwhacker into the truck and drive them to the place I bought them from to have them repaired. WifeBob is having a meltdown now because the lawn looks like shit. It hasn’t had a proper rain in 3 months now, and we can’t adequately water it because most of the sprinkler things we have bought have broken as well.

When I get back, thankfully DiverBob has shown up since he was in town early and he offers his assistance with whatever we need to prep for the party. I put him to work helping me with the mountains of pine needles so we rake them all up and position them Carolina style around the trees and things in the yard. WifeBob hates this so then demands we remove the pine needles somehow. We start throwing them in the fire pit and burning them but then the dead dry lawn sets on fire…

WifeBob asks me if there is any way we can rent a mower to trim the lawn down, but on short notice nothing EVER happens here so the answer is no. The neighbor’s gardeners show up and start doing their thing. I go talk with the gardener and explain how my mower and weedwhacker are dead, and ask him if he can give the yard a quick once-over, I figure it would take a half-hour. The guy looks around and agrees it will take him half an hour to mow the yard.

“How much you figure it will cost?” I ask.

“Fifty bucks,” he replies. This blows a gasket in my head but for the sake of WifeBob I go back and ask her if she has the money because I certainly don’t. The answer is no, so I have to go back and relay the bad news. Good riddance. 50 bucks??? Maybe it is worth mentioning that these are the same clowns who were doing the gardening when we rented the neighbor’s house during the construction of our own, and they left the irrigation system on when I was at my brother’s wedding, thereby racking up a $900 water bill that they tried to blame on us. Slap me and call be bitch!

So no lawnmowing. WifeBob has another meltdown.

Now the electricity was thankfully back on, and she could finish prepping the party stuff, and when the sun started to die down in the sky, folks started showing up and we had an excellent time until the wee hours of the morning. The weather held out nicely.

Now we are having daily power outages and I am not sure what the problem is. It wasn’t like this in previous years. In Ciudad Vieja, we would get power outages sometimes during severe storms but that was standard practice anywhere in the world. Here, who knows what is going on. Perhaps the infrastructure simply isn’t up to par to handle a lot of people using air conditioners to escape the heat. And it’s not a heavy high season this year either, not a lot of people around, so it’s not like every house is using the AC. Kristina has knocked the teeth out of the middle class Argentines with her currency controls so they aren’t showing up here to spend their money, and it has reduced the summer tourist population by quite a significant amount.

  1. Vicki says:

    Good Grief! We’ve had some “What else could possibly go wrong” days, but none that stands up to your party day!

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