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  • Craftsman PGT9000 Lawn Tractor – Starter won’t engage the Motor (Kohler Starter 3209801)

    I have come to despise Craftsman since purchasing this lawn tractor. The mandrels that spin the blades which turns the blade break off very easily, the blades use a terrible pattern to fit to the mandrel making to easy to strip, and now this mickey mouse design of a starter!

    In my case the start does turn over but will not engage the engine so therefore you cannot start the tractor. The starter is listed here on Amazon but can be found cheaper on ebay.com (but I refuse to buy one unless I have no other choice):

    The culprit


    Why do I refuse to buy one? Because its a disaster of engineering that will just keep wasting your money. The piece of rubber spacer that the teeth sit on is a sad excuse for poor engineering. This rubber is not very strong and breaks off very easily, therefore causing the starter to no longer engage the engine when it pops up (it can’t reach high enough).

    I already fixed the rubber spacer once by putting hurricane tape around it to hold it together but now that is no longer enough to keep it together.

    – The old rubber spacer stabilizes the teeth on the starter so it does not have much play (too much play and the teeth can get stuck when engaged in the motor).
    – The old rubber spacer needs to elevate the teeth about 35mm (less is better, about 30mm)

    – Find a rubber o-ring washer that can stretch over the teeth and fit below them to elevate the teeth 25-30mm

    An O-Ring can fit over the top and replace the previous rubber spacer

    That’s all it took for me, now I can start my lawn tractor as the starter engages the motor once again.

  • Moving to Northern BC?

    First let me clarify something… Prince George, BC is NOT northern BC! It has the nickname “the northern capitol” but that is about it. If you look at a provincial map, it is obvious that Prince George sits right in the middle of the province from a physical perspective. From a population perspective, there isn’t a whole lot north of here, major destinations include: Dawson Creek, Fort Saint John and Fort Nelsen, all fairly small towns.

    So what can be expected moving from the Okanagan Valley where you have super hot temps and semi desert conditions (cacti, rattlesnakes, tumble-weeds, black widows, etc) to the colder climate of Central BC (some would call this Northern BC)? Having been here for only 1.5 months I feel there are things to share now, before I forget about them which can only be expressed as a first impression.

    – Cost of housing is 1/2 of the Okanagan

    – Cost of land is 1/4 to 1/2 of the Okanagan

    – Food prices are close to the same with some exceptions depending on the store(s) you visit.

    – People are MUCH MORE friendly in general. There is a northern culture that just seems to inhabit most people and places I have visited.

    – Winter plays with you in mid October for a few days.. melts away and comes back to stay mid November.

    – Winter tires are non negotiable. In some parts of BC (basically ONLY Vancouver) you might argue that winter tires are not required. If you leave Vancouver then you NEED them in BC.

    – Everything is VERY easy to find and laid out very well in the Prince George area. We were able to find everything without exception with no problems.

    – The agricultural side here seems much more slim than the Okanagan and Lower Mainland. If you want to buy animals you may have to travel out of area to get what you are looking for. Likely due to smaller population than the areas previously mentioned.

    – You’ll ONLY find U-Haul trucks in major cities Like Vernon, Kamloops and Prince George (Williams Lake or 100 mile house are NOT considered major cities).

    – Prince George has nearly everything that Kelowna has, an Airport, A University, a College, a Regional Health Authority, a Costco, a SuperStore, Canadian Tire, etc.

    – Prince George has a stigma for bad crime and very cold weather. Both of these are over-rated and sensationalized. But hey it keeps the masses from coming and raising property values and taxes so that’s ok with me.

    – There are pockets of godly Christians in the area making it a good destination for Christian Fellowship. Of course it will take a bit of time to find them 🙂

    That is all for today.

  • Goat kids – round 1 for 2009!

    This evening we had our first batch of goat kids born, one male and one female. The father is a papered pure bred French Alpine buck, the mother is a strong hearty Nubian. The male kid looks like the mother and the female looks like the father. In 3-4 weeks we’ll have fresh goats milk for the family again… HURRAY!

    There are two other females expecting, so hopefully this year we will have more success than last.




  • The hay barn is done!

    Finally after a month of hard work, cutting down trees, cutting up beams using my Alaska mill and Husky CD2100 chainsaw, buying some cheap dimensional lumber along with expensive tin roofing, the hay shed is complete and the animals will have nice dry hay all winter! The beams in the picture are 20 feet in length (larch).

    Here are a few pictures below:


  • A Technology Summary of the first half of 2005

    What things have I learned from a technology point of view so far this year?

    – Moving everything to a web application is possible, but creates potentially expensive challenges for the unexpereinced.

    – Moving to a pure HTML / DHTML provides a broad flexible potential audience of users, but is very expensive if you must provide similar usability of a legacy stateful application.

    – Providing a web page with thousands of editable controls is not inherently usable, but if you "have to" do it you may consider this to speed it up: