Monday, September 8, 2008


We here in South Florida are all heaving a sigh of relief as Hurricane Ike passes off to the south. Tropical Storm Hanna was bad enough. Not because Hanna caused any damage, but because Chandler refused to go out in the pouring rain, and get his little feet wet. "Hey daddy, I'll just poop inside if you don't mind!"

After cleaning up the piles of poop and puddles of pee, it was time to start planning for Ike. I tend to get cranky when a storm is forecast to hit us. Running off to the grocery store to battle everyone else for that last bottle of water, and sitting in line for fuel just makes me bitchy. This time was no different.

One of my duties to prepare for a hurricane, besides entombing every window in the house behind shutters, is to pull out the generator and make sure it is ready. It is a job that I have been putting off for three years, since Hurricane Wilma. According to the directions, you are supposed to start the generator at least once every couple of months, and drain all the old fuel between uses. I thought it said old fool, so I drained myself and figured, job done.

After digging through Marks Christmas junk, and the piles of crap that he has bought and secretly stored in the shed, I found the generator. With great effort, I dragged it out to the deck where I proceeded to drain the old fuel, check the oil, and clean the spark plug. After re-filling it with fresh fuel, I grabbed the pull-cord, gave it a yank, and fell backwards. As I sat there on my ass, with the handle and a short length of rope in my hand, all I could think of was, 'those damned Chinese, they did it to me again'. Once I repaired the pull-cord with a new piece of rope, I tried it again, and the generator coughed, and sputtered to life, much to my astonishment. Something was wrong however. It was violently jumping up and down, and moving across the deck towards the edge. As I struggled to keep it from working its way over and into the swimming pool, black smoke started pouring out of the engine. It chugged for a few more seconds, then let out a gasp and died.

I will be buying a new generator before the next storm. This time I will probably go Japanese, Honda makes a good one. Another thing I might want to do, is to follow the directions instead of making up my own.


  1. Let me guess now. You bought the off brand made in some remote taiwan village by mountain people who had been farmers the year before until some subsidiary of an off shoot company of an Indian company who went bankrupt the year before set up shop in their village and hired these farmers to make your generator. hehe

  2. All of this weather sure is scary...I wonder if it is going to calm down now?