Don’t Do This.

The liquid of life

Water. It keeps us alive, it keeps the planet alive. It makes plants grow, provides a home for fish, other mammals and in some cases, for people. It is a playground for people and perhaps even a place of worship for you beach goers.

It can also be a source of devastation and death. Tsunami’s, hurricanes, water spouts, rip tides, rogue waves and rain storms all can end life at any time, even for machines.

Take that simple glass of water. Harmless, life giving and satisfying. Dump that down your throat and you are instantly hydrated and ready to roll. Dump that into your motorcycles fuel tank and rolling will be out of the question. Case in point, I practically did just that.

I make regular trips to a small farm I own in upstate New York and on my way back I stop at a local fuel station to get some non-Ethanol fuel for my beloved Harley. I’ll usually fill up one or two 5-gallon gas containers and have plenty of clean fuel without corn in it for a week or so. About a month ago, I did just that and as I usually do when I get home, I put them behind the Ted Shed so as to not stink up the inside of the shed with gas fumes.

Gas and used oil… good spot? No.

While this may seem like a good idea and a simple task without flaw. It was in fact, lacking some brightness in my mental light bulb.

You see, as a practice, I would loosen the caps on these gas containers to allow them to vent and prevent the containers from expanding in the oppressive heat we’ve been having here in New Jersey. Mind you, this is a practice that I have been doing for years without a problem. And with success of said pattern, I assumed all would be as normal this time as it was all the other times I have done this.

You know that saying that says the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over expecting a different result? Is there a saying that says stupidity is doing the same thing over and over and and getting a completely different but expected result? I don’t know, but there should be and if there isn’t, I just invented it.

I admit openly and in full disclosure that I’m not necessarily a bright fellow sometimes, though I do believe myself to have a fair amount of common sense. I get education and experience by doing, even if wrong. That’s how I learn. Admittedly, sometimes I do things ahead of my thinking and then chastise myself to being that brainless buffoon. Common sense being what it is, it is still quite possible for one to overlook the obvious. Obvious like gutters and rain.

Up against the house or up against the shed, not in the middle

Now ordinarily, I’d put the gas containers up against the back of the Ted shed where they would receive some rain drops falling on them but usually nothing of any significance or to be concerned about.

There are other times where I would put them up against the house, so they would be under the overhang and not get wet at all or little.

But this time, because of an unusual amount of clutter that built up, the containers were in the middle of the space directly beneath the gutters. Now ordinarily this would not be too much of a problem. However……

During the period when these two containers were where they were, we had quite a number of days here where we received torrential rains that dumped a lot of rain on us. Let me say that again. A LOT OF RAIN. As a result, the downspout of the gutters, bless its little heart, did all it could to shuttle the deluge from the roof to the ground but sadly was overwhelmed by the volume of water. This, as one would expect, would cause the gutters to overflow and the water cascaded down upon…. you guessed it, the gas cans with aforementioned loosened caps. To make matters even worse, I actually saw this in action as I went out to close the windows on the shed. Commenting out loud to no one “Wow, even the gutters can’t handle this rain”. Dumbass.

Fast forward to the weekend. Getting ready to ride.

I know that I have 88 miles on my current tank of gas, so that means I have about a half tank. Let me get one of the gas cans and fill her up. So now you see where this is going.

I top it off, back it out of the shed to the end of the driveway and start her up. She runs…… for about 30 seconds and shuts off. Huh? What? She won’t restart. Hmm…. I wonder what…… OH NO!!!!

To add dumb to dumber. Just a day before, I had taken some of that fuel and put it in my Jeep because I was sucking fumes and had to go get gas. Needless Jeep ran like crap for nearly a week until I was able to fill it up with a tank of fresh gas. Motorcycles are far more fickle about what goes in their tanks. Especially a big V-Twin.

For the foreseeable future

I’ve drained the tank, a very messy job if you’ve ever done it. Taken out the fuel filter, disconnected all the lines. Now it is just a matter of draining the oil, getting a new fuel filter, oil filter and flushing out all the fuel lines of the water if there is any left and then put it all back together and pray that it starts.

Because of a 20% pay cut due to the this “pandemic”, available funds to make the purchase of the necessary parts is sadly not going to happen any time soon. Any spare cash I have now is going to paying bills and such. So I have resorted to selling some unused tools and such to fund the repairs. It’s not an expensive repair, but $40 is $40. And when you have to $40 here and $40 there it adds up. Just a freaking oil change will cost nearly $60!! UGH!!

This is the plight of having expensive hobbies. So boys and girls. Tighten those caps on those gas cans and don’t put them under your gutters.

Lesson learned.

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