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There was another craigslist ad. An L , an square shut snowblower, a 30″ mower, a cart and a sulky. All for $40. I ignored it thinking someone would get it the next day. A week later and the ad was still up. I sent a message, yes it was still available and did I want it. My yes answer wasn’t returned the next day. My second message wasn’t returned the next day. Finally the ad was taken down. I must be cursed.


Today I was looking at the weather report in Google Chrome and all of a sudden it was hijacked. The 20 or so tabs I had opened were being redirected and hijacked to browsersecurityalert site. It had a voice file that kept saying I needed to call a number. It was quickly playing on all 20 tabs and sound pretty crazy.

Despite a killall chrome command the browser no longer popped up the option to not restore the tabs. Every time I restarted chrome the hijack happened again. ps aux came up with these controls.

/opt/google/chrome/chrome --type=renderer --enable-deferred-image-decoding --lang=en-US --force-fieldtrials=DomRel-Enable/enable/EnhancedBookmarks/Default/ExtensionContentVerification/Enforce/ExtensionInstallVerification/None/NewProfileManagement/Enabled/PasswordGeneration/Disabled/RefreshTokenDeviceId/Enabled/RememberCertificateErrorDecisions/Default/SafeBrowsingIncidentReportingService/Default/SettingsEnforcement/no_enforcement/UMA-Dynamic-Binary-Uniformity-Trial/default/UMA-Population-Restrict/normal/UMA-Uniformity-Trial-1-Percent/group_58/UMA-Uniformity-Trial-10-Percent/group_05/UMA-Uniformity-Trial-100-Percent/group_01/UMA-Uniformity-Trial-20-Percent/group_03/UMA-Uniformity-Trial-5-Percent/default/UMA-Uniformity-Trial-50-Percent/default/VoiceTrigger/Install/ --enable-crash-reporter=88788371-5F7F-973F-FB3A-AFC49362BD57 --extension-process --enable-webrtc-hw-h264-encoding --disable-client-side-phishing-detection --enable-offline-auto-reload --enable-offline-auto-reload-visible-only --enable-pinch-virtual-viewport --enable-delegated-renderer --num-raster-threads=2 --disable-accelerated-video-decode --channel=8925.2.1348255093

I could not find a way to run chrome with previous tab restore disabled. I was forced to go to .config/google-chrome/Default/. I deleted the “Current Tabs” “Current Session” and “Last Session” Probably last session was the one I wanted but when I tried to change the file names, Caja kept popping up an error message behind a video file I was watching in another screen. I am now hating Mate as much as Gnome but that is another story.

I finally had a blank chrome when started.

This may have been my fault because I have not updated in a few months. Updating Debian Sid is now something I don’t have time to do. I updated Chrome and recovered my lost tabs from history.

After this I just had injected ads into the tabs. I Figured out the the “video downloader helper” extension I was using did this. It is removed and the problem is gone for now.

I recently have had the misfortune of using an computer running Microsoft Windows 7 at work. I have discover a few amazing things.

1: I kept hitting the caps lock button by accident. I haven’t done that in a long time because turning caps lock into an CTRL key has been a 3 click setting in most window managers running on Linux for a long time.

With Microsoft Windows it seems you need to install a program, or change a registry key, something a user without admin privileges can’t do.

2: The next crazy thing I discover was that Microsoft Windows wouldn’t let me rename a file because I had it open in a program.

On Linux I can play a video file, rename the file, move the file, then permanently delete the file, all while the video is playing, and it will still play to the end. The the video will be gone for ever like it should be. Backups are simple because any file can be copied even if 50 programs are reading that file.

3: I downloaded a file and when I went to look for it it wasn’t at the top of the file list. I looked at how to change the listings from alphabetically to creation date. I couldn’t find that at all, so I had to go back to browser to find what the file was called.

On most file browsers running on Linux the download folder is set up to sort by date by default. On Microsoft Windows, it is only allowed in a special folder called a library, for the other folders you are on your own.

4:On Microsoft Windows I am forced to right click copy, then right click paste or CTRL C, CTRL V.

On Linux you can highlight text with the mouse and middle click it to paste. You can also right click copy, right click paste which gives you 2 clip boards to use. Only having one makes Microsoft Windows slower and harder to use.

I talked to a CS student going to a large state college nearby. They said they are taught that Linux is too hard for users so they will never have to deal with it. In these four cases Microsoft Windows is harder to use and I am sure there are many other examples.

I was shocked to find out Microsoft has a 20th century OS in the 21st century.

I was driving behind a slow vehicle. It was doing 40 to 45 in a 55 MPH. Yes it was wearing a bow tie.

As I patiently followed without tail gating I was thinking how slow it was going to go in the up coming 35 MPH zone. To my surprise it kept going at 45 MPH, I know because I was going 40 and it was far ahead. I then caught back up with it at the railroad tracks as it crawled over at 1/2 MPH.

Then there was a stop sign which it ran, and then a 40 MPH zone, I went 45 to keep up, until the 30, at the rate the truck was going I am sure it never slowed down and went 45 in the 30 zone.

I will never understand why someone would drive slow in a 55 and then speed extremely fast in a 30. Maybe it has something to do with what their vehicle wears on its neck.

Another attachment I could never get was a lawn roller. I finally gave up and built one myself. I collected thick angle iron, a 40 gallon pressure tank, pillow blocks, some round stock and some pipe and built one.

The drill bits I bought were bad so I couldn’t drill the angle for the 1/2″ bolts. I ended up using 3/8 bolts and welding it. It worked well except the tank leaked horribly. I will try to TIG weld it before next spring. I used the spring and seat from a sulky.

lawn roller

lawn roller bracing

lawn roller

lawn roller in use.

Next year I plan to add weight to the side supports, as it isn’t heavey enough for my really bumpy lawn.

Sorry about the delay.

The original handle bars were horribly bent. I had to use a pair from an old L for the project.
handle bars
The black ones are the correct shape.

Mocking it up I found the air cleaner hit the gas tank.

air cleaner hitting gas tank.

I took off the air cleaner and found I could rotate the housing 90 degrees so it would clear.

air cleaner original location.

Here is the rotated air cleaner with the cover trimmed to allow removal.

final air cleaner.

In all the re-powers I have never seen a handle bar kill switch. I thought of moving the key to the handle bar but to save time I just added a kill switch. I took a starter button, mounted it to the handle bar. I wired one side to ground and I tied the other side to the low oil sensor. It works better than I imagined. One touch and the engine stops, you don’t have to hold it down.

kill switch

Another thing missing from re-powers is a throttle lever mounted to the handle bar. I found one that I had that locked into full, which is a great feature. The engine had the part needed to mount a throttle cable to two different locations. I picked the one parallel with the shaft.

thottle lever
throttle cable

Here is a picture of the under hood set up. The gas tank vent didn’t work, it was sucking gas so I re-routed it up and around the filler neck. Photo’s later.

Under hood view

I wanted to use the original rear hitch. It was too short and too high to fit under the engine. I made metal plates to lower the hitch and bring it back.

hitch plates.

Hitch and parts.

Hitch installed.

There are problems with the hitch. First it isn’t centered. I am not sure what wrong measurement is causing that. Second is it is too short for using the steering sulky. This winter I am going to take it off and move it back 3 inches.

I was going to use the new style forward/reverse hand position, without using the new style control, ie push forward for forward. I have used back to go forward all my life and my mind cannot switch to the new style. After I move the hitch back I will probably have to move the forward/reverse handle to the newer position. I will have to do that while using the original mechanism for the rod.

I finally was able to buy a roto-tiller. One with a good shroud , gearbox, plow gearbox and a few broken tines. A second one that was broken but the tines are good. I should be ready to roto-till in the fall. No more belt driven Ariens tiller.

I prepped the tans-axle the best I could. I cleaned it, sanded it, and cleaned again with ethyl alcohol. The one area I didn’t want painted, I kept oily and put masking tape on. I then primed, and paint twice, sanding and cleaning between each coat. Some of the paint on the part I wanted painted came off with a finger nail. The part that I didn’t want painted, the paint stuck on so hard that a razor blade wouldn’t remove it. I had to sand it off. How it got under the masking tape and stuck to the oil is beyond me.

Tonight I heard a radio commercial that stated ” If you can’t start your car from anywhere in the country with a smart phone, you need to buy a new Chevy.”

Question, why would you want to fill your garage with exhaust fumes while you are far away? What if you forgot to take your car out of gear and it drives through your garage door.

I know most commercials are aimed at the average consumer, and most of them can’t shift a car, waste gas warming up or cooling down their vehicle and keep their garages full of junk.

I will never understand.

In all of the re-powers I have seen the gas tank that comes with the engine is used. I could never figure out why, especially for the Kohler engine tractors. The tank must be hard to fill with the dashboard in the way.

I decided to use the original fan housing to hold the tank. I first had to cut out the part that interferes with the engine.

cut fan housing

It cut very easily with an angle grinder. The housing is held up by the handle bars but it needed extra support. I made this bracket for it.


I made it from 2 reinforced 5 hole strut angles and a piece of strut. It fastens to the top hole in the engine adapter.

The I bent in the top slot on the fan housing so that a bolt head would clear the gas tank. I welded a washer to help with alignment. Yes I know the weld is terrible.

bent housing

Next I took off the original gas tank from the engine. I then discovered there were two lines coming from the tank, one being an EVAP vent. I needed to recreate this in the Gravely tank. I found a place to drill and tap an 1/8″ NPT barbed hose fitting.

fitting in gas tank

The last thing to do is to seal the vent hole in the cap. Now I can fill a nice big tank and add a filter to the system. The original had no fuel filter. I won’t have to deal with that screen in the mouth that makes it hard to fill and see how much gas is left.