That’s the brakes.


Well, it had to happen sooner or later.  The brakes failed on my HPM.  No, I wasn’t in any danger, not really.  I managed to get home by using the hand brake, aggressive down shifting, and some careful driving.  After some dinking around with the brakes I found that the master cylinder is caput, so I ordered another one. 


While I am waiting for the part to come in I dusted off the old RFT (Redneck Farm Truck) checked fluids, charged the battery and generally brought it back into service.  It’s been about six months since I drove it so it was as rusty as, well, anyway its rusty. If you read this a lot you would know that I am speaking of my other favorite mode of transportation, my 1972 International Harvester one ton pickup truck. 


Like my HPM it’s another marvel of engineering that manages to hold together and run no matter what I put it through.  And more importantly I can fix anything that breaks or wears out by myself.  That is in itself a marvelous feeling.


The only drawback to the RFT is the amount of gas it consumes.  With a huge V-8, and a steel construction much like tractors and safes, it gets around 8 to 12 mpg depending on what I am hauling.  Luckily for me the parts for the HPM should be here within a week or so.  I will cost about $2.99 a day more than the HPM to commute to work.  It sucks.  Gas that is.


Last weekend was the official start of Pyro season.  Yes, you do need a license.  And yes, the BATF, CPSC, and Homeland Security are hunting us.  The official start of Pyro season is the first day of training of new Pyros.  This precedes the first real shows by a few weeks and gets everyone in the right frame of mind.  Since I am a Senior Pyro with the company I work for I was recruited to teach some classes.  Most notably the pre show prep class, hand lighting, and dud hunting.  Yes pyros hunt, but you do not want what we find. 


Once I dusted off my RFT I found that both windshield wipers were missing.  Well, not missing exactly.  One was in the garage with the rubber missing; the other was shattered due to some aggressive and careless ice scraping.  On the way to Pyro training class it started to rain, who would have thought.  So I zipped into NAPA on Main Street.  The only problem is once parked I realized that, while I packed all kind of pyro gear, I forgot to bring the broken windshield wipers.  So I did what any good Pyro/RFT owner would do.  I took out a piece of shooters wire and cut it to what I thought would be a good length of windshield wiper and went inside NAPA. 

Luckily Allen was working:

“Do you have a windshield wiper for a 72 International about this long?”

Allen: “Right this way”

After about five minutes I was back on the road heading north sporting some nice new wipers. I was looking forward to seeing how the new wipers preformed.


 Then it stopped raining.


Pyro training went well, ten fingers in ten fingers out, all according to plan.  It rained on and off all day long, which was good experience for future Pyros and kept any fires down to a minimum.  Finally training was complete, and it was time for me to come home and get after my homework.   

Oh and it stopped raining for my ride home. 

That’s the breaks, I guess.



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