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  1. #1
    Veteran Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2000
    Posts
    1,591
    Location
    Western Connecticut
    Tractor
    2003 Kubota L3430

    Default Screw the Backhoe for the Oozama Ditch! Or, ...

    ... (subtitle) Never Underestimate the Omnipotence of a FEL and Coolie Labor.

    It was June 1. It was cold. It was raining. Again.

    (Where is global warming when you need it? Obviously hijacked during the Klintoon administration.)

    Its piddly drainage routes clogged by silt, the Oozama VerBoten has become a rank, dank, sink-sank, stink-stank marsh. Zillions of irritatingly spermatoform pollywogs flit about my boot ... which is on the deck ... of my tractor.

    Yes, here I am again, sank and sunk. For what, the 10th time!? I was backing carefully with my shredder all around the the perimeter of the Oozama. I was in the zone. I had the power. I had the touch. I had mastered the obscure art of mowing grass at the edge of the sucker. Isn't hubris always so.

    The Oozama then struck. Weakened in body and mind from 16 weeks of nonstop ketosis on the Atkins Diet, I reacted too slowly to escape by going forward (uphill) onto the upland. So I did the unthinkable ... the out-of-the-box gambit ... the Errol Flynn, Douglas MacArthur, Emperor Rumsfeld thing. I "sped" backwards into the deepest, darkest, dankest center of the Oozama ... using quick and repeated bucket curl stabs into the mud ... in an attempt to momentum-ize my way to the other side. I made it 3/4's of the way. But the Oozama always wins.

    Tow truck time.

    Then, standing in the cold June rain. Ticked that I never got the backhoe to dig drainage ditches or lay drain pipes. Three years of fighting the Oozama.

    The backhoe: a sacred object ... which, as my wallet has shrunk exponentially faster than my waistline, has been successively demoted from plan ... to wish ... to fantasy ... to hopeless and unreachable star.

    Screw the backhoe, says ErrolDougRummy. I'm digging a ditch from from the near end of the Oozama into the creek ... RIGHT NOW.

    First, to employ a tactic I read about on TBN, I put my 72" backblade on the kubota 2910 to try an angle gouge. I rotate the blade on its housing so it angles downward. I will drag the angled blade from the edge of the creek into the Oozama, gouging out a trench, sacrificing the tractor again if necessary. Yeah, right. It gouged a trench all right--about 12" wide and two inches deep. And ugly. Not enough angle on the blade.

    So, for the first time ever in three years of tractoring, I lengthened the adjustable 3ph link arm, using the built-in ratchet on the B2910, in order to steepen the blade angle even more. ( That took about 30 seconds to do. Gee, too bad I didn't have hydraulic tilt--another sacred object. Hydraulic tilt could have lengthened the arm in 5 seconds. It's important to save 25 seconds every three years.)

    No go. Now I could make a 4" deep trench. Simply no way to get the blade vertical enough unless you have a very short blade on a very big and high tractor. Well, you can toss backblade trench gouging onto the growing slag heap of useless tractor theories.

    Starved of glucose molecules and existing solely on ketones, my lizard brain spasmed, causing me to plunge my FEL downward into the puny trench-gouge-thing. The FEL went deep down ... I curled and drove forward ... and the FEL surfaced like an Orca with a mouth full of wet muddy dirt. OF COURSE, DUMBO! This ground is all very soft from all the rain. I CAN DIG THE BLOODY TRENCH WITH MY FEL ... from the side. So I did.

    Starting near the creek, I plunged the FEL into the soft ground, lifted out a big chunk, drove the front wheels of the FEL into the gouge and dumped the load on the far side. I moved closer and closer to the Oozama with a series of FEL gouges, which indeed linked up to form a ditch. Ugly, ragged, and of uneven depths ... but a ditch nevertheless. I knew that the only thing that mattered was that the creek end of the ditch had to be lower than the Oozama end.

    But the ground got muddier and muckier and oozier as I approached the Oozama. Driving the front wheels into the ditch became dangerous. My recently-honed back-curling bucket skills launched me out of vertical burials many times.

    Then I stopped ... two feet from the filthy, woggy waters of the Oozama. Only a 24 inch dam of mud separated that She'ol from my ditch. I needed to even up the sides and bottom of the ditch.

    Coolie labor time. I picked up my shovel and dug. This is hard ... very hard. It is not only wet dirt and mud. It is interlaced with roots and wire grass and weird hard objects from the Paleozoic era. I am old. I have no glycogen. It is raining. It is getting dark. I do it. The ditch is ragged, but it essentially slopes all the way downward to the creek bed.

    Then, the fel de grace. The bucket scoops out the final 24 inches ... and ...

    ... and ...

    IT WORKS!

    The waters pour down the ditch, filling it to the brim. The hated thing ... the bane and shaper of my entire tractor life ... is eviscerating itself into my ditch, down Dusty's Creek, into the Housatonic, out into the Atlantic ... poison joining poison.

    Then I notice blockages of mud banks and grass clumps "upstream" in the Oozama. Dizzy with success, ketone bodies and proto-dementia, I walk into the water and muck with my spade. I attack mud packs and dense clumps of wire grass. My boots get vacuum stuck in the dense muck. I fall in. I get up. I fall in. I get up. I don't care. I open up more channels to more pools of fetid slime. I deepen small side channels. The flow of noisome smegma out of the Oozama increases. It is dark. Raining. Cold. Yet I dig.

    Today the sun was shining. Refreshed by sleep and and 23 grams of protein, I stand next to my ditch. It looks as if Rummy has dropped several precision sorties of mudcluster bombs. R-4 ruts and spinout holes are all over the place. A wall of dumped mud is on the other--now unreachable--side of the ditch. But the water has been flowing out for two days.

    A former whitewater boater, I am fascinated by the billions of pollywogs as they get swept into and fight against the current in the ditch. Their gelatinous amphibian brains seem instinctively to know how to seek the slack water near the edge of the ditch and the underwater eddies formed by the uneven bottom.

    The dessicated lizard brain of the former outdoorsman, environmentalist and vlyophile throbs with pleasure as each wog gets sucked down the ditch to the oblivion it so richly deserves.

  2. #2

    Default Re: Screw the Backhoe for the Oozama Ditch! Or, ...

    Very well written and funny story!!!

    I was craving a back hoe to remedy the same type of problem in the lowest corner of my horse field, but my skinny wallet had denied my dream as well.

    You have now given me hope... thank you Sir!

  3. #3
    Super Star Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2001
    Posts
    11,676
    Location
    PA
    Tractor
    NH TC25D

    Default Re: Screw the Backhoe for the Oozama Ditch! Or, ...

    What, no pictures? Surely, you documented your triumph over the bane of your existence? [img]/forums/images/graemlins/tongue.gif[/img]

  4. #4
    Super Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2000
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    5,672
    Location
    Cedartown, Ga and N. Ga mountains
    Tractor
    1998 Kubota B21, 2005 Kubota L39

    Default Re: Screw the Backhoe for the Oozama Ditch! Or, ...

    Glenn,

    Glad to see you back. There have been several times I had to sit back and wonder if "Oozama" had finally won. I visualized my descendents reading about an archeologist finding a 2910 perfectly preserved deep in the mud of Western Connecticut. [img]/forums/images/graemlins/crazy.gif[/img]

    MarkV

  5. #5
    Super Member RobS's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2000
    Posts
    6,289
    Location
    SW Michigan
    Tractor
    John Deere 790

    Default Re: Screw the Backhoe for the Oozama Ditch! Or, ...

    Great reading, great tractoring. Thanks Glenn [img]/forums/images/graemlins/smile.gif[/img]

  6. #6

    Join Date
    Jun 2002
    Posts
    578
    Location
    Beach City, TX
    Tractor
    NH TC33D

    Default Re: Screw the Backhoe for the Oozama Ditch! Or, ...

    Great story! I got a bunch of good laughs out of it <wiping a tear from the corner of my eye from laughing.> Keep us updated on the reclamation and reformation of the evil Oozama!

  7. #7

    Join Date
    May 2001
    Posts
    140
    Location
    Houston, TX
    Tractor
    JD 4400

    Default Re: Screw the Backhoe for the Oozama Ditch! Or, ...

    Glennmac
    Rename this "raiders of the lost Oozama", add in a babe to be rescued, and make a movie. I am sure the CUT owners of the world will flock to it. Great story.

  8. #8

    Default Re: Screw the Backhoe for the Oozama Ditch! Or, ...

    An absolutely perfect read. Thanks.

    SnowRidge

  9. #9
    Elite Member Richard's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2000
    Posts
    3,256
    Location
    Knoxville, TN
    Tractor
    Fullsized JCB Loader/Backhoe

    Default Re: Screw the Backhoe for the Oozama Ditch! Or, ...

    you sure your not ghost writing as Cindi?

    [img]/forums/images/graemlins/grin.gif[/img]

    Just imagine the 2 of them pooling their story telling resources...

    [img]/forums/images/graemlins/shocked.gif[/img] [img]/forums/images/graemlins/cool.gif[/img]

  10. #10
    Super Member JerryG's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2000
    Posts
    7,212
    Location
    Northwest Arkansas
    Tractor
    MF 1440-4 PowerShuttle

    Default Re: Screw the Backhoe for the Oozama Ditch! Or, ...

    Glenn,
    Glad to see you back. [img]/forums/images/graemlins/smile.gif[/img]
    You know, you could have made a good size down payment on that backhoe with all of the money that you have paid on tow charges. Maybe the marsh will stop sucking in the tractor now, or at least it will cover a smaller area.

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