Today was an interesting day. My son received his learner’s permit yesterday, so the first thing we did this morning is take the Outback out for a little trip.

What I discovered is that my son needs a lot of practice! Maintaining lane position seemed to give him a lot of trouble, especially around curves. So, I took him over to the curviest road in the area.

The speed limit is appropriately slow, so it felt like we were sliding along at a snails pace. It was good for him to work on lane position and going around curves without under- or over-correcting.

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One of our stops was the local airport to look into hangar space.

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I was disappointed to find that the waiting list for hangar space is as long as I had heard - over 60 people are hoping to hangar a plane there. If there isn’t any hangar space, perhaps there is ramp space? Nope. The guy at the FBO told me they have four derelict planes they would like to get rid of, but the waiting list for ramp space is long too. I guess I’ll have to keep looking for options.

After we got back to the house, we had to fix the leaking fuel pump on the mower before taking on some other chores. This was an excellent opportunity to let my son wrench on something, so he did most of the work.

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After he put it all together, the mower would crank but wouldn’t start. This is where the troubleshooting began. We tried priming the carb, filling the fuel line, and finally priming the pump. That’s when we found the problem.

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Can’t tell what it is? Let’s try again.

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Got it now? Yeah, it’s one of the caps that protected the nipples on the pump during shipping. Neither of us spotted the caps - he from a lack of experience, me from trying to supervise from afar. All three hoses, two fuel lines and the vacuum line, were plugged. Once we popped all the lines and took the caps out, the mower ran like a champ!

Now it was time for a little dirt redistribution and some practice driving the mower. It may not seem like the skills translate, but maneuvering a big mower around a small yard with a trailer on the back is excellent practice in spatial awareness. His first mistake was trying to second-guess his dad when backing the trailer into a tight spot. It only took him three tries before he finally got off the mower, picked up the trailer, and moved it into position so he could back it up to the pile of dirt. He cheated, but he accomplished the task!

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The last task was to start working on the side yard. I have to get it cleaned up so we can pave it. It’s pretty common in our area to create a parking space for a boat or RV. The bonus is that it will make it easier to move a portable storage building into the back yard.

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It will be a great place to park the trailer and it will give my son a place to try his hand at knife-making without burning the house down.

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For Father’s Day this year, I get to repair a tire on my WRX. The tire shop refuses to plug a performance tire because a plug won’t survive any high-performance driving. They told my wife that it needs a new set of tires. The tires on it have less than 20,000 miles. At least they knew that all four tires must match, but they didn’t offer to have a new one shaved to size. I am disappointed in the shop.

Since the WRX isn’t going to see the high-side of 80 mph any time soon, I’ll take my chances and plug it myself. If they plug fails, I have three tires in the garage that have similar wear. I’ll just ask them to re-mount one of those. Either way, I’m not shelling out $1,000 to have them mount their “recommended” tire.

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That’s the way it goes these days. If you’re a lady taking your car in for service, prepare to be screwed. I’m sure it would have been different had I been the one taking the car in for service. We already experienced that at the Subaru dealership.

Ok, rant over. Have a great Father’s Day, Oppos!