Of course, the plow had done a lousy job on our end of the circle and had piled huge amounts of snow in front of the driveway. My next-door neighbor came back out for some grooming and we both tossed the offending snow further out into the circle, removing the giant pile in front of our mailboxes, the rutted piles in front of the driveways, and so on until suddenly, the handle on my snowblower gave way.
I looked. There is a U-shaped piece that is held on by a single twist knob on each side of the handle that attached the upper handle to the lower handle. And the one on the left side was no longer there. Ack!
Well, there was the black knob lying in the snow next to the handle. But where was the shiny brass U-shaped piece? And the big honking washer?
Bob came over and helped me look as we poked at the snow in the street with our shovels. I shook the snowblower in the hope of dislodging the bit. No luck.
Finally, I said, "If it fell into the blades somehow, it would be thataway." And sure enough, about six feet in front of where I'd stopped was the U-shaped bit. No washer, but I could bind everything back together, once I'd bent the upper handle back into place, as there'd been some substantial torque when the handle came half-detached.
I finished the snowblowing, then pulled out the shovel to handle what the snowblower couldn't. And then I went in to get something to drink and cool off.
Later, I checked on the web. The happy news about a Toro snowblower is that you can find parts for older machines. So I ordered two new washers. The shipping was more than the cost of the washers, but the whole thing was around five bucks, which was just fine as it saved me from chasing around all over the place looking for parts.
I finally managed to get lunch around 2 PM. *sigh*
Meanwhile, back at work, I discovered that the sysadmins had rebooted the VM that I'm using for the current project over the weekend. This had the unhappy effect of losing a bunch of transient changes that Suren and I had made to get this mashup of a project to run. A couple of hours putting the pieces back together and it was running again.
Now for the next bit...