Today while Karla was helping neighbor Bill tighten some of the thousands of bolts in his new metal shop building, I was cutting away at the ground with our road grader, putting in approaches to our house site. I ran into some really large rocks that needed to be dug up and moved away, then I tried to remove a ceanothus bush that was in the way of where we wanted our garage. Since it had been awhile since I had driven the grader, I forgot that I shouldn’t approach things with the left-hand side of the mold board (the big earth-moving blade that is in the middle of the grader) extended all the way forward. As I nudged the bush, I heard that sickening sound of a hydraulic ram rod bending. It turns out that the manufacturer used too small a ram for that particular part of the grader, and about five or six times since we have used it, it has bent to a 25° or 30° angle. It’s easy enough to bend it back by using lots of boards and jacks and the grader’s other hydraulic actions, but it was a stopper for today’s work.