Zerks: Getting Grease to Where It’s Needed

Greasing the univeral joint on the power take off, (PTO), shaft of the round baler.  A box of grease zerks sits in the upper left corner.

Our early spring continues.  We cut hay in May for the first time ever.  It’s ready; the grass has headed out and the alfalfa has just started blooming.  Now if the weather will cooperate.  An inch of rain every Saturday night is all I ask for.

I counted 27 grease zerks on the baler.  Some need to be greased every ten hours, some every thirty hours.  It takes several minutes to get the baler ready for baling.  I used to hate this chore, until I thought about what a grease zerk does.

A grease zerk gets grease to where it’s needed, a place with moving parts, a place of potentially high friction.  Grease prevents machinery from wearing out, overheating, breaking down.

The friction in my life is about to increase.  I’m going from being a Norwegian Bachelor Farmer to Married With Children.  This weekend is the big move.

I’ve been reading a book by Andrew Bernstein called “The Myth of Stress.”  He contends that there is no such thing as stress, outside of what occurs in your mind.  He leads a process called “ActivInsight ,” in which a stressful thought is negated.  I like it, but we will see how it does in my world.

I’m thinking of “ActivInsight” as a zerk.  Other zerks in my life are faith, family, friends, farming.  Zerks, help me get grease to where it’s needed.

8 Responses to Zerks: Getting Grease to Where It’s Needed

  1. wsb says:

    I really like the idea of a zerk, and what a great Scrabble word!

    The notion reminds me of the blog “Happiness Project” where she deliberately analyzes things about her day and makes changes so that things go more smoothly. For example, a soothing bed time routine with each child.

  2. James says:

    I think that stress at some level is needed. It is a way of telling us “You need to work on this problem.”

    When I am feeling stressed, it is usually because I feel helpless with a situation, or have come to a point of inactivity with regard to it.

    I find that if I ask myself “what don’t I know?” I get into a proactive mindset that allows me move forward with whatever is bothering me.

    That’s my grease anyway.

  3. curiousfarmer says:

    Thanks WSB and James! I forgot one more zerk in my life: blogging! and the relationships it builds!

  4. James says:


    The name “Zerk” comes from Oscar U Zerk, who was born in Austria, but later lived and died in Kenosha Wisconsin.

    At the time of his death it was estimated that 20 Billion grease zerks had been manufactured.


  5. curiousfarmer says:

    Thanks, James!
    Thought of another zerk: A sense of humor!

  6. chainey says:

    No offence intended to “wsb”, and I don’t wish to start a scrap on the blog, but I followed that link to “happiness-project” and soon found my lip curling in disdain.

    I like the idea of learning from mistakes – it’s one of the things I’ve felt recently that I’d like to do more often, but …

    Does anyone else have a problem with the seemingly automatic progression from successful blog to “best-selling book”? I mean, truly, I’m a dyed-in-the-wool capitalist but I just feel enough already with the self-help books.

    And that dolt that she’s interviewing has really mastered the art of churning out the glib clichés. “Loving oneself is no easy matter because it means loving all of oneself …” Pass the barf bag. Why can’t anyone improve himself and not expect to make a buck at it by peddling your patented solution.

    Sorry. Rant over. Maybe the blog is actually good, so by all means go over there and check it out.

  7. chainey says:

    P.S. I thought they were called grease nipples. Did that prove too racy?

  8. curiousfarmer says:

    Grease nipple fine, but too many syllables.
    Your opinion is always welcome, Chainey. Thanks for the link, WSB. I’m not spending much time on the computer, so can’t comment. No one fights here.
    What’s funny is that I think of myself as the stranger, and somehow all of you who comment, know each other. I know this is illogical, but I still have this feeling.
    I certainly appreciate comments, because without them, this blog is what I imagine schizophrenia to feel like.
    Thank you.

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