This morning, our generator wouldn't start. Instead of laying rebar in the workshop's concrete form, I blew the balance of an entire day going through everything I could think of that would be causing the issue. I confirmed there was gas in the tank, that the ignition switch was on, that gas was reaching the carburetor, that the carburetor float wasn't stuck, that the jets in the carburetor were clear, that the spark plug had spark, that the engine compression was up to spec, and on and on and on.
Eventually, I got it to kick over, but only with the air cleaner off and the choke fully on. Even then it would only sputter for a few cycles and die. After I admitted defeat, I called our friend Allan at the local Stihl shop and asked him who I should take it to. Now it's over at Bob's Small Engine Repair in East Arlington. Fingers crossed he can figure out what the issue is soon—we only have reserve battery power for about two days.
This is my first real taste of "two is one, one is none", which is basically a clever way of saying that as long as we have two of some important survival related item, we are reasonably safe in the assumption that if one fails we can fix it before the second does. Eventually we'll have a decently sized battery array, solar/wind power, and a pair of backup generators. For now, I guess we'll start conserving our energy.