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Number 952, December 10, 2017

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Norseman's Diary Supplemental: Closing out Fall
by Jeff Fullerton

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Attribute to L. Neil Smith’s The Libertarian Enterprise

Friday December 8 2017

Hard to believe the year is almost gone. And it sure went south fast. The weather did literally as they are even feeling the chill in Dixie!

On a brighter note: hurdle overcome:
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Mothballing of the outside furnace that became my new strategy of dealing with the worst of winter by taking sort of a holiday from it.

Bruce arrived as I was getting ready to sit down for breakfast so I had to hurry up and wolf down my bacon egg croissant and hash browns. That was a good test for the new method of going with ready made microwaveable breakfast sandwiches that I’m going to keep on hand for mornings when I’m in a hurry and can’t afford to piss around with food preparation.

The operation went well except for one snafu: the want of an appropriate sized combination wrench that Bruce had to run home to fetch. He undid the pumps from the Pex pipes and opened all valves to let the system drain out by gravity and we capped the lines with small plastic coffee cans to keep mice and other vermin from getting in and still allow water from moisture buildup to push out. Good thing we were able to do that because the plug which is at the same level right beside the valve we opened was not going to budge. But what we did should be enough to do the job.

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I also shoveled out the firebox removing the remaining logs and embers and the buildup of ash and clinkers.

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Much to my relief the shake bar and the grates which were jammed are working just fine and won’t need replaced. Will just need another rope seal for the bottom door and to replace the plastic water level gauge with a glass one that won’t cloud over.

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System was still draining when Bruce left albeit at a slower rate which should mean it will be soon finished. I’m going to stand the Pex pipes up once that is done and close the panel before I leave. The plan from here on is to turn the thermostat in the living room down to 60 when I’m not going to be here for long and kick it up to more comfortable levels whenever I occupy the place for extended periods of time. Currently I have it at 68 and it feels good in my bedroom where I can put my feet on the warm baseboard under the writing table by the window.

Saturday December 9 2017

One more entry to close out this supplemental edition to the Diary. at the New City Buffet after passing my arrhythmia class earlier today and finishing the remainder of my shift in the ER. That was a stressful day—especially the part of the test involving heart blocks which I’m going to have to continue studying because many of the EKGs I did today—like many days before are sometimes quite different than text book examples. I can’t count how many times I’ve done one that says ACUTE MI in bold letters and the doctors say it isn’t so. I guess machines are not ready to replace mankind yet.

As for my project yesterday—I said I was taking a holiday from dealing with the worst of winter by shutting down the outside furnace and shifting back to oil. Originally this move was born of desperation in dealing with the dilemma of my firewood supplier going out of business and leaving me high and dry. But my thinking has since evolved to see it as the likely model for the future.

The logic is that the oil furnace has less trouble keeping up with frigid weather and is also automated so I don’t have to tend it much at all and it won’t be a catastrophe if I work overtime or have to be away for more than a day. And on the flip side of things—the Mahoning is easier to keep up with and keeps up better in the transitional weather of fall and early spring and will help me conserve expensive oil by not burning through it at that time. Especially in the fall which makes the need for replacing it during the winter when prices are higher more likely.

And it is starting to creep back up again just as we enter once more the frozen Wasteland. Which will most likely be the subject of my next entry. It will be interesting to see how this recent shift in strategy plays out if things get bad like they have been in some previous editions of this thread!

The Frozen Wasteland

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Shopping on Thursday

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Out by the lake not far from the memorial marker for Braddock’s Great Swamp Camp.

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Rhododendron leaves are good indicators for frigid conditions. Normally they are flatter.

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