First Day of Winter
Norseman’s Diaries Supplemental
by Jeff Fullrton
Attribute to L. Neil Smith’s The Libertarian Enterprise
Norseman’s Diaries Supplemental: Tough Love
Was going to try to have the last install of this year’s Norseman’s Diaries out this weekend. It stated coming together the other day but I realized yesterday morning that it probably won’t happen until next weekend—the end of the year pretty much.
I could have pulled it off if I spent the whole afternoon as have often done with past editions but I had already promised Bruce the Historian I would help him load firewood onto this truck to haul over to his outside furnace to unload as payback for wood he had cut and given to me a couple weeks ago after some tough love he gave me over the phone when I was on the verge of throwing in the towel and mothballing the system again and going with oil because of supply issues pertaining to firewood. I will save the details for the next major installment that I hope to have out by end of the calendar year or shortly thereafter. To keep it short and sweet—my mentor was very unhappy with my decision which he called illogical and gave me some tough love over the phone and an ultimatum to get up to his place the next day and he would cut up fallen trees and I’d load them onto his truck and transport them to my place. And so we did two loads that day which helped get me through a nasty cold snap and s new symbiotic relationship in which I’m getting free wood and he’s getting another set of hands to load and unload his own wood while he does the cutting. Much more efficient than working alone and he is much better at running the saw and I am 10 years younger and more physically able to lift and throw wood. And it’s always nice to have another person to talk to while working.
I arrived a little past midday after a late start and taking care of some business of my own at home and a run to the bank.
Saw a tree laying across the turnaround ahead of the old red pickup hat now has a new aluminum bed. At first I thought the tree had fallen on its own but quickly realized that Bruce and his friend Bill had already been at work and felled 6 cherry trees that morning. Plus Bruce cut up a load of other wood down in the woods we could have loaded and taken to my place earlier that morning—had I gotten my lazy ass out of bed and gotten up there sooner. But it’s been a long week and I got off a 12 hour shift at 11:00 PM last night and did my grocery shopping on the way home and barely took time to look at the Florida Room before going to bed. And the Mahoning lost ground last night and my house dropped to 66 degrees overnight and it was far more appealing to stay in bed after I switched back to the oil furnace until it caught back up to a nice comfy 70 degrees!
I will expand on that issue more in the next full install. For the most part I’m doing ok and I’ve got more oil on order for delivery come Monday. As things are shaking out it’s looking more and more that I’ll be running both systems on a regular basis and keeping the oil tanks at least half full so there is no issue of running out; if wood gets in short supply or the Mahoning needs to be down for maintenance. The outside boiler will also keep the house warm Monday morning when the oil furnace needs to be shut off during and for a while after the delivery to avoid clogging the fuel line or nozzle with particulates stirred up when the tanks are filling.
Would have been a great day for working in the greenhouse with sun and near 50 degree temperatures that feel like paradise since the departure of the first major polar vortex that invaded the region earlier this week. But also the ideal day to cut and load wood—and for felling trees as the air was calm and controlling the drops is kind of important in close proximity to buildings and other assets. That was all done before I got there and after lunch which I came in on—Bill who helped with the felling departed leaving Bruce and I to cut and load the trees. It was a nice afternoon for that and some more fatherly tough love as we talked about the importance and keeping ahead of the weather. In a more idea scenario it is best to have the majority of this work done by Veterans Day before the weather starts turning cold and nasty. Me and my preoccupation with the Florida Room restoration and Bruce had been busy with stuff too this summer and fall. We are hoping to be ahead of the game next year and from there on. I’ll detail that more in the regular edition of the next Diaries along with some of the conversations concerning recent political events and sone local developments—not all of it bad and possibly portending a decently bright future.
I made a few remarks worthy of squeezing into this supplemental. One is on the nature of the work that is hard and while I was helping to drag the cable that was used to control the fall of the trees out of the way so Bruce could cut safely I thought of the sea monster hunters—allegorical to whalers in the H. Beam Piper novel Four Day Planet. And in regard to throwing logs on and off a truck—that’s something those in the political class ought to try a day at to gain an appreciation for what we so-called deplorables that they want to send swarms of officers out to harass and eat our sustenance do to survive and maintain our way of life. Or a day working in an Emergency Room like I do—or a nursing home for an appreciation of the health care industry and the lives of patients and care givers that are impacted by their policy decisions. They might actuality learn the meaning of work that is life sustaining, rewarding and useful to the society that exists outside the Beltway!
It’s been a long hard day even harder than my regular job most days in regard to physical work. I’ve retired to my home sweet home for a well deserved catfish dinner and to compose this update which I hope will make it into this Sunday’s edition. After I send this I’m going to rest a little more and then venture down to the Florida Room to enjoy and do a little tinkering. That by the way is coming along nicely and the basic infrastructure and cage and tank placement is for the most part finished. I’m looking forward to detailing that more in the near future.
Merry Christmas to all—or Happy Zagmuk or whatever!
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