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Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Adventures in Home Heating.

Last week, amid what I consider Arctic Cold (yes, I am a wimp, when it comes to this shit…),
The Box Stove in the Library shows signs of Collapse…
It’s what it sounds like, one of those rectangular, boxy things, with a little door on the front, and  round things on top…which can be removed for cooking….
A leak around the roof jack had caused rust, which had weakened (after 10 years) the Chinese Imitation of an American Contraption.
It was an inefficient bugger, compared to my other 2…but it’s what I had, and I could Cook on it…quite a handy feature, when one is usually at one’s Brokest in winter, and the Propane runs out…a week before payday.
So, I’m down here reading one early AM, when I notice a large Crack…through which I can see the fire.
Preemptive Pain Meds…and a really good dolly…and out the thing goes.
I then move the Pantry Stove in to replace the Library Stove…a larger, heavier, more robust and efficient model($200, from a friend down the street.).
Fine and well…collapse for a few days, in a hell of agony.
I’m not designed for this sort of work, any longer…but necessity, and all…(leak was fixed a couple of months ago)
So, now I’m down to the large, old Earth Stove, up front, and the Library Stove…with the Freezing Pantry(former garage), in between.(till Tax Return)
Day before yesterday, after adding a mesquite knot, so’s I’d have coals, when I returned,…and on my way out the door…I noticed that the Elbow, arising from the top of the Front Stove, has deteriorated…the last 2 pieces of the Cheap Stove Pipe have almost expired. As I had to special order the Good Stove Pipe, before, I had to wait till payday, and a trip to Fredericksburg(45 miles, one way) to get a good El…Meantime, it’s Aluminium(lol) Foil, and Vigilant Insomnia…and lows in the 20’s…
Yesterday, I made the trip (Eye Doctor..Ugh!), and, as it never left the 30’s…the fire kept on.
2 am….”Cop Radio” wakes me(Local News)…and the Fire has died, as I intended.
Up gets the wife, and I …and we screw around replacing the damned pipe and el…and it’s , apparently, nonstandard, by an inch…so the big ass stove must be manhandled, lifted onto additional blocks…in order to work….and an hour and a half later…Viola!
I quickly kindle a new fire(I can build a fire in a lake!)
….and run in and out, inspecting the connections…(this had been a 2-person, indoor/outdoor job…front room was Cold!)…so far, so good…but
What’s that smell?
The Damned New Elbow is Painted Black! (I much prefer the Galvanized Stovepipe, for this very reason)
The “New Pipe Smell” is the ….well, whatever it is that cooks off of a new, black pipe, on the first burn).
So it’s 23 degrees, outside…3:30 in the morning…and I’ve got the kitchen, and bathroom exhausts going, as well as the Smoking Section Exhaust, over my bed…all going…and the Doors open, waving a damned pillow, to blow out the New Pipe Smoke.
So, now, at 4;30, the boys are in our bed(they like sleeping in the front room, for some reason(?))…Wife’s in the big red chair, asleep…and I’m in the Library, with coffee, and my own fire.
I can confidently predict that very little else will get done, today.

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