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Monthly Archives: October 2010

Wood Stove Prep Work

Well, we are only a day away from November..October really has been spooktacular hasn’t it?

Only 1 day away from the official woodstove season and we still need to do some prep work on the stove. The gaskets ( rope ) had been really loose at the end of last woodstove season so last week A* bout some new gaskets with adhesive. We had a halloween party and I am a little under the weather so A* decided to tackle the gasket. First thing you need is to determine what size gasket you need for your particular stove..we went with a 5/8 gasket since its a small stove and that is what the instruction manual told us to get…but that was SOOOOO last week. Today A* cleaned out the old gaskets and adhesive with a wire brush. Then she applied the new adhesive and waited 5 minutes for it to set. Next thing I knew she was cutting the gasket on the second door..and was done. the whole job took 10 minutes..Why can’t I get those jobs!..in this case I know why..and it had something to do with a zombie costume and bunch of beer and a peppering of jack daniels and diet pepsi.

After a couple of hours I poured myself off the sofa and attempted to fix a loose handle that made opening the front door impossible. I had to take off a piece of the dood to get access to the latch..but once again, 10 minutes later I was all done..it actually took me longer to find the proper drill bit then it did to do all the work. I think this might also mean that I need to oranize my shed before I put a motorcycle and scooter in there for the winter!

Bring on the burning wood!

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Posted by on October 31, 2010 in Uncategorized

 

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squirrel buster 2 weeks later

..OK, the ‘squirrel buster’ was not a rousing success. So far it has amassed nothing but a mess..since I built it with mesh and not a lot of room to work with it is hard to clean. Its been in operation for 2 weeks and it looks like it just came out of the box..what box you are wondering..well if shit was shipped in a box instead of bowels it would be that kind of box.

ON a lighter note..the squirrels have been going the way of the dodo..or are not around as much as they were in the past. It might just be the fact that the trap is acting like a deterrant and keeps the furry savages at bay..but I have also instituted ‘an eye for an eye’ law for the squirrels and have a note up to that states the facts..now the female squirrels don’t really care but I know the males are thinking twice about coming into my yard and stealing my nuts…sorry, that was too easy to pass up.

 
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Posted by on October 27, 2010 in Uncategorized

 

October is Getting Cold

..OK so its the 3rd week of october the frost is now a recurring theme. Earlier in the month when we had our first frost we lost all of our tomatoes and cucumbers that we had left..We have a household standing rule..no wood stove until November. In previous years we sometimes used a kerosene heater to keep the place warm(er) but this year we have opted to use the propane heater. Last year we might have used the propane 4-5 times for the year and with that usage and our propane instanteous water heater we only used $20 worth of propane ( we have around $800 worth in 2 tanks ) so we thought we would have enough wiggle room to allow us to splurge a little. With the temperature outside at 3C the inside is 21C..nice. Don’t worry..we do have batteries in the carbon monoxide detector and smoke detector.

Looking forward to next month when we get the woodstove going…wood heat is so nice and since we use the cookstove for baking we can also start making bread and having pizza and such..not a minute too soon as I am running out of things to BBQ.

Yes, my back is still in terrible shape..booking an appointement with a doctor in a day or 2 so I can get a doctors note and then get into a chiropractor..if that is spelled right.

 
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Posted by on October 20, 2010 in Uncategorized

 

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Prep d’liver

..no that is not liver prep it is my interpretation of ‘Winter Preparation’ in pseudo-french…not quite french but close enough..its like putting processed cheese slices on poutine..sort of french. Anyway, A* and I started some prep for winter.

We already ordered and stacked 2 cords of wood to go with the 2 that we already have so we should be fine until the spring..but we do have around 3 cord that is cut in 8ft lengths from trees that I cut down in the spring so today we decided to chunk them up in preparation for splitting..chunking is the term used to describe cutting up an 8 ft length into 6 ( roughly ) chunks. In the past I split the chunks by hand with a 1olb maul but this year we are going to rent a splitter and see how much quicker it will go. I wanted to split the 4 cords by hand last year..and I did..but it was very time consuming, sweaty work..if I did not go to the gym already it would be a different story but I know how to do it and CAN do it..so this year I am going to split via a machine…but as I mentioned..first, on with the chunking!

I made a saw-horse this year. In past years I used a product that I bought online..it worked OK but was a pain in the as in many ways and in the end I am not sure it was any better..in fact, my friend K* was looking at my chainsaw in the spring and told me I needed a new bar and chain. He said that there was uneven wear that would eventually cause the chain to jump off the track and could injure me. ( it actually did jump off the guard around 2 weeks later but caused no injuries )..so I went and got a new bar and chain for $44 bucks. I think that the reason I was having issues with uneven wear was the sawhorse I used the last 2 seasons ..it holds the log up to cut from 1 point using the weight of the log to hold itself in place..the problem is that the logs were not level and as a result I was always cutting on an angle..the end result being uneven wear. Anyway, I made a sawhorse. Truthfully I only half made it since it uses 2 regular sawhorses..on top of these 2 sawhorses I have 3 2x4s nailed together to form a log trough..and on top of the 2x4s is a sheet of sheet metal so the logs will slide easily but will not move around when I am cutting with the chainsaw. So, we place the first log on, cut, slide, cut, slide, etc..done. Grab another log from the pile and begin to cut..and I notice there is all sorts of slack on the chain..this was the first time I had even used the saw for 5 minutes..so I shut it off and take a closer look. Well, as it turns out the guy who put on the bar and chain when A* got the replacement in the summer did not fully secure the bolts…and now there was only 1 loose bolt holding on the blade..after a quick look, then a more in-depth look I discover I have nothing that will fit and the log cutting is done for the day. crap.

 
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Posted by on October 19, 2010 in todo

 

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to build a better trap

Oh crap…I ‘built’ the trap.

OK..first an explaination…or a philosophy..or an excuse..you can choose for yourself..no pressure. So, I am not a perfectionist. ON the opposite side of this I subscribe to more of a ‘scrum’ philosophy on matters of construction..especially when I don’t know what I am doing..I like to do something instead of thinking and rethinking. How many times in your life have you thought about to the point where you have ( in the end ) decided it was not worth it ( after spending a night thinking about it ). Personally I like to get stuff done when I can and one way I do this is to say to myself: ‘self, you have 1 hour to complete this job to the best of your abilities.’..rather than ‘I am going to start this and see where it goes’. At the end of the hour I wanted to have a complete squirrel trap…not another 4 hours of work..and with that in mind I set out to create ‘Squirrel Catcher 1.0’.

Materiels:

– some scrap osb ( chipboard )
– small chicken coop wire of a thicker gauge
– some scrap 2×4 from the coop
– screws
– nails

OK, so I cut the osb and made an open ended box. then I cut the wire mesh and covered the end and attached it. then I cut a hole so the squirrel could get access, then I made a trap door holder and cut a piece of wood..the final touches..a piece of tinfil with peanut butter inside attached to a string which in turn is attached to the top of the door…

So..the squirrel goes in and tugs on the tinfoil it pulls on the trap door and the trap door falls..then the squirrel cannot escape…muhahahahhahhaha.

It is perfect(ly aweful)! OK, so its no Picasso..but I am no Alvin Eptsien!..hehe..It should work..I know that I need to make it better but I am not going to at this point…it cost me nothing but an hour of my time…I will set it up and see what happens…stay tuned..or tooned if I catch Alvin, Simon and Theodore.

Lesson Learned: I need to spend 2 hours to make it super awesome..but if version 1.0 does its job there will be no version 2.

 
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Posted by on October 13, 2010 in Uncategorized

 

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Oh no..my back ( part 2 )

Ohhhhh..nooooooo.

Now I’ve done it. I have been taking it slow for a couple of weeks and my back has started to feel better..which is good because I have so much winter prep work to do…so I was just outside and getting ready to start chunking up some more wood..but there was still my old woodstove in the way so I decided to move it..by myself with a dollie..the moving king od dollie, not the babie kind of dollie. So, the old woodstove is on a small incline and it took me 5 minutes just to get the dollie underneath but finally I did it..then I started to pull the stove up the incline. ONe of the wheels got stuck in an awkward position so I had to give it more gusto..and I did. 3 steps later I realized that I needed to lie down, FAST or I was going to keel over due to back pain. CRAP!

I had been back at the gym all last week too and then this happens..major setback. Does’t my back realize how bad I need it this month..the snow is going to fly within 2 months and I still need to plane the floor and chop 3 cords of firewood. No respect..I am officialy writing that back out of my will and am now goign to donate all of my wordly possessions to my hair since it has never let me down.

Ahhhh..you don’t realize how often you use your back until it is out of commission.

 
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Posted by on October 10, 2010 in Uncategorized

 

..you calling me a chicken? I mean a squirrel? Would you believe a bluejay?

..Being away at work I have been losing more and more birdseed to some unknown culprets..I think its squirrels but it might be Blue Jays. I fill the feeder at night when I get home and when I come home the next day from work it is empty. I think that is the reason that the birds are starting to eat from our hands..desperation is a powerful motivator and when they are eating from the feeder they are in the habit..when the feeder is empty and they are poking around they don’t seem to mind my hand version of a feeder ( it looks like a feeder only its only a hand with birdseed in it )..there only seem to be 3 birds that actually want to eat out of my hand..a juvenile nuthatch who will coe to my hand without hesitation, a mature nuthatch who will sit in a perch and not usually fly tot eh food but will allow me to feed him and a chickadee who will flutter around me then quickly land, grab a sunflower seed then take off quickly..anyway, i digress.

I am going to build a live trap sometime tomorrow so I can try to capture something..I am going to do the usual..build what I think will work ( quickly ) then look at what I did wrong…wow, riviting..but whatever it is is eating my birdseed at a fantastic rate and it needs to stop. I sure am hardcore.

 
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Posted by on October 8, 2010 in Pests

 

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