Care Packages!

You gotta love synchronicity.

Regular readers know that, since there aren’t really a lot of trees in the high desert, I mostly use pallet wood and old lumber for my firewood. Last May during a cleanup job I had a bonanza of old lumber, which I started cutting into stove lengths this week…

For that purpose, this year I’m using a chopsaw belonging to Landlady. Spend a lot of time pulling nails to keep from ruining an expensive blade, but with that caveat it works great.

Having pretty much finished the loose lumber, it’s time to start cutting up pallets. I’ll confess I was dreading that. Last year I worked out a system that worked pretty well, using a Sawzall.

I have an ancient Milwaukee Sawzall I salvaged from an abandoned RV. Had to clean out maybe a decade’s worth of rat excrement, but it works okay. Very powerful, but it gets hot very quickly. Even with gloves you can only use it for a few minutes at a time or it feels like it’s trying to scorch your hands. It’s been a year and I still remember.

Still that’s where we are on the job, so that’s what we’ll do.

And then what shows up among the care packages? A gift from big brother!

Oh, you can’t imagine how much I wanted one of these. Being cordless, now I can work where I store the pallets rather than having to drag them to Ian’s for the electricity. It’s much lighter than the Milwaukee, and seems to work just as well without raising heat blisters. This is gonna get a lot of use in the next couple of weeks.

Also what has come to be a monthly care package of goodies, which always brightens my diet. Plus you never know what weird thing is gonna lurk in the box. There was a koran one time, just because through a series of misadventures he found himself with a spare koran. Hey, it’s all good.

And Colorado Hermit hit me with two boxes!

Pizza makings! Including homemade sauce. Oh, yeah.

And another box with canned meat…

Oh, yeah. Gotta tell you, I’ve been thinking a lot – as I always do, during winter prep – about 2008-2009, the Winter of Solitude, when I spent months freezing my ass off because the trailer’s furnace had died and eating “brown” food – potatoes, rice and oatmeal – just through sheer poor planning. I greeted Spring looking like an Auschwitz inmate because I’d pretty much stopped eating entirely. That was a long-ass winter, which I survived but have no desire to repeat. I’ve been sweating about money lately but not too much because my buckets are full and my shelves are filling – thanks again, – and food will get you through times of no money better than money will get you through times of no food. Once I get this thing full…

…and it will be full before winter, and once I finish the Lair’s floor which is the next project, I’ll feel like you can bloody well bring winter on.

Thanks, guys.

About Joel

You shouldn't ask these questions of a paranoid recluse, you know.
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9 Responses to Care Packages!

  1. Zelda says:

    Thank you, Joel. Your blog is a treat, both the content and the style, and I learn lots of Useful Stuff.
    And many thanks to Landlady for problem solving and taking action to get you back on line.

  2. MamaLiberty says:

    That’s wonderful, Joel. But I fully expect you to grouse about winter until next June. 🙂 And for plenty of perfectly good reasons, but it always makes me smile as I look out the office window at the deep snow.

  3. Joel – not being one to waste things, carefully take apart the old Milwaukee and check that the brushes are good, that the commutator is not carbonized up between segments (small wire brush or small screwdriver to clean the separator beween poles of commutator) and that the motor bearings or bushes are still snug and rotate freely (not rattly loose). Then clean the metal parts that move, lightly grease and re-assemble. Bet it gets a lot cooler to use after this R&R. The old ones which are heavy as all get out pretty much last forever if kept clean and with good lube every 10 years or so (depends of course on how much use). You can probably still buy new bearings online from the company if needed.

  4. Joel says:

    Edward, now that I no longer need it as a primary I’ll likely do that very thing. Old as it is, I’ve always been afraid that it wouldn’t survive being taken apart.

  5. M Ryan says:

    You just reminded me that I need to burn you a few more movies to watch over the cold, long winter nights. I promise to get on it in a few weeks.

  6. sevesteen says:

    From what I’ve read on oil for motors, I use straight 30 weight non-detergent for electric motor bearings. I’m told that detergent oil does things to the porous bearings. Not enough personal experience to swear, but it seems that a re-lube with straight 30 lasts longer than using a spray oil or modern motor oil.

  7. jed says:

    In the process of getting rid of stuff, I’m taking a lot of books to the library. I wonder about sending some down, but considering how much (it seems to me) you read, I think the last thing you need is a pile of books you’ve already read.

    Actually, same thing with movies. Pretty soon, a whole pile of DVDs are going to go away. Soon, BTW, is highly variable.

  8. Ben says:

    “once I finish the Lair’s floor which is the next project, ”

    I seem to remember that the Lair’s floor has enjoyed that “next project” status before. Just saying…

  9. Joel says:

    Not polite to bring up things like that, Ben…

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