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The Ultimate Answer to Kings https://joelsgulch.com ...is not a bullet, but a belly laugh! Tue, 28 Jun 2022 17:55:04 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=4.9.20 38026677 Time to rebuild the porch steps… https://joelsgulch.com/time-to-rebuild-the-porch-steps/ https://joelsgulch.com/time-to-rebuild-the-porch-steps/#respond Tue, 28 Jun 2022 17:36:08 +0000 http://joelsgulch.com/?p=40818 Continue reading ]]> I was able to scrounge some used lumber a week or so ago…


Nearly new, since it came from some interior framing. I had asked Neighbor S if I could tag along next time he went to the Lowes in the big town about 50 miles away because I needed some lumber. He said he had just salvaged some and that I should help myself. It wasn’t exactly what I wanted but I did not argue.


The treads are okay but the platform planks were getting kind of rickety.


And it’s Monsoon, and I want to be sure of traction on wet wood. So…


Tobie and I replaced the platform.

A Generous Reader sent me some traction tape quite a while ago…


I knew right where it would eventually go, and stored it most carefully.


And I’ve got a bit of a quandary here because I would normally nail it down with roofing nails. But the adhesive works so well on new lumber that it doesn’t appear to need that. I’ll keep an eye on the situation; I’ve got lots of roofing nails.

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Monsoon is getting more intrusive… https://joelsgulch.com/monsoon-is-getting-more-intrusive/ https://joelsgulch.com/monsoon-is-getting-more-intrusive/#respond Tue, 28 Jun 2022 17:26:38 +0000 http://joelsgulch.com/?p=40807 Continue reading ]]> It didn’t even rain very much yesterday afternoon, at least not down here. I suspect the rain was heavier up on the plateau, because the wash ran just a little bit.

That in itself isn’t all that significant. What I found interesting – and a little ominous – though…


Open puddles twelve hours later? On deep sand? Oh, boy. It’s already saturated, and it’s not even July.

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Even my Plan B has improved… https://joelsgulch.com/even-my-plan-b-has-improved/ https://joelsgulch.com/even-my-plan-b-has-improved/#comments Sun, 26 Jun 2022 16:01:43 +0000 http://joelsgulch.com/?p=40800 Continue reading ]]> It’s on the order of five years ago that S&L moved to the Gulch fulltime, and L started insisting on washing my clothes once a week. I did not vigorously demur: In addition to a washer and dryer, S&L have a water softener! And soon my clothing stopped being capable of doing alternate duty as abrasive material.

But after going on sixteen years living in the boonies on the economic edge I have quite a number of rules I stick to as faithfully as possible, and two of the ones at the top are:

1) Never get too dependent on other people, for shit doth happen to us all, and…

2) Always have a Plan B.

Anyway: Neighbor L went out of state and it might be a while before I see her again, right at a moment when my supply of good gelsocks has passed minimum. When you’re an amputee, Always Use Clean Stumpsocks is a rule you learn not to break very early. I’ve been obeying it for over fifty years now.

So anyway: This morning I’m looking at the contents of my nightstand drawer. And I get to thinking it’s time to implement Laundry Plan B. I’m still okay for a few days, but with the weather the way it’s been I might need that long for thick gelsocks to dry.

For just a moment I mourn the loss of S&L’s water softener, but then it occurs to me: There’s been one at Ian’s place for a year and a half!

Yay!

So this morning Tobie and I, and my old manual agitator, took ourselves to Ian’s big sink. Hot running water and a TDS count below 300? I’m there!

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Monsoon’s early this year https://joelsgulch.com/monsoons-early-this-year/ https://joelsgulch.com/monsoons-early-this-year/#comments Fri, 24 Jun 2022 21:30:39 +0000 http://joelsgulch.com/?p=40796 And it’s a pain in the neck.


Started abruptly last week, and it’s forecast for every afternoon in the foreseeable future.

At least it’s cooler, and we could use the moisture. But it’s still a bother.

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This is the sort of day that’s less unpleasant from a distance. https://joelsgulch.com/this-is-the-sort-of-day-thats-less-unpleasant-from-a-distance/ https://joelsgulch.com/this-is-the-sort-of-day-thats-less-unpleasant-from-a-distance/#comments Fri, 24 Jun 2022 20:16:08 +0000 http://joelsgulch.com/?p=40789 Continue reading ]]> The crazies are out there and I’m out here.

I’m always happy about that but today I’m practically ecstatic.

You ever get the impression maybe Washington has too much power over peoples’ lives, no matter which wing of the stinking carrion bird happens to be holding the reins this year?

Good luck out there.

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The well water here is very hard… https://joelsgulch.com/the-well-water-here-is-very-hard/ https://joelsgulch.com/the-well-water-here-is-very-hard/#comments Thu, 23 Jun 2022 15:06:49 +0000 http://joelsgulch.com/?p=40778 Continue reading ]]> …thick with calcium and iron oxide, and abusive to anything it touches. Galvanized plumbing is right out; the water eats right through it. Plastic won’t dissolve, but calcium deposits eventually gum up moving parts – like toilet valves.

So before I installed the ivory throne this morning, and while it was conveniently in the shower tub anyway, I took the opportunity to clean out the tank and preemptively replace the plastic bits inside…


…which left another mess to clean up before I was done.


But now I can scratch that job off my summertime to-do list.

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“Dammit, Tobie…” https://joelsgulch.com/dammit-tobie/ https://joelsgulch.com/dammit-tobie/#comments Wed, 22 Jun 2022 18:50:20 +0000 http://joelsgulch.com/?p=40774 Laid down grout on the bathroom floor this morning. Went outside to clean the bucket. Forgot something very important…


No big deal, just an annoyance and mostly at myself: Of course he went straight in to investigate. Totally my fault.

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Or maybe the Jeep is plotting against me… https://joelsgulch.com/or-maybe-the-jeep-is-plotting-against-me/ https://joelsgulch.com/or-maybe-the-jeep-is-plotting-against-me/#comments Wed, 22 Jun 2022 13:59:44 +0000 http://joelsgulch.com/?p=40769 Continue reading ]]> Something extremely weird happened yesterday.

Around 3 in the afternoon I loaded Tobie in the Jeep for chicken chores but we didn’t go anywhere, because the Jeep had no electrical activity of any kind. I mean capital-D Dead. It was so dead so suddenly that I didn’t immediately assume the problem was the battery. After all, everything worked just fine on Monday.

But the problem was the battery. It wasn’t just ‘dead,’ as in click-click-click goes the starter. It was dead as in may as well not be present.

It’s nearly new! This made no sense.

I went looking for an explanation and found it in what should have been the most obvious place: The headlights were turned on and apparently left on all night and all day.

Except that made no sense either! The light switch isn’t a button that could be accidentally pressed, it’s a knob on a steering column stalk that has to be twisted. I very rarely go anywhere at night, certainly didn’t Monday night, and honestly wasn’t sure at first yesterday where the light switch even was. Seriously, the column has two stalks and I never use either of them: The windshield wipers haven’t worked in years, and to whom would I signal a turn? It’s so unlikely that the light switch would accidentally get turned on that the most plausible explanation I can come up with is that somebody snuck into my yard and turned it on deliberately.

No, I’m not really suggesting that’s a plausible explanation. Just saying. It’s a weird thing to happen.

And for a while I thought I was really in trouble, because when I hooked up my Battery Minder I got a red light, like “forget it.” And I don’t have a regular battery charger anymore. I seriously had plans to ride my ebike all the way to town today to buy one. But I left the BM on overnight anyway, and fortunately it did charge the battery – though the battery is undoubtedly damaged.


So I’m good, but what a very strange thing to have happen.

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If there were an Olympic event in procrastination… https://joelsgulch.com/if-there-were-an-olympic-event-in-procrastination/ https://joelsgulch.com/if-there-were-an-olympic-event-in-procrastination/#comments Tue, 21 Jun 2022 18:31:17 +0000 http://joelsgulch.com/?p=40760 Continue reading ]]> …I like to think I’d be the betting man’s favorite for U.S. gold.


Yup: Only five years after I tiled the main cabin, and more than a year after I put a fake-wood floor over the tiles which hadn’t worked out very well, I finally got around to tiling the bathroom – which is less than 10 square feet.

Yup #2: When the voice in your head says something like, “You should go ahead and put the toilet back in, you can always take it up later to finish the tiling,” you must always tell that voice to shut right the hell up.

You may notice that the rest of the bathroom is entirely unfinished after more than 10 years of residence and absolutely will remain so for the rest of my residence, so clearly it wasn’t a particularly emotional issue. Never would have gotten around to finishing the floor if the toilet hadn’t worked loose – entirely due to the unfinished floor.

I guess the good news is that I had everything I needed to knock out the job right at hand. Mortar, grout, a nice tile saw abandoned by a former neighbor several-going-on-many years ago…


…which has seen a lot of use since then, and of course…


…that free Honda Generator which has become one of my most prized possessions. No more trouble with power tools at the cabin!

Tomorrow I’ll grout (yes, really) and then Thursday I’ll remount the toilet. In the meantime, I hope the rain holds off because I’ll be getting use from the Plan B chair out on the porch – one of the benefits of no neighbors within visual range. 🙂

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When Tobie wants to help… https://joelsgulch.com/when-tobie-wants-to-help/ https://joelsgulch.com/when-tobie-wants-to-help/#comments Sun, 19 Jun 2022 18:13:18 +0000 http://joelsgulch.com/?p=40752 Continue reading ]]> Usually Tobie is content to nap for a couple of hours after his long morning walkie. Since it has unexpectedly turned rainy in the afternoons I intended to take advantage of that to sneak off and get some ammo reloading done: I just about finished off the last of my lead-bullet reloads yesterday, and need a lot of practicing with the newly revised revolver.

But Tobie, for whatever reason, decided that naps weren’t his thing at all. In fact, he was most anxious that we should go off together and do something interesting. His method of imparting this desire is really quite subtle. You might miss it, if you don’t know him.


So I figured what the heck: He’s been spending a lot of time at Ian’s lately since I shower there just about daily, so he ought to be all right while I sneak off to the reloading shack in the back of the powershed. But Tobie…


…was just in a clingy mood this morning. Don’t know why. Maybe it’s the recent thunder, though he didn’t seem very upset by it at the time.

Whatever: It turned out I didn’t have enough sized and primed cases for my purpose, so I moved the priming operation into Ian’s Cave to keep him company for half an hour till he settled down…


…and then I snuck off to make some practice ammo.


He’s my boy. He doesn’t always get his way, but he does get a vote.

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