So today I had to go outside…

Yeah, I’ve been hiding inside despite a spell of not at all unpleasant weather. For some reason the same thing happened to me as happened this time last year: I got blisters on the end of my stump that progressed into really painful and impressive-looking bruises, making the act of walking rather more unpleasant than usual. Somebody’s going to point out that this corresponds with my also having given up daily showers for the season but no, give me a little credit, I’ve been doing the amputee thing for over fifty years and I know what happens when you neglect hygiene. I really don’t know what I did to deserve this – I only know it happened in late December last year, too.

So anyway, I’ve been sitting around a lot with nothing to report but this morning I had to gear up and go outside because…


…I was damn near out of propane. I failed to check the plumbing to the backup kitchen regulator for leaks when I installed it, which mistake cost me about ten gallons of expensive fuel and forced me to use my last backup bottle on the kitchen when it should have gone to the bedroom. Between that, a normal bedroom bottle fillup and two empties from Ian’s place, …


…I was looking down the barrel of the biggest single propane purchase of my life. 55.3 gallons, baby. $188.55 sacrificed to the food and warmth gods.

Naturally it couldn’t go smoothly. Oh, no. I scheduled what I thought was plenty of time to arrange matters but as soon as I opened the tailgate and lifted the rear window…


The pot metal hinge on the window broke right in two. Leaving me in a rather awkward position. I could hold the window up with one hand and then disconnect both struts and unscrew the other hinge with the other. With improvised tools. I got in a hurry and broke the screwdriver right off my faithful old multitool. Which did nothing whatsoever to improve my mood. But I did get the window off without further damage…


…and then I could load eight propane bottles and go do the painful deed. Now I have to order another hinge. It will, of course, snow very soon. I don’t have to look at a weather forecast to know that.

Still, I take my good news where I can find it. And now…


Every single bottle on the homestead is full or nearly so. Which is a comfort.

About Joel

You shouldn't ask these questions of a paranoid recluse, you know.
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16 Responses to So today I had to go outside…

  1. ka9vsz says:

    Kinda like licking a frog first thing in the morning, maybe you got a leg up on Murphy for the new year.

  2. Anonymous says:

    Just throwing out a random idea here, but is there a chance that you’re low on vitamin D? Recurring bruising that happens at the darkest time of the year makes me wonder…

  3. WJW says:

    Another random idea, some form of contact dermatitis? Anything that grows or that you start using in December that could contact that skin?

  4. FeralFae says:

    I hope you are taking a good multivitamin with extra D and C in it. Sorry to hear about the stump problems, hope it is better as I type this. And Happy New Year!

  5. Anonymous says:

    I had the same thought as anon at 2:35.

    Vitamin D supplements are cheap. You might try it. (hint: when you take your D, make sure there is some fat in yer diet….like take it with a meal)

  6. Ben says:

    Did that broken hinge come with the Jeep, or with your newish rear window? When you order a hinge, you’ll order two … right?

  7. matismf says:

    As always, recommend RockAuto.com for auto parts not readily available locally.

  8. Terrapod says:

    Let me scrounge around, I think there are a few spare multitools laying around here. As to the strut, remind me on the year of that jeep, I think you said 2008 but I would have to dig back to when I sent you the window. Thank the small gods the window did not bite the dust.

  9. Joel says:

    Terrapod, there’s nothing wrong with the struts. Jeep’s a 2001, BTW. I have a pair of hinges ordered so hopefully I’ll beat the next snow. Who am I kidding, of course it’ll snow before I can fix the window.

    I do need a new multitool, though, so that would be appreciated.

  10. doubletrouble says:

    Most importantly, how’s Tobie doing in all this downtime?
    Happy new year Joel!

  11. Anonymous says:

    I’m always surprised when you talk about ordering new parts for that Jeep. I ran a Gremlin for over 20 years with about your income. At the end, keys were broken off in two locks, the ignition key wasn’t needed (just the home-made kill switch), one door didn’t open and the other had a household deadbolt…three toned…the list is endless. I probably would have fixed the window with a homemade hinge, but thankfully, the back window and one of the half-moon windows survived until the end. Of course, I was less than half our age. It’s a different perspective. Today, I don’t even change my own oil.
    I guess it’s your automotive and repair background.

  12. Joel says:

    😀 There’s a lot of that going on with the Jeep. The power steering doesn’t work at all anymore, both door latches are broken (one opens only from the inside, one only from the outside so it’s vital to remember when to roll down windows) the windshield is broken, the key switch is broken so the engine starts with a button on the panel, probably other things I can’t recall. But I do fix the things that are easy/cheap to fix, like the rear window hinges.

  13. alan wagner says:

    Totally unsolicited idea. As a nurse/ retired military guy I’ve heard anecdotal stories that problems like yours can be caused by flare ups of herpes simplex virus brought on by colder weather. Some report relief by taking L-Lysine. Just a thought from an old man.

  14. If you decide to supplement the Vitamin D, make sure you also supplement Vitamin K2, which helps your body process the D.

  15. DWW says:

    Serious, if slightly off topic question for you…

    Is the webbing on the bottles for securement or for carrying them hither and yon?

    Seems I’m always trying to secure a bottle of one type or another in my pickup without resorting to bungees that stretch out or chains that rattle or ratchet straps that just tangle up or freeze up.

  16. Joel says:

    DWW: I use the webbing to tie the bottles upright in the rear of the truck bed.

To the stake with the heretic!