ash data point two
Thursday, January 23 2014
The fire went out at some point in the night, and by this morning there were hardly even any glowing coals among the ashes (something that usually takes more than 12 hours to happen). The living room temperatures had fallen into the low 50s, perhaps supported in some places by the various hydronic zones, which are all set at 50 degrees (a temperature below which it isn't advisable to go). I took advantage of the situation to empty out the ashes, and (as I had last time), I weighed them (taking care to remove a huge solidified aluminum puddle that must have leaked from my last aluminum melting project). The ashes came to 20.5 pounds, which had accumulated since the morning of December 20th. I now have two blocks of time with corresponding ash weights, giving me a benchmark against which to measure future ash/time measurements:
|Number of days||Ash|
|Est. firewood burnt||Est. firewood/day
|Nov 14-Dec 19 2013||36||13.5 lbs||0.27 cords||29 lbs
|Dec 20 2013-Jan 22 2014||33||20.5 lbs||0.41 cords||48 lbs
Yesterday we'd dropped our Subaru off at our mechanic, a guy who works out of his house a little over a mile away near the bottom of Dug Hill Road. It seems that Gretchen could no longer abide the rubby metal-on-metal feeling that came whenever the brakes were applied. Our mechanic is a great guy; he's honest, affordable, and reliable. But one of his weaknesses is rusted brake lines, and though I'd offered to let him tackle the still-unrepaired line going to the brake on the rear passenger-side, he'd begged off. He did, however, replace the rotor on one of the front brakes, and then he (in a conversation this morning over the phone) gave me a long explanation of why I might want to disable my antilock braking system (basically, the absence of a working brake on one wheel is confusing the whole system). Though he initially comes off as Aspergery, sometimes our mechanic gets in a chatty mood and makes ample use of the construction "like I said," which has the potential of making a conversation go on for eternity.
This afternoon I went to pick up the car. Since it is so close at the bottom of a hill, I decided to bike there despite 15 degree (Fahrenheit) temperatures. I bundled up with a scarf, hat, and gloves, and would have worn a face mask of the sort worn when using a chop saw or other splinter-throwing power tools. But the only such mask I could find has a screen instead of an impermeable plastic barrier. On the ride down, the cold blowing on my face was so painful that I was forced to cover my cheeks as best as I could with one of my gloved hands (I couldn't use both hands due to my speed, the constant need to apply brakes, and the treacherous nature of the surface, which, in this season, is covered with sand and tiny stones.) If I had gone at full speed the wind would have quickly frozen my face solid, so I only released the brakes near the bottom of the hill. While I was down there near 180 feet above sea level, I took the opportunity to go to Stewarts in Old Hurley to get a tank of gasoline, a bag of peanuts, Mountain Brew Ice, and Brew Free or Die IPA (one of three IPAs Stewarts now sells in their new "fancy beer cooler").
I spent most of the rest of the day doing a series of tiny paintings loosely based on the appearance of the 20 inch tall humanoid sculpture I'd made the other day. I had a deadline of Saturday for getting all these done in anticipation of the annual KMOCA benefit to be held in a week or so.
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