Bits and Pieces

I’m still home for another day. Going back this weekend, for …. reasons. Which makes it hard to get everything done by Wednesday, but we’re going to try.

Meanwhile well…. bits and pieces….

I don’t know if I’ll post next week. It depends on what the connection is like back there. It ranges from awful to impossible, though, so I’ll end up doing less, at any rate.

The accomplishments for this week seem pathetic, though I’m trying to rest, so…. it’s still probably too much.

Yesterday I was able to cook dinner in the kitchen for the first time. I’m halfway through unpacking my office. I have clothes in the dresser (and on boxes. SO MANY BOXES.) The dining room is eat-in ready, but I won’t do the walls (which are …. complicated) till I come back again, so things aren’t really unpacked yet. We also need to put baseboards throughout. I have an idea for a feeding station for the cats downstairs, but that involves getting a “rustic” looking “sofa table.” I might end up building one. Probably towards the end of the month. The idea being feeding the cats on bottom, and what can only be called my “coffee shrine” on top. If I put it in the dining room, that makes the inadequate kitchen counter livable, until we can remodel the kitchen. (I’m holding out for a gas range, sorry.) Which might be up to a year, depending on finances which depend on how much I write.

As usual, after three days at lower altitude, the writing started trying to come back. Not fully. I really had got myself in a state. I was determined to b*tch at son dragging me down here for a week (It DID delay us) until I caught glimpses of myself in the doors of gas stations. I looked like my friends who had cancer and are JUST starting to recover. It will give you a vague understanding maybe of how bad it had got when I tell you one of the very minor effects is passing: my fingertips can now be used without excruciating pain, as they’re starting to heal. This makes typing “not a torture.” Also means I don’t drop things and spill stuff all over myself quite as much.

Anyway, my hope for today is to finish setting up my office, so that I might, maybe, come back and start writing. I have Bowl of Red (so delayed) to get out. Also A Well Inlaid Death and I MUST get the Darkship books re-edited and out before I write the sequels. (Darkship Defiance, the Athena book; and Hacking the Storm, Fuse’s story.)

There is a second Rhodes book pushing hard to get written, and of course, The Long Purr Farewell.

So, I hope it’s clear both why I need working fingertips, and why the office must get set up so I can come back and slip into work.

Probably, supposing I’m back by Thurs. or Fri, I’ll spend next weekend painting the dining room and Dan’s office, but by Monday the 18th I MUST be back at work, and producing words. The way I see it, once the kitchen, dining room (We don’t have an eat-in kitchen here), bedroom and office are livable, the rest of the house can be unpacked and finished on weekends and evenings. I’m hoping to be done in time to decorate for Christmas. But the essential part is almost done, so…. the rest will happen.

Anyway, not looking forward to the next week, but determined to make it “the last trip to Colorado” — at least till closing. It should have been a month ago, except for the difficulty of getting workmen to actually show up on time, etc.

And all I can say is this mess might be G-d’s way to keep my mind off the mess our occupying Junta is making of the country.

On a lighter note, last night as we were falling asleep, the cats were throwing themselves about, and there was noisy scrabbling of claws. The words “Stop that” were uttered multiple times, and there might have been a pillow flung unfortunately nowhere near where the noise was.

Or maybe fortunately. This morning, there was a moth, dead, in the corner. Good cats. Satisfactory result.

May we all see the result of our work, thus, in the land of the living.


216 thoughts on “Bits and Pieces

  1. There is NO need to apologize for holding out for a gas range!

    The stove is wonderful, and the glasstop range is nice and all. But when I Get Serious… I break out the camp stove because gas just does it better – and I don’t need to fiddle with a/the copper heat spreader to use cast iron.

    1. The Oregon place came with a bottom-end electric range, immediately replaced with a glasstop. When finances permitted, the electric got replaced by a 5 burner range, with continuous grating. It’s so nice to start stuff on the middle burner (cross of convenient and harder access for curious canines) to the low output burner. Big pots are easier to slide than lift.

      Frigidaire FTW!

      1. I have my eye on a GE split-oven model, since working for Very Large Household Name Co. gets me a discount on GE appliances. It’s pricey but I can afford it, on the buy once cry once principle.

        1. SIL and BIL worked for a company that got bought by GE. SIL was in Failure Analysis, and had some bad things to say about how well the non-lead solder was working in the appliances. (Circa late ‘aughts.) They had issues and left. Trying to pressure employees to put *all* their 401Ks into GE stock didn’t go over well.

          Then GE sold the appliance line to a Chinese firm. Color me skeptical as to their quality and long term reliability.

          1. Trying to pressure employees to put *all* their 401Ks into GE stock didn’t go over well.

            Especially when the stock tanked 80% and stopped paying dividends.

            1. The next to last company that I worked at, had purchased the prior company. About 8 months in they brought out a new program that allowed employees to buy stock at a discount. When asked if I was participating, my answer was a short “No.” With a silent “not a chance in Hell heck”. When my husband, who was handling our IRA investments asked if he should buy stock (outside the employee program), he had on the prior company stock, after asking, my response was “No. Do not. No.” He didn’t. (BIL did but he bought, sold short term calls, then got out quickly. Hubby wasn’t doing calls then.) Between the two companies, neither myself, nor our R&D section were doing anything different. But two rounds of clearing “excess”, had me, for absolutely “no reason”, wary. Not like I had any insider information. FYI, anyone who participated in their offer? Lost a lot of money less than a year later.

    2. Another angle: what the heck is the point of remodeling if you LOVE a specific feature, it’s non-crazy, and you DON’T get that one?

  2. Waiting patiently with green eye shade, sleeve garters, and a sharpened red pencil.
    No pressure sweetie.

        1. Let me know. It’ll export the paperback PDFs from the same file, too. Quick and painless.

  3. Because I’m in a silly mood:

    I need a gas range!
    I’m holding out for a gas range ’til the end of the night.
    It’s gotta be hot
    And it’s gotta light fast,
    And its flames gotta be burning bright.
    I need a gas range!
    I’m holding out for a gas range ’til the end of the night.
    It’s gotta be hot
    And it’s gotta light fast,
    And it’s gotta cook omelettes just right!

  4. I wish you luck in getting a gas stove. We’ve only been able to get electric since we moved out of San Diego, and they just don’t give the precise control I want for cooking.

    1. I don’t know why I have an electric range when this place has natural gas. When the glasstop breaks, tho… gonna at least hope to find a gas range. In my price range, that is. Electric can regularly be had for free (and I have a spare, dated 1950, kept for the remarkably good oven).

      Propane, tho… sucks. Never seems to get hot enough fast enough. Dunno if it’s a difference in gas pressure or what.

      1. Huh; never would have thought there’d be a difference between gas and propane, but I never thought about it much. I had an aunt that preferred gas stoves; cooked better she said. (And it works when the power goes out, which doesn’t happen that often anymore—last time was, oh, a month ago for less than an hour, time before was five hours, two years ago.)

        1. I don’t know about “better”, but what I remember about the electrics was how *slow* they were. By the time they brought a can of soup up to boil, the dirty dishes from the gas stove soup were in the sink.

          1. Probably depends on the stove. My 1950 range is middling-slow. The glasstop is really fast. But anything that just needs making hot goes in the microwave, and everything to be fried goes in the electric frypan; about the only thing I use the glasstop for is when I need the big pot a-boiling or the big deep pan making spaghetti sauce.

      2. It’s a combination of pressure and different (lower) BTU content of propane. Even with different orifices on the burners it is not the same as natural gas. If I’d known, current house would have had electric. BTW, never get a gas drier and convert it to propane. The bill was around $400 and required complete disassembly of the drier to install the burner orifices.

        1. Propane has a higher BTU content per ft³. From Santaenergydotcom: “One cubic foot of propane equals 2,516 BTUs, while one cubic foot of natural gas equals 1,030 BTUs.”

          Had a customer decided to do the NG to propane conversion himself on his new stove. Didn’t realize he had to do the oven as well as the burners. Almost burned his oven up. Of course, I was the person sent out from the store to find out what his problem was.

      3. Never had a problem with propane (what we have; natural gas to our area is theoretically possible, but the accountants would die laughing) beyond one batch that was a bit “ashy”. Had to clean out the pseudo-wood stove because the pilot light was gunked up. Hasn’t been a problem for the last decade, though.

        I’ve never heard any of the local dealers recommend changing a gas dryer between NG and propane; it’s frequently cheaper to replace the dryer. (We have electric dryier, so going from what I’ve heard.)

        1. FWIW, the church had the same vendor (not-Amerigas) and had the same problem; had to clean the pilot light in the hardest-to-access furnace.

        2. I wonder if that’s a problem mainly with the newer ones. Used to be you just bought the orifice kit for a few bucks and changed it out. Kits were still available when I last checked, at least for outdoor grills.

          I have a gas dryer here but the gas is no longer hooked up (gods know why, the house came that way) but haven’t paid much attention since I use a dryer about twice a decade, and have a quarter-sized electric one that suffices (tho it only knows FRY…. it’s probably 60 years old). Also, the Whirlpool washer spins clothes so nearly dry that in the desert, I’d just put ’em on wet, and by the time I went out the door they were already dry.

          1. Gas Dryer is ONE appliance I will not have. I Know they are safe, they have to be. Dryers make the best ever wood fire starter, dryer lint … To have something that makes fire starter near a flame? Um, no thank you.

          2. The impression I got over the dryers was that the manufactures didn’t bother with easy-to-replace orifices. Our range had to be converted, and it took the installation guy a short time to replace the 6 in the kit. I’ve had an electric dryer apart, and even those are a royal PITA to work on.

            Our dryer is an electric Speed Queen. No frills, built like a tank. It Works ™.

  5. Hooray for baby steps! I, for one, dread the thought of preparing for the inevitable selling of our home and moving, quite possibly, fairly far away. The Mister and I have, oh so slowly, started the purge, and will soon begin the cosmetic work that needs doing before selling. In the meantime, preparing for the wedding of child #2 and consoling child #1 facing corporate restructuring and possible job loss takes up much of my time. Sending warm thoughts and peaceful vibes your way as you continue your journey!

      1. One piece of wisdom in my family is “Be looking for the next job before you cash the paycheck from the current one.”

        One of those things that really do make me wonder if I was adopted…

  6. The host of the Fine Homebuilding Podcast is all on the greenie train, as are most of the other people on the podcast (they all live in Connecticut, so there you are). They’ve mostly been pushing the all-electric-house for some time.

    Recently, the topic of gas ranges came up, and he just tossed out “people love their induction ranges”. I was actually kind of shocked when one of the other guys said “Actually, no they don’t. People who prefer gas still prefer gas over induction.”

    Also, they were interviewing a home builder in Bellevue, WA, who said that even though his clients wanted to be environmentally-friendly, they still wanted gas ranges. In Bellevue, WA.

    I’ve noticed that recently all the propaganda against gas has shifted from Muh Carbon to “indoor air pollution”. Well, yeah, if you’re going to build totally air-sealed houses (a good idea), you need to put in sufficient venting for the combustion appliances. Duh.

    Personally, if they shut off the natural gas utility here in Seattle the way they want to (oh, they say it’s just not allowing new hookups, but it’s clear they want to abolish it), I’m switching to propane.

    1. I actually like our glass top induction range. It does the job, and it very easy to clean. Also use it as spare counter space when dealing witch groceries.

      The big things it granite counter tops and under slung sinks is you don’t need trivets on the counters, and you can sweep everything down the disposal.

      Also, when we were doing the kitchen remodel the contractor pointed out that while they could run gas there, they’d need to break into the foundation to run the pipes, and it would greatly increase the costs of getting everything done.

      So we ended up staying with electric. We did get double ovens, and they’re convection ovens too, which can be very handy for certain things.

      I just remembered how very nice the double oven was when Mom was cooking up big things, and didn’t want to do without here. Came in handy for the Thanksgiving of the ham and the five pies.

      Now I’ve discovered the joys of electric smokers so we can have something in the smoker, two ovens, a microwave and the range all going. We *can* feed the 5th Army, in keto even!

      1. huzzah for my living in an old house that started as Coal Heat and Wood cooking. Gas was run once available.
        That said, I do like induction, but I’ve seen tops go whonky, and the fix is all too often a new top (“But just one “burner” is bad!”)
        I lurve my gas, though my only quibble with electric ovens are the cost of use though not near as bad as electric heating.

        1. Yeah. We also for a time lived in a house that predated electricity. We had an issue where the gas lines to the range started leaking, and really couldn’t get them fixed without nuking all the grandfather clauses in the whole house.

          So, we lived on a hot plate for a good long while after that…

          That house was fun. Had to be careful of what you ran on which circuit at the same time left someone have to go climbing into the closet to reset breakers again.

          1. the joys of DIY. from the meter in, mine is all good, but I could easily repair any of it. from the metter out is not a concern as WPS has to deal with it, and all that can be seen from the outside is certainly to code.
            The electric in mine was put in while building (a dam is 2 blocks away) and from the basement looks like it is updated to code . . . HA. The inspector was blind or bribed not to look close.
            It is now except for 2 circuits. One runs the front porch light and hall/stairs and the outside is unused (fixture cracked and switch is not well), the hall and stairs are LED bulbs so very low draw. The other runs my paper shredder and the over-the-sink Medicine Cabinet light. Eventually both will be updated to Romex, but I use them so little it is not pressing, and the cloth-insulated wire is in very good shape. The trouble was finding where they patched in and/or hid the old non-spec wiring (i.e. double stack the wires under a staple and make certain the Romex is the outer, and )

            1. Ah, yeah. That house actually had knob and tube wiring it it. As far as we know it was disconnected and cold, but really freaked everyone out when we found it.

              1. I’ve still got a bit of activated knob & tube, but if I can ever get my big remodel project off the ground it’s going away.

                Unfortunately, it’s not only laid out as if they deliberately tried to confuse subsequent homeowners, it’s also buried under a foot of compacted and dusty mineral wool insulation, so it’s hard to trace. At least there’s none coming into my breaker box, so it’s already been replaced up to somewhere in the walls or attic.

                1. Hm.

                  See, I was always under the impression that knob-and-tube should only be run in uninsulated wall cavities – because it’s a fire hazard otherwise.

                  1. You’re mistakenly assuming that the previous homeowners were even aware there was a code.

                    1. Code has nothing to do with it – that’s someone who didn’t understand electricity.

                      I’m very glad that is hasn’t proven to be a hazard for you, though.

                  2. True. Our Silly Valley house was circa 1936 with uninsulated walls and mostly knob & tube. I rewired the kitchen to approximate code requirements and redid circuits in the back sort-of-addition (1936 bonus room, sort of). To insulate, I’d have to fish Romex. Didn’t want to.

                    A former owner had delusions of competence at wiring, with the classic junction box buried in a sheetrocked wall. The wood screw acting as ground was typical, sigh.

                    The ceiling was insulated, and I got most of the addition insulated when I rebuilt it (had to redo two walls because termites–redoing studs on a load bearing wall was more interesting than I’d like to repeat).

                    The home inspection at sale was entertaining, but the house was a good value and the buyer was as satisfied as we were. No plans to own an old house again–I’m too old for that stuff.

                    FWIW, there was a soldered connection between the K&T and some of the Romex. I gather it was allowed at one time, regardless of the applicable code. (Heard of it a few times on Usenet.)

                    1. For the “Humor” Speech requirement for Toastmasters, one of the members used his experience taking on and remodeling an old original homestead farmhouse here in the Willamette Valley. A lot of “Oh, that is bad”, “No, this was good because when we got in there to see what was going on, this is what we found …”, “Oh, that was good”, “No, that was bad, because then This Thing or That, happened …”, “And it gets Better” (as in worse). His conclusion. Had to find humor, or break down and cry, between the inspection not found issues with electrical wiring, plumbing, well, furnace, water heaters, etc., but at least the foundation and roof was sound … most everything unseen between, not so much. Also by then everything was done and fixed, and they were in the last stages of putting everything back together.

                    2. There’s a reason why my house blog has “Why I Hate The Previous Owners” and “WTF?!” categories.

                      The inspector when I bought the place told me about how he had discovered that one of the circuits in his house was attached to itself in such a way that it was not so much an electrical circuit as a heating coil…

                2. Put a voltmeter across it and flip off breakers until it goes cold. Then determine which fixtures/outlets are dead because they’re on that circuit. Pull the old cable out and run a NEW 12-2 Romex cable from the panel to the nearest one, daisy-chain from there.

                  Short electrical runs with unnecessary junction boxes in the middle might ‘save’ a little wire, but they’re an unending source of trouble and a fire hazard. Disconnect them, and rip them out if convenient.
                  Always, always have a Plan O — for Oh Shit!

                  1. Oh, I know which breaker it’s on*. It’s just that the Romex/K&T junction is god knows where, there’s no particular problem with it, I’m not going to be tapping into it, and as soon as I tear up my dining room to do the big bumpout-and-new-kitchen remodel I’m going to drop the ceiling and be able to see it all without having to muck around in the oppressive heat (summer) or freezing cold (winter) in my attic with a snow shovel, trying to to fall through into my living room.

                    * About ten years ago I upgraded my service to 200A and put in a new panel. The old panel was a hazard, but I didn’t want to pay to have everything rewired right then, so I had the electricians make it a subpanel off the new panel, and I’ve slowly been moving over a circuit at a time. Last year, when I went to move over the last remaining circuits, those for the kitchen &dining room, I found that all the lights and sockets were dead if I turned off both breakers, but some would be active if either breaker were on. So the previous homeowners idiots had crossed the circuits somewhere. I connected one of them to the new panel and cross-wired the two lights I needed to that circuit, so I have no light over my sink and a couple of the wall sockets in the dining room don’t work. Ay yi yi.

                    1. Don’t even try to find the junction box. That way lies madness. Pull the old Romex cable out of the panel and run a new one straight to the closest fixture or outlet.

                    2. My mother had a place built shortly after WW2 that was at least partially done by the previous owner. (She had it from ’72 for about 15 years.) Certain aspects of the electrical were off-key, though the extra circuit in the light fixture box really ticked me off. Had to pull the house fuse to work safely.

                      Rewiring the place wasn’t an option, though it would have been a good idea.

                  2. Our rental house has some such electrolunacy… it was built in multiple pieces and added to in strange ways, and they didn’t even leave an access to the attic over the most-recent addition, so if we want in there it’s cut through the attic wall. And the since-ejected tenant attempted rewiring after apparently tarzaning from the hanging light. Electrician was going mad trying to trace how the hell the two lights connected (one is 3-way, the other is not, on the same circuit??!), and I was like… never mind, just run new wire! so much easier, AND we actually know what’s in it.

                    My house can do one better, tho… it was built in 1950, using 1920s ROUND outlets in the living room and bedrooms. They’re live, but I haven’t seen one of those round plugs in 60 years, what were they thinking?? and how the hell did they plug stuff in?? One of the many things no one has got to replacing yet, and meanwhile I make do with the new outlets someone added when the kitchen was remodeled.

                    1. There used to be special round outlets for AM antenna connections. My 1936 place had one, no power nor antenna.

              2. Actually properly run knob and tube is better for electronics than Romex, as the sine waves are cleaner without the interference from the opposite polarity. You just need to make sure you have a good ground line run to the outlet.

                1. Where did you hear that? ‘Interference’ from the opposite polarity? That doesn’t make sense to me. Romex is essentially a balanced pair with a ground between the conductors. That would tend to suppress noise, not introduce it.

                  Harmonic distortion on our AC power is almost entirely caused by the rectifiers and filter caps in our electronic equipment, which draw spikes of current only near peak voltage, ‘flattening’ the peaks. Each TV, DVD player, computer or printer only contributes a little, but there are hundreds of millions of them.
                  G’Kar: “Isn’t the universe a wonderful place? I wouldn’t live anywhere else.”

                  1. TBH I don’t recall where I heard it, way back in the 80’s. With all the “noisy” stuff in a house introducing spikes, I always tried to at least minimize what was on any circuit with sensitive stuff, as well as using U.P.S.s on everything.

                2. Hmm, that never came up in my experience (nor multiple years of EE training/practice). Sorry, it sounds like the old audiofile flame wars where Silver audio lines are better than Copper because Reasons. (Maybe for RF, but my hearing stops well below that. As for everybody else.)

                  Interference from motors and switching supplies can raise hell. I had some 1st generation LED spotlights that would kill FM reception of any nearby radio. Since one of the effected ones was the emergency alert one, the spotlights got kicked out.

                  1. > Reasons

                    Dude, everyone knows the *best* audio cables are polarized… all the stereo review magazines said so!

        2. On cost of use, I didn’t find it to be that bad. There was a period when I was baking bread twice a day and it did not impact our electric bill.

          That said, I was using the convection mode which does seem to cut down on max heat and cook time to get the right level of doneness.

          Really need to experiment with that mode more.

        3. I’ve found running the electric oven costs me about $5/hour. Which makes a turkey dinner rather expensive.

          1. Back in the era of Montana Power, electricity was very cheap, and Montana had lots of homes with electric heat.

            Then came the “deregulation” Enron scam, and suddenly the house that used to cost $100/month even in the dead of winter… now cost $600/month to heat.


            I had a report from a similar scam in Ontario where electric heat went from mere double digits for a toasty house to over $700/mo. with the house kept at 55F or even lower (needless to say it was miserable).

            1. I ran into that scam with a studio apartment I rented as a junior in college. My electric bill was 2 to 3 times the neighboring 2 bedroom apartment. I reported it. Repeatably both to the management company and the electric company. I finally threw enough of a tantrum that they sent out someones to deal with the hysterical coed … That the heaters “could not be 100% turned off” … Yes. Yes, it could, when you turn off the bleeping switch at the power panel. What do you know. Someone had mislabeled the power meters. The power company owed me one heck of a refund. Suspect the other apartment renters got one heck of a surprise. IDK, I had to move because couldn’t afford to stay there until the refund was issued (still got paid back). Should have borrowed the money from folks, but by then they were supporting two of us in college and a HS senor, so didn’t ask.

              1. When we got this place, it came with three power bills. Main house, rental house, well and barn. Each bill has a $20 base charge, plus usage. Two showed usage. “Well and barn” did not, it was just that $20 base charge every month.

                Since this matched the obvious facilities, and the barn doesn’t eat much, at first I didn’t think anything of it… but then got to looking around and hell if I could find that 3rd meter. Finally got the co-op’s auditor out here and he’s like… I can’t find it either. Lemme go consult my map books and see if I can locate it by the hardware ID number.

                About a week later I get a call… seems that third meter is about two miles down the road, hidden down in a ditch along the highway, where apparently there was once a barn but now is just a wellhead. Present property ownership is obscure (mighta been a bit split away when they moved the highway back around 1980, and reverted to the state) but… it ain’t us. It’s not our meter at all, tho it may have once belonged to this property’s original owners… who died ~20 years ago.

                I got a $700 credit on my bill. It was decided not to open the wormcan of who among 2nd owner and multiple renters and original heirs might be owed for the previous three decades.

                1. We picked up the shared-well power bill with the elderly lady wanted to shed the responsibility. The shop/barn installation is a seperate (business type account, because of course), so as long as we were on the shared well, we had to deal with three bills. Shoved them all in one envelope after it became obvious that the shop was not going to house a business that actually made money. Sigh.

                  The shop has a $20 base charge, with monthly bills running $22-$28 or so. Haven’t fired the kiln up in several years; that cost a few dollars for each run. IIRC, a run took about 30 kWhr.

                  We’re down to two bills now, with the new well mostly disconnected from the Pac Power mains. I’ve run them on mainline power once since I got the solar up, and that was when I was going to be gone for a few days in the midst of a stormy winter week.

                  1. In California, any three-phase power was billed as commercial. Didn’t matter what it was used for; that was the dividing criterion. I learned this by having a three-phase well pump… and wondering why the rates were so much higher.

                    1. In Oregon, outbuilding electric meters tend to be stuck with business rates. The main thing I have in the barn is a kicker if my consumption goes much above 1kW. The kiln could take 3-4kW doing a run.

      2. “when dealing witch groceries” — So what’s the price on eye of newt, these days? Or do you just buy a box of newts, and save out the eyes from dinner?

      3. I appreciate that. Who knows, I might like induction too, if it didn’t mean I would have to throw away all my mid-priced hard-anodized aluminum cookware that I like so much. Also, I already have gas, and I’d like to keep it for resiliency purposes in case the power goes out.

        That’s something I forgot to mention above when talking about the FHB podcast. Every time they say every house should be all-electric, I want to write in and ask them if they get their way does that mean they’ll take responsibility for all the people in New England who will freeze to death the next time there is a perfectly predictable ice storm that knocks out the power in the whole region for weeks. Hm?

        1. We lose our Gas Heat when the power goes out. The fan is electric. No fan. No heat. OTOH we still have a wood stove, at least for awhile. While we’d lose the fan on a gas fireplace, don’t think we actually lose the flame, which would be some heat. We don’t lose power often or that long. Happens. Areas around us lost it for days to weeks. We’ve never been off more than a few hours.

          Oregon too has been making noise about banning natural gas. Dang it. We just got natural gas for the furnace (for values of just, 15 years ago, but we’ve lived here for 33 years). The furnace replaced electric ceiling heat and the above wood stove running 24/7. So the cost savings wasn’t what it could have been. OTOH we were to the point where getting wood for the wood stove was not free anymore.

          1. Yeah, same here… gas furnace not useful when the power goes out (OTOH this house takes a whole day to cool down even when it’s -25 out) … unfortunately the woodstove has Issues, and is not usable. (No matter what you do it backs up smoke into the room, I think the flue is too large for the stove, but that’s how it’s made.) One of these days I’ll find a replacement, and then…. most people won’t burn cottonwood, but the riverbanks are full of standing deadwood, and if you don’t mind the volume going in, it has the highest heat production per pound of any wood, and produces the least ash. It is a rabid bitch to split, but can’t have everything.

            What I really wish for is a stove that can burn both pellets and stick.

            1. BIL wired his MIL house with a storm generator. So power goes out in Eugene (happens, just not often and doesn’t stay off long) her household is covered. BIL and his wife live in a 5th wheel in the *backyard, with power connected to house.

              * They started out doing the snowbird / roving campground host so the backyard setup was temporary stop overs between coming back from / leaving for Lake Havasu, or wherever their current snowbird property was located, and taking off for first / last month campground host gig. That ended when the MIL fell and broke her hip. Now his wife can’t be gone that long. The household has, besides her now 91 year old mother, her dad’s 96 year old brother, who needs space in an veterans home, and her (self inflicted) handicapped seizure prone older brother. None of whom can drive. It is a tossup on who will go first, her brother, or the Uncle. Right now least likely is her mother … (BIL is 73, wife is 68.) At this point, no short term trips are planned for a 4th reason. They went on a 3 week trip to get puppies, one for them, one for her brother. Ended up with 3. The one for her brother (which is becoming her mom’s, who paid for it anyway). It is not only a tiny baby, but a tiny, tiny, breed, < 2#s at 8 weeks. It takes extra care (size) than a larger puppy, which, the brother is incapable of dealing with, without strict supervision, of which mom is incapable of enforcing. Little sister can, with hubby's backing. As it turns out, I think it is becoming mom's dog, but she also needs help due to her age. Until that puppy is at least an adolescent dog, they can't leave it in this household's care. (We'd, okay me, would take the puppy in a heartbeat, it is adorable. They paid way too much for it … BIL is going to end up with 3 Papillon 1/2 siblings.)

              1. That’s why the commercial breeders (commonly decried as “puppy mills”) won’t let tiny-breed puppies go before about 12 weeks, and sometimes older — when they’re really young they can need six meals per day to maintain blood sugar at proper levels, and they’ve found most new owners just can’t figure this out. So they keep the puppies until they’re old enough to survive on the one or two meals per day most idiots try to feed ’em. (Having found that the leading cause of death after the sale was not illness, but hypoglycemia — and those tiny puppies can reach the point of no return in less than 24 hours.)

                Papillons are nice little dogs, very suitable for that old-folks home in the back yard. 😀 And if you’re wondering why purebred dogs have become very expensive… supply and demand. The big old kennels are gone and the remainder are being squeezed out of existence by laws and regs that apply to breeders but not to that giant scam and racket, “rescue”.

                1. Yes. Our last two pups came from “rescues”. Prior one was our veterinarian via breeding client surrender; no where near the dog’s emergency hail mary medical costs. I about died of shock for the $600 fee for current pup. Paid it. Explanation is the puppies not only pay for their own medical costs, and care, but pay into the funds for older dogs. Based on the numbers, they aren’t being untruthful. Local spay and neuter clinic, which is who they use, just puppy shots, and the spay/neuter procedures run about $150. Which would pay those costs, but not provide the tools and food to feed them, which they provide to the volunteer foster homes.

                  Yes, anyone can use the same clinic at the same costs, way less than a main stream veterinarian. But if you need a veterinarian for anything else, you have to have a relationship with a regular clinic. That is ALL they do is Shots for Parvo and Rabies, Spay/Neuter, Flea meds. No annual exams, no other vaccines. Our veterinarian accepted having the puppy go through the rescue clinic because they knew our “fee” was paying for that. Then they willingly took over. BUT we’d have a 35 year relationship with them too.

                  So, at that the 3 Papillons, were likely “bargains”. Molly – $2200, Sadie – $2800, and Gizmo – $1200. Molly is the tiny pup. The other two were 16 weeks and 6 months old. At that they were at the breeders for 4 days before she agreed to let them take 3 (they went for one, picked out two, got 3). Not their first Papillon puppies; both eventually lost to old age. Her brother and mother will be fine with Molly, once Molly is out of puppy hood requiring constant monitoring and care. Ellie, one of their prior ones, took to her brother to the point she just had to be with him. Which dried him out (very much an alcoholic). When she passed away, they found Pixie for him, who was a “loved again”, rehomed, when her prior elderly owner passed away. She passed away just before the pandemic hit. What drove (everyone really) on the new dog search was her brother constantly calling for Pixie Why a Papillon, that IDK. Granted rescues have been wiped out of dogs (until recently). I doubt the brother would pass a home inspection. Home would. But not him. No one wants him to go back drinking. Now he is having seizures and neurological problems.

                  FWIW. SIL has been posting pictures of all 3 playing. They are adorable. Molly fell asleep in my arms when we saw them. Doubt we’ll see them again soon (we rarely go over there), except on video.

      4. The “break the foundation to run gas” is why RedQuarters has an all electric kitchen. I don’t like it, especially when the power goes out. Alas, the power outage also gets the gas hot water heater, because of the electric thermostat.

      5. I also use the glass top of my stove as extra counter for groceries. Even though I also have an enormous island. Said island usually gets filled up, because space attracts clutter.

        I have a little countertop oven I got when I was in Japan so I could make… well, anything because the ovens in Japanese houses are six inches wide and three deep.

        Plus, when the Bugbear and I got married and merged houses, we now have have three crockpots of different sizes, two Instantpots of different sizes, a propane grill outside, a largish (quesadilla-sized) George Foreman grill, about 8 muffin tins…

    2. All electric? in Connecticut? Those greenies must be insane. Heating via electric will kill you even if the winters in CT are somewhat milder than further north in New England. Pretty much you couldn’t give away a house with electric heat when I was a young man in the ’70s cost was insane. With Connecticut Yankee (old Nuclear power plant) shut down and Millstone 1 (one of 3 in Waterford) probably headed for it (it started operating when I was like 10, I’m 60 now) electricity prices in CT can only have gone up. Oh and the Successor to CL&P and HELCO has no clue how to deal with winter storms, long outages (3-7 days) are de riguer when Connecticut’s inevitable ice storms show up.

      1. Electric in CT is generally insane. Unless you have a local utility so you don’t have to deal with Neversource (formerly CL&P). My parents have them and pay significantly more per KwH m than I do with Groton Utilities. And GU (and Norwich, and all the other local companies) have an infinitely better track record for keeping the system up (or getting it back up) than the others. But I’d still like a gas range top; if only because I’ve had to trade a few pans with my parents who have gas since gas doesn’t need pans to be perfectly flat-bottomed to work.

        1. And there’s the downside of glass cooktops… I have a GLASS PAN that is not sufficiently flat.

      2. Our place in S Oregon is stuck with electric forced air as primary heat. (Manufactured home; never saw one with a gas furnace.) Back when we could get Bonneville power at the discount rate, we were spending 7 cents a kWhour for power. With the progressives at the switch, we lost the cheap Bonneville power (as did the ranchers, explaining why grid-tie power is now a cash crop along with hay) and are paying to remove the smaller hydro systems on the Klamath River. Grr… Total cost is now 11 cents/kWhour.

        December and January tend to be the worst months, with the record for the house a bit over $400 per month. Summer bills tend to be in the $65 to $80 range, since we have electric hot water, too. One of the first things we did was to add a sunroom at the back door. On a cool, sunny day, we can get a fair amount of free heat.

        If we get a short term power outage in winter, we’re usually OK. Medium term (a few hours), we’ll use the propane “woodstove”,. If we have a long term outage, we’d park the travel trailer in the barn (both oil and wood heat for the barn; should have enough solar power to run the oil heater and lights). Propane in the trailer would keep it comfy. Ish. Winterizing the house would be no fun, but doable.

        1. Willamette Valley.

          It is the long wet cold days that accumulate to “it is cold, there is a chill” effect. Regular, short cold, dry days, that dip down below freezing (which is when they open the warming centers).

          EWEB Electric Bill remains relatively flat year round. It can drop. But usually because dad and I are off somewhere (1 VS 3 people using hot water). It is the water usage that spikes the total EWEB bill during the summer. Average per month is $300. Actual range is $235 to $390 … Haven’t hit $400, yet, but that is what I budget for monthly. Natural Gas bill runs from summer minimum to $100. Between the two, while I budget $500/month, the actual combined has been < $400/month.

          I've discussed before how that is a “bargain” compared to what some CA Utility districts pay. TPTB locally are trying to keep jacking our rates. I’d love to reto fit the house with solar. Hubby is willing if we build.

        2. Ah RCPete if they got .11/KWh in Connecticut they shout hallelujah. Going rate (per some googling) of the town I grew up in on the CT shoreline is .2204/KWH.

          1. As hydro keeps getting phased out in favor of solar, I expect to look fondly on memories of 11 cent power. As it stands, being able to keep the well offgrid helps.

            There aren’t too many bad CA ideas that Oregon’s PTB won’t say “Hold my wine”.

            1. Between Solar and Wind …

              The latter which can’t run if the wind is too strong … When we came home from Tetons, across Idaho, there was a very strong persistent wind blowing. Not strong enough to force semis off the road, or warning to RV’s, but very, very, tree bending strong. Guess what was NOT spinning …

              The former can’t be 100% turned off, except night or covered with ice or snow. Which given where we’ve seen solar farms. They must have someone go clean snow and ice off of them in the winters …

              It boggles the mind.

              1. Part of Snowvid 21 was that it was too cold as well as snowy for the wind turbines, too cloudy for solar, and so cold that it caused pipeline problems. Plus one of the nuke plants was down for scheduled work, “since Texas needs peak power only in summer.” I’m not in ERCOT, but a different regional power group, and we still had problems because of the strain on the grid and the cold making gas pipelines wonky. Not as bad as downstate, thanks be, but still rolling-blackouts bad.

            2. CT depends on other states (and Canada’s) Hydro power and its (shrinking) Nuclear plants. Not much Hydro, the main rivers (Connecticut, Thames, Quinipiac) are slow and wide in most of the state. There was talk of tidal when I was a kid but Long Island sound doesn’t have huge tides. Probably lots of Natural Gas plants for base load, but that ain’t cheap either with FICUS and the greens screwing that up.

    3. We got a call some years ago; there was no Caller ID then, or we wouldn’t even have picked up. Friend in an all-electric apartment in Memphis. No electricity for several days. He drove six hours in bad winter weather to borrow our camping stove and lanterns; Mrs. TRX gave them a bunch of fancy decorative oil lamps and a couple of gallons of oil too. They spent a few days sleeping next to the camp stove before power came back.

      As for totally sealed houses… the HVAC engineers who laid out the original air-change tables knew what they were doing. Standards were changed by DOE politicians, which is why you have fully-compliant modern houses with mold and other issues.

    4. Fine Homebuilding Podcast

      I swear I read that as “Fire Homebombing Podcast” three times trying to figure out the “of course” on there…..

      (Yes, I’d listen to a podcast named that, sounds like a zany thing.)

      1. I used to subscribe to Fine Homebuilding magazine for the first 20 years of their existance. Pre-woke FHB was a good resource, and I learned a fair amount. Dropped the subscription around ’01 when I was laid off, and haven’t seen an issue in a long time. Sad to see that they’ve gone full Greenie.

        1. Once they started pushing LEED and all Green and trying to shove all sorts of composites into things, I quite reading it. Fine Woodworking seems a bit saner, for now.

          1. Fine Woodworking is usually done at a finer level than I work (my stuff tends to be closer to carpentry than woodworking, but I can do the good stuff). I made a drum sander from the Taunton tools book, and have a workbench in the “I have the wood, but not the time” slot in my Round Tuit stack.

            The Tage Frid books on woodworking were a major help in learning.

            1. I’m mostly teaching myself how to do basic cabinetry rather than any kind of skilled woodworking, with the medium-term goal of building my own kitchen cabinets.

              For all the issues with FHB, Taunton Press is awesome. I have about 30 bookshelf inches of Taunton books, on wiring, plumbing, decks, sheds, framing, stairs, etc., and apparently unlike a lot of people, I RTFM before I start a project.

          2. pushing LEED and all Green

            Yeah, there’s a lot of eyerolling involved in reading the magazine. On the other hand, if and when I build a house out at Tierra de Balzacq, it would be nice to have a house that I can basically heat with a hair dryer, and I’ve learned a lot about how to do that kind of construction. (Really, it’s mostly air sealing.)

            And normally I think solar for main grid power is dumb, and rooftop solar that is required to feed back to the grid not to the house is a scam, for a cabin in the woods I’m going to want some solar to cover resiliency and SHTF purposes. A system that runs the house off a battery and inverter, where the battery charges from solar if available and from the grid if not, would be perfect, although I’m not sure if it’s doable or legal.

            1. Depending on your local conditions, a house wind-charger might also be an option. For small, domestic applications, wind-chargers can be great options. It’s scaling them up that leads to . . . well, we all know.

              1. Considering that the entire property is wooded with 90’+ Douglas Firs, a wind turbine would have to be super high to actually catch any wind. But a 150′ clearing oriented to the south means I could get a lot of sun onto panels. And Mason Count, WA isn’t all that windy in the first place.

            2. It would depend on regulations, but the system I have in the pumphouse could be set up to run with solar kicking in if the mains go down. I have it set up strictly offgrid, though there’s an outside inlet for a generator to help charge if necessary. FWIW, the module is from Outback Power, and manuals are available online.

              1. They are probably *grandfathered in, HS classmate, is an architect, who built their retirement home (somewhere) downtown area of Eugene. With solar, that powered his house and fed the excess back into the grid. For the longest time he was posting his EWEB bills. The power portion was negative KW, and the amount paid for that paid his water and sewer bills, leaving him a credit. I presume he had to sometimes pull from the grid more than he fed into the grid, but he never posted those.

                * Waggles hand. Even today those touting Solar point out that this is still an option, at least in Oregon. One caution. Buy the system. DO NOT fall for the lease option. That is the path to disappointment. Had heard of the problem before I knew someone going through problems. Supposedly on a “lease to buy” system, in Hawaii (with them doing maintenance and repair over the term … um, not so much). When she went to sell, getting her pay off amount was a huge PIA. She wanted clear title to the system to go with the house.

      1. Well, propane is favored by rurals, so the Green PTB would consider propane bans to be a plus. OTOH, that gets things a little bit closer to flipping the switch from “OK, I’m cool with that” to “Shoot the bastards in the face”.

        I find the greenies obsession with removing hydroelectric power as an option to be amusing in a “Bless their hearts” way, while reviewing my alternatives. (Alternatives for what, I won’t say…)

        1. Until at least the early 90’s my uncle had two propane-fueled tractors on the family farm. I don’t know how many propane farm tractors are still out there — if any — but banning propane would have all sorts of consequences they won’t expect.

          They really are stupid enough to believe they can micromanage the lives of 327 million people.

  7. I understand the workman issue. I had someone out on Wednesday to give an estimate on the new roof. They promised it later that day or Thursday morning at the latest.

    I’m still waiting.

    So Erie Roofing it is. Expensive, but the local branch has a good rep, they finance, and if we don’t get at least the back corner done before winter, we’re going to spend a lot more replacing that corner of the house.

    And it would be nice to not listen to the racoons having “discussions” in the overhead while trying to do school work.

      1. Erie said they should have it done within a month. So did the guy who hasn’t sent me the estimate yet. The fact that part of it has started collapsing inwards in the last few months probably puts us towards the head of the line due to “emergency” status.

        It involves replacing original (130yo) sheathing and cedar shakes, under several layers of asphalt. Given how much it cost to just replace a few square feet of shingles after the squirrels started playing last year. /sigh

        On the other hand, a new roof means that the interior of the house could be stripped to the joists and we’d still be able to sell it for enough to cover everything we owe on it (including the roof) and pay the realtor too. And our monthly bills will still be less than renting something much smaller.

  8. If the electric stove is on an outside wall it _might_ be possible to run propane from a purchased or rented large tank and have a truck refill it.
    We have gas stoves and love them.

    1. We have a gas fireplace. Inexplicably we have a glass cooktop, which I despise, having had them in hte past. It will change, but it will take money. so writing and saving.

      1. I think it’s one of those things that folks tend to change when there’s an elderly relative in the house. Our house has propane run half again as far as it needs to be, so that there can be a closed off connection under the electric range. (glass top)

        As best I can figure, it would’ve been put in when all the wonderful electrical upgrades (non sarcasm) and water heater were put in, which was when they set the house up for “dad” and the “kids” got their farm-inheritance waaaaay before death. (avoiding taxes)

        1. Parent’s house, built ’63, has always had a gas hot water heater and furnace, with an electrical stove. To put one in now would cost almost the cost of the gas stove. IF the gas utility would agree to run the needed line (the crawl space is impossibly Tight). OTOH when the time comes, replacing the woodstove with a gas insert, will should be minimal cost (which will be done when she is out of wood to burn, or she dies and we sell it. Can not revert back to a wood burning fireplace, the stove has to be pulled sell it … 1980 Fisher insert. Better than catalytic for visible emissions, but not legal to keep in the house for sale. In fact stove was originally ours, in our house in Longview, but was too big for either our next rental or the house we bought. They installed it in ’85.)

          1. I really shake my heads at the places (and insurance companies) that allow wood stoves, so long as they are in a separate building not attached to the residence. Why not just say, “No, you have to use gas or electric heat, nothing else”?

            1. The Fisher wood stove was put in, way before current restrictions. If it is ever pulled can’t be put back. Which is ironic, because we’ve installed our second approved stove, since 1990. The Fisher is better built, safer, and puts out less visible emissions than approved stoves. The Fisher is grandfathered in both with the legal PTB, and her insurance company, written into her contract (also, long term agent), which they’ve had since well before they built the house, let alone before said wood stove became “undesirable”.

        2. I ran gas to the water heater, behind the stove, behind the refrigerator and freezer, the laundry room where there’s theoretically space for a second freezer, and into the bathroom, just in case.

          Gas refrigerators and freezers seem to be priced more as “lifestyle statements” than appliances now, but we’re hoping to eventually find a used one on Craigslist or the Thrifty Nickel.

      2. We have a gas furnace put in 15 years ago. Should have just ran the lines with appropriate shutoff for the stove then. Then when the stove died, we could have put in a gas stove replacement. As it was running the gas line is $250/8-feet, or doubling the cost of a gas stove. We put in a glass top induction/convection oven.

        Only another $250 to a gas hot water heater. But 15 years ago we couldn’t put in the hot water heater as we can’t vent up. NOW the units can be vented to the side. But to run it just to the hot water heater, now, it would more than double the hot water heater … sigh … no gas hot water heater in our future …

        1. Yeah. When I build the new kitchen, I’m going to run a gas line, a 20A circuit, and a 50A circuit to the range location, just to future proof it. I’m also going to retire my past-its-use-by hot water heater and put in a gas-fired tankless, and future proof that by also putting in a capped T for a future radiant heat boiler. (I hate forced air because dust, and if I retire both the water heater and the furnace and take down the ducts I can free up a lot of usable volume in my basement. And the temperature delta is never going to be all that much even in midwinter, so radiant wouldn’t need to run super-hot.)

          1. Our furnace is officially “past life” but working great and gets annual inspections. This year we need to add vent run cleans (not cheap but it has been 15 years). When they (finally) push through the natural gas ban, will go back to electric furnace with air added (right now no air), WITH Solar. But only after the current furnace fails.

        2. The first owners of our place had propane installed for a wood-stove-looking heater. They used the dining area as a parlor (place was more-or-less set up as a vacation home). We shifted back to dining room and added a light to the overhead fan.

          The good news is that the connection to the heater had a tee, so switching the range from electric to gas was fairly easy. I tapped the power for the vent hood to power the controls on the range and deactivated the 50A circuit. That outlet had to go to fit, but IMHO, no loss.

          I hadn’t heard about the NG ban being proposed. I’d assume propane would be included, and could see that as yet another reason for the flyover counties to OrExit.

          1. I suspect the propane ban portion may be what has stalled it. That would affect the RV industry. You know, the Monaco, Marathon, and Country Coaches, and that is just the local custom manufacturers out of Junction City and Coburg. Then too, they are going to try and take away natural gas and let a very large local family owned timber company keep their brand new electric producing wood burner? It doesn’t even feed excess power back into the grid. 100% for the mill use. FYI the wood burner? That is where all the locally formally-free firewood is mostly going.

            Where we used to get firewood:

            1. Firewood finders – source leavings on landings before torched. Cost. Minimal permit fee. Haven’t heard of them for decades now, suspect liability issues stopped participation of various logging companies and land owners. Cowlitz County it wasn’t that far to go source the wood. Lane County, a lot further to go, and harder to get to, wasn’t worth it.

            2. Eastern Oregon Pine Kill. USFS permit fee. Available except when fire restrictions in force. Didn’t have to go that far from in-laws to find enough wood. Since we were going to see in-laws anyway, there were 3 households there needing wood … BIL, his wife, and us, would take, three pickups, and one utility trailer, get what amounts to 8 loads, each weekend (& it didn’t take that long to actually get the wood either!), with us bringing back a truck and utility trailer load. Repeat the next trip. Stopped doing this when FIL died, spring ’89. I think we used the last of the Pine, from our stash around ’96 …

            3. Local log yards. Last option. Started under “anyone” could get the wood, if you knew about it. Devolved into employees and subcontractors only … had to know you. Then devolved to employees only. The last loads we got from that source was because a mill manager was dad’s neighbor. He knew mom and dad needed wood and offered it up, so dad sent us to get it (for them and us). For the most part yards are packing it up and sending it to the wood burner, or Lane Forest Products which does sell it for (expensive) firewood.

            Last time we got mom wood, was because Uncle had wood to get rid of. When she runs out of that, she’s done burning (source doesn’t have wood anymore). We are done burning, but have some for campfires (we aren’t camping anymore, so ???), or emergency heat, at least until the wood stove and fireplace are removed. At that point, we’ll take the wood to mom.

            1. The local woods have been reopened for firewood collection, though some of the beetle killed pine got burnt off in the summer’s fires. (Bootleg and a couple of smaller fires.)

              We had a large number of trees that we cut over the years. I still have some rounds that need to be split, though the only place I burn firewood for heat is in the barn. I replaced the old high-BTU Lopi with a considerably more efficient, but lower BTU unit, so I have sufficient firewood for the rest of my life–unless we had to move into the barn. Still a few years worth.

              1. We have a friend that has about 2 acres outside of Monroe Oregon. It was full of Oak. Very OLD Oak. Oak that “Looked” solid but wasn’t, when they came down. He now has enough oak firewood to last a few lifetimes. We’d beg off him, but he really should sell what he can’t use. Besides, I am DONE with wood burning. I want the wood stove and the fireplace removed. I am neutral on putting in a wall gas insert, cost to connect would be minimal, the house gas main is feet from the chimney stack. Hubby wants the gas insert replacement because of “resale” … like we’re selling, anytime, ever … I want the room square footage gain.

                It makes no sense for us to head over the hill for beetle kill firewood. Back then the cost was a little bit more in vehicle fuel. We were going, regardless. We were getting wood, for in-laws (parents, SIL, and BIL, households), regardless. Might as well bring some back for us. Now? None of that applies.

      3. You’re in better shape than I am. Just found out from our gas company that my side of the street and the side of the next street over along our alley was built a few years later than the rest of the subdivision and so didn’t have a gas main run along the alley because “all-electric is the future”. 8-(

        In Plano TX, Seriously????

        400′ of gas main at $100 per foot = outside of my budget. So home generator will have to be propane. Meanwhile, I can pass by the houses that do have it as I walk Sugar…..

        1. We ran into that issue. Natural Gas came halfway up the street because someone paid for it (the other half, not in front of our house). Natural Gas ran down both cross streets, but not down ours. The house to the west of us could have natural gas because it sits on the corner. Us, and our neighbor across the street, couldn’t have natural gas without paying to have it ran down the street from the corner.

          Until the neighbor across the street went on a campaign. Argument was they wanted Gas Stove, Gas Water Heater, Gas Washer, Gas Dryer, Gas Furnace, and a neighbor wanted a gas furnace (actually we wanted a gas water heater too, but 15 years ago we couldn’t for reasons). For two new clients and 6 appliances they could run the pipeline down the street and to the houses for free (only required one gas appliance to run to house meter for free, then). It was ran. Now neighbors to the east of us, have each added gas appliances to their homes.

  9. Miss Sarah, we’re not going anyplace. Take your time. It seems as if this should take a lot of effort, and time, and attention. You’re building the foundation for the next season.

  10. I hate induction cooktops but then I learned to cook on a solid fuel range. Our gas cooktop is finally back in business. Huzzah so I don’t need to cook in the old cast iron pans on the gas Weber

  11. Sounds rough to say the least, though I can relate on the kitty distractions at night. Needless to say, it was C again with a bit of R. I’m surprised C hasn’t mobbed me meowing his head off again and R is sitting so calmly right behind me… As always, we wish you the best in all things, and I’ll see if one or more will cooperate for a therapeutic kitty pic before the day’s out. 🙂

    1. Yeah, dogs were going to town the other day (Monday?). Turns out it was a three foot long copperhead (indigenous, venomous snake) in the backyard. couldn’t see it as the day was getting late and the snake was still. Youngest hit it with a bushaxe; it moved and then I saw it. I gave it the coup de grace. Good dog.

      1. Good dog indeed! R and C, the cats I refer to most, are simply extremely needy snugglebugs. R was a bottle baby whose fur fell out when his inexperienced foster bathed him in Palmolive so he’s a bit needy from that while C is a street rescue out of a colony, which is hard to believe considering he’s a seal point Balinese mix complete with blue eyes and a really fluffy tail.

        1. We have 3 cats that are 3 to 6 AM racers. They use the house as a race track, using the beds and chairs as launchers. The 4th caterwauls, loudly, whenever the other 3 try to involve her in their activities (grumpy old lady at 8 years old). The 2 of the 3 are 18 months, and the more recent one is 8 months. To be fair they take advantage that the third household member gets home between 2:30 – 3 AM, then feeds them canned before heading to bed sometime around 5 AM.

          1. NONE of this beats Pixie — despite being best cat EVAH — taking one dried poop from the box in the upstairs, and batting it around the clawfoot bathtub in the night.
            That one was one of those “WHAT Were you thinking?”
            since he was genius cat? He was thinking he wanted us awake.

  12. Well you’re certainly not bored, and it is a strong distraction from the news stories.
    I hope your psyche is starting to see your news digs as “home”.

  13. Youngest got energetic a while back and emptied and swept out the garage. This made it possible for us to “take in a stranger” in the form of a dog that showed up at her work Saturday. We were able to contact the owner via Animal Control on Monday and re-unite them.

  14. A dead moth in the corner?

    Your cats don’t EAT the sky-raisins? Mine always have.

    1. There was a fun one a few years ago at my house. The master bedroom upstairs has built ins in the space at the eaves, a nice solution to a cape roof without dormers. Our then two cats Tyger (big lanky tiger, fairly mellow) and Mack (Black and white patterned like a holstein cow huge 20+ lbs and not fat, but gentle think Baby Huey) were going berserk at the built ins one night. We tossed things at them squirted them, you name it. They knocked it off after a couple hours and we went to sleep. Woke up in the morning to massive thumping and pitiful meowing. Somehow while we slept Mack had pulled the draw open, crawled in and then gone OVER the back of the drawer which had then closed behind him. Grumbling my wife and I pulled the drawers and lo and behold there was Mack. He was holding a mouse that had gotten in somehow and finished off the little villain. I managed to get the deceased rodent away from him, and after restoring the drawers he and his brother got extra kibbles for their efforts.

    2. We had luna moths and far less spectacular moths-of-a-similar-size back when I lived in Durham (ptui!). One big brown hummingbird-sized sucker darted in the door one night, and the cats followed it all around with expressions like preschoolers on Christmas Eve. When I finally shooed it out, they looked at me with expressions of utter betrayal.

      The next night, BOTH of them looked pointedly at the ceiling and meowed pathetically at me.

      1. expressions of utter betrayal.

        Exact expression we got the other day. Tj our yellow tiger male of 14#s (also, not fat), plays with rope, string, shoelaces, etc. He drags them around, tosses them, bats, rolls up in them. The other day he had, what looked like a 6″ piece … “Oh. You’ve chewed off a shorter piece. Need to take this away.” Too small for him. Really don’t want the dog to get string that small. THEN it moved, on it’s own!!! Baby Garter Snake. Key word here is SNAKE. Hubby dealt with removal. (I KNOW they are harmless … Your point? SNAKE!) Do not know where he got it because he, his sister, and the new one, are not allowed outside, yet. Son swears that the 4th cat did not bring it in, when she came in for AM goodies. (Figure it came in under the garage door, and Tj pounced immediately … if not quicker).

        Also the expression got when I removed the dead rat dog brought in. Where she found it in the yard, that IDK. Lil Bit is responsible for that one, I hope (could have been from rat poison someone else put out, luckily Pepper has a soft mouth, not a visible mark on it). I would have had hubby or son deal with it too, but dang it, neither was home. Big dang rat!

  15. On an utterly unrelated issue this morning I had a vision of something that needs to be made.
    Picture a cartoon rendering of FICUS (perhaps with an Ice cream cone) being herded from behind by
    Simon Jester (from RAH’s The Moon is are harsh mistress) with a pitchfork. Underneath is the text
    “Lets go Brandon…”

    What do you think? Ridicule is always the best way to go…

      1. As Noted Simon Jester was usually drawn as a Smiley face with horns (and often a spade tail) as a stick figure, so we’re already there 🙂

    1. Wait for the booster shot to finish him off.

      T shit, man in a guy fawkes mask, and a man in a head’s man hood, have a third man eating an ice cream cone at the gallows.

      Caption: Mask up to prevent symptoms of Covid Lockdown.

      1. There’s been videos of B getting “shots”, frequently with the needle guard in place. Rumors abound that others are getting saline injections instead of the not-Vax.

        I’ve seen a “Let’s Go Brandon” t-shirt with a cartoon picture of Xiden offered for sale. Not sure where.

        1. ‘Biden offered for sale’? No, no.

          1. The FICUS has already been bought, and
          2. Slavery is against the law anyway.

    2. Heh. I was just thinking that “Let’s go Brandon” is the Simon Jester I’ve been looking for. I’m just not sure how to get a recognizable quick-to-draw picture out of it.

      1. Man with a large ice cream cone over his head, milky gunk everywhere, on a stool facing the corner.

        1. Pretty much all you need is a recognizeable ice cream cone. An inverted isoceles triangle and a sphere would be sufficient.

      2. Yeah I have absolutely 0 artistic talent for free drawing. Even Simon Jester (smiley face with horns on a stick figure with a barbed tail) would be at the limits of my artistic talents if you want any perspective. Any of the artsy types I know are so liberal with their heads so far up their lower colons that they’d turn me in to the Stasi/FBI in a flash so that’s out. Making Bai Den recognizable is hard he is such a non descript old guy, he vaguely reminds me of Grampa on the Simpsons, kind of like many of the Deacons/Elders at the church I grew up at. We have this amazingly mockable target and people outside the blue cities and blueish burbs are ripping mad and giving him the Mort the Wart treatment seems the way to go. Hell Mort the Wart was accomplished compared to FICUS, I’ll bet Mort could find his ample backside without any navigational aids.

        1. Reasons for which are obvious, hence why I selected it as the case to make in public.

          And, no matter how many times someone says it is not Hawaii, I think I can almost always justify double thinking my way again to speculating Hawaii.

      1. Hawaii would NOT be a win politically over Colorado. Its Politics are to the left of even most of the insane New England states. There’s a reason we talk about Hawaii judges…

      1. Fair ’nuff. I’m always interested in what factors in to choosing where to relocate when fleeing a blue/purple state.
        Be well!

        1. Thing is, is fleeing really that viable an option?

          It isn’t just the state, the city and the employer also matter somewhat.

          If they want to flip a place, they can make it seem flipped, with fraud and packing organizations with evil men. And they want to create the illusion that there is no escape.

          So, you may find yourself fighting anywhere.

          Going ‘oh, this is a red state’, can have you wind up relocating to the middle of some leftist hellhole.

          Going somewhere you have no roots and no contacts is a gamble, do it only if the devil you know is absolutely worse.

          If you relocate, and find yourself in a fight, you need friends or allies among your neighbors. This is easier when you don’t have drastically incompatible regional culture.

  16. The Democrats nominated a walking cadaver in 2020, so Joe Biden’s favorite flavor of ice cream is really Brains.

    1. Hey! Give the man some credit. It only took ten months for Uncle Joe to accomplish what it took Barack Hussein a term and a half!

      1. Didn’t have Obama’s ego getting in the way as much, and the Gu jar was standing on the shoulders of Bill and Barack.

  17. I apologize as this is probably a stupid question, but….I found your blog about 2 months ago and so enjoy it…but I can’t quite figure out where you live and where you moved from? Do you still live in Colorado? Like I said “stupid ?” but for some reason when I read your blog I like to kind of picture the area where you live…..would you tell me a quickie run down of your move?

    1. She was in Colorado.

      She isn’t talking about where she has moved to, for reasons.

        1. Really agree. You have important reasons to protect your location and none of us need to know where your new home is. It is more than enough to see the real life struggles to move to a new better location and the comfort you get from your family and furry companions.

            1. I suspect you’re hiding out in a doubledecker articulated bus that has been converted into a monster RV. ;-p

        2. I’m sure we’re all curious about where you ended up, but understand your reasons for not making it public.

          1. I don’t have need to know. What I don’t know I cannot reveal.

            If I was curious, I would automatically try to figure it out. I don’t want to compromise it even by idly noticing details and analyzing them. So, as far as my curiosity is concerned, Midway Island, or similar.

            1. I am wildly curious. And almost as widely hospitable/inclined-to-feed. Therefore, I discipline myself not to wonder. 🙂

          2. DUH. But I don’t mind curiosity from the old hands. I’m somehwat creeped by curiosity by newcomers, all in a bunch.
            Honestly, there will be a series of Huns dinners when we’re settled, ranging from TX to OK. One a month. Oh, and probably one in KC, because James Young has promised a great BBQ place. IA might be in too. Not CA, though.

                1. Columbus would be awesome from my perspective, as that’s only about a hundred minutes away for me. I know there’s a few more here who aren’t too many hours away. If the timing was right I’m sure I could get my wife to agree to head to KC, if for no other reason than her best friend moved to that neck of the woods, as did another seldom-seen friend of hers.

            1. Dangit, those are just outside my “drive in a day” range, as I won’t drive more than about 13 hours a day.

              Are you keeping the snailmail office?

              1. To the end of the year. I have a young friend who will pick it up and express it to me.
                We’re hoping to re-form our corporation in one of the states that does that for non residents. Probably Wyoming? At which point the address will change.

            2. Agreed, it’s creepy. I have my guesses, but I’ll go with Bob’s: Midway Island is nicely low elevation.

              1. And the goonie birds are entertaining, for “why did the Most High make birds that can’t land?” values of entertaining.

            3. Oklahoma Joe’s BBQ in KC….Knob Knoster State Park in MO is close enough to stay to dash in to KC…we do hope for a Huns event in SouthEast AZ someday….

              1. I’m not sure whether I’d rather have the money for an automatic weapon, the weapon itself, or the money for the ammo. Heck, my last range day cost me, well, would have cost me if I didn’t have a stash, about $200

                1. I sent around $60 down range this past week. “But if it saves one life,” namely mine and/or that of someone near me, it’s worth it. And DadRed did say that he was tired of finding small, very heavy boxes in the closet . . .

    2. Background on why that information will remain closely held.

      1. There was an event involving this blog known as Sad Puppies. See Monster Hunter Nation for the origins. The raving nutjobbery of the opposition was notable, and intended to discourage further sad puppy efforts. And was done at that level for a scam that was only significant within a fraction of an industry.

      2. Communists have cheated their way into temporary power. It is reasonable to expect a more murderously extreme level of nutjobbery. Security precaution.

        1. For those stuck in a similar situation, a flavor of satellite internet would be a likely solution. I’ve been on Dish Internet (Hughes got bought by Dish a while ago) for almost 10 years. Video isn’t a great idea, and speed of light issues can make some websites a problem (ad and script blockers help on this). FWIW, the ground terminus for Dish is Dallas, so I’m not expecting too much trouble at that end. Maybe.

          Insty has been really happy with the pre-production version of Elon Musk’s Starlink. If I had trouble with Dish, I’d check them out.

  18. Wish you luck on the gas range. 🙂 I have to use electric.

    No, really. Apparently while natural gas is a fine, clean-burning fuel, you can be allergic to the additive they use so you can smell a leak. *Rueful* I am. Very.

    …Hmm. Perhaps there’s a lesson in that: our current world is so jammed up with “safety features”, it’s hard to live in!

    And one of those “safety features” is Progressives trying to “protect” everyone from “harmful speech” – by which they mean anything they don’t like.

    Kind of makes you want to start tearing out safety rails….

    1. One of the mercaptans, most places now. Some people still say it smells like rotten eggs; I smell skunk.

    2. And beating to death with the rails the people who put them in.

      I may be in a wee bit of a temper.

  19. Just saw a good comment on a Sky News video:

    “They should just turn the teleprompter around so the audience can read it. Less confusing for everybody — including Biden.”


    1. That is a great idea and the propaganda media would say it is a wonderful innovation anyway and praise Biden.

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