Seems like just last week I was dealing with 110 degree heat and choking clouds of caliche dust. ‘Just wait’ I said all through that hell that is the High Summer in South Texas. Just wait until Fall when the days cool and the dust lays down. Just wait until then to get all those piddling projects done that are on the back burner. So what happened to those perfect Fall days? Hell if I know! Rain today, 40 something for the high, been that way all week. A 34′ foot trailer gets mighty small when the winter dreary is upon me. My only outlet is the 5 miles I walk every evening; the only thing that prevents the activity is pelting rain. Tuco the Dog is my faithful companion during these walks, sniffing out the various critters that crossed our path the previous night. I walk and walk; lost in mindless reflection. It is the Church of the Puckerbrush for me.
Cold weather means the heaters gotta come out from where they been hiding all summer. UPS Charlie brings me the new Broan Big Heat Heater and the majority of the winter heating chores will fall to this little heater that puts out a mountain of heat. Its’
older brother sits in the kitchen floor for back up on those sure nuff cold evenings. That Broan heater is the penultimate electric heater for a recreational vehicle in my opinion and I got 5 years of experience to base that statement on. For those that not be knowing, this part of the country is pure old hell on men and equipment. The searing heat, piercing UV and unrelenting dust will take its’ toll and there is not a whole lot a man can do to prevent it. On top of that, all your electricals and electronics are powered 24/7 by a generator. That is not the steadiest and most opportune electric supply for sensitive equipment. Case in point, the propane furnace on the No Princess Palace is a noisy propane hog and reserved for use on only the coldest days or when a quick warm up is necessary. I decided to run it up the other day and it came on and then died out 10 seconds later. No heat – no bueno, Crap, it worked last winter. The way a propane furnace works is dependent on what they call a sail switch. If there is not enough air flow across the sail switch, it will not fire. It is a safety deal. I made sure all the floor ducts were clear and still no good. Hmmm, what now?
When in doubt, blow it out. This caliche dust that gets everywhere screws stuff up -pure and simple. One of the tools that gets used often and for which there is no substitute is my big Air Compressor. I have the little 12v job in the Big Ass Suburban to inflate tires but you also need a big rascal to get by out here. I started out by blowing out the outside exhaust ducts. No joy. Then to the inside where I blew out the intake air duct for the furnace. I blew enough dust out of there to choke a mule. That did the trick and we have big heat now!
The other back up to the Broan electric heaters is my Mr. Heater Portable Radiant Heater…. and yeah, that IS a pair of vise grips on it. It went down like this. I fuel the Buddy Heater with a 30# propane tank that sets outside the Palace. Run a 12′ hose through my access hatch and I am good to go. I blew out the Buddy Heater with the compressor earlier and it fires right up. I crank the knob over to the high side and go set down for a bit. It don’t take long to get toasty with that bad boy running and satisfied all is well, I go over to shut it down. The plastic temp control know breaks off in my hand. WTF!!! and it is getting HOT and I got no way to turn it off. I think ‘Just go shut the propane tank off’ but that don’t really solve the problem. Out come the vise grips, crack the shell open and problem solved sorta kinda. This heater has got to be 7 years old at least. It dates back to the earliest days of the Old Girl it does so Lord Knows I have got my good out of it. The Mr Heater is a necessary piece of equipment on my list so I reckon UPS Charlie will be bringing me a new one shortly.
What else? What else….. Oh, one of my resolutions this year was to learn how to cook decent using a variety of different methods and I feel like I am getting along reasonably well in that respect. The departure of Little Blondie made the cooking deal that much more important. I used to get by on processed junk foods. Lean Cuisines, Hungry Man’s that sorta thing — basically anything you could pop in a microwave and then eat. I cook these days and I mean really cook with pots and pans and a stove several times a week now. I added a Lodge 12-Inch Skillet to the cooking tools this week. The same lid that fits my Lodge dutch oven fits this skillet as well. The other thing I miss when the weather goes to hell is cooking outside. I picked up an interesting little piece of equipment last summer – a Camerons Stainless Steel Stovetop Smoker . This smoker will work over any heat source and I generally use it inside on the stove. The exhaust fan easily takes care of the teeny bit of smoke that escapes. This past week I marinated some center cut pork chops overnight in homemade teriyaki sauce and smoked them for 12 minutes on medium heat. Served them up with some turnip greens I sauteed with onions and salt pork. Odd combo huh? I can do shit like that just because it pleases me. LOL! Wait, did he say salt pork??
Yep I did. I ordered a slab of bacon from Scott Hams in Kentucky several months ago. Now folks, this is old school bacon like back in the day. Salty and a hell of a rind on it from the curing. It is the real deal. I think I remember the Grands calling it streakedy lean. It is NOT the bacon you buy in the store and I found I did not care for it as bacon per se. I cut the 8lb slab into smaller portions and sealed them up in the FoodSaver Vacuum Sealing System and then off to the freezer. I keep a portion in the fridge at all times and I am amazed at how often I use it for a little flavoring. I cook it up and add it to soups, stews and a growing variety of items. It adds some old time smokey goodness to anything. I am fixin’ to order another slab and maybe even a country ham for the holidays. I have had a taste for some good country ham, red eye gravy and cat head biscuits lately.
I told you last week I ordered a pair of Vortex Optics Diamondback 12×50 Binoculars to replace some I lost in the dust up. I was concerned about two things. One being their size, I was afraid at 12×50 magnification, they would be ungainly large. The second being, at such a high power, they may present a problem by being too hard to hold still. Well, not to worry on either concern, They are MUCH more compact than I imagined and the first time I put them to my eyes I thought to myself ‘There is some magic shit going on here!’ Honeslty, they are nothing but incredible! Clear, crisp and they have the heft of quality. I love ‘em!
One last thing and I almost hesitate to bring it up. You folks who think CBS/NBC/ABC are giving you the reaaaaaaal skinny on the world news need to get a firmer grip. Last week, when the alt-media was all afire with this asshat Gruber gloating about how the American public bought the travesty that is Obamacare hook, line and sinker (We is stoopid!) only one of the main stream news organizations bothered to mention it when it was breaking. There is bad stuff happening all over the world and the general public is mostly oblivious. Everybody needs to wise up now I am tellin’ ya! Try these: Drudge Report or Zero Hedge.
Colonel Cooper says:
We Americans are a nation of cowards and shirkers, observing that we have surrendered our streets – as well as our dignity – to the goblins. Concerned with street crime, we choose to throw money at it rather than to fight. Money is not the answer. More cops cannot help. They can’t be everywhere at once. More prisons cannot help. Modern prisons don’t scare the bad guy. The only thing that can help is will – the will to fight back. If we have truly lost that, there is little hope for our civilization.
End Note: Natural High (for Merle Haggard) by Stoney Larue from the Aviator album. I like Red Dirt music second behind my Texas Americana. Give it a listen.
Possibly Related Posts:
- A Mouse A Day
- Extended run fuel tank for Yamaha EF2000IS generator
- State of Affairs
- Don’t Be Afraid of Change – #2
- $80 Oil, Ebola and iPads