Monday, November 29, 2010

Have I told you lately I hate winter?

Really, it just can't be stressed enough.

I spent about an hour this morning, writing down all the reasons I should throw back the covers, put my leg on, and go outside.  Hell, it took me nearly that long to rouse myself enough to get up and make coffee.

Yesterday it never even tried to go above freezing and it looks like doing the same today.  There was ice in the sink this morning.  I just stared at it and muttered, "In thy orizens are all my sins remembered."  I was supposed to be in the Lair before now, feeding cedar into my wood stove and drinking hot buttered rum while the snow swirled around outside my double-paned windows.  Lord, I wish Fritz were alive; then I could blame him for it.  Lazy bastard.

Gray, gray morning; for a while the snow came down so thick I couldn't see the high ridge at all.  I'm cataloging all the things I should have stocked up on: I'm okay for bulk basics but really fell down on propane (probably about 3 weeks supply) tobacco (maybe a week's worth on hand) eat-quick canned stuff and - yike! - dog food!  I get paid for shit-shoveling tomorrow, then I'll try to beg a ride to town.  If the weather stays this horrible the local cops will keep inside, then I could just drive in myself.  Thank God Landlady showed me tortillas: There's about three cases of refried beans in the pantry nobody knows what to do with.  It'll take me a while to get as sick of bean burritos as I am of fried rice.  Never thought I'd get sick of fried rice, and the chili sauce is running low.  Well, this time last week I was worried about the coffee supply and now there's enough for a couple of months without rationing.

Speaking of last week - I laughed at myself over the SAR show.  In addition to being where all the Mexican drug lords get their guns, the Small Arms Review gun show is one of the highlights of M's very existence.  He's been preparing for it for weeks.  Last year I tagged along, worked a booth for four days, slept on a cot in somebody's kitchen, then snowstorms in the hills stranded us there for another day or two.  That was a bit much for this old hermit, and this year I declined the opportunity.  But I did send a shopping list, and to my amusement it didn't contain a single gun-related thing.  Oh, I'm critically short of practice ammo in most calibers but I can't afford that, so the shopping list consisted of practical and wearable things I wear out over the course of a year. BDU trousers, a new boonie hat, half-gallon canteen with cover to replace my old faithful that's finally wearing out and starting to smell, a new keffiyeh (what the shooter-wannabes call a shemagh, and by far the most practical desert headwear ever invented - I stopped wearing a keffiyeh in the Mojave after the 9/11 thing because people are stupid, but out here I can do what I like and it's frickin' cold.) No gun stuff; I'm cool for gun stuff except for ammo.

I'm in the Scriptorium with one of those Mr. Heater things you screw onto the top of a propane bottle, that hiss like Gollum having a bad day and never actually heat a room.  I need to hang a blanket in the doorway; that'd help. I just caught a whiff of burning hair: Little Bear managed to crisp the flag on his tail. I don't think he even noticed. Ghost is begging me to go back to the lair. It's no warmer there, but he wants his blankets.

Is it March yet?


desert fox said...


Winter is a bitch when you don't have a connection to the power line grid. And when you can't just connect to the natural gas pipeline. And when your water doesn't come from a pipe that somebody else maintains. And when there isn't a Walmart just down the road within walking distance.

On the other hand, you don't have to work in a cubicle for Federal Reserve Notes to pay for all those nice utilities and gewgaws from Walmart.

And most importantly, you don't have to worry about power blackouts or costs going through the ceiling. Etc., etc.

It's a trade-off and, for now, I think you have the better deal.


Anonymous said...

Hi Joel,

My little cabin in the Pacific Northwest is cold and windy, but dry, inside. I have had great luck with one type of screw on heater.
The usual one you get at Wal-Mart has a steel wool heat diffuser. I have one with a large ceramic center designed for outdoor use, like I said my little casa is windy inside, so, I think it is fairly safe as an un-vented heater in an enclosed area. It is also warm!

Try this link and look over the LBPT heater.

Mine cost a hundred bucks 7 years ago and still works perfectly. I expect it to work virtually in perpetuity.

Good luck on finding warmth!


Mayberry said...

Yeah, winter pretty much blows donkeys, even in it's intermittent presence down in these parts. Anything that makes me don long pants is highly unwelcome, being the Caribbean wannabe that I am. The Navy ruined me for life, having served aboard the "USS Jimmy Buffet" ha ha. We hit nearly every Caribbean island the Navy had not yet been thrown out of.

A beautiful saying among the locals; "the cruise ships giveth, and the cruise ships taketh away". That's why they call it paradise, ha ha!