Saturday, January 21, 2012

Grumble. Also, Whine.

Busy day yesterday. Before shit-shoveling I thought I'd see what ravages our near-nonexistent winter hath wrought upon Gulchendiggensmoothen, whose fate is to stand out in all weathers.

He started right up and ran beautifully, as though just released from the amorous clutches of a squad of nubile Thai concubines trained in the art of massage. So I ran him up to J&H's place, where the manure pile was spreading out of control and needed to be whipped into a proper heap. While I was adding to it, J said he was going to town and wanted to know if I'd like to come along. I needed to pick up my sharpened chains and to buy some kerosene, so I happily signed on.

Now, in the little town nearest my desert lair the only place to buy kerosene is the airport, where they have mis-named it "jet fuel." This little town has a civil airport with an incongruously huge pair of runways, easily adequate for jets. And some fancy ones land here: For all that it's a small poor town in a large poor county, there's money out there somewhere.

Problem is, it's been years since I needed to buy kerosene there and the rules have changed. The fellow who ran the pumps couldn't or wouldn't say why with any coherence, but he seemed genuinely apologetic when he refused to fill my can. I was pretty clearly not the first ragged mendicant he'd turned away with money still clutched in his grubby fist.

Ew. That's a problem, and it blighted what would otherwise have been a pleasant and successful trip. NOBODY in this town sells kerosene! I know it isn't commonly used for heating fuel around here, since propane is much cheaper in the long run. But you'd think there'd be some market for it. I know for a damn fact that there are people out here whose infrastructures make my pathetic electrical system look like a gift from the gods of technology by comparison. They have to be lighting their hovels somehow. Unfortunately I'm not friends with any of those people, and to establish relations would involve unwise levels of social reciprocity. There are better ways - I hope - to find sources of kerosene.

J had a bunch of errands to run, I had a few, and we didn't get back into the desert until after four which is why blogging was so light yesterday.


Anonymous said...

can you use diesel?

Joel said...

Interesting question. Since I suddenly find myself with a surplus of lamps, I may try that. Gasoline is right out: Never.

Anonymous said...


Nor wick heaters

Nor catalytic stoves or any other paraffin/kerosene specific appliances.

No no no! For God's sake no.

Did I mention it's a bad idea to run diesel in a kero lamp or stove or heater?

There is a serious flash point disparity, especially in hot blast lanterns that could result in a most day ruining eruption of flaming fuel oil all over lair, animals, self.

Stick to the kerosene or eventually invest in propane gear.


Craig Cavanaugh said...

Uh, Buck... Diesel flashpoint is 144 deg. F. Jet A is 140 deg. Kero is 100-162 degrees. Give or take a few degrees as shown by other sources.

Anonymous said...

You know what, Craig, you are right. I was thinking of mineral spirits.
Still, you don't wanna run diesel in a kero lamp. It's will fume up and smoke. Make the eyes burn. Not a good thing. There are other more technical reasons. I'm not sure if it's the benzine of the sulphur content that makes it evil, but you don't wanna run pump diesel in a lamp.
I think it also gums up the wicks.

I think Miles Stair has a primer on why diesel is no good for lamps or wick heaters. I'll go look for it.


DonkeyBuster said...

I use a product called Klean-Heat in my lamps, as recommended by Lehman's. It's darn near odorless & I can get it at Home Despot. You might look for it at the local [snicker] hardware store...

Anonymous said...

how about fuel folk burn in forced hot air furnaces?

Joe in Reno said...

Betcha it's someones PSH about someone mixing it w/ all the shit from shoveling and wheel barrowing it to NYC and stinking up the place!

Anonymous said...

According to lantern/stove dealer Miles Stair:

"Diesel fuel burns with fumes and smoke, carbons up the wick very quickly, and ruins wicks incredibly fast. "

As seen here: