Saturday, January 1, 2011

After getting up late (almost seven) and doing laundry, I went back to work on that truck wheel. I painted the front side and put the thing in the oven to cook until Monday morning. I hope I can get a new tire on it Monday afternoon and get it back on the truck, then I'll be ready to haul wood. Eventually I'll repaint the entire truck, but for now doing just the wheels one at a time will have to suffice. I have plenty of other chores to deal with before I get around to truck painting.


Sunday, January 2, 2011

The day got off to a bit of a chilly start. When I got up a little before eight the outside thermometer read 20º, it was 30º upstairs in my bedroom, and the living room was 33º before I lit a fire in the fireplace. I spent most of the morning on some of the Sunday morning blab shows, then caught up on some reading. I finished the new Vintage Ford, then Hemmings Motor News. This afternoon I was going to put the new chain saw to work, but all I got done was putting it together. I expect I'll put it to work over the next few days.


Monday, January 3, 2011

This morning I took my repainted truck wheel to town and left it with the tire dealer, then picked it up with a new tire on it after work. After I got the wheel back on the truck and brought in wood for the evening I had a little time left to cut some wood. But the new chainsaw failed to cooperate, and all I got out of it was exercise. I'll examine it tomorrow and see if I can figure out what's the matter with it.


Tuesday, January 4, 2011

I got the chainsaw working today. Maybe I flooded it when I tried to start it yesterday. Anyway, I used it to cut up a pile of pine branches out back, then drove the pickup out there and piled the wood in it. It appears to be enough wood to last at least a week. Meanwhile, I have a mystery. When I got home Daisy came to greet me, but she wasn't her usual lively self. She was moving slowly, and was definitely not spry. I could think of two possibilities. One is that she could have been run over by a vehicle. The other is that she was the loser in a dog fight. I lean toward the latter theory because of a small red spot on one of her rear legs, like a puncture or bite wound.


Wednesday, January 5, 2011

I took advantage of a warm afternoon above 50º to get some roof work done. I spent almost two hours cutting and nailing on fascia boards on the north end of the roof. I have one more board to install to finish that part of the project. With a couple more warm days in the forecast I should make some good progress before the weather goes south.

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Another warm afternoon, 58º at three, had me on the roof and making progress. I spent most of my time cutting and nailing on the last big fascia board on the north end. Because very little on this old house is square or straight, I spend a lot of time trimming things to fit. I still have to plane the top of that last board to make all of it even with the roof. After that, I have to figure out how to finish nailing on the short board at the east end, about a foot long, which is partly blocked by the scaffold. I'll have to find a way to move the scaffold enough to do the nailing, which is easier said than done.


Friday, January 7, 2011

A stiff breeze out of the northwest made it feel cooler than the 5lº on the thermometer, but I went up on the scaffold and used a plane and a grinder to make the north fascia boards even with the roof. Thus ends that part of the project. Next is putting flashing and roof cement around the chimney, then I can start nailing on shingles. That may have to wait awhile due to impending winter weather. The forecast shows snow beginnng Sunday and continuing into Monday, followed by highs in the teens and lows around zero by Wednesday. Fortunately, this far south that kind of thing is usually over in a few days.


Saturday, January 8, 2011

With the temperatures below freezing, I was enough of a cold weather sissy to forego outdoor work today. I drove over to Argonia, a little town with a notable distinction in American history, for an auction. A house was to be sold, and its contents for sale were laid out on trailers and tables in the yard. I perused the goods and picked out the items of interest, then went in the house at sat down in a comfy chair to stay warm while the auctioneers sold off all the stuff I didn't want. By the time they got through all the dishes and bedding and stale spices the temperature had warmed to the mid-thirties, and I went out to bid. As usual, there were some desirable items that went to people willing to pay more for them than I was, but I ended up with a few bargains: Montgomery Ward battery charger, $4; metal drill bit box, 1/4hp electric motor, soil acidity tester, coping saw blades, three-foot heavy chain, etc. $1; another bit box, full of bits, $6; a box of numerous drill bits and a set of number punches, $10. This evening I had dinner at Mozitti's for the last time. The only local real Italian restaurant is closing due to a shortage of customers. The shortage isn't because of the food, which is good. It was very pleasant having a good meal and listening to Frank and Dino sing Gershwin, Cole Porter, Jerome Kern, and Lorenz Hart. I think the killer for this business was its location, a block off the main street. It had to be sought out by customers who knew it was there, and there weren't enough of them.


Sunday, January 9, 2011

The forecast is for snow tomorrow, followed by arctic temperatures Tuesday and Wednesday, so this was wood day. I started by taking all that sawed-up pine out of the truck and stacking most of it in the garage, splitting some that needed to be split. I brought enough of it into the house for tonight, and probably tomorrow night. With the truck empty, I drove down to the wood lot, cut a load of wood, hauled it up to the house, and stacked it in the garage. Here's the video.


Monday, January 10, 2011

The snow arrived last night, eased up in the early morning, then continued through the middle of the day. I decided to save firewood at home by staying in my office after work and doing a New York Times crossword. When I did go home, I found that the snow amounted to only about three inches.


Tuesday, January 11, 2011

It was not an ordinary day. The first highlight was my court appearance. A couple of weeks ago I was driving in town when I suddenly sighted blue lights in my rear view mirror. I wondered what the problem was, and I soon found out. The deputy stopped me because my license plate sticker was out of date. This came as a total surprise. Usually when I receive a renewal notice I take care of it right away so I won't forget. I have no idea why I missed this one. Maybe I received the notice and lost it, or maybe it never came. After the passage of six months any clue I might have had is long forgotten. So that's why I had to go to court this morning. There were about ten of us malefactors in the room, and I waited while the judge dealt with the drunks, druggies, and girl beaters. The last one up before the judge ahead of me was a guy who appeared to be in his late twenties, covered by tattoos, whose body language was pure swagger. He strutted up before the judge and listnened to the charges with a smirk. He was charged with beating up three different women on three different occasions. The case was continued to a later date. The saddest specimen wasn't the defendant. It was the teenage girl who was with him. That any female could be aware of the guy's rap sheet and still be with him is both amazing and depressing, but all too common. Some girls are steadfastly determined to have a hard life, and always, like a moth to a flame, they are drawn irresistably to Mister Kick In the Teeth. I guess they think that's who they deserve. It took about an hour for me to sit through the court proceedings, pay my fine, and get back to work. In the afternoon I got a phone call from my cousin Pete, who told me to come over to her place for dinner tonight. This second highlight of the day turned out to be a celebration of Pete's going two weeks without a cigarette. Good for her. After more than forty years of smoking, quitting isn't easy.


Wednesday, January 12, 2011

We are into full winter now. As I drove to work a little before six the time and temperature signs were showing 5º. When I headed home this afternoon we had warmed up to 20º. But even at those temperatures, the sunny day melted off some of the snow. I'm not putting vegetables in the refrigerator now, because they'll freeze in there. When there's no fire in the stove, the room temperature in the kitchen gets down into the thirties, which is refrigeration enough for celery and cucumbers.


Thursday, January 13, 2011

This far south the arctic weather doesn't stay long. Today the warmup began, with temperatures climbing to near freezing. But this time of year I do spend part of every afternoon bringing in wood to make some heat for the evening. Upstairs the room temperature is usually in the thirties at night, or in the twenties on really cold nights, so about a half hour before bedtime I go up to my bedroom and turn on the electric blanket. When I turn in I'm under a sheet, an electric blanket, five more blankets, and usually a dog and a cat. With some wool sox, all of that keeps me warm and toasty.


Friday, January 14, 2011

After taking out the ashes and bringing in wood for the evening I took advantage of the warm afternoon in the forties to do a little outside work. I did some digging with a pick and shovel, uncovering the old water and gas pipes where they enter the shop. I had them uncovered last summer, but rainwater carried enough mud into the trench to cover them. I need to get them out of the way for a new gas line to be installed.


Saturday, January 15, 2011

After doing laundry I drove over to Caldwell for the Cochran auction. There were a few items of interest, but other people wanted them for more than I was willing to spend on them. In the end I came away with a full set of metric combination wrenches for $3.25. The auctioneers did a good job of moving right along, and I was home by about 2:30. After putting away the laundry I went out to the shop and worked some more on removing the old gas and water pipes that go in under the foundation. I made some good progress, and I think a few more sessions will have the old pipes out and enough space cleared under and behind the foundaton for putting in the new line. I'm beginning to think I may actually get some heat in the shop sometime this winter.


Sunday, January 16, 2011

After a morning of goofing off and watching some of the gab shows, I checked out a couple of auctions. Neither one had enough fascinating stuff to keep me there, so I came home and got busy in the back yard cutting some branches piled up last spring and summer into firewood. I probably have enough big pieces to last the rest of the winter, but I have to keep cutting the smaller pieces that get the big ones burning. Every year I resolve to gather enough for the winter during spring and summer, but somehow other chores always seem to interfere. Maybe this year.


Monday, January 17, 2011

How delightful! This afternoon I finished removing the old gas and water pipes where they entered the shop. The next step is to call the gas company and get some guidance on what kind of digging I need to do before they install the new line. Before long I may be shopping for a couple of shop heaters.


Tuesday, January 18, 2011

This afternoon's project was adding a brace under the gas line in the shop's attic, and threading the pipe that will go down to near the floor to connect to the line coming in from outside.


Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Today I installed that pipe I threaded yesterday, then got out the chain saw and turned more of that branch pile in the back yard into firewood. I stacked it in the back of the truck with a tarp over it to keep off the snow. The forecast is for an inch or two tonight and tomorrow morning.


Thursday, January 20, 2011

It was another day for firewood. That will continue for a few weeks, but spring is just sixty days away.


Saturday, January 22, 2011


There was no Friday entry because I was busy elsewhere. I drove up to Hutchinson for the midwinter Model T seminar and spent Friday evening and today hanging out with other T guys, looking at some swell cars, and hearing some interesting presentations, both technical and historical.


Sunday, January 23, 2011

It was a lazy day with nothing really accomplished except buying a few groceries. I did drive over to Oxford for the Patterson auction because some piano rolls were mentioned in the ad. But a lot of them were in pretty worn condition, and somebody else was willing to pay more for them than I was. This evening I was even so lazy that I ate in town so I wouldn't have to build a fire in the kitchen or open any cans.


Monday, January 24, 2011

This afternoon I had a man from the gas company out to look over the excavation for my new line to the shop. He suggested how to proceed with digging the rest of the ditch. If the weather stays OK I'll do the digging this weekend. Today's last job was taking the ashes out of the stove and the fireplace and bringing in wood.


Tuesday, January 25, 2011

It was a firewood afternoon.


Wednesday, January 26, 2011



Thursday, January 27, 2011

A warm afternoon, over 60º, found me out in the yard sandblasting another truck wheel. I got it almost done, and should finish tomorrow when the forecast calls for a high of about 70º. This was one of those days when the outside warms up more than the inside of the house and I open the doors to let some of the outside air in.


Friday, January 28, 2011

Excellent! The warm weather, almost 70º, was perfect for sandblasting. I got home about three, set up the equipmant about 3:15, and by four I had the wheel finished and the equipment put away. With that job done, I gassed up the WD, topped off its hydraulic oil, and used it to move the backyard swing to clear the way for ditch digging tomorrow. The forecast is for another nice day, about 60º. It should be a good day for digging.


Saturday, January 29, 2011

Indeed it was a perfect day for digging. I got up early to do laundry, then about eight I went to get the Ditch Witch to make my ditch. But when I arrived at the rental place it turned out the thing was broken and wasn't going anywhere. So the day wouldn't be a total waste, I took that sandblasted truck wheel to the sign factory, painted the back side of it, and put it in the oven to cook with the signs. Tomorrow I'll paint the front side, then cook it for a few more days, then get a new tire on it and put it on the truck. I finished the day in Model T land, removing a mangled cotter pin from one of the rear axle housings. I need to prepare the housings for sandblasting so I can get some new paint on them and finish my rear axle overhaul.


Sunday, January 30, 2011

This afternoon I drove over to Oxford and checked out the Patterson auction. There were a couple of interesting items among a huge spread of stuff, but things were selling high and I didn't wait around for them to come up. Instead I finished painting the truck wheel and prepared one model T part for sandblasting.


Monday, January 31, 2011

A major winter storm is forecast for tonight and tomorrow, so this afternoon I worked on firewood. I ran into trouble with a jammed chainsaw, and I wound up cutting with an ax. That's better exercise, but a lot slower.