Archive for the ‘General updates’ Category

Yeah. Brrr.

January 24, 2011

Just rolling out of bed here to find an outdoor temperature of -11ºF.  A slight breeze brings the windchill to -26º.

I confess to putting a couple extra small logs on the fire before retiring last night, something we generally never do.  Probably wasn’t necessary, but it did leave the kitchen at a relatively-livable 46º this morning.   I also let a few taps drip while sleeping, just to be safe.  Looking forward to sunrise.

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Pretty Cold

January 23, 2011

URGENT – WINTER WEATHER MESSAGE

NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE GRAY ME
308 PM EST SUN JAN 23 2011

...DANGEROUS COLD EXPECTED TONIGHT...

VERY COLD AIR WILL COMBINE WITH LIGHT WINDS TO PRODUCE DANGEROUS
CONDITIONS OVERNIGHT INTO MONDAY MORNING. SINCE TEMPERATURE WILL
BE VERY COLD...10 TO 30 BELOW ZERO...EVEN LIGHT WINDS CAN HAVE A
SIGNIFICANT EFFECT ON WIND CHILL READINGS...WHICH WILL DROP TO
NEAR 30 BELOW NEAR THE COAST...AND AS LOW AS 40 TO 45 BELOW IN THE
MOUNTAINS AND FOOTHILLS."

Might have to throw an extra shrimp log on the barbie fire.

Saturday.

November 6, 2010

I think I’ll stop boring my reader(s) with daily graphs after this.  Maybe once every four days from now on.  Average yesterday = 59.1º.

Update

November 4, 2010

Today’s graph is minimalist, as we were both out most of the day.  J. made a short, sharp shock of fire when she got home about 4pm.  Average for the day was 54.9º.

Daily Graph

November 1, 2010

Ah, back to “normal” (?) in here.  Average temp the past 24 hours = 58.6ºF.  P.S.  Lest you think the bump at the end represents fire or space-heater usage, no– that’s just from having two humans downstairs and making coffee & oatmeal (and maybe, just a smidge, from the sun coming up.)

Warmish

October 30, 2010

No use of “intentional heat” the past few days, yet thanks to unseasonable weather we’ve been pretty warm.(Average kitchen temp over this span = 61.3ºF)  It’s just above freezing outside this morning, though, so things are cooling off a bit.  Tonight we have 25 or so people coming over for a Halloween party.  J. says “we’ll have to light a fire”.  I say, that many bodies produces 2,000 watts of heat (more  if they decide to start dancing)– I think we’ll have to open a window.

Too Anxious For Trees

October 27, 2010

I find myself wishing the grove of Norway maples behind the house would get on with it and drop their leaves.  They seem to keep them longer than the local native maples (perhaps they are thinking it still feels quite warm here, compared to, say, Norway?)  Partly I’d just like to ensure I have time and daylight to rake the lawn before we get snow.  But also, now, I notice that the leaves are stealing our afternoon sun-heat.  The sun is ever more oblique, of course, but if the leaf-screen would drop we’d certainly be getting a lot more of it on the roof and south walls.

As I think about the long-term plan of replacing those Norways with some sort of indigenous tree, I now realize I should consider their leaf-drop schedule.  Oaks, for example, will be right out.

Breaking Out The BTU’s

October 24, 2010

This morning it’s 30ºF outside, 52º in the kitchen (perhaps a bit less in the bedroom.)

I was out of town for a few days, during which the living room eventually got down to 54º.  As this crossed the agreed-upon parameters, and J. had a friend coming for dinner, she elected that the time for fire had come (reported use: 3 sticks of wood.).  She did also crank up a space heater briefly.  Piper, apparently, enjoyed both.

Then last night we finally broke out the electric blanket– set on “10” (180W) for about 15 minutes before bed, then I turned it down to “1” (+/- 18W) for sleep.  Getting under the covers felt like taking a trip to Antigua.  But sometime in the wee hours J. clambered over me to reach the controller and turn it off altogether.   I guess she was too warm.

So Long, And Thanks For The Wood

September 7, 2010

Funny thing– you start publicizing that you “heat” your house with wood, and people start giving it to you.  This never happened when I burned oil, or propane.  It’s kind of fun.

First, early in the summer, my friends K. & A. decided to move to San Diego (I know! Whacky, right?  They’ll be sorry when January gets here and they have no snow!  Ha ha!)  Anyway, they figured that they had no further use for the remnants of fireplace-wood in their garage.  They called me to come fetch it.  This wood was rated grade A-.  It’s a bit dusty, and some pieces are too long, but it’s delightfully dry.  Thanks guys!  Here it is in my garage, waiting for winter:

Soon after, friend N. emailed.  He has a wood stove, but doesn’t use it much, and is thinking of ripping it out.  He offered me the remnants of his woodpile, too.  Sadly, though, this wood had been outdoors for a long while.  A few of the top pieces were salvageable, but much of it was rotting, fungus-covered, or ant-infested.  This wood was was rated C- (sorry, N.)  I debated, standing in front of the pile, whether it was more ethical to take what I could burn and leave what I couldn’t, or just leave it all.  I settled on the former, but regret that I wasn’t much help to N.’s wood-disposal project.  But thanks man!

Next, I heard from S. & S., friends through N.  They had recently felled an oak tree in their yard.  It was already bucked into just-liftable logs.  I borrowed a pickup and S. helped me load up.  (I unloaded them myself– stupid stupid. Wound up with four chiropractor appointments, which cost a winter’s worth of firewood.)  Anyway, this wood is rated B+.  It’s lovely, straight, and fresh.  It needs to be split, though I take off no points for that, and seasoned, which will mean some delay in burning it.  Thanks S. & S.!  Here’s the wood, guarded by Max:

Lastly, my brother called.  He lives in Florida but owns a tiny condo in Massachusetts, which he’s been renting out for many years.  It has a little fireplace, in which he used to have occasional fires.  For that purpose he had obtained a small supply of wood, and stashed it down in his storage locker.  A few weekends ago, we cleaned out the locker.  Using sophisticated dendro-dating techniques (using other objects found in the locker, such as LP albums, newspapers, yearbooks, love letters from long-ex-girlfriends, etc) I dated this wood to circa 1998.  Possibly older.  It is believed, in fact, that the wood originated from our grandfather’s wood pile, and may have been split by dearly-departed grandpa himself.  It may, indeed, be truly heirloom wood.  This wood is tinder-dry, clean, cut to size, and has priceless provenance.  It is rated A++, and may be too nice to burn.  I brought it home anyway.  Thanks bro, and grandpa!

Day 2

March 9, 2010

It’s been two days since the last of the fire went out (not that it had been going much in the week before).  We’re doing fine, thanks.  It’s 30º outside this morning, 50º in.  The sun’s up, and if it stays clear we might get up to 55 or more in here by afternoon.  Yesterday J. and I had a brief conversation about how we can keep the entryway from getting too hot in the summer.  And we didn’t even switch on the electric blanket last night.  I tidied up the wood pile and put the stove tools in the garage. Sure signs of spring.