Thursday, November 30, 2006

Ice Station Zebra?



Well no. Just returning from Grandma's. Got heat tape on the pipes, fixed some burnt up wiring in the crawlspace so now we have some heat via baseboard heaters there. Just turned them on low to keep the frost off the inside of the building. Tommorrow with any luck I will be able to go to Vanderhoof to pick up some electrical connectors so I can use some Tek cable to get my shop powered back up.

Well no time to daly. Have to drop by the Hall to load up the pellet furnace and then off to a meeting in Fraser Lake.

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

The Lights On But Nobodys Home


Well, I just thought it looked "Homier" with the light on. I am sure Grandma appreciates a little light on the subject.

I got the water flowing last night. It was under Grandma's house --just not where I thought. It was on the other side of the house. I manage to get it un thawed and we now have running water. Amazing how we take the simplest things for granted. Until we can flush the toilet..

I'll have to go and make some permanent repairs today. Well enough to get us through the winter. Next summer I need to bury the lines instead of leaving six foot chunks exposed. For now I will put some heat tape on the exposed parts, insulate them and put a heater in the crawlspace. I need to do some electrical work underneath also. I discovered a box that has some burnt up wiring in it. I am also going to put a 220 volt heater in the upstairs part of the house just to take the chill off. I am sure Grandma ( not to say the packrats ) will appreciate it.

Sunday, November 26, 2006

Why I should cut wood in the summer

It's -25c the taps are wide open but no water comes out. Frozen solid. I think the problem is with a six foot stretch of pipe that is exposed under Grandma's house.



It's been on my "to fix" list for ever. I put some heat tape on it about five hours ago and tomorrow I will install a bigger electric heater. And hope. If that doesn't work it's drag a paint sprayer up there and try and shoot hot water down the lines. The water line is about a quarter mile long from our well under grandma's house and then down to the main house. So it could be anywhere but Grandma's is the place I would bet on.

My neighbor Audrey, says she has noticed that problems with plumbing here are always conducted when it is -20 or colder. Just something we do here. I think it's just because I won't listen to that nagging voice - or review the nagging to do list.
----And that after a career of doing maintenance work. Progress to be hoped for. Perfection never.

In the mean time I will get some water from my brothers place and we'll just keep the fires burning.

Last night at the Loonie Auction we won a free septic tank pump out. Cool. I will be taking care of that as soon as I can get a truck up here. Spring I guess. Of course I will have to do some digging to find the septic tank.

Thursday, November 23, 2006

I finished the painting job so now have some time to play wi--er work in the yard. My brother Tom came up and dropped a bobcat off for us to use. He makes it look easy. When I use it it's a little more jerky operation but I am starting to get the hang of it. It can sure move a lot more snow in an hour than I can with the snowblower or shovel. It's down to -14c here and we certainly have the furnace going all the time. I am hopeing it snows some more to cover up all the dirt that I dug up while practicing with the Bobcat.

Here's a video of Tiny showing me how a pro uses the BobCat. Actually it really shouldn't be called a BobCat as that's a trade name for a similar machine. I guess calling it a Case Skid Steer while more accurate, isn't that helpful tho. He's moving the snow away from the blue shed so I can get at it to make some repairs.

In the vidio you can see the service stack being removed from the snow. We found out why the stack came down when we inspected the wall. It was all dry rotted around the stack. Any pressure on it at all would have brought it down. It was just a matter of when. I have the roof supported with some beams inside while I figure out how big a job it is to reclaim my shop.

Saturday, November 18, 2006

Powerless at the shop

The before:


The after:



Well at the blue shed. So much snow came off the roof that it pulled the service stack right off the building. Must be a reason the electrical code says you can't put service stacks where snow loads can slide into them. We had some very high winds here and that probably contributed to it. It pulled it right off the shed, split the wall and just about pulled the panel through the wall.

Heres a closeup of the damage.




Lots of work to fix that one up. I will have to straighten the service pole and take a teck cable run underground to the shop. Of course that will entail moving about 12 tons of snow. And rebulding the wall, and ..I don't have the time right now as I am in the middle of a painting job. Oh well. Tom brought his bobcat up and left it here so I can have something more powerful than a speeding bullet--well a snow blower anyway, to clear the snow from around the building. And just when I got the airtight heater all fixed up and working.

It sure is nice up here tho. Makes up for the dinky little bit of snow we had last year. Vancouver and environs are getting pummeled with high winds and rain, were getting high winds and snow. And I know you don't have to shovel rain - but snow wont fill in your basement either..

We have a "loonie" auction coming up to raise money for the Hall Society. It's a lot of fun. Basically you buy a chance to win something for a loonie. You can buy as many as you like. When people stop bidding a number gets pulled out of a hat and if it was the one you bought you get to take your treasure home. Last year I won a neat handmade table cloth. I missed the hour of grading tho. Even tho I spent twenty bucks on numbers. This year I think I'll try $90 bucks worth - which is what the local road maintenance department will charge for an hour. A great deal really.

Xena's outside looking through the window with her one floppy ear. I think she can smell the bacon cooking. There is doggy snout and foot prints all over the bottom two feet of the kitchen window from here pawing at it trying to get our attention. And bacon. Or anything , really. It's just got to be more yummy than kibble.

Friday, November 10, 2006

Snow what's new?






OK, we have a plan now. Managed to get the snow blower going. And had the local road maintenance company YBR show up with a chain equiped grader and dung us out all the way around the round abought. Sure makes getting in an out a lot easier. Didn't need chains to get to town yesterday. I managed to tunnel into the storage shed and the Blue workshop shed with a combination of snowblower and shovel. I got a fire going in the workshop's airless heater and it warmed it up quite nicely. I needed to get into the storage shed to load all my painting supplies as I have a couple of painting contracts to do.

Today were going down to the hall to get it ready for a new pellet furnace. And probably snowblowing the driveway around the house as it's snowing again.

Thursday, November 02, 2006

A Way Out



All righty then. The fellow with the snowplow showed up today and we managed to get the driveway cleared. He really did have to work hard to get it done. Basically he had to ram his way through until he got stuck and then I would pull him out with the Toyota. It's clear enough now that I got to go to town and came back - without having to put the snow chains on. Such freedom. The weird thing was it snowed so much,so fast, that the ground under the snow wasn't frozen. So basically the driveway got plowed and sanded. I will still have to clear a bunch of broken and bent trees from the sides of the driveway.

Tomorrows project is to see if I can get the snow blower working so that I can clear some paths and get the yard passable. I notice it has started to snow now so we will see what the morning brings.

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Power to the People

And phone too! Came on about 2:45 pm. I went to the can and unconciously flicked on the light and voila, illumination. Cool. Well actually it's warmed up to -5c. It's starting to get dark outside so I think I will wait till tomorrow to get the snowblower going. It has nothing to do with the fact that its under a 10 foot snowdrift.

I will put all the cooking stuff and lanterns back in the emergency box. But maybe leave the extension cords out for a while just in case.

Woo hoo, I have power to the blue shed. Time to install the workshop lights so I can build the storm windows..

must...plow....snow.....



Now the Missus thinks I was just out having fun. Well I am glad I did the ram snow plow method before the snow started to freeze up. I would have a lot of difficulty doing that now. But, yes it was fun. It is amazing what the Toyota will push with the off road chains on. The off road clutch is a big help too. Found that out when I pushed the snow down to Savory road and then attempted to come back up. Up hill. Redline in first gear all the way. Don't think I'll try that again.

Well I think I will shut down, go out and see if I can recondition some old gas I have and fire up the snow thrower. One kilometre of driveway will take a while. But what else do I have to do. Don't see the snow plows coming up here for quite a bit.

They are really concerned about all the moose hunters that are out in the back country around here. Getting those roads open will be the priority.

If I get the gas working were good for another couple of weeks. If not I go out and come back by snowmobile.