Tuesday, February 26, 2019

Reason #5473 why I despise winter

Early last week we had ten inches of of this god awful garbage. . . .
. . . nasty sloppy wet filth with the consistency and weight of wet concrete that was impossible to move . Then on Sunday it warmed up a couple degrees just above freezing and rained all day . . .
 . . .  aaaand since the ground is frozen the water has nowhere to go .
I typically snow blow a path clear around the garage and the house , but the blower could not get through this sloppy wet slush . So it sat there and froze rock solid four inches thick . . .until it rained
Went in to the garage mid day Sunday to get a rubber O ring and found this mess
The Volvo shed I built last fall had about three inches of standing water and was coming under the sill plate of the back wall of the garage
Spent about six hours bailing water. Lost count somewhere past thirty buckets . But it must have been well over fifty of those five gallon buckets full . Figured I needed to stem the flow from the outside before I was going to make any headway . So I spent several hours outback in the cold rain trying to chip channels in the ice to divert the deluge , but even with the big heavy six foot breaker bar I could not cut in to the frozen ground deep enough to get it to drain .
That is about a half inch of standing water . Good thing  I built my workbench on rollers.
As it got colder and things outside froze , the flow stopped and I was able to get ahead of it . I was beat to crap Sunday night after that ordeal .
About six more hours of squeegee work on Monday before it got cold again and froze got us mostly dried out
Sure glad I saved those old kitchen extractor fans from various projects .
Of course now I have three inches of frozen water in the Volvo shed that will come back through as soon as it gets warm enough to melt again . I need to pour a six inch thick concrete pad in there this summer .

Sunday, February 10, 2019

Bunsen Burners? You want Bunsen Burners?

I'll give you Bunsen Burners . . .
Old Glenn Filthie up in the People's Republik of Canuckistan was getting all gear queer on us with the newfangled  Jet-Boil camp stove he bought at the local patchouli perfume emporium in Saskatchewan . He even bought a french coffee press for the thing! Can you believe he actually openly admitted to such a travesty while passing himself off as some sort of conservative? Sheesh!!! What is the world coming to these days when you can't even trust a fellow conservative to tow the line and not patronize establishments that cater to depraved politically correct ANTIFA social warriors? He even mentioned he was considering throwing out his old Coleman 502. That is pure sacrilege . . .WTF?  Yea, his corn bread ain't quite done in the middle . Must be that confounded polar vortex that getting to his head . . . .Yea  . . . that must be it .
He'll be alright once the spring thaw sets in . . . . .  I hope . . . .
Where is Al Gore and his confounded globular warming when you need him?
Here Glenn , this is what real camp stoves look like , go on embiggen the photo so you can really absorb the full splendor of this majesty .
These are acceptable man gear , all American built real gasoline burners . From left to right , the multi fuel 10,500btu Coleman 533 , the brown Coleman 400 I paid five dollars for at a yard sale , and the old Coleman 502 I found by the side of the road in a trash pile .The 533 is designed to run on both Coleman Fuel and Car gas . The other two , though designed to run on white gas will run car gas , preferably unleaded , in a pinch .
 If you can't handle the manly smell of gasoline and liquid fuel is not your thing , another acceptable propane burner from Coleman is an option .
An early 1980s  Coleman 5417B700 I refurbished last year will cook our steak just fine too .
Personally I like gasoline burners .  On the left a cheap Korean Stansport copy of an Optimus 99 with the roarer burner . While on the right we have a the bigger army surplus Optimus 111-T with the silent burner . They will both burn Coleman fuel and car gas . The 111-T is absolutely the most versatile and bulletproof of all I own , as it will burn kerosene, diesel and alcohol as well . I paid about forty dollars for the each of those , but it took a lot of persistence till I found the ones I wanted with a buy-now option for the right price .
 Today a used 111-T will sell for near 300$ on eBay . A bit steep but you get a 100% bombproof rig  that will run at any temperature . If I could keep only one of mine this one would be it .
The Swedish SVEA 123 makes for a nice compact rig .
It is a hundred and fifty year old design and about as simple as they get .
 Also from the Swedes , the Primus Vari-fuel Himalaya will burn all sorts of fuel including kerosene, diesel and probably Yak piss too . Note the pump is all aluminum much better than the plastic one on the MSR Whisperlite that gets brittle in sub zero temps. The one disadvantage of the Himalaya is that it is louder than a PT6 turbine running at full-tilt-boogie .

For a much quieter experience a surplus Swedish army alcohol burning Trangia with a DIY copy of an Olicamp Westwind type stand . 

Flirting with the more questionable butane canister burner here a rig of my own making.
 It started out with one of these french Bleuet rigs popular in the seventies that the greenies rendered inoperative by prohibiting the pierced canisters they used .
So with a cheap korean made valve glued on with JB Weld , I adapted it to use the more modern Lindal Valve screw top canisters . It all fits in a nice tiny four inch diameter candy tin. And burns real hot too . The only trouble with these butane mix canisters is in real cold temps they don't work so well . I have had them fail on me at right around zero F in the middle of a seventy mile Baxter State Park winter traverse . Gasoline will burn at any temperature every time .
A couple of the old Gerry/ Hank Roberts Mini Mark stoves that also required some McIvering to function on the modern Lindal valve canisters .
This is the type of rubber nipple canister they ran on , but the tree huggers hosed us over and banned them too .
So after finding a Lindal valve regulator I made this rig with a rubber plug that the brass needle from the stove can pierce into , and make a good seal . The other end of the aluminum tube is filled with JB Weld to hold the eighth inch copper tube that the hose connects onto . The blue gadget under it . . .
. . .  is an adapter that allows us to connect the Lindal valve regulator . . .
 . . .  to the bigger green Coleman propane bottles .
With the MSR Pocket Rocket we definitely get into hairy-armpit-patchouli-perfume territory here .
But my excuse was that I got it at that most positively of poo-white-trash places Mardens discount and Salvage for about eight dollars . Yea , they had no idea what it was .
Even a cheap seventeen dollar Korean type Coleman from Wallyworld works slick and is real stable . But hold off on buying the canisters there . They are about half the price when you buy them at your local Asian grocer .
And a no name suitcase type propane two burner . I think I paid about fifteen dollars for also at the local Mardens discount .
And cause you must have light too . . .  from right to left the red 1970 Coleman 200 A rescued from a job site dumpster , the green top 1954 Coleman 242B and an Optimus 930 of similar vintage .
Oh yea about that pooffy french press thingy , chuck it right out  , give it to the dogs to chew on and get yourself one of there rigs . Fill it with fine ground french roast arabica and you'll never look back.