It’s been awhile….

…we’ve been busy. We have been getting in the wood.

As readers know, we first catch wayward logs floating by in the sea and corral ’em in the lagoon out back. Then we sort and cut ’em to length based primarily on weight. Our winch won’t pull up much more than 400 pounds so I guess at the weight of the log, cut it and leave it there for Sal to hog-tie or ‘choke’. Then I go back up the hill, about 125 feet up and at a 30 degree angle. I send down the highline and, on that line is chain-hoist. It used to be a block and tackle but a chain-hoist is easier for Sal and she has developed quite an efficient technique now that she is used to it. After she gets the hoist, she hooks on a ‘choked’ log and lifts it up in the air. It usually hangs about five feet off the ground. Then, when the log is in the air or at least mostly off the ground, I haul it up with the Honda powered winch. When the log has been lifted up the hill I lower it, disconnect it, drag it by brute force off to the side and send the whole hoist and choke assembly back down the hill to Sal where she awaits with the next log ready and already wearing a ‘choke’ (a nylon belt).

It is not the hardest chore in the world but it takes time, it requires strength and it can get dangerous. Well, it is always a bit dangerous but sometimes it is a smidge scary-dangerous and almost every time it is my fault. If I guess wrong on the log’s weight, the winch stalls out about half way up. When that happens, Sal climbs up, lowers the log and disconnects it – wherever it is. That’s right…she disconnects a 400+ pound log on a 30 degree slope. As a rule, they usually don’t just sit primly on the hill where they are dropped either. They kinda want to settle in where they want to settle in so the ‘release’ can be a bit dicey.

Once, when we were first starting out in years one or two, Sal had to do just that and yelled to me to ‘Drop the tension.” So, I did. While I turned my back to operate the machinery, Sal had (inexplicably) straddled the recalcitrant and heavy log like a cowgirl and, next thing you know, she is sliding backwards downhill with the log slowly rolling over her. She just disappeared under it as it rolled her into a bush and then, like a giant rolling pin, it just kept on going down hill. Sal lay upside down in the bush looking a bit flat.

“You OK?”

“Oh yeah. The bush cushioned the weight. I am fine. Bit scary, though!”

We try to be careful but the lagoon is all slippery rocks, the logs are always all akimbo and also (*six words in a row all starting with the letter ‘a’, eh?) slippery to some extent and they are all lying like the game of pick-up-sticks only writ very large.

Today I went down to cut a big log with a tiny battery-powered chainsaw (my new more powerful one is coming Friday). This little one has a 12 inch bar. The log was about 15″ thick. The little saw worked hard and I used up half the battery on that one cut but we got ‘er done. Problem was the log was also quite jammed on the rocks. Lots of heavy lifting, rolling and jockeying to get at the cut and get it over to the chain hoist. I probably cut from three different sides of the round log and it took forever. As it turned out, that log was cut to within five pounds of the winch limit. It just barely made it up.

We now have about three years of wood given ‘normal winters’. Abnormal can be so defined if we go away like snowbirds are inclined to do. That will save wood. It can also apply if we stay home and it is extra cold for a longer time (like this year). That will double consumption. We may get four years, we may only get two. Still, a pile of drying wood is like money in the bank.

19 thoughts on “It’s been awhile….

    • Thanks, Margy. We got in a little extra this year because of the landslide up Bute Inlet. It washed a lot of wood into the area and so we considered it a gift and took it. We were not alone. More than a few folks stocked up. I confess to hating anything to do with travel these days save and except for actually BEING at the destination. I love snowbirding – just not the flapping and landing and all the crap and ruffled feathers.

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    • I call her a LumberJill. And she is impressive. She has a lovely smile at the end of a hard day and I am hobbling, groaning and frowning like the grouchy old man I am. She’s a treat. Keeps me going. Well, her, dinner, wine, scotch and plenty of firewood. But not so cold. It was 50F or 10C. Good working temps.

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    • Truth is: we HAVE been busy but I have also written a couple of blogs and NOT published them. I think some touchy and sensitive topics need talking about. Political correctness has gone too far. We need to be a bit more tolerant.
      Women’s OVERSENSITIVITY to men’s normal sexual overtures is getting out of hand. REAL pressure on ’em has to stop but men flirting is natural and people cannot be expected to resign simply because they are attracted to another human being….that kind of thing. Men should not be vilified for natural feelings and harmless actions. But all those thoughts have not yet gelled in such a manner as to discuss them without getting people to set their hair on fire so I have not yet committed to tilting at those sacred cows.
      Even tho the new chainsaw is almost here, there is no pressing need to cut all the trees in rounds. They can sit there and mellow for awhile. And, anyway, I have to move on to other projects next.

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      • Sensitive subject indeed, but I agree that we have gone too far….there is always a “line” that is considered acceptable, but that line is way too strict now. Now you are not even allowed to use your eyes…. I wonder how many reactions you would get by posting a blog on this subject!

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    • I think inequality is #1, too. How to right that ship? My initial response is ‘get rid of the monetary system’ because it is predicated on inequality but that is an even BIGGER mystery.

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  1. Some countries are conjuring with a guaranteed annual incomes. Some interesting studies are ongoing as to the efficacy of such programmes.

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    • GAI will not work. Stupid exercise. Already modeled to death by welfare models. Give a poor man $600 a month in welfare and the single room he rents is $300. Raise the welfare rate to $700 a month and his rent goes up by $75.00 (some bastards monitor the welfare rates and would even take the whole $100.00.
      Everybody ‘beats’ the fixed income guy.
      Todays economy is based on a ‘foundation’ supposition that every adult gets about $1000.00 per month whether by employment, business or handouts. Kick that up to $2500 and the base will simply climb proportionately. The poor will be richer but just as poor relatively speaking. Inequality will NOT be addressed by that mechanism. The only way inequality can be addressed in this sick ‘monetized’ system is to raise wages, tax the rich and make the corporations pay more to the common weal. Virtually the exact opposite to the Conservatives philosophy and, to a lesser extent, the Liberals. The problem is that taxes are seen as universally applied and they should not be. You get struggling business people trying to scratch and claw their way up and they knee-jerk oppose higher taxes and so they should. They are already stretched even if they drive a new leased BMW. Taxes (for the sake of equalization) have to be levied disproportionately on the rich. Plain and simple. Nobody needs millions a year to live. No body needs billions in the bank so that they are celebs. Let the hard working labour force get well-off. Let the truly ambitious of them be wealthy (no problem), but let no one be stinking rich. How do we tell? Ratio. The richest person on the planet should not have a million times more wealth than does the poorest. A thousand times seems more than enough (think: poor doofus gets $1000 a month and that means the richest guy gets $1M ($12M a year)……how is that NOT ENOUGH? Plenty of money left over for gout and debauchery, bling and status. Bezos makes $2.25 billion a WEEK!!!!

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      • I agree on the Universal Basic Income.
        Welfare by another name.

        I’d love to see a flat tax implemented.
        Say 15% right across the board.
        No more tax deductions, no more loopholes.
        Everyone pays 15%.
        Thus a person making $15/hour earns $30,000 per year pays $4500.00
        A billionaire earning $1 Billion pays $150,000,000.00 per year.
        Amazon earning $10 billion pays $1.5 billion per year, etc etc etc.
        Even if companies gave all their profits to share holders… eventually the shareholders will cash the money… and get 15% flat taxed.

        No tax havens, no hiding profits.
        Everyone must pay 15% ….period.

        But we wouldnt need tax lawyers or as many accountants so … it will never happen.

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  2. Wow! Impressive.
    That a sh!t load of work.
    Is some of that wood from the slide that occurred a few months back and filled the ocean with wood?

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    • Yep. Most if not all of it. A few are from a logging op down the way. Loggers who raze the land (clear-cut) often leave ‘reject’ trees for the locals. I think we got a couple of those. Other than that, the bulk is sea born and most of that came from the slide.
      The crazy thing is Sal is a smidge compulsive by nature. Once she starts on something, she has to finish. And she has a compulsion to gather more! I got her to stop collecting logs on the condition that we first process out half of what we have gathered so far. As soon as I have half that pile gone, she is back in the boat rustling more logs. My only hope is more quilts taking more time and attention and she loses the Jones……..

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