‘Tis the Season

I’ll count today as the first genuinely cold day of the season. It’s 17 degrees now at 5pm, and the Weather Channel says “feels like” 1 degree. Anyway, it’s been clear and cold with significant wind all day long. I’ll excuse this poor excuse for weather if it actually snows a decent amount tomorrow night and Monday. They’re predicting at least some snow during that time.

Of course I can’t wait to get out there on my new snowmobile! Dad and I went snowmobile shopping a while back and picked up our new machines and trailer today. Both of us ended up settling on the same thing and same options somewhat independently. Thus we now have a matched pair of 2008 Polaris 600 IQ LX sleds. I’ll post pictures at some point.

The last couple of years have apparently been rather grim (depending on your point of view) with lack of snow. I’ve got a good feeling about this year. And if there isn’t much snow right here, there’s always my cousin’s place up in Maine.

I’ve also been having significant tractor fun with the old 1951 Ford 8N (with aftermarket hydraulic front loader). This antique has gotten a lot of actual use over the years and is still amazingly capable. My mantra these days is “the right tool makes all the difference”. Now that I’m trying to become (somewhat) handy, I’m really seeing that the right tool can mean a huge reduction in time and increase in quality.

Now if I only knew what tools I had access to around here! I’m really hesitant to buy anything new before doing serious checking around (basement, garage, barn, uncle’s place) to avoid duplicating purchases. Part of the problem is that there’s no one person who knows the entire farm inventory. The planned autumn cleaning has been postponed until spring. My agenda is probably somewhat different from my father’s, uncle’s, etc.

I’d really like to get the right bay of the garage cleaned out to be able to pour a concrete floor, insulate, and generally fix it up as a workshop. I’d also like to do some serious electrical rewiring work with the eventual aim of adding a transfer switch and generator. There’s a partial solution in place now, but I’ve got bigger dreams. I really want multiple breaker panels and automatic transfer switch rather than the single stuffed-to-the-gills panel and manual switch (for the furnace only) that’s there now.

As a final note today, I’ve decided to postpone any job search activity until this spring at the earliest. I’ve had a couple of opportunities come my way and decided to turn them down for now. For indoor fun this winter, I’ve decided to focus on some geeky networking/comms projects. I’ll probably write up some of my plans in my next blog posting, so get prepared for more boredom!

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4 Responses to “‘Tis the Season”

  1. Dave Filice Says:

    I thought last night was cold, it got down to the mid 40s.

    I too have a desire for a generator with automatic transfer, but in a mobile home there is no safe way to store the fuel, I think. Natural gas generators are out-of-the-ballpark expensive. Rob Taylor has a giant battery pile in his garage and the entire house is on a big UPS.

  2. travesh Says:

    Like many homes in the Northeast, I have an oil burning furnace. The cool thing being that I can run a diesel generator off the same fuel tank as the furnace.

    I’ve pretty much decided not to attempt any sort of central UPS. I’ll put smaller ones right in the few places I need them. Rob’s approach sounds a bit more daring than anything I’d attempt.

  3. Mari the local smartass.. Says:

    OH Travis…
    You already have the perfect tool for every job.
    You have 2 actually
    The yellow pages & a phone. Hire soemoen to do teh job..

  4. Dave Filice Says:

    Well, redoing some of the ancient wiring in the house is a do-it-yourself thing. However, setting up a power transfer on the main bus is something a pro should be doing.

    Short power outages can be fun, but in a state with real weather, he might need a week of backup generation.

    When I was a phone repairman, we sometimes had problems at sites with generators they would test. Some generators transfer power before being completely up to speed and the off-frequency power blows fuses and such.

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