December 21st, 2011

House

Glad We Got That Hearth Rug

...based on the number of burn spots on it already. It's doing its job of preventing burns in the actual carpet when sparks get loose from the fireplace when we open it to stoke up the fire.

With the insulating material closing off the open doorways between the living room and the rest of the house, we've been able to keep the living room at a reasonably comfortable temperature in the low 20s C. But we will definitely have to buy another two cords of wood sometime in January when we can scrape up the $540 for it.

Sometime in 2012, we expect to make a trip to Oregon to collect the rest of Lisa's things from the storage container in Mehama, and that will include getting the utility trailer. That will be useful next winter in that we will be able to buy firewood without having to pay the $50 delivery charge. Of course, by then, we expect to have the replacement for the Furnace of Death in place, so we won't need to burn nearly as much wood to keep warm. The fireplace is nice, and it's reassuring that we have a way to stay warm even if the power fails (the overnight lows here have been around -10° C), but it's a lot of work to keep it going.

Incidentally, since someone asked: Although the original fireplace built into the north end of the house is a large stone structure that I guess was originally an open-hearth fireplace, somewhere along the line someone installed a fireplace insert with fans to circulate air behind it and with a catalytic converter to burn the smoke and reduce emissions. Like a well-tended steam locomotive, we're happiest when there is no visible smoke coming out of the chimney; it means the fire is burning sufficiently hot as to re-burn the smoke and to reduce wasted wood.
Wig Wag

Ghost Trains of Britain

My thanks to Cheryl for pointing this story out to me:

The Hunt for Britain's Ghost Trains.

It's not about haunted steam locomotives, but about the odd trains that run on strange schedules, sometimes as rare as "one train per day, one direction only, Summer Saturdays only," usually because it's easier to run such trains than to go through the formal abandonment procedure.
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