A matter of degrees

Bare trees, gray light. Oh, yeah, it was a cold night.

We’re still in the freezer section here in The Duck! City.

The thermometer has been pegged at 13° since I got up way too early this morning because I was feeling chilly even in the bed, which Miss Mia Sopaipilla appropriated after I had adjusted the thermostat (and provided her a couple helpings of kibble, a tuna-water ice cube, and a soupçon of butter from my morning toast).

“I’d like my meals delivered, please.
As in ‘now.'”

Of course, 13° ain’t shit to you stolid Midwesterners, Canucks, and other polar explorers. And my man Hal reports minus-11° this morning at his compound in our old stomping grounds of Crusty County, which makes me miss the place not at all, not one itty-bitty bit.

I remember stuffing chunks of cedar, oak, and aspen into our Weirdcliffe woodstove like a Vegas bluehair shoving nickels into a one-armed bandit. But Hal can’t even do that, because his stove is on the DL.

Thus he burns propane and electricity like a city feller while he awaits parts for his wood-burner, a Drolet Outback Chef, some Quebecer deal with an Eyetalian overlay.

I don’t suppose Hal will pass the time by reading the continuing adventures of The Count of Mar-a-Lago, now available on Twatter and Buttface. But he does have a perverse streak. How many people do you know who cook their meals on a woodstove in the the Year of our Lard 2023?

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21 Responses to “A matter of degrees”

  1. Shawn Says:

    It’s easy sometimes to talk about the frigid temps as not being too bad after living in the up north beyond, but when I receive the next months’ heating bill for the ventilated suburba-shack after days of said temps, I then recall that Florida isn’t such a bad place at all. Well, that is unless the red man with the pitchfork decides to call on his old buddy at Mar-uh-Lago and cool the place down, hell freezing over and all that.

    I hope that Hal is able to get his high dollar wood cooker fired up soon. I suppose some circuit board that monitors the internal fire box temperature or some such thing has coughed up and departed for the afterlife. I sure hope the he’s able to make do cooking bacon on the manifold of his truck, car, suv, Ford Pinto or PistenBully snowcat.

    Stay warm down there and don’t forget the cat treats.

    • Patrick O'Grady Says:

      According to Hal, unauthorized personnel did not read the owner’s manual (maximum log length: 16 inches) before stuffing the sumbitch with wood, which broke the fire-viewing oven glass. Oopsie.

  2. Ira Says:

    Crazy weather up here on Canada’s east coast. 7 degrees and rain, that’s about 45 American. Mind you it’s blowing gusts to 100k, so not a pleasant day. It would normally be around minus 10C this time of year. And no sign of coastal ice, which is odd to say the least https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/prince-edward-island/pei-gulf-ice-1.6726605

    • Patrick O'Grady Says:

      Weird, eh? We had a dose of those winds and it was not fun. I bet the neighbors across the arroyo were glad they had their old cottonwood thinned; that big ol’ boy was a real windcatcher and the odds are it was coming down on someone sometime. All it needed was the right shove.

      And no coastal ice? I wonder what your summer is gonna be like.

    • Opus the Poet Says:

      When I was a toddler in Placentia they used to hold car races on the ice in The Gut, the bay separating Placentia from Argentia. That requires at least a week of continuous highs below 0°F to reach the 14″ of ice required to support the snowplows that carved out the race track. The last few years there hasn’t been any ice in The Gut at all much less 14″.

  3. Pat O’Brien Says:

    Our high and low temps here in SE Arizona have been 10 degrees F below normal for over a week. We are colder and Ira is warmer. That’s the new abnormal due to climate change.

    • Herb from Michigan Says:

      It’s not really cold here (29 F) but my brain is still sluggish. I was wondering POB what your retirement account or the Irish Republican Army had to do with being chilly in AZ. And then the clouds parted and I saw the previous post from…….Ira. Yikes, no shore ice in Canada for chrissakes. That ain’t right.

    • Patrick O'Grady Says:

      We’re about the same here, Paddy me lad. Last January, 40s and 50s. This time around, 30s and 40s. I just had to layer up to do a bit of yardwork — 35° at 2:40 p.m.

      Oh, well. The sun’s out. …

      Meanwhile, we’re meeting with a landscaper this afternoon. If dry and windy is the forecast for the foreseeable future, we need to be using a damn’ sight less water on stupid shit.

    • Pat O’Brien Says:

      The deer and rabbits will not be happy. But, the Rio Grande will be as well as the farmers in Hatch. Chapeau buddy! Anyone wanna buy a lawnmower?

      • Patrick O'Grady Says:

        And just as we start making our own small moves toward water conservation, we get this from The New York Times:

        • Sao’ Says:

          During the Gulf War — 9/11 between years, the Pentagon™️ thought the next global conflict would be over clean water. Twats were thinking India and China, though, not Arizona and California.

          • Pat O’Brien Says:

            Israel, Palestine, Jordan, and Lebanon are also hot spots for water wars.

          • Patrick O'Grady Says:

            The kicker in that Guardian story about Rio Tonto Foothills comes near the end:

            “Even in Rio Verde Foothills new home construction carries on apace, while the water is not there to support expansion.”

            “Magical thinking” doesn’t begin to describe it.

            I remember that Back in the Day®, when the old man bought his acreage outside Ash Fork, Arizona, if you wanted well water you had to drill so deeply it either came up boiling from the Lake of Fire or speaking Cantonese. If it came up at all, that is.

            I found a forum post by an Ash Forks area resident from 2009:

            Only wells in Ash Fork are operated by the city. Both wells are around 1200 feet deep. I live about five miles outside of town and only know of one attempt near me … the drilling failed as we sit on top of an extinct volcano and it is full of rocks. I haul my own water for the simple reason that it is cheaper — 2,000 gallons costs me $19; delivered it costs around $50-75.

      • Pat O’Brien Says:

        It will get ugly. Especially in the Phoenix metro area and parts of Southern California, like LA and rural agriculture areas.

      • Patrick O'Grady Says:

        Makes me wish I’d gone into water law. This is gonna dollar up on the hoof right smart with everyone squabbling over a pie that’s pretty much down to crumbs in the pan.

      • Patrick O'Grady Says:

        Meanwhile, I see our thirsty friend Cody Reim has found his way into another media outlet from his waterless rancheroo down to Ain’t No Such Thing As a Free-o Rio Foothills.

        Dude is definitely drilling uphill and into some very hard rock indeed. There has been some howling over creating a Domestic Water Improvement District, which doesn’t seem particularly popular, and EPCOR has proposed offering a standpipe to the community with agua-not-so-free-a at $20 per 1,000 gallons. Says EPCOR:

        “The Company further proposes that the Foothills Standpipe be consolidated with EPCOR’s Sonoran Water District or its successor, and that the rate be subject to true-up after the final costs are known or consolidation occurs.”

        Good times. Maybe not.

      • Shawn Says:

        I believe it’s time to watch Chinatown again.


  4. Peter W. Polack Says:

    A tuna-water ice cube?! Tell me you’re joking.

    • Patrick O'Grady Says:

      Not even, Pedro. Miss Mia gets excited when I make tuna salad for sammiches, so when squeezing the excess water from the tuna can I save it for her, along with some bits of tuna.

      This can get a tad fragrant if it stays overlong in the fridge, so Herself suggested freezing it. Now we drop a smallish cube in her kibble dish as an occasional treat. Works like a charm.

      • Shawn Says:

        I thought that was a great idea when I read it. Especially frozen direct from the can. I can imagine that Mia really likes it.

        Regarding fridge odors, I boiled up some Dungeness crab last week and when I cleaned them, I tossed the shell and inedible parts in a bag and stuck them in the freezer until trash day. Even though I have since tossed the crab remnants out, the non-freezing side of the fridge still smells like crab. I guess it’s time for some fresh baking soda.

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