Wednesday, January 03, 2007

Musings on the CabinDwelling Life, Part IV: Running Out of Fuel Oil at 4 a.m.

And Why Does That Only Happen After Business Hours?

Authentic CabinDwelling Experience #291: Perching on a rickety, homemade ladder at 4:30 a.m., dumping 12 gallons of diesel from the Goldstream Store into your empty fuel oil tank, vowing never to let the fuel run out again.

It's been about a year since my casual approach to detail bit me in the ass on that one. I had an inkling something was up two nights ago when my Significant Other mentioned that the monitor heater was sounding funny. Lo, and it was, and I made a note of it and planned on calling a monitor heater fixer person yesterday.

Oh, and the idea that maybe we ought to dip the fuel tank to see if we had much left did sort of amble through my brain. "But," I thought, working my way up to a nice full on bout of denial, "there's no way we could be out. We had a full tank at the beginning of November."

Of course I did neither. My brain wandered off to do whatever it does when I'm supposed to be remembering important tasks.

At 4 a.m. this morning I woke up to the sound of nothing. No sickly heater noises. Dipping the tank seemed a good idea. Yep, nada.

When I got back to the fantabulous, huge, architecturally interesting cabin1 last night, the monitor was laboring mightily, running on high, straining to get the temperature above 59 degrees. Old Rusty, if we might name it, is old. And also rather huge, because Rusty has to heat 1400 square feet of Typically Leaky Goldstream Valley Cabin Space all by hisself.

"What's that," you say, "aren't you using that magnificent Blaze King wood stove, (the wood stove that is the envy of all visitors to the Compound) to help Ol' Russ out some?" Tragically, Blaze King is doornail level d-e-a-d.2 As is the stove pipe and double wall chimney, thanks to the previous tenant being very smart but kind of useless on practical stuff.

At right: the rusted out innards of a formerly awesome wood stove.

According to Ol' Russ' specs, he consumes .301 gallons/hour on the 'high' setting; .201 on 'medium', and .1 something on 'low.' Which means I'm singlehandedly financing Exxon's lawyer's efforts to not pay a single freaking penny in damages for the 1989 oil spill.

Ol' Rusty quit making the funny noises after we gave him a quick dose of fuel oil -- so at least we don't need to get a monitor heater fixin' person. If there is a silver lining lurking about somewhere, it's that my landlord is pretty cool and says we'll get a replacement for the poor, dead Blaze King.

'Architecturally interesting', as in, not to built to any known building code, not particularly level, and what might call a 'heat sieve' ... all traits common to every place I've lived in so far in the GSV. At least we don't have a squirrel problem.
2How dead is that? Let's just say that the inspector guy, upon getting a good look at the whole system, remarked that it was a really great thing that we hadn't tried to use Blaze King as we would have probably burned the cabin down. I'm sure it would have been quite the spectacular blaze -- the cabin lacking sheetrock and having some of what CGFR people would call 'heavy fuel loading' - they'd probably be able to find the place no problem what with the flames being visible all the way from Sheep Creek Road.

Pictured above: the giganto newish rental cabin, leaking heat like a mofo.

1 comment:

Nancy Rose said...

I really like to read.Hope to learn a lot and have a nice experience here! my best regards guys!
Oil and fuel hose