Wednesday, July 30, 2008

No Longer a Grasshopper

That's right, I'm a freaking ant.

No more of that waiting until late fall to sort the firewood situation. Nope. At right, the woodpile as it now sits in the top of the driveway.

Flic was giving me some guff about how I'd been neglecting my blogular duties of late. In my defense, I just spent a week hauling firewood.

Tell you what though - we are living in what those who like to use the ten cent words might call a "paradigm shift." Fuel oil is crazy expensive. The majority of homes built here in the last three decades were built on the premise of forever cheap oil and the "we don't need no stinking building codes" mentality.

Suddenly, our decades held notions about fuel efficiency, conservation and house size are being challenged by the realities of our pocketbooks. And it is even shaking out in the wood market. Suddenly, the prospect of a wood stove is looking mighty attractive to people. Rod's Saw Shop was so busy with would-be woodcutters that when I called about buying a refurbished saw, I was told they hadn't had time to refurbish any; they had 300 saws they were working on for people. Independent operators are now selling wood for over $300 a cord. I was paying $175 last winter.

It is having ramifications in the housing market. Despite what we're being told in the media about the housing market, I'm seeing a lot of homes for sale out here in the Valley. And as I've houseshopped this year, I've been keeping in mind that the bigger the house, the more I have to spend to heat it. I've also not bothered with far out places I might have considered when gas was $1.30 (only a few years ago.)


Ishmael said...

CD, you are on the cutting edge. Um, so to speak. Well, both ways.

I've been thinking of building a KoKon Bunker from scratch, and believe you me, bunker-like is at the forefront of my plans: 1 story, 7-foot ceilings, lots of southern exposure and room for solar panels and a windmill. Oh, and a wood stove to go along with the tiniest Monitor or Toyo and on-demand hot water. And I live somewhere that only hits zero once or three times a year!

You're an inspiration to us all.

Ishmael said...

Oh yeah, next time you go down for clams on the KP, drive a little further south and load up on beach coal. That's some sweet, sweet free hydrocarbons right there.

CabinDweller said...

Aw, well, shucks, but a large part of these sentiments are driven by practicality:

1) If I spend all my money on heating a big, leaky house, not only am I contributing to our climate change problems,and wasting money, I will have less money for the important things like beer. And travel. And quality tequila.

2) Not only is it expensive to heat a big freaking house, a mortgage on a big freaking house (unless one is independently wealthy) strikes me as a threat to continued beer drinking, travel, fine tequila. Oh, and saving for useful stuff like a canoe or a Winchester Model 70.