Wednesday, January 7, 2009

1/7/09....A very special day....

Felt unusually tired today. Couldn't wake up, just kept dosing off. Finally got out of bed at 7:30AM, checked the temperature, was - 35 below 0, sat in front of the fire trying to warm up, had an eggnog latte with Maryann and watched 'Desperate Housewives' from 8:00AM to 9:00AM. Went out to start the truck to give it it's half hour to warm up, figure "screw it" it is cold out, it is gonna be a late day. Truck is deader than a doornail....again, for day two in a row. Jump it with Maryann's truck, it starts, as I am going to shut off her truck I notice a puddle of antifreeze under her truck. "Oh sh^*!" I say, and get my cardboard crawler. Slide under her truck on 4" of ice with a mere layer of cardboard between me and it, check, see that her water pump is cracked. Yea, I say! Slide back out, go into the arctic entry of the garage where the heater is, to melt the ice off of my facial hair, warm my stiff legs and try to find feeling in my toes again. Set there for 5 minutes. My truck, still running, nowhere near warm. I go inside the house to sit in front of the fire. 15 minutes later I go back out, open my truck it is cold in the cab even though it has been warming for 40 minutes now and the heater is set on high. "Oh sh^*!" I say again. I feel the radiator, it is warm so I know that the thermostat in the engine has not froze. Decide to take it out to the road just to see if maybe it needs a little encouragement to get itself going. Spats, sputters, and spits all the way down the drive. Back it up to the garage again and park it. (Too numerous expletives to conscientiously mention at this point) I go back into the arctic entry (from here in we will refer to it as the 'warming hut') and try to find feeling in my body again, and melt the ice off of my facial hair once more. 5 minutes later I go back out to my truck. Now the heater is finally warming....thank God. Get in, shut the garage and take off down the driveway. "Oh sh^*! I say as it sputters and spits down the drive again. I back down the drive to the garage again. The garage door is open "what the..." I say. Turn off the truck, try to shut the garage door with the button on my visor and it wont shut. Check to make sure nothing is blocking the track, nothing is. Try again this time using the button on the inside....nothing. Fuming, I go back into the warming hut. 3 minutes, go back out to start the truck it wont start....again. Go inside the house. Flip out, rant, sit in front of the fire, warm up go back out. Get my voltage meter in the garage to check the battery to make sure it isn't dead. The meter is so cold it wont work. Put it back into the garage. Go to Maryann's truck who I know is home for the day and, hey, she cant drive it anyways because the water pump is cracked. Pull her battery....pull my battery, put her battery into my truck. Start the truck, truck starts. Back into the warming hut to let things warm up again. 5 minutes, I go back to put my battery in a milk crate with cardboard on the bottom so I can put it inside the truck, so it wont freeze in the back of the truck. Pull out of the drive, get out to the road....runs great. The computer needs a certain amount of voltage to run the trucks' systems.....obviously, it wasn't happening with my battery, is obviously happening with Maryann's battery....were cool. Go to the auto parts store in Kenai, have Mark test the battery. Mark says the battery is so dead it won't test, he needs to charge it for a while. He charges it, I leave to go about my day. Go to the hardware store in Soldotna to get materials that I need, they are out of what I need. I have to go all of the way back to Kenai to get the materials, and then back out to Soldotna again. Spend the next 2 hours working out in the cold at one of my 4-plexs, not sure what the temp is but judging by the thicket of ice on my face, it is bloody cold. I am weather proofing bad doors. Woman next door to the unit I am working at comes out says, "oh, hi sweetie...are the people who live...oh there you are..." She proceeds to tell dude who is renting the unit and is standing inside the door talking to me, while I am miserably cold working in front of her, that his dog is urinating around the parking space in front of her door. Can he please clean it up because the baby plays in it. "OH, sure, no problem he says". Thank you, she walks away and goes back inside her unit. I am thinking (somehow I am thinking because the synaptic activity in my brain is now down to a minimal operating level) "yeah, right lady. How in hell is he gonna clean up ice embedded dog urine, when the ice is so thick ya cant even split it with a hammer." "....and furthermore, what are you letting your 1 year old infant doing crawling around on the ice when there is actual snow right around the corner to play in....oh, and, doesn't your little dogie urinate on the same ice....I know he does cause I watched you let him do it just 4 days ago...., and what forensics expert do you have determining who's dog urine is who's?!" At this point it revels to me why it is that I will never live in a communal apartment like situation....ever.... unless they are a group of old hippies on alot of land, I just can't do it. I finish my work and drive to my next job. I left the truck running as I was working mind you, because it is so cold out that vehicles freeze and won't start if you don't plug them in or keep them running. So I am now warming as I drive along. On the way to the next job I stop to get heating oil in my two 5 gallon cans. I pull up to the oil shack, pull the cans, put them on the dock open the spouts and get back into the truck and wait for the filler guy. And wait. Now they are always quick to get out when people pull up to the oil shack. I am worried that it is so cold that maybe he refuses to come out and fill my cans! I go into the office. "Oh, he will be right there." They were obviously all huddled around the coffee maker and didn't see me. No big. "If this is the worse thing that happens to me today" I tell myself, "I will be lucky". Get my fuel, pay for it, and go to the next job. This one is indoors. I am elated....except when I have to run back out to my truck back and froth to get things. I keep the truck running the whole time. Finish the job, head back to the auto parts store in Kenai to get a prognosis. I walk in the door....Mark sees me and shakes his head back and forth. I pull off my babushka and bow my head. The battery is dead, and cannot be brought back. I buy a new battery, and load it into the passenger side of my truck, get into the drivers side, and proceed to start the truck. It won't start. "Oh sh^*!" I say. I go back into the store and ask Mark if he can check my wife's battery, which is in my truck, because "as unbelievably against all odds as it sounds, it may be dead", I tell him. He puts on his coat, grabs his tester and comes out. After breaking the ice off of my facial hair for the 23rd time today, I pop the hood. He hooks up his unit and begins a diagnostical test. His unit tells him my wife's battery is dead. "No way!" I tell him. "It cant be!" I say. He gently laughs and says this is what his unit is telling him. I ask him to double check his unit. He says that sometimes his unit can malfunction in this kind of cold. I tell him my unit does too....we laugh. He goes in. I pull my new battery out and go to my small toolbox in the back of my big toolbox in the back of my truck. I pull out the small toolbox. It has been breached and is partially open. Half of the tools are missing out of it. They are no less scattered about the bottom of the big toolbox, that the little toolbox was in, in the back of the truck. "Oh sh^*!" I say. I go back to the other side of the big toolbox and get a crescent wrench out of the tool tray and forgo the mess of tools in the bottom of the big toolbox in the back of the truck. I start to take the connectors off of the terminals of the battery. "Oh snap!" I say. One of the connectors is a butt hair loose so I tighten it. I go and try to start the truck. The truck starts. "Woo-hoo"! I say. Maryann's battery is not dead after all. I go in and tell Mark his unit is questionable, but I am running and gone. I leave. I call ahead to ask that the fire in the sauna can be started, because I have been out in sub zero temps all day, and I am cold to the bone, and just want to seek warmth. No problem. I get home. Have to carry all of the stuff around to the side garage door because I cant open the roll up garage door, because it is still doesn't work. I go in. I eat dinner. I get naked and run excitedly down to the sauna. I got concerned when I went to open the sauna door and found ice on the door knob. "Oh sh^*!" I say, as I open the door. There is no warmth. There is no fire. It went out! After re-clothing myself and 15 minutes with a blow torch, literally, I finally get the fire going. I walk into the sweat lodge portion of the sauna, and there is a rock hard frozen pan of water sitting there, with the bottom of the pan concaved. "Oh dear!" I say. I take it back into the house and begin this post. 45 minutes later I go down to the sauna. It is warm. I dump the ice in the pan on the rocks. Steam, bliss, I run back up to the house, ask Maryann if she is gonna join, she says quit positively "hell no", I get naked and run back down to the sauna. Fast forward.

I had a 2 hour sauna, am wiped out, warm to the bone again finally, and ready for bed. The end of a very special day! There is always tomorrow. Good night.

1 comment:


Wow --- I shall never complain at a mere 40 degrees again! My goodness with this basis for comparison, I praise God for a blanket of fog, which keeps ice from forming on my Subaru's glass.

May your inner generator, the light within, hopes eternal flame for warmth...roar from a flicker to a happy fire at home.