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Handy tools

By: ycd0108 , 5:33 PM GMT on January 17, 2017

My last comment on my own blog got me to thinking that a list of essential tools for every household, vehicle or even back-pack would be of interest.
I assume that most folks have some idea of a 'preparedness kit';
Matches, flashlight,radio, spare batteries, knife and whatnot.
What I've been doing for many years is trying to equip a boat, a cabin, an RV, and my workshop with the essential tools.
Trust me:
If you try to carry everything you will need in one bag from place to place you will need very large bag and a small pickup at least.
So I would appreciate input here:
What tools would you:
store in the drawer in the kitchen,
have on your workbench in your shop,
carry in your car,
take on a camping trip?
I'll put my lists in the comments.


The views of the author are his/her own and do not necessarily represent the position of The Weather Company or its parent, IBM.

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194. WunderAlertBot (Admin)
5:15 PM GMT on March 02, 2017
ycd0108 has created a new entry.
193. ycd0108
2:21 PM GMT on March 02, 2017
+ 5 C. at 0533 hr.
So this old sawdust burner is predicting an early spring for my neighbourhood.
My reasoning goes like this:
Lots of fuel = warm outside temperatures
Woodbox empty = cold outside and heavy snow

All this talk about the impending voluntary crash of WUBlogs got me to thinkin' (again) about what brought me here well before my 'join date' in late December 1969.
?
Wait a minute. Before '69 I wrote letters and kept a journal, keypunched some cards to feed into an IBM 360 and sifted through stacks of cards to correct errors.
Getting married, becoming a father and building this house (and some other houses) took up another 20 years.
Bought my first 'laptop' in '88 and filled some 3.5" floppy disks with poetry, deep thoughts and daily ramblings.
Early '90s I went far away and could write home through some military satellite Fax connection.
Mid '90s Tloml came along 'far away' and by then email was available.
Dunno when we got our first dial-up home computer but there have been a number of iterations since then - usually involving the loss of whatever records that were stored on there.

So now whatever we write or say is supposedly wafted up to 'the cloud'.
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
192. ycd0108
11:15 PM GMT on March 01, 2017
The kid arrived with a heavy trailer loaded with firewood. I got a good jag of it in to the big bin inside heated storage.
There is still a fair bit of firewood sitting outside beyond the splitter but I will get to that.
Soon.
Piled the last of our dry firewood on top of the new stuff. Couple of days in dry heated storage will make this latest load decent fuel since it is already well seasoned.
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
191. ycd0108
5:18 PM GMT on March 01, 2017
#189 GardenGrrl:
Agreed.
After a search this morning about that particular tradition I went ahead and voiced the incantation.
Link
#190 sandiquiz:
Link
4 C.
Our fuel shortage just got eliminated:
One of the suppliers called and had a delivery cancellation so I have to go and get some 'money-to burn'.
Our trusty 'Firewood Barry' also called last evening and he is on track to deliver another ton or so later in the week.
Now my problem becomes: where do I dump all this firewood so I can get it under cover?
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
190. sandiquiz
11:34 AM GMT on March 01, 2017


I hope spring, and warmer times, come this month to your corner of the globe :)
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
189. GardenGrrl
10:49 AM GMT on March 01, 2017
White Rabbits, White Rabbits, White Rabbits!

Gotta keep some traditions.
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
188. ycd0108
1:28 AM GMT on March 01, 2017
Figured that sandiquiz:
The semi-colen is so close to the 'L'.
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
187. sandiquiz
5:18 PM GMT on February 28, 2017
G;ad you are stocked up again...

I suppose I might have meant 'egad' - meaning - I never thought of that,.... but I really meant 'glad'!! lol
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
186. ycd0108
4:16 PM GMT on February 28, 2017
Mornin' Plapman:
We also seem to be getting "Arctic Outflow" from a high over the interior. Yesterday it snowed big flakes while AcuRite was reading + 3 C. I shoveled about 1" of wetwhite off the deck in the early afternoon and this morning the deck and cars were just frosty with no new snow.
According to WU local weather the overnight temperature will not be this low for the ten day outlook.
Sun is shining and AcuRite is up to - 3 C.
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
185. plapman
3:36 PM GMT on February 28, 2017
Good morning YCD. It's cold on the prairie today, it looks like we're in the grip of another arctic high.
Have a good day,
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
184. ycd0108
3:29 PM GMT on February 28, 2017
sandiquiz:
"needs must" is called "Just-in-time" or "Same day delivery" on this Island. I dunno what Canadian is for "G;ad".
Whether or not it will be cheaper in August I have my name on the list for firebrick pickup then.
There was an article on BBC t'other day about 'Biofuel'.
The cant seemed to be:
There is no great saving of carbon emissions if we log living trees to produce fuel.
If we use wood waste from saw-mills it starts to make some sense and that is where I get the firebricks.
My chimney still puts the carbon back into the atmosphere however.
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
183. sandiquiz
3:03 PM GMT on February 28, 2017
It is a case of "needs must".

G;ad you are stocked up again.. and hope Spring arrives soon.

Surely stocking up in the summer would be cheaper? It always was when we needed heating oil for the central heating. Filling the oil tank in July saved quite a bit rather than waiting for November when it gets cold.
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
182. ycd0108
2:53 PM GMT on February 28, 2017
Good thing we got the firebricks yesterday. AcuRite reads - 5 C.
I'm hoping this temperature will not be matched for a low temp till next November.
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
181. ycd0108
12:27 AM GMT on February 28, 2017
Dodged a bullet today:
I mentioned that we were getting low on firewood and compressed sawdust bricks - as in one box of bricks and about two wheel barrows of wood in storage. Fair jag of Cedar clear chunks but that stuff is kindling not firewood
So this morning I called three different numbers advertising firewood for sale. So far no response. Our favourite firewood guy, Barry, went back to Newfoundland to visit family.
Tloml came home from banking and shopping with five 28# packages of compressed sawdust bricks @ $5/.
I did a little bit of arithmetic and that works out to about $350/ton.
"Cheap at twice the price" we say!
I was buying the same product for $240/ton but there will be no supply for two months.
We phoned the manufacturer and were told that they were also out of product.
"Get in there now!" said Tloml.
You know I'm fairly good at following orders and with light snow falling and no wood in the bank I agreed with this order.
Cleaned out the store's stock of 28 x 28# packages.
I and Tractorous stacked the bonanza in dry heated storage.
I figure we will be warm till the spring takes over the heating here.
Good find Tloml!
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
180. ycd0108
5:53 PM GMT on February 27, 2017
Tiny Snowdrops were flowering yesterday but this morning they are being snowed under about 1 1/2 " of wetwhite.
#178: At her request I brought a lady architect onto the jobsite over the objections of my building partner at the time.
She did not ask to be paid - just watch and work. Later I worked on a couple of her designs, including her own house.
As my body began to wear I thought maybe I should go back to school for a degree in Architecture and phoned her.
She thought for a while and said:
"Not Architecture and not UBC."
I drew the plans and built the houses for a few dwellings under the Building Inspection Departments here. On a number of projects we did not bother too much with drawings or building inspections.
No serious call-backs so far.
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
179. ChiThom
5:01 PM GMT on February 27, 2017
The snow-drops have bloomed in our yard, and the daffodils are coming up.
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
178. ChiThom
4:59 PM GMT on February 27, 2017
When I was in my twenties, I made the drawings for blueprints, (as draftsman) for the building permits. I worked for an architect once, whom I taught the basics of framing whilst building his room addition... He said it was nice to see it close-up, as he had not learned all the details in architecture school! He taught me a few things, too. I know engineering and architectural drawing, but now contractors are not allowed to make the drawings. We have to hire an architect to make the drawings. I have occasionally corrected an architect or two for designing too small a beam. I like to jump on a floor to see if it bounces too much. (Separate from the 40 lbs per sq ft. that is engineered-in.)
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
177. ChiThom
4:42 PM GMT on February 27, 2017
Quoting 158. ycd0108:

"Careful with that axe" Ylee:
Sometimes I wish I was still the ignorant arrogant a$$hole they sent to university. NOT!
But one of my lasting impressions of school was me staring out the window and plotting my escape run.
According to family lore my first day in Grade One I quickly got bored and started out of the classroom.
The teacher tried to explain that I had to stay but finally had to call my sister (4 years indoctrinated ahead of me) to tell me I was doomed to at least 12 years of this nonsense.
I burst into tears on the first day of school for a number of years after that.
Eventually this easy crier/slow learner adjusted to the regimen and was persuaded that if he simply went on quietly warming a seat in the classroom someday he would "Get a good job".
In a way that worked for my age group mostly but for me the best job was going back to building construction which I had learned as an aside to my formal 'education'.


Great minds think (not alike but similarly)

When I was a scholar at the university, I really wanted to be a "generalist" after growing up in the home of (my Dad) a "specialist". I studied biology, chemistry, physics, and psychology and calculus, all at the same time whilst I worked in carpentry and cabinetmaking. It took me a long time (and a family to support) to decide to specialize in building and construction. I built some solar homes, which I hadn't studied at the University, but I had bought some books.
I became quite good at plastering, framing and trim, flooring, kitchens and baths, tile-setting, hardwood flooring and Bacca-Glitsa, auto and truck mechanics, etc. etc. and I have always loved a challenge, but tire of the same old job after a few weeks. I fix my girl's computer when she or the kids (now grown) crash it, so we don't have to hire a specialist. And so it goes.
It's good to know that there is someone like you out there!
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
176. ycd0108
4:28 PM GMT on February 27, 2017
#175 ChiThom:
Connected in O'Hare twice and I would not want to trundle firewood through that Disney production.
If we had any sense at all we would be parked in the RV on the beach in Melaque with a bunch of Canadians.
Edit: Looked up the Borer - Link
And guess what we have here. I call them "Jewel Bugs". These don't have Ash trees to kill around here but they seem to be happy with Fir.
First few years after building this place using some local green timber the 'Jewel Bugs' would bore their way out of the posts and beams just to show off their plumage. The bore holes are still there but I haven't noticed the bugs lately.
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
175. ChiThom
4:17 PM GMT on February 27, 2017
Hey ycd0108, I have some excess firewood from two giant ash trees that died from the emerald ash borer. But you are too far away for me to send you any. :-(
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
174. ycd0108
4:01 PM GMT on February 27, 2017
Whe-ew:
It's good to get back to my own simple blog. I was stuck reading comments on the Archdruid's place. One does not need to look too closely at Reality - it will catch up.
So:
Here we are at - 1 C. and the light snow earlier has stopped. Last time I looked out there was maybe an inch of new snow on the areas I shoveled yesterday.
Gotta do some fancy footwork today. The firewood stock is almost gone and the outside temperatures seem to be stuck at somewhere near the melting point of ice.
Now; I know this condition is survivable and someday soon the sun will take command of the situation but in the meantime scrounging fuel is today's priority.
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
173. ycd0108
6:20 AM GMT on February 27, 2017
#171 sandiquiz:
I see that in the photo. Looks like one caribiner per corner. Trust me: you still will find wire snips come in handy.
#172 Ylee:
Apparently early battery powered skillsaws were delayed entry to Canada for a while 'cause law enforcement figured some neffarious dingaling would put a zip-cut on one and walk through any 'Steel plate door':
Link
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
172. Ylee
4:06 PM GMT on February 26, 2017
Zip cut wheels are good for cutting locks off, too! Several time a year we have maintenance cut off locks for people that have forgotten/lost their keys....... :' )
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
171. sandiquiz
3:46 PM GMT on February 26, 2017
Well, would you believe it! The pattern I used for the sails meant I didn't need the chains... therefore did not need the wire cutters!! lol

:)
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
170. ycd0108
3:37 PM GMT on February 26, 2017
We are on the 'border-line' at 0 degrees Celsius with a skiff of new wet snow overnight and mainly light rain now.
I don't expect I'll need to shovel very much snow today even though we have a 'Heavy Snow Warning' - just don't want the walkways to freeze up tonight with this new layer of slip/slide.
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
169. ycd0108
6:35 PM GMT on February 25, 2017
Good morning (what's left of) WU Blogs:
+ 3 C. with bright sunshine and a 'Heavy Snowfall Warning' for tonight and tomorrow.
Our stock of firewood and compressed sawdust bricks is at an all-time low. We can survive with just electric heat but the 'Smart meter' is ticking. Electrics went out for a short time yesterday.
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
168. ycd0108
7:02 PM GMT on February 24, 2017
Yes I do sandiquiz:
Even after stocking a number of tool-kits for arriving Syrian families I probably have a dozen 'tin-snips'.
Most versions of heavy-duty pliers will have a decent wire cutter near the pivot and vice-grips will also cut hard wire.
If I ever need to cut a lot of wire or sheet metal I use a hand-held grinder with a 'zip-cut' wheel.
Link
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
167. sandiquiz
5:08 PM GMT on February 24, 2017
I thought of you today whilst I was in the hardware shop!
I had ordered, on line, some chain link for a project I am planning on doing, but when it came it was far to heavy. So off I went to buy some from the local store..what I should have done initially. I felt the weight and picked my three metres then I suddenly realised that the links were soldered, so I needed some wire cutters to cut them into the correct lengths! As I was looking I thought.... I guess ycd has plenty wire cutters and if he lived nearby I could borrow them!!
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
166. ycd0108
4:14 PM GMT on February 24, 2017
In other (local) news:
Link
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
165. ycd0108
3:01 PM GMT on February 24, 2017
Oh for cryin' out loud:
The forecasts were correct - it's snowing lightly out there.
Most of the lawn snow had melted away.
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
164. ycd0108
3:47 PM GMT on February 23, 2017
Speaking of 'all trades':
The right side sliding door on the RV stopped latching reliably a while ago. If it does not latch it will slide open and shut as you drive.
I cleaned and lubricated every piece of rolling hardware I could get at and searched for DIY advice on the Web.
Most of the complaints from other owners related to sliders that latched, locked up and could not be opened at all.
Guess what: when I did get the door to latch it also could not be opened.
So; back to the RV Forums and DIY videos. It seemed that I would have to remove the door, dismantle it and replace a number of complex/expensive mechanisms.
Thing is:
These vehicles are built to be 'Turn-Key' - the new owner hops in and sails away. If something goes wrong you call your local BCAA for a tow and take a motel room for a day or two.
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
163. ycd0108
12:22 PM GMT on February 22, 2017
#161 Ylee:
But then there is the good Dr. Masters here.
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
162. ycd0108
4:38 PM GMT on February 21, 2017
#161 sandiquiz:
I slunk away from 1st year final exams after loosing all the scholarship funds in an attempt to learn how to play Poker.
What I learned was that I should not gamble.
Three years later, after what we call "Grade 13", I went back to 2nd year at UBC in 'Combined Honours Math and Physics'.
I worked hard that year and received "Class 2" standing.
Second class standing in an honours program seemed kind of meaningless to me so I chose a Geology Major for 3rd year.
Break - this comment will likely time out
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
161. Ylee
2:14 AM GMT on February 21, 2017
I think if any of us were a "master" of anything, we would not have been drawn to the novelty of WU!
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
160. sandiquiz
4:46 PM GMT on February 20, 2017
"Jack of all trades but master of none." we say.

I have always thought of myself as one of those! I have a smattering of knowledge in many areas, but no degree level knowledge in any one area.

Even when I trained to be a teacher back in the late 60's I studied to become a middle school teacher - 9 to 13 years of age. So I needed to know quite a lot about all the subjects, but not enough to teach them at exam level! I then went on and became an Art/Food/technology teacher up to, and including, exam levels. It kept me on my toes, I can tell you, always staying at least a page and a half ahead of the kids!
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
159. ycd0108
8:37 PM GMT on February 19, 2017
Banished!
Tloml has found more 'Women's Curling Championships' on the TV downstairs.
If I do sit down and pay attention I can sort of understand what they are trying to do and Tloml (who Skipped a championship curling team in the small northern town long before I met her) is happy to explain the nuances of the strategy. In fact I 'curled' for a couple of years in my teens and twenties but it was obvious I was not cut out for repetitive honing of skills. I have always preferred trying a project once or twice and then wandering away to find another project.
"Jack of all trades but master of none." we say.
Actually I no longer envy the expert specialist in any field though I will still listen to or read their output with interest.
My main focus became 'generalist' at some point. I get a big kick out of quoting Keats', Robbie Burns' or Leonard Cohen's poetry to busy drywall plasterers.
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
158. ycd0108
5:59 PM GMT on February 19, 2017
"Careful with that axe" Ylee:
Sometimes I wish I was still the ignorant arrogant a$$hole they sent to university. NOT!
But one of my lasting impressions of school was me staring out the window and plotting my escape run.
According to family lore my first day in Grade One I quickly got bored and started out of the classroom.
The teacher tried to explain that I had to stay but finally had to call my sister (4 years indoctrinated ahead of me) to tell me I was doomed to at least 12 years of this nonsense.
I burst into tears on the first day of school for a number of years after that.
Eventually this easy crier/slow learner adjusted to the regimen and was persuaded that if he simply went on quietly warming a seat in the classroom someday he would "Get a good job".
In a way that worked for my age group mostly but for me the best job was going back to building construction which I had learned as an aside to my formal 'education'.
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
157. Ylee
5:08 PM GMT on February 19, 2017
I know your kids are long out of school, and mine almost are, but this Monbiot is really good. Heck, I wish I had that kind of learning!
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
156. ycd0108
5:00 PM GMT on February 19, 2017
'Four and twenty':
No, not the Blackbirds. Those are the temperatures displayed in Celsius on the AcuRite for outside and inside this house.
VLR is melting what is left of the snow in the yard.
I won't be claiming that our winter is over yet though.
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
155. ycd0108
5:16 PM GMT on February 18, 2017
Ho Hum weather:
+ 3 C. with snow slowly melting.
Grey sky
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
154. ycd0108
6:16 PM GMT on February 17, 2017
The lines I want are after 7 minutes into the video:
Link
"What have THEY done to our fair sister?"
I had to re-phrase the line:
"What have I done...?"
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
153. ycd0108
5:23 PM GMT on February 17, 2017
The 'Stone Stew' turned out pretty well. 'Course I had much easier access to ingredients than the cooks in the original story.
Come to think: I did not even need the magic stone - just a refrigerator, some well stocked cupboards, an electric slow cooker and a wine bottle with some leftovers. "But that's All I need!" Except for a house and a spouse to appreciate.
Tloml called me down to investigate a strange mist rising from the ponds outside. Turned out to be the PVC fittings on the water tap by the ponds had fractured in the cold weather. I had turned off all the outside water pipes but when things warmed up a few days ago I opened the valve but did not notice the fountain of spray at the ponds. Usually I notice the sound of an outside tap running but I guess the fractures were just leaking a small amount of flow till this morning.
Anyhow I know what my project for today is: check and fix all the outside taps.
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
152. ycd0108
9:42 PM GMT on February 16, 2017
Cooking supper:
I took a package of frozen stewing beef out of the freezer, set it in the 'slow cooker' to 4 hours on high and poured in a kettle of boiling water.
Sometime soon I'll chop some onions and garlic and check to see what other veggies I have to add. Salt and pepper too.
Pretty fancy 'Stone soup' if you ask me: Link
Edit:
OK - the onions, garlic and red pepper are soaking and steaming in the beef broth with some amount of red wine. I could not find any Barley but last night's rice might work as well.
Edit again:
Looking for recipes for Stone Soup I found:
Link
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
151. ycd0108
4:56 PM GMT on February 16, 2017
Hi sandiquiz:
"April come she will"
Reminds me of a summer in the Okanagan which never arrived. Probably late '50s or early '60s we were wearing winter jackets in July while waiting for the alfalfa crop to be ready to bale.
I was a young strong teenager then with nothing in my head beyond the cutest girl I had seen lately.
So I don't remember how the crop that year turned out.
Oh Dang! I gotta get rollin' here - have some breakies and pick up my Syrian buddy at the Mechanic's place.
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
150. sandiquiz
4:41 PM GMT on February 16, 2017
Spring does not appear until the "End of March" here. After that date you can almost guarantee any snow that falls will disappear almost as quickly as it arrived!
I did do some re-potting today. I had several new fuchsia plants beginning to leaf from the twigs I stuck into pots last September. I think I have a 70% success rate so as long as they continue to grow I should have flowers for the summer ... for free!!
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
149. ycd0108
4:35 PM GMT on February 16, 2017
Mornin' plapman:
That's good news. Our snow is getting a bit patchy here and there in the yard and parking and most of the ice has melted.
I, for one, don't trust that this is really the spring though.
N.E. Pac. looks choppy:
Link
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
148. plapman
3:12 PM GMT on February 16, 2017
Good morning YCD.
We're in for some really warm weather for the prairie. It looks like the spring melt might start early.
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
147. ycd0108
2:58 PM GMT on February 16, 2017
Now I'm puzzled:
Link
Meantime AcuRite says it's +7 C., the monitor tells me it's about 0701 hr and the big old alarm clock tells me it's 0655 hr.
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
146. ycd0108
4:21 AM GMT on February 16, 2017
#144 BaltimoreBrian:
There was no problem with the original links. They worked fine but they lead me away to other stuff.
Here I go;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;!
Edit:
Link
The radio in my pickup is always tuned to CBC.
Stuart Mclean made me laugh and cry.
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
145. ycd0108
3:22 AM GMT on February 16, 2017
Oh darn!
Link
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
144. BaltimoreBrian
3:09 AM GMT on February 16, 2017
Odd---both the links in #141 went to the Great Bear Lake stories for me, but I redid the links---hope they both link to the proper stories now.
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:

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About ycd0108

Now looking at the potential of humans (including myself) with regard to understanding complex natural phenomena.

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