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Tuesday, December 14, 2010

AIR BELLOWS IN WINTER

no huntin




The temperature reads 9 degrees at this moment, 6:35 pm. The number fell from 13 a couple hours ago to 9 in a steady run. It's plain cold and getting colder. Rhododendron leaves are furled tightly into long pencils. Dave Lineback up the road has a weather station he set up some years ago, then it was gone for awhile and now it's back. It's at wunderground.com and I don't know how you find it from there. It's the Air Bellows station. Maybe you write Air Bellows in a box. Dave put up a link on facebook and I clicked it onto my favorites list, so that's how I get there. I tried going to wunderground.com and got lost right away. But that's just my cyber-challenged mind. At Dave's site the temperature is 8.1. The high today was 12.8 up on top where he is. I'm in the valley below, out of the wind, where it must be half a degree warmer than up there. He's up where there's nothing but a barbed wire fence between him and the north pole.




Air Bellows was named for its own nature. I've heard it said it's named that because the wind blows all the time. It doesn't blow all the time. It's just that when it does, it gets your attention. Another source said it has the name because the wind blows both directions through the gap. Sometimes it blows south to north and other times north to south. That sounds more like it. Old man Jim Scott built his house some time around the turn of the 19th-20th century right square in the gap itself. Brinegar's cabin was built in the gap. There is nothing to stop the wind coming up the side of the mountain to Brinegar's cabin. Those people had big wind. Allan, who lives in the Jim Scott place, says sometimes it sounds like the wind is tearing the roof off the house.




Last night I went out in the cold, cold wind and drove the Catfish almost as far as to town, slowly, not wanting to strain my friend in such intense cold. I wanted to keep the motor temperature warm, not hot, to go easy on my friend who is so good to me, takes me anywhere I want to go without problems, keeps me warm in winter and cool in summer. It started instantly at 10 degrees. No hesitation. I let it run a couple minutes to circulate the oil and warm it, listening to NPR news on the radio. I'd rubbed the rubber around the door's edge the day before with cooking spray and wiped it dry with paper towel. When I pulled the door, the rubber was not stuck to the door. It opened easily. The ice and snow was such that it would have stuck if I hadn't treated it. One day when the temperature is above freezing I aim to treat all the rubber door gaskets with cooking spray, trunklid too. Washing the glass with vinegar cuts down headlight glare at night. Doesn't cut it out, but noticeably reduces it. Ice and snow doesn't stick to the glass cleaned with vinegar.




Cold, cold, cold. Water frozen over a week and will be frozen a few more weeks at least. I'm used to it. This happens every year. It thaws in time. The temperature now is 8.8 degrees. At Dave's weather station it is 8.3. That establishes it. I'm half a degree different down here in the valley from up there on top. Today. Another day, another weather condition, the gap between the temperature here and there would vary, though not by much, negligibly. I've not put plastic over the windows. When the windows are covered by plastic I can't see out the windows very well and feel closed in. I like seeing out the windows. It will probably cost me $100 or more in kerosene, but I'd rather spend the money for heat than live in a box without windows. When police state catches on to Green (besides money) I'll probably be sentenced to prison or fined thousands for not putting plastic on the windows.

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