as green as I might be
Wednesday, May 14 2014
[REDACTED]I drove out to 9W to run a few errands, mostly to get groceries and do library and mail tasks for Gretchen. But I also needed a shitload of lag bolts for a twelve-foot wooden ladder I would like to build to replace the aluminum ladder that gives access to the solar deck. I figure that a wooden ladder with two-by-four steps would be more useful to the cats, who currently get back and forth to the solar deck via the roof (which slopes at 45 degrees). Ideally I'd have an iron spiral staircase usable by the dogs, but Eleanor is unwilling even to use the dog-friendly steps out to the laboratory deck. Though I only need 24 lag bolts for this project, I bought the box of 50 four-inch-long 5/16-inch thick bolts so I could get the bulk discount, but it still cost more than $50.
It turns out that the Hannaford on 9W, though huge, doesn't have the selection of the one in Uptown. They didn't have their store-brand organic corn chips, and I could find absolutely no habañero sauce. In desperation, I went to the ShopRite near the HomeDepot, a white-trash supermarket I wouldn't normally patronize save for its convenient location. Their corn chip options there were better, particularly in their "natural foods" aisle. And they also had habañero sauce. Strangely, they had a whole section of the natural foods aisle dedicated to gluten-free foods, though it's hard to imagine more than three or four people who shop there have ever even heard that avoiding gluten is a thing. (I once saw Ruth & Mikey shopping there, but for the most part that place caters to the kind of white people who buy cheap hamburger and other people's custom birthday cakes that were never picked up.) I should mention that the cashier at Hannaford asked me about my teeshirt, which reads "We add up +0021213." I explained that it was gift from my brother-in-law commemorating my dedication to solar power, as though it was saving the world. "I do have solar panels," I explained, "but the shirt is dorky. But it was a clean teeshirt." The cashier gave me a look suggesting that he didn't think it was dorky at all and that I was dismissing it too summarily. But I know that no matter how green I am, there are a million Rush Limbaugh wannabes going out of their way to make shit hit the fan earlier than it has any right to. And as green as I might be in my comfortable first-world perch, I'm far browner than the most inconsiderate buffoon scratching out an existence on a dollar a day.
A backpack load salvaged from west of the Farm Road today was 80 pounds, which was somewhat less than I expected. But the wood in this case was marginal. I usually avoid obviously rotten wood, but this stuff was dry and the rot had extended into the wood gradually and pervasively over many years, reducing the mass. It's oak and will probably burn insanely hot when I eventually burn it. But its heat-to-volume ratio was probably more like pine than oak.
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