February 12, 2019: Aural Oddities

We've been having a good bout of freezing rain. I've got a number of high reaching trees in the backyard, and when I was walking through there last night I noticed a weird sound. As the wind blew, the trees kind of groaned and shrugged off the accumulating ice that then fell and shimmied across the frozen layer of snow below. You could hear it exactly in time as you watched them sway. It was one of the closest sensory experiences I had to the full movement of a tree.

Oh, also, baseball is about to start.

17 thoughts on “February 12, 2019: Aural Oddities”

    1. He's made the correct choice.

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  1. A few days ago my snowblower's electric starter wouldn't engage with the engine. It's pretty common after you've used it and then it gets really cold, moisture gets into the Bendix unit and freezes it up. Fortunately it warmed up enough yesterday for the problem to go away on its own. So today while I'm blowing out the driveway (again), the spring at the bottom of the auger drive cable broke off. I was able to bend a bit of the spring back and make a little hook to get it reconnected, then run the adjuster nut a few inches down to compensate for the shorter spring, but I'm going to get new ones tomorrow and just replace them both. I don't care what the groundhog says, gophers know winter will last a couple more months.

      1. Before the polar vortex arrived, I used duct tape on a repair job. I was covering a hole in the air duct with cardboard. Not very original of me, I know.

      1. It really is sad. I remember touring the brewery pre-Gambrinus acquisition and enjoying both the local flavor and, for years, their solid lineup of bottled beers.

        On a smaller scale, Sactown lost a landmark of the local brewery scene last year (Rubicon). The local beer business has gotten very tough.

  2. So on Monday, during that brief stint when the driveway was driveable, I had a guy from Xcel energy come out to do an Home energy audit on the place in Scandia.

    He had an infrared attached for his phone (said it costs $400 - wow), and did a slow and careful circuit throughout the house and around it outside as well.

    Lot's of stuff on the list, but the notable one was in our basement. We have a tubing pipe that brings in fresh air for the furnace and releases it in the bottom of a pickle bucket with a little air space. This tubing goes along the joists in the ceiling to an overhang area on the side of the house where it has an outlet (which is under our deck outside).

    You could feel a blast of cold air coming from this area, and I was imagining that some animals chewed a hole around where this tubing gets the outside air.

    So today I crawled up on a ladder, and although it's difficult to see in that space (the jousts extend paste the stud wall about 4-5 feet), I reached in with my cell phone and took some pictures. There were no holes that I could see on the outside wall but there were several holes in the tubing itself, so obviously mice (or worse) had chewed through the outside vent, and then chewed other holes in the plastic tubing.

    I'll need to have the whole thing replaced, but not winter work with 2 feet of snow on the deck, and for now I stuffed that area tightly with insulation.

  3. So my girl just played her last game in our local rink. Her team won their semi final section hockey game. One more win on Thursday and they go to state. A bit emotional with all the time and energy we put into the program as parents and for me as a long time board member and President of our youth association. Even more emotional knowing its the last time we watched all these girls play together in our home rink. Some of our closest friends are hockey parents and it really is one big family. Hopefully, we win one more and they can extend their streak of trips to the state tournament. Just not ready for it to end, as it feels like on more straw in the empty nest. Enjoy them while you got em folks!

  4. Mystery!

    I'm working upstairs this morning and I'm feeling a little cold - trip to the thermostat downstairs and its 63F when I have it programmed for 78F. I turned the thermo switch for heat on/off - no deal. I trip the furnace breaker off/on - no deal. Time to fire up the fireplace and call for help...

    When I first walked over to the furnace, there was a deer mouse lying on the floor, feet away from the furnace. It wasn't dead, but not lucid. I swept it up and sent it flying out the front door into a 2ft deep snowbank. Why would there be a semi-conscious mouse just feet away from my not-heating furnace?

    Was this related to the incidents described in the post just above? Had I just dislodged some denizen of the basement only to have it wreck revenge on my furnace? Did it bite through some wire, get electrocuted, and just lay there in a state of disbelief and mice-ennui?

    I called the folks at Scandia Heating and Plumbing, and for what seemed like forever (2 hours) they finally showed up, opened up the bowels of my furnace, and discovered the real Mystery.

    No, the mouse had not cut thru any arteries of wiring. There was a sensor that needed to be flushed out, and soon, happy soon, warm air was flowing through the house like the arid heat over the dunes of the Namib.

    WhoDunnit? NBB for the lack of furnace maintenance last year - my bad.

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