If you want to increase your success rate, double your failure rate.

Friday, November 28, 2014

So you think you had some extra money huh?

Hey there loyal readers!
Happy Thanksgiving to all my fellow Americans.  For my Canadian friends...Happy Thursday!

This year I cooked the turkey and then we packed it up and headed for the inlaws where the MIL made all the rest of the side dishes.
A friend of mine suggested the upside down cooking method for roasting our turkey.  So I tried it.

Rinse turkey, pat dry, rub all over with olive oil, season inside and out (unstuffed) then place breast side down on your roasting rack and cook on 325 degrees for one hour.  Pull it back out and flip it back over breast side up.  Baste every so often.  With one hour to go I cover the breast with foil to prevent it from overcooking.  It turned out perfect.  It was a 22 lb. bird and barely fit in my roasting pan.  A cook time of 4 hours and my thermometer read 172 in the thigh.

Once I had waited the hour and flipped I headed out to cut some wood with the neighbor.  I returned home around 1:15.  Turned on the Lion's game and cracked a beer.  The lion's put a good whipping on the Bear's and it was almost a perfect day!  Thankful for that!

On a different note I am still in the midst of cleaning up from deer camp.  The camper was wet and frozen  and has been in my garage half opened up to dry.  I still need to clean it and put it away but I just need a break in the weather.  It hasn't been above freezing so water and a sponge won't take me very far.  The deer finally unfroze just enough for me to get the hide off them and get them boned out and at least in the fridge.  One deer I actually drug into the laundry room and let it sit for a few hours to thaw.  Mamma was pretty stoked about that!  LOL

Last Sunday I was able to get one of the tubs of meat cut up and was planning on grinding and packaging it during the week which I did but not without a few mishaps around the house.  We'll get to that in a minute.

Last Saturday I received an offer from Lowe's home improvement store.  Use your Lowe's credit card for purchases between Nov. 22nd through Dec.11th and get 18 months interest free or 5% off purchase.  Well my wife works at Lowe's and we get 10% off anyways so I opened up their website and started browsing washing machines.  We needed one anyways as ours is so old and doesn't work all that great anymore.
Well what to my wondering eyes should appear but 40% off appliances with money left for beer.
So I started doing the math and now the washing machine she has always wanted is now within our monetary reach.  With change to spare for a new dishwasher as well.

So we ended up purchasing a Samsung front load high efficiency washer with optional steam cycle and a Whirlpool dishwasher with steam sanitize as well. (great for canning jars).
Take 40% off those and then an additional 10% of that and add an extended warranty all for 18 months interest free.  We dropped $1200.  Not a bad deal at all.  I am stoked with the appliances.  Although only a week old I love them.  The washing machine is out of this world.  You can't even tell it's running.  You have to look through the glass door to see if the clothes are moving it's that quiet.

So as we are walking out of the store I look at my wife and say,"We really should have bought a generator."  Given our power outage frequency in this house.  Last year if you totaled all the days we were without power it was probably close to 30 days.  Oh well, I thought.  It can't be as bad as last year.

Powerful front moves through the area.
Wind in excess of 50 mph.
I pull into the driveway after work and hit the button on the garage door opener.  Nothing.
Yep you guessed it.
No power.
Irony...is a bitch.
Then I notice that a tree from the neighbors woodlot has fallen into our yard, across my lawn and has hit my garage.  Luckily it only hit with the topmost branches but it still left big gouges in the wood siding as it scraped down the side.

So me being me I get out the lanterns (that I just put away from deer camp) and the little propane stove (that I just put away from deer camp) and I proceed to boil up some noodles for dinner and I move to the couch with the lantern and my book and settle in for the evening.  It's comfortable camping.  My wife then texts me and tells me to get my arse off the couch and get to the getting place to buy a generator.  She is not going through this again!!!!
Reluctantly I drag myself off the couch and out into the storm which is still blowing like mad.

I meet her at the store (she is working) and pick out a generator.  It is a Generac brand which is supposed to be top of the line.  7000 watts, enough to power my entire house.  I won't tell you the price but it was under a grand...barely! :(

So I open the box at the store so I can access the fuel tank.  I will stop and fill the genny and my gas cans on the way home.  Into the filling station I pull and jump up on the tailgate and slide the genny out (still in box) open the flaps and the gas cap.  I put the nozzle in and pull the trigger.
Well lo and behold the tank has a filter screen in it and will not accept the full pressure from a gas pump.  Gasoline bursts from the opening in the tank covering my face, in my eyes and all over my clothes.  Yay!  This is fun!
After spilling gas all over everything trying to fill the damn thing up I give up after half full.  I fill my cans and head for home.  This is when a deer decides to jump out in front of me.  How I missed it is beyond me.  She should have been whacked by my bumper.  I think I may have actually grazed a hair or two.  It just gets better and better!

By this time the wind is so bad that I am driving with two hands just to keep my truck on the road.
I arrive home and assemble the generator on the tailgate of the truck while wind and snow pummel me.  My neighbor arrives shortly after to help me unload.  This is a heavy unit and I can't lift it by myself.  The genny comes with a big extension cord made for 30 amps.  One end plugs into genny and the other had 4 standard outlets on it.  So I grab a knife and cut the outlet ends off.  Strip the wires and I wire it directly into my fuse panel being sure to shut off the main service breaker.  I toss the cord out the window and plug the gap with bath towels.
By this time it is about 9:30 at night and my wife is just getting home from work.

I roll the genny outside, start it and plug in the cord...nothing.  No lights, no nothing.
The generator isn't idling up like it's supposed to.  I reach over and thumb the governor lever on the carburetor, the idle goes up and the lights come on in the house.

I look the machine all over for an auto idle switch or something that will make it run right and no dice.   So into the garage I go.  Read the manual from start to finish and nothing.  Luckily my internet service is on battery back up so I start searching for an answer online.  Nothing rock solid but from my readings I'v deduced that the genny should run a constant 3500 RPMs.  This model does not have an auto idle.  So back outside I go and by flashlight I can see that the idle screw is backed all the way out.  Sorta like they forgot to set the idle at the factory.
So I spend the next 30 minutes adjusting the idle, running back in the house and checking the lights, the fridge, the blower on the wood stove.  Trying to get the idle right so it is putting out the correct amount of power.  I have no tools to measure idle or power output so I wing it.
Eventually I head off to bed tired and smelling a bit like petrol.

I am pretty sure that is what is wrong with the unit but I am taking it back to the store in hopes that a replacement will be factory set.  Too much money involved for guess work.  All in all it is a really nice genny though.

So needless to say the venison grinding and packaging had to wait a few days.  I did get the one tub all finished though.  It made a bunch of steaks and about 18-20 lbs of burger.  I wrapped it all in saran wrap, sealing out the air and then wrapped it in freezer paper.  Then once it froze I put it in a small cardboard box about 7 packages to a box and put it back in the freezer.  Hopefully the extra steps will protect against the inevitable freezer burn.  Today I will finish the rest of the tubs and hopefully even get the camper put away.

So as you can see it has been eventful around these here parts.  I don't mind really, it's entertaining in an odd sort of way (except the outpouring of money).

Culligan is coming today to install a water softener system to help protect our new appliances and give us better water overall.
Our water isn't bad it just needs a bit of help to be optimal.  We all know how hard water can ruin a dishwasher or washer.

I'll tackle the tree when I get these other things done although I can't help but wonder what people are thinking when they drive by and STILL see a tree leaning against my house.  Lazy guy lives there!

Hope everyone has a great weekend!

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