The Foxinator: Part III

“So I shot it and I was so proud I took a thousand pictures.” She continued.

I agreed. “That’s totally fine. Good shot. Dead fox. Well done.” She deserved lots of pictures.

The Foxinator

The Foxinator

“But I’ve got to dispose this dead fox…” She began.

“Whoa there now. You don’t have a dead fox. You’ve got an asset!” Who lets a dead fox go to waste?

(Maybe I should have been born during the great depression?)

“What? You think I’m gonna’ make a coat? Maybe mittens? A hat? ” She had legitimate questions.

Actually I was drawing a blank. I, like most Americans, do not know how to transition from dead arrogant chicken eating furred cretin, to expensive fur coat that’ll piss off PETA. I assumed it was possible. If a dead tree is God’s firewood supply then surely a dead fox is… something…

Given our skill sets, how could this be an asset?

“Nail it to a fencepost as a warning to other foxes?” I suggested.

“It’s a woodland creature, not a pirate.” She countered.

Good point.

How does one make a jacket? Um… like you ‘stretch’. Stretch what? The err… ‘pelt’. Yeah that’s it you stretch the pelt and then you um…’tan’? Yeah, you ‘tan’ it. My mental gears were slowly starting to turn.

“Ohhh I’ve got it!” She exploded in excitement.

I had taken too long.

“I’m gonna’ ‘skin’ it!” She shouted.

Oh yeah. ‘Skin’.  That’s the word. You ‘skin’ the carcass to get a ‘pelt’ to ‘stretch’ and ‘tan’. Damn pioneer skills are such a pain in the ass.

“I’m going to skin the pelt off.” I could hear her smile through the phone. “…and throw the carcass to the chickens!”

Ohhh! Violent retribution followed by vindictive ironic symbolic torture. It was the most beautiful thought ever.

“Chickens will eat anything.” She was saying. “They’ll eat the fox and grow strong!”

Yes! I liked this plan.

This will train them to be super killer fox eating monster chickens!

There are times when I am in the presence of greatness. When a bartender makes a mixed drink with sixteen ingredients. When a redneck with a welder builds a truck more powerful than a smallish European nation. When a heavy metal band strikes a power chord that echoes to Ragnarök.

Our friend, having defeating a sworn enemy in battle, was proposing the unthinkable. She was the Oppenheimer of chicken owners.

Greatness! You can’t define it, but you know it when you see it.

“That’s beautiful!” I chuckled. “Can you do one thing now? Just for the heck of it can I hear a mad scientist laugh?”

“My chickens will rule the world! Mwah ha ha ha ha!” She hammed it up.

I paused.

“What do you think?” She asked?

“I think I need to put this on my blog.” I smiled.

“Of course you do.” She wasn’t surprised by this. “Everything cool on your blog comes from me.”

She had a point. Without her influence I sure as hell wouldn’t have conceived of My Little Pony conventions. Nor would I have encountered a cat which was clearly one of the horsemen of the apocalypse. (Two of my more popular stories.)

“I don’t use names on my blog.” I began.

“‘Cause you’re paranoid.” She interrupted.

“So I shall call you…” I paused. Then it hit me. The perfect name. “The FOXINATOR.”

“OK.” She chuckled.

“Skin the fox carefully.” My brain was still six steps behind the conversation. “I had a guy tan a deer hide a few years ago. He did a great job. I’ll text you his number. You should make a hat or something fun.”

“Awesome.” She enthused.

Awesome indeed.

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The Foxinator: Part II

Mrs. Curmudgeon handed me the phone. I recognized the voice. The woman on the line was indeed in an excellent mood. She was talking quickly. I interrupted mid sentence.

“Before you say anything further, I want to point out that the soil is frozen, the NSA bugs phones, and I don’t know who the hell you are.”

“…I was thinking about taxidermy, do you think that is over the top?”

Aack!

For about five seconds my brain shut down. Then my skull did a reboot. I was surely imagining something more interesting than reality.

Time to verify.

“Um… this thing which you shot. Has it been assigned a social security number?”

“Calm down you freak. It was a fox.”

“Ahhh… yeah, sure. I was expecting a fox. Don’t know what other thing I could possibly have imagined.”

“It was the one that’s been raiding my chickens all summer, remember?” Immediately she launched into the story. Once I knew it was a chicken raiding fox I was happy to listen.

“First ‘Toasty’, then ‘Fluffy’, then ‘Grandma’.”

Is it a bad sign that I recognized some of the names of her chickens? I don’t remember the names of people. Sometimes fine people. Upstanding, considerate, fully realized human beings with whom I’ve worked and socialized for years and I’ll forget their name. It’s not that I dislike them. I just…. well I’ve got no excuse.

On the other hand if that bastard killed Toasty then he got what he deserved!

“…so all of your ideas hadn’t worked. Hey are you listening?”

I hadn’t been listening. Time to tune in again.

“Of course I was listening. Did you say that evil creature killed Toasty?! I liked Toasty.”

“Yeah.”

I’d given some advice about what to do when a fox starts attacking the henhouse. Even offered to loan some leghold traps. Some of my advice might be a little out there but…

“…and what the hell were you thinking telling me to get a ‘claymore’. I had to look that up you know. First of all you can’t just go to the hardware store for a land mine.” She was continuing. I was out of beer.

“…and what kind of freak suggests military arms against a fox?”

“But it was after Toasty.” I rationalized. Besides, it was a joke. Mostly…

“So I’ve been gunning for the fox all this time. It’s hard.”

She had my sympathies. A lot of people don’t realize the advantage a predator has over a person. If a fox had to commute to work for a day job maybe things would be fairer.

“About an hour ago I got a good look at him. He had a chicken in his mouth, just trotting across the lawn. I was in the kitchen.”

Instantly I visualized the layout of her kitchen, the orientation of the windows, position of the chicken coop. Angles, vectors, sight lines… It’s uncanny. I can’t remember my zip code but I recall the angle between her kitchen and the old birch tree near her chicken coop. The mind is a wondrous thing…

“…are you listening?” She paused.

I hadn’t been listening.

“Of course I’m listening. It was near the birch tree?”

“Exactly!” She continued “so I dropped my cereal, grabbed the rifle, spilled .22 ammo everywhere, went running out the door, lost a slipper…”

Oh man! What a story. I’ve been there. Shit always goes down wrong. I never get out the door in time for a clean shot. She’d been lucky.

“I didn’t get out of the door in time for a clean shot.” She continued.

Damn it! I could see the whole story in my mind. I felt a strange urge to bolt for the door and check my chicken coop.

“So I went tearing after it.” She was talking excitedly again.

“Into the woods? Without a slipper?” I was talking excitedly too.

“Yeah! I’d had it with that little bugger.”

Ohhh… violent retribution! My favorite! “So you tracked it?” I had to know.

“No, it just trotted like 50 feet out of view. Then it sat there. Like it didn’t have a care in the world.”

Why that arrogant little chicken slaying cretin!

“So I popped my head over the rise and he wasn’t running. I took careful aim.”

I held the phone closer. Stopped breathing. I’m pretty sure I even stopped thinking about sex and bacon. I was that focused!

“Got him right between the eyes!”

Hooray! Yes! I pumped my fist in the air and did a Curmudgeonly end zone dance.

“But now I’ve got to figure out what to do with it.” She continued…

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The Foxinator: Part I

“Awesome!” Mrs. Curmudgeon was enthusiastically chatting on the phone. I couldn’t help but hear her side of the conversation.

Someone on the other end of the line was telling a story. Whoever called was obviously in a good mood. Whatever the news might be, it was apparently awesome. Excellent. It had nothing to do with me. Also excellent.

I, being a male of the species, had absolutely no further interest. If someone wants to inform me of something they’ll call my phone. Of course, I rarely give out my phone number, usually turn the infernal thing off, and generally don’t answer it when it’s on. A finely tuned system of human interaction avoidance. It has served me well.

At any rate some sort of feminine good news was about and I was glad for it. When Mrs. Curmudgeon is happy, I’m happy. Also, I was en route to the beer fridge.

I grabbed a cold one and headed back past the conversation. Discussions between Mrs. Curmudgeon and her friends happen on a wavelength I don’t generally hear. I expected to hear nothing and care less.

There are certain phrases, however, which catch my attention.

“Right between the eyes? Perfect!”

Hmm… This seemed to bear attention. More words from the other end. Mrs. Curmudgeon replied excitedly.

“You dropped him where? … What? …. Near the kitchen?”

I thought for a second. Nah.  Couldn’t be anything I was imagining. I sipped my beer and tried hard not to hear another damn thing.

“But the ground is frozen. How will you dispose of the body?”

I really wish I hadn’t heard that. I pondered going ice fishing for the day.

“Maybe the Curmudgeon can help out.”

That’s my cue. I got the hell out of the room.

Five minutes later I was fiddling around with the wood stove and preparing a rehearsed speech about why I wasn’t digging any goddamn secret graves. As expected, Mrs. Curmudgeon shouted across the room.

“Hey Curmudgeon, my friend needs advice and I told her you know how to…”

Oh hell! I swigged the last of my beer, abandoned my post at the stove, and trudged back to Mrs. Curmudgeon. She was holding out the phone. I hate phones…

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On Levers

In a different life I was into 4×4 “rockcrawling”. Rockcrawling is to driving on dirt as gulping tequila is to sipping wine.

I wasn’t a great rockcrawler. My repair and maintenance budget was roughly zero. Talk about a major buzz kill. I was out of my fiscal league and knew it. I found myself fretting over sidewall damage in places where I should have been grateful that my truck (and its driver) weren’t fused to the rocks at the base of a cliff. When damage is an instant budgetary implosion how are you to enjoy a “sport” which tends to batter machinery?

What was I thinking? I have no idea. I can tell you what I learned. Playing a motorsport you can’t afford teaches you to drive conservatively. My irrational insistence on driving nearly impassible terrain without any damage led to what I call “the lever theory”.

My truck had upgrades that were more or less engaged by “levers”. (I’m over simplifying here. Go with it.) One “lever” for low range, one for 4×4, one for rear lockers, and one for front lockers. Pretty studly eh? I got in the habit of using just exactly as many “levers” as I needed and no more.

Usually I’d stick with 4×4 and low range… you need that just to ditch the crowds and get to the fun challenges. Most obstacles could be handled in that “mode”. I’d gingerly glide, churn, inch, whirl, and lurch over them. Great fun!

If things got a little hairy I’d engage the rear differential lock and be glad to have it. Rear differential locks are awesome! You can do so much with them. It’s like magic. Usually that would do the trick.

Suppose all hell was breaking loose? Maybe I couldn’t get enough traction to surmount a big rock and there was no way around or maybe I was careening dangerously toward the nearest “canyon of doom” and my life was flashing before my eyes. As soon as I decided taunting physics was about pound me into the dirt I’d hastily add the front differential lock. Once the fronts were locked I’d essentially engaged every mechanical advantage I owned. When I flipped that last lever it was “go time”, there was nothing else to save me, and I got real serious real fast. (No I didn’t have a winch. Shut up and reread the explanation of my budget.)

Having reserved “full lock up” exclusively for the biggest, baddest, truck mangling, radiator smashing, deathtraps I’d marvel at what I could do once it was deployed. I’d curse, squeal, laugh, and shriek while driving like a madman. I (almost) always made it through and never landed on my roof. Not bad for driving over things which sane people wont hike through. It was great fun; though a little nerve wracking.

As soon as I got past the obstacle in question I’d disengage the differential locks and revert back to being a “mere 4×4”. I always felt more in control when I had a lever in reserve.

A lot of the guys I rode with would engage their lockers right away. Even on the little challenges. When they were “locked up” they could zip over rocks with far less concern for lines and angles than I needed.

I felt this was unwise.

Sometimes, in rockcrawling as in life, what looks like a small challenge is really a big challenge in disguise. Because God has a sense of humor you might not find this out until you’re in the shit. This is when I had an advantage. Since I (usually) hadn’t engaged all my levers, I had an ace up my sleeve. It also meant I was less likely to drive into something brutal without knowing it’s true nature. A slip of the tire here, a lurch there, gravity kindly offers hints when you’re doing something stupid.

I insisted I was “on to something”. Holding some advantage back in the easy stuff gave me a stronger position for the tough stuff. That became my lever theory. Time for a Curmudgeonly Gem of Insight:

“Don’t deploy your last lever until you really need it. Keep it in reserve. When you absolutely need it, be honest with yourself that you’re ‘all in’, and act accordingly.”

Some people study philosophy. I drove a truck over rocks.

A.C.

P.S. My description might make it sound like I gleefully pounded into things that merited full lock up and only engaged when things went south. Good drivers know this is a dumbass move. I do too. If, after careful consideration, I knew an obstacle merited full lockup I entered it in full lockup. Indications to the contrary are more about my crappy writing than my crappy driving.

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Diesel, Propane, and Survivalist Small Ball: Part III

Finally! Just last month it all worked out. I attained personal fuel delivery independence. How glorious! It was harder than it sounds but it’s sweet now that I’ve reached my goal.

With my handy dandy tank I can buy fuel for my furnace on my own terms. I can get it at any one of a zillion gas stations. The supply is deep because every tractor, dozer, log skidder, and backhoe in creation needs the same fuel. I can pay cash or (ugh) use credit. I can do it any time (pay at the pump 24/7!). I can purchase as much or as little as I want. I can comparison shop. I can haul it around safely. Thanks to the extra long hose it’s not a big hassle and thanks to the pump it doesn’t take long. Plus, and I think this is fabulous, I can remove the tank from my truck to free up the cargo area.

Of course, this is all a secondary heat source. I’ve already proven I can go one full year with nothing but firewood. (This winter may be an exception.) I wanted independent, redundant, reliable, dirt simple systems and I got ‘em.

Meanwhile the world keeps re-proving the laws of economics. While I was fiddling around with tanks and pumps the stampede to “cheaper” propane furnaces ran its course. Everyone mainlined into a delivery system that requires elaborate equipment which only a few local companies own.

As predictably as night follows day, what happened this winter? Propane shortage! Just exactly the sort of thing I wanted to avoid. As soon as everyone bought into a single source they got (or felt) hosed. Politicians started braying because… well what else can they do?

Meanwhile I can get all the fuel I want, when I want, in whatever quantity I desire. A stupid redneck with simple tank bypasses the whole parade. How cool is that?

Previously my fuel supply was more expensive than “way cheap” propane. I accepted that as the operating cost of being able to buy any time in any quantity. I was willing to pay more for redundancy. For the moment I’m not “overpaying”. Once everyone was locked into a single supply chain, consumption rose (duh!). Combined with pre-existing customers (like agriculture) this meant the price of propane soared (or perhaps adjusted to meet the new equilibrium?). Everyone is grumpy about it. Propane (a gas) is measured differently than furnace oil (a liquid) but the price gap between the two narrowed and may have crossed paths. That’s assuming you can get propane, which is apparently not the case.

As expected, clueless phrases like “price gouging” and “hurting people with limited incomes” are being spoken by people who should know better. Here’s a news flash; anyone who voluntarily pays for something was not “gouged” and nobody thinks their income is “unlimited”.

Furthermore, politicians cannot create propane. (They can’t make a physical object any more than they can they create free healthcare, impose peace, cause happiness, mandate self esteem, or “fix” human variability; but that’s a different discussion.) Unless you stack them and light them on fire (which isn’t a bad idea) the combined force of all politicians on earth can’t make a single BTU. Nor will their bullshit and false hope keep your pipes thawed. Adults know that.

While I’m on the subject, “big oil” is just a phrase designed to justify the weak of character as they indulge themselves in bad behavior. There are two parts to my anger over this:

First, “big” is a size and nothing more. There is nothing inherently evil about “big” any more than “small” is somehow a mark of nobility. Calling a corporation “big” doesn’t justify acting like a jackass and calling a corporation “svelte” doesn’t mean they’ll deliver your propane any faster.

Second there’s nothing more pathetic than someone opposed to “big oil” loudly bitching that “oil” isn’t cheap and plentiful enough to their tastes. Nobody should be forced to live on a planet that incorporates the dissonance of Moonflower Goldenglow and her pet eunuch Betadweeb McUseless “protesting” that there’s not enough cheap propane. Don’t like “big oil”? Don’t buy their shit. Want more propane? Buy a bigger tank and stock up well in advance. Want it cheaper? Fuck off. It’s as simple as that.

Who didn’t see this coming? Why not?

Competition, supply chains, monopolies… All that shit exists. Right here, right now. It’s not a theoretical construct. It’s life. Meanwhile I’m extra happy about my silly little tank because it kept me out of the mishmash!

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Diesel, Propane, and Survivalist Small Ball: Part II

As I was struggling with a poorly draining tank chained to a little utility trailer, the world was passing me by. Private enterprise struck fossil gold in North Dakota and the government (despite its best efforts) couldn’t stop it. The price of propane fell like a rock. Everyone and their dog bought propane furnaces.

During that time my furnace died. I replaced it with… nothing. Because that’s how I roll! (See the chronicles of the learning experience that is the saga that inspired the book that will be the movie of “The Furnace: One Man’s Struggle”: Parts 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7)

A year later, I’d gleefully proved I could live without a furnace. Yay me. But smart monkeys like redundancy. It was time to replace the furnace. At the time everyone was buying propane furnaces. Hank Hill had won the day.

The smart monkey/survivalist/prepper/boy scout looks at propane and ponders not the fuel but the delivery system. Any dipshit with a truck can deliver fuel oil. (I knew because I’d been buying it from dipshits with trucks.) It takes complex gear to deliver propane. Ironically, the higher equipment buy in suggests a more professional level of service (but not cheaper). On the other hand, propane delivery to my house is offered by one and only one company and I’d have to “rent” a propane tank. I hate renting anything.

Did I want a fuel that requires specialized equipment? Did I want to buy into a monopoly’s delivery system? Propane is vastly superior as a fuel but the supply chain for compressed gas is pretty complex.

Do supply chains matter? To this monkey they do.

I installed another oil furnace. Obsolete technology in a world where everyone wanted propane. What a chump!

I kept muddling along trying to get off road diesel from gas stations to my house. Neglecting the tank (which I wouldn’t forgive for landing on my foot) I decided to haul fuel in 5 gallon fuel cans. It worked! Yes, a 5 gallon fuel jug will indeed haul 5 gallons of fuel. Who knew? Sometimes monkeys think too much. That kept me limping along a few more winters. It was nice to know I could “get by” with a plastic jug but even I had to admit that hauling jugs stinks.

By now I had a “new” truck. The truck was taller than the trailer I’d been using. Surely the siphon drain system would work now? I stuck the tank and skids in the truck, strapped it down very well, slapped duct tape over the broken fixture on the top, and gave it a shot.

Failure! The tank rode like a pregnant rhino and the siphon wasn’t much better. I delivered a meager 20 gallons and went back to the drawing board.

I talked to several guys about mounting the tank. Everyone was more than willing to charge me a crapload to drill holes in my truck bed and bolt the sucker down. Once mounted it would be a bitch to remove. But, they reasoned, it would be awesome for filling my hypothetical bulldozer. I called dug in my heels. I use my truck bed to its fullest extent. If I wanted a shortbed I’d have bought a shortbed.

I have a removable gooseneck hitch. It’s a big beefy steel sucker that mounts right thought the bed to an awesome subframe. It’s strong enough to pull the biggest horse trailer out there, yet I can pull a pin and pop the ball right out. Once the ball is removed my bed is flat again for hauling stuff.

Why not a tank with a pin… just like the horse trailer hitch? Mechanics insisted it was impossible. This is what happens when the word “mechanic” really means “parts changer”. If we had more mechanics who are up to custom installations, the world would be a better place. Just a few people for whom the word “fabricate” isn’t terrifying would be a good start.

After weeks of searching I found a welder. He went at it with hammer and tongs. Soon I had a beefy steel “skid” on the tank. It had a massive removable pin that slid into the gooseneck hitch receptacle.

Success! It locks down like God wants it to be there. Once pinned down, Godzilla couldn’t budge it. Full or empty, it rides like a dream.

I shook off my usual cheapskate nature and bought a transfer pump. The welder fixed up the broken top with threads and we installed the pump. Because this was a removable tank I wanted removable power to the pump. I set up a beefy set of fused leads that can be coiled up when not in use. When I need them they stretch from the pump to the truck’s battery. Sweet!

Last fall I tried it out. At the gas station I bought 30 gallons of “off road” fuel. I drove onto my lawn, adjacent to the inlet for my fuel oil tank, clipped the jumper cables to the truck’s battery, flipped the switch, and whoosh!

Success! I did a little monkey dance on the lawn!

Winter arrived with the intention of killing first Al Gore and then the rest of us. Snow piled up. My carefully laid plans went haywire. Because of the drifting snow I couldn’t get the truck close enough to the inlet.

Failure! Life is full of surprises.

Back at the hardware store I bought an extension to the fuel delivery hose. Now I can reach a good 25′ past my truck’s bed.

Did it work?

Yes! Another monkey dance.

There you have it. For a couple hundred bucks I supplanted the entire fuel delivery industry with an old tank, a pump, some welded hardware, and extra hose. It works very well. I don’t mind a long R&D period because the end result is just what I wanted.

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Diesel, Propane, and Survivalist Small Ball: Part I

Survivalists are prone to testosterone soaked thoughts about the right caliber for “the big one”. I carefully and deliberately stick to smaller scales. I’ll get more mileage out of a full freezer and a big woodpile than wishing I had a bunker. This is “survivalist small ball” and it doesn’t sell magazines. However, it’s where the rubber meets the road. (Also, raising a pig and growing tomatoes tends to focus the mind in a way theory can’t.)

Last month I had a “survivalist” success. It took several tries and lots of false starts but not a lot of money. You might think it’s a pathetic accomplishment. You may be right. You might also be thinking theoretically. There’s a big difference between theory and practice. My little success was realized not in theory but right here and right now. In return the universe gave me a sweet bit of Schadenfreude. Cool!

—————-

Services around Curmudgeon Compound are as unreliable as anywhere I’ve lived. It’s hard to get things done when there’s nobody to do it. (I don’t know if it’s low population density, blue collar labor being outbid by a growing welfare state, or both?)

Furnaces need fuel. In cities, people have piped gas. Your own personal pipeline; how cool is that? That’s not an option for folks in the hinterlands. Country households must call a fuel delivery service. A fuel truck will come, pump furnace fuel into a tank in your basement, and happily bill the shit out of you. Customers never need to leave the warm glow of their TV.

Unfortunately, fuel delivery systems where I live are chaotic. A gaggle of rednecks with their own trucks offer deliver fuel. They may or may not arrive. The price and timing will be random; if the fuel arrives at all. Did I mention they might not arrive?

You get used to it. Actually I didn’t get used to it and that makes me stand out. I found it infuriating. Reliability matters. The handful of small operators that serve my area tended to let me down.

In fact the word “fuel service” is a misnomer. It’s a fluid situation indicating they might deliver fuel if they previously scraped enough money together to fill their truck, if the ice fishing sucks, if there’s nothing good on TV, and (most importantly) they’ll race to your house the day their alimony payment is due. Unless they they’re hungover, their truck is broke, or the moon is in the seventh house and Jupiter is aligned with mars, in which case they won’t even answer their cell phone. None were good at the business of business. Some returned my calls, some didn’t. You can count on them arriving on schedule like you can bank on a politician’s smile. The lower my tank gets the more frustrated I get. Also their nasty habit of “forgetting” to show up got worse the colder it was. (I like to assume some hot MILF is calling at the last minute or maybe some kindly grandma is slipping them a few cookies. If I’m getting stood up so they can watch Oprah I don’t want to know.)

How to adapt to annoying oil deliveries? Learn the ropes and do it yourself! “Furnace oil” is just “off road” diesel. It’s died red to indicate you haven’t paid road tax. It will also run combines, bulldozers, farm tractors, skid steers, etc… It will run your truck too; but if you use it on the road you’ll get a ticket with many digits so put that shit out of your head right now!

Every station nearby has a pump to supply “off road” diesel. A smart monkey should be able to get fuel from the station to my house. Am I not a smart monkey?

Well at first, no.

It sounds simple. It isn’t.

First of all there’s a thing called a “transfer tank” meant for this purpose. On top of the transfer tank you install a “transfer pump”. Then the whole thing (usually) gets permanently mounted in your truck. (If you don’t have a truck got bigger problems than furnace oil!) This is the perfect solution for the care and feeding of log skidders and farm tractors.

It would also work for a furnace. Thus, predictably, it costs too much. One can aspire to being a smart monkey but starting out as a broke monkey makes it harder. Also, filling half my truck’s valuable payload with a tank I don’t always need rubbed the wrong way.

Lucky me; I scrounged a nifty 70 gallon DOT approved tank. At the time I was driving an SUV; no truck bed. I stuck the tank on the back of my little utility trailer. (A.k.a. The pony trailer: see here and here.)

Brilliant? Nope. It sucked.

For one thing, you’ve got to strap the living shit out of a 70 gallon tank to hold it down. In response I built a hefty mount. That worked better but it never worked never well.

I didn’t have a pump. I planned to use gravity. I fitted a simple garden hose to drain from the bottom of the tank to my house. Apparently the slope was too shallow? It drained slower than molasses in January.

Failure. Try again.

I took the tank out, mounted it on huge skids to lift and steady it, then stuck it back in the trailer. It rode better. I hadn’t lifted it high enough though. The gravity drain method was still pathetic.

Failure. Try again.

I took the tank off the trailer to improve the situation and dropped it on my foot. Aside from the pain (which was significant) I broke one of the fittings on the top.

Failure. Time for a better hobby? Never!

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