My Woodsplitter Goes to Eleven: Part 6

At Ed’s Tire Store I was that guy. Just 15 minutes before closing I burst in the door raving about tires and clutching the mangled wheel.

A six man staff was standing around doing nothing. They saw me and an invisible pecking order was deployed. Three guys vanished. They were the top of the ladder and had things to do… such as avoiding work. The fourth guy on the totem pole examined the wheel and declared the rim “unusable”. The fifth shuffled around and found a tire that would fit the rim which had just been declared unusable. The two agreed the tire couldn’t be mounted on the flattened rim and they had no other rims that size. No alternative rims would match the spindle diameter. No suitable wheel tire sets existed. They didn’t have any hub that could be installed on the spindle to change tire size. Having concluded the situation was hopeless they looked at me expectantly. Perhaps I’d kindly go off on an ice flow and die?

There was a standoff. I heard the clock tick. I waited.

Finally last and lowest guy on the totem pole broke. He looked about nineteen years old and had that long suffering look of a nineteen year old doing a good job despite being surrounded by idiots twice his age. He offered to take the company’s truck and trailer to fetch my splitter.

The two peons objected because… well because they were lazy dickheads. The nineteen year old froze, keys in hand. The poor kid was stuck between his desire to do a good job and outranking employees who are paycheck cashing leeches. I’ll never get used to 2015. Using the tire company truck to drum up business for the tire company with a guy who needs a tire shouldn’t be controversial. Ideally they’d bill me a few bucks and make me smile while doing it and then lock in my business on the repair end. Say it with me people; capitalism is not rocket science.

Time to give some instructions in customer service. I got in close and personal with the two who’d made the objection and spoke in hushed impolite tones. After a few declarative sentences I’d made my point rather forcefully. I’m not going to say what words were used but Officer Friendly, sitting in his warm cruiser a few miles away, probably sensed a disturbance in the force. The two bits of dead weight turned three shades of pale. They’d gained a new understanding of what a bearded woodcutter might do when his equipment was in jeopardy and just how willing he was to do it right here, right now.

One of the two losers nodded at the kid, who bolted for the door, and then they vanished. The kid had a huge smile. He’d enjoyed the show. I helped him hitch the company trailer to their truck (not mine… do that and a lawyer would explode) and he followed me down the road. It was 5 minutes to closing time at Ed’s and everyone’s car was already warming up in the parking lot. Real crack team of hard workers at Ed’s.

On the road we found Mrs. Curmudgeon parked a quarter mile from the the police officer. My splitter squatted between them like a mechanical no-man’s land. Neither had greeted the other. I’d told the officer a small hatchback might show up. They’d both decided to stay in their warm cars. Braving the cold was for lunatics with flat tires.

I was embarrassed at all the hubub. The whole road was lit up. Four vehicles and a trailer, all with headlights and flashers. Of course the police cruiser was lit up like a disco ball. All this to rescue a 600 pound wood splitter? We we’re probably on somebody’s Facebook page.

The kid backed up the trailer with the experienced hand of a country boy. Excellent! The police officer got out and shivered in the cold. (Police uniforms are designed by desk jockeys.) Three of us together slipped the splitter onto the trailer in one quick motion. I was thankful for the help. I’ve tried to lift it myself and it’ll kill one man alone. I noticed the teen and the police officer had the same traits; polite, business like, restrained, helpful. Society isn’t over yet.

I said thanks to the police officer about ten times. Mrs. Curmudgeon, who’d never left her car, lit out for home, followed by the police officer, my hulking truckload of wood, and finally the tire store truck & trailer. Big night for a rural highway.

Soon my woodsplitter was locked in Ed’s service lot with a repair tag. It was ten minutes after closing and the place was deserted. I stuffed a $20 the teenager’s hand and said thanks. He looked worried. “How am I going to write that up on the repair tag?” He mumbled.

“Don’t. Buy a pizza and never mention it to the jackwagons who didn’t help you.” He beamed and cleared out. It was over. I felt the weight of a really rough week seeping into my bones. I stood there a bit trying to let stress fade. My splitter was safely behind chain link. Tomorrow would be another day.

Having bought time, I decided to use money and awesome to fix everything the right way.

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My Woodsplitter Goes to Eleven: Part 5

Many (most) cops mean well. I get that. I do. Really. It’s just that you don’t know which one you’ll draw. Your specific exposure to the random pool of police officers is a crap shoot.

I’ve watched attitudes progress from “serve and protect” to military gear and bad attitudes that kill, injure, and hassle law abiding people, trash people’s houses, and burn babies in their crib. You’d have to be a world class moron to expect badges to come with a halo. Cops are just people. Some are wonderful, all have flaws, a scant few are thugs.

Maybe things were better in the past? I don’t know. That’s irrelevant. If Andy Griffith has become RoboCop (or Tony Soprano) I accept that as simply the world as it is. Again, before everyone gets all atwitter and submits comments ranting about revolution, I’m not about that. I’m not saying all police are swine. I’m not an oppressed peasant facing Stalin. I was just meeting a cog in a system and systems do what they will. Logic, kindness, and justice come from people but not from systems.

The most likely “bad scenario” would be a traffic infraction or fine; even if the justification would be shaky. That would piss me off but I’ve got a checkbook and would readily make a hobby out of fighting city hall. Bring it. (The moral hazard of police financing through fines is something I saw young and long before cops owned tanks.)

What else might happen? Well… anything could happen. I’m as law abiding as a Boy Scout, it’s legal to tow a woodsplitter, and there’s no law against flat tires. So maybe he’d be real nice and show me pictures of his grandkids. Then again I look like a serial killer, wouldn’t cower before Voldemort himself, and it was a dark lonely road.

The middle option? I might have to listen to a mind numbing lecture about public safety. Ugh! I’d almost rather get shot.

The least desirable outcome was the very extremely unlikely (but not impossible) draw of the “thug lottery”. A serving of “respect my authoritah” is something I don’t fear but it wouldn’t be fun. Of course that outcome is out of my hands so I’ve long ago made peace with it. There’s a non-zero chance I might be tazed, shot, and tossed in the hoosegow over something that’s not a crime. That’s simply true. (I said “made peace with”, not “looking forward to”.) Your mileage may vary but I’m perfectly prepared to say take a hit if one comes and never raise a hand back or flee. I’ll smile as long as it takes to spit teeth on the ground and lawyer up the next day. All that really matters to me is that I won’t babble something like “don’t taze me bro” because that’s whiny bullshit. (To a thug, that’s a good enough reason to taze me. Ironic no?)

Yes, I’m cynical and paranoid. Then again it’s true that your cell phone is tapped, your car can commit a crime while you’re not in it, and the cop had already run my plates before he decided to blind me with his flashlight and approach so I couldn’t see him.

I pressed my truck’s key fob (locking the doors) and waited. If you want access to my truck you can break a window like a thug or get a warrant like a law enforcement officer. Of course the only thing my truck holds is maps, tools, and insurance papers so carefully organized that the Gestapo couldn’t find fault with them; but it’s the principle of the thing. I was not carrying at the moment and I set down the breaker bar that was in my hand.

I tried to smile. I’m not sure if my smile is appealing or reminds people of the Joker. At least I tried.

Would today be the day?


“Dude, that sucks!” The officer exclaimed.

He aimed his flashlight at the woodsplitter, spoke like a real human being, and examined the melted fender like someone who cared.

I breathed a sign of relief. Today was not the day. (Maybe the day will never come?) Great news!

In one second he’d gone from “cop” to “officer”. There’s a lesson in that and every officer in every force should learn it.

“It’s been that kind of week.” I agreed (as I relaxed).

“I’ve got a can of fix a flat?” He offered. Then he saw the tire which was literally split in half and shook his head sadly. A magic wand wouldn’t fix that tire. “You’re going to Ed’s?” (Ed’s is the only tire store in town.)

“I’d love to but I don’t want to leave my splitter where it can be stolen.”

“I can wait here.”

I felt a ray of hope. “Really? That’s about the nicest thing…” I was blown away. A simple, helpful, logical solution, born of an honest desire to help.

“If there’s another call I’ll have to go.”

“Fair ’nuff.” I agreed. “Thanks officer.” I shook his hand and got moving.

That’s how you do it! Every time a bit of bitter cynicism gets chipped away by a good police officer doing well, the ghost of Sir Robert Peel gets a free beer in heaven.

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My Woodsplitter Goes to Eleven: Part 4

I cruised back roads at 45 MPH towing the little splitter behind my truck. It was comically out of scale. On the way I rolled up to a gas station with my huge thirsty diesel, put less than two bucks of non-oxygenated unleaded into the splitter’s tank and drove off. Ha!

At the Foxinator’s house I did a headcount. No family members had gone AWOL. Whew! The kids were consuming cable TV like addicts. Ignoring them, I headed to the woods, fired up the saw, felled a tree, bucked it up, split it, and stacked stovebolts in my truck like Tetris was a religion. Work was getting done! The cure for a bad week. I grinned like an idiot. The kids grumped some but helped when prodded. A loose turkey made an attack run at the roaring woodsplitter engine and crapped on my gas can. Turkeys have interesting personalities.

Just before sunset I rolled out for home with a full load of split wood. My trusty saw was perched on the carefully packed load. My good pal the splitter was still hitched and rolling behind the truck. It had been a good day. The stress of air travel had faded. I was a happy man.

I also picked up the kids but who cares about that?

Halfway home I got a call from Mrs. Curmudgeon. She was 100 miles out and closing. We’d all be home soon. The dog would be glad to see the family back together. (The dog doesn’t like it when some of her “flock” are missing.)

BAM!

Something was amiss! I saw sparks in side mirror. Sparks?!? I pulled over immediately.

The splitter’s tire had blown. Not “got a flat” but “kersplode”. I’d brought the truck to a stop quickly but the damage had been immediate. I’ve always hated those tires.

Not only had the rubber split but the wheel had gouged into the pavement causing the sparks and flattening a chunk of the rim. The sparks had also melted the plastic fender on one side. I inspected everything else; no actual damage to the mechanical elements of the splitter. I breathed a sign of relief. No breakdown is good news but things could have been worse.

I paced and cursed a bit as I internalized the scene. Once I realized the exploded tire was the opposite of the one I’d patched earlier that morning I felt better. The catastrophic tire failure wasn’t due to my patch job. Then I realized out of two possible tires I’d had two tire failures;  a branch stub puncture and a kersplode. That made me feel worse. Who has luck like that?

I jacked up the splitter, removed the castle nut, jiggered off the mangled wheel and tire, dropped the bearing in the dirt (every damn time!), stepped on my tool box and sent sockets everywhere, then…

Then what?

Should I leave my splitter abandoned by the side of the road? Hell no!

A word about crime. Many people think rural areas are crime free. Not so. We’ve got different crime. There are people who’ll see a $1,500 woodsplitter by the side of the road and consider it “found goods”. With the advent of cell phones a working group of friends and relatives and a truck can appear out of nowhere like a beer fueled special forces team. Six arms would toss the splitter into a rusty F-150 and I’d never see it again. This could happen in ten minutes while I was off buying a new tire. Note: I’ve met people who’d steal your splitter on a highway on Saturday night and smile at you in church ten hours later; all the while honestly thinking they’re going to heaven. Don’t overestimate your fellow man’s ability to separate the world into themselves, friends, family, clan, or whatever and “the other” to whom doing wrong is somehow justifiable.

I called Mrs. Curmudgeon who was still some way off. I’d have to wait for her to come to do guard duty before I could take action. By then the tire store would be closed. She’d have to wait while I went home, hitched my trailer, came back, and then… I sighed. I’d have to find some way that I alone or with only minimal added muscle power could lift the beast onto the trailer. I didn’t like that sound of that. It sounded like a great way to mash fingers and compress vertebrae.I saw no way around it either.

It had been just that kind of week. The whole week had sucked since Monday (it was now Saturday), my morning had sucked, my evening was starting to suck, and it was going to be a long sucky night. Everything sucked and that’s all there was to it.

Then the cops showed up…

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My Woodsplitter Goes to Eleven: Part 3

Woodsplitter wheels are small but they’re fine for moving around the yard (or the forest). I’ve moved mine with ATVs, riding lawnmowers, tractors, trucks, and (when I can’t find any other way) pulling for all I’m worth. (It’s a bitch to hand pull the splitter and if you try to pull it downhill you’re both going to the bottom at a speed determined by physics alone.)

Where things get hinky is when the tree is not on my land. Maybe it’s 10 miles away. If you’re like me, you eye those little shitty wheels, say a silent prayer, hitch it up, and drive real slow. It works. It’s legal. Your truck looks silly with that teeny weeny thing on the back but it gets the job done and everybody does it. Repeat after me; everybody does it.

I know what I’m going to hear in the comments. If you’ve got to go ten miles it would be best to load the splitter in the truck bed or on a trailer. It is the best choice if you’ve got the option. However, if I had enough mechanical advantage to get a 600 pound object into a truck bed I’d just haul the logs home and split them in my yard. Duh! (The world is filled with guys that have three stout cousins who’ll do anything for a case of Budweiser and a Bobcat in their garage and think they’re cleverer than the lone Curmudgeon limping around at 45 MPH. Yes, I am bitter. What makes you ask?)

The little tires are too small to have lug nuts. You have to pull a cotter pin, spin off a castle nut, and remove the whole hub, bearings and all. As is tradition, the bearings are immediately dropped in the dirt and you’ll have to repack them. It’s not a big deal.

I did just that, I jacked it up, spun the nut, ripped off the hub, dropped the bearings in the dirt (of course), and then noticed a branch had stabbed the tire. Can’t blame the splitter for that. It’s an honestly acquired battle wound. I zipped to town to get a replacement tire. The tires are several years old and they’ve had their share of issues. It happens.

The tire store had a cheap replacement tire. You know what was cheaper? A patch kit. I consulted with the tire guy, bought the patch kit, patched the tire in the parking lot, aired it up with their compressor, and felt like a mechanical genius. Back at the compound I rinsed off the dirty bearing in the kitchen sink (wives love it when you do that), slapped on grease, shoved the patched tire & wheel on the spindle, tightened the castle nut (but not too tight), and I was back in business.

Time to retrieve the kids and liberate some firewood.

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My Woodsplitter Goes to Eleven: Part 2.5

Since I’m ranting about firewood, I want to endorse two products.  I’ve already written a review of my woodsplitter here and my chainsaw here and I still recommend both products. I bought both several years ago and have used them fairly hard. I’ve had to do the usual routine maintenance and anything else is due to my stupidity and not the product (I’m thinking about woodsplitter tires which I simply overused.) If they were junk I’d know by now.

Both are name brands that don’t play pussyfoot with product designations (so you know model X from one vendor matches model X from another vendor). The make and model is important so think it over carefully, but once you’ve made your choice you don’t save much (if any) based on where or from whom you buy the model you’ve selected. Not all products are like that but I’ve found no huge upside to comparison shopping for Troy Bilt or Stihl.

I bought both locally several years ago but I had the option to buy the splitter on-line. If I were to do it again I’d buy it from Amazon and spare myself some hassles from the local guys. (This whole e-commerce thing isn’t all about iPads and collectors Star-Trek plates you know!) The whole idea of trying to establish a rapport with local service guys is bullshit and we might as well put a stake in it. Unless you live in 1950 they won’t recall you fondly or give you better service or even care whether you live or die. My local guys hose up most interactions, probably shouldn’t be using tools, and would rather be selling something like basketballs. My point being that buying on Amazon and having delivery straight to the house is a miracle and I wish I’d done it rather than letting those chimps get their greasy mitts on my money.

As for my recommendations; am I biased observer? Hell yeah. I bought both products myself and I tend to think I’m a pretty awesome guy. Secondly, if you buy ‘em I get a tuppence and a pat on the head from the corporate overlords at Amazon. I’ll enjoy the cash but that doesn’t mean I’m trying to sell you crap. The stuff I recommend is what has served me well.

Woodsplitters:

I own a Troy-Bilt 27 Ton Hydraulic Log Splitter with 160cc Honda Engine. I’ve had good luck with Troy-Bilt products and the wood splitter in particular has been a big win. You can buy from Troy-Bilt on-line and the price is just about as good as you can possibly get. (Nor will they kill you on shipping.) The link on the Troy Bilt website is here.

Unfortunately, Troy Bilt’s website is proof that there are companies in 2015 that still can’t manage a decent web presence. Go figure? They’ve got the goods and a killer shipping deal but I just loathe their website. YMMV. Having made a zillion purchases through Amazon I’m happier with Amazon. Here’s the lame little image you’ll find on the Amazon web site:

wood splitter

You know you want it.

This is a representation of the product at work:

hephaestusI bought mine about five years ago. The price has gone up a bit (like the price of everything else… despite the fact that there’s supposedly no inflation… but that’s another story). Also the components (mostly the engine) seem to fade in and out. Models with Honda engines seem temporarily rare. I figure there’s a factory somewhere that ran out of widgets in a way that affected a container ship in Timbuktu? I found two options; a Honda Engine or a slightly larger non-Honda Engine that costs a little less. Odds are both engines are fine and even the sexy Honda makes an unholy racket. But I bought a Honda and like it so I can’t say much about the other engine. Both are Troy-Bilt products shipped by a third party. I’ve never bought from either one, I wouldn’t expect hassles but you ought to do due diligence (make sure it comes with hydraulic fluid, etc…). Caveat emptor and all that.

Chainsaws:

I own and recommend a Stihl MS 361. Stihl is like Troy Bilt in that I never find it cheaper or more expensive by comparing stores. What this means is that if you find a Stil Model X in wherever, you’re unlikely to save a bunch by driving to six other stores (which is what I tried).

I couldn’t find Stihl on Amazon. They should be drawn and quartered for that. I’m going to assume there’s an army of lawyers shitting on free trade in a legal (but dangerous) tool, so screw them and their European aversion to selling stuff on the internet. (Note: while you don’t see a lot of complete Stihls on-line you can probably buy most parts in a heartbeat. As soon as I break something I’ll put that theory to the test.)

Photo of me cutting firewood.

Photo of me cutting firewood.

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My Woodsplitter Goes to Eleven: Part 2

I own a gas powered hydraulic woodsplitter. I say that with reverence. It brings a tear to my eye. Doff your hat and join me in a moment of silent reflection on woodsplitters; their inherent beauty and how fulfilling life can be once you’ve got one. Ommmmm…

After motorcycles and breech loading rifles, woodsplitters are the third best best offspring of the industrial revolution. (A note about the industrial revolution. Hippies may cry in their herbal tea while trying to regulate us all into a mud hut, but real men know the industrial revolution was awesome.) I own all three (motorcycles, guns, and wood splitters) and so should you!

Since I’m a cheap bastard I thought long and hard before I bought my woodsplitter. I wrote a review here. (I wrote a chainsaw review here.) I’ve had time to ponder my decision. I’ve put it to the test. I stand by both recommendations.

If you think you might need a woodsplitter; you do. If you simply want a woodsplitter but have no conceivable need for it… have you considered changing your reality? Altering jobs, finances, and lifestyle until you need a woodsplitter might be for you. Selling your house, quitting your job at the law firm, and moving to East Cowschitt, Nowhere, USA might allow you to have the woodsplitter that you’ll need for a complete and fulfilling life. The good news is that a woodsplitter usually comes with a chainsaw. You totally need a chainsaw.

Why woodsplitters? Because firewood!

When it comes to firewood, I do it all. I fell trees, cut them into chunks, split the chunks, move the stovebolts to the proper location, and finally stack them into monster piles of manly self affirmation. It’s so much work that I must plan well in advance and do a little at a time.

If I do everything right, I get “free heat”. Everyone who’s not a dipshit knows that “free” means “someone did the work”. “Free” at Curmudgeon Compound means I did the work.

It’s hard. Try these numbers: on a “mild” winter I’ll burn four full cords of good dry oak. I estimate 6,200 pounds per green (freshly felled) cord. That means I’ll fell, cut, move, split, and stack a good twelve tons of wood on a “mild” year. Then I’ll do it again the next year. ‘Cause that’s how I roll!

It’s a good thing to stand on your own two feet. Nationally, I’d have more faith in our system if it encouraged self reliance through firewood. Think of it this way, in my county over half the houses are heated with firewood. Individuals do all that work of their own accord and with their own equipment. It’s hard work, talking won’t get you out of it, and if they screw up, the pipes freeze. Meanwhile we’ve got 535 voting members of congress and not one has the balls to do the same thing. Most congress-critters, if entrusted with a chainsaw, would never get the thing started and if they did they’d accidentally disembowel the neighbor’s dog. So tell me, are flyover country rubes the morons they think or they useless supine parasites we think?

The traditional way to amass firewood is to spawn a passel of strapping teenage boys and put ‘em to work. Presumably they’re all named something like Ezekiel and work 15 hours a day while singing Bible songs. Either that or you might be a member of an inbred clan of folks named Bubba, all of whom own a truck and at least a few of which have heavy equipment. Either way works.

I have neither. I have one resource upon which to draw; me (and my woodsplitter). Grit alone only goes so far. I have to be efficient. Do it one piece at a time. Slow and steady. Ant and grasshopper. Tortoise and hare. It can be done. One man can do anything if he has the right tools. (You thought I was going to say “mindset”? Something like “the world can be yours if you have the right mindset”. Bullshit! Lots of people have the right mindset and if they lack tools all they can do is sit on their ass and wish. On the other hand, if you’ve got the right tools and a limp noodle for a will… you’re still doomed. The word for that is “post-graduate student”.)

The key for me is task optimization. It’s easier to go to the tree rather than bring the tree to you. Trees grow where they damn well please and, to paraphrase the notable fruit loop Al Gore, that’s an inconvenient truth. This is why there are wheels on a woodsplitter.

I simply trudge out there with a chainsaw fell the tree and limb it and do as much as I can right on site. When you’ve got a log lying on the ground that a gorilla couldn’t move it’s almost a requirement. Occasionally I can finagle a solution with ATVs, tractors, trucks, peavys, etc… If so, I’ll scar up the yard mercilessly and smile while doing it. More often the log stays put until it’s in small enough pieces that I can move it. I “buck” the log into 16” stovelength chunks on the spot. (I call ‘em “cookies”.) Now I’ve reduced a tree that’s maybe 2 tons into a bunch of “cookies” that are 40 to 100 pounds. Some are more like 200 pounds, many are less.

If you’ve got a herd of strapping young lads you park the truck nearby and tell them “put the cookies on the truck while I sip beer”. At least that’s what I’ve heard. I’ve also heard about unicorns and dragons but I’ve never experienced them either.

Anyway my game is to move the splitter as close to the cookies as possible and carry/drag/roll cookies to the splitter. Once the “cookie” is split into a “stovebolt” you’ve turned a two ton standing tree into a nine pound block of firewood and mobility is assured.

From that point on it’s easy to load up trucks and trailers and drive home with an air of smug pleasure. The alternative, loading a truck with half ton logs or 100 pound “cookies”, keeps mechanics and chiropractors in money.

The whole point is that woodsplitters have wheels and mine was flat. More in my next post.

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My Woodsplitter Goes to Eleven: Part 1

Lets rewind about 36 hours and start the story there. I was in a place that sucks. Lets call it an airport, because that’s what it was. You might think you go to an airport to fly home. Fool! You go to an airport to get sexually assaulted by rent-a-cops with fancy uniforms and pointless demeaning jobs. Meanwhile the airline cancels your flight and pricey airport services bleed you dry.

Mass transit, in nearly all of its incarnations, sucks donkey balls. Americans can, do, and always will prefer driving because it’s unbecoming of a free man to let officials prod his nutsack in a building that charge $8 for a beer. Every flight is a spin on the “random wheel of degradation” and that day my number had been called.

I was supposed to get home Friday afternoon. Just in time to take over “man of the house” duties; which is mostly about picking up the kids after school (and feeding the dog). Mrs. Curmudgeon was out of town so my presence was mission critical. I was supposed to land with hours to spare before the kids would be retrieved from their designated Marxist indoctrination center. The plan would work even if there were a couple hours in delay.

So of course every airplane within a hundred miles of my departure was grounded big time. I cooled my heels in America’s shittiest airport while the clock ran out. I spent all day browsing my Kindle (all praise the Kindle) and eating the kind of food that belongs in a vending machine but an airport restaurant will serve to you for $17 a pop. I hate airports. So do the people who work there. So does God.

Meanwhile Mrs. Curmudgeon begged the Foxinator fill in for my delayed and therefore demonstrably useless, self. The Foxinator kindly rose to the occasion by fetching the children (the dog can fend for itself). Favors had been called in. Despite United Airlines being the villain in all this, I felt guilty.

I got home 16 hours late. I later calculated that a Boeing 747, thank to our air travel system, had averaged 43 MPH for my travels. This tells you all you need to know about mass transit.

It was far too late to disturb the Foxinator household (where the kids were happily enjoying a sleepover). I went home, greeted the dog (who was confused by the hour), and collapsed in bed. The next day, still reeling from “bad travel hangover”, I bid farewell to the dog and set off to retrieve the kids.

Here’s where things went from bad to worse. I tried to be “efficient”. If I hadn’t, the story would have stopped right there. I’ll never learn.

I was determined to save something positive of what had been a crap week. The Foxinator has dead trees and is delighted to let me clean them up. I like firewood. Win, win!

I tossed my chainsaw in the truck, hitched the wood splitter, and headed out. I was going to return with not only my offspring but a ton (literally) of cut and split firewood. I was going to squeeze a silver lining out of this stormcloud if it killed me.

So of course the woodsplitter had a flat. Dammit!

In my next post I’ll discuss woodsplitters in the kind of detail that gets damn near creepy. Stay tuned.

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