I’d started out with the intention of spending money to save time. Did I save time? Maybe, some. Not a lot.
I wound up making eleventy zillion phone calls to various dipshits who, inexplicably, seem to be in the firewood business without appearing to make much headway in the whole “sell firewood” arena. This is all you need to know in case you’re wondering why rednecks cut their own firewood.
I theorize the market is a mess due to three factors:
The first is the total dissolution of capitalist society, doubt me? Try to pay a doctor in cash. Then ask six insurance agents to explain how to insure a car. Then get on an airplane and realize everyone crammed in those uncomfortable seats paid a different fare. Prices, the signal of the market’s invisible hand, are terribly disconnected from their core product.
The second is an “industry” that is easy to enter and almost exclusively “inherited”. All you need is a skidder and a chainsaw, but everyone who owns a skidder got his first skidder from “grandpappy”. If it were any other way I’d buy a skidder, start selling wood, sell it in honest cords ’cause that’s the right thing to do, and have a new career.
And finally we’re a populace that has been trained by Costco and Exxon to assume that the guy who says he’s selling a “cord” is actually selling a “cord”. He’s not. One can verify “a cord” with a tape measure and 4th grade math but apparently I’m the first guy ever to do it. How a nation where six year olds play a mean game of monopoly turned into chumps… that’s a mystery.
At any rate I was willing, able, and eager to pay the going market price for firewood that was fairly measured in the official units of the product (cords). Instead I paid half price ($100) for an “industrial waste product” that was advertised as real firewood and sold in cords (but I only got a cord by standing up to a guy who probably rips off half the people he meets in a day).
A strange world indeed.
Remember that I was told nobody had “a fuckin’ clue” about a cord? Well the “cord in my truck/trailer was when I told the loader guy to call it quits. I wanted to buy what I’d been sold; a single cord.
A cord is 4′ x 4′ x 8′ = 128 cubic feet.
I went home and stacked the wood. Because that’s how I roll… I checked the results with a tape measure and crude geometry.
The “stovelength” wood was about 16″ long. My resultant stack was about 15′ long and a little less than 6 1/2 feet high. (It’s a stack of wood, not a brick wall, there’s some variation.)
If it had been exactly 6 1/2 feet tall that would have been a little more than a cord: (16″/12″)*15’*6.5′ = 130 cubic feet.
If it had been exactly 6′ tall it would have been a little less than a cord; (16″/12″)*15’*6 = 120 cubic feet.
I was a little less than 6 1/2′ tall so I call it as close to an exact cord as you can get. Yay me.
In the end, I bought from Frank, precisely what I’d requested and precisely what he’d promised. I’m sure he’s home fretting about it but that’s between him and his Scrooge tendencies.