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Thursday, November 20, 2008

TCC for 11/20/08

he Caretaker's Concern 11/20/08

Lake Temp. 47 F.
Ghetto temp. 44.5 F.
Island tmp. 29 F. Yesterday's L/H: 26/32 F.

Current conditions: Dark night, mostly cloudy, a few stars here and there, wind from the North, 5 miles or so, occasional gusts up to 20 mph. It was mostly a windy day, patchy clouds but relatively sunny.




The Caretaker's day did not exactly go as planned, his morning went well enough taking care of some business for the Island, but after that it all went down hill. His original plan was to have a shower late morning and then get over to the mainland to take care of some business there, unfortunately his on-demand water heater had other plans, namely to not work. The Caretaker was only mildly surprised by this, in the past his water heater had a history of not working too well or at all in cold temperatures. Yesterday the Caretaker had made arrangements to remedy this problem, or at least he thought he did. He came back to the Island sometime late last night and did a test run on his water heater to see if what he had done solved the problem, sure enough the water heater worked, the Caretaker was pleased as punch. He went to sleep assured that he would be able to have a hot shower the following day with no worries.

Come today when he went to fire up the water heater, sure enough it didn't work. He tried all of his usual tricks to get it to work but to no avail. While trying to get the water heater to work the Caretaker surfed the net to look for a replacement water heater. Because of his sloooow internet connection this took up much of his afternoon. In the end he came up with two possible solutions, the first two are on-demand water heaters by companies other than the one that manufactured the heater he currently owns, his third option is to make his own on-demand water heater. He hasn't decided which way he is going to go, for now he is waiting to hear back from these other two companies on some technical questions he has about their heaters and the conditions that they would need to be able to operate in. He hopes to hear back soon, in the meantime he will just have to continue to do what he did in the past and what he did today, boil water on the stove, add it to cold water to get the temperature he wants, and use that for his shower. It works well enough but is much more time consuming and energy consuming than his on-demand water heater. He is rather bummed that his current water heater doesn't work, it makes life here on the Island in the Winter waaaaay more convenient. When it works it is the easiest to utilize of all the on-demand water heaters for his particular circumstance, but when it doesn't work, well then it is obviously the most difficult to utilize. Part of the problem is that since so few people are foolish enough to lead the life that the Caretaker does there is little to no market so manufacturers have little to no need to fill the market. But enough about the Caretaker's problems.

Due to the Caretaker's time spent trying to come up with a solution to his water heater problem he made no time to take any photos today. So instead the Caretaker will take this time to share his experience with fried green tomatoes. The first photo in today's post is of one of the green tomatoes that grew on the Island this year. It was by no means planned that any tomatoes would grow on the Island this year but by happenstance it occurred. Back in June the Caretaker brought out a stump grinder to the Island to spend a day grinding up a bunch of stumps. After the stumps were ground out and the saw dust was removed the holes needed to be filled in again. So the Caretaker used the soil from last year's mulch. In two separate stump holes where this soil was used plants started to grow. A variety of seeds from last year did not break down while in the mulch pile, so a variety of plants began to grow. Other than the tomato plants, which bore some fruit, the Caretaker couldn't say what else was growing, but probably some melons, squash, and what have you. Since these seeds didn't start to grow until the end of June their growing season wasn't long enough for the plants to bare fruit, except for the tomato plants and only two of them actually had fruit. The Caretaker's total harvest was the "large" tomato in the photo, and three other small tomatoes about a quarter of the size of the "large" one. The Caretaker left them on the vine until the first frost, he wasn't expecting them to fully ripen but he figured why not give them as much of a chance as possible. Once the frost came he figured that his options were to pick them and eat them or let them wither on the vine, but the Caretaker would never do that--waste not want not. So he brought the tomatoes inside, put some butter in a frying pan on the stove, sliced up the tomatoes and gave them a bit of a hot butter bath. The result? The small ones were on the bitter side, but not too bitter to be unpalatable. The "large" one on the other hand was actually quite tasty, he would even recommend them. Other than wheat grass and sprouts, the Caretaker doesn't grow much in the way of plants, perhaps next Summer he will make a point to actually plant some tomatoes in a timely manner so he can enjoy some nice red ripe tomatoes-- picked fresh from the old stump holes.

--The Caretaker


The Pisstaker said...

By next summer we will all probably need to plant victory gardens. Did you know Europeans thought tomatoes were poisonous when they were first brought back from the new world?

The Caretaker said...

Hello Pisstaker,
Good to hear from you. We should have all planted victory gardens the day after 9/11, not to mention victory walks, victory commutes, victory high-efficiency appliance purchases...
Oddly enough I did know that tomatoes were thought to be poisonous, thankfully the Italians have been doing a great job of proving that wrong.
P.S. Good to see you have started your updates again.