The Caretaker's Concern 12/4/08
Lake Temp. 43 F.
Ghetto temp. 42 F.
Island tmp. 63 F. Yesterday's L/H: 36/38 F.
Current conditions: Cloud covered night sky, no stars, light South wind, 5 mph with mild gusts
The morning began with rain, hail, and snow with a strong wind from the South. It wasn't looking so hot for the Caretaker's dump run but in the end he was able to make it there. Up on the mountain it was all snow, maybe about an inch accumulation at most. The wind continued on throughout much of the day finally settling down at sunset. At around sunset the Caretaker was in the kitchen doing some work when he left to get a shovel from outside, looking up towards the Narrows he noticed some color upon the East shore so he grabbed his camera and took a few shots, they weren't worth keeping, but when he turned back towards the Ghetto he noticed the color upon the West sky so dashed around to the South dock and took a number of photos. Funny how just yesterday the Caretaker was commenting on how the weather conditions had not been cooperating of late for photography. Granted the photo for today is just another sunset shot, just another lousy day in paradise.
Back to the dump run, so the Caretaker loaded up the boat, in the blowing rain/snow/hail, with a bunch of trash bags and a number of bags of recyclables, motored on over to the mainland and began to load the pick-up truck. The Caretaker then waited for the person who was accompanying him to the dump to gather up his various contributions to the dump. Upon arriving at the dump the Caretaker was hoping to first get rid of the trash and recyclables, but sure enough that didn't happen, the person accompanying the Caretaker drove them over to the metal pile to go scavenging for "finds" to take home. Often times, the person who accompanied the Caretaker to the dump, brings home more than he leaves. The Caretaker was well aware of this person's habits so instead of waiting in the truck he decided to accompany him on his scouring expedition through the metal pile--when in Rome. The Caretaker took great pleasure in pointing out all sorts of things this person could take home and use if he repaired here or there. Oddly enough, the Caretaker ended up finding something he could use, so he took it. What great treasure was it? A plastic fuel spout from a metal fuel can, the can was rusted on the inside so was of no use for fuel but the fuel spout, oh ho, that was a gem--the ridged plastic kind with attached cap and fuel screen. Ever since the state mandated that only ventless fuel cans may be sold these fuel spouts are nearly impossible to come by here in New York. The Caretaker has a lengthy diatribe against the ventless fuel can and how utterly useless they are, but the Caretaker has already shared this in the past so he won't bore his readers again with that nonsense.
So after collecting the found "treasures" the Caretaker and Guest proceeded to unload the garbage and recyclables. At this point the Caretaker figured they'd be on their way, but oh ho, there was still one more place to go--the construction waste dumpsters. So they get out of the truck and have a look around, the Guest doesn't see much of interest but the Caretaker decided he needed some prodding:
"Look at all those 6 by 6 blocks of pine Guest, I bet you could find a use for those, why you could jack up your house with those."
"Nah, they're pine, besides, they're at the bottom, it's hard to get out of there."
"Poo-shaw, you could climb out on that crappy looking box spring."
Guest wasn't interested, so they went over to the third dumpster.
"Not much here," said Guest.
"Look at all those soggy sheets of cardboard, I bet there's something of great value underneath them, why don't you hop down in there an root around, I bet you'll get a real find."
"Nah, not worth it, with the snow and all."
"Guest, you'll never know unless you look."
"I must say, with all your ideas from the metal pile to here, you're certainly getting me a bit excited, but I think I've got enough."
And with that they got in the truck. Both the Caretaker and Guest know that his proclivity to scavenge is perhaps a bit much at times and so the Caretaker doesn't feel bad about revving him on it. Now, to be honest, the Caretaker is a bit of a scavenger himself, not so much in his adult life, but when he was a kid, "junk day" was always a high time. Once a month the collection service allowed people to put out whatever they wanted. Probably the Caretaker's greatest finds have been bicycles, most of which needed but some minor effort to get up and pedalling again. So yes the Caretaker used to scavenge himself, but he would always follow one important rule, if there isn't an immediate need, don't take it. As opposed to Guest who found himself a bucket over in the metal pile:
"Ah-ha, look at this, a perfectly good bucket, all it needs is a new handle."
"Don't you already have enough buckets?"
"You can never have enough buckets."
"Yes. You can have enough buckets."
"Well, I suppose if you were planning on starting a bucket brigade you'd be right, but I think the modern fire engine has certainly done a great job of wiping out the need for bucket brigades."
"I know. I can't wait."
Anyway, so the two of them finally start driving out of the dump, as they're heading towards the gates Guest mentions going to the Post Office, which the Caretaker was more than happy to go along with because he needed to check his mail too. They pass through the gates and begin to turn towards town, when Guest then turns the truck the other way and says he needs to check something.
"Oh yes, what's the other way?" Asks the Caretaker while thinking to himself, now what?
"Sand without salt from the road department."
The Caretaker felt this was a worthwhile thing to look into because sand in the Winter is always handy on the drive. Guest stops the truck, turns it off and goes inside. The Caretaker felt no need to go in so he waited in the truck. While waiting he looked over the municipal fuel pumps, he wasn't quite sure but it looked to him like it pumped fuel from the top of the above ground tank. The Caretaker felt this was a foolish way to do it, he was of the opinion that it should draw from a bit above the bottom just in case there was a power failure. In an emergency fuel could still be drawn via gravity. The Caretaker is certainly no expert in these things so he let his mind drop the topic and pondered other things. Eventually Guest returned to the truck,
"They've got fine gravel."
He then went to start the truck. It made a struggling noise but didn't start. Guest tried it again, no luck. Then a third time, still wouldn't start. The Caretaker then suggested turning the ignition completely off and then trying it. The truck started, and down the road to town they went.
"Well, if we're going to the Post Office I would suggest that you do not turn off the truck while were there."
"Nah, it started, I'm going to assumer every thing's okay."
The Caretaker wasn't so sure, especially since he knew how it is that Guest maintained his vehicles. Not being his truck he didn't want to tell another man how to operate it so he quickly began to think of a way to convince Guest that there was real value in not shutting off the truck until they returned to his house, besides, the Caretaker didn't really want to have to walk back from the Post Office.
Then Guest said, "I'm sure it's fine, besides, I've got more pressing things to deal with, the truck is going to have to wait."
"Well, if you shut off the truck at the Post Office and it doesn't start, the truck will top your list of priorities."
"Hm. Maybe you're right."
The Caretaker left it at that, but was thinking to himself, "yes I'm right, what is up with you?"
Now, to be fair, the Caretaker knew what was up, Guest was thinking about the fuel wasted while idling. Which is certainly laudable, however, the truck not starting again was a real possibility which would then require a tow, which would consume more fuel than what would be used up while idling at the Post Office. Thankfully Guest did not shut off the truck and they made it home.
Thus concludes the tale of the dump run.
After word: Some of the above dialogue was embellished (but not by much) for illustrative purposes.
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