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Northern Birthday Welcome



December 05, 2007 – Comments (11)

Well, Dec 4th was my birthday.  I have discovered doors freeze up to the point that I can't open them in the cold, I had to get my house mate from work to open the door for me...

I discovered the boiling point of propane, -42, can be challenging in northern communities.  Apparently it wants to be a liquid and doesn't want to give you pressure so you have things like heat, hot water, etc.  Shoveling snow around the tank actually insulates it...

11 Comments – Post Your Own

#1) On December 05, 2007 at 4:36 AM, StockSpreadsheet (68.25) wrote:

I can't concieve of living in a place where it ever gets -42 degrees Farenheit.  Of course, if I remember, you are Canadian, so using Celcius, so -42 C would be about -43.6 F if I remember my conversions correctly.  Way too cold for me.

As for snow actually insulating the tank, that is why Eskimos, (or Inuit, depending on who is describing them), build igloos, and why burying yourself in the snow when it is really cold is a taught survival technic.  Snow only gets about 0 C, (or 32 F), dispite what the outside air will get.  Therefore, air inside an igloo can often be kept to 32 F by radiant body heat, (to compensate for any heat escaping from the doorway to the igloo), and lack of wind chill, (which is why the openings are so small and the door is somewhat of a tunnel to reduce the possibility of wind drafts).   You do have to be careful of Carbon Monoxide poisoning though if you build a fire inside and don't have a way to let the smoke escape, (which would also let heat out, since both heat and smoke rise).   Of course, I have read that Eskimos don't build too many igloos any more, now that they can build modern shelters with modern heating aparatus.  Igloos still work though.  1,000 years of living in the cold have taught the Eskimos what works and what doesn't.  Education and evolution can be wonderful teachers, and the school of hard knocks is the most unforgiving teacher.

Happy birthday.  Stay safe in the cold.  (Hearing about those temperatures always reminds me of Jack London's "To Build a Fire".  Good book.  Sad tale.


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#2) On December 05, 2007 at 8:10 AM, devoish (64.79) wrote:

Happy Birthday!

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#3) On December 05, 2007 at 8:35 AM, dwot (28.99) wrote:

Thanks for the birthday wishes, the heat didn't come on today, it is down to 6 Celcius inside.  Now I'm worried about the pipes...

I haven't seen any igloos...  And when the kids go to "live on the land," they stay in cabins... 

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#4) On December 05, 2007 at 9:14 AM, dwot (28.99) wrote:

And wonderful business sense up here.  I'm quite choked here.  They only come into town every couple months and they were in town yesterday.  My house mate called about arranging service a month ago.  It seems it takes this long to process it and they don't have a system to catch applications in process.  I am not impressed.

What is interesting is the propane is working on the stove.  I've heard the furnance try to start 3-4 times but there doesn't seem to be enough pressure.

Now  it is down to 5 celcius... 

So now I'm learning what a critical delivery order means... 

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#5) On December 05, 2007 at 10:31 AM, GS751 (26.69) wrote:

I thought New Hampshire was cold (well it is to my Texas butt).  Hope that the heat comes back and happy BDay.  May this next year bring you many profits..
Fool On....

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#6) On December 05, 2007 at 12:09 PM, camistocks (67.03) wrote:

How can anybody go and live in the North I can't understand. I try to avoid leaving the house when it's 10°Celsius. What do you do when you have a power outage? Which certainly can happen in this cold.

Happy Birthday! May your furnace work today!

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#7) On December 05, 2007 at 2:29 PM, dwot (28.99) wrote:

I can go live in the north because I was just tired of how badly teachers are treated in BC.  I work a normal work week here and the pay is decent.  In BC I couldn't see doing the job for under 60 hours per week and I would be paid about 55-60% of what I get here.  

I haven't thought about a power outage.  That would be very bad...

Three space heaters going and we are up to 12 degrees celcius inside now... 

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#8) On December 06, 2007 at 9:14 AM, dwot (28.99) wrote:

Crap, literally, the pipes for my toilet are frozen...


At least it is up to 16 degrees inside now...

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#9) On December 07, 2007 at 12:45 AM, camistocks (67.03) wrote:

LOL! So That's why you get double pay! It's the Risk Premium!

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#10) On December 13, 2007 at 11:04 PM, dwot (28.99) wrote:

Still earning that risk premium... 

I still don't have the propane sorted out.  I've used up a temporary tank and when that one ran out no stove.  At least the other tank had enough pressure to run the stove.  Got the other one hooked up again, but now no hot water.  It took me an hour and half to boil enough water to have a bath.

And the companies you deal around here...   Basically Superior was in town filling tanks the day we ran into trouble.  We applied for our account a month ago and they somehow missed us.  We tell them we have no heat and the pipes are frozen and they don't consider that critical.  They said they were planning another run into town on Dec 18th. 

Meanwhile, there is another company, Neufeld, that services the area and we talked to them on the 5th and they were going to be in town the 6th and they knew we had no heat and frozen pipes.  They said they would deliver to us on the 6th.  They got to town and called the school and said they had to fill up the camp first.  Well, they filled up other people and then didn't have propane for us.  They filled 50% full tanks before filling ones that were too empty to work properly.  The tanks don't have problems above 30% and were at 19%.  We are using about 15% per month, so those 50% tanks they filled would have been fine until the next visit.

So, they ran out, but called the school and said they were sending another truck the same day.  They didn't.  Then they said Monday, then Tuesday...  Today is Thursday and now they say tomorrow.  

I talk to my landlord and ask is it like that all the time and he says he would like to say it is not, but this kind of thing isn't uncommon.  Being rural and only two companies, not enough competition to tell them to drop dead. 

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#11) On December 14, 2007 at 6:54 PM, dwot (28.99) wrote:

Got propane!  Now all I need to do is figure out how to light stupid pilot lights.  It is down to 9 degrees inside again, and no hot water... 

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