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Tom Coburn is a Big Fat Jerk


Home of the Barking Moonbat


Tuesday, December 28, 2004

Tornado shelters, heating devices and other matters

I know that I'm failing to uphold the mouthy end of the agreement, but I'm spending my time worrying over wood and pellet stoves, particulate emissions, tornado shelters, energy costs and how to squeeze the last dollar out of building a back porch.

First things first: after months --- years, actually --- of consideration, I've decided against getting a wood or pellet stove. Oh sure, I'm disappointed, but I simply can't justify the initial cost with overall savings, because the savings over time isn't that great, even with current oil prices and the likelihood these prices will continue to rise and rise and rise.

Worse, although the emissions from pellet stoves are pretty low (much lower than wood stoves), they're not low enough. I have a bad enough time with all the dust and pollen, not to mention dog hair from the two huge, hairy beasties. Why would I want to complicate things by adding the particulate matter from a pellet stove to the mix?

I think that money would be better spent adding on a nice sleeping porch, covered and screened in, and continuing to insulate, just as I've been doing. Those kinds of improvements pay off in almost no time. I put on a tin roof, for example, summer before last --- a lovely green thing --- and it's already paid for itself in lowered heating and cooling costs. The covered front porch I put on --- ditto. And I've been working on getting heavy drapes on every window --- same thing there --- the difference is immediate.

Besides, our problem around here is summer, not winter, although thanks to the quake/tsunami and the speculation it may have altered the earth's rotation, that might have changed.

In any case, I'm now back to one of my original harebrained schemes: solar. The plan is to, bit by bit, get solar going here. First, solar to run one air conditioner. Then, solar to run the computer. Then, solar to run the refrigerator. One a year or every six months, whatever, because solar is very, very expensive.

I've also finally decided on a tornado shelter. This has been a major problem, as I have to have one --- I will not go through another tornado season here without one! But the water table is very high here --- and that creates major problems for any kind of underground structure, although earthmounded structures do just fine.

In any case, I'm currently emailing with a company which manufactures FEMA compliant shelters --- in the shape of steps. The odd shelter has even passed those wind tests that the place in Texas gives, and withstand winds of 300 MPH. I could use the steps for my sleeping porch to be. And they're offering me a substantial discount of several thousand dollars, including shipping and installation. I'm not sure why they're offering such a discount, but I suspect it's because it's off-season and they've apparently never sold any in my neck of the woods. The discount, by the way, knocks the price of the shelter a good $1-2,000 lower than anything I could get locally.

They're even asking me if I want a job as a local rep selling the things. !

So ... hmm.

I should know by the end of the day if this is the shelter for me, although it's sure looking like it. I may even have another job --- truth be known, however, I'm a horrible salesman and I doubt I ever actually sell any of them.


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