Tuesday, August 8, 2023

Summer Musings

If you came for the pictures I will let you down easy. No cool pics here, but I did think I needed to catch up on what has been happening here at Dogpound North. Since my last update in June we have been doing some mechanical upgrades around the place. Started off with installing a new heating plant. The old one has served us well, but it was put in when we built the house 40 years and was probably state of the art back then, but the art of heating a house has changed significantly over the past four decades. The old natural gas furnace was about 60% efficient and back in the day that was pretty good and gas was cheap and plentiful in those days as well. Well in the intervening decades gas has become more plentiful and not much more expensive, but the wisdom of our government up here in this place we affectionately call "the land north of summer" has made burning gas a much more expensive proposition what with their version of a revenue generating tax they claim is doing a wonderful job of changing the climate here on this planet. Call me a skeptic but I think the facts are actually a little different. Canada is responsible for about 1.6% of the total green house gas emissions on this third rock from the sun. So in reality we could shut off the heat, close the roads and all begin succumbing to hypothermia here in the Great White North and it wouldn't make a whisper of a difference to the global situation. But all that said the point of the story is we are doing our part with this new furnace. It has an efficiency rating of 97%, but it is still burning that good Canadian Natural Gas. The pointed heads in our capital would have liked us to go with some kind of heat pump, but those folks haven't figured out that once it gets down much below zero there is precious little heat to pump in Canada's frozen north. But wait, that's not all. Our home was built in the early 1980's and used the best of the best when it was designed and built, my Dad didn't do anything halfway and this house wasn't going to be where he started. The walls are thicker than usual for that time, and the windows were amongst the best available at that time, but again time takes a toll on all of us, even windows so we ordered new windows, top to bottom, last February and in the middle of July a crew of guys came by and installed 23 super duper triple glazed gas filled windows and a matching pair of patio doors. Amazing what two Ukrainian boys, one who has been here for a decade or more and the other who is just new to the country could do in a short five days of work. They did a great job and although we can't tell what impact the new glass will have on the heat situation this winter, we sure have noticed that these new windows keep the house a lot cooler in the summer, without us even having to pull the blinds. I will drop a couple of photos of the during and after of the window installation in somewhere here.
While the windows were being installed we packed our stuff and spent that time living in the RV across the yard so that the crew didn't have to have us mucking about in their way, and could leave their tools, etc. in the house. They did a great job of cleaning up after themselves and other than those stickers on the windows left nothing behind. The new windows are great but anyone who knows Brenda knows those stickers have been driving her OCD crazy. I have a guy coming tomorrow to do an Energy Audit on the house and once he is gone so are the stickers. Now that all the reno work is done we are hoping to drag our RV out and see a little country for some time this month. It is time to take my Mom home to Auburndale where she will join my Dad, and brothers in her family plot, along with her folks and her brother. Hoping along the way to visit some friends who ranch up in that country as well, and then it is home to daydream about leaving all this energy efficient stuff here to look after itself this upcoming winter. Not entirely sure where we will spend the winter months this year but we are sure hoping the butter stays soft wherever it is. This Blogger app is long past its best before date so rest assured I had paragraphs and sentences in the version I typed, but it appears that is beyond the capabilities of this program now. If anyone has a better way to do this on a Mac machine, let me know and maybe, just maybe I will get more updates done.


  1. New windows look great! You could always desert Blogger and use Wordpress??

  2. When we built our new house in 2016, we opted for an electric range instead of a gas range. Little did we know that gas ranges here in the states are on the endangered species list, so with our blind luck we don't have to worry about heavily armed men breaking into our home in the middle of the night to seize it.
    Now I do have to worry about the propane fired stove in the RV? Maybe if I keep driving it around, those heavily armed men won't be able to find it... :cD