Sunday, March 18, 2012

Getting by

Mmm, OK, guess that had better explain the previous 'post' and image in a bit more detail.  My life, these days, is relatively dull uneventful - mostly due to lack of finance. While yes, am fortunate with regards to rent and landlord - in that the former is extremely low, and the latter leaves me alone (and there is no "intervening agent" to pester me "on his behalf" and take their cut, percentage,  of any negotiation or financial transaction between him an me) .... the location is very isolated, with little interaction with other human beings ( to 'tempt' me into spending more than the budget allows).

While yes, there is plenty to DO; which doesn't involve financial transaction - quite a lot of what i want to do, does.  There was, once upon a time, when i had 'work' to do and sufficient income from that to achieve some sort of sublimation of boredom -  those days are long past, These days, "living within a small budget" requires a great deal of patience (a quality that i seem to lack -  though am learning to negotiate outcomes where "money" is not an issue).

So, having said all that - one of my greatest joys is pottering around in the forest.  Am also finding that 'walking' long distances is becoming less attractive as the body ages - hence the 4WD, but that also requires finance; and since it is not yet "registered" to travel on 'public' roads (a further $900 to achieve)  .. can't go very far (and petrol is roughly $1.50/litre).

Also, since winter is fast approaching (there are those who wonder what happened  to  "summer" - wet and cold) - need to collect a store of wood for when it gets really cold; i.e. -2C to + 5C ($50-00/ 4-5 days worth; from the local supplier).

Hence the journey into the forest in the truck (i call the 4WD the "truck", the Holden 'road car is the "wagon").

Am, as you can see from the next pic, surrounded by 'trees'. The 'darkish' areas are State Forest pines, the 'lighter' areas are pretty much "natural bushland". The 'arrow' points to the location of "the tree fall" - not where i live.

image adapted from Google maps
So, there i was, pottering along one of the tracks, looking for suitable timber to cut for firewood, came across this situation.

Mmmmm, what to do? There is not a lot of space to turn around, and would have to 'back up' -  reverse about 2 K. Did have the chainsaw on board, so studied the situation. Bear in mind that am by myself, and if anything 'went wrong', the nearest habitation is about 5K away - and nobody knew where i was. The next person along that track may be next day ... or in three week's time. I do not have a radio nor mobile phone - which, in any case, would be useless in this situation, as am in a gully and the hillsides are steep and high.

Ah, WTF, think i. Am only dead once.

 It would, i guess, make a better story if something "dramatic" had happened; sorry to disappoint. Am not completely stupid (contrary to the opinion of some ... heh).

Forgot to take pics of the complete process, so will have to try to describe.  The first cut was at the 'lefthand' side - where the bulk (upper branches) of the tree was suspended.  Even so, there is always the "guesswork" as to where the two pieces of tree will go.  Have been in, and seen situations where the tree "rolls" or "springs" in unpredictable directions. However, that part of the operation went well. Major cut from the upper side, and the top of the tree dropped into the creek.

The tricky part was at the righthand - or 'roots' end. I knew that if i cut from the top there would be a good chance that the chainsaw would jam - so, after a 'relief' cut on the upper side; carefully began to saw up from the lower side. Nearly there, almost through, when the lefthand log dropped just one millimetre ..... oooops, chainsaw jammed. Bugga.

More thinks. Log too heavy to lift by hand, and no jack tall enough. OK, will just disconnect the chain and bar from the chainsaw motor, 'shove' the log with the 'bullbar' on the truck.  Nup. There was not enough 'slack' in the chain to achieve that. Thinks. OK, will tie a rope around the saw motor so that it doesn't drop to the ground and damage itself (can't afford a new one).

Which, basically, is what i did. Pushed the log with the truck, the chainsaw swung down without damage.
'site inspector' approves

Then had the problem of 'moving' the log off the track. So, cutting a long story short - dragged it off the track with the truck (O, the joy of gears ... 4WD "low").

Problem solved.

It would, of course, be nice if i could solve "computer" and "internet technology" related problems as easily .... heh.

[addendum - the pictures, images are the "facts" .. only the facts as imaged at the specific time. While yes, am aware of 'photoshop' and the rather astonishing 'manipulation' of images - these are not. Just from my camera, re-sized, diminished - for the internet, since my "satellite" connection is very slow].


Vest said...

Clever dick. That log will keep you warm for a few hours.
What happens if you need a doc in a hurry ?

Davoh said...

um, Vest, firstly .. 'pine' logs are not 'firewood' .. clogs the chimney.

What happens if i need a Doc in a hurry? errrm, mostly carry the basics onboard .. if am unconscious or dead ... tuff tit. If at home and on copperwire ... a 000 call may (or may not) invoke a response ranging from half an hour to several days.

Davoh said...

... and to forestall further questions about why i didn't "cut the log into smaller pieces" - it's a cheap chainsaw - sometimes it works, sometimes not - and requires further 'tinkering' to get it to 'behave'.

Davoh said...

also Vestie .. the last time that i actually "needed" medical assistance was when the axe went slightly askew and chipped a piece out of my foot. Was more worried about tetanus. Bound it up, drove to Portland, Med centre closed, drove to Lithgow 'outpatients'(30K) - was seen within ten minutes, sewn up, sent home. ..

John Myste said...

Firstly, clogs the chimney? Eh?

Secondly, Ah, WTF, think i. Am only dead once.


Davoh said...

yer, well john Mystie .. just being alive is always a gamble ... heh.

But while am here ... in retrospect, am wondering why (considering the fulcrum on the left hand side of the track) did not consider cutting on the 'root' side.

Davoh said...

uM, JOHN MYSTE .. yes, the resin from burnt pine - as far as i know - clogs the "flue" (the tube that carries heat and excess effluent out into the atmosphere).

Chimchimminy ... blow me a kiss, etc. .... heh.

Davoh said...

.. and yes, before anyone asks - did, actually - be one of the "Berts" (chimney sweep) in a forgettable stage production of "Mary Poppins".

Vincent said...

Congrats on (1) your successful removal of the blockage and (2) surviving to tell the tale.

Comparing notes again between England and its ex-colony, there was a similar case back here in Blighty when there was a severe storm. First man on the scene did more or less as you did. He stopped his Land Rover and used his own chain-saw, then rolled the tree-trunk into the ditch.

He then contacted a BBC radio programme about legal matters to ask if he had the right to take the timber as firewood, as a kind of reward for his public-spiritedness in clearing the road for the public. The answer was "no, not unless you asked the owner of the land."

Which shows the difference between our two lands. Have you come across Annette Freeman's blog? She's a Tasmanian, seemingly on permanent walkabout across Europe, with a deep purse. In her latest post she finds English jokes about Australians unfunny.