Bare Bones Biology 309 – Not Again!

I am becoming a fan of Sterno©, the heat in a can system that I’ve been packing around in the truck ever since leaving Texas, where I used it while staying at the Annex because I am very fond of something hot or at least warm to drink in the morning and there is no electricity out there. As you know, mostly I cannot use utilities that burn anything because the fumes make me sick.

160418-ChamaSnow-asc_3959RLSs And please don’t tell me I can burn anything because it is “all natural.” In fact, nearly everything that burns IS natural, from wood to oil to gas to candles, except electricity, which actually does its burning somewhere else and thus does not usually make me sick – unless it’s heating up plastic. Of course plastic came out of the same oil well, and nearly all electric heaters are now made of plastic (how dumb is that?) and it’s getting harder and harder and harder and harder – and I’m holding on to my old metal ones as though my life depended on them. Which it might, depending on whether or not our younger generations ever decides to concern themselves with pollution.


It’s an interesting event, because it’s above zero degrees F, above freezing in fact (F or C) in the daytime, and I am sitting on the back porch in the swirling snow, drinking a cup of hot coffee courtesy of my little can of Sterno and my friendly neighbor the Chevron station, the only place in town that is open and doing business, because they have a backup generator.


I’m watching the birds that were apparently somewhat shocked by the event and are hopping about in the bare spots that I made this morning while shoveling paths through about a foot of the white stuff. So far I see Gray-Headed Juncos, a dove, Stellar’s Jays, Red Shafted Flickers, Magpies, a woodpecker, and the flock of Robins that apparently fly in every year just ahead of the last big storm of the season, according to something I read.


It’s warm in the Chevron, and a lot more interesting socially than any local tavern I have known. Which is irrelevant because the local tavern also has no electricity. I really did need a cup of coffee; the Chevron always has coffee, and it’s quit good since the young man is making it now. In fact they always have free coffee, and you can’t top that. The only place open within many miles, working men and travelers need to buy gas, social man-groups collect around the pumps with cups of hot coffee in their cold hands.


160418-ChamaSnow-asc_3975RSs copy 


My mistake was leaving all my matches in the canyon. I might as well have stayed in the canyon for that matter, I came up for the electricity, but here I am with no electricity, and I doubt anyone is plowing the canyon road today. So after cleaning the entire house looking for them, I decided probably someone at the Chevron© would have some matches, and sure enough they gave me one of those little Bic© lighters to light my Sterno© with.


The air is clean today, so I feel right good as long as I sit upwind of the canned heat.


Yes, you guessed it, I did it again, and that’s probably what blew out all of the electricity between here and Espanola. I plugged in my electric heater and the whole shebang went down. When I mentioned to one of the man-groups that they would probably have it all fixed by tomorrow, they rolled their eyes at me.


So much for independence.


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