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Saturday, March 10, 2012


Searching for firewood has become a weekend past time. Fortunately, we have friends and neighbors that are helping us find what we need. Seasoned hardwood is expensive, especially this late in the year. Most people prepare a year or two in advance by collecting unseasoned wood and storing it until the wood is dry. Unseasoned wood is much cheaper to purchase and easier to find. Since we moved to Japan in October, we were too late to prepare our firewood in advance. This has led us to seek desperate measures…spending more for less. Erika found a supplier in Shonai, but his supply has since been exhausted. We collected some wood from a neighbor and this weekend we will travel about an hour away to fetch some wood. Another neighbor has cut down some cherry trees and offered to let us collect the wood. This was an extremely generous offer and Erika promptly returned the favor with a bottle of Jack Daniels. Winter comes into play as it is difficult to collect wood when the weather is foul. It is also difficult to split wood in cold weather. Our log splitter uses hydraulic fluid and the seals could rupture if too much pressure is applied. I purchased a chainsaw a couple of weeks ago. I didn’t want to borrow our friend’s chainsaw any longer because I felt guilty using a new saw and wearing it out. The chainsaw was a major purchase, but I think it was a wise investment. It should pay for itself in a couple of years.

The “K” truck is proving to be a real workhorse. We have carried a couple of heavy loads with it and it does just fine. I really enjoy driving the truck. I think I share that feeling with a lot of people. It’s almost impossible to find a good used truck at a reasonable price. They really hold their value. The truck is rock solid and I can feel every bump in the road. I like sitting on top of the engine, because I can feel where the center of gravity is. This is important for when I am driving on a curvy mountain road. The truck has a second and a low gear for driving in snow. The 4wd and snow tires make this an ideal truck for driving in the mountains. I can also carry firewood and building materials. I love this truck. I like to think that the “Moco” handles like a Cadillac and the truck handles like…a truck. I think the best advantage of driving a “K” truck is that I can enjoy the scenery because no one expects me to drive fast.

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