Wilder by Far

A look at life with the Wilder family. Updated most weekends and some vacation days. You can contact me at movingnorth@gmail.com..

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Location: United States

Sunday, June 18, 2006

"Badges? Badges? We don't need no stinkin' badges! We're the Federales!" - Not a Federale, Treasure of the Sierra Madres

Today’s picture is brought to you by The Boy, looking out the back of the Wildermobile. We’ve tried tying The Boy on top to take pictures, but that garners a bit too much attention.

The Mrs. and I have been hitting late nights working together outside. Last night she whacked the weeds, and I did all manner of puttering about, and in fact made some fascinating scientific discoveries, such as:
  • you can’t weld an aluminum license plate to a trailer, but you can put holes in the aluminum that the plate is made out of and burn the little stickers that prove you’re legal,
  • never say nice things about a chainsaw, because then it will begin acting like a goon (idle adjustment coming), and,
  • bug spray stings when you sweat it off your hair into your eyes, but it’s still better than the mosquitoes.
I did purchase myself one little Fathers’ Day luxury (besides the drill press a few weeks ago) which was a Wood Grenade. Before you call the ATF, the Wood Grenade does not explode either itself or wood, so you could say that it’s poorly named.

A steel wedge and the Wood Grenade. Which would you pick? We don’t need no stinking wedges.

That is not the case. The Wood Grenade was designed to split wood, much as the old-fashioned steel wedges were. I had one before, but lost it in the move, and couldn’t find one to replace it, so I bought a steel wedge. Yesterday I saw a Wood Grenade on the shelf in Home Despot and tossed it in the cart. The Wood Grenade has several advantages over a steel wedge:
  • it has a cool name, Wood Grenade,
  • it looks like what the Predator would use to split wood,
  • it splits wood with much more precision and less fumbling than the steel wedge, and,
  • did I mention it has a cool name, Wood Grenade?
The Mrs. has (from time to time) indicated that I could get a hydraulic wood splitter (or at least borrow one) to split the logs around the house. I’m not close to that point in life yet. There’s something wonderful to be said about taking a sledge hammer, slinging it above your head and down in a forceful, Thor-like arc and striking a piece of metal embedded in a 20” (that’s six meters for you soccer-watchers) diameter log and watching it split apart into two pieces like Tom Cruise’s personality.

It’s hard work. You start sweating soon after starting, and the next morning you feel the burn in your arms. That’s why I don’t have a hydraulic splitter (bought or loaned) – when I burn the wood that I split this winter, I earned it, every Btu, plus if I split enough I’ll have arms like John Henry, that steel-drivin’ man. Oh, yes, I thought about John Henry as I was splitting the wood, especially the part about him living happily ever after. Oh, wait, he died.

Never mind.

I just like splitting wood. With my Wood Grenade.


Blogger Duck Hunter said...

I'm going to have to get myself a wood grenade too. I don't need to split wood. I just want to tell people I have a wood grenade.

9:11 PM  
Blogger Dame Koldfoot said...

When splitting wood with a wedge, I prefer to use a short-handled 5 pound hammer rather than the long-handled version. My aim is not that great and a long handled hammer will only result in a shattered shin bone. Using a short handle blacksmith style does the job with half the effort.

The trick to splitting wood, either by a wedge or Wood Grenade, especially with a short handle, is the ability to be a switch hitter. No, I am not talking about sexual orientation. If you use only your dominate arm to swing the sledge hammer, you end up with forearms like Popeye's on one side and a soccer player's on the other.

Nothing keeps a man in his place more than a woman who can make a chunk of wood split neatly in half like a ripe watermelon. Unless it is a woman who can shoot a 2 inch cluster at 7 yards with a .44. Oooohhh, how I love that cold, blue steel.

9:34 AM  
Blogger Garry Nixon said...

Every time I begin to be happy with my life, you come up with something makes me want to uproot and emigrate to Alaska. Wood grenades!

7:48 AM  
Blogger SusanE said...

I had vision that a "Wood Grenade" was made of wood. It did cause me to wonder how effective it would be at splitting wood. Upon closer examination I realized that the choice of the word "wood" in it's name is to describe what it does, not what it is made off.

11:07 AM  
Blogger John said...

duck hunter,
It's a good thing. Don't try and take 'em on the plane, though. TSA looks at all of 'em the same.

dame koldfoot,
I'll stick with the sledge . . . 'cept when I conk myself in the knee. (like last night)

It's a wonderous joy. Conk, thwap, two pieces of glorious wood.


9:46 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

has anyone seen a woo grenade attached to a handle like a splitting maul? Where can I pick something like that up?

5:39 PM  

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