Saturday, February 15, 2014

Good things come to those who wait

For about 25 years or so, I've been eyeing the Optimus line of vintage white gas stoves. Two models in particular have been in my sights; the Svea 123 and the 8R Hunter. I've pretty much given up on them, as they are a hotly coveted items on Ebay, often fetching $100 or even $200 in some cases. Surprise surprise, one showed up on Kijiji last week for $10, and I managed to snag it. It's very well-used but they clean up very nicely, and are awesome units.
Above photo shows a couple of examples, one a little dirtier than the other.
I just had to test mine out as-is to see if it was ok. The guy told me he bought it at Sears in 1970.
As suspected, it fired right up...see the video below...
video
It's a noisy beast, but I'm so glad to finally get my paws on one...now that I know it works, I'm going to try and replace a couple of parts, paint the case, and shine up all of the brass. Hopefully it'll look like this when I'm done...

Saturday, February 8, 2014

Pulk Sled Testing

Finally got out on snowshoes today for a trial run, towing my Pelican sled. -3c and sunny. What a great day...

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Retreat...


I'm an expert at procrastinating. It seems I talk, plan, speculate, anticipate, all with good intentions but then don't seem to pull the trigger and follow through. This is especially the case in winter when it often ends up much easier just to stay home, particularly on weekends. I always say I'm going to be less sedentary "this winter" but before I know it another winter has slipped by. This is where its good to have friends, especially ones who have it more together than me. For example, a friend of mine invited me to a men's retreat last February, but I hesitated and ended up declining. This year, he invited me again and thank God I conjured up the gumption to actually show up this time. The irony in all of this of course is that the Camp where it was held is only about 20 minutes from my house, so you'd think it would be easy. Anyway, I threw a bunch of gear in my van and showed up Friday night...so glad I made it. There were about 50 guys there and I scarcely knew any of them. Ages ranged from teens to almost 82 years young. The weekend was custom designed for me. The guest speaker's main topic was JOY...be still my heart. I think we're all prone to grumpiness, discontentment, and complaining, so I soaked it all up like a dry crusty sponge. Additionally, there was a great bunch of musicians, lots of tasty food and snacks, a frozen lake, snowy woods, and plenty of Saturday sunshine. Debbie was working a 12 hour shift on Saturday, so I even sneaked home to check on the boys, not to mention the wood-stove. The first night, I slept one of the nicely outfitted cabins, but some of those Baptists snore like the proverbial dirt-bike, "consumed with inner peace" as it were. I'm exaggerating; nevertheless I jumped on that as an excuse to sleep in my van on the second night. It only got down to -3c so it wasn't much of a cold weather test. I enjoyed it anyway. I found it really refreshing to meet some new people, and make and reacquaint friends, new and old. It's always good to take time to take time. What ?  :)

The photo above shows the main dining/meeting complex with one of the cabins in the background.

Another shot of the complex from the cabin area.

I even got to dust off my skis and go for a jaunt.

Snowshoeing of course, is mandatory...

Ice was not too smooth. BroomBall anyone ?

Sitting around the fire is also mandatory...

So, all in all a great weekend.If God spares me, I'll be back next year too...