Wednesday, November 3, 2021

Men/Women, Dear Blinds and Sleeping in Trucks

The Fred-and-Owen shorts

Filthie at Filthie's Thunderbox ran this video about the Six Things Women Need to Know About Men and I thought it would be a lark to do the same about the things Men Need to Know About Women.

But I am not a video guy, nor do I have credentials.

So I wrote some short pieces of fiction.

I will be tickled if any readers want to nominate some hard-won lessons regarding the fairer sex, especially any tidbits from my women readers.

Kubota update

Kubota is working third shift. The shifts are long and his new employer informed him he needs to get vaccinated.

I told him to hang onto the job until they told you it was time to walk down the aisle to get the jab. Let the other hot-heads quit first and maybe they would see the light.

But even if they don't, they have to pay him for every tenth-of-an-hour he works and he might as well milk it as long as he can.

Big day yesterday

Deer blind

Mrs ERJ and I went out to the hunting lease and did some maintenance on one of the deer blinds.

It was the first time I have messed around with metal siding since I helped Jack Treloar and Charlie Bordan put up a  pole barn. I was in high school at the time.

Mrs ERJ was a champ! We eventually settled on drilling a hole in the bottom of the panel in the exact middle. Then we propped the panel, upside-down on a step ladder with a 2-by-4 sticking out to hold it at-height.

Mrs ERJ stayed on the windward side of the panel and steadied it. She also told me how to jockey it around before shooting the screw.

After the one screw was mostly run-down, we pivoted the panel around it and secured it with two more screws. Then it was time for ladder work.

Not the most efficient way to install panels on a deer blind with the floor 12' above ground but it used the tools we had and nobody got hurt.

The repairs are not complete but we have a much better idea of what has to happen next.

Since Mrs ERJ was instrumental in making it happen, it is now a dear blind and a deer blind.

Sleeping in the truck

The outdoor thermometer now reads 26F.

I wanted to see just how "cold" it is to sleep in the back of the truck.

As a winter camper from a long-time-back, I knew that most body heat goes down. There are very few kinds of insulation that do not have the loft squished out by body weight.

Closed cell foam is one that is very resistant to that failure mode.

I had two layers of Walmart closed cell foam beneath me. Then a folded over, fleece blanket, more for getting air to my back than for warmth.

Above me I had a fleece, an electric blanket and then an un-zipped sleeping bag as a comforter.

I started the electric blanket at 5/10 and never touched the controls afterward.

I got up at 3 to irrigate a yard tree that was complaining of dry soil. But other than that it was a warm, restful night.

Even though I was warm, I can see why it was a struggle for Kubota.

Kubota is a restless sleeper and the foam pads are narrow and the stack of blankets is vulnerable to getting fluffed up wrong.

I remember rolling over to sleep on my side twice during the night. Kubota would do that in the first ten minutes.

Coming back from my comfort break at 3:00 AM, I had to fiddle with the blankets to get them re-aligned properly.


  1. I think the shorts are well done. They remind me of a condensed pithy version of your other writing.

    I know many people leaving jobs when the mandate comes down.
    Is it worthwhile for him to stick it out and make them for him for not getting shot? Or is it better to leave at the last moment so he doesn't have "getting fired" on his resume?

    1. Somewhere in America, a boss photocopied a "Religious Exemption" form he copied off the internet.

      Even as I type, he/she is handing them out to his employees on a clipboard, one-by-one, watching them sign and date the documents and then signing the witness line.

      He will make copies and email the copies to himself. Then, in an hour, he will march over to Human Resources and PERSONALLY hand them in to the receptionist.

      Wanna bet that at 11:59 PM those signed forms will hold?

  2. Never quit

    Make them fire you.

    That way you have legal basis for making them pay unemployment or a lawsuit (class action or other)

  3. I've slept in the back of my F-150 under the cap as a poor man's hunting shack. Plywood, air mattress, sleeping bag with flannel liner. Put all your clothes in the bottom of the sleeping bag so they stay warmish and maybe a wool cap on your head. Woke up with frost on my face once or twice when it got real cold during deer season.

    It was actually colder sleeping in a log cabin in BC while hunting. Didn't seem to bad until someone looked at the thermometer. We had to keep a small fire going under the Super Cub so the oil would flow.

    I'm a little to old for that now.

  4. Agree with markshere2 - Do not quit. Make them fire you. If you quit you give up all legal recourse.

    Attorney Peggy Hall (the has some great videos on getting a religious exemption. One thing she stresses is that you do not need any other person such as a pastor or Pope to agree with your sincerely held religious belief. Nor are you required to submit to cross examination about your belief. Her videos are a must-watch for anyone planning to go that route.

  5. Women never get less bitchy over time. It is a one way ratchet.
    If you see signs of this happening - RUN. Even if it is the day before the wedding.

  6. It's NOT a backpacking pad - but it would be a great "I've been exiled to the back of the truck/doghouse" sleeping pad. TETON Sports Outfitter XXL Camp Pad. 2.5" of comfort and warmth. And more than 36" wide. Good stuff - not cheap, but if I was living out of the back of the truck in Michigan at this time of year, I'd start getting serious about staying warm. And be REALLY happy that sub-zero temps are rare there! Humidity and moisture are the big enemies.

  7. Sounds like multiple lessons are being learned.

  8. Got home a while ago after buying my winters potatoes from from a friends farm. He went out of business yesterday and was the last commercial potato grower in the three county area. Sorry to see that happen. The kids are not interested in running it and keeping it going. Anyway, we were talking about MYUs vaccine requirement and he said that even with a religious exemption many employees are leaving because they think things may get even more politically unpleasant at work. Going to be interesting ,---ken

  9. I just bought a Vevor diesel heater to play around with. People use them to heat trucks and tents. The YouTube videos are interesting.

  10. Back in 1980 when I was having to live in my station wagon for a couple of months (long story for another time). I used a couple of sheets of the foil backed 3/4" Styrofoam wall sheathing under my mattress. Also used pieces inside the windows to cut radiant heat loss. Worked like a charm. Worked at a lumber yard and got damaged sheets for almost nothing since they couldn't sell them to the public.

    1. It strikes me that an economical version of that would be to take a discarded, interior, hollow-core door and fill it with Great Stuff expanding foam.

  11. Foam pads are good for sleeping in cold temperatures, but not in warmer - humid times. Even sleeping with just a bed sheet doubled undermyself, the foam was too warm underneath me, even wearing just skivvies.

    But in cold, it works well. Back of Suburban and under a truck cap, downright comfortable in fact.

  12. Along the same lines as Feral Ferret's comment - a piece of 1.5 XPS type foam board would help out as well - and be less subject to damage than a styrofoam-based foam board.


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