Tag Archives: jim tindall

Guest Post: A Marvelous Tool

Today’s guest post was sent to me by my Columbia River Gorge friend, Jim Tindall. Jim is a librarian for the local middle schools, which explains his admiration for the table of contents and index in Get Your Pitchfork On! He was the subject of my previous post involving chainsaws.

A Marvelous Tool

By Jim Tindall

While Get Your Pitchfork On! is an entertaining curiosity to the country dweller, which I am, it is truly crafted for those who have never had to prime a pump or negotiate with rodents living in the heating system of one’s rig. Encyclopedically written, it is a marvelous tool to assess what you know about the real challenges of country living.

I have both learned and re-learned a lot of information reading this book, from the practical like selection of farm implements to the spiritual, such as knowing the inevitability of your dog’s proclivity toward the “exquisite debauchery” of rolling in rotting flesh.

There’s tremendous value in this book, for reading a few hundred pages potentially could save you thousands of dollars. For example, in Chapter Six: Sustainable Power, Athens writes: “The best green power is conservation. It’s a good idea to explore conservation strategies before investing in green-energy infrastructure. As one friend put it, ‘You must be prepared to basically own and operate a private energy company.'”

There is surely a great convenience in having the power company maintain everything to your door; imagine the many sets of expertise you must have not to electrocute yourself.

This is writing that reveres nature. In Chapter Twelve: Wildlife, pests and predators are addressed. Cougars and bears are a reality, at least in the Cascades. Coincidentally I was driving the road that passes Athens’ former farm, and something big came upon the road just in front of me. I braked to see no less than Elsa from Born Free pass a few feet before my compact car. The cougar was THAT big!

As you contemplate a move, you must give plenty of thought to exactly how you intend to interface with nature. While big animals, carpenter ants, and yellow jackets may be real obstacles to tranquility, wild fires, floods, and wind events are far more unpredictable and require your attention in transplanting from an urban to a rural universe.

My hat goes off to both the author and the publisher because they have accomplished what many who work with nonfiction neglect. Both the table of contents and the index are superb. One does not need to read a whole book to glean what one needs at the moment, and Get Your Pitchfork On! is highly useful for this reason.

Tagged , , , , , , , , ,

It’s Not the Size That Counts …

The chainsaw controversy continues! A few weeks ago, I noted in this blog that my friend Monica took exception to my having characterized her 12” electric chainsaw as a “child’s toy” in Get Your Pitchfork On! To be fair (to me), I said it looked like one in comparison to the chainsaws I’d seen ever since I moved to the country.

Turns out, this characterization also struck a chord with my friend and former neighbor, Jim Tindall. Jim wrote, “Don’t mock little electric chainsaws. [My wife] Pam was doing a training out at Big Sky, Montana, and I passed some time by visiting a second-hand store. I picked one of these up for $5, and it is one of my favorite tools now. While it does require juice, it is far, far lighter than my 24″ bar or my gas-powered 12″ bar. It makes using a chainsaw on a ladder (a stupid death-wish idea to begin with) safer.”

I asked him to send me a photo of him with his toy. Being a good sport, he did, replying “It’s not a frickin’ TOY!”

Geez, these country folks can get touchy about their tools. Jim sent a nice photo—it not only shows his electric you-know-what but also his gas-powered saw, with the tractor and the rig thrown in the background for good measure. He artfully trailed the saw’s extension cord across the driveway.

While we’re here, please note the safety equipment: gloves, boots, full sleeves and pants, hat/helmet, protective eye wear, and—for the noisy two-stroke-engine—earmuffs. If this were a big job, I would add chaps (not the rodeo kind).

During my recent trip to Eastern Oregon, I discovered a means of ending this controversy the ‘Merican way—sheer overpower. Displayed in the front window of this barbershop in Burns, my friends, is a CHAINSAW:

I rest my case.

Tagged , , , , , , , , , ,