My Second Chainsaw (#6)

“That's a lot of chainsaw for a homeowner”

I do most of my shopping at Tractor Supply Co. now. Which still feels ridiculous, but I can't seem to make it a day without finding something I need. Funnels. Fucking funnels. And you can't buy just one.

Anyway, the first chainsaw turned out to be a lemon. I cut down a lot of trees with it, but at the end of the day I was more exhausted from trying to get it started. Or sometimes it would start at full bore, and the chain wouldn't stop spinning. So, lesson learned: Do not skimp on your chainsaw.

Back at TSC, they were going to let me exchange it and upgrade but because I don't have my receipt “that's going to be a problem.”

“As in, I can't exchange it?”

“No, you can. It's just a lot of work for us.”

The man vanished for 30 minutes. How can a little slip of paper be that important? So I'm standing there waiting, chainsaw next to me, when this voice booms, “That's a lot of saw for a homeowner.”

I said, “Well, it's a lot of land,” turn and am immediately embarrassed.

The man is 250 pounds of square bulk. He's wearing the hat you imagine, he's wearing the overalls you imagine, and his beard is even better. He's a beast of a farmer, and I instantly realize my few acres are probably just where he stores his hay. Or whatever.

He pauses, kind of chuckles, and then says “Well let me give you a piece of old-timer advice” (seriously, he said that, it was awesome) “ … only use non-ethanol gas. Something about the ethanol gums up the motor.”

I thanked him, wondered if it was another crackpot theory or something to consider, and was happy to exchange the saw and be out of the store.

The next day I could feel the difference in the saw. It's got more power, it's sturdier, lighter, idles as it should and makes quick work of the remaining trees for the driveway.

Job done, I was wandering around the clearing I'd just created when the phone rang. The Hector code enforcement officer. I'd need building permits to bring on the cabin, including site plans and a fire number (essentially an address), to install the cabin.

This surprised me. I just hadn't thought about it. One of the reasons I chose Hector, originally, is because it does not enforce zoning and so living in a camper was legal. But it simply hadn't occurred to me that in choosing to buy the cabin I was also going to have to deal with other ordinances and laws.

The building permit turned out to be a double-sided sheet of green paper.

The Highway Superintendent returned my phone call the next day – at 6:30 a.m.

The Fire Department told me they'd have someone could out to assign a number that week.

The code guy emails the next day to ask about the permit.

Small town.

Posted on May 8, 2015 .