Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Iron Run and Bonus Run

Recently we went on (yet) another iron run; this time with some stuff pulled from the attic of the garage, which we've barely gotten to otherwise, probably because though it's quite full (it really does have goat paths) it's contained and hidden and sort of isn't bothering anyone, unlike the stuff in the yard, which is a definite demoralizing eyesore. And part of what is in there is the old cottage bedroom set that I moved in there when I converted one of the attic bedrooms into my studio room; but that's fine—that's what attics are for, after all. But behind that is of course plenty of hoard.

The weird thing about my father's hoarding is that oftentimes when we peel away the layers we'll find big empty spaces. That sounds kind of contrary to what usually goes on with hoarding, where every cubic inch is filled with stuff. But I think in my father's case, what he'd do is pile something big and flat against things, maybe 'temporarily', then pile more stuff up against that, leaving empty spaces behind the big flat thing, since it has to lean a bit. He did this especially in the upstairs garage, which has some vertical joists; also there isn't really a floor in the eaves, since he never got around to that. So only a few things got put up in eaves proper, since they were difficult to get to; everything else was put in the middle and the eaves are this (mostly) big empty space. It is odd, I know, that a hoarder wouldn't just fill it all up; but hoarders aren't exactly organized, or logical.

So Tara was up in there and pulled some stuff out, including some random pipes that were so long we weren't sure how they got in there in the first place (they went out through the window, at any rate) and this old box spring, which unlike modern box springs which are all box and no springs was all springs and no box. You can see it in the trailer, here:

I believe Tara cut the thing in half with her trusty Sawzall. I guess it didn't fit in the trailer otherwise. That, or she needed to work some anger out, who knows.

Speaking of the garage attic, one day not too long ago I noticed that Smudge the feral mommy-cat hadn't showed up at the chow bowl for a couple of days. That wouldn't be that unusual for say Spot, who has been known to wander off for months at a time, but Smudge (who is the mother of Danny, Ratty, and Momo) is the most gregarious of the three, such that I have actually been able to pet her while she's eating (she also purrs like a freight train, which quality she has passed down to her three sons). So I was a little worried.

After a couple of days of not seeing her I was definitely getting a bit anxious, so I walked around the yard calling her—our street, though rural, also has fairly heavy traffic, as it's the only road accessing an island and so every car that goes up the street also comes down the street eventually, and I've buried plenty of stray cats who've been hit. Also we have coyotes. But poking around I saw no sign of her.

Then I thought of the garage. Sometimes when Tara comes by she'll open the door and leave it open; also my mother goes in there once in a while. And Smudge is, like I said, gregarious and unafraid (for a feral cat). She is also, of course, a cat, and we've all heard about their curiosity.

So I poked my head in the garage and called her. Not that they come when called, being feral, but if she was in there I wanted her to know I was there. And not that I was expecting her to come to me, period; in fact I was pretty sure if I was standing in the door she'd go hide. But I stood there and listened, anyway.

And there it was, a little meow, coming from what sounded like right above me. So I went upstairs.

Just in time to see a fluffy tail dart across the goat path and hide in a pile of furniture. Okay.

So I went to get some food to try to lure her out; but first I figured I'd feed her mother and sister, who were right there in the breezeway. And as I noisily poured the chow into their dish down the stairs came Smudge, who meowed delightedly at her family, then dove face first into the chow. I guess she was pretty hungry.

Anyway, mystery solved, with a nice happy ending. Silly cat.

So, the other half of this recent iron run was mostly a tangle of wires from somewhere in the shop, I think, though who knows; it could have come from the garage attic, as there were car parts there too. It was a decent pile though, see:

So all it all it was our usual iron run, the fifty-eighth of its kind, which, yikes. Except now we (well, I) run into a problem—somewhere along the line the receipts got lost. They usually end up in the glove compartment of the bus for the trip home, and then I grab them so that I can update the total here; but they've gone missing. And given how many of these things we've done, and how they honestly are all sort of blurring together, I don't really have a clear idea what I did with it. I could have put it in my pocket, but if I did I never took it out and checking my pockets I haven't found it (not even in a crumpled-up wad that's been through the wash). So I don't know. It was a pretty average run on the smallish side, so I'm going to guess and call it five hundred pounds of iron.

However: in looking for the recent receipts on a whim I looked in Larry the Volvo Station Waggon's glove compartment, just in case well I don't know in case what as I can't see I would have been in that car immediately following an iron run, but hey I looked. And I did find some receipts--from 2009. That's before the blog was started, but what went that day five years ago certainly counts towards the total, so I'll add it in here too. I also know that I haven't added it in the past as all those receipts are in here in the desk drawer. So, waaaaaay back on the sixth of July, 2009, we got rid of 980 pounds of iron, and a decent amount of precious stuff, too, including (if I'm reading the thing correctly) 126 pounds of sheet aluminum. Don't ask me exactly what that was, because there is no way I will remember. There were also apparently more than 200 pounds of electric motors that went that day, so that's good. Maybe someday when this is all cleaned up I'll add up just how much of each 'precious' metal went. I know we've gotten rid of plenty of other electric motors, for example. Did we once have a quarter of a ton of the things?

So then, adding all of that up, we are at our (accounted for) fifty-ninth trip to the scrapyard, and we've gotten rid of 45,480 pounds, or 22.74 tons of scrap iron.

Yep. And there's still more.