Demolished Chicken Coops and Busted Keurigs

Demolished Chicken Coops and Busted Keurigs

Holiday Season at The Cogs’

Good things can come from the rubble.

Tearing things apart on our property can only mean one thing: dump dates! Woo-hoo, who wouldn’t get all excited about gittin’ off the mountain, ‘specially when ya know it will take multiple trips to the dump to git rid of all the debris. Seein’ as how it is located 45 minutes from home near an actual fast food joint, what gal wouldn’t yearn for a whole day ridin’ back and forth in her guy’s truck?

Enough with the pleasantries….never again! In all honesty I only went with Cog on the third and final trip to the dump, which is actually a very foul smelling ‘transfer station’. The truck is weighed on the way into the facility and again after unloading the debris. The difference is the weight of the debris, of which we are charged by the pound for the pleasure of dumping in someone else’s lap to properly dispose of. Taking pity on a rain soaked Cog (it had been raining all day) I piled into the truck to keep him company for the last trip. At least I could read him the ZeroHedge headlines and teasers as he drove.

Alas, no good deed goes unpunished. After dumping, and then paying for this final load, Cog got back into the truck laughing hysterically, tears in his eyes. It seems the scale operator informed him there was a problem with his truck. After unloading for the last time it weighed a bit more than it had the last two times.

“Well, my wife’s in the truck,” Cog replied.

The man behind the counter asked, “Does she weigh about xxx?”

“Are you crazy? I’m not asking her that!” was Cog’s startled reply.

At which point the entire good ole boys transfer station club burst into laughter at the idea of weighing wives at the dump. Just let me take this opportunity to say their scales were off by a mile and in desperate need of recalibrating lol.

Aside from the trauma inflicted by the trash professionals laughing like the NSA over my most personal information, the demolition of the chicken coop has turned into an exciting new adventure up here on the mountain. The old chicken coop, which we had converted into a garden shed, had served us well for the past three summers. But it was now occupying some valuable real estate. We suffer from a terrible lack of quasi level land on our property and the last somewhat level space was smack dab under the old coop.

Cog has run out of room for his tractors, log splitters, lawn mowers and tillers in the main garage/workshop. If I ever have any hope of getting him out to his ‘man cave’ to tinker, and perhaps even start a home based business, he simply must have a place to park these bulky machines so he has room to work in the garage. The idea started out small, as so many big things do, a simple shed to house a few large items out of the weather and wind.

We are fortunate Cog was a remodeling contractor for nearly two decades. Armed with a drafting pencil, notebook and tape measure, we began the game of two thousand questions. What do we want now and in the future? If we could have what we really wanted now, what would that be? What can we build now that ensures maximum flexibility later? And so on!

The end result rapidly progressed to Cog contacting a local heavy equipment contractor (the same one who put in our expanded parking area last year) to determine his availability. Amazingly he was available that day and showed up an hour later with his favorite Tonka toy (aka big yellow piece of construction equipment I don’t know the name of) and quickly knocked down the chicken coop. Good bye old friend.

The Tonka Truck in the footprint of the shed formerly known as the Chicken Coop.
The Tonka Truck in the footprint of the shed formerly known as the Chicken Coop.

While the operator was busy elsewhere on the property digging out some old stumps, Cog cut down several nearby trees which were in the way of the new construction. He then had the Tonka thingy contractor pull out those stumps as well. From there they dug into the hill where the front of the shed will be so Cog can lay down some concrete block to help hold back the mountain. Finally they brought in a load of dirt to level the back and side where the support piers will be placed.

The new ‘shed’, which was to house the garden tools and tractors, was originally intended to be just a shed. But, as our discussions progressed, it has turned into a medium size gambrel roofed barn with a full flight of steps leading to an upstairs room. This ‘room’ was going to be used for additional storage, but we have now discussed some farfetched ideas such as family refugee overflow, or more optimistically, perhaps an expansive craft room for Mrs. Cog?

Sadly the rain has continued with no end in sight. So much for being ahead of ‘schedule’. Updates on the barn raising will be forthcoming.

On another note, we are at war with our coffee machine. We own an older model Keurig, which produces one cup of coffee or tea at a time. We fill up our own reusable filters with coffee of our choice, saving a small fortune compared to the standard pre-filled ‘K-cups’. The latest model of Keurig (2.0) has a built in device to recognize and authenticate K-cups and refuses to operate when reusable filters are employed. There are complicated ways to get around this ‘feature’, but really, who wants to hack their coffee machine on a regular basis just to get an affordable cup of coffee in their own kitchen?

Of course Cog has developed a work-around, one that completely avoids the problem all together. He has scoured the Interwebby and located the last of the older model Keurig machines for sale. As is our custom, we always buy two when stocking up for the future. So, problem solved……right?

Not exactly!

Cog has declared we must run our old machine into the ground before breaking out one of the two new machines presently residing in the basement. Only then can it be retired (to the stinky dump I asked?) to storage for parts lol. This is a problem. Have you ever stood beneath the train tracks when a train was passing overhead on an elevated track? How about being directly under a commercial jet when taking off or landing? This is the level of noise and vibration we get from our old Keurig when it is pumping water. Conversations stop, the light fixtures shake and the coffee cup all but vibrates off its place beneath the spout. Honestly, I don’t know if I can wait for Cog’s damned machine to die.

We have a long running joke in our house. Since Cog is nearly a decade older than me, when his Alzheimer’s fully kicks in I will just give him a broken toaster to fix on a daily basis in order to keep him occupied. When his dementia becomes extremely advanced, we’ll just unplug it rather than find an actual broken one to fix. He won’t know the difference. Assuming the basement slowly fills up with dead Keurigs, maybe we can get him to debug and rebuild the old mothballed coffee monstrosities.

Finally…..taking advantage of the bizarre unseasonably warm weather here in Southwestern Virginia, we have switched gears back outside to replace some fencing and cut more firewood from the recently felled trees. This weekend we hope to finally finish the installation of the backup (mechanical) Simple Pump we purchased last year. Once in place, the regular well pump will work as usual. But in the event of a long term power outage where our backup generators are finally exhausted, we can manually pump water from the well into the house’s pressurized water tank to be used for showers and flushing as usual. Not perfect, but entirely usable.

Stay tuned for a full article series on both the Simple Pump and construction of the new barn. Cog and I wish everyone a healthy and prosperous new year.


Mrs. Cog

The weather is so confused my magic peppers are still producing.
The weather is so confused my magic peppers are still producing.
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2 thoughts on “Demolished Chicken Coops and Busted Keurigs”

    1. Mr. Pepper,

      Thanks for the link. I had no idea the needle clogs up and restricts water flow. A link in that “sabotage” article brought me to another website and a video on how to clean the needles. Now it works great.

      Still sounds like an airplane landing in the kitchen, but it always sounded that way even when I bought it back in 2008 for my office.

      Thanks again.

      Cognitive Dissonance

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