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At Home in the Woods: Home Improvement


Fri, Jan 31st, 2003
Posted in Columnists

The severe frost of last night had not damaged the pump as the check now seems to be sufficient to prevent any pumping and filling of the pump-head with water."Former Lanesboro physician, Johan C. Hvoslef, March. 31, 1907

Time seemed suspended, as it always does between Christmas and the New Year, until one morning when we turned a faucet and no water came out. Being prepared for such an emergency, we dragged out our standby water jugs and a pail to pee in. Because the water had been alternately surging then trickling out of our faucets for about a week, we had known something was going wrong, but had shoved it to the backs of our minds. My husband, Art, immediately called Richard Larson, the well driller and pump man who had installed a new pump for us in the summer of 2001. He came out with his son the same day. They decided that the problem was a malfunctioning part of the pitless mechanism. This mechanism came with our first pump 26 years ago and is no longer being manufactured. Richard, however, had a similar part, so he installed it. My unpro-fessional understanding of a pitless is that it's the big iron knob above ground attached to an iron tube reaching below the frost line. Its purpose is to allow a cap of air to form from below the frost line up through the above ground mechanisms so the water doesn't freeze. Because of the malfunctioning part, our water had frozen, so Richard and his son thawed it with a propane canister and hose that blew heat on the pipes. We soon had running water again. We learned that it might take awhile for the mechanism to work properly, that we should run the water frequently to help build up the necessary cap of air. Conditions improved as the day went on. The water still surged, but not as much as before. Two days later, we were in the same fix, so we hauled out the standby water and the pee bucket and called Richard who returned with his wife, thawed our frozen water and said he would try to get the correct part from one of his suppliers. We then had about a week of warm weather, but colder weather was coming. Art decided he would use his air compressor to blow the pipes free of water in hopes that the compressor would add the needed cap of air. Our first step was to turn one of our faucets wide open. The one that would work best, we decided, was the faucet with a hose attached that we use to .....
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Are You Game? Super Bowl & more

Fri, Jan 31st, 2003
Posted in Columnists

Remember the Super Bowl triumph one week ago. Tampa was clearly the best team on the field. For Oakland fans the most offense on Super Bowl Sunday was the Bud commercial with the guy trying to score with a lobster crawling into his ear. Heck, even th ..... 
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Journal Writing Project: Eric M. Leitzen

Fri, Jan 31st, 2003
Posted in Columnists

What is wrong with us? How far will we stoop? It has often been thought that our society was governed solely by our outward physical appearance. Now it has been proven, beyond the shadow of a doubt.

During the Super Bowl, inclu ..... 
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Journal Writing Projec: Andy Wolter

Fri, Jan 24th, 2003
Posted in Columnists

I was wondering about the roots of the Internet a few days ago, and I found some good information. My internet research corresponded quite nicely with my lack of a Journal topic, just in case you were curious like me.

The idea o ..... 
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Township Roads: Cold Weather Reading

Fri, Jan 24th, 2003
Posted in Columnists

It was too cold, in my opinion, to work outside for long this weekend. The boys and I managed to stay warm for a couple hours while we split firewood. Im sure we could have kept warm all afternoon had we been splitting with axes and a sledgehammer, ..... 
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Editorial Opinion : Leave no child behind

Fri, Jan 24th, 2003
Posted in Columnists

Governor Tom Pawlenty announced his choice for Education Secretary two weeks ago. New administration, new Education Secretary; new Education Secretary, new plan.

Cheri Pierson Yecke, I wish you the best of luck, but pardon me f ..... 
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The Commute: You go, baby

Fri, Jan 24th, 2003
Posted in Columnists

A year ago I vowed to get more physical exercise. I don't mind admitting I was somewhat impressed with myself for making this decision. In March, I had the chance to visit my doctor for an annual exam. His reading of my cholesterol levels moving in a ..... 
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Of People Places and Things: What would Jesus drive?

Fri, Jan 17th, 2003
Posted in Columnists

What would Jesus drive?   To some, the question might seem amusing. But we take it seriously...   So begins a recent advertisement from The Evangelical Environmental Network asking Christians to eva ..... 
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