All in the Family featured the curmudgeonly Archie Bunker. Archie was television’s most famous grouch, blunt, blustering, straightforward and untouched by the PC crowd. He was the archetype of the conservative male. Michael desprately tried to reeducate him, but he persisted in his breviloquence.

Looking back at the last 40 years, we realize: ARCHIE WAS RIGHT!


Man Make Fire

Man work.  Some jobs are now, always have been, and no amount of feminazi propaganda will change the fact that they always will be a man's job.  As long as spiders need to be squashed, snakes need to be killed and someone has to be blamed for an irrational feeling of unhappiness, men will have a purpose.

One of those purposes in our house is the making of fire.  We have a pellet stove that came with the house when we bought it 14 winters ago.  It was an old stove then and is even older now.  I believe the folks we bought the house from had the stove installed back in 1993, but I'm not sure.  As far as the guy who owns the pellet stove store in our town is concerned, I should just buy a new stove.  I won't because they cost over $3,500 and because mine still works, even if it has some quirks.

The wife informed me this morning that its supposed to get into the 20's tonight with freezing rain.  I took that as polite reminder that the spring cleaning of the stove that I should have done back in April still needed my attention.  Attend to it I did.  Now two hours latter the deed is done.  The stove has been disassembled, cleaned, reassembled and filled with a new bag of pellets.  The only part of the chore I didn't do is removing and reinstalling a new door gasket. 

Last winter I replaced the gasket halfway through the winter.  It seemed to work fine and then towards the end of march it seemed to start leaking at the top of the door.  I have no idea what caused this, or what I could have done better with the installation.  I have a new replacement gasket, but I'm going to hold off till we are using the stove on a daily basis before replacing it.  The gasket cement needs a constant period of the stove burning in order to cure properly.


  1. Susan2:10 PM

    I so totally agree with you about men and fire. My husband used to lay the best fires in our fireplace, and my father in law is the premier griller in our family.

    I know there aren't studies yet, but I truly believe that men are better with fire. Women can set a fire, but a really good one that needs no tending, men are just better.

  2. Giraffe2:35 PM

    I've met one woman who can make a mean steak on the grill. I myself am rather poor at that.

    I have to figure out my own fire situation. I installed my wood stove by putting the stove pipe into the chimney where the fireplace was. I have used it quite a bit since. I decided I better clean the pipes. The pipes coming out of the stove were very dirty. I got them cleaned out, but I have no idea how to clean the metal chimney. The top is all riveted, no way to get a brush in. The bottom must come apart but I don't know how.

    One more thing I need to figure out before winter.

  3. WaterBoy2:55 PM

    Giraffe: "The top is all riveted, no way to get a brush in."

    One way to deal with such a setup is to drop a weighted rope down from the top (you should be able to get that through whatever topper is on it), then attach the brush to the rope at the bottom where the stove would connect. Attach another rope to the bottom of the brush, then pull it back and forth through the chimney like floss; obviously, this is easier with two people than with one.

    Not sure this would work for you, but given what you have described it may be just the thing.

  4. WaterBoy3:15 PM

    Or you could just clean it the Russian way....

  5. Res Ips5:36 PM

    That was funny.

  6. Res Ipsa5:38 PM


    My wife is convinced that certain jobs are illegal for women to do, like put gas in her own car. This crime is specifically avoided when the temperature drops below freezing, or its raining.

  7. Well Res, here in Oregon we don't have self-serve. We still have attendants to to the work. Which is cool, I like being able to employ people.

    Giraffe, I am not too shabby when it comes to a gas grill, but charcoal style grills? That is IMO, man's work.

  8. Res, I'm sure you out off the stove Maint till the fall do you'd catch any problems that cropped up over the summer (like birds nesting in it, or raccoons) you could have saved your families life by checking those things in the fall.

    Had a neighbor on CO who used a propane torch to light his stove. Wasn't the recommended method, but it worked well.

  9. ajw 308,

    My pellet stove is a side wall vent model that has 3inch pipe with a screen and drip hood on the end and less than a 4 ft run of exhaust pipe. My main issue is getting the ash out of it. But yeah I put off doing it because that was what was best for the family. Thanks for the help I can use all I can get. :-)

  10. Giraffe12:39 PM

    I'll probably do something like what you describe, Waterboy. I might have to buy a new brush, mine fits too tight. It's like a bore brush in a rifle, you can't switch directions, you have to go all the way through.

  11. WaterBoy12:49 PM

    A little judicious clipping of some bristles here and there can help solve that problem, too, if you want to avoid extra expense.

  12. black3:22 PM

    Or check at your local thrift store for a brush. We had several at one point in time.

    I had to replace the ignitor in mine last season. Nasty dirty work, but amazing how the stove could heat our 4500 sq ft home. Much cheaper than propane.