Out and About – Week of February 15th

In January, I gave you some information on a lecture series being held at the Gilmore Car Museum in Hickory Corners, Michigan. Here is the schedule for March and April. The lectures are held on Sunday afternoons at 3 PM. They are held in the ballroom and they are only allowing fifty people to attend each lecture. Here’s the list:

March 7: “The Wright Brothers: The Power of Resistance” by Cameron Brown, former state senator.
March 14: “Ford Icons – The Thunderbird Story” by John Clore, Ford Motor Company.
March 21: “The Design and Build of the 1969 and 1970 Shelby Mustang” by Chris Engeman, design detailer, Shelby Mustang.
March 28: “Miniature Models in Motion” by John Lacko, photo journalist and historian.
April 4: Easter Sunday. Museum closed.
April 11: “Oakwood Park – Kalamazoo’s Coney Island” by Keith Howard, historian.
April 18: “The History of the Assembly Line” by Don LaCombe, automotive historian.
April 25: “Gone With the Wind” by Kathleen Marcaccio, historian.
For the last couple of weeks we have seen temperatures far below freezing. As a result, our heating bills have been higher than normal and it seems as though our furnaces never stop running. I’ve seen homes with an outside wood burner and I’m pretty sure it is used to either provide some extra heat to the home, or heat water. Burning wood is probably cheaper, but does require some extra effort. I have friends whose idea of having fun is to chop wood. Great exercise also. I much prefer using a chain saw. If you travel outside of town, you can see plenty of trees and branches on the ground just waiting to be cut up and picked up for burning. If you are fortunate enough to have a fireplace, a burning fire adds to the homeyness of any home. If you are interested in using wood as a source of heat, here are some things to consider:

Store firewood outside the house and bring it in a day or two before you burn it. Doing this will lessen moisture and insects in the house, but still allow enough time for the wood to properly dry. Remember also that mice love to build nests in stacks of firewood.
Stack firewood on wooden pallets laid flat on the ground. Pallets keep the wood dry by letting air circulate under the pile.
Burn only hardwood, such as oak, maple, or birch, in your fireplace. These woods burn longer and cleaner than soft woods like pine. Never burn treated lumber in the fireplace, because the fumes are toxic.
Artificial logs are nice, but you should only burn them one at a time. If they are stacked on each other, or if they are mixed with natural wood logs, they can cause dangerous explosions, or an uncontrolled fire.
Old-fashioned fireplaces have lost some of their charm in recent years. It seems that energy and pollution-conscious householders have learned that burning wood wastes fuel and pollutes the environment. If you install gas logs in the fireplace, you’ll get the warmth and glow of burning wood to a room without the mess, fuss, or guilt. Personally, I love the smell of burning wood and burning leaves. The choice is yours.

“Shaving brushes, you’ll soon see ’em, way down east in some museum.” BURMA SHAVE

See you Out and About!

Submitted by Norm Stutesman

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