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Captain Kerosene. October 25, 2009

Posted by ourfriendben in homesteading, wit and wisdom.
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Silence Dogood here (again). Our local paper likes to feature a short column of themed statistics on Saturdays, and this week’s topic was obscure superheroes. One of the superheroes that made me and our friend Ben laugh was Captain Kerosene. Ha!!!

Of course, then I couldn’t get Captain Kerosene out of my mind, especially in light (pardon the pun) of our power outage that very morning. Thinking further about it, I realized that while Captain K. might not strike us as very heroic, most of the self-reliant folks I know would be happy to award a hero’s cape to Captain Propane.

Propane can be a lifesaver for folks trying to homestead off the grid. We ourselves depend on it for our beloved and ancient gas cookstove and the backup heater in our greenhouse. Pretty much everyone we know has propane-powered grills, and some have opted to forego conventional oil, natural gas, or electric heat in favor of propane to heat their houses and hot water and run their appliances. Two of our friends have wonderful propane “woodstoves” that provide them with that delightful winter fireplace feeling while heating the house. And of course some groups of local Amish and Mennonites are able to have non-wood cookstoves and even refrigerators thanks to propane.

So we say, hurrah for Captain Propane! And may Captain Solar and Captain Wind Power follow quickly in his wake.

          ‘Til next time,

                      Silence

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Comments»

1. Nell Jean - October 25, 2009

When I was a child, before Rural Electrification came to the countryside, we had a kerosene refrigerator, and a wringer washing machine with a gasoline engine that was kick-started like a motorcycle. We even had a solar-powered shower: a gasoline engine pumped water quarter a mile uphill to a barrel atop an outbuilding known as the ‘washhouse.’ Sun shone on that barrel all day and that evening, everybody got a hot shower. We’ve come a long way in 60 years.

Wow, Nell Jean! But with the recreation of solar showers, composting toilets, and the like, maybe we’re starting to come back!

2. Dave@TheHomeGarden - October 26, 2009

As far as heroes go I’m a fan of The Tick, but going with your theme I think I would nominate Captain Natural Gas to save us this winter!

“The Tick”?!! YIKES!!! What’s next, Captain Stinkbug?!! We’re hoping Captain Woodstove comes to our rescue this winter if all else fails!

3. Jen - October 26, 2009

I gotta ask – did the article mention Reid Flemming, World’s Toughest Milkman??

Sorry to hear about your outage, but glad you had the fearless Captain K. I’ve been trying to figure out a way to get myself a propane stove. I hate cooking on electric. I didn’t know propane was so versatile.

World’s Toughest Milkman?! Ha!!! Reminds me of a bumper sticker I once saw: “Keep Back, I Work for the Postal Service”! I love gas stoves—not only can you control the heat to the last nth, but the second you turn off a burner, it’s off, so you can leave the pot on it without fear of burning your food. But of course I was so ignorant that for years, I didn’t realize gas stoves used propane for fuel! Next time you’re in the market for a stove, you really must get a gas stove, Jen. You’ll be so happy with it!!!


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