Friday, 11 November 2016

09:32 – Today is Veterans’ Day, a day to remember the service of our present and former veterans.

The last of our WWI veterans are no longer with us, and few enough of our WWII veterans. Time passes quickly. When I was about five years old, my parents took me and my younger brother to a veterans’ parade in downtown New Castle, PA, where I grew up. There were hundreds of veterans of my father’s generation. They were mostly young men in their 30’s and 40’s, and had served in WWII and Korea. There were fewer but still a large group of my grandfather’s generation, men mostly the age that I am now, who had served in WWI and/or WWII. There were also a few of my great-grandfathers’ generation, elderly men who had served in the Spanish-American War.

I’m sure that most of the veterans there had thought at the time that they were fighting so that their future children and grandchildren wouldn’t have to. Alas, that turned out not to be true, as each succeeding generation had its own wars to fight. So, I sit here thinking about veterans of earlier wars as kids young enough to be my own children and grandchildren fight their own overseas wars, probably thinking that they’re fighting so that their future children and grandchildren won’t have to fight. And realizing that a thousand years ago, ten thousand years ago, our young people were fighting for the same reason. And also realizing that people don’t start wars; governments do.

I ordered a gas cooktop yesterday, but it won’t arrive for a couple of weeks. That gives us time to arrange to have a propane tank and piping installed. In addition to running propane to the kitchen, I’m also going to have the installers stub out an exterior connection and quick disconnect for our generator. I talked to an electrician yesterday about giving us a quote on installing a cut-over switch for the generator. He’s also a Generac dealer, so I’ll have him install a propane kit and cutover on our 5KW Generac so that we can use either gasoline or propane to fuel it.

I’m still debating about tank size. The standard propane tank is 120 gallons, which is a bit smaller than I’d like. Unfortunately, the next size up, 330 gallons, has a lot more restrictions on it than the smaller tank, as far as required distance from the house, pad requirements, and so on.

The nominal 120-gallon tank actually holds 100 gallons when full, the equivalent of twenty 20-pound cannisters, which is about nine million BTU’s of heat content. The largest burner in our gas cooktop is 15,000 BTU’s, so we could run it for about 600 hours on a full tank. Call it an hour and 40 minutes a day for a year. So I guess that 120-gallon tank will suffice, but I’ll need to keep it at least 75% full at all times.