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Archive for October 2010

At the crossroads of where-am-I and what-era-is-this in a sort of Eastern and kind of Central North Carolina, along the side of a lonely road, in a spit of a town, art is being made inside a squat, nondescript little brick building. At the Skylight Inn here in Ayden, pit masters are smoking whole hog over wood, and that certainly qualifies as art in these parts. On a billboard outside is the image of Pete Jones, the late and much-revered former owner and pit master who opened the place in 1947. The billboard, which Jones erected years before his death in 2006, shows the face of the proud pit man looking out at the highway with a serious look on his face. What did Jones feel the need to say on a billboard for any passerby to see? Just this: "If it's not cooked with wood it's not barbecue." Debate all you want about types of meat, varieties of sauce, kinds of smokers. One thing that can't be argued is that the soul of barbecue is wood. More

All the locals know that fall is one of, if not the, best times to be in the Hamptons, N.Y. The days are still pleasantly warm, but the crowds are winding down, kids are back in school, and there are no more wait lists to get in to your favorite restaurant. What a relief? Without the hustle and bustle, time seems to slow down, allowing you to really take in the beauty of the Hamptons in autumn and appreciate its more subtle qualities. You can seek warmth outdoors? What a great way to extend the season and enjoy many fall evenings than by a blazing fire of an outdoor fireplace? It can add ambiance to outdoor entertaining or create an intimate outdoor living room for two. More

When people think of getting away, visions of grand mountains and open oceans come to mind. Unfortunately for most people, such getaways come once or twice a year. That does not diminish, however, the desire for an everyday escape from the hustle and bustle of one's daily life. The good news is that any homeowner can create a little slice of paradise right in their own backyard. A home's outdoor space should be more than just a lawn. A well-planned outdoor space takes into account the needs and whimsies of the homeowner and can greatly enhance one's lifestyle at relatively little expense. A great space provides 'a getaway' right outside the door, a quiet reading nook for the romantic, an outdoor kitchen for the foodie or a fire pit for the outdoorsman. In each case, carefully designing these spaces can offer the homeowner the emotional escape needed from a hectic day and a taste of a little getaway. More

With winter just around the corner, many Calgarians will soon be turning on their gas fireplaces. However, a lot of people are not aware of some of the dangers associated with them, including the risk of carbon monoxide poisoning. Bill Luke, the owner of Heatsafe Industries tells 660News, maintenance should be done bi-annually and signs to look for include an orange flame instead of a blue one and soot buildup inside the fireplace. More

Oregon's Department of Environmental Quality is holding public meetings, in Eugene and Portland, Ore., to discuss a new law governing residential wood stoves. The new air quality law went into effect Aug. 1. It requires homeowners to remove an uncertified stove before selling a home. DEQ estimates 104,000 stoves are out-of-compliance throughout the state. Older models pollute the air much more than the newer stoves. More

After a really hard and tiring day, there can nothing be more relaxing than unwinding yourself in a cozy living space in the backyard of your house. However, creating a comfortable outdoor living space might seem like an uphill task for many with a limited budget after having spent a whopping amount on the indoor designs. So, here is a list of things that you can think about while creating the perfect backyard haven for yourself. More

KNXV-TV's recent "how to" smart tip is all about your charcoal barbecue. KNXV-TV headed over to Mad Coyote Joe's house where he has a charcoal barbecue grill on steroids. He gave them a great tip on how to clean that charred mess that gets left on charcoal grills. Mad Coyote Joe said it is really simple to get that clean. More

The author of this article wrote, "On these sunny but not hot October days, it's almost a pleasure to toil in the woodpile in my back yard. My firewood is delivered to me bucked, but I still need to split it and stack it. Even in moderation, this work can lead to an aching back and sore muscles. But it holds out the pleasant prospect of winter evenings next to the cast-iron airtight Vermont Castings Resolute stove in the living room. The wind can howl, the snow can drift, the thermometer can plunge, the electric power can even go out and I can still be drowsily sprawled near the stove, as comfortable as the two house cats that doze nearby." More

The author of this article wrote, "Last weekend's cold, rainy weather was a good reason to make that first fire of the season, but because my fireplace is 90-some years old, having a fire tends be a real commitment. Gathering the wood, priming the flue, tending the fire and staying awake until the last embers cool take time and dedication, so for me, a fire typically requires a special occasion. For hundreds of thousands of years, though, preparing for and tending the fire was a mandatory daily chore. Cooking and staying warm in the winter simply could not be accomplished without it. When gas and electric ovens and central heating became commonplace early last century, all of that changed. Still, after an 800,000-year relationship with fire, we just can't seem to get it out of our system. Our bond with fire is elemental, as basic and instinctual as our urge to procreate. There's no wonder architects, builders, real estate agents and homeowners continue to glamorize the fireplace." More

Charming features that people look for when buying an older home often include fireplaces. Homeowners look forward to piling up the wood, lighting a fire and watching the flames on a winter evening. Unfortunately, we're discovering today that an old-fashioned wood fire isn't so good for your health or the environment. You can make things safer by keeping your original fireplace and chimney in top shape and burning wood only under certain conditions. It may be easier, though, to upgrade your fireplace with a modern insert. More

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