Saturday, December 24, 2011

ode to the former neighbors!

In the early 70's, we had a couple move into the house next door to us.  Nice looking young couple.  After a couple of days they came over and introduced themselves.  He taught college classes at the university 30 miles west.  She taught junior high in the town 30 miles east.  We thought them wild crazy hippies.  They were both from New York City.  Despite their big-city upbringing, we found ourselves trusted with the keys to their cars, house, garage.  And we had an arrangement where they picked up our mail, when we left on vacation.  He was building his career as a university professor.  This involved 14 to 16 hour days.  She would often come over and visit.  When they divorced after almost 11 years of marriage, it hurt us more than them. 

I look back on a life that has been full of pain and disappointment.  I still see the shining, idealistic, hopeful, faces of the neighbor couple, as they came over and introduced themselves.  The close knit friendship that developed was all them, our family were bemused bystanders.

Pete and Lois, you were the best neighbors and friends we could have ever had.

Sunday, December 18, 2011

vita mix, ninja pulse, fiddlesticks!

For about 35 years, my blender of choice has been the Oster Goodwill Model.  This is the Mosin Nagant of blenders.  The Kenmore Laundry Set of blenders.  You can walk into any thrift shop, maybe even a pawn broker, and walk out with one of these cheap.  I once walked into a pawn shop with a blender set I got at Goodwill for 5 bucks, and got $20.  Admittedly the street value, new was $180.  But I needed the $20, in 60 days I went back and got my blender set back for $25.  My total investment in the blender was $10, the most I paid for this blender.  The blade set up will fit a mayonnaise jar, or a canning jar.  It is also flexible enough to fit a 13 oz lighthouse dressing jar.  Small jars will grind up small portions faster.   I actually spent $13.00 for two go cups meant for the Oster. I have been seduced by fancy named blenders.  They all suck.  If I smoke an Oster, I usually have a spare handy.  Once I tried to McGyver this platform into Vitamix Territory.

I took a washer motor, set it up to drive a broken Oster machine at 10,000-ish RPMs.
The bright side is that with the lid off the blender jar you can repaint a room instantly.
The dark side is that the power company will be dancing naked outside your door!

I sold it to a crazy hippie lady, She makes alfalfa, and wheat grass drinks, the power company should have given me a medal!

FTC Disclosure.  I received no compensation for the products mentioned in this entry.   However if any of the companies wish to compensate me in cash, goods, or services, I will gratefully accept.

Friday, December 16, 2011

Survival Kits

My Dad in 1972, gifted me and my brother with Parachute Pack Survival Kits.  One of the Survival Masters out at Fairchild Air Force Base, gave them to him.  They were past their use by date.  He said to keep one in each glove box, and give one to each of the kids.  I thought this was the ultimate gift.  We weren't rich.  If I really wanted GI Joe, I'm sure that Dad would have found a way to get one for me.  I wanted to BE GI Joe.  Judging from my gun locker I'm afraid I succeeded.  Don't have a bazooka, but I did have a cannon for 3 years!  Kissing a pound of Black Powder per shot goodbye, even when I got it for free, went against the grain!

Back to the survival kit.  According to the intertubes it's known as a su-16 and the contents are as follows.

Aluminum Foil (contents packaging) may be utilized as an improvised signal mirror

Colonial Ranger brand Medium Stockman 3-blade folding knife, sawcut plastic handles, 3.375 inches overall, 2-inch clip-point main blade, 1.375-inch sheepsfoot blade, 1.187 inch pen blade.

Wooden Safety Matches and 2 striker strips, 2 packs of 5 each and striker strip wrapped in very heavy aluminum foil

Tinder Sticks, 1 x 0.187 x 0.187 inches, individually wrapped in aluminum foil
Very Good

18mm Brass Dry Compass with lanyard ring

Fish Hooks, 2 small, 1 medium, snelled with 7.5 inch monofilament leader
Very Good



Condom (water container)

Heavy Duty Sewing Needle

16 ft./
Stainless Steel Wire

Survival Instruction Sheet on Waterproof Parchment

Cardboard Box inside sealed aluminumized plastic film pouch inside Nomex cloth sleeve: Box: 5 x 1.5 x 0.5 inches (127 x 38 x 13 mm), Pack: 7.25 x 2 x 0.625 inches (184 x 51 x 16 mm)

Mine had iodine tabs for water purification as well.  Dad pulled the condoms from the kit, as he didn't want us running around with big hurking water balloons.  I remember a scene of great hilarity as they showed the neighbor lady the 'water bag'.  I seem to remember some fishing line, though the survival master explained that the threads inside the paracord, or the thread sewing the pack shut, could be used as additional fishing line.  I loved the button compass.  I thought the kit came with a stainless steel Camillus pocket knife, I was the most envied scout in my troop!  But the stockman knife mostly ended up in Dad's pocket as a small handy knife.  The single blade lockers didn't catch on until early in the 80s.  It was the 90's before they became common carry with me.  If I'd known about inflation, I'd have snapped up a gross of those 4 blade Camillus Knives when they were $3.95 or cheaper!

here is the case for my current survival kit, my previous one was a 3X5 card case.  Altoids can is too small.
The bottom makes a dandy signalling mirror.  In addition to the parachute pack contents, I keep a little knife in there, some blue jean denim. a few different ways to start a fire.  I'm wondering if the modern version of the Liberator Pistol might be needing to be included soon.  When I'm feeling a little more outgoing, I'll expand on this entry.  A large portion of my life I solved problems by thinking in terms of "Survival Kits"...

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

My Hero!

Someone just entered our house without knocking.

Someone who doesn't live here, and doesn't have even the temporary right.
Most people realize this is not a good idea.
For I am armed, and have the reputation of being inclined to clobber unannounced intruders.
I heard the door crash open, and someone come rapidly into the house.
Dad's cocker/dingo/spaniel was barking up a storm.
I came out with my .45 willing to shoot if I figured it necessary.
My Dog, Ra-Chester the Probable Rottweiler.
Already had the intruder cornered.
With a growling promise, that things would get very unpleasant.
If he moved even a little bit.
We knew the fool, he was drunk.  He came yea close to being shot!
After my dog explained matters to him, he would rather have been shot!

I need a suppressor, I need to be able to shoot someone without waking up my neighbors,
or harming my dogs hearing!

Is that my sweet, noble little cupcake?


Wow, Lindsey Lohan getting out of rehab was bigger news than Dee Williams, and the tiny house movement.

In other words, homeless people are freezing to death right now because of the antics of a self indulgent spoiled brat, alleged to be an actress due to a childhood spent portraying a small child -typecasting- in movies.

Talk about your butterfly effects.

Maybe if it weren't that I'm close to homeless right now, I'd be a little more charitable toward the less fortunate like Lindsey.  After all she's got to feel pretty useless and worthless to cycle in and out of rehab that much.

Maybe she could help the homeless.  Her and Paris Hilton, could maybe build a Habitat for Humanity house in 26 cities every year!  That might even be television I'd care to watch.  Toss in those useless Cardassian (Kardashian) sisters too.  Not Snooki though.  The prospect of Snooki with a hammer, or worse a pneumatic nailer, scares me more than Stephen King,  or M Night Shyamalan, could ever hope to.