December 8th, 2013
I think I found a Magic Pot:
Only it's 40 bux, seeing it's titanium. If I found it for half the price in anodized aluminum I'd be very happy. Of course I haven't touched it, nor figured out the dimensions, so I doubt it's really any better than what I have. The little 500 mL pot I have with butterfly handles does everything I need it to, so I'll have to find something truly nifty-doodles to replace it. But do you see? It has a bail with the butterfly handles!
I just want new toy because I am still a child. (Not an apology nor a boast, just an observation.)
For boiling water for day hiking lunches this would probably be effective:
$13.40 and Trangia! I could almost just buy it with little justification!
Only I have the 1 liter GSI Halulite (proprietary anodized aluminum) version:
and can't be bothered to pack that for hikes. Maybe I should start... nah! Never mind it doesn't weigh hardly nothing and it's really efficient for boiling. Wait... now I'm thinking how I could pack it up and... it's a thought.
Trolling around the Internets looking at cooking bits is really just a distraction for me. Like LOL Cats, only with slightly better spelling.
December 1st, 2013
I don't really mind when people walk their dogs "off lead", but very few people have any idea how very little control of their pooches they actually have. It's nice to see a dog actually respond to voice command. It would have been nicer had that happened today. Luckily, since I work with dogs and all, I saw what the old dog was about before we had a confrontation. He was protecting Mom, so I just left him more room. Everyone was happy with that decision.
November 29th, 2013
My younger sister is very artistic. My brother-by-marriage would like to be, but honestly he's more crafty. You give him a set of instructions and a wad of tools he's coming up with a well-crafted, professional looking result. It's getting an idea out of his head and into the real world that gives him fits. (Much like me, only I can be clever from time to time and I don't sweat a Major Design Change midstream.) Their inside joke is he's always looking for the Magic Paintbrush to get his art going with limited frustration. That bled over into a general adjective with "magic" being anything that's better than it should be for a given task.
(My sister also coined "moose milk" for when you finish one jug of milk and have to finish filling your glass with a second jug. Now anything that is mixed from two or more containers of the same thing is "moosed")
I have Magic Boots, my Merrill Sawtooths.
I have my Magic Pack, a discontinued jobbie from L. L. Bean. Although this pack is of limited magic-ness since my back is slightly longer than it adjusts for. I'm hard to fit for many backpacks since I have a long torso.
I have a Magic Stove, because I just love my Trangia burner in a Westwind pot stand. The homemade windscreen is also a plus.
Now I'm looking for a Magic Pot. Really, do I need a new cooking pot? Nope. I have a discontinued GSI set that suits me fine. It's a two-pot set with a lid that fits both, and the little pot and lid makes the water I need to boil boil just fine on my Magic Stove. It all stuffs down into my pack next to my Magic Cup (Kupilka) and it's worked pretty well for years. But me being me, of course I want something "better". Only it's hard to find since I'm not enamored with titanium.
What's the deal with titanium anyway? Hard anodized aluminum is just the bee's knees, the kangaroo's pouch, the rhinoceros' monocle! It's fairly cheap, fairly sturdy, and really hard to find. Actually not that hard to find, but it doesn't come in the myriad choices you can find small pots made out of titanium. Of course the gram-counting-weenies who buy small pots will pay the titanium prices to shave an ounce. (And aluminum will give you Alzheimer's! Not really, but people still believe that as they continue drinking cheap beer out of aluminum cans. Go figure.) If the gram-weenies aren't going to pay titanium prices they get a grease pot from Wal-Mart and call it a day.
Kovea (a company out of Not Crazy Korea) makes a nice little set you can get in Europe and sometimes, but not right now, from Camp Saver. Snow Peak makes a good pot just like their titanium deals, only in plain aluminum. Primus makes a pot just bigger than I want. Optimus (not Prime) makes a pot just about what I'm looking for only the lid is a "fry pan" which would be dumb. (The same dumb as the Primus pot, because that's a common selling point for small anodized aluminum pots. "See! It comes with a little pan that's kinda too small to be a cup and will stick to anything you want to fry in it!") Heck, Coleman even sells a set that's pretty close to my brain picture of the pot I want only they sell it through Wal-Mart so it might as well not exist.
So what does this really mean? Nothing. I'll stick with what I have until I stumble across something Magic and not titanium. It could happen. Maybe.
What I want is a smallish pot, about 500 mL give or take, that I can pack my Trangia stove into, and stuff that all down into one of my side pockets on my pack limiting the diameter all told. Having a proper lid would be nice, but I'm sure I could cobble something together. Is that too much to ask?
Of course part of any hobby is finding the junk to play with that makes the hobby more fun. It's all about the toys.
November 8th, 2013
You know me and sewing projects: they never go smoothly.
I have a pattern I used for a pullover windshirt and I wanted to re-do it, only in flannel. I was all set! I just had to go to the fabric store (with a coupon) and pick out some good-weight flannel. Only the fabric store only sells very light weight flannel. They won't even tell you what weight the flannel is on the bolt. So sad.
So I went to the discount store (Meijer), and I was going to buy some flannel sheets as my yard-goods and go from there. Only their flannel sheets were rather... flimsy. Where they let me down in flannel sheet-ness, they made up for it in flannel shirt-ness! For about the price of the fabric store flannel, or the twin-sized sheet flannel, I have a ready-made shirt. It's kinda heavy. I'm happy with it. Mostly. It has a lot of blue in the plaid, but it's mostly green, so I'll cope.
And when I washed my new shirt... I took it out of the laundry before it could get all shrunk up, so I can wear it at least one time before I screw it up. The flannel shirt I found last year I didn't even get to wear due to shrinkage. My sister-by-marriage likes it well enough.
Now I have a fitting flannel shirt. I'm fairly pleased about that.
November 1st, 2013
craft @ 12:59 pm
The blanket stitch I thought I wanted to put on the edge of my long scarf turned out not to be what I wanted. It was easy enough to learn, and once I got started it stitched along nicely, but I didn't like the feel of it. So I cut a small section of my scarf off and didn't blanket stitch.
While I was gearing up to stitch the scarf sides, I noticed a LOT of skips and puckers along the scarf. I wasn't happy about that, so I took the time I was going to hand-sew and machine sewed here and there on the scarf. Eventually.
I've not been happy with our sewing machine for a while, but today I couldn't stands no more! (Read that last part in a Popeye voice for full effect.) I tore it down, and cleaned it, and oiled it, and put it back together. That took a while. But it transformed the crap-tastic cheap-jack sewing machine into... an adequate sewing machine. Who knew routine maintenance is require for a complex whirling mass of gears and levers?
Now I have a "battle scarred" Fourth Doctor inspired really long fleece scarf in many colors. I like it and I am happy with my efforts. Were I to think about doing it again though, I'd just buy one off Think Geek. Material cost plus angst = $50.oo.
This sunday is the Older Boy's last band competition of the season. It's supposed to be cool weather-wise, and he plays late in the day. Yeah, I'll be wearing my scarf to that! I wore my scarf to his band competition last week too, in its nearly-complete state. I did not know one of the other bands had a Doctor Who themed performance. They had a kid dressed as the Fourth Doctor, with a store-bought scarf. You know how it's embarrassing to wear the same thing as someone else at an event? I didn't care.
October 26th, 2013
The scarf should be done. I mean, look at it!
( In here...Collapse )
Only my brain hates me. It wants me to run a blanket stitch along the long side. BOTH long sides! That's 14 feet x2, at what? 4 stitches an inch... carry the 7... that's a lot of blanket stitching. You'd think I'd wise up and leave it be, but I've already bought the yarn.
In other crafty news- I've just bought a jeweler's saw. And jeweler's saw blades. It's primarily for a potential Valentine's Day present. (Think ahead in case of disaster.) This could end badly. Or goodly. We'll see.
October 25th, 2013
Since it's the end of the camping season, it's time for me to go through my gear and re-assess my practices. (It's not the end of the hiking season, because winter hikes are a thing.) When I go day hiking, and it's cool, I like to brew up a little tea with my lunch. So I have to boil some water. I have a nice little Trangia burner paired with the Westwind pot stand, and a small pot that is part of an old GSI set they no longer make. REI sells a very similar set, their "REI Campware Backpacker Cookset - Medium", only REI has a non-stick coating and my no-longer-made GSI set is hard anodized.
Anyroad, I wanted a smaller pot, just big enough to boil the water I needed. So I looked for little hiking pots. They have all kinds of them out there. All kinds made out of titanium. I don't want to spend that much on a little pot I won't use that often. Snow Peak makes their Trek 900 set in plain aluminum, which is nearly what I wanted, but the pot is slightly larger than what I have. It might pack nicer, but still not what I want.
Hey! You know what exists? The Olicamp Space Saver Mug! It's a hard anodized aluminum mug that fits on the bottle of a standard Nalgene 32 oz bottle. I could pack my stove down into the mug, and that could ride in the side pocket of my daypack. It would be neat! I could also make a small lid for it out of a Pepperidge Farms cookie tin lid, their Pirouette cookies.
How do I know it would fit? Because I have an old GSI Glacier cup and that nests on the bottom of a Nalgene bottle and the cookie lid fits right on the cup. Wait... I have a GSI Glacier cup, so that would work like the Olicamp mug, only slightly smaller. Why don't I use that? Here I am looking for a new mug that I can't find in a brick-and-mortar outlet (I want to get my hands on it first) when I already have nearly the same thing.
Oh yeah. I don't use the cup because it's a touch small for my pot stand. It wouldn't be as stable as I'd like when I boil the water. Since the mug is roughly the same diameter as the cup, only taller it would be even less stable. I don't want that new toy after all.
On one hand, it's a good thing, because I don't think I'll find it not from the Internets.
On the other hand it's a bad thing because no new toy. So sad.
Things I need for my outdoors stuff:
Car camping: Nothing.
Day hiking: Nothing.
Backpacking: I need to adjust the shoulder straps on my backpack. Things I need to buy: Nothing.
October 23rd, 2013
TV @ 07:43 pm
Thank you Agents of SHIELD for the fanservice. You don't see enough ladies in their foundation-wear on TV these days. Not to say Hacker Chick isn't comely, but still.
October 13th, 2013
"You have to take a look at the sink in our bathroom. It's leaking."
"What's wrong with it?"
"I can't explain it. Go take a look."
So I took a look. Our sink is leaking. Through experimentation, it's the overflow... hole? When water goes down it, it leaks out the side of the sink under the counter. "Well, don't fill the sink up so far water goes down the overflow hole. Problem solved!" Only it's not that easy. When water just runs down the drain as normal, it backs up a little. Not like the drain is clogged, but the water goes in faster than it can drain out. So the water level backs up into the overflow outlet, and then out the side of the sink.
My first plan was to take the sink out of the counter (it's a drop in sink), and caulk around the seam line where it's leaking out. (Of course our sink isn't just a ceramic jobbie. No. It's an enameled steel sink. They rust.) Pop the sink back where it came from and the job is done!
My first clue that that was not a good plan was I heard it in my head in my dad's voice. Doing it that way will lead to serious repercussions. Like the whole thing will rust out and fall through to the bottom of the vanity. That would be a mess. There are already festive little rust flowers growing off the sides of the sink bottom. It's in the dark vanity, so "rust mushrooms" would be a more appropriate term.
So we went to the hardware store and have a new sink. Now I have to look up how I want to replace the old sink and do it. Maybe Thursday, possibly Friday. I'm sure the whole thing will go off without a hitch. Yeah...
October 10th, 2013
When I got home from hiking this afternoon, I wanted something cold to drink. Not tea (because that's hot), nor water (because I just drank a lot of water out walking around near trees), nor apple juice (just because) nor soda pop (because I just don't drink that much soda anymore so it tastes kinda funny now). I was going to make up a batch of Kool-Aid. I open up the Kool-Aid drawer (which is really the dishtowel drawer, but that's where the Kool-Aid is) and all there is is cherry! Gag! Not even black cherry, which would have been acceptable, regular cherry.
I guess it's my fault. You only dip into the Kool-Aid drawer twice a year and of course you find the kids have made and drank all the good colors.
October 9th, 2013
The flat felled seam is not appropriate for fleece (at my skill level). So I faked it. I overlapped the fabric and ran a straight stitch near the edge of the top fleece, then flipped the scarf over and ran a (mostly) parallel seam 1/4" over. Then I trimmed off the bottom fleece near the second stitch. It looks vaguely like a felled seam.
It's slow going, but I'm making progress. It would probably go quicker if I pre-cut the color blocks. We'll see about that. Also, polar fleece stretches all over the place.
This is going to be a ridiculously long scarf!
October 4th, 2013
Do you know how long it takes to decided which stripes on the Fourth Doctor's scarf are "long", "short", and "medium", then figure out which colors go where in sequence, then rough-cut your polar fleece into 11" strips? (I still have to cut the long strips into 2 1/2", 4", and 7" stripes. I might do that "on the fly.") A long time. I get confused easily, and had to go over the pattern a few times.
I might start sewing tomorrow night, or Sunday. I don't know. Maybe next week. I really want to be making a scarf when it's 80Fº.
September 29th, 2013
Yesterday the Older Boy had a marching band competition in Toledo, Ohio. That is three hours away from my house. We, the Little Woman and I, had to get up at 5:3o in the am to be ready to drive there and see him perform. Not just him, but the whole high school band, plus the color guard. Since my boy was playing it was pretty danged neat. If my kid wasn't on the field, I wouldn't have driven (actually ridden) three hours to watch.
Then we had to watch more bands because the Little Woman wanted to get her money's worth out of the admission price. Then we popped out and walked up the street for lunch. (University of Toledo. College campus. You can walk anywhere.) Then we hurried right back to make sure we could get a seat in the shade. (If we didn't hurry, we still could have gotten a seat in the shade. There was more shade than someone thought.) Then we sat through a LOT more marching bands. About a thousand! At least that's what it felt like. I have no idea. By that time they were all blurring together.
We had to stay for the awards for some reason. So we could find out our band didn't get to the second round live? For some reason.
The worst part of staying for the awards was when we finally got out of there the Army surplus store was closed. So sad. (There's a single Army surplus store in all of Toledo. It got good reviews online. If we had time after watching the band play I wanted to stop by. We didn't have time.)
We drove up in the dark. We drove home in the dark. It was a long day.
September 27th, 2013
I have my fleece for my "Inspired by the Fourth Doctor" scarf. None of the colors are iconic, but then again, who's knitting?
I got the thread as close to TARDIS Blue as I could. BBC says the official "TARDIS Blue" is Pantone color 2955C. Since the Little Woman did freelance design and layout, she had an old Pantone color book. I knew just what Pantone 2955C looked like. (I look the color book to the fabric store with me.)
Funny, if you look at a color on your (my) computer that starts out Pantone, gets converted to RGB on the Internets, then gets printed out CMYK on a home printer, it looks way different than the Pantone book says it should. Yeah, it's an old book and the colors degrade over time, but man! It wasn't even close.
The thread I settled on was really just navy blue. They had a closer blue to TARDIS, but I wasn't going to buy it. "Freedom Blue", the color of freedom, apparently. No. Navy blue it is!
( It's a picture of fleece.Collapse )
The Official Fourth Doctor Hero Scarf also calls for a grey color. I skipped that since it was a pretty blue grey and I wasn't interested. Six colors are enough to work with, I don't need a seventh. I'm also (going to try) simplifying the lengths of the color blocks. In the real scarf they are pretty random. I'll have three main sizes (that's the plan in my head- we'll see how it goes), which I feel will get the point across. Actually, they way I sew, every length will probably be it's own thing.
September 26th, 2013
true @ 02:22 pm
I can honestly say I have "movie star looks" because Steve Buscemi and Joel Murray have been in movies.