Thursday, April 26, 2012

Invention Intervention - Southern Campfire Cookin'

Every now and then I come across an invention or new way of doing something which makes us all slap our heads and think "Why didn't I think of that??"  This is one of those things.  How many times have you been out in the forest, looking to do some cooking and have to balance your pans and such on a wonky fire.  Logs going this way and that, gotta find the right spot where the fire will heat evenly and it's a pain!  

This guy is working on Suthun Genius level.  He takes a log and cuts it flat on both ends.  Four cuts with a chain saw (notice how he carefully left the bottom third uncut - that's part of the Suthun Genius at work!)  and it's ready that quick.  A few drops of gas or lighter fluid down the center (I'm guessing at that, I have no real idea how this guy lit that wood on the inside of those cuts) Stuff the cuts with newspaper - leave a tail to light - and the wood is burning in no time, not only giving even heat, but it's got the perfect flat spot on top.  Genius I say, Genius!  

It is probably best to just bring along the chain saw (and gas, don't forget the gas, with the requisite gas/oil mixture) rather than try to guess how many of these you will need for your camp-out and then prepare them ahead of time.  Hauling them in the back of the pickup is the only solution to that.  With the chain saw all you need is a big log or two and you're set for the weekend.
I won't spend a lot of time on how I would probably cut off a limb (or digit)  while attempting this and allow us all to enjoy the master at work.  Suthun Thinking at its finest. 

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

I Didn't See You There - Easter Edition

Easter in the South is like Easter most everywhere. We get the eggs, the chocolate and the long eared delivery person of said eggs and chocolate.  The other day, (a few weeks before the Eggy Day) I came across this display of Suthun Easter baskets  buckets.  That's right, Easter BUCKETS.  I'm pretty used to the idea of a bucket for egg hunting, much like I'm used to the idea of a pillow case for Halloween trick or treating.  A lot of kids really don't like carrying around a wicker basket so a bucket is a) better and b) cheaper.  Then I looked a bit closer and I saw this: 

Right there in the middle of the second shelf is a nice little display of camouflaged fabric buckets.  I stood and stared at the display for a few minutes, and imagined a scenario where one might want to camouflage their egg hunting in such a way as the bucket would need to be hidden.  I can't.  It's just .... unexpected...

I mean, what is the reason for camouflage on this item?  Is this some sort of hunting paraphernalia? Does one actually have a NEED to hide one's Easter Eggs?  (Aside from when we were kids and my brother Bubba stealing my Hershey's Dark Chocolate Eggs when I wasn't looking.)  I mean....really?  Camouflage? 

And then I looked a bit closer and there, beside it I see a BLUE camouflage bucket.  BLUE. Where does one need a bucket to be camouflaged against a background which resembled the bottom of an above ground pool?  Even if there are eggs down there, why does it need to be hidden? It makes my head hurt.  

I need a nice mocha latte and a nap.  

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

All in a Day's Work - or 2 or 3

So, like most of the country, I had a nice long weekend this last weekend. It was the big EASTER weekend, and I had even planned for an extra day giving me a nice long FOUR day weekend.  But, as the saying goes "The best laid plans of mice and men, do oft times go awry*." or, even better, the old Hebrew saying  "Man Plans, God Laughs."  Yeah, it was that kind of weekend.  

Friday morning I decided to go out to my shed and "putter' around.  No, it's not a golf term, it means to  occupy oneself in a desultory but pleasant manner, doing a number of small tasks.  (Why, yes, I do have a good vocabulary, thank you for noticing...)  Unfortunately, the shed didn't care for my vocabulary nor for my 'puttering' about and I discovered a huge leak in the roof.  Water damage, tears and anguish abounds.  

So, my weekend was now turned into 'fix the roof of the shed.'  First, remove the old leaky wood and shingles.  

Here is the roof gone...viewed from inside the messy shed. 
Same view from outside the messy shed.  

Now a lot of guys, especially in the South, would call their buddies and everyone with a set of overalls or low rider pants would show up to help fix the roof of the shed. Nope, not me.  First, I like doing this stuff, but more importantly, I don't know that many guys to give a call.  Most of my friends are off working, located in far flung areas of the south, and well, it's got to be done, so there I am, I'm up on the roof, putting wood in by myself.  

Saturday, shingles, shingles and more shingles.  Then on Sunday, more shingles.  Amazing how such a small shed can take me so long to put in shingles.  BUT, with perseverance...and a lot of ice cold water, and not a few pain killers...
Finished.  So Sunday night there I am sitting and trying to keep my aching calves and screaming back from keeping me awake.  The end of day 3 of a 4 day weekend.  That can mean only one thing for my day off on Monday. 

Mow the lawn.  

Edit to add:  My brother Bubba, the retired English Teacher tells me that the real phrase is "The best-laid schemes o' mice an 'men Gang aft agley"  I'm serious. Bubba knows these things.  Someone get me a beer...

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Mason Jars as Travel Mugs

Last June, I wrote about using a mason jar as a drinking glass.  I have always found that they are inexpensive and easy to find as well as big enough for the largest of thirsts - usually mine. Now, along comes a nifty little doodad that turns your Mason/Drinking Glass into a Mason/Travel Mug!  It's amazing, it's real and it's available on the internet.  Wait, that's not enough excitement.

It's AMAZING!!  It's REAL! and it's AVAILABLE on the INTERNET!! OH EM GEEE!!  Is that better?  Are you sufficiently excited now? I know I am.

You can find the nifty little doodad (don't ya love that word?) on its own site,  (No, Bubba, I am not getting any kind of kickback, though with this kind of advertising, I should! ) I won't get into the whole 'cuppow' name, just stick to the fact that this is a great invention. Now you can take your favorite beverage on the road!  The top sort of resembles the standard cup tops you get at the many coffee places that serve coffee to go and the opening is so small that most bees and wasps won't be crawling in while you're walking to work. Of course the Cuppow is also good for those of us to like to sit around in the yard and drink a nice cold beverage, too.

Cold beverage?  A lot of my Suthun Brethren are now contemplating this handy container for that most treasured of beverages - BEER! That lid would keep the bugs out of it while I"m off doing battle in the Yard Wars, too!

The Cuppow is designed to replace the disk that the Mason Jar uses to seal the jar during canning.  Use the old screw-on ring, slip in the Cuppow and in no time, you're off in the car..or bus or train or horse drawn carriage.  Heck, you could even take it on a walk, if you're of a mind. 

A thought, however comes to mind.  We're talking a standard glass jar here. The resemblance to the take-away coffee container means that people (like me) are thinking of using this combo for that most exalted of morning beverages - COFFEE!  (Actually coffee is an anytime beverage in my world.)  BUT-  If you put HOT coffee into a glass jar you had better be sure you have an insulated way of carrying said Hot Glass Mason/Travel Mug or you're going to end up with first degree burns on your fingers if not just a lot of discomfort in carrying your Mason/Travel Mug.    I suppose the next thing that this site will offer is an insulated holder made of silicon to prevent said burns. That would be a good add-on sale and I'm sure that at least I am going to need it.

Wait...let me call my lawyer and see about a copyright first.