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Land's End sale

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Land's End is having quite a sale.  Until Thursday, September 30, 2010.  Check around the web for free shipping on top of the sale. had some sort of code for free shipping

website of the day

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Nyaka AIDS Orphans Project and The Price of Stones and the story behind it in the book The Price of Stones: Building a School for My Village

"... Mirroring the work of Greg Mortenson (Three Cups of Tea, 2009), Kaguri gradually expands his goals, adding not only classrooms but also water and nutrition programs, community gardens, teachers’ workshops, and eventually a second school in a neighboring village. His story is an uplifting testament to the belief that one motivated individual can accomplish much, even when others have given up before even trying." --Deborah Donovan
I know we have our own share of problems here in the U.S.A., but at least teach our children about how other people have to struggle for basic necessities.  Tell them about children whose parents have died and now have no one to care for them, have no shelter, no food, no healthcare and no access to education.  It doesn't happen in just Africa, but in many parts of the world.  Here in the U.S.A., we have our own population of the homeless, but our homeless have a better chance of finding access to food, shelter (temporary) and education.

This book is a story of one person's actions to remedy the situation in his own "neck of the woods."

kills bugs

Saturday, September 25, 2010

We've had a bag of DeltaGard G for several years.  This bag is so old, it carries the brand AgroEvo.  I see that Bayer is the brand for this product now.

This stuff is awesome.  We use it to spot treat fire ants.  Here in Texas, fire ants are VERY common.  We can usually count on seeing fire ant mounds pop up within days after a rain.  Recently I put some on a mound some time in the morning and by that night, I see lots of dead ants.  By the next day the mound is dead.  It controls other bugs too, but I've only used it for fire ants.  This stuff is more valuable than gold to me.

We also have Maxforce and again, it's old and it seems that Bayer is now the brand.  There is now more variations of the Maxforce line.  Ours only indicate "Maxforce."  The one we have is brown tiny granules.  The vendor told us to put the granules behind our switch plates and outlet faceplates, so that's what we did.  I guess it's working.

hanger bolt blues

Monday, September 13, 2010

We've been having to mail order stuff because we can't find it locally. One of the items arrived withouth fasteners, and a trip to the hardware store revealed that I needed hanger bolts. These bolts have one end threaded for going into wood, and the other end is threaded for "machine" fasteners. I happen to need a metric 6 thread size on the machine end and the only place I could find it is at Lee Valley Tools out of Canada.  I'm balking at the almost $10USD shipping for an item that is less than $3.

The company I ordered from sent me what can be described as a threaded rod. Its purpose is to mount the item by having the bolt pass all the way through the wood and out the other side where it is then held tight by a nut.  I didn't want pass-through fastening. So I cut the bolt (the "threaded rod") to the length I needed. A hacksaw, some way to clamp the bolt firmly without damaging the threads, and lots of patience is needed for this step. Then I drilled a hole into the wood where I'm mounting it; the hole is just slightly smaller than the bolt. The metric 6 threading isn't the right threading for wood. The bolt would thread in and not pull out, but it would also allow continuous spinning; i.e. it wouldn't tighten. So to stop the spinning, I used a small dab of Gorilla Glue on the threads going into the wood (dampen the hole using a cotton swab). Once the bolt is in as far as I wanted it to go, I left it alone for the glue to dry. So far it's holding. This was for a decorative item; I don't recommend this method for anything that's supposed to withstand a lot of force!

Another update:
The thing is rotating again. I've concluded that a single point of fastening is going to be prone to rotating. I'll just live with it. Like the guy on TV says: "If it's your house and you put it up the way you wanted, then it's right."

tired of ordering out?

Wednesday, September 08, 2010

Check out Mountain House products.  Good for campers and as emergency foods, they only require some water and heat (I think). There is a great variety of meals offered. Reviewer comments on some of them are mostly positive. Looks like a good product.

recliner riser platform

Tuesday, September 07, 2010

This is a platform for raising the recliner at least two inches.

  • 1x4 pine, cut to 27"L for the outside frame.
  • 1x3 pine, for internal ribs and corner braces, locate flush to frame at the bottom
  • Two smaller strips are glued to the insides of the front and back pieces.
  • plywood sheet 3/4" or 1/2" thick, cut slightly smaller than 27" x 25 1/2", place into frame on top.
  • Nails: #4d x 1-1/2" finishing nails
  • wood glue to reinforce all joints
View shown is front to back.

Else you can buy a 31" x 31" plastic one for $139USD:

(sketch was done with Google SketchUp)

shoe trend

I'm not a jogger.  And for my fellow non-joggers, you might not be aware that there is a trend towards barefoot running and a corresponding product line of minimalist shoes.  It's not "new" ... it's been around for a few years.  Here is an example of such products:

photo: one of the Vibram FiveFingers models

another hurricane product for windows

The Hurricane Wedge
Easy installation. Approximately $15 per pair (i.e. per window).  No guarantees, no testing indicated.  Looks wimpy but looks like it could work.

need cushion?

Check out Supracor. Cushion support via a multitude of honeycomb-shaped cells. Seems fantastic. Definitely pricey.  Ideally for medical applications, such as for those who must spend large amounts of time sitting (i.e. wheelchair-bound).  Photo here is of a pillow from their "Lifestyles" collection, but they have a variety of seat cushions in their medical series. If you know someone who needs a really good cushion, Supracor might be worth a test drive.