Wednesday, August 23, 2006

In other news

We finally got a real rain. About an inch and a half one night, and the first 3/4 probably fell too fast. But still. I'm not complaining.

We took Mom back to Fort Wayne a couple of weekends ago and stayed for a couple intervening days. Powerwashed and painted the porches, and Vicki did her cleaning magic on the garage and pulled weeds and day lily stems out of the yard (which was quite a task in itself). Vicki also had me fix a very minor problem with the wooden blinds in the bathroom -- a couple of slats were not attached to the... er... slat mover... it's been that way as long as I can remember it, and I'm not sure Vicki even remembers how long its been like that. But thanks to a couple of small staples from Lowe's, a little superglue, and my trusty Leatherman tool, it's as good as new.

We went to the Decateur Cemetery to hunt down the graves of relatives and friends of the family. Vicki had me take pictures so we'd know what to look for -- maybe more importantly so the boys would know what to look for ... if we should ever go back there without Mom as a guide. I noticed a piece of plywood on the ground nearby some of the graves and some disturbed dirt. I figured they were working on a new grave. I was right. Either they weren't done with it yet, or you really only get burried about 4 feet under.

Since coming home, Ryan and I have been working over different alcohol stoves for camping/lightweight packpacking. My original V8 pressurized stove still works very well, boiling 2 cups of summertime tapwater in 4:20 and burning for around 6 or so minutes total on 2 oz of alchohol. Still, Sgt Rock's Ion stove is supposed to be more efficient, boiling 2 cups of water (not as quickly) on only a half ounce of alchohol. For lightweight packers, less fuel needed = less weight. I had built one a few years ago that I was disappointed with (because my pressurized one was so much faster and it wasn't like I needed to take a weeks worth or more of fuel with me on last year's trip) -- I got it out again and it would boil the 2 cups on about 4 teaspoons -- not quite as efficent, plus it won't do his cool 22 minute simmer on 6 ml, either. I may try building another one.

I did build a new pressurized V8 stove last night, though, this time with much smaller holes than my original, which I want to test tonight and see if its any more efficient than the original.

Boys never get tired of playing with fire.

(well, neither do some girls -- had to laugh at the line from Snakes on a Plane where Julianna Margulies says "I went through a pyromaniac phase as a teenager" as she hands Samuel Jackson an impromptu flame thrower made from a zippo lighter duct-taped to a hairspray bottle -- gotta love a girl like that!)

So yes... that does mean we went to see Snakes on a Plane.... a terrible movie, but also a terribly entertaining movie. It was, I think, kind of a subtle spoof on the genre, but still held together enough so that it wasn't obviously a spoof. You do have to take your sense of humor into the movie with you.

Vicki's feet came up off the floor not too long after the snakes got loose. She only jumped and yelped once, though ;-)

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