Saturday, April 24, 2010

Crappy Weekend Weather

Poor Forecast Yields Indoor Procrastination...

Dang it...It's supposed to rain all weekend according to the weather forecast. Seems to me to be a good excuse to waste a couple of days on the calendar if I'm not careful.

Check back with me here on Monday, but right now I see a high probability that this weekend I will get ABSOLUTELY NOTHING done here at the Turbo Pup Compound on the banks of the Mighty Tennessee River.

That is, if you don't count cooking.

And possibly doing a little laundry while goofing around in my shop in the basement.

I have a number of non-commercial projects in process I could go down and work on if I can manage to pry myself out from in front of the computer for a few minutes.

There's the balsa wood model airplane kit which is about 1/3 finished, and there's the hardwood vintage canoe model that I started about a year ago and never finished, and then of course there's the second hand push lawnmower which has been cleaned up and the engine torn down to the nuts and bolts...and I have a new gasket set...that could be put back together so I can do a little trimming in the back yard around the garden plots every now and then.

But any and all of that would require EFFORT and ORGANIZATION, and right now I'm feeling LAZY and USELESS.

Like I said...check back later and see what happens.

I have absolutely no idea myself...

Friday, April 23, 2010

I Broke My Big Skillet

Kitchen Consternation's...

For the past few months I've been limping along in my kitchen with the handle on my big deep wall 12" stainless steel skillet slowly cracking away from itself.

I made a couple of temporary repairs using a high temperature epoxy called "Liquid Metal" that seemed to hold for a while, but a couple of weeks ago the handle finally broke off...fortunately in a condition where it didn't splash hot grease or a giant portion of scalding food all over me and the kitchen.

I love that skillet.

I really learned to cook using that big skillet.

It's nothing fancy, just the sort of slightly better than average home kitchen skillet like you could buy at Macy's or Rich's back in the 1990's, but still...

I just refuse to let it go to the scrap heap, but at the same time it's a pain in the butt to pick it up by the little handle on the opposite side from where the main handle was using a pot holder in one hand so today I'm forced to make a decision on a critical piece of Kitchen equipment and the choices are daunting.

It's easy to spend over $100 on a stainless steel skillet of this size, but I'm not sure that tossing out much over half that amount yields anything other than "snob factor" satisfaction for people that watch cooking shows on Food Network but never ever manage to actually lay the TV remote control down and get into the kitchen to cook.

If my old skillet were a car or a car tire, it would have over 100,000 miles on it right now.

Actually, I'd like to replace my old skillet with not one but TWO new skillets, a 12" x 3-1/2" deep straight wall skillet and a 14" sauce/saute pan that can double as a Wok when I get the urge to stir fry something...anything...shrimp...scallops...or just vegetables to keep my ever expanding girth under control.

I don't even care if the new stuff comes close to "matching" the things already laying around in the cabinets here, the idea of a "matched set" of cookware being a concept rendered obsolete years ago when I realized that you naturally wear out certain size vessels in cooking routinely while others sit gathering dust on the sidelines.

Knives are another source of interest here on the kitchen front.

Years ago I gave away an entire set of German Hienkel's to an angry ex-wife in another life. I found the brand to be functional and lovely to look at, but way overpriced.

Again...the snob factor entered into that equation also. I think that good sharp knives don't have to cost a week's pay and they, like your pots and pans, don't have to match to do a good job in the kitchen.

I grew up watching my grandfather on his farm sharpen everything from plow shares to axes, with the kitchen cutlery and his pocket knife thrown in for good measure.

The man could put a sharpened edge on a dried piece of cow dung that would cut your head off if you weren't paying attention.

I figure the same goes for knives today.

I want to buy some new ones, but I don't want to drop the cost of a decent used car into the process.

I've got a couple of sizes of fairly inexpensive chef's knives and some annoying crappy paring knives laying around here that I use a steel on occasionally, and once in a while I drag them down to the basement and get after them with my Dremel grinding tool.

I think I'm going to look into a moderately priced Japanese Sushi blade and a good pairing knife and another 8" Chef's knife, and then spend the rest of my money on a good set of sharpening/whet stones and be done with the process.

I'll leave the "Ginsu" Knives and the other stuff from Ron Popiel to the amateurs and late night TV watchers.

Regards Y'all...

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Professionally Unprofessional

Old Habits Hard To Unlearn...

I hate to admit that I'm having a hard time having to go back to working on a regular schedule and actually accomplishing something on a pre-arranged basis these days.

I hope that you'll understand how hard it is when I've spent years perfecting doing things in fits and starts using bursts of energy, and then falling back to laying around blogging and yelling at the TV and basically doing nothing all day and night for weeks on end in the periods of time in between the spasms of productivity.

This week is another one of those hated "productive periods."

I've been up since 2 AM tearing down another group of four pneumatic valves and getting them solvent cleaned and rinsed off, and if my energy holds out I'll do another batch of four later this morning and ship out another load of eight units today following yesterday's load of four.

My fingers and hands hurt from handling the sharp steel and aluminum parts and cranking on the wrenches and vise handle, and on that note I think that I feel a nap coming on... before getting back up and doing it all over again.

Regards Y'all...

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Day The Earth Stood Still In My Dungeon

All Work And No Play Makes Jack Virgil A Dull Boy...

Just in case anyone needs me... only have to come over to the Turbo Pup Compound on the Banks of the Mighty Tennessee River and look down into my shop...following the trail of dust and fumes and cursing while I watch CNN.

Be back when I have another four valves put back together Y'all.

And have a LOVELY Day...If you will...

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Somebody "Chop Sueyed" My Personal "Feng Shui"

Where's All Of My Spare Time Gone?

I don't know Ladies and Gentlemen...

I may have to call the "authorities" or an "expert" or something.

This week has started out even busier than last week did, and in spite of loafing around the later part of last week and the weekend trying to shake some sort of "creeping crud" that had taken hold of my spine, now I find myself WaaaaaAAAAAAyyyyyyYYYY behind in my duties.

I hope that you'll understand if the posting here is light and/or sporadic this week as valves fly apart and back together and into boxes.

Of course I reserve the right to see something on TV or in the newspaper and, after my eyeballs refocus after returning from being rolled into the back of my skull, explode here onto the pages of your computer screen so you should keep the Windex and paper towels handy I guess.

Monday, April 19, 2010

Latest Owl Gore Anti-Global Warming Scheme

Probably Taxpayer Funded...



Next time you even THINK about agreeing with 99% of the crap delivered by the sniveling, booger eating, treehugging, eco-friendly greenie-weenies...

You know...

Stuff like being made to drive a car the sized of a Breadbox that gets 100 MPG...

And letting them turn off all of your new Fluorescent, mercury filled, light bulbs about 22 hours each day because all of the Coal Fired Power Plants and Nuclear Plants have been outlawed by the government...and they've torn down all of the Hydroelectric Dams so the Salmon can swim back up rivers.

...and their beloved "Green" solar farms and the wind farms can't keep up except for about two hours a day...

When you and your family are living through all of that and more, just remember what one FREAKING VOLCANO did to Air Travel in Europe and in Asia this past week.


(and yes, that's yet another original concept from my gigantic yet warped brain, rendered for your enjoyment with my Photoshop skills.)