Saturday, July 30, 2011

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Holy cow! why does this look like a mess?

Kitchen countertops are the workhorse of any kitchen. They must be attractive and functional at the same time. Fortunately you can learn from one of my mistakes and never I repeat never buy a white countertop. not only does a white countertop boast proudly of every piece of pepper that misses the plate, it also is proud to show off its flaws. Seldom will they be able to bring a countertop to a modern kitchen in one piece. Therefore there will be visible flaws in the joinery. This looks terrible and they will not be able to correct it which leaves you explaining to people why your kitchen looks like......well you know. And consider the fact that you paid superior money for an inferior product well the list goes on. Pay for a countertop you are gonna love but not one that is gonna cause you embarrasment or extra work. If you gotta take a quick swipe to clear a sandwich mess fine but if you have to do a full blown"Oh my god the pope is coming" every time you wipe down the kitchen then you defeated the entire concept.

Monday, July 18, 2011

E-kit part uuumm trois?

Okay we've been down the food and water road. We have plenty of that stuff to keep everyone happy. What we don't have is the means to cook it. Do you have a gas grill? No? Get one. Get one with a side burner so you can cook other stuff since the meat will only last so long. Unless of course you keep it on the hoof. While you are shopping pick up one of those turkey fryers. Unless you are blessed with a turkey in the freezer you may not use it for that. But the burner that comes with it is dandy for heating large quantities of water for the stuff you need hot water for. You do have a couple gas tanks in reserve right? If you don't get some cause how will you dis-infect and clean the wounds that are sure to follow

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Emergency kit part deux

Ok we have established that you need water. Now what are you gonna wash down with it? This doesn't have to be any more difficult than you make it. When you go shopping take the family with you so they can pick out some stuff they like. While you may be perfectly happy with 6 cases of vienna sausages not everyone is likely to share your gastronomic preferences. Being camped out without the creature comforts is stressful enough without not even being able to stomach the limited culinary selection at your disposal. Also there is the fact that once disaster season has passed you'll be able to make use of it. Just make sure everything is non-perishable. If you followed advice and stockpiled plenty of water then you'll be able to boil noodles which can go underneath almost anything you can coax out a can.

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Emergency kit

Water. Then some water. Get a little more water. See the trend? You have got to have water for hydration, sanitation, cooking, first-aid, and taking care of 4-legged friends. There are countless other things you need it for but if you are without resources for any length of time you cannot have too much of it. You are smart people (I hope)and realize that the bigger the family the more you might need. Laying in a huge stock of bottled water can take up some room but it is worth it and you can use it up during times of the year when you don't necessarily need to keep it on hand. My basic formula for how much is to contact your local emergency preparedness office and find out what they recomend per person per day then double that. Then figure out what the longest time you would expect to be stranded is and double that. then multiply those 2 figures coming up with a formula like this where amount=A time=T and water equals=W
2A X 2T = W ex: 3 gallons per person per day and you estimate 7 days. So useing my formula it would be 6gal X 14Days =84 gal per person for that period. This can be adjusted for peoples size and activity level meaning that capable adults involved in cleanup and housekeeping can be expected to require more per day than elderly and children. The time you plan for is also adjustable by location. If you live in an urban area or even suburban area with decent access and high ground you can scale it back. If you live out in the woods without any access if your roads are blocked you may want more.

Friday, July 8, 2011

One other thing.

Gettting back to the old plywood issue, anyone who has spent time in the south or ever even seen the Weather Channel (during all the idiotic coverage given to the POSSIBILITY of a Tropical storm) knows that putting a duct tape X on the windows isn't gonna cut it. You need to pick a sunny day and measure and cut individual panels for each window and test fit and fasten each one. Figure out a numbering system and paint and label both sides of each panel with several coats of high quality exterior paint because they may be up awhile and they will be re-usable after the false alarms. Store the appropriate fasteners for each panel in a resealable bag and seal it after labeling it the same as its intended panel. Store the entire collection of parts together in a container labeled as such along with a diagram of your system. Having this diagram ensures two things (1) That if you forget (it may be several years between uses)you can still figure it out (2) If you are out of town or unable for any reason anyone can do it for you (3) If you sell the house you've done a huge favor for the next owner without having to explain it all. This is an excellent weekend project and another tip is if you have a multi-story home use different colors for each floor. Taking the time to do this will give you maximum time to take care of other stuff cause you will be able to board up in a hurry.

Tis the season!

Hurricane season, flood season, wildfire season, summer storm season, tornado..... well you get the idea. This is also the season to get out and prepare your home for these events to give it a fighting chance if you have to cut and run. Spring-Summer are when to evaluate the trees since you can easily spot the dead stuff and clean it out. It's also the time to identify vegetation that needs to be cut back to keep fuel off the roof and away from the house. Clean the roof, get all the trash out of the valleys and gutters. get out the hurricane plywood and make sure it's in order and ready to go with all fasteners in good shape. What! You don't already have that stuff? Do you really want to be one of those guys fighting over the last piece of over-priced plywood at the rip-off mart when a storm is a brewing? Next I'll give my own list of what I think should be in a homes emergency kit.

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Phew that was close!

Well if you are reading this you made it through the holiday weekend and may even be somewhat recovered. If you are reading this cause you are surfing around job-hunting well good luck depending on the difference between what you want and what you are able to get. I try not to get too political here but based on the facts that I am unemployed and have all this experience you can take a guess as to how pleased I am with the current state of the union.

Saturday, July 2, 2011

Holiday weekend! Woohoo!

For my friends in the great white north it is time to celebrate Canada day. South of the border it is Independence Day weekend. Being the geographically challenged guy I am forgive me if I forget anyone. Todays lesson is on staying safe for the festivities as well as preserving life and limb for other stuff like cleaning up the mess when its over.
(1) The drunker they are the farther they must be from the grill. To this end do not keep the beverages near the grill.
(2) If a guy says to you "aww c'mon its just a lil firecracker" there is a good chance its not and you should be careful who and where any personal fireworks displays are performed.
(3) Do not ask how they want their meat cooked. The guy who said make it rare is the guy you will be taking to the emergency room for intestinal distress. Just cook it all well and let them save their preferences for their grill.
(4) Do not drink and drive. We all know it but the jails are full of drunk drivers so I have to say it again. If you have to make a beer run find the sober person pleeeze!
(5) A string of firecrackers going off in the lap of the guy passed out in the lawn chair is hilarious. Really? If you did it to me the laughter would be short-lived. If you actually like the person drag their chair over to a safe spot to sleep it off and while your at it rifle their pockets for car keys. (see#4)
Have a happy and safe weekend and remember safe trumps happy. I know a few guys whos last words were "Ya'll watch this" or "Hold my beer a minute"