Wednesday, June 8, 2022

Recent purchases


I must confess that I am one of those guys who stands in line at the grocery store checkout and eyeballs the cart of the person behind me.

Sometimes I will strike up a conversation and ask how they like some item. Sometimes I am filled with pity because the person behind me is obviously struggling to make it from paycheck-to-paycheck.

So, to provide you with inexpensive entertainment, I compiled a list of some recent purchases and my reasoning.

60 Watt Massage Table heated pad. Reason: Mrs ERJ weighs about as much as a pinch of thistle down and is susceptible to getting cold. The price of heating oil might be more than $10 a gallon this winter. At current electric prices, she can run the pad for about a penny an hour. The picture in my head is that the heated pad will go beneath her in her favorite chair and she will put on a hat and throw a quilt on top and I will get to put the thermostat at 55F.

Silicone clips for grafting: I want to graft watermelon vines onto butternut squash roots. 

50A, 1000V diode bridges, 55V/110A power switching transistors, 10A blocking diodes, assorted capacitors: Home-brew power items and the list is growing. Many things can be crafted from local materials but not power-semiconductors. Don't bother buying unless you have a slightly better than average understanding of circuits or know somebody who does.

150 regular canning jar lids and 150 wide mouth canning jar lids: They are available now but might be scarce in September. We canned about 250 jars of applesauce and meat last year. This year, probably more.

"I Love My Wife" tee-shirt: Well, I do. I just wish the shirt came with a pocket.

Bone dust scrapers and meat hooks: I was watching Bearded Butcher videos and saw how effectively they used both tools. Meat can be slippery and a meat hook can save a lot of grip-strength and sliced fingers. I will add some 18 tpi, 9" Sawzall blades to the next order to mimic a bandsaw.

50 lb trace mineralized salt block (with selenium): For the calves

50 lb shelled corn: Sprite asked if she could borrow the calves since she has some paddocks she wants "mowed". She is using the corn to train the calves to follow her. I expect her to move the calves in the next few days.

8' grounding rod and clamp: I decided it would be easier to move the fence energizer than to try to energize it from a 1/4 mile away. That means she needs a good ground by her shed.

Elongated seat commode: For pooping indoors in the winter during grid-down situations. Or after being smucked by a car.

Dog shock collar: To train dogs that want to jump.

Propane refill hose: To refill 1 lb containers from 20 lb bulk container.

TV antenna: Keep your friends close and your enemies closer

30, 100ml plastic (PET) travel containers: Ideal for 40:1 2-stroke oil storage. One container per gallon of gas is very close to 40:1.

Police Magnum 17% OC, flip-top pepper spray: Six months from now you might be able to laugh about hosing your kid or cousin with pepper spray. Not so much if you shoot them.

Himal dog backpack: Everybody has to pull their own weight, even the pooch. Besides, reloads are heavy.

247cc Diesel engine: No comment


  1. 247 cc Diesel Engine no comment.

    LOL only one, Sir? Spare parts needed? I remember the discussion about Chinese diesels, and I am curious as to your intended use? Direct belt drive style aka hit and miss farm engines? A power plant for a small tractor with PTO systems? A genset?

    Could you please expand on the silicone grafting clips please?

    I've used rubber bands and even painters' tape but I am open to new improvements.

    Glad someone else grafts. Sometimes folks look at me like I'm crazy to graft. I've done bridge grafts to save a chewed-girdled tree successfully. Ugly but that tree is a solid apple producer.

    1. These clips are used for grafted tomatoes and melons. The soft stems are not yet woody and grow together quickly. shows a greenhouse where they are grafting tomato plants

  2. about those baby diesels,bought 1 a number of years ago up here in northern B.C. & put it on an old rear tine tiller that had seen better days, got it from princess auto 6 hp. i think it is anyhow got it all rigged up & fired it up & was totally delighted ? is that kinda faggy? seriously it was such a cute little bugger & sounds like a real diesel, this from a retired OTH trucker with 50 years on the road i do loves my diesels!! well it worked so damn well that i went back to princess & bought the 10 hp. one as well to build a bandsaw mill which still hasn't happened. but the little 6 hp.just keeps on truckin & fuel use is nil. & it still sounds like a baby diesel & nothing slows it down as in hard ground. haven't seen them for sale in a number of years now but sure glad i got 2 while they were available. IMHO you can't go very far wrong.DAN

  3. When I was much younger someone suggested to always have a handful of appropriate tools in the trunk of my car. The theory as it was explained to me, was sooner or later you could have car trouble and while you may not know how to fix the problem, if you have the tools with you there was a very real chance that someone that knows more than you might stop to see if assistance could be rendered and be able to actually help. That's sort of how I see the electronic "doodads". If there is an emp or big honking solar event having blocking diodes in a Faraday cage might be just what the doctor ordered to put your solar panels back into working order. Well that's just my guess. The others like the diode bridge et al lead me to think solar charge controller and inverter.And while I'm not competent to do that work,I'm betting I could do that job without electrocuting my self if I was the last resort. Or maybe I know someone that could do it. Btw, glad to see the bearded butchers could help you out. While I still doubt I could afford them, it still might be worth the drive as a one off.

  4. Since you have power semiconductors, you'll also need a way to solder them. A butane powered soldering iron comes in handy for that

    1. For power stuff, I recommend against soldering. Use crimps, or crimp and solder. Solder melts when it gets hot. It should never get hot... but use a real fuse, not solder.

  5. Completely agree with becoming warm or cool via person's skin contact, vs. the cost of heating the residential air of the entire house. My wife insists on setting thermostat to 74 degrees, then covers up her body when seated. Makes no sense and I try but don't get any where. Electricity bills will eat you alive when that happens.

  6. Joe, would you expand on the TV antenna, please? I don't follow the connection to friends / enemies. Thanks.

  7. Hello The Old Guy:

    The only time I watch commercial TV is when I visit my mom in the nursing home. I don't care very much for the content but the spin the newscasters put on stories tells me which way the wind is blowing,

  8. Eclectic selection, but if it works, it ain't wrong!