SATR simply means: “Sunday Around the Ranch” where we cover a hugely and bigly of stuff going on in our lives. I have almost a dozen items on the list this morning including the art of buying things, LookingOutsidethOftheBox has before and after pix of his “cardboard bar” which is nearing completion. Plus the gobs of stuff here that make for an “interesting existence.”
Ure’s “Science of Shopping”
Since we talked about “Investing in Happiness” the subscriber side (Peoplenomics.com) Saturday, I wanted to follow up with an example of “multiple Realities” and how it applies to shopping.
You see, here in Texas, we don’t measure human aging the same as in less civilized places. One example is how to measure your age: Stated in BBQ years.
Down here, close to the Gulf, we BBQ all year. And for much of the year, it is humid as hell. We bought this place in 2003 and since then, we have been through four BBQ’s. Our age is therefore 4Q.
The current BBQ is on its last legs. I will be able to get one more slab of baby-backs and a half-dozen ears of corn out of it this afternoon (might even have a Rolling Rock of four), but it became clear last week this old Char-Broil was on its last legs.
Defining the BBQ Purchase Process
So, the first question is: Can I resurrect it by adding all the new parts it needs?
Well, yes, I can certainly do that. Except the parts – even shopping online – came to a hundred dollar bill.
The alternative is to simply by a replacement.
And it’s right here that we run into our first example of how, generally, people are crazy. They don’t put nearly as much emphasis on the “little decisions of Life” as they do the big ones. Which is one reason the world is so “effed-up.” People do mindless small things and then get all uppity and self-righteous about the big things.
When – if you know what “transurfing” is (go ahead, look on Amazon) – you’ll appreciate that one of the major points of Life is learning “choicing” and that means mindfully making all decisions. Not just the Big ones. The acts of deciding – choosing – large and small – are the boundary markers of life.
“ What could I really do today, if I wanted?” Ask yourself this before you get out of bed in the morning. And hold that question all damn day. Cheapest way to transform your life there is….
Back to BBQ Buying
Here’s the guts of the “stupid consumer” mindset.
Most people will buy a BBQ based on brand, color, speed of delivery, size of grill, and word of mouth advertising from friends.
That is not how a member of Ure’s Church of Monetary Sciences makes such Judgments.
If you open your ( KC Masterpiece-splattered) books to the “Book of Cost Basis” let us read together the Parable of Function :
“How do we Buy?” said the Master BBQ’er to the assembled flock.
There was a mighty silence.
So He spoke: “Buy for function, you heathen idiots!”
And lo, throughout the land, people continued buying the Devil’s way: based on brand, color, speed of delivery, size of grill, and word of mouth advertising from friends.
There came a voice of Thunder from the sky and it spoke:
“Buy based on BTU’s per square inch of cooking surface, you idiots!”
Confusion followed. Could anyone actually do that?
Next, open to the Book of Bezos and follow along:
Most of the low performance BBQs will only put out 55-65 BTU’s per square inch of cooking space. As everyone knows (from The Epistle to Steaks) that the hotter and faster a steak can be cooked, the better it will be.
The Char-Broil we have was in the low to mid 70’s. Iffy at best.
Simply the number of BTUs with all burners on – say 40,000 BTUs for a typical four-burner unit. Divide that by cooking area, such as 652 square inches. 61.34 BTUs per square inch isn’t going to do a servable steak! A Cuisinart we found did 100 BTUs to square inch – and that almost got ordered. The $5K unit with a dedicated 12,000 BTU searing burner just didn’t pencil out.
We watched a number of videos on the Char-Broil Tru-Infrared system which is reputed to be more efficient at converting BTUs to cooking energy. Because it’s a kind of radiative cooking rather than simply “hot air.” $306 on Amazon. OK…ordered.
We’ll let you know how it works – due to land next week. It means a trip to the propane emporium to fill a 40-pounder.
One last thing – in the videos we learned about how critical seasoning the infrared grills is. So take the time to season them. Hour of heat-cycling ought to be budgeted. (Which ripples into the beer budget, but I digress.)
No, not the Michael Douglas movie.
Wednesday morning, a bit of rain, in a hurry, mossy stairs, pitch black, holding hot coffee in one hand and fumbling to turn off the shop alarm key fob in my right pocket with the other, my foot slipped on the third stair and down I went.
As I did so, the left arm was dragged along the stair edge and left me with a hell of a bruise.
Worst of it? I have a pressure washer, a tub of spray-on moss kliller, and even yellow-edged 6-inch wide anti-skid stair edge tape. As the arm is reminding me, I do have to move this up the list of things to do.
But not too quickly though: I’m still in the “mindfulness” moment following such a stupid move. Such moments wear off in a month.
PCP Note (Primary Care Physician, not angel dust)
Since doc’s ask seniors questions like ” Have you fallen down in the last six months” – I will have to slide my next “wellness” appointment back to April of next year. The prospect of answering “Only when I do really stupid shit…” to the “:Have you fallen down in the last six months?” is appalling…
To the Bar!
A little early? Naw…Creativity knows no bounds. Especially for reader “Looking Out Of the Box – LOOB). He’s managed to begin with a cardboard box:
And turn it into essentially an all cardboard bar for a college-bound student in his family:
As he explains progress:
“The bar top is done.. I am still getting the counter done. I have a five year old that will paint it…the majority of it’s done. I did decide to take a angry apple ale box and turn it into a bar box. There’s a lot of color in the box it should be cool…I sent a picture of the front. The door will be done for the cooler tomorrow. The grandson will paint the bar counter Monday after kindergarten..
The grandson wanted to take it home yesterday lol lol I will give him a beer making kit and a five liter keg..
The six year old first grader painted the bar top. It was glued in place this morning….”
I think we ALL would have paid a lot more attention in K-12 school if we had “teaching moments” like this one.
This is a DANDY example of “Present circumstances can be adjusted to make your life incredibly cool no matter your position. Resources aren’t usually the problem in life. Gray-matter and making the “right choices” however, is…”
Ham Radio Notes
I feel terrible about missing a local simplex 2-meter net this week (or was it last? Insert blur…). Just busy as hell around here, though.
One ham radio project that’s kind of interesting? A week ago, I picked up a working Icom M-710 HF SSB radio for $200 on eBay. Hell of a deal. Came with power cord but not a mic. So that will up my cost basis to about $240. But, when cleaned up, it will make a dandy radio for (yet another ham radio project) ALE.
That’s short for Automatic Link Establishment – known as Fed Std 1045-1051. Read more on the HF-ALE (HFLink) website here, if interested.
Back in the day, circa 1998 or 99, when I was working with some folks at Mitre.org on deploying some of this, we could achieve amazing connectivity. For example, a radio from Washington DC to the US Embassy in Autralia was able to pass “order-wire” text traffic with extremely high (80% from memory) withing 6-hours, using the technology. Just 100 watts and a couple of good vertical (think big flagpole) antennas.
Which has me wondering, “If preppers are serious about prepping, my not just roll “all-in” and do a store-and-forward (nuclear survivable) text message system (the ALE order wire) while you’re at it?”
Back in the day, it was a Frederick Electronics ALE controller and an SGC SG-2000 radio with one of their SmarTuners. Worked good. I figure to cobble up the poor stepchild with a used Icom M-710 and AH-4… but (kinda like applying the moss killer to the stairs?) we’ll have to see how time works out for that project…torn at prioritizing competing projects like this.
Shop Project Preview
Now that the “sharpening bench” is done out in the shop – and there’s so much lighting hung from my “sky hooks” that you need sunglasses on some projects – the two next projects are a) lowering one bench by the shop windows and b) making up the Inverted Jigsaw.
Bought a not-terribly expensive saw. The foot switch for the project showed up this week – and that’s a good thing.
Now, it’s a matter of shop (and photography time).
Looking Like I Cook
(Had the coffee kicked-in earlier, I would have put this with the BBQ buying story…) No “wait for weight” around here…
Don’t think I’ve mentioned it, but Elaine’s got a hell of a hip problem going. Limiting her mobility and in times like these, going to the doctor or physical therapy is not particularly enticing.
So, she’s been doing multiple supplements, specific exercises, and we’ve even gone so far as to buy a new bed. Minor improvements, but we shall see.
“Hip springs Eternal?” Hip replacements are common these days and a very high success rate, but still…risk is risk. And CV-19? Yeah…well…
I’ve been doing a lot more around here than previously, as a result. Including cooking most dinners nowadays. Gives her time off her feet. I love to cook, anyway…
Unlike Elaine, though, I have no sense of portion control. The result is that instead of a cup of soup for lunch, we now have abundant left-overs. You can probably figure out what that’s led to? Been reading hoboing books from the Depression and Mulligans are an artform. A lunchable art form, at that.
No danger of me starving in the odd high wind: I don’t have to “lean into it” (like idiot weather-fakirs on teevee) any more than Mt. Rainer leans into winds coming in from the Pacific.
High Dose Melatonin?
Chirs Tyreman sent along a note recently on how he’s gotten over some nagging health issues: He and his betrothed are both on high-dose melatonin. Reporting good results and banishment of many aches and pains.
Look around for Jeff Bowles’ book “Extreme Dose! Melatonin The Miracle Anti-Aging Hormone Anti-Alzheimer’s Hormone Anti-Baldness Hormone Menopause.”
Many details and we’re thinking about maybe…well…hmmm…
The dose for women is up around 70 mg and for men 120 mg, with another supplement… The highest dose melatonin I have been able to find off the shelf is 20 mg.
Melatonin and CV-19
Why consider this? Well, there’s this paper that came out on PubMed last month that is absolutely intriguing: “Melatonin potentials against viral infections including COVID-19: Current evidence and new findings…”
There was also an article in this month’s Discover Magazine under the heading “The Latest Supplement Touted As a COVID-19 Treatment? Melatonin
A Texas physician claims he treated hundreds of COVID-19 patients with everyone’s favorite sleep aid. But there’s reasons to be wary of the hype….”
Absolute utmost caution when tinkering with high-dose supplements. Can be hard of kidneys and who knows what else!
And yes, I dropped 5-HTP when doing higher melatonin at night since (if I read the medicalities right – and I’m no doctor) 5-HTP (think tryptophan derivative) is a melatonin precursor…
TALK TO YOUR HEALTHCARE PROFESSIONAL — THIS IS NOT MEDICAL ADVICE!
OK, on to more coffee, a zillion projects, ribs on the grill with toasted corn for dinner…and more on the morrow…
Write when you get rich,