Sunday, August 28, 2011
Wednesday, August 24, 2011
what's good in life
Further to my notes of last week sometime, the Completely Un(re)searchable & Myfterious SE, purveyors of RoHs Quality, have proven themselves worthy enough. At press time, this writer had not mastered the striking of sparks with the steel/magnesium; but the headlamp had proved on the instant of its deployment the superior form of light dispersal.
Particularly indispensable is the oft'-elided red LED option. In field tests, this writer frequently found himself grinding his teeth as others without the red LED option blinded the everloving [redacted] out of him by training their candlepower-supplemented gaze 'pon his face. Whereas projecting the field of one's vision in cool long red waves is, at least, less annoying and abusive than other alternatives. To say nothing of the lack of crippling jaw/neck pain often earlier occasioned by lengthy interlucdes of holding one's two-AA Maglite uniformly between one's lips, or more firmly and enamel-abradingly between chipped front teeth. If you want to camp, you want a headlamp. This one works fine.
An aging rocker dude of the DIY persuasion once had a long, frustrating couple of weeks. His enjoyment of doing hobbies had palled somewhat. In part because DIY practices can infect all processes/products with what Kipling termed the "rather more-or-less" and what everybody else calls the "half-assed". In part because DIY techniques often focus on the accessible or attainable at the expense of the (task-) appropriate and specialized.
Anyway, in his badly-patched skinny jeans the aging rocker dude making nachos in his filthy ruin of a kitchen spat to no-one (not even the chair)
I'm DONE using shoddy shit, I'm done half-assing it, I'm done fucking around and doing things badly just for the sake of doing them myself. Life's too short. Here on out, I'm using good things, I'm sticking to what I'm good at, & I'm insisting on high quality in myself, my activities, and my surroundings.
Then the aging rocker got excited by his new load of surplus and he used his new Army-style can opener to open a can of refrieds for his nachos.
It worked quite well.
Thursday, August 18, 2011
Fat hearts American Science & Surplus
It's a small list of brands still worth caring about in this world. One of the few that will reliably bring some magic into your world is American Science & Surplus, self-bestowers of the basically irrefutable tagline "incredible stuff, unbelievable prices".
I get a catalog from these guys every 6 months or so, order something about every year, basically just so I keep getting that catalog, a minor miracle of the copywriter's trade. Pun-filled and crackling with line-drawing illustrations, it's not unreasonable to assert that the only product manufactured by AS&S is of higher quality than the panoply of products they distribute. --Not that the goods on offer here are necessarily shoddy or disappointing: they're just invariably presented both amusingly and in their best light.
For example, picked literally at random from a number I discovered while trying desperately to dig my way out from under what appears to be seven (7) London Review of Books, four (4) Harper's, and a lot (sigh) of New Yorkers to get through:
Wind-up Vehicular Fridge Magnet
From our Unlikely Combination Division comes our first-ever wind-up vehicle capable of climbing any vertical ferrous-metal surface, like your filing cabinet or (non-stainless) fridge, thanks to tiny embedded magnets. Also chugs along on the horizontal. Measures 1-7/8" x 1-1/2" x 1-3/4" tall with the winder. In assorted colors that we'll decide on, thank you very much.
You get some good gifts out of this catalog: a little penknife with a built-in flashlight, a life-sized white plastic skull, an inflatable moose head... And you can score some useful prizes with a sharp eye: as illustrated, I just ended up with a couple nice little funnels, some of those Army-style can openers, and a firestarter--all just in time for a quick camping trip in the redwoods! Sure, my Swiss Army knife does a creditable job on cans, when necessary, and I already had one metal funnel exactly the size of my new one, and I'm a little unsure about the quality of that headlamp, and maybe graph paper has proved to be the only sure-fire way to induce writer's block I've so far discovered...but that little glass funnel? Pretty. And a cheapo headlamp is something I'll not be afraid to use/abuse the hell out of, which is exactly what a man wants/needs on a camping trip...
And, writer's block or no, the AS&S stock of graph paper takes ink better than any comparable product I've ever owned--fun to scrape a stylus on. Anyway, if you like small boxes of pleasing things &/or advertising produced with a light heart & lighter touch, AS&S is well worth your time.
Side note: As for camping gear, I've spent half my life on Coleman products--they're cheap, but they're not very good. Sort of what you buy when you don't want to step all the way up to Stansport (to say nothing of outfitting oneself primarily in Coughlan's kit). I note, however, that all the camping items in this latest batch were from some company called, helpfully, SE. I suspect these will turn out to be a step down from Coleman. To put it another way, I suspect they will turn out to be useable, if perhaps occasionally frustrating. As for the quality, I shall defer to the text on the headlamp: "RoHs Quality", which, I mean...I really shouldn't have to explain RoHs Quality by this point. Reviewiera has been cranking out the finest in objective subjectivisms since 2006, for fuck's sake. To help guide me discover the uses of these SE items--of RoHs Quality--I shall turn to the packaging:
Stainless Steel Funnel
Great for Pouring Liquids into Flasks, Small Containers, Jars, etc..
Flexible yet durable glass filled nylon shafts resist fracturing
Magnesium Fire Starter
Gently Shave [always, always good advice, there] a Small Quality of Magnesium [less good, but worth a shot]
8 LED Headlamp
Adjust inclination if needed.
--Fat, adjusting his inclination
Friday, August 12, 2011
Great Urinals of the Pacific Northwest
Friday, August 05, 2011
Wednesday, August 03, 2011
America: where unhappiness counts as good
I got something to say
I killed your baby today
and it doesn't matter much to me
as long as it's dead
I assume I will not be the first to point out the horrifying addiction American media has to the asinine notion that "there's always two sides to a story", and the policy of "equal time" it has lead to, which policy ensures that a filthy liar will always, always, have a powerful public platform from which to holler nonsense.
I may be the first to point out, however, the way that pathetic non sequitur--clearly false on the face of it--leads our beloved, trusted, chosen repeaters of others' falsehoods to find the following nostrum peculiarly pleasing:
I always find, even going back to the days that I practiced law, if people walk out of the room and parties are all disatisfied, that's a pretty good settlement.
I don't mean to pick on Harry Reid, except that he's a noxious shill for (other) rich, powerful wretches--it's far from his fault that his idiot formulation is catnip to NPR*. It's an important part of his very job to ensure that he is not asked to answer substantive questions. It's up to him to throw out savory distractions, to say things his putative interlocutors will find irresistably quotatious, and my beef's not with him. Rather, it's with grown-ass people whose job is nominally to exhibit curiousity, even cynicism, about the words and deeds of others.
*Where I get most of my news.
But since I am not read by any actual journalists, and since I am a complete goddamned hack, I will try to illustrate the idiocy of the idea that when everybody's unhappy, the deal's been a good one by means of a brief encounter between Glenn Danzig and Harry Reid.
Glenn Danzig: I got something to say
I killed your baby today
and it doesn't matter much to me
as long as it's dead
Harry Reid: I do not like that. I wish you had killed someone else.
Glenn Danzig: I do not care.
An Arbitrator: Glenn, you must pay Harry Reid three dollars and 87 cents as restitution for killing his baby.
Glenn Danzig: :(
Harry Reid: :(
Note here that everybody is unhappy, therefore the deal is good. Go fuck yourself, Harry Reid, and pull your goddamned heads out of your asses, NPR, and swab the shit from your ears, so you can actually tell when somebody is feeding you a stinking load of self-serving lies that are obviously false and stupid.
--Fat, loathing this country
This one goes out to the redoubtable Tyrrany of Tradition blog, which is all killer and no filler. And to the HC Headlines twitter feed, which helped remind me today that I never stopped loving some hardcore records, probably mainly because I am now & forever predisposed to a genre encouraging me to respond to every event or emotion with STRIDENT, INCOHERENT REPETITION. And thanks to my main man Mr. Forklift Jihad for providing the title. No thanks to Harry "bootlicking" Reid, and not much thanks to Glenn "fucking mortals" Danzig.
(Thanks to Can't Stop the Bleeding for that one.)