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Profile Information

Gender: Female
Home country: US
Current location: retired to MidWest
Member since: Mon Feb 18, 2013, 09:15 PM
Number of posts: 6,151

About Me

Still an ardent Irish-American Catholic damnYankee Yellow Dog Democrat socialist after all these years. (cue Simon music) Army brat and wife for many years, now have been on the loose far longer than I was married. After my two red chows died, I took in a mini-beagle cross that I named Molly Maguire, thinking she might need a good Irish name like my original real one. Later she got a baby sister, a smooth-coat JRT I named Brigid after the greatest of the ancient Celtic goddesses. My great-grandfather and his son fought for Michael Collins and barely made it out of Ireland one step ahead of John Bull. They slipped over to Wales for new identities and then forward to the States for a fresh start. That makes me second generation of illegal but certainly justified immigrants. There are precious few people to whose defense I fly immediately, but the list includes Hillary Clinton, President Barack Obama even when I disagree with him - it happens! - and living Irish patriots Gerry Adams and Martin \\\'Mind Your Kneecaps\\\' McGuiness. I pray earnestly for a united and free Ireland rescued from all official British occupation, with every square inch of alleged \\\'ancestral lands\\\' now held immorally and illegally by the invaders returned to the rightful owners. Irish-only rule for Ireland. No foreign masters anymore! I find it passing strange when Brits chide ME about \'interfering\' in Irish politics!

Journal Archives

You owe me a new keyboard for that one!

Thanks just the same. I almost fell off the chair laughing.

I never tire of reminding fundies that Jesus didn't turn that water at the wedding into soda pop. And the Pharisees called Jesus a winebibber. The usual fundie excuse, IF indeed it can be called that, is to claim that liquor was needed in those days to purify bad water. Well, besides the other problems with that idea, their deep wells were probably less polluted than our water today because they didn't have tons of industrial waste or artificial fertilizers from factory farms.

Now I do understand that Rome's municipal water delivery system probably put more lead than advisable into the water, but so far as I know most of the Mideastern systems were based on underground tunnels cut through rock or at least lined with stones, weren't they? I'm sure YOU know.

Thanks. I'll certainly buy a new bathroom heater and

despite a bit of decision whiplash, be extremely alert to UNPLUG the heater after every use. Maybe even start setting a timer downstairs so when it goes off, I'll be reminded. So long as I don't get so ditsy I forget what the timer's supposed to remind me about.

Until that happy day when I actually have a working (improved) outlet for the new heater, I'll have to do one or the other about the percolator contents. At least a percolator won't create enough heat to evaporate the water very soon at all, especially with the lid on. Someone I know left a full 12-cup perc on for almost a week when they left on vacation. On return they had a slightly lowered level of sludge but no fire. As for motor oil, extra safety's one reason high-performance motor oil was recommended - the greater heat tolerance.

Thankfully I don't need to create too much extra heat. The downstairs plus the steam from an extra deep, extra hot tub already make the room almost tolerable. I only need another 5-10 degrees at most, and that in safe proximity.

Thanks. Bookmarked for ASAP.

I might have trouble affording a lot of other things, but I can usually squeeze out enough for another book. First I'll have to see if the library can get it for me, though. SOP. They're hoping in another 6 months or so to be able to get Piketty's 'Capital in the 21st Century' for me. Wish us luck.

The other book really sounds up my alley, too. Maybe I should be embarrassed to admit such nerdy reading tastes, but I also have one book on 16th Century clothing styles and another on various nun's habits through the years. Yes, I'll really sit there and read about different designs and materials used for buttons after they arrived on the scene. zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

Yes. Please see #7.

I certainly do value my precious percolators. That's the kind of coffee I prefer, damn near espresso and you won't get it from a dripolator. Can't afford a French press! Can't afford the new electric percs either, so I snap up every used one I find. Currently have 3 others waiting in the wings in addition to the gorgeous Art Deco I bought off eBay. Cotton covered cord and everything. If President Obama ever drops by for coffee, I'll take it down off the top of the frig and use it, but otherwise it stays put where it is. Beautiful thing. Carved wood handle, too.

Sometimes these old ones I find for $5 max will still last for years and years. I think impatient people buy them because they do make better coffee than a damn drip, but then most people aren't willing to wait 10-12 minutes either. That's probably one reason they ditch the percs.

Since you're one of my favorite thrifters, I'll share what I found curbside the last couple weeks. A like-new Dirt Devil vacuum cleaner, and farther on, a giant mahogany office desk where someone had vacated the premises. Must've run out of room on the truck. I took out all the drawers so maybe nobody else would snatch it up before I could return with a truck and help. By evening it was in a far corner of my porch, well hidden from the street by tall spirea and 1/2" lattice. It now serves as a stand for all my potted shade plants, the restored drawers hold various tools etc, and the knee well would make a fine shelter if the dogs ever needed it in an emergency. Of course I covered the top with several layers of newspapers and a tarp, then pieces of leftover tub surround. Thing weighed way over 100 lbs before I put the drawers back and loaded it down with plants; hope the porch boards hold!

Especially since I don't know the technological expertise of the writer who

recommended the motor oil, I think now that I'd rather listen to your electrical engineer! Please relay my thanks. I wouldn't be heating the bathroom over half an hour anyway. Thanks again.

From what I read, supposedly the greater viscosity of the motor oil will make it

retain heat longer than water, although water would certainly work. I've brushed up against those hot percolators in the kitchen before.

Excellent info and application, thank you.

Even though you were not given all pertinent details. I always worry about boring people, and my stories run long enough as it is.

But when I moved here, almost all the wiring had to be redone. The place didn't need redeocrating - it needed and still does need a lot of heavy renovation. Classic good bones, as they say, well worth the expense and time. I did leave the original wiring that was probably done in the 1930's intact - I just don't use it for anything heavier than a small lamp or radio, that sort of thing.

The circuit that blew out in the bathroom was one of the new ones where the electrician supposedly used the finest materials(?). He certainly charged a king's ransom. But yes, I had a little 1500 watt ceramic heater plugged in there via a surge suppressor. I use those literally everywhere. Normally I unplug everything when storms threaten. But I hadn't even used the heater in a while, and I forgot to unplug it last time we had lightning. So the event might've happened anytime over a 3-4 week period. I discovered it when the heater wouldn't work - I tried to turn it on and then noticed the surge suppressor was burnt to a crisp. Later on it turned out that the heater itself is okay, as is the heavy duty extension cord that actually plugged into the wall. Only the power strip surge suppressor fried, and of course I had nothing else attached.

The much better handyman/electrician husband of a friend, who now does virtually everything for the house, said he might be able to fix the outlet w/o having to entirely rewire. I hope so. I certainly won't ever forget to unplug a heater again, you can count on that.

Any further thoughts you might have on the matter would be welcome.

Oh, I see... a quote from the BOOK, not the posts.

Sometimes I can be so dense it scares me.

No, all the book said was that Mama took care of the kids while Papa went for a keg of nails. Nothing else at all to tip off a reader who didn't catch the reference.

Thanks also for the other info. I agree, it probably was a socially acceptable way of calling someone a drunk.

While I've got your ear for the moment, let me add that many lasting superstitions in this country came from the Irish. Not that we were more superstitious than others, but a lot of our notions were/are derived from the ancient pagan celts. Opening a window in the room where someone dies so their soul can escape is one, though it is sadly dying out itself. I do it to honor the departed, not because I fear trapping their ghost.

Those white toes that were included on all socks for many years have been laid at our door too. A variety of explanations attach, but my favorite is that we believed it protected the wearer - white being the color of purity and the toes preceding the rest of the body in motion. I have a large reference book on ancient superstitions around here somewhere. You know people used to think that thunder would poison dairy products? As rare a treat as ice cream could be, if a thunderstorm came up at a picnic, they dumped the ice cream when it might be the only batch they'd have all year.

Of course milk and fish made poison too. I must be a witch or something because I've eaten them together all my life with no ill effect.

For me, a rare brain flash regarding a McGyver solution

Several weeks ago the only electrical outlet in my master bathroom (100 yr-old house) got taken out by a power company surge or something. Anyway, I no longer have a way to heat the room at bathtime in the dead of winter because I don't like propane tanks of any size in the house and I couldn't make a candle/flowerpot rig because it takes 15 minutes to heat up and I'm a little afraid to leave any candle unattended even that long. Not willing to babysit it that long either while waiting for the rig to work. Can't afford those expensive camping heaters run by batteries.

So I spent the vast majority of the morning scouring the internet for solutions. Then I read about one setup that used heavy duty motor oil but it was heated by candles. Finally, after a good lunch and long nap to let things percolate, I awoke with a solution that should work safely although I'm reluctant to dedicate one of my precious collected small appliances to do it.

I'm adamant about making percolated coffee instead of drip. What I drink is more like espresso! Since I obviously can't afford the average price of a brand new 12-cup percolator - anywhere between $70-$100 - I latch onto every one I find at yard sales, etc. and save it for the sad day when the heating element wears out in the current one. At the moment I have 3 others waiting their turn! And a non-electric stovetop version (or 2) if I ever go through all the electric ones.

Anyway, as you've guessed by now, I've decided to buy a bottle of high-test motor oil and w/o the lid on, heat it in my oldest electric perc at a working outlet. Oh, and w/o the stem or basket too! Then I can put the lid back on and with a fair amount of safety move the pot to the bathroom. Since these pots aren't insulated, the hot oil should radiate what little extra heat the room might need. Luckily the room's directly above my downstairs heater, so w/o any extra help at all it stays in the lower 50's.

Of course I do plan to get the electric outlet fixed asap, but the friend who does that work for me won't be able to get to it before November at the earliest. He has a fulltime job and anything extra has to be worked in the rare free moments. His wife's my good friend, and anyone who thinks I'm going to try to jump ahead of her own kitchen renovation, they're not giving me any credit for what little sense I do have.

Meanwhile I'm content with my temporary solution.

Wow. Thanks. I guess I'm too young for the earlier era (the author's) and

too old for yours, maybe; since I didn't understand the reference. Awkward.

But I'm sure you have hit the nail on the head! Of course strict church folks in the 1800's weren't about to admit using spirits even as medicinals - although they commonly did. They'd need a suitable euphemism. Since whiskey plays such a large part in folk medicine, I'm sure that's what they did. Although of course for the kids it would be cut with a lot of sugar.

One time in the middle of nowhere without transportation late on Friday, I developed a terribly abscessed tooth. So I took a new bottle of whiskey and used it as a mouthwash which of course I swallowed. When I gradually figured out what it would take to stop the pain but leave me sober enough to take care of myself, that's the level I maintained. By the time Monday rolled around that bottle was gone gone gone, but I never really got drunk enough to matter and never had a hangover either. Monday in the dentist's chair was hell day for me!
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