Wednesday, September 27, 2017

Even the Simple Things - Small LED Aim-able Clip On Light

    As always, I will begin by saying I have an addiction to flashlights. I can't resist buying one when I see something new. Thankfully, MOST of them are inexpensive and have lots of great uses. I mean, who doesn't need to see when it's dark? Over the last few years I have devoted lots of articles to my addiction. Covering portable lights, LED lanterns, tiny portable LED lights, head mounted LED lights, and ultra-bright high output LED flashlights. This time I found something very simple that fits in the "Why didn't I ever see that before?" category. Want to know more? Read on!

Only $1.00!
Very often I find myself needing to spot-light a particular task. Typically it's when I am in an ungainly and uncomfortable position working deep in my RV's cabinets or under the dash and need to have some light aimed at the stuff I am working on. Most of the time, I can find something magnetic to attach one of my general task lights to, but often I resort to balancing a flashlight against or on something while I work. As we all have experienced, they don't stay aimed very long. Either you shake the area enough to dislodge the light or just knock it out of place with your body -- either way it's aggravating. I wish I had a third hand and arm for these situations, but that won't happen AND it would be very difficult to find Hawaiian shirts with three sleeves. How about a simple aim-able light that would clip on and stay where it's put. Well, this is it!

Look At The Thin Stem.
The clip isn't crazy-strong, so it won't damage what it's clipped to. That make it worthwhile even if you only clip it to wires under the dash! The light is very directional and very bright so tasks are well lit. There's a socket and ball base mount that allows it to be aimed and re-aimed exactly where you want light. So far, I've used it for over an hour of run-time and it hasn't gotten any dimmer. So far, so good. It's entirely made of plastic, so it's not very strong. I worry the thin "stem" that holds the light to the clip will eventually get snapped, but if you are careful that shouldn't happen.

So, what's the downside? First of all, the packaging says it has "NON-REPLACEABLE" batteries. Three LR41 cells to be exact. I did manage to take the light apart, and you CAN replace them, but it's not easy and you have to re-glue the front chromed plastic cap to hold it all back together. The verdict? It's very useful, but I would only use it when needed. Not as my "go to" light for all projects. Just another tool to be used to make a maddening task less maddening. You know?

And for just a buck...not too shabby. I have seen this light and similar ones at Walmart and at MANY shops like it. If you come across one, it's a worthy buy, especially if you work in hard-to-reach places and don't have another hand to hold the light. Yup, that describes me. I am sure I will be finding other uses for this cute little light. Right now, I'm happy to have found it.

Be Seeing You...Down The Road,

Rich "The Wanderman"

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

The Cozy RV - Warm And Inviting, It Isn't Just Lighting

Really Comfortable And Cozy!
    I have written quite a few articles about 12 Volt RV lighting. From replacing existing bulbs to modifying existing fluorescent fixtures to have dual LED/Fluorescent light sources to choosing the right color temperature for you. I haven't done much about my 12 Volt lighting in a long while. Why? Well, because it just works and hasn't given me any trouble at all. Still doesn't. Yesterday, I was in the RV just relaxing at night and noticed just how inviting and cozy it was with the glow from the lights illuminating the interior. It's one of the things that makes an RV feel like home. I'm always working on something, and sometimes we all need to just step back and enjoy the RV. After all, the "R" in RV does stand for Recreational!

Bathroom And Shower
What makes an RV more than just transport and a home base for camping or adventures on the Highway? I'll wager that answer is different for various people but I can hazard a guess about a few of them. Your order may vary, but likely they will all be in the top 10.

1. A Bathroom. Yup, having, umm, facilities on-board goes a long way to making your adventures more civilized.
2. A Shower. Few things can be as wonderful as a hot shower where you wouldn't normally have access to one. (of course Hot Water is also covered by this one!)
3. A Real Bed. Sure beats sleeping on the ground!

4. Electricity. This is a broad topic that covers so many points...Entertainment, Light, Heat, your Fridge. 'nuff said.
5. Heat. A warm cozy atmosphere when it's cold outside. Awesome.
6. A Roof. yes, rain can be a drag when you camp. Not in an RV. Priceless.

That's Entertaining!
7. A Kitchen. Being able to cook like you do at home without hanging pots over a roaring fire ....nice!  Coffee! Let's not forget about the ease of washing up afterwards.
8. A Refrigerator. Being able to store/freeze fresh food for extended periods opens up a whole new world.
9. Air Conditioning. Not always necessary, but when it is..a God-send!
10. Our own..."Stuff!"
11. The ability to kick back and just relax.

OK, that's 11 (Mine goes to 11!) ..but there are easily MANY others. Face it...we all like some degree of comfort when we travel. RV's allow us to simply take it with us. When you park, it's there for you. Always at the ready (If you keep everything maintained, that is!).

Be Seeing You...Down The Road,

Rich "The Wanderman"

Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Even The Simple Things - Silicone Greyscale Multi-use Pads

I Will Store Them here!
    A while back I wrote an article about a massive roll-able potholder/counter protector. That thing worked great, but was a little large for smaller pots. I was wandering through (yet another) liquidator store this past weekend and spotted these little square beauties. At first, I thought they were all grey. That's a color that works very well with my interior design theme. Not that I find that at all critical, but it's nice to have nonetheless. I believed that all the way home. At least until I opened them and found it to be untrue. In actuality, there were 4 different colors. All shades of grey(!) I decided to keep them. Why? Read on to find out.

First off, they still look cool, have a nifty pattern on one side, and I like the other colors well enough. They work great as pot holders and as counter protectors for smaller pots and pans. AND you can use them to grip stubborn bottle and jar lids. No, really. If you get a lid on a jar that will not screw off, grab one of these and cover the lid with it. Then twist normally. You have such a better grip, they open far easier with than without. I guess you could use the larger one the same way, but that would have to be a very big container to make it...not awkward!

How much were they? Just $1.99 for the set of four. If I may take a bit of a detour here for a moment, they were packaged in one of the most difficult top open containers I have ever experienced. I finally had to resort to a razor blade to get them out! Why is that? Ever since they began to use the so-called "high security" packaging to thwart shoplifting, I have found so many packages that are difficult to open it's nuts. Most of the time I use a pair of scissors to cut around the edges, but I've still sliced myself on the sharp edges of the plastic. OK...I'll stop ranting. But it's know?

Back to the little squares of coolness. Yes, I know, that's a bit of a reach, but they are useful. And useful IS cool in my book. If you want four of the same color, you could always buy 4 sets and make 4 sets of various colors. If you do, I'd like some more gray ones!

Be Seeing You...Down The Road,

Rich "The Wanderman"

Wednesday, September 6, 2017

Even The Simple Things - The BEST Corn Holders, Ever!

    I really enjoy roadside farm fresh corn. It's available for a long growing/harvest season and I can usually get some ears wherever I travel. It can be boiled, baked, roasted and my favorite -- BBQ'ed with the husk still on. Though you really ought to soak the entire trimmed ear for about 20 minutes to prevent grill fires! After you pull off the husk, I always find that the corn is way too hot to handle. Since I really do not want to wait, I found a bunch of old-fashioned corn've seen them, they look like little ears of corn with two pins coming out of one side...and use them. They are OK, but it's a small thing to hold on to and the pins aren't always long enough to get a good grip on the cob. I found a better version! A good companion to the previously found "niblet stripper."

While walking through yet another liquidation store, I stumbled across a single package of corn holders and a corn holder...ummm...holder. These things are great! The holders themselves have big rubberized grips and they nest together in their holder with the pins safely tucked away. It's a safe and easy way to store them. No more ending up with an odd number of holders...who ends up eating the corn, "Popsicle style"? They will stay together in a drawer and won't poke you when you are rummaging around that drawer for something else you lost.

Simply pull them apart from the holder, stick into the cob and eat. Well, if you must, add butter and/or salt first. The pins are long enough to really skewer the corn and keep it on there. No more dropping your good eats on the ground. No sir. Just pull one off the holder, press into the corn, and you're off to the races. They are dishwasher safe (if your RV has such a thing) and easy to clean. Again, the holder keeps the very sharp pins (more like thick needles) safe from poking a hole in your fingers when looking through a drawer for the holders.

I really wish they had added a way to hang them on a hook or by a ring (a split ring?) I am going to rig something up to let me hang them on a hook inside a closet door. Likely near the utensil drawer. Other than that, they make a fine, lightweight addition to my RV.

Be Seeing You...Down the Road,

Rich "The Wanderman"