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Wednesday, March 22, 2017

A Great Modern BBQ Lighting System That Works!

    Isn't it always great when you can get a great product at a great price. I regularly search all the liquidation stores in my area and beyond doing just that. Every once in a while I stumble upon an item I've wanted for a while that is so deeply discounted that I cannot resist its siren song any longer. This time it wasn't all that costly! I found a beautifully designed BBQ grill illumination system that looks great AND works great. Perfect for cooking outside the RV.

How Could I Resist!
Cuisinart is a great name. Over the years I have had products manufactured by them that have lasted much longer than their competitors. (I know, that's not always the case, but more often than not.) Just looking at the construction of this beauty shows you why. Utilizing thick plastic and metal this light is a bit heavy. That's a good thing here as it will likely last a long time.

Now on to the functions and actual use. It's BRIGHT! With all three LEDs on, it will definitely light up your grill. It would have been nice to have a way to turn on either one, two or all three LEDs, but there isn't. It attaches to your grill lid handle with a robust clamp. I have a "Jenn-Air" branded grill at home and it held on very well with no slippage on the metal handle.

One of the coolest things about this light is that you can expand the entire unit. That means it can go from a narrow REALLY bright spotlight on the center of your grill to a wider "flood-light" pattern. Besides being useful, it really looks cool when you extend it. Impress your friends....well, only if they are easily impressed or enjoy unique LED lights like I do. The light runs on 3 AAA batteries and should last a long time on a set. The clamping system can be used on other surfaces as well. It so happens to clamp well to my open overhead cabinet doors and works great to really see what's in them. The bottom line? At 75% off (a whopping $7.50) it was a great deal.

One Day I may get around to installing 12 Volt LED lights inside the overhead cabinets, but not just yet. Until then, this works beautifully.  Makes it easier to clean up your grill after dark. Especially if you have a good cleaning tool. It's sleek and modern...just!

Be Seeing You...Down The Road,

Rich "The Wanderman"

Editor: If you can't find these in a nearby discount store but just have to have one, they're on Amazon (for about $20). 


Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Even The Simple Things - Mini Brush Surface Cleaner!

    I begin many of my stories with the "I hate cleaning" exclamation. Well, it's true, I DO hate cleaning. Any time I come across anything that will make cleaning tasks easier or faster I am all over them. While perusing a local dollar store I came across a small, hand-held device that looked like it would make many clean-up tasks easier and faster. After looking at it for a while, it came to me...My Grandmother had one of these when I was little. I remember those meals fondly, she was a great cook! After meals, she would use it all the time. If it worked for her, it would work for me!

It's a simple device, a roller brush attached to a plastic tray with a slot in it. The brush protrudes just enough that it will sweep debris into the tray when moved/rolled over it. There is a top half that snaps into place over the brush to contain any flying or flinging debris. The two halves separate to empty the device into the trash. It's an elegant design that just works. It picked up crumbs (obviously) and bits of food easily. Dried-on bits, not so much. Wet, sloppy messes, not at all. But that's a given. At the "dollar" store, they were two for 4.00. So a bit "pricey."

Now that's not to say it isn't without its faults. The tab that holds the top half on is a bit flimsy and must be manipulated carefully. If it breaks, the device will still work, but you have to hold the halves together manually. When you are done cleaning, separate the halves and dump in the trash. I find if you flip it over (brush side up) and tap a few times most of the debris will fall into the top half and be easily dumped. Once in a while, you'll need to clean the brush. You can use water for this, but make sure it is dry before putting it away as the metal parts will rust. It even works on soft surfaces, like beds...

Why is it that so-called "dollar" stores often have very few items for a buck? And lots of items for much more. That's not to say there aren't real dollar stores; in fact, I have one close by. Just that many don't live up to their names. Maybe it's the value for a dollar? Who knows....

Be Seeing You...Down The Road,

Rich "The Wanderman"


Wednesday, March 8, 2017

A Great Idea For Anti-Spill Heat Resistant Coasters

One Of MANY Coffee Makers In My RV
   Coasters. Yes, coasters. Who really uses them every time? Not I. That just changed. Since I hate to clean so much and I enjoy relaxing, especially on vacation road trips, I found a way that a special coaster will help me do both. No, really! Think about it...if you use a coaster, it can prevent scorching of your table or other surface. It prevents those rings of moisture from damaging them as well. But what about a big glass of something iced that just exceeds the capacity of your coaster and spreads out all over the place. Or even the big cup of coffee (I LIKE coffee!) that you sip and put down just to spill some over the rim? Coffee can stain...HOT coffee can stain quickly. I have a cheap and easy solution.

A few days ago, I had to pick up my car from the dealer. Yes, I know, I'm not too fond of the dealer either...but it was for a free service so it's OK. Just down the road is a large IKEA store. It's fun to look through their gizmos and gadgets as they almost always have something I can use or re-purpose for the road. This time was no exception. I found a really cool set of coasters made from compressed cork that has a lip all the way around to catch liquid. I should have thought of that! Well, I didn't, but thankfully someone did.

Nice Deep Rim
They come two to a pack for just $1.67, an odd price, but well worth it. I should have bought two more! They do come in two sizes, but the larger one will work well for almost any drinking container. Besides, it will hold much more before spilling over. As a nice bonus, they are non slip and non skid. No more sliding glassware if you're not quite level. The larger size will easily fit most standard and slightly oversized coffee mugs as well. No, not the enormous ones that hold half a pot! But the larger ones that hold 2 Cups worth. Hmmm.

Why is it that a mug, which most folks use for coffee, is actually two cups worth of liquid as indicated by the markings on the pot? Must be a throwback to those dainty little porcelain cups of yore.

No dainty cups for me. Especially in the morning I need my java boost from a thick mug. Since my coordination that early is always a bit off, having somewhere to aim my cup and capture mistakes is a boon. They don't even take up much space. Nice. Very nice.

Be Seeing You...Down The Road,

Rich "The Wanderman"


Wednesday, March 1, 2017

Even The Simple Things - Dual Magnifying Glass

Tiny Serial And Model Numbers!
    Although I will never admit it, sometimes I need to see something better. Clearer and nearer. I won't use glasses (not yet at least!) but I will use a magnifying glass. I've been afraid to keep a good glass one in the RV since it would likely break or would require lots of care to keep in good shape. As everyone already knows, I haunt quite a few dollar stores and merchandise liquidators all over the place. You never know what you'll find. This time I came up with an acrylic plastic dual power hand held magnifying glass that actually works well. Yup, you guessed it...only 1 dollar.

Nice, Big Design.
  This one has a large (4" across) main lens and a smaller 1" double power one. They look to be about 2X and 5X respectively. Now, don't go thinking this will magnify with the same quality as a glass lens, it won't. However, for jobs that don't require perfect precision it's just fine. Reading tiny serial numbers on electronics, the stick-on appliance label behind the the dark...with a problem. Taking a look at a tiny eyeglass hinge screw hole to see if it's stripped? Yup, the smaller lens works fine. Not perfect, but good enough. And since it's worries about shattering. I wrap mine up in a microfiber cloth that came in a pack of three for, yes, you guessed it, 1 dollar! It stays clean and scratch free until I need it.

It's really handy to have the double power mini magnifier built in. You can simply move your hand a bit and get a "zoomed in" view of any detail. Some folks swear by their cell phone camera lens and use it to zoom in on items. That would work, but just pulling out this beauty and taking a look is simpler and doesn't require any power. It also works WAY better in full daylight than any LED screen I've seen on a phone or tablet. Just in case you were wondering....yes, you can start fires with it.  In a pinch...that could save your life.

Like everything...YMMV (Your Mileage May Vary). I'm happy to have found this looking glass. Perhaps I have a bit of the Sherlock Holmes fantasy left over. Indubitably.

Be Seeing You...Down The Road,

Rich "The Wanderman"