Friday, May 4, 2012

What to do while waiting - SHOP, of course!

Again, I had planned on waiting until we had a closing date to post my next blog entry, but I just noticed my page views shot way up today and, also, I am feeling withdrawal so here we go....

First, as you can deduce from the previous sentence - no closing date yet. Before I get into this post's topic, I will share part of the last email received regarding the property. This is from the title company:
"There are 2 corrective deeds that need to be signed by the loan servicer. The deeds have been forwarded to them. As of yesterday, they were not signed. ...there were requirements for an affidavit to correct the foreclosure documents and for 2 corrective deeds. I received the affidavit, but not the deeds. ...Our underwriter would not accept just the affidavit. ...So, now we are just waiting for the deeds."

Well, at least it has progressed to a point that someone knows where some paperwork is at, the consensus seems to be that one party thought an affidavit stating what the error is on the two deeds would be enough, while the other party insists the deeds need to be corrected, not just add another paper saying 'this it what should be on these two deeds'.

So, what have we been doing while continuing to wait? (1) Alan has been perusing property web sites again. As we near yet another extension deadline, we need to decide if we allow another extension or not. We have discussed what would sway our decision one way or the other as the date approaches, but hopefully we will not get to that point. While it is fun to look at other possible properties, we have made a lot of plans based on this one. We never expected to have a house on the property, but after finding this one, it would be hard to reset our train of thought back to the timeline before we knew about the property we are hoping to close on. We may need to add a time machine to our list of things we want to experiment with.
(2) SHOPPING! You may think this is going to be redundant because, yes, we went to Lehman's ( and had a shopping spree (see previous posts). And yes, we went to Harbor Freight ( and filled a couple shopping carts (also a previous post), but this is a different kind of shopping story. This one involves the elusive, the experimental and the unexpected (and I admit unnecessary).

The Elusive:
Item #1 - a cork. We wanted a small cork for our Berky Water Filter (pictured to the right). The filters for the system can handle 6000 gallons of water, but they also have a 6 month active life once put into use. The system uses multiple filters at once to increase the flow rate. Since we will never reach the 6000 gallon volume limit within the 6 month time limit, we want to only use one filter at a time. It will take longer to filter the water, but we can get 12 months off two filters rather than 6 months. To do this, all we needed was a small rubber stopper to block water flow to one of the filters. So we had to make another trip to a hardware store. In fact, we went to a couple hardware stores and a farm supply store and none carried rubber stoppers. Then I thought of American Science Surplus ( Yes, it is about an hour away but we condoned the long trip for such a small item because we could combine it with a visit to our see our 9 month old grandson (and daughter & son-in-law), and besides, who knows what else we would find at this extremely unique store. Success! as we expected, and we also found a few other items.

Item #2 - a small twist on cap. A friend gave us three great bottles for taking potable water down to the property on our first trip. However, one of the bottles was missing the small twist on cap for the vent hole. Alan went to about a dozen stores looking for some product that would have the same size cap - hardware stores (of course), dollar stores, pharmacies, etc. I am also assuming he looked around the house, but after all the effort going from store to store, I don't want to ask that question now.

Unfortunately, we hadn't started looking for a cap when we were on the great rubber stopper expedition. But as exasperation started setting in over the elusiveness of the sought after cap, we determined we must once again make the trek to American Science Surplus. The fact that we had something to deliver to our daughter and would get to see our grandson again may have heightened our 'need' to find this cap at Science Surplus.
Once again the store did not disappoint, we found the perfect size cap on a small, empty glass bottle. All it took was 35 cents (and about a 100 mile round trip) to get the elusive cap. Good thing Scoot gets great diesel mileage.

The Experimental:
We also strolled around the store again for potential ideas and picked up a Mylar emergency blanket to use in our solar oven experiments. We are contemplating purchasing a solar stove, but so far the choices we have found are either inexpensive (cheap) foreign made ovens or expensive (maybe not so cheap) American made ovens. All the reviews I have read on the foreign ones tend to list the various ways they are broken from the start or fall apart when in use. I haven't read any reviews on the American made ones, good or bad. I am sure the one we make will have rave reviews (at least on a certain blog). Before building a solar over to cook with, Alan first intends to experiment by building one to fill with TEG modules to produce our electricity; a more efficient, smaller, cheaper and longer-lasting alternative to solar panels (watch for a future blog entry).

The Unexpected (and admittedly unnecessary):
Time to admit another addiction. Every night, right after midnight, I click on to the woot! website (  to see the listings of the day. If you are not familiar with woot!, it started years ago as a web site that sells one item per day. If the items sells out, nothing new is added until midnight. Over the years, the site has expanded by adding shirt.woot!, kids.woot!, wine.woot! and home.woot! The icon they use is an explanation point in a circle. Several nights I go, I went to check out what treasures were available that day and when I saw the home.woot! item, I knew I had to have it. It was a Lodge cast iron skillet. That was the 'unnecessary' part of this purchase as I already have several cast iron skillets. The unexpected part, and what actually made me 'need' this particular skillet, was the fact it was made specifically for woot! See the photos below.
My new Lodge cast iron skillet - geek-i-fied.
This post's question:
Are there any other experiments on our list to try?
Yes, I really want to try to make a zeer pot. This is a very low-tech refrigerator that dates back thousands of years (2500 B.C.) and can be made now-of-days using two terra cotta planters (unglazed).

Well, it is just about midnight, so you know where I'm going.... No, not to bed... to woot!


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  2. Oops, sorry Tom, I was playing around in the comments section and accidentally deleted it.