Blisters and Duct Tape

You’re out hunting and notice a blister has formed on your foot for some odd reason. You don’t want to end the hunt early, but you fear the wrath you’ll receive from the wife/husband when you return home limping because infection has set in. Here’s a suggestion.

Using a sterilized needle from your first aid kit or sterilize the tip of your hunting knife and insert it under the base of the blister. Press out the fluid, keeping the skin flap intact.

Cut a hole, slightly larger than the size and shape of the blister in some pliable cloth and place over the blister. Place a second layer of cloth on top of the first and seal this homemade doughnut bandage to your foot with some duct tape. No duct tape? What kind of sportsman doesn’t carry a roll of duct tape at all times? Hopefully you’ll be lucky enough to find a substitute tape or ask a buddy to use some of his/her duct tape.

Keep your fork



An elderly priest was getting fed up with the great number of people in his parish who were confessing to adultery. One Sunday in the pulpit, the priest announced, “If I hear one more person confess to adultery, I’m quitting!”

Since he was so popular, the parishioners came up with a code word to avoid incurring his wrath; anyone who had committed adultery would say they had “fallen.”

The arrangement appeared to satisfy the old priest right up until his death. His young replacement soon settled into parish life and visited with the mayor to express his concern about the safety in the town. “You have to do something about the sidewalks,” the new priest told the mayor. “When people come into the confessional, they keep talking about having fallen.”

Keep your fork

The 5 Second Rule

While picking a broken piece of cookie off the carpet while watching TV the other night, (of course I was going to eat it) I heard and seen the Pickle Queen spill the container of chocolate covered almonds on the kitchen floor. I couldn’t help but notice her gather up the wayward almonds and put the ones that survived her eating them back into the container.

I grew up with the 5 second rule, but realize there are other time limit variations (3 second, 10 second, etc.) out there. What ever rule you follow, the general premise is that bacteria won’t contaminate the food in that short period of time. If the right ‘food’ was dropped while I was growing up,  I had to be fast in order to beat my brother and sisters from getting to it first.  So, I didn’t think twice about the cookie or almonds.

One of the most harmful bacteria present in our homes is Salmonella typhimurium which is found in the digestive tract and scat (feces) of animals and can end up in our food. There are other strains that are also dangerous, but Salmonella is the most common one we hear about.

By eating raw or undercooked food, the Salmonella bacteria, when present in large enough numbers in the food, may cause sickness. True, the acid in our stomachs may kill many bacteria, but the ones that survive will move to and survive in the small intestine, causing inflammation leading to cramps, diarrhea and vomiting.

You may not ingest raw/undercooked food directly, but remember, the Salmonella bacteria can live up to 4 weeks on a dry surface in our homes. Other bacterial strains have similar survival rates. We may get ‘sick to our small intestine” sometime later after the bacteria was introduced into our living space.

Tests using the 5 second rule showed that a piece of bologna dropped onto tile, carpet and wood that were contaminated with the Salmonella typhimurium bacteria gave the following results:

Tile – nearly 99% of the bacteria transferred
Carpet – 0-5% of the bacteria transferred
Wood – 5-68% of the bacteria transferred

A second study shows that wet food, such as pastrami, picked up much more of the bacteria as compared to a dry food, like a saltine cracker. Similar results were obtained using both the 2 and 6 second rule. This shows that it’s not the amount of exposure time but how wet the food was.

Another test dropped apple slices and Skittles on an  ‘everyday environment’ to see how long it took for them to become contaminated. Results showed that regardless of time exposed, (5, 10 or 30 seconds) no Salmonella were transferred. Yet another test using many strains of bacteria, has shown contamination after only 2 seconds of contact.

I guess what time length you use isn’t that important. Which bacteria is present, the wetness of the food dropped and the type of surface on which the food was dropped are the important factors.

I feel safer having eaten that cookie piece than I do when I consume those wayward almonds that were put back into the canister.

Keep your fork

Water Damaged Vehicles

I’ve seen many ‘portable parking lots’ full of used vehicles heading north lately. I’ve also been by an auto auction lot that contained row after row of vehicles that are to be auctioned off, many of which will end up on used car lots around the country. I’m not saying that all these vehicles have flood damage or have been submerged, but the U.S. Department of Justice’s Bureau of Justice Assistance (BJA) says as many as one million flood-damaged vehicles could potentially be passed on to unsuspecting buyers. Here are some basic tips from the AAA on what to check before buying a used vehicle.

  • Start with a reputable dealer (seller). A dealership that has been in your community for many years might be less likely to risk its reputation by selling damaged vehicles.
  • Check for telltale signs of flood water damage such as dried mud under the spare tire, behind the wiring harness and under the dashboard.
  • A damaged vehicle may have a damp or musty odor. The vehicles may not have a new car smell but an off odor is often a sign of trouble.
  • New carpeting, headliner, upholstery in an older vehicle may be hiding serious problems. Look under the rug for signs of moisture.
  • Check for water stains on the entire length of the seatbelts, so buckle up.
  • Take the vehicle on an extended test drive, checking all the lights, electronics and sound system. Remember that speakers and water do not mix well.
  • Take the vehicle to your mechanic. It is wise to have a professional look over any used vehicle before purchasing it.
  • When a vehicle has been ‘totaled’ by an insurance company because of flood damage,a salvage title should be issued by the DMV branding the vehicle title with the term “salvage” or “flood”. This sometimes fails to happen for some unseen reason, so it’s important to remember the above basic tips.

Keep your fork

Safer Siphoning

I’m sure safety experts would tell us that there is NO safe way to siphon gasoline from one container to another. This ‘Safer Siphoning’ post will work for most liquids including gasoline, other fuels, oil, water, etc. I’m using siphoning gasoline as most of us, in our younger days, probably got a mouthful of gasoline at one time or another and wished we knew how to avoid said experience. Here is a safer way to siphon if we are still up to our old tricks.

After securing a long, clear hose or tube, place the donor container up off the ground and run one end into a donor container, making sure the end is below the surface. You can blow gently into the other end of the hose and listen for the gurgling sound to make sure it is submerged.

Leaving the submerged end of the hose in the donor container, form a downward loop with the hose (tube) making sure the bottom of the loop touches the ground with the end being higher than the gas in the donating container.

Sucking gently on the end of the hose, watch the gas move to the bottom of the loop and begin to rise. At this point stop sucking and let the gas in the hose come up to the level of the gas in the donating container.

Place the free end of the hose into the recipient container and slowly lower it to the ground. When you have the desired amount in the recipient container, raise it above the level of the gas in the donating container. Remove the hose and straighten it out to allow the remaining gas to drain back into the donating container.

Keep your fork


Cooking and Baking Safety

With the holidays approaching and much cooking/baking to be done, here are a few safety tips to keep in mind.

  • Be alert! If you are sleepy or have consumed alcohol don’t use the stove or stovetop.
  • Stay in the kitchen while you are frying, grilling or broiling food. If you leave the kitchen for even a short period of time, turn off the stove.
  • If you are simmering, baking, roasting or boiling food, check it regularly, remain in the home while food is cooking, and use a timer to remind you that you are cooking.
  • Keep anything that can catch fire – oven mitts, wooden utensils, food packaging, towels or curtains – away from your stove top.
  • Have a “kid-free zone” of at least 3 feet around the stove and areas where hot food or hot drink is prepared or carried.

If You Have A Cooking Fire:

  • Just get out! When you leave, close the door behind you to help contain the fire.
  • Call 9-1-1 or the local emergency number after you leave.
  • If you try to fight the fire, be sure others are getting out and you have a clear way out.
  • Keep a lid nearby when you’re cooking to smother small grease fires. Smother the fire by sliding the lid over the pan and turn off the stovetop. Leave the pan covered until it is completely cooled.
  • For an oven fire, turn off the heat and keep the door closed.

Keep your fork (and keep safe)

After The Fire

This is the time of the year when many house fires happen. Here is a quick reference and guide for you to follow after a fire strikes. Hopefully no one has to use these, but if you do, hopefully it’s helpful.

  • Contact your local disaster relief organization, such as The Red Cross, if you need temporary housing, food and/or medicine.
  • If you are insured, contact your insurance agency for detailed instructions on protecting the property, conducting inventory and contacting the fire damage restoration companies. If you are not insured, try contacting private organizations for aid and assistance.
  • Check with the fire department to make sure your residence is safe to enter.Be watchful of any structural damage caused by the fire.
  • The fire department should see that utilities are either safe to use or are disconnected before they leave the site. DO NOT attempt to reconnect utilities yourself.
  • Conduct an inventory of damaged property and items. Do not throw away any damaged goods until after the inventory is completed.
  • Try to locate valuable documents and records.
  • If you leave your home, contact the local police department to let them know that the site will be unoccupied.
  • Begin saving receipts for any money you spend related to fire loss. The receipts may be needed later by the insurance company and for verifying losses claimed on income tax.
  • Notify your mortgage company of the fire.
  • Check with an accountant or the IRS about special benefits for people recovering from fire loss.

Keep your fork