Monday, January 27, 2014

Space Lab Up Close

Very hi-quality clip.  When you got about half an hour to kill, get a cuppa and some cookies and go full screen.

Found myself getting a little claustrophobic 'cause it's so clear and in-your-face.

Highly informative for people with no direct experience in ships or planes and especially close quarters.

Good for kids to watch if you can get 'em away from their smart fones, iPads, and PlayStations.


Dried Stuff


We've had a dehydrator for several years; along  this line, it made a lot of noise and was slow as hell. Used it sparingly.  In truth, we would haul it out when enough time had lapsed that we forgot how useless it was.  Like apples; 24 hours to do 4 or 5 trays, maybe longer. 

When I was shopping for Christmas eve food at BJ's,  I bought a dried fruit tray, looked something  like this, for $20.  Mo Sup went nuts for it.  So,  when her birthday rolled around last week I gave her  a LEM 5 tray dehydrator. 

 I looked at a dozen or so on Amazon, and even when getting a positive review it wasn't unusual for the writer to add "no timed shut-off."   I looked for one with that featurewithout much success  Another wish many reviewers expressed was a  rear mounted "stronger fan" so they didn't have to rotate trays so often.  So rear fan went my list.  Fast forward.

Didn't buy it at Amazon because they didn't sell the 5 tray (then).  After searching about,  I ordered one from  Gander  on Jan. 15th; it arrived the next day.

Products Status Qty Price
754014 LEM 5-Tray Countertop Dehydrator w/Digital Timer
In stock 1 $104.99

Subtotal: $104.99

Shipping & Handling: FREE

Additional Freight: $0.00

Tax:* $6.30

Total: $111.29

Following only these directions in the product manual (8 whole pages), I threw in some apple, papaya, mango, bannanas, and Kiwi.  Everything but the unevenly cut mangoes and papaya were done in about 4 hours, those took an additional 6 hours.  Which brings us to another lesson that I learned.  Uniform thickness really is important, so three words.  Mandolin.

Mangoes are a pain in the ass to cut because of that breast bone.  Voila.  Today I peeled the mango, set the mandolin blade depth to ¼ inch and sliced until I hit bone.  Then, turned over until bone, and then the sides.  The result was that for the first time ever I got 90% of the flesh off a mango, and all of it was ¼ inch thick!

Put it out here in the sunroom;  you can get an idea about the footprint.  Took some pics of a batch of stuff I began at this morning.

The mangoes took 8 hours.

Same with the pineapple;  the dates need another 3 hours.

Half dozen apples done  in 4 hours.

What in the hell is that? It's pumpkin "leather" I bought the "Dehydrator Bible" shown up top, and was immediately confused by instructions to dry certain items on parchment or leatherThat was a can of pumpkin, spread to about ¼  inchIf you like dried pumpkin, there you go.  Actually, this is meant to be reconstituted and made into a pie in your hide-out shelter.

There you go.  If you've had a notion, now you have a leg up. Next,  I'm making squirrel jerky.

How Cold Is It?


Same Hawk - I combined two images to help save the environmet.

This Red Tail Hawk is hardly newsworthy, but it is maybe just the second time in 30+ years that one has been around long enough, and close enough,  to have a good picture taken.  We've been strewing plenty of seed and bread  on the deck, but it's been the (heated) water tray that's drawing birds of every stripe to our yard.  Mr. Hawk may have stopped for a drink,  and is waiting around for a nice plump Mourning Dove to stop in.  Or even, OMG, even a ratbastard squirrel!  Our Red Fox is also very active these days, as are the Coon Raiders at night.  Worse comes to bad, we will eat all of these creatures.