Monday, November 30, 2009

Another Doctor visit

Got to go to the doctor again today, oh joy, oh rapture!
Satire aside I explained how the naproxin he'd put me on made me feel worse. He figures this means my problem is actually stomach related which is handy because I'd decided the other day that food seems to have an effect on "the pain". So he's got me taking an acid blocker (think Prilosec but prescription only) for the next 10 days. If that helps then he'll have a look in my belly and find out whats going on. Thats a fun prospect huh?

So its always interesting here in sick-ville.

The thing is I don't really feel sick. I go to work, I go home, I slowly take the dog for a walk...
Then sometimes, WHAM. Like the other day I figured I'd work on my lawnmower but "the pain" stepped up and laid the hurt on me.
Some days are good though, Saturday Angie and I took Buster for a walk, full speed, long distance, no problems...
Sure would love to get it figured out.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

4 stoves

Did I ever mention I have 4 stoves now?
#1 is the Coleman 425 I got from my grandmother
#2 is the Coleman 413 I got from Angie's grandfather
#3 is the Coleman 502 I bought on Craigslist
#4 is the Prepo I got from my grandmother.Its my only propane stove and as most propane stoves are pretty soulless and since stoves take up a lot of space it'll probably stay my only stove...
It is, like my Wenzel, pretty cheaply made. The case is just stamped steel welded at the edges. It uses a piano type hinge for the lid which was probably an off the shelf item.
Propane comes from little 6oz cans which are no longer available. Thats going to be a problem. One of the reasons I wanted this stove is because I hate using liquid fuel stoves in the house. For camping they're the bomb but in the house they smell. Propane is basically odorless so its a nice alternative when the power is out. This is also why I like kerosene lanterns, my 249 is mostly odorless too.

So since the small propane cans are no longer available I'm planning to rig up a way to run this with today's larger cans. Theres 2 ways to go about that:
#1. Adapt a valve system from a newer stove to go to this stove's burners. The problem with this idea is that theres no valve for the right side burner, just the valve on the can. Most newer propane stoves have 2 burner controls.

#2. Adapt from the newer type propane bottle to the older type mount. I like this one because if I were really clever I could hide some of the conversion parts inside an old can. The problem here is making sure my fabrication skills are up to the job. Propane is a high-pressure fuel so care is called for. This is not something that can be bodgered together with tape...

Another problem is that the hinge had rusted (okay it got painted when I was a kid...) and wasn't working and at some point the case had torn some where the hinge mounts. So thats got to get welded or brazed or whatever back together. Then the whole thing needs to be stripped and repainted so I'll need to remake the Prepo sticker in the lid. Its a pretty simple design so I'm hopeful its something I can accomplish...

And 7...

I just can't stop myself. Last Monday I bought a Wenzel 1887 lantern. I haven't got a pic yet but its a Petromax type lantern (Butterfly and Brite-lyt are other brands). Found it on Craigslist for $35.
The Wenzel is a Chinese made copy of a German design.
A 600cp (candle power) kerosene burning monster the Petromax design provides two methods for preheat, theres an alcohol cup just like Coleman used but theres also a crazy blowtorch arrangement that shoots fire at the generator...

This lantern was made on the cheap and the pump is TERRIBLE. Plus you need a LOT of pressure to make the blowtorch work so its a huge hassle to get the thing running. The pump leather is thin so it doesn't make a great seal and if you push too fast the air slips by...
Brite-Lyt has 2 solutions for that, one is an updated pump which uses an o-ring arrangement, the other is a schrader valve so you can use a regular tire pump. I ordered both. Figure the schrader valve is better because I can use a bigger volume pump (or electric compressor) but the pump will be good if we're out camping with no other pump available.

The glass is broken and I guess this is a common problem with Wenzel lanterns which were, as I mentioned before, made on the cheap. Brite-lyt makes some big claims about their glass so I grabbed one.

Finally I don't have any 500cp mantles, my 249 is the brightest single mantle lantern I had before this so I tried one of my Peerless 24A mantles, it worked okay but was clearly too small. I ordered some of the Brite-lyt mantles but probably should have waited, the online guys say they're junk. I need to call Leacock Coleman and order some more #24A mantles anyway as I want to try one in a 200A, they carry a #111 that should work well.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

200A complete!

Remember this sad little lantern?
Heres a closer look:

In case you'd forgotten I found it on the wall in my grandmother's garage. Dad says my grandfather bought it, my AGM 2572 and two stoves (my 425E and Prepo) from a friend of his and that none of the stuff was used much after he bought it.
Last summer I went up for a visit and grabbed the lanterns and then went crazy and ground all the paint off this one. Then spent HOURS sanding and painting, sanding and painting etc. Finally got it all painted up and assembled and it wouldn't burn right... Spent HOURS figuring that out, bought a parts lantern even and finally got it burning correctly so tonight I put the Coleman sticker on.

So its done and hangs in a place of honor... Well actually it doesn't. Right now its sitting on the workbench, you see I've got this 249 that has a bail from a 200A and I'm trading a guy for a proper shaped bail and I wanted to send him the nicest one I have which was currently installed on this lantern... I'll clean up the one thats currently on the 200A to put on here...

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Rumors of my demise

"Reports of my death are greatly exaggerated" - Mark Twain

I had another doctor's appointment yesterday. Ostensibly this was a "checkup" but in reality it was "what did the stress test reveal?" and the answer there is nothing...
So basically my heart is fine, something else is wrong. He gave me some big words that boil down to "inflammation and pain" whoop-dee doo doc, print that one on your sign. So he put me on naproxin which is an anti-inflammatory and pain reliever. If that helps (ie the pain gets better) it means that I've got a muscle strain somewhere. If it doesn't I dunno...

He also changed out my blood pressure medication. I was well pleased with that as Metaprolo knocks the wind out of me. I was needing naps basically every day which is just out of control... The new pill is just a dieuretic and shouldn't bug me so bad, plus I only have to take it once a day so I'm much less likely to forget...