Wastelands of Suburbia

A place where the cast-off ephemera of the last four generations comes to rest, and is discussed fondly....Like junk, or the injection-molded minutiae of history? Welcome home...Junkyards, yard sales, roadside oddities, thrift stores and more-your memories are deep inside the box, so keep shaking.

Sunday, May 12, 2013

Things I Have Enough Of To Last A Lifetime, Episode 1

Whether it is my own compulsion or just a random occurence, there are certain things I possess that, while not entirely crucial to survival, I have more than enough of for the rest of my days. I will start a compendium of these items as I re-acquaint myself with them.

Teflon Tape.
This stuff, for those that don't know, is the thin white 'tape' that you wrap around the threads of plumbing fixtures to help seal out any additional leakage. It comes in small but plentiful rolls (it's very thin), and doesn't really have a whole lot of applications, although I've used it to seal brake fittings on my truck (something everyone said wouldn't work), fittings on my long-gone Power King tractor, and a few liquid-bearing projects of a more Mad Scientist nature over the years.

Here's the thing-when you need it, you need it. However, WHEN you need it, you can't always find it. For this reason I have picked up one too many rolls over the years (it's cheap too), and as The Great Garage Organization Project rolls on (and will till I'm cremated and stuffed in the ventilation systems of my enemies, lying in wait for Dirty, Hot Summer), I have uncovered three or four of these in my various bins and drawers. I cannot for a moment imagine myself in an environment so leaky I'd ever need all of it, save for maybe some Terry Gilliam-esque brass and copper threaded disaster film.

Saturday, May 11, 2013

You have to be careful with dollar store stuff-what looks cool in the store doesn't always translate once you get home. Take this water bottle for example-the flip-up cap does not seal tight enough to hold fluids inside. I could write it off and say, 'it's only a dollar' or I can find a way to repurpose. While it is poor at holding fluids, it's perfect at holding zip ties-not to mention dispensing them one at a time. A simple shake is all it takes. Available at Dollar Tree.

Sunday, May 05, 2013

The Past-in Motion

This blurry image is from an 8mm film circa 1966. The image is of my father, dressed in a suit at a Bell Telephone company Christmas party, turning to wave at the camera. He's about 21 here. What I love about this is that is the only MOVING image of my dad as a young man. Sure, there's plenty of black and white photos of him from every phase of his life up until the family's use of color film in the early 1970s, but this, THIS is a better look at the man in motion.

Another shot from the same film, this time of his friend and coworker Wes's 1962 Corvette-Dad has lusted for one in Roman Red with black interior and black vinyl top, 327/4 Speed as long as I can remember. Seeing Wes drive this car to work every day had to make him nuts. What's cool about this image is it is the ONLY one of this car. Wes's son, Jonathan, whom I grew up knowing more like a cousin, was thrilled to see the car, and let me know it was the first he had ever seen it, as his dad had no pictures. The image of a young Wes (Now in his late 60s) driving past the camera and smiling with all the hope of his own future ahead of him, and me, the viewer, knowing the positive outcome is absolutely breathtaking, to be honest.

Yeah well, anyway...there's THIS

Once again, too much time has gone by, but I promise that THIS time, it's REALLY REALLY gonna change! And enough worrying about what this blog is about-I'm just gonna shoot from the hip and go from there. Whatever.

Got the chance to work with some Kydex the other day-been wanting to make a sheath for my work knife and shears, since the leather ones we get issued are lacking IMHO, as far as not having my shears fall out constantly, anyway...this is what I came up with:

Kydex is pretty easy to work with-you need a toaster oven or heat gun, and some type of press to mold with-I knocked one together out of a silicone baking sheet (for heat dispersion), a foam garden kneeler I cut in two, two pieces of plywood and some of my cheapie squeeze clamps. YouTube is an awesome resource for how-to, as there's more than one way to do this (Like vacu-forming-which I want to try next!)

In the end, I'd probably get the proper rivets or grommets, but I was anxious to play around, and it's just for work anyway, and it works, so who cares if the rivets are shiny aluminum instead of black?