Wednesday, October 27, 2021

Dry Wash

Lonesome By Moonlight

This is also called a sandwash (think about it). Anyway, it's a streambed that carries water only during and maybe immediately after rain storms. Intermittently. Every now and then. Often over-enthusiastically. "We camped in the dry wash to get out of the wind but had to move to avoid the flood."


Also one way to wash your car. If you don't especially like the paint. And, given that a wash is the dry bed of an intermittent stream, a dry wash must be on the severely scary end of dehydrated, right? But life turns out that way sometimes.

At least sandwash is a nice smooth word. You can do something with a word like that, given a tad of imagination. Could be a rodent bath, maybe? They like sand. A cozy rodent bath, in a protected nook, warm but shady, at least until the flash flood hits. Then it's all outwash. Flush time. Bye-bye.


Outwash, rat wash, applesauce, balderdash, baloney, bilge, blague, blah, blather, blatherskite, bosh, bull, bunk, bunkum, bushwa, claptrap, cobblers, codswallop, crock, double-talk, drip, drivel, drool, eyewash, fiddle-faddle, fiddlesticks, flapdoodle, flimflam, flummadiddle, fudge, gas, gook, guff, hogwash, hokum, hooey, horsefeathers, hot air, humbug, jazz, jiggery-pokery, malarkey, meshuggaas, moonshine, piffle, pishposh, poppycock, punk, rot, rubbish, slipslop, tomfoolery, tommyrot, tosh, trash, trumpery, twaddle, whangdoodle, and windbagger. They all work. Stuff that goes through your head while you're still wrapped in your sleeping bag, being swept downstream to your doom.

And the moon laughs, silently as always.


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Me? Trying to take it in only small sips.

Wednesday, October 13, 2021

Nansen Cooker

Nansen Cooker

Devised in the 19th century by the Norwegian Arctic explorer Fridtjof Nansen, this may be the most efficient stove setup ever.

Heat passes up from the burner and around the outside of the cooking pot. This is normal, what you would expect from any stove, but in the Nansen Cooker the cooking pot is surrounded by a ring-shaped container holding cold water, ice or snow, and the combustion gases also heat this.

Then, when these hot gases have risen above the cooking pot, they hit another container sitting above it. This next container contains cold water, ice or snow, so some heat is absorbed there as well. Finally, the gases are forced to flow back down the outside of that ring-shaped container, giving up the last bit of heat they contain.

This arrangement is said to be 90% to 93% efficient at extracting energy from the burning fuel. Who said nineteenth-century technology was only about slabs of pig iron and lumps of coal?

As Nansen said: "The hot gases from the combustion of the kerosene, before they escape into the outside air, have to circulate along a tortuous path, passing from the hot interior to the colder exterior compartments, losing heat all the time. Thus a hot hoosh is preparing in the central vessel side by side with the melting of snow for cocoa or tea in the annulus. By the combination of 'Nansen Cooker' and primus stove one gallon of kerosene oil properly husbanded is made to last for twelve days in the preparation of the ordinary ration for three men."

A Nansen cooker is indeed highly efficient but also highly specialized. I think you need to be Norwegian and need a note from your mom or you aren't even allowed to touch one.


Stove Evolution


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Me? Still cookin'

Wednesday, October 6, 2021

Wood Pussy

Wood Pussy

This is in fact a venerable term used mostly in New England by old-timers. Care should be taken when using the term around those with a limited vocabulary, or lacking in knowledge of its appropriate usage. You never know what people like that might be thinking.

A Skunk. The skunk is an American musteline (stinky) mammal typically ejecting an intensely malodorous fluid when it is startled or threatened, or just feeling ornery. Appearance ranges from species to species, from black-and-white to brown or cream colored.

A stink weasel. A critter in fact related to weasels, ferrets, and minks, not all of which are especially stinky, but look out anyway because teeth. Skunk, right? We were just there, right? OK then. Other definitions too interesting to mention.

A critter not at all related to "Busty Granny Having Fun in the Forest". Makes you blush just hearing about it, doesn't it? And not only because of the fuzzy parts.


But really, if you want to know it all, well take a look at: 'Your Skunk FAQ.'


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Me? Recently nominated for something by someone, somewhere.