talon: (Default)
( Jun. 20th, 2011 09:05 am)

http://www.latimes.com/business/autos/la-fi-autos-spare-tires-20110620,0,5256760.story

I have had so many flats! If I hadn't had a spare tire, I would have been stranded for long periods of time. Even with a spare tire, I was stranded overnight out of state because I wanted the flat fixed before I continued my trip - just so I could still have a spare tire - and a good thing, too, because only hours after I was back on the road, I had another flat.

Road hazard insurance does you no good at all if your flat occurs miles from any human habitation on a lightly traveled road.

The tire inflator kit does no good when the tread peels off your tire or a bubble forms in the sidewall and bursts - both of which have happened to me numerous times.

I will gladly, joyfully pay that extra $22 it costs to have a real spare tire, and $50 for an actual tire rather than one of the "donut" temporary spare tires that have become so common.

I will accept the 0.01% increase in gas usage to have the comfort of a real spare tire rather than a can of faulty spray sealant and a tire pump.

And those run-flat tires?

Noisy, short tread life, and hideously expensive.

I would not have flat-run tires on my car. My bicycle, yes. My car? No.

They haven't driven the remote back roads of Oklahoma, Texas, Colorado, Arkansas, Kansas, Illinois, Kentucky, New Mexico, Arizona, California, Nevada - those are some mighty isolated roads, more than 50 miles (the maximum you can drive on a flat-run tire or a tire filled with that fix-a-flat spray) from the nearest tire repair/replacement place. And if the tire blows out or the tread rips off or a sidewall bubble forms - what then?

I want real tires and a real tire spare, not a spray can and a pump.

They claim having a spare is a convenience not a safety feature.

talon: (Default)
( Jun. 20th, 2011 10:02 am)

People have wondered for years why bugs rarely bite me.

Part of it is that I rarely sweat, and bugs are attracted to the lactic acid in sweat. I also breathe through my nose a lot - the quantity of carbon dioxide in exhaled mouth breathing attracts biting and stinging bugs.

Also, I dry my clothes in Bounce, which contains linalool - a plant compound toxic to most biting and stinging bugs - bugs like mosquitoes, gnats, biting flies, and the no-see-ums. Carrying Bounce dryer sheets (the original, not the fragrance drenched ones) can repel the bugs.

Also, the Yankee Outdoor Mosquito Candle has linalool in it, so burning that in your smoke hole or on your patio or at your picnic might reduce the swarms of mosquitoes just hunting your tasty, tasty flesh.

Bright colors like yellow and blue and red and orange, and dark colors like navy and black are bug magnets. Wear neutral colors like beige, tan, olive green, rust, brown, or khaki instead.

Carbonated drinks also attract these bugs, so drink tea, lemonade, orgeat, water, or wine when outdoors.

If you do get bitten by itching bugs, there are lots of things you can use to relieve the itch. The sooner these are applied, the better.

Therpik is a portable device that zaps the itch out of bug bites.

If you'd prefer other methods, rubbing the bite with a bar of Ivory soap (wet or dry) works, as does glopping on Germ-X. Minty toothpaste. Vinegar. Rubbing alcohol. Mouthwash, particularly mint-based ones. A paste of mentholated tobacco. Baking soda and water paste. A paste of Epsom salts and water. Aspirin crushed and mixed with enough rubbing alcohol to make a paste. Calamine lotion. Benadryl. Bactine. Orajel. Anbesol. Vicks Vapo-Rub. Preparation H. Tiger Balm. Bag Balm. Burt's Bee's Bug Bite Relief. Caladryl. Tums crushed in a bit of water. Tea tree oil. Lavender oil. Witch Hazel. Crushed fresh basil. Crushed fresh lavender. Lemon or lime slice.

Gruber's Jungle Oil also works well, but is difficult to procure. You could go to Panama and buy it at El Valle de Anton, Boquete, or Volcan in Panama, Amigos Restaurant in El Valle de Anton, or directly from Frank Gruber Chiari himself - he rides a bike around town I El Valle de Anton or Boquete and most anyone will point him out to you. Last I heard, his number was 011-507-6564-1000, or you could email him at botanicofranklingruber at hotmail. It's made with soy oil, so if you have a soy allergy, you may want to avoid it. It's also called aceite santo remedio.

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