Greased Cotton Balls and 2 Pounds of Fresh Air

This morning brings about sunshine and quickly warming temperatures; a vast difference from last night’s hail storms that came through the area. Inspection of the car in the driveway shows no damages. May have to get on the roof of the house to look for hail evidence as it sounded like we were in a metal roofed home when the storms came through. The dogs were scared to death from all the ice hitting the windows and the sound of bowling balls from the heavens hitting overhead.

Countdown to Alaska now shows a shade over 38 days remaining.

There’s nothing left to purchase for the trip but the list of things to do still remains. Technically I could jump on the bike and head north today if things worked out to do such but the list of prep needs will make things easier on the trip.

This morning the project was to make more easy firestarters. A quick trip to the dollar store a few days ago netted a large bag of cotton balls as well as a jar of Vaseline. Simply coat the cotton with the petroleum jelly and squeeze as many of the soaked balls into a hard container. I use a 35mm film canister as it can hold a couple dozen ready to go firestarters in a small space. The entire set up cost less than $3. The benefit is once a spark hits the soaked balls, a fire stays lit for around three minutes….even in the rain. Gives plenty of time to get a fire going.

When I go camping, I carry a small fire kit. Held within a Maxpedition Mini Pocket Organizer are the above mentioned fireballs, a BlastMaster camping frustrater, a Leatherman Micra, and a mini Bic lighter. Behind all of this are hidden pockets that hold emergency money funds, one of my business cards should the organzier be found when someday I leave it somewhere, and a few other out in the wilderness necessities.

I learned a long time ago to make sure to have redundant ways to start a fire when away from civilization. Even in the summer months, a person can get hypothermia if a cold front comes through in the evening hours.

Another purchase made last week is a new Apple Macbook Air. I am very familiar with computers, networks, Apple, PC, routers, etc. My other two laptops are a older Macbook Pro from 2009 and a Dell Latitude from 2012. I alternate back and forth between these two and one of them was slated to become my blogging tool for the Alaska trip. However, the Dell weighs nearly six pounds and the Macbook is nearly four pounds and getting slower with age.

One evening, I found myself surfing the Internet looking for new laptop options. Coming across Apple’s website, I started looking at the Macbook Air models due to their light weight and portability options. At under 3 pounds and less than 0.11 inches thin at its smallest to a maximum of 0.68 inches thick at its peak, this 13.3” computer was something that would fit my needs perfectly.

Two days after ordering, the Air arrived on my doorstep. It boasts a battery life of 12 hours…and it doesn’t disappoint. I have not tested out the maximum mobile battery life yet but have gone ten hours and still showing a 14% remaining amount of time. Yep, I’m hooked. Love this thing.

I have not found any negatives with the Air yet. it is typical Apple quality; the fitment between components is amazing and like most of their products, this is enjoyable to use. Definitely recommended.

A lunch meeting is approaching, time to run. Enjoy your day.

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