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Modestly keeping up with technology

caesar novus


Let me review some of my timid steps of using new consumer technology... nothing electronic, but more on the humble side:


With tired looking bath tile and kitchen counters, I avoided the expense and trouble of replacement with some of those special purpose epoxy paints. As I feared, the finished look was a little uneven due to non-ideal temperatures and applicator tools. But the coverage of any porous grout and a few tile cracks gave a great waterproof and uniform look.


The only drawback was the tile paint didn't stand up to the rare abrasion very well, but little problem for me because I was that rare person who didn't take the opportunity to change the color. A scrape is invisible and typically still waterproof. Oddly the (non-matching) counter paint is bulletproof from abrasion, something I was concerned about even tho I never chop stuff directly on the counter.


There is one quirk which I just now realized may be my fault. The counter stains from food! A dot of tomato sauce or orange juice will be instantly tattooed on the surface. Well, it is very faint, but will take about a month of regular cleanings before that shadow disappears. I guess it is my fault due to sanding the results to give a uniform somewhat rustic look from the patches that were more or less glossy. It must be porous, so I guess I should wax it or something.


Next challenge was my car battery dying between starts. Over time the alternator gets weak and various gadgets stay annoyingly active when the car is off. I had one of those jump start batteries that had lost it's oomph, so tracked down the few replacements that weren't already sold out from a nation's harsh winter. First tried one, then two small lithium batteries that plugs in a cig lighter. They are actually feeble chargers that can rarely give enough help, but turned out useful for locking or unlocking a trunk which can only be done electrically.


Then I got a medium lead-acid jump start battery which sometime would do the job after couple minutes, but finally I had to buy a cheapo full size extra car battery with jump start cables. I normally wheel all 4 of these on a handcart to start the car! But the best help was couple dollar battery cutoff switch. I had tried to install the wrong kind long ago, but this new one did the trick. It was preassembled all wrong, probably due to a return before I got it, but after correction it almost negates the need for jump starts and may someday prevent a theft.


The last new item was one of those Turkish pistol replicas that they use to fire blanks in the air during celebrations. They seem legal in any state other than NY, and even in Canada if it has a flare attachment. It is so fascinating because mine is a near twin to a real Beretta semiauto model which is made in Turkey anyway. Apparently it is legal in (eastern?) Europe for firing nonlethal tear gas or in Russia for rubber bullets.


Anyway in my area gun ownership is extremely rare and I can hardly remember my only pistol experience on an old model 1911 automatic. Now thru handling the action, I can evaluate crime events with the more modern pistols. Even today a gov't employee reportedly shot thru adjoining offices when cleaning his Glock. I had heard how super safe they were due to NO manual safety (but 4 automatic safeties?) but how does this apply when cleaning them? BTW, there was little danger of hitting anybody because gov't employees here are eternally absent or on junkets. Today's news covered how great it was only 31% prison guards called in sick during super bowl rather than the usual more than a third. And how it was unavoidable due to monopoly gov't union rules - outrageous.


Another advantage besides understanding crime reports (robbers with jammed guns, etc) was hand strength and dexterity issues. I sometimes have to rig and unrig sailboats for hours at a time until my fingers cramp up into distorted positions. Handling this pistol with it's stiff Turkish springs lets me for example compare right and left hands in the decocking process or whatever. My left really needs more exercise, for which this strange toy is the perfect exercise machine. BTW, I didn't get the more risky model that fires blanks forward - oddly enough my elementary school had a special presentation on how dangerous those can be to any finger or skull in the way.