The Great Ramen Noodle Salad Experience

Ramen

Growing tired of my own cooking, I’ve been searching for new – preferably healthy – dishes.  I recalled a salad that my sister, Kathy, made a few years ago and asked for the recipe.  She said it was easy so I decided to try my hand at “Ramen Noodle Salad”.

Finding Ramen Noodles at the grocery store was much more difficult than I thought.  In fact, I was tempted to buy Ramen Noodle soup and just use the noodles in my salad.  But no, that wouldn’t do – I could imagine the teasing.  Besides, those soup noodles were probably favored with chicken or something.  I continued my search for the real thing.  Suddenly, there in front of me, by the spaghetti, were packs of Ramen Noodles!  Not ordinary noodles either; these were organic, whole grain noodles even though they looked like very thin spaghetti to me.  I double checked the package and read, again, Ramen Noodles — Check. The rest of the ingredients were easy to find although I had to substitute sunflower seeds for sesame seeds.  Time to make the salad.

Kathy had said to break up the noodles into small pieces so I worked them over with the rolling pin to get little “sticks” of noodles.  The next step was to brown the noodles in butter. I sensed the beginning of problems when I dumped the noodle sticks into the hot frying pan.  For one thing, the pan was too small but I didn’t want to get another one dirty.  Besides, the noodle sticks on the bottom were “browning” a bit quickly so I had to stand there and stir, stir and stir.  Kathy hadn’t mentioned that but she probably used a larger frying pan. In spite of my best efforts, the noodle sticks were over cooked (OK, burnt).

The rest of the ingredients (shredded cabbage, onions, oil, vinegar, etc.) were combined while waiting for the noodle sticks to cool.  At last, I combined everything and took a big bite.  Not good – tasted like burnt fried spaghetti!

Obviously something was wrong with my technique so I searched YouTube for the secret method.  Although I didn’t find anything on YouTube, I finally realized that I was making a slaw instead of a salad and that I’d put too much emphasis on the “Ramen Noodles”.  To my surprise, I also realized that I was supposed to use Ramen Noodle soup!  Also, many recipes do not call for any cooking at all – the crushed noodles are simply added to the slaw.  Other recipes call for lightly toasting the noodles, almonds and sesame seeds in the oven.

Now it’s back to the grocery store for real Ramen Noodles and another try but this time NO COOKING!

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Loading the 12 Shot Uberti Cattleman

Load 3

The Uberti 1873 Single Action Cattleman is a replica of the famous 1873 Colt Single Action Army (SAA) revolver that became known as the Peacemaker. Whereas the original Colt held 6 rounds of .45 caliber cartridges, this particular Uberti replica is chambered in 22 Long Rifle and holds 12 rounds.

Like the original, this replica has the firing pin mounted on the hammer. And it is possible to have the firing pin sitting on a live cartridge. For safety, the recommended practice is to load the gun such that the firing pin rested on an empty chamber.   For a six shooter, the recommended loading procedure is “load one, skip one, load four more”.  This is sometimes called the “John Wayne load” because John Wayne referred to loading only five rounds in his movie “True Grit”; however, the practice of loading five predates the movie.

The instruction manual for the twelve shot Uberti 1873 Cattleman is actually for the six shot version and even includes the “load one, skip one, load four more” procedure. However, this is not the correct procedure for the 12 shot version.  For the 12 shot version, the loading procedure should be “load three, skip one, load eight”.

Here’s my video showing how to load the 12 shot version of a Uberti Cattleman so that the firing pin rests on an empty chamber.

Load 3, Skip 1

For more information, see

http://www.uberti.com/1873-cattleman-22-revolver

History of the Colt SAA: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Colt_Single_Action_Army

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Clothes Dryer vs Bird Nest

Bird nest in vent

After a few years of good service, our clothes dryer would not completely dry a full load, so I assumed that one of the heating elements had failed and just added a few extra minutes to the cycle. Eventually, a repair technician checked out the dryer – no problem found. In fact, it has only one heating element.

The technician suggested to have a chimney sweep clean the dryer vent system.

Our dryer vent system seems strange to me because the outlet is not near the dryer. Instead, the exhaust air must go up a duct in the walls, make a horizontal turn and then go some distance before exiting. I considered using my shop vacuum to simply blow through the vent but, fortunately, decided to check the exit end first.

Up the ladder and a quick look showed that a bird nest was in the vent exit. In fact, I suspect that at least two bird nests, probably from different seasons, were in the vent. I made a hook from a clothes hanger and pulled out a lot of bird nest material.

The dryer works fine now but how to prevent recurrence? I’ve designed a simple sign:

Bird nest sign

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Airsoft Dueling Tree

I made a “dueling tree” for target practice with my airsoft pistols.  Sounds simple but airsoft pistols are not very powerful.  I finally came up with a simple design and documented it in a YouTube video:

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The Lemonade Stand

When my granddaughter wanted to go into the lemonade business, she asked me to make a lemonade stand.  I imagined a simple table or box and started to make a sketch but then decided to get a bit more creative and browsed the Internet for ideas.  I soon found plans for a stand somewhat similar to my own idea but larger and more elaborate.

Lemonade Stand

For details, see:  http://www.howtospecialist.com/outdoor-furniture/how-to-build-a-lemonade-stand/

I more or less followed the plans but used thin plywood for the top and sides.  My granddaughter helped by nailing the panels and painting.  She was very impressed and wants our next project to be a car – meaning a real one!

Wesleigh's lemonade sales

Wesleigh’s lemonade sales

 

This was a good project but I don’t know about the car …

 

 

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Retirement and My 1911 Pistol

Since I already had a watch, I combined my retirement gift certificates and got this very nice Springfield Armory Type 1911 45 caliber pistol. Took it to the range yesterday and really liked shooting it — even hit the bull’s-eye a few times!

This “1911” should be somewhat like the one my dad carried while in Central America during WWII. I think he would have liked it.

 

1911 gb150217 - 107 (LR)

During World War II, my dad was a radar technician.  He was assigned to building and then maintaining radar stations in and around Central America.  The main concern was that the Japanese might bomb the Panama Canal.  My dad liked to tell the story that, while stationed on a small remote island, he was the only person who had a 45 pistol but 45 caliber ammunition was part of the standard monthly re-supply shipment.  He would sometimes walk around the shore taking target practice and became a good shot.

I had never shot a 1911 but it seemed a good idea to get one.  In keeping with my growing interest in replicas, I first got a M1911A1 replica manufactured by KWA.  As shown below, the replica (with red tip on the barrel) is a close match to the real steel M1911 A1.  The replica even weighs about the same although the weight distribution is obviously different.  The replica uses propane gas and holds 21 rounds of 6mm plastic BBs.  The replica felt good in my hand and I fired several hundred shots in my garage with it.  The replica even has a functional slide and gas blow-back system (of course, the replica has very little “kick” when fired).

1911 gb150217 - 110 (LR)Having gained confidence with the replica, I researched various 1911 manufacturers and models before deciding on the “Loaded” model from Springfield Armory.  So far, I’m very pleased with mine.

 

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Shaving

A quick estimate: Most men my age have shaved about 15,000 times!  We should all be experts but I was not.

Shave

 

Over the years, I’ve used a variety of shaving equipment.  My first “razor” was a high tech cordless rechargeable Remington electric razor.  The rechargeable battery did not last very long but I used it for several years as a plug-in.  Thereafter, I tried several different types/styles of razors.

Shave

 

My dad used a classic “butterfly” Gillette double razor so I had to try one of those.  The razor on the extreme left is a modern version of that razor.  Next I tried the Gillette “Atra” (second from left) and used it for many years.  After the Atra, I used a variety of disposable razors but, most often, the fancy three bladed Gillette in the middle.  I always used cheap shaving cream – usually Barbasol.

A little over a year ago, I decided to test/experiment/play with other shaving equipment.  Of course, I first browsed the ‘net and found, to my surprise, that “classic” shaving techniques and equipment were quite the fad.  The recommended technique is to shave three times (well, three passes:  with the grain (down), across the grain horizontally) and against the grain (up)). I bought a modern “butterfly” double edge razor (the one on the left), several different blades, a brush and a couple of different shaving cream/soap packages.  After trying several combinations, my preference was:  Edwin Jagger razor (4th from left) with Derby blades, a cheap brush, Old Bond Street Sandalwood shaving cream and aftershave.  Although at first, I whipped up the shaving cream in a cereal bowl, eventually I ordered a “scuttle” to keep the whipped up shaving cream warm.  This was a nice setup even though all too often my face was nicked in the process of shaving.

Shave

 

One day I realized that, in all fairness, I had never tried one of the modern five bladed vibrating wonder shavers.  The razor is cheap (~$10) but the blades are expensive (~$4 each).  Even so, in the interest of fairness, I gave it a try.  No contest!  — and no nicks either.  For the past five months, I’ve been using the Gillette Fusion ProGlide with the same cheap brush, Sandalwood cream and aftershave shown below.  It’s been great!

Shave

 

As the novelty wore off, I stopped using the scuttle every day and also changed to a quicker two pass (down then up) technique (except for special occasions) but continued to relather in-between passes.  The $4 vibrating “blade” lasts about a month.  The AA battery lasts a few months.

Some web sites I found useful and/or interesting regarding shaving and equipment include:

Shave Nation (lots of tests and demos)

The Art of Shaving

Shaving:  The Art of Manliness

Edwin Jagger shaving accessories

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Cultivating the Air Gun Hobby

About this time last year, rummaging around in my closet, I came across my old Crosman 1377 air pistol.

(IPTC) content

Wondering if it still worked, I tried to pump it up.  No luck at first; however, a few drops of oil brought it back to life.  Now even more curious, I browsed around the Internet and YouTube and discovered that the Model 1377 was still being sold.  In fact, a small cottage industry has grown up around customizing it.  Before too long, I had bought the .22 caliber version (Model 1322) and done some modest customization.

Ringfeder

Looking back, it was at this point that I became hooked.  Next, I tried a pellet rifle but that first one (an early production version of a new rifle) did not work out for me.  From what I’ve read, the bugs in the Benjamin NP2 have been worked out by now.  I replaced that NP2 with a Xisico XS46U and have enjoyed learning to shoot it.

I had never heard of “airsoft” guns and belittled them when my son mentioned them to me.  Although not interested in airsoft “skirmishes”, I quickly learned that some airsoft guns are very accurate replicas of “real steel” firearms.  In fact, some airsoft replicas are used in preliminary firearms training programs.  I had to try one.

 

ASG M9

So now, I’m in.  I have several airsoft pistol replicas and a wish list for others to add to the collection.

A good site for learning about replica pistols is the Pistol Place .

Another good site with many reviews is:  Replica Airguns .

Pyramyd Air is a good online source for purchasing air guns.

Gateway to Air Guns is a good discussion forum for pellet rifles.

I have no affiliation with any of the above sites, companies or manufacturers except for being an occasional customer or visitor.

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Themes

Not that it will matter because the blog is so new but I’ve already changed the “theme”.  I didn’t realize that all themes do not support all features so had to play around with several  to find one the looks and features that I (think) I need.  I’ll probably go through several iterations before settling into a theme.

 

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Welcome

Welcome to Gordon’s Miscellaneous Blog.  If Seinfeld can be a television show about nothing then I should be able to have a blog about everything.  I claim no particular expertise on anything but perhaps can document some experiences and lessons learned.

On joining the ranks of the retired, I’ll be renewing old hobbies and interests as well as investigating potential new ones.  Over the years, I’ve gone through many hobbies and interests, including:

  • Photography and videography
  • Genealogy and history
  • Archery
  • Rifle and Pistol target shooting
  • Hiking and Camping
  • Swiss Army Knives
  • Computers (programming and such)
  • Engineering (yep, still a math and science nerd – just retired now)
  • Automobiles and Bicycles
  • Retirement (a new interest!)

Although I already have two blogs, one of my goals is to learn more about blogging – especially using WordPress.  My other blogs are:

Both are badly in need of updates (which should happen soon).

So, here we go …

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