Monday, February 26, 2018

Cotton Pad Fire Starter

 Making fire starters out of cotton balls and petroleum jelly is not a new thing. However I like to use cotton pads since they are easier to manage before and after I added the vaseline /petroleum jelly.

This is not my personal favorite (I prefer to use my Tinder Rasp but the use of petro jelly has its advantages, for instance in very cold weather ( it was -20 degrees Celsius when we took these pictures...we like long and romantic walks with a bit of outdoor cooking on the way).

A "finger scoop" of petroleum jelly on a cotton pad gives a nice hot flame for minutes.

IKEA Hobo Stove ? Check!
Knife? Check!
Chinese Ferro Rod? Check!

"Chinese Ferro Rod?" You ask. Yes, I bought this flint striker/ferro rod for under
5 $ on Ebay from China. No Shipping. I had to wait 7 weeks but it was worth the wait.

Two cotton pads and a small tin of vaseline.

Most cotton pads come in two halves, smooth outside and fibrous and rough on the inside.
You want the rough / fibrous surface since the sparks "nest" in the fibers and catch fire.

Do not smear vaseline on the whole pad, but only 3/4 of the surface.

Place ferro rod (or flint striker...whatever you prefer to call it) over the fibrous/free of jelly part.

And we have FIRE!

Adding my magic mix of dry pine fir needles and sawdust.

Aaaaaand we`re almost ready for breakfast!

Wednesday, February 21, 2018

Roper 29 - Hard Currency

My knees got a bit wobbly as she radiated her best "I am taking the piss on you, but in the cutest way possible!" and patted the thing behind her.

"This is it gentlemen, your part of the cake. Mine is standing over there!" She nodded over to the end of the dusty "street" connecting the shanty huts.

"Ehrm....." L. said as he stared at was constituted 2 million pre-crash Euro. His name was painted on it with the Government Of The Republic Of Yap`s seal. It kind of looked like a pacific version of a handmade potato stamp. 

The Mandrake`s cash was a bit smaller but she still had to look up to to see it all.

"Not exactly what you call run-away-and-fuck-you-money huh?"

I was glad that she was baffled and possible jet lagged, and conveniently forgot to pull her P 08 to put some decorative holes in M.

M. looked extremely pleased about herself.

"It`s the only thing that is worth anything as per now, the Rock Standard they call it. After the bitch went into interstellar space and left her version of the philosophers stone behind, the markets crashed."

She smiled at L.

"My dad is building a turnip empire as we speak, they used the gold bars as marker stones to mark his claim on the community garden back in Groszny. That was my inheritance. Thanks again doofus!"

L. looked down and shuffled his feet.

"Are they worth what you say they are?"

"Sure, you can get a certificate of authenticity. But I`m afraid the local boys are not big on paperwork. Come on, lets see our bankers!"

She started to stroll down hill towards the small cluster of huts marking the harbor. A lot of yachts and luxury cruisers were for anchor in the bay.

"What about our cash? We just..I mean."

M. turned and pointed at the lichen growing at the lower half of my 2 T stone coin.

"Its been here for like 150 years, nobody will touch it" a gang of screaming, half naked kids ran towards our money and started to climb them, M smiled sourly "well expect of those guys of course. Come on, generation of kids played with what`s your cash now. Don`t be a dick and take it away from them."

We arrived in the hastily growing shanty town of banks. Every bank in the world hastily build their chapter here, riding the Stone Coin craze and driving the price up.

Desperate looking crowds tried to trade gold, diamonds, art or sexual favors to get a foot inside and park their pre-crash assets in the Yap Coin safe haven.

"If this continues we will be billionaires by the end of the week!" M. said and hooked herself onto my arm.

Friday, February 16, 2018

"Dune" by Frank Herbert (1965)

"Dune" is set in the far future in a rigid feudal system. It is the story about a young aristocrat called Paul Atreides, from infancy on Paul was deeply immersed and indoctrinated in his mothers mind control cult that also runs an eugenics programe of which he is a part. 

The Atreides Clan,  with the Duke Atreides at its head, are busy planning a hostile takeover of a family run business: The planet Arrakis ("Dune") on which the universes rarest commodity, the geriatric "Spice" is produced out of a local animals mating secretions.

The "Spice" cures diseases and prolong the users lifespan considerably but is also extremely addictive and has some other negative side effects like the discoloration of the users eyes. 

I think that I read this book a (felt) thousand times in the bath tub...
and dropped it there many, many times.

The spices other , alleged, "mind expanding qualities makes the spice a part of the mothers mind control cult: It is used to indoctrinate acolytes and make them addicted to the spice and thus dependent on the cult.

The hostile takeover of Arrakis is unsuccessful due to the benign intervention of an anti cartel trade organization (CHOAM) and peace troops send by the Emperor of the known universe.

The hostilities ceased as the Duke is captured and interrogated, meanwhile the increasingly radicalized  Paul and his mother flee to the desert to seek refuge among the natives: A peasant class demographic with radical religious views.

Due to his mothers indoctrination and mind control teachings,  Paul manages to warp and pervert the pious locals religion to his advantage, establishes himself as their "messiah" and creates and army of radicalized youths.

These army of radicalized fighters allow him to take on the entire social structure of the Empire and ends up toppling the old Emperor from his throne.

Immediately after his conquest of the old Empire Paul radically changes the environment of the planet Arrakis which destroys the fragile, ecological niche in which the spice emerges from.

This results in universe wide spice scarcity and millions of lives are destroyed.


I especially enjoy to read "Dune" in it`s Danish translation ("Klit" is danish for "Dune") because of the translators choice of using terms and expressions originating from the time of vikings.

Sunday, February 11, 2018

Fun Loving Criminals - "Come Find Yourself" 1996

"She gave me the loot with puckered up lips 
And a wink that I found cute, and I said, 
'Baby, baby, baby' 
(Is this some Kharmic-Chi love thing happening here baby or what)"

"Scooby Snacks" - FLC

My undying love and fandom towards FLC originated from my days as broke ass student at the Merchant Marine Officers College in Marstal/Denmark.

All my "money" went to books, tuition, recreational oregano and tickets to Copenhagen in the weekends (To escape my exile in the extreme outskirts of Denmark where my college was situated)

I lived frugal as a (stoned) monk these days and my "entertainment system" was a 10 cm black and white TV and my radio that could only take German rock FM stations (yes, my college really was on the outskirts of Denmark, so much that Danish radio was hard to get by).

Anyhow, it was the radio that brought the FLC to me and it never left me since: In 1998 their song "Scooby Snacks" was played on constant repeat...but that did not matter AT ALL.

If you listen to "Scooby Snacks" and you don`t like it after one listen: I strongly suggest you get an organ donor card and hang yourself!

That song pretty much was the soundtrack of my "ruffian days" where I was a weedy kamikaze, one of the last two gun slingers, sailor boy supreme and smooth as fuck. ( I am a middle aged responsible person...ARGHHHH)

FLC covers hip-hop, R`n`B, punk, soul, country, blues and jazz.....normally this amount of mixes would break the musical camels back, but FLC got /get away with it due to the humor and self distance they manage to radiate.

FLC songs are about crime, violence and mob life. Any of their songs can probably replace the soundtrack of any mobster film you can come up with, but they manage to soften it up with lots and lots of humor.

An unexpected tax return in 1999 did that I actually had money left to buy the record. I am actually listening to it as I write this...and it`s still pure gold.

All songs on "Come Find Yourself" are great, but there are of course favorites:

"Scooby Snacks"

"Passive Agressive"

"Smoke `em"

Wednesday, February 7, 2018

Fitzcarraldo (1982)

This movie portraits mad dreamer, would be millionaire and grande dreamer Brian Sweeney "Fitzcarraldo" Fitzgerald (played by the immortal Klaus Kinski) who had a great talent of failing on a grand scale...and style.

"Fitzcarraldo" has been a colorful character in the days of the Amazonian rubber boom and has reached revered status not because he succeeded in his ventures, but because he failed on such a grand scale that standing ovations were in place.

As a very intense and charismatic figure, he never failed to raise funds (from brothel madams and rubber barons alike) for his grander than life projects like the "Trans Andean Railway" or his most famous project:

Building an Opera House in the Amazonian Jungle to have Enrico Caruso sing for the natives.

To realize his dream Fitzcarraldo had to overcome minor difficulties like traveling through hostile, native territory, mutiny, disease and to haul a 320 Tonnes steamship over a mountain. But hey....others launch their electric cars into space, so why not.

The movie is a gesture towards grand (failed) dreamers,who would probably have changed our world if they succeeded. But instead grind themselves up against impossible odds and social resistance.

I think parallels can be made to the Ayn-Rand-esque figures roaming our society today: Greater than life figures with great dreams....but access to crowdfunding. (Nope, I don`t like Rand`s books!)

The casting of Kinski as Fitzcarraldo is nothing else but brilliant ( I might be biased here!) and the hate/mutual dependence between Kinski and the movies instructor, Werner Herzog, shines through in every scene.

In fact the local indios offered to kill Kinski for Herzog during the legendary shoot of the steamboat-over-the-mountain scene after Kinski had a 12 hours hizzy fit. 

The film is shot at original settings, they actually  hauled a steamer over a mountain and all the dirt/grime/pain/despair  you see in the actors faces are real: They all had to pull their own weight (and eventually pull a ships weight) following Herzog`s in to the jungle to fulfill his dream...with a hysteric screaming Kinski as catalyst.