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Just Weird

I just had a visitor searching for “illegal uses of floor wax” – huh?

There is probably a logical reason for that search, but I’m not sure I want to hear it.


1 hipparchia { 11.17.09 at 10:27 pm }

this made my day.
.-= last blog ..Mousers =-.

2 Bryan { 11.17.09 at 10:48 pm }

You have to be open minded when looking at search terms, but….

3 Kryten42 { 11.18.09 at 6:52 am }

Hmmm. Weird. 😐

I believe floor wax still contains PCB’s… But that’s about it. But that search is weird because pretty much ANYTHING can be used illegally. In the military I was trained in the use of certain usually innocent items in what would be considered *illegal* in civilian life. 😉

OT: My first break in over a week, and last one for another week! Thankfully, this course is almost over. I have a BIG (independently audited) presentation to give next Tues. I’ll start on it tomorrow, might get it finished in time. Maybe. 😉 *sigh*

4 Bryan { 11.18.09 at 12:49 pm }

Well, there are a lot of interesting weekend projects that can be accomplished with a visit to a hardware store, a garden center, and a supermarket, but they don’t involve floor wax. I guess some people are further “out of box” in their thinking… much further.

Good luck with the project. Another week and you can waste your time on the ‘Net 😉

5 Anya { 11.18.09 at 12:50 pm }

Of course, I had to Google the phrase, and… low, and behold… right near the top of the results appeared the link to your Sept. 9 entry about dessert topping and floor wax. It’s probably illegal somewhere to pour floor wax over your ice cream.

6 Bryan { 11.18.09 at 1:06 pm }

It can’t be illegal – they sold it on television [Dan Aykroyd – Saturday Night Live] 😉

7 Moi { 11.18.09 at 4:56 pm }

Too funny!!! I was going to ask if they searched for it while *on your site, but Anya answered that for me.
.-= last blog ..I Would Be Dead =-.

8 Bryan { 11.18.09 at 9:05 pm }

If it was on my site, I would see it, because I don’t burn storage collection information like that. I pull search strings off the visitors widget on the left sidebar. I only look when the page returned is strange – as in “What on earth was someone looking for that caused that post to come up?”

9 hipparchia { 11.18.09 at 10:39 pm }


when you finish school, you can start your own tv show.

10 Bryan { 11.18.09 at 11:13 pm }

I think there might be some legal issues involved in the sorts of things Kryten can make with ordinary household objects.

Exactly how happy do you think the state of Florida would be with you if you started a show on blowing up your neighbor’s house with common household cleaning products? They won’t let you buy pseudofed without a note from your mother any more, and you will be monitored if you buy hydrogen peroxide and nail polish remover, so there is a limited tolerance… well, unless you are buying gunpowder, because you can’t interfere with the Second Amendment.

11 hipparchia { 11.19.09 at 12:44 am }

hmmm… there’s a thought, f’loor wax and fingernail polish remover protected by the second amendment… there’s got to be a way….

I think there might be some legal issues involved in the sorts of things Kryten can make with ordinary household objects.

yeah, i can make a few of those myself.
.-= last blog ..I should probably consider doing this =-.

12 Kryten42 { 11.19.09 at 4:54 am }

LOL @ hipparchia

I bet you can! The advantages of understanding Chemistry. 😉 Amazing how many chemicals when properly mixed can go *boom* or cause your eyes or lungs to shrivel up, etc. But most of my special training was centered around the application of certain fairly ordinary and common objects as well as chemicals. We also learned some physics and metallurgy as well as chemistry. I liked sodium personally, though it’s a real bugger to carry and use, even if useful for certain applications having to do with such things as disrupting water supply pipelines for e.g. It’s also more unstable than nitro-glycerin. Most people don’t realize (if they even know what sodium is) that it’s a metal. When I was first introduced to it, I thought it was some kind of aluminum alloy. It was used (and still is I think) in naval ‘depth charges’. Curiously (and rather strangely I thought at the time), the only safe way to store or carry pure sodium is in a flammable liquid hydrocarbon (like butane or hexane from memory). Just seems very anti-intuitive to carry an insanely reactive and dangerous element within a highly flammable liquid! But there you go. 😆

However, not every thing I learned had to do with making things go *bang* (or even *KABOOM*!) 😉 We also learned how to make very useful tools and things having to do with survival, such as learning that in a desert or arid area (primarily), dead birds in water makes it deadly, as most desert flora contains arsenic, and the birds have become immune to fairly high doses that will make a human very ill or dead. 🙂 Luckily, arsenic is also a metal, so is relatively easy to separate from water. Bacteria, that the birds also carry, is whole other matter. 😉

Curiously, after all the lectures and vid tute’s on all the things in the ME (or even our own Simpson Desert) that can harm or kill you, and that the human inhabitants are probably going to be the least of your problems, the dropout rate was high. Personally, I just thought this was really good stuff worth knowing! I’d always believed that this World we inhabit is bloody dangerous to us mere humans, and the more one can know, the safer they’ll be. I learned that many people would really rather just not know and pretend all is well with the World. I’ve never believed in the fiction that ‘ignorance is bliss’. As I learned very quickly on my first deployment, ignorance will get you killed fast.

As any insurance assessor what they think of human ignorance. 😉 Some love it, because they can use the accident and fatality figures caused by ignorance to scare people into buying insurance. Others don’t for various reasons.

Personally, I think it’s Natures way of human population control. 😈 She has a way of controlling plagues or locusts, rats, and humans it seems. 😆

13 Kryten42 { 11.19.09 at 6:14 am }

OT: I just had a long phone conversation with an old friend, and we were reminiscing, as you do… and were trying to remember a radio show that we used to listen to in the 80’s. We remembered that it was called something like ‘Cactus Island’… so, using google, I discovered it’s still going! It was a political satire comedy program and it was bloody funny (well, it was to us and obviously millions of other Aussies)! So, I thought I’d share as it fits into the ‘weird’ category for sure. 😆

FYI: Cactus Island was Australia. The current targets are our PM Kevin Rudd (characterized as Kevin Krudd), Deputy PM Julia Gillard as Julia Buzzard, the honerable oposition leader, Malcolm Turnbull as Malcolm Talkbull, and a guest appearances by Prez Barack O’Bummer, and assorted others whose names have been changed to protect the guilty. 😉 😀

How Green Was My Cactus

Geez… I wish I had the time (and money) I’d buy all the CD’s and laugh for months! 😀

14 Kryten42 { 11.19.09 at 6:25 am }

Hmm… It can be a bit difficult to navigate around that site, but the character’s are here:


Here’s one for you Bryan… 😉 😆

How Green Was My Cactus- ‘Summer of Cricket’

… On YouTube… (Though it’s Audio only). I was PMSL

15 Bryan { 11.19.09 at 2:48 pm }

The Air Force has a very nice solar distillation device packed in the survival kit that will produce safe drinking water no matter how bad the source looks. All you need is the sun and something wet. It’s inflatable and easy to carry, but it’s nothing to use if you are moving.

I’ll check out the Cactus site. I’m amazed at how many political satire shows there are in the US and Australia, given the difference in libel laws. Of course, corporations don’t have a death grip on your media.

16 Kryten42 { 11.19.09 at 10:36 pm }

Here we have fairly good media control laws that Howard did his best to eradicate for his mates. You don’t have much protection in the USA anymore. It’s why our *media moguls* move to the USA where they can get away with media murder, even genocide! 😉 And you can keep them too! 😛

Yeah… Cactus is funny! You need a very good appreciation of satire and Irony, which you have. Though, you also need to understand current events here (as you do with TDS there) to get the most out of it of course. 🙂 I discovered last night that it’s on a local AM station here! Woohoo! 😀

One of the funniest (well, funny to me… not so much to others doing the course) things I learned was that C4 can be used as a very useful fuel! It burns nicely and for quite awhile! At the first demonstration, when the instructor lit a match and moved it towards this chunk of C4, almost everyone dived for cover! (Luckily for me, my Grandfather had taught me tricks like that when we used to go hunting and he taught me how to shoot, and how to survive). Also, I doubted very much the instruction staff who were present were in a particularly homicidal or suicidal mood. It was one of those *little tests* the Military love doing! Thinking on your feet and balls of titanium etc! LOL The instructor was looking at me as he moved the match towards the C4, and I smiled. Then I said “you should watch what you are doing. Though, if you bump it or drop it while it’s burning, you won’t have to worry about being courts-marshaled for killing your class.” and laughed (not humorously). It’s on my record, alongside a few Psych evals. I was pretty… cold, in those days, but I had reasons. 🙂 I was also very good at my job.

And yeah, we had various small and useful survival devices like your USAF kit. Trouble was, they were rarely on hand when the sh*t hit the big ol’ fan and you were on your own with next to nothing. 😉 We even had simulated survival for several days naked once! That was NOT fun, I can assure you!

One of THE most useful things we were given was a large sheet of some kind of very tough and extremely thin plastic, that folded up into a small space (about the size of a pack of cig’s) and was useful for all kinds of things like, collecting evaporated water, or a ground sheet, rain or sun shield. I was told it was thanks to NASA! Saved my butt once… so, Thanks NASA! 😀 That and my trusty Swiss Army toolkit (the real Military, not commercial civilian version) I defended with my life! Funny actually… we were issued Swiss, Austrian, and Finish equipment. The Fin’s make one of the most beautiful and amazing knives known to man! Austrians make awesome gun’s, Swiss make these amazingly precise collapsible multi-tool kits with a bomb-proof compass and time-piece, lockpicks, blades, saw, pliers, drivers, and this amazing little magnifying glass that could seriously concentrate the sun (talk about your solar power) and other precision tools, built-in! 🙂 I tried very hard to figure a way to keep that sucker when I was discharged… but the Military here keeps tabs on them more than they do missile systems! I know a few are available on the black market, but being caught with one is seriously BAD! You may think I’m joking (though a little thought and imagination might show otherwise), but a Terrorist with one of those is more dangerous than one armed with a stinger! 😉

You know… I miss those days in some ways, but I REALLY don’t miss the political garbage that went with it. On balance, the crap outweighed any of the advantages.

17 Bryan { 11.20.09 at 5:50 pm }

That plastic sheet sounds like the same thing, some type of mylar, used for the distillery. I had all kinds of things stuffed into the multiple pockets of my flight suit to make life more comfortable in the event that the people on the ground became better shots than they usually were. There were obviously no skeet shooters or duck hunters on the other side, although the tribal peoples were damn annoying with their bows when at low altitude.

Most people don’t understand about the necessity of detonators, a major problem for many would be terrorists. They either create something that blows them up when they try to assemble it, or they have something that requires a nuclear weapon to detonate. Hell, most don’t know that gun powder is classified as a flammable, not an explosive.

We were constantly trying to swap for other people’s equipment, because no one has the best of everything. Hell, before the first Gulf War the Marines cleared to shelves of most camping stores in San Diego buying the equipment you need for the desert, because the issued stuff frankly sucked.

Some of the units sent by other nations to Iraq had vehicles that were set up for the Arctic. Even the Brits had the wrong air filters for their vehicles, and their trucks were failing.

As Dickens wrote: It was the best of times, it was the worst of times…

18 Kryten42 { 11.20.09 at 8:37 pm }

Most people don’t understand about the necessity of detonators, a major problem for many would be terrorists.

LOL Yeah… Aint that the truth!

One of the things Grandfather taught me was that a bullet can really save your life! And not by being shot out of a gun. 🙂 If you nee a fire and everything is wet, the powder from a bullet or two solves that problem. Once the fuel (usually wet wood) is burning, it will continue to burn. The problem is (if you also need not to be noticed by locals) is smoke.

Yeah… mylar, or mylar based I think. We had two types, one was translucent, and the other was shiny silver on one side, and jet black on the other. Had a lot of uses. 🙂

I have to say that on my UN tour, I discovered that Aussie troops had it pretty good. We generally had the best equipment etc, and our rations were better too. We did a few deals with other Nations troops for some items. We once swapped a few cases of rations and a few knives for a case of rifles and a few cases of ammo. We gave then to a village, with training, to help them defend themselves from bandits. We gave them food and what medical supplies we could too. Most villages couldn’t even get the most basic things we take for granted, like salt. A bunch of us (from different Nations) once swiped a load of salt shakers from various messes. LOL Logistics & Supply Command was going crazy trying to find out how all the stuff was being nicked and who was doing it. Only reason they could never prove it was any of us was that we had someone in the command helping. Some people have real morals thankfully. 🙂 I discovered many years later, from a retired General I knew, that HQ had a pretty good idea who and what was going on. They decided to allow it on the basis that they realised that it was the only thing keeping us sane. There would have been a lot more suicides I think if we hadn’t been allowed to help the villages. I am sure that kind of thing has been going on in Iraq and even Afghanistan. The wingnut idiots would be screaming to shoot everyone involved if they knew. But they don’t have a clue about the necessity of things like that. Curiously… whenever I think about wingnuts, I have an accompanying vision of long applications of electric cattle prods and hot pokers! 👿

Yeah! Just about all our stuff comes from several Nations! 😀 We even have the Swedish RBS 70 (Robotsystem 70) man portable SAM (which I believe have just been upgraded to use the very sophisticated Bolide missiles). Makes a stinger like a bb gun. 😉 And better than the Rapier’s we used to use. We do have our own Bushmaster PMV (Protected Mobility Vehicle) . Like a Hummer, but designed and built with the armor, not an afterthought. And better than a hummer anyway. 🙂 We use Belgian light and heavy machine guns, German MP5’s, Canadian APC’s… etc. Well… we have a multi-National supply I’d hate to see the paperwork! 😉

Hmm… I think I heard we just ordered some Eurocopter Tiger’s. Nice! 🙂 And the Euro NH90 is FINALLY replacing those damned blackhawk deathtraps! They got so bad, we had to de-mothball a bunch of MUCH more reliable UH-1 huey’s! Amazing. We do still use a lot of US equipment, but it’s slowly being replaced. We even make our own frag grenades now because the US ones had problems. *shrug* The USA used to make good stuff once. The US Mk 19 AGL and the Remington 870 shotgun are pretty cool but! Heck, I heard recently that we are now using US SR-25 (Stoner Rifle-25) sniper rifles 😀 So, apparently, the USA still makes good guns. Funny that… Irony, anyone? LOL

19 hipparchia { 11.20.09 at 9:05 pm }

A bunch of us (from different Nations) once swiped a load of salt shakers from various messes.

winning friends and influencing enemies with salt shakers. and yeah, a lot of people don’t understand the importance [from many angles] of what you did.

Yeah… mylar, or mylar based I think. We had two types, one was translucent, and the other was shiny silver on one side, and jet black on the other. Had a lot of uses.

i had one of these! bought it put of the back of a comic book. srsly. only mine was red on one side, instead of black, red being the accepted color back in the day for sos situations. they were sold as ‘space blankets’ which was just way cool in itself [the space program being way cool], but it did have a multitude of earthbound uses.
.-= last blog ..Nope. =-.

20 Kryten42 { 11.20.09 at 9:27 pm }

i had one of these! bought it put of the back of a comic book. srsly. only mine was red on one side, instead of black, red being the accepted color back in the day for sos situations. they were sold as ’space blankets’ which was just way cool in itself [the space program being way cool], but it did have a multitude of earthbound uses.

Ha! 😀 Yeah… ‘space blanket’… I’d heard that name. 🙂 And def way cool!

Ours were designed to reflect as much solar energy as possible on one side, and absorb as much solar energy as possible on the other (I am certain you can figure which side did what!) 😉 We were even taught how to rig a frame from twigs etc to turn it into a kind of solar furnace to boil water or cook food (There were MANY situations where a fire or smoke would have been very bad!)

winning friends and influencing enemies with salt shakers. and yeah, a lot of people don’t understand the importance [from many angles] of what you did.

I think I can honestly say, that in all the time I spent on that UN mission, the only time there truly was a United National effort was when we got fed up and decided to actually HELP the poor innocent locals, against all the rules! A lot of good people got so disgusted with the UN and their own Countries attitudes and rules, they retired at the end of their tours. It’s probably why most military’s these days only have the bottom feeders left.

The ignorance and stupidity of most National leaders in regard to their military is staggering. They seem to think people only join the military because they want to kill and blow things up.

I have serious news for them! Only the pond scum sign up for that reason, and until the past decade, most of them wouldn’t have gotten past the first interview.

The World really is insane.

21 hipparchia { 11.20.09 at 9:37 pm }

…and until the past decade, most of them wouldn’t have gotten past the first interview.

much as i thought this might be true, i was hoping it wasn’t. otoh, it might still be true, now that blackwater/xe and their ilk have gone mainstream.
.-= last blog ..Nope. =-.

22 Bryan { 11.20.09 at 10:19 pm }

The Remington 870 is a standard police shotgun in the US. I have one, short barrel, rifle sights, 5-round capacity, the civilian version is the Bushmaster and is used for deer hunting with slugs. Very effective for police work as you almost never have to use it. Working the action has the magical power of making almost everyone a quiet and respectful citizen. With buckshot it is more effective in crowed conditions that an automatic weapon. There is a large variety of rounds available in 12 gauge for different situations.

Multiple vendors from different regions is a much better plan that the single vendor situation in the US. Without real competition the quality control evaporates. The M-16 was a piece of crap in SEA, and the M-4 is no better. It requires too much maintenance to be reliable in the field. It is part of the trend to make everything multifunction, instead of producing weapons that are excellent for a specific purpose.

No need to go over the mess that is US aircraft procurement.

You help local people because you have to live there, and it helps if not everyone in the area hates you. It’s nice to think that someone might give you a warning now and then because you haven’t been a total jerk. We never had problems on Okinawa when I was flying out of there, and now it’s a constant stream. You got along with the local people, and they got along with you. People were different, not better or worse, just different. This all volunteer military doesn’t seem to understand that, and they rub locals the wrong way.

Hell, we used to argue with the local communists over beers, but no one threw anything or we would have been banned from the bar. This was during the middle of the Cold War and the war in Southeast Asia, but you didn’t bring it to Okinawa.

Everybody managed to run an informal foreign aid program in the old days, especially if there were children involved.

23 Kryten42 { 11.21.09 at 12:28 am }

Sadly h… It is very true. 🙁

Everybody managed to run an informal foreign aid program in the old days, especially if there were children involved.

Yup! It was my Grandfather that inspired me with stories of similar things he did in WW2 when stationed in Europe. 🙂

But… Cambodia was very different. We almost gave up after the first couple liberation parties and supply to villages. If the KR found a village with *ANYTHING* they were not supposed to have, they burned the entire village to the ground and killed everyone. The UN, we discovered quickly was a toothless, clawless barking dog. Totally useless. We had standing orders never to engage the enemy unless we were specifically ordered to do so, and were in fact to retreat. But we got smarter and found ways around all the stupid ‘rules of un-engagement’ 😉 We taught the villages how to hide stuff and stay safe.

BTW, don’t get the impression that we were like *Hogan’s Hero’s* (sans the POW camp)… 🙂 We would have liked to be, but the reality was that the opportunity to help and be actually useful were few and far between. We were mostly used as political pawns to force local war lords and Pol Pot to to come to the negotiation table, which usually ended up being a complete waste of time. I also have to say, that many of the US military we dealt with were as pissed off as we were, and did help our occasional liberation and supply efforts. 🙂 In fact… the *great salt shaker raid* was a US field officer’s idea. 😉 They were not afraid to rock the boat in the early 80’s in order *to do the right thing*! I took a lot of planning and work I have to tell you! 😆 We also liberated some chocolate supplies too. Mainly for the kids. 🙂 Oh! And I heard that a German team nicked some officer’s birthday cake and assorted backed goodies from their mess! LMAO

Yes, the 870 is an awesome weapon and I know beloved of the spec op’s teams here. 🙂 And yeah about the M-4/16 garbage. We make our own actually, under license from Steyr (Austria). Based on their STG-77 assault rifle. We call ours the F88 AuSteyr, and recently upgraded to the F88S-A2 AuSteyr. We also manufacture our own light MG, based on the Belgian F89 Minimi (LOL). And dumped the M60 in favor of the Belgian FN MAG 58. We do still use the Browning M2HB .50cal mounted on everything from jeep’s to tanks. 🙂 If you need a hole in something armor plated, the Browning will do it! 😉

Oh! I just remembered one I’d forgotten all about! :O Dunno how… It’s def one that once seen is never forgotten! 😆

Another Swedish weapon in our arsenal that def terrifies anyone on teh receiving end, is the SAAB Carl Gustav recoilless rifle! Mind you… calling a weapon that fires 84mm anti-tank rounds a *rifle* doesn’t give it justice! It has been upgraded a few times since it was introduced in ’48, but still kicks tank butt seriously! 😉 😀 I met a couple German soldiers when we had one with us, and their faces lit up and one pointed at it and said ‘Stupror’ which translated meant ‘drainpipe’! And that what we called it forever after, as it was an apt description. 😆 It’s actually officially known here as RAWS (Ranger Antitank Weapons System) but personally, we thought drainpipe was better, though… it was also known as ‘the Wombat Stopper’ too. 😀 It’s come a long way since ’48 though, it now has a laser designator system and can even use a wire-guided munition!

Oh, and since we signed up for that international mine treaty thing… we no longer use anti-personnel mines. We do still use (as do the USA) the US ‘Claymore Anti-Personnel Device’. but we no longer use the ‘Claymore Anti-Personnel Mine’. 🙂 Isn’t the English language wonderful? Makes all kinds of problems simply go away. *sigh*

Bahhh… I better get some work done I guess. Oh well… 😉

24 Kryten42 { 11.21.09 at 12:55 am }

Oops! ‘backed goodies’ -> ‘baked goodies’ 😉 I know you all can read internetese, but I thought that one might be a tad obscure. 😉

And… it’s bloody raining finally!! Been bloody hot this past week, up to 42C up this way! I just went and stood in the rain for 5 min’s! Was cold and lovely! 😆

Sadly… back to the heatwave Monday they say. And it’s only Nov!! I hate to think what Jan/Feb is gonna be like!

25 hipparchia { 11.21.09 at 1:43 pm }

Oops! ‘backed goodies’ -> ‘baked goodies’

i’m so food-oriented, especially when it comes to breads and cookies and pies, that i didn’t even notice the typo at first.

42?! that’s getting hot enough to bake things on the sidewalk!
.-= last blog ..I’ll say one thing for the NY Times =-.

26 Bryan { 11.21.09 at 7:38 pm }

It sounds like someone in your logistics branch has figured out that “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it”, while we have people pushing for the new and useless to guarantee them a job with a defense contractor after retirement. We get useful equipment replaced with faulty crap all the time. This is why our defense budget is so out of control.

Yeah, “peacekeeping” is a garbage mission – if it works you weren’t needed, and if it doesn’t work you end up in deep yogurt with no good direction to take. The politicians don’t understand what they are asking of troops who are trained to fight, not stand-by and watch people get killed.

I don’t understand why they don’t just use tuned lasers for target designators for unit weapons. The actual missile could be anywhere close by, and the designator in a protected location that was convenient for putting the laser on the target. The same system could be used for tanks, aircraft, bunkers, any target. Every system uses different methods, and different components. In many ways the RPG is a better weapon for not being specialized, it just needs a guidance system to increase accuracy.

It’s a primary reason why the “drainpipe” is effective – you learn how to use it and then you change the shell you use, not the method of using the equipment.

The Claymores were a major PITA when you are trying to get back to your own lines. Half the time they weren’t installed according to your briefing, so the “path” was worthless. It really sucks to get blown up by your own side because someone couldn’t follow a plan, and damn scary when you figure out that what you “know” is total BS.