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FOLLOWING UP ON PAINT: THE EXPERT ASKS THE EXPERTS

  The last time I wrote to you about paint , I made a comparison between paint and beer.   Just as cheap beer is nothing but watered down premium beer, cheap paint is watered down premium paint.   Cheap paint doesn’t last as long, just as the buzz quickly fades from a domestic light beer.   Cheap paint also doesn’t cover as well.   You have to use more of a cheap paint to do the same job you can accomplish with less premium paint.   Beer is the same.   It takes a lot of cheap beer to get that warm fuzzy feeling whereas you can get that same fuzzy feeling with less than a sixer of good beer.   However, if you are like me, you like to test theories yourself so you know for sure.   How would you know I’m not just trying to sell you expensive paint when you could get by just fine and save a few bucks using cheap paint?   I can certainly think of plenty of products where the cheap alternative works just as well.   The only problem with testing paint is that it could take around 20 years to
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THE CUTTING EDGE: High Carbon vs Stainless Steel

I have loved to cook since I was a kid.  I have used many knives over the years and received many as Christmas gifts.  People would buy me what they swore to be the best knife they ever used.  Though I’ve owned some pretty nice knives, none of them stood out as a knife that I loved.  Each one had a noticeably sharper edge right after sharpening.  But half way through cooking, they’d lose it.  Another thing all these knives had in common is that they were all stainless steel.  I had never known of anything different.  It wasn’t until my mid-thirties that I tried my first high carbon, steel knife.   My wife and I were moving in together.  While unpacking the kitchen stuff, I noticed a couple of old looking knives in a box.  I recognized the name “Old Hickory” branded into the knives’ wooden handles and realized that these were the same knives I sell at the store.  However, I had never used them.  I thought the appeal was their old-fashioned look and the fact that they are made in the USA

NOW TAKING THE FIELD: THE MOBILE MOSQUITOES

I can remember as a teenager when my family first heard that a minor league baseball team was coming to Mobile.  We began to discuss what the mascot should be.  I said, “It should be something intimidating that Mobile is known for.”  It didn’t take long for the brainstorming to start.  My mom said, “The Mobile Mosquitoes.”  My sister chimed in with a mascot that to her was, and probably still is, the most intimidating creature on Earth, “The Mobile Cockroaches.”  I’m sure if the family dog Gretal could have had a say, she would have argued for, “The Mobile Fleas.”  Why were all of our suggestions insects?  When you think about it though, insects really are the most prevalent terror in our city.  As we enter into our hottest and most humid months, the environment becomes so inviting to these prehistoric creatures that we begin to wonder whether we humans actually belong here.   Until we are ready to surrender this Earth to the insects, here are some useful tips to keeping their populati

Have no fear, SPARTY IS HERE!

Well it’s March.  We are on the verge of longer days and warmer weather.  It’s time to get outside, plant your garden, and enjoy some porch time with your neighbors.  We are not the only ones excited.  Mosquitoes love this weather too for it marks the beginning of their mating season.  But before a female mosquito can lay her eggs, she needs your help.  Don’t worry about reaching out to her.  She will find you.  The carbon dioxide in your breath will lead her to you.  Once she finds you, there is no need for you to offer her what she needs.  She will take it.  She wants your blood.  In return she will leave you with a sting, an itch, and a little red bump to remember her by.  Next thing you know, you will find yourself running indoors and wishing the cold weather back.  But have no fear.  Sparty is here.    Last time I wrote to you about mosquito control in your yard, I told you that the only options available were either short term remedies, or expensive and labor intensive solutions.

Getting Creative at the Hardware Store

     The hardware store can be a great resource for arts and crafts supplies.  Our store is frequently visited around Mardi Gras by the guys who design stages for Mardi Gras balls.  We have helped our local celebrity drag queens design props for their performances.  But we are not just a resource for these high profile artists.  We have a lot of supplies that you can use at home.  Supplies you may already know we have include; glue, glue guns, staple guns, wooden and metal rods, tie wire, and paint.  However my favorite medium for craft projects is one that may not occur to you in your creative brainstorming; galvanized pipe and fittings.   Galvanized pipe is normally used to transport water or gas through your home.  It is a waterproof, metal pipe that comes in diameters ranging from ¼ inch to 2 inchs.  Lengths of pipe can be as long as 21 feet, and we can cut them to any size you want.  The ends of each pipe are threaded to allow the fastening of fittings.  There are a variety of f

GOT: Game of Termites

I write to you in fear as there is an irrefutable threat to our homes and way of life.  The Queen is capable of such destruction that I can only hope heeding my warning will minimize the damage ahead.  I am NOT referring to Queen Cersei or Queen Daenerys.  My fear is of Queen Isoptera of House Rotting, First of Her Name, Ruler of Formosa, Destroyer of Homes, Breaker of Joists.  Her reign is tyrannical and her only objective is to destroy every home in Westeros.  Her ancestors have wreaked havoc across the world for millions of years.  They have vanished more wood than fire.  This Queen does not attack with the fire of three full grown dragons.  Her army consists of billions of tiny dragons most of us will never see.  They will destroy far more homes than high flying dragons that you can see coming from miles away.  By the time you realize they have attacked, the damage will have already been done.  The invasion is imminent.     Disclaimer : Readers whom are not familiar with Game of Th

The Power of DIY

Have you ever found yourself in need of a specific item to fix an issue around your house? Maybe it’s a specialty bolt, a hand tool, or an AC filter. The next thing you know, you find yourself wandering the aisles of a large hardware warehouse, scanning row after row of items that aren’t your specialty bolt, hand tool, or AC filter. After you finally give up searching on your own, you spend the next ten minutes hunting down an employee, searching aisle by aisle, hoping someone can direct you to your item.   That frustration and disappointment is a waste of time when you have the convenience and superior customer service that is offered at your neighborhood hardware store, Blankenships’ Universal Supply, Inc. in the Midtown community on Springhill Avenue. If you’ve ever walked into Blankenships, you know the welcome feeling you have as you enter the door. If it’s not Mike or Tommy greeting you at the counter, ready to help, then it may just be the friendly, store cat.   Blankenships’ Un