Truth.

"A great civilization is not conquered from without until it has destroyed itself from within."

Ariel Durant

Monday, September 14, 2015

I need a can opener, and too late to walk to the water fall.


I got all my walking gear together this afternoon, and went out on the porch to walk down to the waterfall with the dogs.

I could tell as soon as I went out the door that I couldn't get down there and back before dusk. When you live in the mountains, it gets dark earlier than where it's flat. There are always higher mountains around you, and they leave you in the shadows early.



Darkness comes on really fast.  So I didn't go on out on the trail. Instead I just did some light chores around the place I'd been putting off for awhile.  I doubt I'll try to go to the falls tomorrow, as I have some other things I need to get done.  Maybe Wednesday, if I get an early start.


I bought some fairly expensive Oneida can openers last winter, and the last of them just broke on me tonight. I open a lot of cans, and they just don't stand up well.

I've also got some of the cheap jack openers, but they wear out pretty rapidly too.

I need a good can opener that will last, and that is not too hard to turn. Arthritis in the wrists makes struggling with a can opener a wearisome experience.




I've got boxes and boxes of the little P38 and larger P51 military can openers. They work fine and they don't wear out, but they are tough on the wrists of the older crowd.  I could buy an electric can opener but since I'm trying to buy equipment that will function without electric power, that wouldn't be a good idea.

I would like to keep about 10 really good hand held can openers in the store room. If anybody can recommend one I'd appreciate it. My own efforts have only turned up cheap, mediocre trash.




Meanwhile, in Europe, flower drum song platitudes about universal brotherhood give way to panicked reality checks. Austria, Sweden and Germany are closing their borders. Way too late. They are already done for. The Hungarians showed the only common sense. They are putting up a triple apron razor wire fence to keep the horde out, and they've announced anybody entering their country illegally will go to prison. I suspect their refugee problem is over, while a lot of other countries are going to find theirs is just beginning.

I should mention that not everyone in Europe is going along, lemming like, with what their political masters tell them to do.  Al Jazeera had a whiny little story sandwiched in between it's complaining about Europe not doing enough (the United Arab Emirates have done exactly nothing). They said there have been more than 200 fire bomb attacks on "refugee hostels" in Germany alone, and that the tempo and frequency of attacks are increasing. That's understandable. If people don't get law and order from the government, they are apt to try to impose it any way they can. 

37 comments:

  1. As someone who also has lousy wrists and hand strength, I picked up an Oxo can opener about 20 years ago. Still going strong, gets regular use, and is easy on my hands. It wasn't cheap, but it works well and has lasted.
    The other type I have used with success are the wall mounted Swing-a-way can openers. They have a handle to crank. Both work best with regular dunking in hot soapy water, otherwise the gear gets gunky over time.
    Hope this helps.

    Suz

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    1. Suz, thanks for the tip. I have never heard of either of those before, but I can find them on line. What I might do is buy one or two each of what people suggest. I only use one at a time but the others would be ready in the store room.

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    2. I agree with Suz - our office Oxo has a locking button which clamps on the rim so all you have to do is turn the handle - no grip strength required. But it hard to go wrong with the Swing-A-Way.

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  2. Best can opener around is without question the NORPRO. Used and abused ours for 15 years with no problems at all. Very easy to use with a large crank handle. Very solidly built out of real steel not soft pot metal. This is the one.
    http://wholesale.norpro.com/index.php/grip-ez-can-bottle-opener-black.html
    That said you can replace the worn cutting wheel on most can openers with one for a plumber's pipe cutter. Replacement cutting wheels are available at you local Homedepot. If the cog wheel is stripped then you are out of luck.

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    1. There are two problems with the ones I bought. Oneida is a big knife maker but their can openers have not lived up to the reputation. First, when the star looking wheel that actually opens the cans get worn, it starts letting tiny flakes of metal fall in the food. I don't guess little flakes that small could hurt me, but I don't like the idea. The other thing is that the wheel that turns the star looking thing just stops working. I think that may be the cog wheel you referred to. If a can opener cost a lot I would try to fix it, but the Oneidas are only about $7.50 and I threw the one that broke today as far as I could into the woods. Good luck to anybody who ever tries using a metal detector here, there's 30 years worth of broken tools under the forest floor out there in my woods.

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  3. Is battery operated OK? With rechargeable batteries and a solar charger, you could open a lot of cans with the Zyliss can opener.
    http://www.chefscatalog.com/product/29552-easican-electric-can-opener.aspx
    Kind of fun to let it do its job while you focus your attention on something else in the kitchen. My Dad was a mechanic for 45 years and taught me to buy the best tool I could afford, that admonition has served me well in the kitchen too!
    Strelsi

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    1. Hey, Strelsi. I have a lot of equipment that uses batteries, from radios to motion detectors, so I keep a very large stock on hand. I need to spend more time on the idea of a solar charger, I bought one but it didn't work very well. I'm sure there are better ones out there.

      I'll look up the Zyliss can opener. They must not sell them here but I am not surprised at that. Buying the best equipment you can afford is good practice. Only in the last few years have I purchased "luxury tools" like a Ryobi battery powered drill. I sure do like having the few power tools I've bought.

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    2. Harry,
      I can attest to the efficacy of the Goal Zero Guide 10 solar charger. I've been using mine now for 4 years. Compact, portable and works very well for our needs and it will charge a GPS, or cell phone, as well as having a light that is surprising bright. Cabelas sells them at 119.00, but you get what you pay for. :))
      Strelsi

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  4. This is what I don't get. The Syrian war has been going on for 5 years or so? So what is the sudden impetus for these refugees to swarm Europe? Where have they been laying low all this time? It doesn't add up. Personally, it feels like someone with a lot of power and money may be manipulating this whole thing. To what end is certainly the interesting mystery. --Troy

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    1. I think people are like lemmings. If the Europeans had sent the first ones back where they came from, none of this would have happened. But because they tried to be humanistic and "nice guys" they've caused a major crisis and a complete disaster. You notice the news coverage of all the Africans swarming into Greece across the med has disappeared, but the truth is that there are still tens of thousands of those showing up. No pictures of them, because they are even more demonstrably worthless to a "host" country and that's not the aspect of this that the people who control the news want to portray.

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  5. I avoid can openers made in China, which are hard to find. Perhaps a quick check on Amazon and see what is rated the best? I may not buy on line with them but the reviews are usually pretty spot on, once you eliminate the extreme left and right of the bell curve.

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    1. I did take a look at Amazon, not with an idea of buying but just trying to get a feel for them. There were so many different can openers I was discouraged. I want some good ones, I am sick of these big shiny tough looking can openers lasting six months and then crapping out on me. Some of the one's people have suggested sound good. I think I'll buy an example of about seven different kinds and then start using them. Maybe those seven will last me for years, who knows?

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  6. heck, I went over and looked and found this one..it might be on my pantry within a few months.

    http://www.amazon.com/Prime-Kitchen-Accessories-Kitchenware-Arthritis/dp/B00WFM6REO/ref=sr_1_25?s=kitchen&ie=UTF8&qid=1442280944&sr=1-25-spons&keywords=can+openers

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    1. I see the magic word arthritis. I'll certainly take a look at that. Both the wife and I have problems with our wrists, so we would like something that isn't painful to use.

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  7. I've been carrying a p-38 since I was a kid. Got pretty darn good at using them. Always pretty cool when nobody has a can opener and I pull out my little gizmo. It's the only one that lasts.

    Well, it didn't take dad long to put me to work as soon as he got home. He had me install 4 hand holds in the bathroom so he can get around. He's zipping around with his walker. Huge progress in the last couple of days. The best part is that his sense of humor is back.

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    1. I remember the P38 used to come in a case of C-rats. 12 C-rats to the case, and as I remember there were usually 2 P-38's in the case so everybody had one. I always kept one on a key ring. I bought several boxes of them some years back, about 50 to a box. Then the P-51, which is bigger and easier to use, was on sale and I bought several boxes of those too. I always figured if I didn't use them I could trade them.

      I'm glad your dad is doing better, and that you are able to help him down there. My dad had a stroke and went completely insane. He lived another seven days. I always felt like he deserved a better end than that.

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  8. Im a big fan of the can openers that remove the end of the can in such a manner that the lid can be used to cover the mouth of the can if you have leftovers, and doesnt leave any sharp edges.

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    1. Never seen one of those but I would like to find one that does that. I have a special dread of sharp edges on tin can lids.

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    2. Here you go. This is what I use - http://amzn.to/1KdfA1Z

      I am terrified my dog will get into the garbage, lick the can, and tear his tongue up...so I like the smooth edges this thing leaves. Since it removes the lid smoothly, you can place the lid back on the can to use as a lid if you dont use all the contents of the can. And the can opener has a litlte pliers jaw so you don't even have to use your bare hands to touch anything.

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  9. I don't know that you will find a decent can opener in this throw away society of ours. A lot of cans have the ring pull top these days, well they do in Australia. The cheaper cans still need a can opener though. Maybe a army disposal shop (don't know what they would be called in your neck of the woods) or camping shop?

    Here down under Spring has arrived and the days are warming up. The lizards and snakes are on the move again.

    I don't think that I could live in the mountains, I love the sunshine too much...Hope you get to go for your walk to the waterfall soon :)

    Hope you and yours are keeping well.

    xTania

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    1. Tania, we are all doing ok here. My solar power system that I put in late in 1999 never worked worth a darn because there is not enough sunlight on the face of the mountain in winter. The days are short and the sunlight is weak and watery at the best of times in winter.

      I am glad to hear the lizards are out, as I always like the pictures you post of them. I don't like snakes though, I hope those stay away from your house. I saw an advertisement about some show on Australia and they had a picture of this little snake, and said it was the most poisonous snake in Australia.

      I was by your place recently and I was glad to see all goes well there.

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  10. I have found that most of the broken can opners are caused by wear from lack of lube at the turning point....easy to fix.

    THe only other thing that goes wrong is the rivet at fails. Again, easy to fix wiuth a screw.

    YMMV

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    1. B, I never thought of lubricating a can opener. I just wash them like a fork or spoon and put them in the drawer. I guess I should start giving that treatment. I suppose you use something like sewing machine oil? My problem has mostly been that the wheel that turns the cutting wheel stops working.

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  11. BTW, these last forever:
    http://www.amazon.com/Edlund-12100-No-2-Can-Opener/dp/B00EMZ8NDK/ref=pd_sim_328_7?ie=UTF8&refRID=1FB0P7K0BCZ9BMQC7858

    THe only thing that goes wrong is the cutter wears out and the wheel gets smooth. Both are replaceable.

    (you can likely find one used at a restaruant supply -place)....

    or this one. My parents love theirs:
    http://www.amazon.com/Kitchen-Assist-Stainless-Steel-Opener/dp/B00R3AMRVK/ref=sr_1_13?ie=UTF8&qid=1442283116&sr=8-13&keywords=can+openers+heavy+duty

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    1. I appreciate your going to so much trouble to type in those addresses. I will certainly look them up. It seems like a small thing, but I always remember the old poem about "for want of a nail." If things implode I don't want to be sitting up here on the mountain thinking "why didn't I buy such and such when I could have?"

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    2. Easy, just copy/paste....

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  12. Hey Harry,

    (captaincrunch)

    Down here in Texas we just blow the top off cans at 100 yards with whatever rifles we have at the moment:)

    we don't need stinkin can opener!

    Really Harry.....

    check out flee markets and garage sales for the older, well built can openers.

    Most of the new stuff is garbage from China or course.

    A thought just popped in my head.

    You heard of all those new cities in China that are uninhabited.

    Send all the refugees to China and fill up those cities.

    There, problem solved. Make me a Nobel Peach Prize winner. Give me a couple of million bucks so I can by a semi-automatic 'Ma Duece' and shoot the lids off of cans in the front yard.


    ReplyDelete
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    1. Great idea but the Chinese might not be in sync with it. Better just save your coinage and buy the M2.

      I go to a lot of flea markets, CC, looking for guns and tools. I'll keep my eyes open for sturdy can openers. In the meantime, I'm going to order a few that were recommended to me. Kind of embarrassing, I have cases upon cases of canned food and only the P38 and P51 to open them with at the moment. Lame.

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  13. When I first began buying #10 cans of dehydrated or freeze dried food for long term storage I wanted to test cook with them and found it was a real struggle to open these big cans. They seemed to have thicker metal and a larger and deeper perimeter lip than the everyday soup can or coffee cans. The openers I had on hand at the house just didn’t fit the big cans geometry well at all and it was a work-out to open one of these cans. It was to the point I was ready to us my survival knife to open the cans. I had seen the Swing-Away can opener on a preparedness online store but didn’t want to pay the shipping for a $12.00 item. A while back I was at Ace Hardware and they carry the Swing-Away brand there and I did buy one for $9.00, not only less than the online store but no shipping charges either.

    Without a doubt this Swing-Away brand can opener is one well designed can opener. It opens the big #10 cans with ease and all the other size cans you may have as well. Turning the crank is almost effortless as the cutting wheel slices through the big lid. There’s no fighting the opener or the opener popping off the can while turning the handle.

    If you’re looking for a high quality, made in the USA, manual can opener that feels like it was made just for the Survivalist, this is your opener!

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    1. That sounds good. I plan on buying several examples of can opener, and then just start using them. Even if some of them don't work for me the others should. The ones I've been buying at the grocery store, or at Walmart before I quit going there, aren't worth a damn.

      A big part of my food storage is cans, and a lot of those are number ten cans. The Swing Away sounds like just the ticket. I will probably have to buy it off the internet as I don't remember seeing can openers at all over at the farmers depot here.

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  14. I saw a video on youtube a while back on opening cans without an opener. In the video I watched, the guy used a cement block. By applying pressure to the can as the end is rubbed across the block surface, the folded seam gets worn off to the point that the lid can then be picked off. Not a method I'd want to use as routine, but it's better than whacking it open with an ax!
    I was going to post a link, but there is a plethora of videos to chose from. Search for "opening cans without an opener" should yield results.

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    1. Some years back, Cody Lundin did a one hour survival show for the Discovery Channel. That was one of the things he illustrated. He took a can of tuna fish and opened it just by rubbing it on the cement sidewalk. If it had been Bear Grylls I would have cried "B.S.!" but Lundin is no faker. It's good to know but like you said, I don't want to be out on the porch rubbing a can on a cinder block unless I have to.

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  15. Harry,

    We have several different manual can openers, my favorite and recommended on is the one from OXO. It's designed for those who have arthiritis in their hands.

    As for your walk, I would wake up early, and start with a headlight and maybe your dog. When you go, enjoy your walk/hike!

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    1. Sandy, I stay up all night and don't go to bed til around four in the morning. Then sometimes I can't sleep. Usually, I get up a couple of hours later anyway to watch the sun come up. During the summer this system works fine because the sun is up til almost 9:30. But now the days are getting shorter and it's messing me up.

      I will check out that OXO . I had already planned to buy about ten different ones, now I am think I might try them all out at once and do a post on them.

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  16. I have been using this can opener for at least 12 years now and my bad wrists love
    it. Kuhn Rikon Ultimate Can Opener with Auto Attach feature. Got it at QVC.
    Just checked, the item number is K18779 $18.25. Each additional one is $3 less.
    Since it's the only can opener I have, I use it a lot. You can read over 1,000 customer
    reviews on QVC.

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    1. Somebody else recommended that one too so it must have quite a following. My wife buys stuff off QVC, mostly clothes and cosmetics. I'll ask her to take a look for me. Thanks for the recommendation.

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    2. As you wish. Pity, it was a beautiful painting.

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