Last minute gift ideas
Posted by DNW on 2011/12/15
Looking to get your “better half” a gift that she will really remember this Christmas? Interested in preparing yourself for a future of solo, off-the-grid living and self-sufficiency?
Depending on your better half and her tastes and sense of humor, one might very well lead to the other.
On the other hand, there is just something really fascinating about the mere existence and persistance of certain classic or traditional technologies, into the modern age.
A famous example of this is the Morgan Roadster well known to every red blooded American boy who has had a brush with blue blooded British traditions.
At only 43,500 Pounds Sterling it’s a remarkable deal.
So, let’s say that you now have your roadster for those weekend trips to that hideaway in the woods. Out there beyond the range of the power poles and the vagaries of distilate hydrocarbon supplies, you still need to eat though. And presumably to cook. That bearskin rug in front of the crackling fireplace is less than an ideal food preparation site. It looks bad enough already with all those cracker crumbs and the stains from Cheez Whiz and cheap champagne.
What you need, is to add something reliable, something failsafe, to your cozy retreat. Something all-American traditional, yet modern too.
Forget the bottle gas.
What you obviously need is a coal burning cooking range. Yeah, you heard me, a coal burning range. A practical one though. Up to date, with the most modern 1950′s style improvements. Not some airy-fairy baroque monstrosity made by French talking Belgians, which will leave your wife looking askance at you and your hunting buddies laughing their heads off.
But is there such a buggy whip still available? Well, are windmills and stock watering tanks and authentic pickling crocks still made in the USA? In case you didn’t know, the answer is yes and yes. (But why in the world you insist that you want a pickling crock for your roadster is beyond my comprehension.)
Nonetheless, so as with them, so as with the Knox modern coal fired cooking range. You too can still have, if you act with decisiveness and alacrity, the last word, probably literally the last word, in a modernistic design, enamel finished (just like Laura Petrie had) coal cooking stove. Except the stove Dick Van Dyke’s wife had on TV wasn’t coal fired. But no matter, it was avocado or gold enamel, just like these. Probably.
So, make your wife happy with the most modern of conveniences. Heat your house or cottage as a byproduct. Cool the earth through the emission of protective sulfur dioxide particulate. Show your disdain for Al Gore’s hyperventilating hyperbole; and teach Toronto a lesson in gratitude by reminding them in a small way of what it would be like to live downwind of a country like China - if we really wanted to get tough.
And as always, “Buy American” … unless it’s something really cool that isn’t made here at all.
A more serious note:
During the course of my researches on “cottage” heaters I naturally came across many companies still engaged in the business of producing wood and coal burning heaters in the United States, as well as other retro technologies such as propane powered ammonia refrigerant refrigerators, and so forth. As a matter of fact I even own a dual fuel wood/coal heater with a lift top which supposedly exposes a cooking surface of some kind. I wouldn’t know for certain. I never installed it. It’s stored in the barn, still in the box it was purchased in 10 years ago. And too we all have friends with various kinds of Franklin fireplaces and fireplace inserts, so…
But I have to admit, when I stumbled across the ads for the coal ranges, I couldn’t help but be amazed that this kind of an everyday use type product (as opposed to a principally decorative object) was still produced.
Please also note that this is a posting on interesting things still produced here, and in the case of the Morgan example, abroad. It is not a testimonial nor an advertisement. Neither Truth Before Dishonor, nor myself has any direct or indirect interest in, or profit relation to, anything linked.
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