Well, we only had one entrant to the Challenge, but he scored a heck of a good haul for his $10, so he earned the win. Congratulations to James! Here's his entry:
I'm glad you reposted about the thrift store finds. for the life of me i couldn't remember what site it was i has read it on. a few weeks back i was called by a friend of mine who happens to run my local thrift shop to come over and see if i could fix a few bikes that were donated. my payment is usually what ever i find within reason for free. usually its some junk that they couldn't or wouldn't sell. there's always a corner of the back room that's got stuff they haven't put out. after fixing the bikes i could, and loading the junk ones in the back of my truck for scrap i was able to reach a brown metal tool box that I've had my eye on in the corner but could never reach to see what was in it. this day i was able to reach it and as soon as i grabbed it i was told they would have to have $20 for it and what ever was inside. ever the bargain hunter i am, i offered $10 "i got a bet going with some friends on who can get the best deal for $10". she said DEAL! the box had a cheap`O lock on it so i took it home. i could hear there were a few tools inside but could tell what. when i got home and cut the lock i found everything was coated in dirt oil and rust. someone left it either in the trunk of there car for awhile or bed of there truck best as i could tell cause it was pretty beat up. the box alone i figured worth 10 bucks. Inside was my treasure. a few Stanley screwdrivers, hammer, cheap`o pliers, and a set of 7 metric and standard ratching wrenches. They say gearwrench on them. WOW these go for at least $60 bucks a pop at autozone. i felt guilty so i called my friend up and told her what i found and what it was worth and all she told me was "Good deal" then said if she remembered right it was dropped off by a woman who's boyfriend had left and brought in all his stuff. seems as they didn't have anything to cut the lock it just sat in the corner and was forgot about. Not by me it wasn't. I've seen it sitting back there for at least 6 months.
sorry for the long post but i felt it was needed to better tell my story. the wrenches work great and I've always wanted a set. just could never afford them. most of the rust was surface and wiped right off. the box is now sitting behind the seat of my truck with a everything but the wrenches in it along with a few other tools for an emergency kit.
James has a nice blog himself, check him out at Bikevision 2003. James, please send me an email with your mailing address and I'll get your prize out to you. I dug around in the Barter Larder and came up with a few packs of Moldex Sparkplugs corded earplugs and this Victorinox two-blade Swiss Army Knife.
Congratulations, James, and thanks for participating!
The Apple Project
I mentioned a few days ago that I got a bunch of delicious Fuji apples and that I was going to dehydrate them.
When I made my first batch of apples in the fall, I used a corer/slicer, then hand sliced each 8th of the apple into 4 more slices. It was terribly time consuming and made for little, tiny dehydrated apples.
This time I used a knife to cut out the cores.
I then broke out my new mandoline slicer. It took a few apples to get the hang of it. Using the slicer on its base caused the slices to jam up at the bottom. I then figured out that it would fit great over a large plastic bowl.
I ended up with two large bowls full. I filled the bowls with water to keep the apples from browning. I probably should have squeezed some lemon juice in there, but I didn't have any.
I then loaded up the trays in my Excalibur 5 tray dehydrator. I then realized, I probably should have bought the 9 tray... I had about 4 apples left over that wouldn't fit. I ate some of them, but the rest will go in the compost bin with the cores.
Following the guidelines in the book that came with the dehydrator, I set it at 135 degrees, and set the timer for 10 hours (the guide says 7-15 hours until pliable). Here they are ready to go.
I'll put up a picture of the finished product tomorrow.
It's the first of the month, have you...
Test run your generator?
Rotated you gasoline stores?
Tested your smoke and/or carbon monoxide detectors?
Checked your household and vehicle fire extinguishers?
Given your dog his heart worm pill and flea/tick treatment?
Changed your HVAC filters?