Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Lodge Charcoal Grill 2 Year Review

...the first of many many steaks, hamburgers, chicken quarters & hot dogs...
I nearly forgot. Over two years ago, I was so happy with a new acquisition, I made a video of it's first use...an "unboxing" if you will.  Earned a gift certificate for Bass Pro Shops, enabling me to pull the trigger on a Lodge Cast Iron "Sportsman" Hibachi Grill, something I'd always lusted for but never thought I'd ever buy... just way too extravagant for the likes of me.

Patience (which I sometimes lack) is necessary,
along with some bricks...
Since then, two summers have gone by, the little grill is every bit as good as you'd expect a Lodge Cast Iron product to be, and as a product subject for review, I can't think of any better.

Now that the grill had a good bit is tasteful scrutiny, I can say I'm very impressed with it, it's worth every penny of it's price tag, but I will add... you have to be a dedicated grill master to really allow this cast iron wonder to strut it's stuff.  I've learned you must have patience. In this hurry-up world of "dinner-in-an-instant", learn to be patient and let the coals heat up the grill... the cast iron is THICK, it takes a bit of TIME for the grill to heat up.
But once it does... OH MY!

The biggest surprise I've had is the small amount of coals necessary to grill for a crowd, and once everything is cooking HOW LONG this grill stays HOT. For it's size, you can feed everyone, you can grill twice as long as you'd expect from other portable grills. What it lacks in grill space, the Sportsman Grill more than makes up in ability to grill steak, after steak, after steak, 'dozens of hotdogs, a flock of chicken... all on a single small bag of charcoal. The grill is perfect for "Cook to Order Grilling", no "come & get it" heaping pile of meat here, it's a grill that allows a personalized one or two at a time grilling experience.  This grill really shines if you wish to have a really hot grill, ready to cook, for a long period of time.

The Grill gets HOT! Smart idea to set it on something.
What also sets this grill apart from the thundering herd of outdoor grills & cookers, is the need to plan where you will be grilling. As most grills go, this one puts out a LOT of heat, and being a short, squat, Hibachi grill, the potential of it becoming a branding iron to wooden picnic tables or truck tailgates is there. If you don't have something sacrificial under it, you will leave a mark to remember the occasion. I just use some small bricks to set it on.

Room for two REALLY large steaks!
Finally, a stiff wire brush and an application of vegetable oil goes a long way. The Lodge Grill comes pre-seasoned, however with cast iron having an affinity to rust, especially if exposed outside for an extended period, it's wise to always take a stiff wire brush to the grill after things cool down to knock off any "leaven's", and add a very light coat of vegetable oil to the grill surface. This adds a moisture barrier, and further builds up a patina of carbon each time you fire up the grill. If you're like me, living in the hot humid south, it might do even better bringing the cleaned up grill inside out of the elements. Not that rust is that big of a problem mind you.... most often just a pass with a stiff wire brush is enough before you fire up.

I'm very happy with my Lodge Sportsman Grill, it's taught me patience, which REALLY has improved my grilling!
Holding hungry crowds at bay wasn't easy...

Monday, May 5, 2014

Product Review: OSI Medical Supply Modules & Advantage II Personal Vehicle Aid Kit

Being prepared to respond to injury or trauma takes on a serious role in anyones plans, perhaps the most serious thing needed to be done. For serious prepping, you need serious medical gear, the kind of medical gear which can save a life in a moment.



For the general public, store-bought First Aid Kits are a good choice for skinned knees & cut fingers, but not the serious choice for life threatening wounds, burns or physical trauma which can quickly lead to a terminal condition if swift medical attention isn't rendered quickly & effectively. For this you need professional trauma gear, the kind found in a Combat Medic's Aid Kit, an EMS first responders Go-kit, or gear you'll find in use by law enforcement out on patrol.

That's exactly what Officer Survival Initiative, (OSI) offers to the general public. OSI is NOT your Momma's Medicine Chest. OSI has been a industry leader in offering Medical Trauma Kits for EMS/Fire, Law Enforcement & Military Agencies, and recently, offering a specialized product line to the public. Now you have available a line of Medical Supplies suitable for giving aid on a Battlefield, in a Natural Disaster, or on a Beat. Got Trauma? OSI gear DELIVERS!

OSI Medical Care Modules
Are you assembling a custom BOB, or have tactical plans that demand specialized medical supplies? Look no further than OSI's line of  Specalized Trauma Aid Modules.
Trama Center in a bag

Choose from Module Kits covering Bandages &Dressing Care, Serious Bleeding, Chest Injury, even Pandemic & Disaster Personal Protection Gear. Compact & specialized, each module allows you to mix & match your own selection, based on YOUR needs, no longer having to get gear you DON'T need, just to get the gear you DO.
OSI also offers customized Module Packaging on a per client basis. Contact them direct, they'll build up modules at your direction.

Advantage II Personal Vehicle Aid Kit
In the real world, the place we all are most exposed to traumatic injury is behind the wheel of an automobile. Imagine how important it is to have medical gear that can treat injuries moments after an accident, not several minutes before Police or EMS can arrive.
That's why OSI has introduced the Advantage II Personal Vehicle Aid Kit.
With trauma injuries, stabilizing a victims burn & bleeding injuries is critical. Punctures need to be plugged, bleeding stopped, burns dressed & treated. Advantage II covers all that in SPADES!

Inside the Advantage II Ballistic Nylon Clamshell Bag, is a full complement of:

Sterile Gloves
Combat Tourniquet
4" Dressing
HALO Chest Seal
Compact Trauma Shears
Compressed Gauze
CPR Face Shield
QuikClot Package


The Advantage II includes a sturdy Velcro Harness to attach to the back of any vehicle headrest, out of the way, yet fully accessible.
OSI also offers a MOLLE harness for mounting the Advantage II to any MOLLE equipped pack or bag.

If it burns, oozes, or bleeds, the Advantage II can treat it, stabilizing the victim until help arrives, which may be all the difference between dealing with a trauma survivor... or a trauma casualty.

After reviewing the Advantage II, it's now taken a permanent place on the back of the headrest of my daily commuter, and the store-bought First Aid Kit, with the band-aids & roll of gauze, is back in the medicine chest.  OSI has the gear to save your rear!
-by Robert Hawkins / APN Product Review

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Using the Blogger App for iPhone...

Finally making it into the 21st century. Now I'll have the chance to post directly into my blog from my iPhone. Nice little app! Got a iphone and want to blog... it's easy with this app! You can get it here.



Thursday, November 15, 2012


KC3VO's 2kW ham radio backpack amplifier gets the attention of the FCC! This is a preview from ARVN's "Dayton Collection" from the 2009 Dayton Hamvention. This clip comes from the "Unauthorized" Dayton TOUR. Details at www.arvideonews.com.

Friday, November 9, 2012

Live Weatherstream from KI4HEE

The weather station is up and live on weatherunderground. All & all, a very pain free experience. The Weatherwise WS-2080 is impressive, & worth the sub $100 pricetag. I'll be crafting a product review over the next few days for the APN Newsletter and blog, and here, so stay tuned! Meanwhile, go check out the weather conditions around the KI4HEE Hamshack on the edge of Red Hill!