Author Topic: An Adult Should Really Know This - Silly Things You've Had to Tell People  (Read 307217 times)

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gramma dishes

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Passed on this little lesson today.

Gasoline is flammable. It is also not a good idea to attempt to increase the amount of fire in your charcoal grill by holding a can of gas over the flames and pouring it on.

Many many years ago, shortly after we moved into our house we were eating dinner one night and heard fire trucks and all kinds of other sirens.  At first we thought they were just passing by on one of two busy streets that are about five blocks away in different directions, but they sure sounded awfully close.

It turns out that a few of our neighbors were having a barbeque in one of their back yards and the impatient kids thought coals weren't getting hot fast enough.  In just a flash, a boy about nine years old grabbed a can of lighter fluid and squirted it into the coals.  The fire caught the stream of liquid on fire and sucked it back into the can which then exploded. 

The boy survived but was very horribly scarred on his face and it did a lot of damage to his one hand.  It was horrible and so sad.

camlan

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Passed on this little lesson today.

Gasoline is flammable. It is also not a good idea to attempt to increase the amount of fire in your charcoal grill by holding a can of gas over the flames and pouring it on.

Was anybody seriously hurt or were you able to pass this information on before anything bad happened?

Somehow they thought gas was like the lighter fluid some people use on charcoal grills, but in a very brain hurty twist they also thought it couldn't catch fire. If this makes no sense to you, it doesn't to me, either.

Fortunately for everyone involved, I came across this group, which was mostly the new young people who moved in downstairs and a few of their friends, before anything happened. I noticed the gas can and gently inquired as to why it was there. Once informed of their plans, I'm afraid I turned into a little mother hen, and all adulty and serious, and managed to talk them out of it.

I guess they'd all seen charcoal fires lit before, but never really paid attention.

Since they've already had the fire department here once and they've only been in the place three weeks, I'm very happy I happened to walk by them.

Oh, and I got a very good hamburger as thanks!

Nothing is impossible, the word itself says, “I’m possible!” –Audrey Hepburn


Fliss

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Back in my wayward and misspent youth, I was in the Oz Army (the family swear it must have been a typo error), where we learnt many interesting little tricks -- only a few of which I would dare try these days.

One of these little tricks was to  have a a packet of tounge dispensers that had been soaked in petrol. You kept it in a metal pencil case in your back pouch. You used 2 or 3 to get a fire going when you needed to heat up food or morning coffee. Good little trick.
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Jocelyn

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One of these little tricks was to  have a a packet of tounge dispensers
What is a tounge dispenser?

Hillia

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One of these little tricks was to  have a a packet of tounge dispensers
What is a tounge dispenser?

I think she means tongue depressor - that giant popsicle stick the doctor uses to push down your tongue when he looks in your mouth.

Darn autocorrect will be the end of communications!

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Luci

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..... passionfruit vine is growing right next to their gas water heater. The pilot light will ignite the petrol as it evaporates, and there will be a loud BOOM and fireball as you walk away, and the firemen are going to be really snarky at you.

Time out, please. You have water heaters outside?

Mel the Redcap

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..... passionfruit vine is growing right next to their gas water heater. The pilot light will ignite the petrol as it evaporates, and there will be a loud BOOM and fireball as you walk away, and the firemen are going to be really snarky at you.

Time out, please. You have water heaters outside?

Yup. It's pretty normal here (Canberra, Australia) to have a large water heater outside, especially if it's run on gas. We're now getting more of the little ones that heat water on demand instead of warming up a big reservoir ahead of time, but even those are installed on your outside wall if they're gas instead of electric.
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PeterM

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Time out, please. You have water heaters outside?

Yup. It's pretty normal here (Canberra, Australia) to have a large water heater outside, especially if it's run on gas. We're now getting more of the little ones that heat water on demand instead of warming up a big reservoir ahead of time, but even those are installed on your outside wall if they're gas instead of electric.

I can see how there might be problems with that approach, though it probably depends on local weather conditions and such-like. But it would definitely cut down on the old "water heater flies through two floors and then the roof" situation, which can really put a damper on your weekend.

A house a half mile or so from my parents' place exploded one night, fifteen or so years ago. No one was hurt - their teenaged son was home alone, heard some weird noises coming from the basement and got out just in time to reach a safe vantage point and see the entire home demolished in a ginormous explosion. There was nothing left, just a hole in the ground. This caused some consternation to my parents, because my brother was about 5 at that point, and he was absolutely fascinated every time they drove past. It took some doing to convince him that first, their own house wasn't going to explode and second, if it did that would not be cool.

Luci

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Time out, please. You have water heaters outside?

Yup. It's pretty normal here (Canberra, Australia) to have a large water heater outside, especially if it's run on gas. We're now getting more of the little ones that heat water on demand instead of warming up a big reservoir ahead of time, but even those are installed on your outside wall if they're gas instead of electric.

I can see how there might be problems with that approach, though it probably depends on local weather conditions and such-like. But it would definitely cut down on the old "water heater flies through two floors and then the roof" situation, which can really put a damper on your weekend.

A house a half mile or so from my parents' place exploded one night, fifteen or so years ago. No one was hurt - their teenaged son was home alone, heard some weird noises coming from the basement and got out just in time to reach a safe vantage point and see the entire home demolished in a ginormous explosion. There was nothing left, just a hole in the ground. This caused some consternation to my parents, because my brother was about 5 at that point, and he was absolutely fascinated every time they drove past. It took some doing to convince him that first, their own house wasn't going to explode and second, if it did that would not be cool.

Wow! I have never heard of a gas water heater exploding. Even the one in the camper is gas. It's all we have ever had.

I can't imagine how it would stay lit in a thunderstorm.

Oh, well, I guess it must work. Thanks for the information.

VorFemme

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At that same publishing company, they wanted to drop the "1/2 cup" and just start saying, "1 stick of butter." I guess for now everybody would know, but it just really bothered me, as a copyeditor.

"Stick" is not a universally agreed-upon unit of measurement.

That would not be cool for those, like me, that have to convert everything. Even a cup of butter is a weird concept, even room temp butter would be a pain to cut in little bits to fill up a cup, squashing it so that it's packed, then emptying the cup and having to clean all the greasy residue.

I printed a handy little guide with metric/imperial measures, C° and F°, and what one cup of flour/sugar/butter/rice.. is in grams, and Oz to Grams...
It's really usefull, I get most of my recipes from tastespotting (and thus mostly english blogs) and since I moved out without taking the measuring cups, I just write it down with the conversion.

My guide is the one from here: http://www.everest.co.uk/products/kitchens/kitchen-cheat-sheet/
free download possible.

If you want a cup of butter and don't want to squash it, get a two-cup measurement and put one cup's worth of water in. Then put enough butter in to raise the volume of water to the two cup level. Voila! A measured cup of butter and much less to clean!

Just make sure that it is cold water - hot water will not work nearly as well....
Let sleeping dragons be.......morning breath......need I say more?

Mel the Redcap

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I can't imagine how it would stay lit in a thunderstorm.

I've never had one go out - the burners or whatever are protected inside the outer casing, and they tend to be situated in corners or behind other structures (garden shed, decorative wall, hedge etc) that protect them from wind. :) In fact, the only one I remember hearing of where the pilot light went out was the one involved in the petrol -> boom -> firemen scenario, where it was so thoroughly drowned that the electric igniter failed completely and had to be replaced!

Back when I was a small child, we had an electric water heater in the back of the linen closet, with shelves in front of it so your towels etc were always warm, but since then all the ones I can remember have been outside. It's a safety thing, I think, and I believe houses here in Australia are far less likely to have basements than ones in the U.S. so that's not usually an option for us.

(ETA: the Mythbusters episode where they built a miniature house and fired a water heater through its roof was awesome :D)
« Last Edit: June 10, 2013, 12:06:51 AM by Mel the Redcap »
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kherbert05

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Somehow they thought gas was like the lighter fluid some people use on charcoal grills, but in a very brain hurty twist they also thought it couldn't catch fire. If this makes no sense to you, it doesn't to me, either.

Fortunately for everyone involved, I came across this group, which was mostly the new young people who moved in downstairs and a few of their friends, before anything happened. I noticed the gas can and gently inquired as to why it was there. Once informed of their plans, I'm afraid I turned into a little mother hen, and all adulty and serious, and managed to talk them out of it.

I guess they'd all seen charcoal fires lit before, but never really paid attention.

Since they've already had the fire department here once and they've only been in the place three weeks, I'm very happy I happened to walk by them.

Oh, and I got a very good hamburger as thanks!


You may have saved a life not to mention your home today.  How do you grow up - and not know gasoline is flammable? I hate lighter fluid - leaves a nasty taste. So I have a chimmney that I use to start my grill.

I get tired of the you are a woman, how do you know how to X? Because my parents wanted to make sure Sis and I could stand on our own two feet. (Both of my grandfathers died young, all 4 of my great-grandfathers left widows with kids under 12).

Last Monday I came home to a stifling house. I was a little out of it (end of school year brain) and figured that I was early and the timer would lower the temp on the AC. Then the roku wasn't working, and the modem was off line. So I figured out that we had a power outage. So I climbed up into the attic to find that the bulb had blown but I had a flash light. I reset the surge protector on the AC, got the AC going. Then reset the modem and roku and took a shower. I got no less than three lectures about how I should have called
1. My BIL - that time of day they live 20 minutes away both ways to flip a switch
2. A neighbor - at dinner time to flip a switch
3. A service - pay  a huge fee for them to flip a switch.

Not going to happen. I can flip a switch.
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Luci

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Then the roku wasn't working, and the modem was off line.

What is "roku"? Thanks.

RingTailedLemur

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Liquid petrol isn't flammable - the fumes are.  The liquid evaporates quite quickly and then the fumes catch light.

Nikko-chan

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Then the roku wasn't working, and the modem was off line.

What is "roku"? Thanks.

Roku is short for 'roku box' a device used for getting netflix, hulu plus, and other alternate TV programming.