The Agent’s Summer Enjoyment Assurance Kit

Here in New Hampshire, we recently had a stretch of rather sudden hot weather and are only now getting some much needed cooling rain. As such, it’s time to start planning for summer.

Now, I shared my preferred summer activities previously here at the archive. However, I failed to touch on how much fun could be had a la carte. We all get the urge for an impromptu adventure once and a while. As such, you need to have your necessary gear together for just such an occasion.

So, in this week’s topic, I’ll be sharing my summer survival kit for maximizing fun this season.

Item #1: Your Bank Account

Dolla dolla bills, ya’ll.
Source: Century Products LLC

It’s never a good idea to travel without cash on hand. You never know when you may travel farther than expected and need to fill your gas tank or get the urge to stop by that burger shack you’ve been thinking of checking out.

Most people keep a written record of their purchases and deposits, but it’s a good practice to get into to check your account balance – either online or at an ATM – before every trip just to be on the safe side.

Item #2 Utility Kilt (With Optional Sporran)

#ScottishnessIntensifies (yes, that is me)

It’s hot. Like, really hot. You don’t want to wear jeans and shorts are only a mild improvement.

As stated in my very first article, I’m a proponent of the Utility Kilt. They’re comfortable, functional, and stylish (I get tons of compliments on my style when I leave the house). They also allow breathability to the parts of the body most likely to be bound in multiple layers of clothing.

What’s more, most “Utilikilts” sport exterior pockets that hold more than the average pants pocket and are more comfortable; no more car keys jabbing you in the hip.

Still not enough storage space for you? You could get a satchel bag, but that’s a lot of uncomfortable pressure on your shoulder. Why not compliment your new kilt with a sporran (that leather pouch that hangs in the front of the kilt). They’re surprisingly inexpensive and look awesome.

Item #3 Baby Powder

Now when you say you’re going to the powder room, you can mean it.
Source: Electronic Products

Okay, let’s get into hygiene.

In happens every summer; you start sweating hard in the sun which causes your nethers to chafe under the combination of heat, moisture, and friction.

There’s a simple answer to the problem that your mom was using on you as a babe – baby powder.

Baby Powder (or, failing that, pure cornstarch) works by absorbing moisture. Dusting a healthy dose on your undercarriage helps to protect against groin chafing and the most dreaded of all summer time faux pas – Swamp Ass.

Item #4 The Multi-Tool

If it’s good enough for those pseudo-survivalist guys on T.V., it’s good enough for us, right?
Source: Tech On The Side

It’s the one thing that I will carry with me at all times year round, but gets the most use in the summer – my trusted, carefully maintained, well-honed, multi-tool.

You don’t really need a complicated, fancy multi-tool like the a Leatherman either. All you need are a few basic essentials to help you on your summer frolics.

Going camping? You’ve got a pen knife for cutting rope and preparing food. Invited to a party or a cook-out? You brought your own bottle opener. Rebuilding your favorite [insert prized possession here]? Most multi-tools have at least two screwdrivers and a set of pliers.

It’s the right tool for any job… or any joy for that matter.

Sweet Projects For When The Weather Warms Up

You know what sucks the most about winter? Not being able to do the stuff you enjoy.

For those unfortunate enough to not live in the warmer parts of the world, it seems that inclement weather conditions constantly put a damper on plans this time of year. Even the things normally reserved for winter weather can be screwed up by bad conditions.

The good news about this is that the time spent trapped indoors gives you time to plan what you wants to do when the spring thaw comes around.

So, since I and a good chunk of America just survived a massive storm that covered everything in glassy ice and left me stranded at work for the night (one advantage of working at an inn: emergency housing), let’s mentally escape the frozen wasteland together by sharing some awesome ideas for spring and summer.

Build A Foundry/Forge

Feel as awesome as this guy while making cool stuff!

This is one I intend on doing with my dad as soon as conditions allow.

We live within reasonable range of scrap yards and garages that are often stuck with useless car parts, ruined bike frames, mounds of tin and aluminum cans, and worn-out lawnmower blades. Normally, most of these would be left to rust away.

So we thought, “why not refresh and recycle them?”

There are several tutorials out there that can teach you how to build a rudimentary forge or foundry furnace for reforging and recasting old metal for art projects.

While the designs differ greatly the basics are the same; a durable metal body (we intend on using an old air compressor tank), a thick refractory lining for insulation (either ceramic fiber or a 50/50 mix of sand and plaster), a heat source (coal or propane seem to be popular) and – for those who go with coal – a blower to force air over the flame (depending on the size of your furnace, you can use anything from a hairdryer to a shop vacuum and attach it to a steel intake pipe).

There are also tutorials on techniques for forging and casting. I personally want to try my hand at forging Cable Damascus Steel.

Cook With The Power of the Sun

Make a delicious meal… WITH THE POWER OF THE SUN!

Here’s a grade school science classic.

As soon as the weather allows, we love to start grilling and cooking outside. So why not combine the great weather and cookery with a homemade solar cooker.

As with the forge, there are many designs to choose from that operate on the same basic principles. The most popular designs are the classic solar box cooker (in essence, a simple insulated box lined with aluminum) and more modern parabolic cookers which act more like a solar stove top than the oven-like box.

Fun for Outdoorsmen

All this beauty could be yours.

One of my favorite places to find projects is at The Art of Manliness, a one-stop guide for the classic gentleman. But, more rougher-edged folks can also find good times in their outdoorsmanship guides and projects.

Want to try your hand at spear hunting and fishing? Check out their small game hunting gig.

Need a portable heat and light source in the wild? There’s a nifty infographic on how to make a classic torch.

Want to fuel your mischievous 1950’s inner child? Do like me and build a natural fork slingshot.

The great outdoors awaits any with the courage a resourcefulness to meet it. Go for it, kids.

Cool Things for You To Do This Summer


There’s much more than beach bumming out there.
Source: iMediaConnection Blog

Summer Has Officially started for me this week. And that means… more traffic at the fast food joint I work at so I have to work longer hours with less time for fun stuff.

Still, I manage to find time for a little R&R between the day job, continuing work searches, and this blog and I thought that I would share a few with you help you entertain yourselves this summer.


Take your childhood memories of playing Hide and Seek and doing scavenger hunts and imagine them with a high-tech twist.

Around the world, there are small hidden boxes called Geocaches. These caches have been expertly disguised with only a set of GPS coordinates gathered on a global data base as a mark of their existence.

With a GPS enabled device like your smartphone, you can track down these Geocaches, take one of the objects out of the cache, and place one of your own in its place in the world’s largest treasure hunt. If your lucky, you may find an object with a Travel Bug, complete with a code that lets you track where it’s been (I once found a key chain from the Hard Rock Cafe in Singapore that traveled up the west coast before hopping to New York and then to me in New Hampshire).

Info on the rules can be found on the official website. It’s good fun and it gets you out of the house to exercise. Just be careful to not let non-players (muggles, as they are referred to) see you mucking about with the cache.

Make a Weekend Project List

Sometimes, a person just needs to do something more constructive than plow through a summer reading list. To that end, here are some resources for cool projects to work on in your down time.

For the more macho among us, The Art of Manliness often posts DIY projects and “Manly Skills” geared around outdoorsmanship and the golden age of the noble gentleman. I, myself, have made and used the site’s natural fork slingshot.

Grant Thompson, better known on YouTube as The King Of Random, offers a constantly updating laundry list of cool projects and life hacks to entertain and help you out in a pinch. The most impressive in my mind is the massive “Solar Scorcher” that he made out of the screen from a rear projection TV.

Lastly, for all of the culinary wizards out there, take your cookery to the next level at Pimp That Snack. This site has recipes to recreate your favorite food in titanic proportions such as “The Creme de la Creme” giant Cadbury Creme Egg.

Look for Curio Stores and Thrift Shops

This is a favorite pass time of mine. I like to keep track of odd stores and frequent them to see if I can find any useful bric-a-brac.

Your local Goodwill or Salvation Army store is a good place to start. After all, Macklemore taught us the power of the thrift shop.

But you should also keep an eye open for antique stores and gift shops that may carry odd things that could peak your interest. You’d be surprised what you can do with a few up-cycled knick knacks.