April 23, 2008
SHAKE N BAKE SERGEANTS
by JERRY HORTON
I recently received a copy of Shake n Bake Sergeants by Jerry Horton.
During the Vietnam War we needed sergeants and the army set up a program
to train men who showed leadership ability to be sergeants in 12 weeks.
The term “shake n bake” came from the product that also
came about in the 1960’s used for quick cooking chicken.
The book is partially Jerry’s life story but
for the most part it is his experience in the army and most pointedly his experience
in combat. Having been in the army I was able to relate to almost everything
he experienced except going to war. I was lucky enough to be in and out before
the war really got going. I view the book as a document about being in the
army and an expose of what it was like for the grunts in their everyday activity
in Vietnam. If you were there it might be a grim reminder of what you went
through and if not it is certainly an eye opener. I highly recommend the book.
You can get a copy by going to Jerry’s web site www.shakenbakesergeant.com
While I was reading the book I started to
think about the result of the effort. I came to the conclusion that
the people of Vietnam should build a statue honoring the American
soldiers. We won the war! Think about it, the USA sent its army to
Vietnam to stop the spread of communism and we did. It took 25 years
to take place but Vietnam today is a free country and capitalistic.
I know that the communists took over and did nasty things to those
who would not comply with their dictates but it did not last very
long. The controllers of the country are it appears not stupid. They
have observed other Asian countries specifically China a communist
government controlled country and as we know the Chinese people are
prospering and today so are the Vietnamese.
I began to realize that there are other countries
that have benefited dramatically after the American soldier has left; Germany,
Japan, Korea to name a few. While we never fought with Russia we did have the
cold war and what has happened there; capitalism.
I salute Jerry and all of those men who served with
him for what they were told to do which they did to the best of their ability
whether they wanted to be in a war or not. The US government would like all
countries to be free and capitalistic as we are and sometimes they ask the
young men of our country to put their life on the line. Sometimes the results
happen quickly as in the cases of Germany and Japan. Other times it takes 25
or so years as in Vietnam.
So for my money we ultimately won the war!
STAINLESS STEEL WATERBOTTLES
Recently in the news was a report that Nalgene the water bottle manufacturer
was discontinuing the manufacture of bottles that are made with BPA
because of the health risks; i.e. cancer causing.
I reported this several years ago when I started selling
the stainless steel water bottles. I sold the stainless bottles because you
could melt ice in them. That all stemmed from my being lost. In any event women
started calling for them because they knew about the BPA problem with plastics.
One woman told me to research a research scientist at Case Western University
who had a problem with mice dieing. When she the research scientist ruled out
all causes it came down to the plastic water bottle the mice were drinking
out of. The year was 1988. I guess the Nalgene people are slow learners. When
I would attend the Outdoor Retailer trade show I would always stop at their
exhibit and inquire as to what steps they were taking to correct the situation
and the answer was always; it is not a problem. Twenty years is a long time
to wait to correct a problem that is if they have.
I have had the stainless water bottles available since
about 1998 it took three years to find a manufacture. Sales have steadily grown
for three reason; indestructible, can boil water in them and because they are
chemical free. The stainless steel used to make them is food grade only.
COLD FABRIC AND COOLERS
Over the years I have been asked to make coolers with Lamilite since
it insulates holding heat in while keeping cold out. However, Lamilite
will keep cold in a confined area equally efficient as it keeps it
out. But I have been reluctant to make any since they would also need
a liner that was made from a waterproof film to contain water as ice
placed in the container would melt. That has all changed now that
I have come across a fabric that has a remarkable characteristic to
it; it actually cools.
The fabric is a blend of polyester and nylon. It is
a woven fabric with a nap or brushed surface on both sides. It has no chemical
additives. All you do is soak the fabric in luke warm water, wring it out and
then shake it or snap it as you would a towel. Within a few seconds it starts
to cool down. Its low temperature is between 50 and 55 degrees and it will
stay that way for a few hours. If you now place the fabric in a freezer for
say 15 minutes it will stay cold much longer.
What I am doing is making a removable cooler lining
from this fabric and then placing it in a soft sided Lamilite insulated cooler
which will retain the cold for hours. This fabric eliminated the need for any
waterproof insert since the need for ice has been eliminated. When you place
a cold product such as beverages that are cold to begin with in it you can
expect the cold items to remain cold for many hours.
The shell fabric is sturdy 600 denier polyester that
is water proof coated (the same fabric we use for our ground pads) and the
insulation is our L-12 Lamilite which is what we use for in our Antarctic parka.
The first size we are producing is 15 inches in diameter
and 15 inches high. Each of the two components has a draw cord closure and
there are two inch web straps to carry it. The cost is $85.00. The guarantee
is if you do not lose it you will use it the rest of your life.
A NEW PARKA
It is called the Alaskan Range Parka. The parka is available in a
variety of colors and fabrics. Military digital camo which is Taslite
fabric, Multicam color; Supplex in black, navy, and olive green; and
Ventile cloth. Ventile cloth is 100 percent cotton and the closest
fabric ever made that is truly waterproof and vapor permeable. If
you go to the Ventile web site www.ventile.co.uk you
can learn all about it. Essentially it is made from the longest staple
cotton fiber grown and when it gets wet it swells to make it waterproof.
It is also incredibly soft and ply-able. The color selection of the
Ventile cloth garments will be black, navy, olive green, bordeaux,
and antique bronze. Each parka will come with a detachable hood.
The outer layer of the Alaska Range Parka is only
a shell. There are three different insulating layers that can be zippered into
the parka depending upon the weather conditions you will be using the parka
for. They are the L-3 layer for temperatures as low as +20 degrees F, the L-6
layer for temperatures as low as -10 degrees F, and the L-12 layer for arctic
use. The shell fabric used for the zip in liner is Supplex so it can be worn
as a parka without the shell.
All of these parkas are made with fabrics that are
not coated so they are all vapor permeable. As I have written the Lamilite
is completely unaffected by moisture, therefore it is always better to wear
garments that will always allow the perspiration that your body produces to
have a way of getting not only away from your skin surface but also out of
the garment you are wearing.
Shortly the parkas will be posted on the web site.