Archive for the ‘Independent Living’ Category

Steps to test silver bullion coins for fakes/counterfeits

Monday, May 11th, 2009

There are currently a lot of fake silver coins making the rounds on Craigslist and Ebay. Most risky buys are uncirculated U.S. silver dollars (circulated are OK) and 1 oz silver bullion rounds. If buying used, it is best to buy from a seller with uniformly positive feedback and to pay with a credit card so that the transaction can be reversed directly. If buying new, there is no reason not to go straight to APMEX or a similar mint and purchase silver rounds from them. If you join their mailing list and wait for specials, you can get rounds for as cheap as $0.99 over the spot price of silver.

If you have bought something that you are suspicious of, here are all the tests I know of that you can use to make up your mind to send it back or not.

The quick and easy way to make Paint Bucket Wine(TM)

Sunday, February 15th, 2009

Basic idea: Yeast eat sugar and convert it to alcohol, but you want this to happen without other things also infecting and eating the sugar, mainly because their waste products aren’t as useful or tasty as alcohol.

Materials needed to get started:

  • One brand new, clean 5 gallon plastic pail with lid, any plastic type but 3 or 7 preferred
  • One packet of active dry yeast, red brewer’s yeast preferred
  • 14 cans of juice concentrate, required to have no sulfites or preservatives
  • One standard size bag of granulated baking sugar
  • 5 gallons of water, filtered or distilled water preferred
  • A winemaking hydrometer
  • Bleach & a clean sponge