Archive for the ‘Safety Tips’ Category
It’s me, I. B. Steelin, the guy who broke into your car last night. Sorry about having to wear the mask, but I heard a bunch of cops hang out on this site and I can’t risk going back to prison.
Anyway, thanks for leaving so many goodies on the front seat. Caught my eye right away. My kids needed the new iPod, and the wife will absolutely love the purse. Louis Vuitton, right?
Your neighbors were equally as generous. The blue house two doors down… Left their car doors unlocked, so a quick stab at the remote and, BINGO, up goes the garage door. What a field day that was…power tools and a small TV (perfect for the kids’ room, by the way). I also took a quick peek inside the house. They’ve got a really sweet flat screen and I’ll definitely be back for it another night.
Across the street… Yep, the people with the BMW. Sunroof was open again so I took the gym bag from the back seat. Not much inside but the bag was nice. The best part, though, was what I found in the glove compartment. All sorts of documents containing personal information—social security numbers, addresses, pin numbers, bank statements (I see some new charge accounts opening in the very near future), a letter from the alarm company saying they hated losing BMW’s business and that service could be reinstated for the low, low price of $19.95 per month and, well, let’s just say it was a real smorgasbord. My favorite thing, though, was the key ring…front door key, key to the business downtown, the tool shed, the rear gate…(yep, they were labeled).
There was a blue SUV on the next block. Two boxes in the rear—a microwave and a projector for a home theater. Spotted them from the street while passing by. The owner should’ve taken the time to pull the built-in cover over the cartons. But…easy money for me. Took a rock from the landscaping beside the driveway and those two sweet items were quickly in my greedy little paws. The cards read, Congratulations, Billie! So thank you very much, Billie, for whatever you did that almost earned you a couple of nice, new gifts. Mine now.
Actually, the entire neighborhood was easy-pickings. Lawns not mowed (a sure sign no one had been home for a while), newspapers piled up in the driveway, mailboxes overflowing, windows open, no lights in houses and yards, garage doors up, lawn mowers and bicycles left outside, no curtains on garage and basement windows, and there was even one house with a note pinned to the front door—“Be Back Tomorrow. Please Leave Deliveries In Kitchen. Key Under Mat.” Well, Duh. Loved the cheesecake in the fridge, by the way. And those homemade cookies…to die for.
Okay, that’s enough for now, but I’ll be back for the rest of your things. Unless, of course, you start using some common sense and lock up, close the sunroof, turn on a light or two, and activate those alarms. Until then, you’re just another number in the 1.85 million thefts from vehicles that occur each year. That number is indeed correct and, as a result, my friends and I steal approximately 1.26 BILLION items from cars each and every year.
So…thank you very much for helping us achieve our personal goals.
See you soon. Very soon…
Due to a rise in home invasions, using hairspray as a chemical deterrent to ward off attackers has been a hot topic lately. The general idea is to keep a can handy on the nightstand beside the bed, or a smaller can inside a handbag. Then, as an unsuspecting attacker approaches, the would-be victim sprays the hair-stiffener into the thug’s eyes, causing him to stop the attack and immediately run away.
Personally, I do not recommend the use of hairspray as a means of defense against attackers. It’s not totally effective. Unlike pepper spray that can be effective without direct contact to the eyes, the burst of hairspray mist must hit the eyes directly to do any good at all. As a result, carrying the stuff gives a person a false sense of security. And, like firearms and other weapons, unless you practice/train with with your handy-dandy hairspray bad-guy-stopper, chances are that using it in real-life would be totally ineffective. I don’t believe there are any hairspray training academies in my area. Not sure about where you live.
The other premise is for the victim to use a cigarette lighter to ignite the hair goop as it leaves the nozzle, turning the misty chemical into a homemade hairspray fire-fogger. Now, what halfway intelligent crook would dare continue his advances when faced with a scared and angry, fire-spurting homeowner?
Well, the ideas are good—spray the attacker’s eyes which could render him incapable of continuing the assault, or, set his hair on fire causing him to run outside looking like a human 4th of July fireworks display. But, there are a few things to keep in mind.
1. For obvious reasons, remember to use the aerosol hairspray, not the pump type. The idea is to stop the attacker, not give him his recommended daily dose of laughter.
2. The actuators (push buttons) on aerosol cans are normally made of plastic and could melt when exposed to prolonged extreme heat/fire.
3. The flame generated using a hairspray can extends only as far as the distance reached by the spray, which is basically a couple of feet. Therefore, an attacker could simply wait at a safe distance—four feet, or so—while your weapon slowly burns up/extinguishes. Or, he could stand at a safe distance and roast a marshmallow or two while waiting for the flame to subside. Also, if the attacker is only two feet away when the victim begins the process of match-striking and spray-squirting, he could easily disarm the victim.
4. While standing in your bedroom, striking matches and flicking Bic’s, an attacker could easily grab the blanket from your bed, toss it over you and your flamethrower, and then beat you senseless with your own fuzzy orangutan slippers .
5. If the spray fails to ignite, you will have merely succeeded in helping your attacker keep his “Do” in fabulous shape for his appearance at your neighbors house…after blacking your eyes and stealing your stuff.
Of course, you could always switch to deodorant as a source of power for your flamethrower/chemical deterrent. At least then the attacker would smell nice while he pounded out a rhythmic Latin beat on your head.
A prime example was the fight between two Michigan women where one grabbed a can of hairspray, aimed it at her opponent, and set the stream on fire. Well, the flame never reached the other woman, who grabbed a lamp and hit the fire-sprayer with it. When police arrived they found scratches on the faces of both women…and a broken lamp.
Of course, there’s a more deadly use for hairspray…
Way back when (sometime during the late 1980’s), Virginia coalminers decided to strike, becoming rowdy in the process, and when the state police moved in to restore order they were met by jack rocks in the roadways (jack rocks are large, sharpened metal objects shaped like jacks—kid toys—designed to flatten car tires), gunfire, and incoming spuds fired from potato cannons.
The VSP spent nearly $200,000 to replace flattened car tires during the period when over 400 troopers were assigned to the area on a rotating basis.
Jack rocks are sold openly on eBay for use as “defensive spikes”
The state police spent nearly $8 million keeping the peace during the nine month strike.
Anyway, back to Potato cannons. They’re simple devices, generally made from PVC pipe, a source of ignition, such as a barbecue grill spark-lighter, and an accelerate, such as hairspray. Users wedge a potato into the open end of the cannon, squirt hairspray into the area where the igniter is installed, close the cap, and then flick the igniter. The spark ignites the hairspray which then propels the potato. A simple, yet effective process.
Also for sale on eBay…
Another eBay item is a potato cannon called the City Slicker. Sellers advertise this weapon/toy has having a loud discharge. In addition to launching a potato over a great distance, it reportedly shoots an 18 inch flame from the barrel when fired.
City Slicker Potato/Tennis Ball Cannon ~ $49.95
During the time of the troubles with the coal miners, I just happened to be at the State Police Academy for in-service training and was lucky enough to be one of the cops chosen to test fire potato cannons. The idea was to see how much damage they could do and then relay our findings to the troopers assigned to the mountain areas where the strike was taking place. So, after firing a couple hundred pounds of spuds at various targets, we learned that the force generated is often great enough to send a spud through plywood, cinder blocks, and even the door of a passing trooper’s car. The cannons were surprisingly powerful.
Below is a video recorded by author and Florida law enforcement officer James O. Born. In the brief film, Jim demonstrates how to fire a potato cannon. His target is a bit…well, unconventional, but the action is real. You’ll notice a large cap on the rear end of the cannon. That’s where hairspray is applied. And, you’ll see Jim holding the ignition switch in his right hand.
Take it way, Jim…