toot sweet

The corkscrew whistle arrived today, and it is much better than described; a sweet little corkscrew find.

The sheath of the corkscrew is really quite elegant, and the whistle offers (I tried it only after disinfecting/sterilizing the item, as lord only knows where it has been) offers a sweet little toot!





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hootch and compiling the best 6

The Hootch Owl arrived the other day, and it is in fantastic shape!

The Hootchie will probably make the best 6 of the year, and given we are closing in on the end of the fiscal corkscrew year (next month for the CCCC), I have been trying to put together my 2010 best 6.

Which 6 corkscrews make the cut? This question needs to be answered a little more quickly this year, as I (as well as others) have been asked to present a "live best 6" at the ICCA AGM next week.

Will a few Frarys make the cut? A few German rarities? A couple of unusual American patents? Or, could there be some fantastic find unearthed before the meeting starts.

Of course, with the publication of the best 6, comes the corkscrewteer tradition of publishing your wishlist for the upcoming year. What 6 corkscrews are you most desirous of, that you hope to attain in 2011?
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my desk

In between doing construction chores, and teaching, I have been putting together some corkscrews to take to the ICCA/CCCC meetings. And, quite frankly, my desk is looking rather overtaken.

Well, perhaps it isn’t that bad…

Keep in mind, this is the after cleaning it up…

whistle while you work

I spent much of yesterday sanding the floors at the apartment we are building, and today will be applying the finish. Then I will start installing the kitchen. As it happens, the amount of construction that has been going on has left little time for perusing eBay.

That said, yesterday’s sanding chores must have increased my clicking speed on the computer. I hopped on email/eBay/teaching discussion boards for a couple of moments in the early evening last night, and saw a buy it now on a "vintage whisle corkscrew."

I (with lightning-fast-clicking-superpower gained from all that sanding) clicked the BUY IT NOW, and then set about making dinner.

This morning, I received an email that read, "hi, arghhhh, you got my bin 320594244805 i hate people who dont respond to request early & time zones….. I had to go to sleep…."

I am wondering if the emailer was typing "arghhhh" in a pirate voice?

Anyway, it seems that soon enough, I will be able to whistle while I work.

Thanks unnamed pirate binner dude!

Can I get a witness?

A couple of days ago, I picked up a lot of 3 corkscrew/openers on eBay. The price was cheap, and not knowing if there were any markings on the corkscrew in the lot, I decided to take a chance.

It looked to be a corkscrew I had seen before, so what the heck!

The threesome arrived yesterday, and I was quite pleased with the corkscrew knife with shell extractor. It is signed Taylor on one of the blades, and then across the handle of the knife, it reads, REAL KNIFE WITNESS, with an figure of an eye.

The extra tools include a knife blade, a second blade with a little forked end, and the shell extractor. A really neat little corkscrew knife!

legs of steel!

The half marathon in Bar Harbor was beautiful. The race starts in the town, and soon enough moves into Acadia National Park. And, this means a fair amount of hills. Fortunately, what goes up, must come down. And, the downhills gave a bit of relief : )

Overall it was a lovely time, and the lovely herself beat her goal of 2:20 crossing the finish line in 2:19 and some change. I have had better half marathons in the past, but did pretty good at 2:04 and a few seconds.

After the race, we showered, and headed to parts unknown. Well, they were unknown until we got there, and then we knew we were there. We hit a few antique shops, and turned up little.

That said, we are now back on the island, with legs that are still a little sore, but we are already looking at full marathons in the fairly near future.

Speaking of legs… here are the steel legs mentioned last week!

I prefer my corkscrews rusty

A friend recently was asking how to remove rust from a corkscrew.

Personally, I am a fan of naval jelly, although I don’t generally spend too much time cleaning up the rust unless it is just a little surface rust. I prefer the aged patinated look.

After sharing the naval jelly suggestion, my colleague thought that the naval jelly might have an adverse effect on some of the non-rusty materials which make up the corkscrew; i.e. brass and wood.

Rumor has it, that he decided to use a battery and some baking soda… I have heard of this as a possible means to remove rust, but the process seems a bit messy.

So…, I decided to see what exactly what that process entails, and found a non-corkscrew item being cleaned with a battery on youtube

Now, I am unsure as to whether the battery/soda corkscrew cleaning process looked exactly like this, but if given a choice, I will take the rust on the corkscrews please.

Griswold, Decorative Cast Bell, and a lovely pair of legs…

The other day, I had mentioned that the Griswold patent had arrived. And, here it is pictured in all its glory. Marked with the patent date across the handle, it will undoubtedly make the best 6 for 2010.

Also, the decorative cast iron handled corkscrew–a Walker if I am not mistaken–arrived in a box of 12 other corkscrews. The 12th, which was a bonus, was one of those little lead fish corkscrews, with the corkscrew in the mouth. I had hoped, the auctioneer would have slipped in a Russell patent : )

And, on the heels of scoring the Hootch Owl yesterday, I was sent an email inquiring if I was interested in a pair of ladies legs corkscrew. I responded in the affirmative, and was sent pictures shortly thereafter.

While the corkscrew itself has a little rust (or maybe a lot of rust), this is a pair of steel legs with advertising for "Loerzel & Bro. Saugerties, NY." While technically not a double, given that I do have another pair of steel legs with different advertising, this may be available for trade : )

Loerzel & Bro, was a brewery in the founded in 1874–the Loerzel Brothers name was used from 1888-1893 (according to Don Bull — http://www.bullworks.net/virtual/celluloid/celluloi.htm)

New Jersey Hootchie

Yesterday, a random google search turned up an advertisement for an estate sale in Montclair, New Jersey. And, within the ad, there was mention of a hootch owl corkscrew.

Knowing it was an estate sale, and that I wasn’t going to make it to New Jersey anytime soon, I emailed the person in the ad, and inquired about the corkscrew.

Shortly thereafter pictures of the little hootchie arrived. It was clear that they knew what they had–as attached to the Hootch Owl was a price tag of nearly what they have been selling for on the ICCA auction.

However, in their email they also explained that if no one bought the corkscrew at the estate sale, they would conduct a sealed bid auction upon the end of the sale.

I thought about it, and placed a phone call to the estate saler. We discussed the item, and I gave her a sealed bid.

30 minutes ago, she called back. The Hootch Owl is on its way to the island!!! And, for a greatly reduced price.

Dramatically reduced.

Hugely reduced.

Okay, let’s just say it didn’t cost that much : )

Definitely one that will stay in the collection, as it has been on my wishlist for 10 years!