Thursday, October 3, 2013

My Larvae Lamp
By Frog
One thing I love about moving is that people get rid of good junk. I’m always one that cannot pass up a back yard sale and when Aimee was moving (as in her home, not in the Frickan sense) this past weekend, she was tossing cool stuff left and right. As things were, literally, flying through the air, I noticed a kinda half-full lava lamp in a box. Immediately I queried as to its destiny, to which she replied that it’s mine! Nice score!
So I took this bad boy home, googled how to refill it. It called out for distilled-water, some dish-detergent or oil (not clear, but one article said cooking oil…hey that sounded good), then pickling-salt. I also spent quite a bit of time, with my lovely wife as well, googling the crap out of all sorts of Lava Lamp topics. There’s like a cult of followers…I digress.
Ok, we didn’t have distilled-water, so I figured, what the heck, just use bottled water. Done deal. Also, no pickling-salt, but we have sea-salt, which doesn’t have iodine. Done deal. Now for the oil or detergent. Yep, no prob.
Experiments 1-5 involved various combinations of oil, detergent, more salt, more oil, more salt. There were some floaters, but no dice.
Experiments 5-10 involved me going to Walmart and searching for the fricken Lave Liquid, which they mentioned when I spent another hour googling that topic. I figured if I could just buy the damn stuff, screw the chemistry lesson. They had Lava Lamps for $10 complete but I wanted mine to work. Mistake number 45.
After experiment 10, I put the lamp aside.
Next day, in Fort Collins, I went to Target (recall google note that they had Lava Fluid!). No fluid. Just sold out.
Party Story…nope. Another Target…nope. Another Walmart…nope. Losing hope, I realized that Hobby Lob was coming up…nope. Dollar Store…right…
At one of the many trips trying to find Lava Fluid, I did manage to buy some ice-cream salt. I looked everywhere for pickling-salt, so I figured it was the same and this rock salt sure as heck doesn’t have any iodine in it. The label said it was also good for de-icing the walk, so I figured if it’s a bust for the lamp, at least I can salt my drive and rust out my truck. I did manage to buy some distilled-water and drove very slow on the way home to keep it that way.
Ok, back home I felt like Heisenberg in the meth lab as I tinkered with bottles of water, rock salt that looked like crystal meth and dish soap (well, two out of three aint bad).
Experients 10-15 were significantly much better, especially when adding more salt to do something to the specific gravity of the stuff inside…I read somewhere…anyway, it still looked like a fetus in a jar in the museum, so no dice.
Experients 15-20 kinda went south again, even though I cleaned out the bottle. This time the ‘lava’ didn’t look like an un-born fetus, it looked more like a tumor that docs must look at during their coffee breaks. I shook the bottle a bit to try and mix it, but when it foamed over the top, I realized that the bulb below could easily throw a circuit, if not burn down my house. Anyway, screw it.
Tomorrow I am going to Walmart and purchasing their most expensive $20 Lava Lamp. (hey, I only got $60 worth of gas in this bad boy!)
I give up on this monster. But I must say that I fell in love with her for some magical reason. I met many, many nice people that tried their best throughout my travels up and down the front range. I learned a lot about how not to do this and also how totally confusing the internet is. I’d hate to try and build a nuclear bomb in my garage like they say you can. There are too many options. I clearly chose all of the wrong ones!
Lava and Let Live!

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