Push it through; suck it up

Sorry, it sounds a bit obscene, but maybe it caught your attention. Today’s topics: two things that employ two cylinders, one inside the other. One pushes the inner cylinder through the outer cylinder to push the contents out. The other pulls the inner cylinder up to suction something out. I hadn’t made the connection, but one of our latest visiting friends pointed it out. Both devices were new to them. The suck-it-up device is fairly new for me. Both are pretty simple contraptions. It makes you think that maybe you should just ponder an intriguing or pesky problem, brainstorm like mad and invent something.

With the AeroPress you push the inner cylinder to press water through your coffee and out, like administering a big shot of caffeinated medicine into your coffee cup. Push that extracted coffee through. You’re left with a pressed coffee puck. I’ve written about the AeroPress before. I enjoy the trivia that the inventor also invented another simple object. Do you know or remember what it is? Hint: it’s a toy.

Our second to last previous guests brought the Bug Bite Thing. She had seen it on Shark Tank but had never tried it out. I was looking at the device in its packaging at the time she was telling me that. I was thinking Shark Tank was like the Home Shopping Network or something. It looked so simple and gimmicky. She said she bought it at REI, so that gave it more credibility in my mind. (Later, I remembered that Shark Tank is a reality business TV series).

The Bug Bite Thing is a very simple, mechanical device that is meant to create a suction on your skin where you have a bug bite. It supposedly suctions or pulls out the saliva or venom that makes the bite itchy. It’s not the whole mosquito solution, because you want the bugs not to bite you in the first place. It’s not a repellent. *I* am the best mosquito repellent for anyone near me, because I am the attractant. I take the bites for the team. So of course, the first person to need to try it out was me.

There’s no poison or medicine; it’s purely a mechanical thing. It’s one of those things you might hesitate to buy … it looks so simple and hoaxy (maybe not a word, but hubby uses that word all the time); can it possibly deliver on its claim? It’s a great thing to just borrow someone’s to see if it works for you. If you borrow it enough, maybe they give it to you. Ha ha! Thanks, S. M.

And it works for me! I don’t know if it actually pulls out the saliva/venom, and I don’t really care. What I want is relief from itching, and it does that for me. Maybe that suction provides enough stimulation to the itchy area that I get itch relief. With the mosquitoes here, if you can get beyond the first half hour of distracting itchiness, the itchiness usually goes away. This device does that for me. The other day I looked like I had about eight hickeys in various places on my body. Better a temporary hickey than a scab or scar from scratching.

Our next guests got bitten and tried it out, and I think they found it worked for them, too.

We’ve been having more mosquitoes recently. It’s not horrible, but there are more than in winter, although winter wasn’t all that dry. May was pretty rainy, only five days without rain here, and often grey. We had a sunny day yesterday, and we felt our spirits uplifted. Not that we were depressed or anything; we just felt happier. It was also our biggest day for generating solar power for the month, and it was over double for 12 of the grey days in May.

Grey days might be good days to sit around, think about things, and invent something. And the answer to the trivia question, the AeroPress inventor’s other famous invention: the Frisbee.

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