Worm bin notes: Fleeing the Ferment?

Bins 2 & 3, Update 12.  This one starts without notes.  The footage was filmed during the WordPress whiteout mayhem.  There are several times where the worms are at the top of the bin on the ledge/lip that the lid sits on.  Also in the recess created by the molded in handhold.

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August 16th, Bin 2, Worm bunch in recess.

The photo above is bin two, from the 16th, when they were bunched up in the recess.  Scooped them out with a flattened plant stem and dropped them back in the bin.  Still hadn’t thought of the fermenting possibility at that point and left the mango like it was.  The photo below shows why.  There is a mess of activity on the salad with the mango close by.

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August 16th, Bin 2, Upper left mango, lower left worms devour salad.

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August 16th, Bin 2, Worms devour salad, mango close by.

It doesn’t look like there is much going on near the mango.  In the video it doesn’t look like any insects are going near it.  Didn’t catch that detail when taking a few quick photos of the progress.  Might not matter.  The video of bin three shows them all around the mangos at the same time.  Days later on the 18th it looks like they’re passing by.

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August 16th, Bin 3, Worms close to mangos.

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August 18th, Bin 3, Worms don’t seem interested.

Not sure what that means if anything.  I’m still thinking they’re avoiding the fermenting gasses while the mango were in that state.  I’ll be paying much more attention in the future.  Will also wait longer before putting in fruits so I can pull the skin off by hand or chop them up.  Won’t be putting whole fruits in like that again.

The other stuff looks good, no unwanted insects or reptiles.  No fermenting or other smells.  Added some Florida avocados to both bins on the 18th.  There are plenty of veg scraps I’ll get in tomorrow for a check-up and add it then.  -13

Current video with accurate Closed Captions below.

Worm bin notes: Check-up

Update 10, Bin 1.  My plan for this bin was to remove as many roly poly as I could, add waste and leave it alone.  I was surprised to find so little of the roly poly I didn’t remove any of them.  That changed after editing the video. In the beginning part of the video while I’m away from the bin the roly polys are moving around and hiding.  After watching that I’ll remove them as planned next time I’m in the bin.

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August 18, Bin 1, Roly Poly

 

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August 18, Bin 1, Roly Poly

There were no roaches or odors.  Everything looked good in there.  The worms were below the surface as I usually find them when there is little waste in the bin.  Below is a short video that shows how the roly polys moved before I could see them and the conditions of the bin. -13

 

Worm bin notes: Fermenting, Lizards & Disappearing Spiders

Part 1

Bins 2 & 3, Update 11. Not sure where to start. Lack of time, loss of memory and blog access has me trying to remember any of the last few weeks I’ve been so busy catching up.

It starts off my not having taken notes on paper or used Notes on my computer.  Not much into Apple so I’m not using or familiar with most of the apps on this computer.  No excuse to not use the one that I like using though.  Lack of time is another issue that I can’t do much about.  Some of the crazy starts with the image below.

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See that?  That is what it was like for me to login and try to update my site. Couldn’t get past it.  Check out Blank Page Mayhem! to find out more on that experience.

Finally able to login, here I sit trying to remember those details I didn’t write down.  Moving from one project to another, I won’t remember, that’s what my notes are for! Have to laugh at that one. Anyway, I’ll do my best.

Bin 2 had signs of worm activity on the walls of the bin and upper lip.  My thought is that the worms were trying to get more food because of the time span between adding waste.  As I was thinking about writing this several memories of similar circumstances makes me think it’s something else.  I suspect the worms are fleeing the fermenting mangos or any fermenting fruit.

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July 20 Mango bin 2

The first time I put mangos in the bins they went in whole.  When checking them several days later I noticed the smell that fermenting fruit makes as soon as I opened the lid.  I also noticed the worms trailings at the sides/top and no worms were visible at the surface.  All I remember thinking at the time was not to put whole skinned fruits/vegetables in without cutting them so the worms could get to them.

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August 9 Mango bin 2

Sometimes mangos were added in whole then opened days later after they’d had a chance to ripen.  That didn’t work as well as cutting them into halves or quarters then placing the fruit onto the soil.  Or letting them set a short time outside the bin until the skins peeled off by hand.  Many of the videos show it.  After I started cutting the fruit I never noticed the fermenting smells.  The last few times I’ve added mangos I sliced down to the pit multiple times without cutting it into pieces to open up the skin and give the worms access.

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August 12, bin 2, sliced mango.

That turned out to be nearly the same as not cutting them.  The fruit fermented and built up gasses under the cardboard covers I use.  I noticed it when I opened the bins for a quick check and didn’t put it in my notes.  Now I think the worms are trying to get away from the gasses building up under the cardboard.  It seems like the fruit goes through a shorter ferment process after its been opened or maybe it doesn’t do it afterward.  I’m not sure how that works.

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August 18, bin 2, sliced mango.

What is clear is how fast the worms consume it after it’s been cut.  Lesson learned, cut the fruit open.

Back to bin 2.  The observation of the worm trails led to the above so that’s covered.  There is also an example of not cutting or opening a mango.  July 20th to August 9th, as can be seen in the video, the worms haven’t accessed the fruit yet.  They’re trying, they don’t until it’s opened and spread around.  Then it goes fast.

Added a salad that had dressing and shrimp.  I removed the shrimp, then spread the salad out to see how the worms would deal with it.  Looks like no problem so far there’s almost nothing left.

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August 9th, bin 2, salad experiment

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August 18th, bin 2, salad experiment

The video started out as one video but it seemed too long so I cut it into two parts.  The first part is little over 8 minutes, only bin 2.  Part 2, 7 minutes, is only bin 3 stuff.  Simple I know but seems like the best idea for now.  Probably change my mind later.  Part 1 is below.

 

 

Part 2

Bin 3 starts with my Aug. 9th check.  I opened the bin and started removing the cardboard, out of I don’t know where a lizard about 4 inches long ran over the top edge of the bin then hid under it.  It was fast I hardly had time to see it but I’m nearly sure it was an anole.  This led to another observation.

On several occasions I’ve opened the bins in the past and noticed that almost all or all of the spiders that had populated the bin would be gone.  Around that same time I’ve also seen lizards around the bins.  I remember for sure a gecko was inside bin 1 before I dumped it and there were no spiders in there again for months after I’d ran the gecko off.  It had cleaned them out.

After a lizard cleans out the spiders it takes a few months before another one finds its way in and starts the process all over.  I think the gecko that was in bin 2 last time had not been in there long because I was looking at the spider population and trying to figure out where to move them when I saw it.  In the future I’ll try to leave the lizard in the bin or put it in another to clean out the spiders if the population is getting uncomfortable.

That’s if I can catch it.  Another thing I’m hoping to address for the videos is how the yellow glove affects the picture as my hand is moving around inside the bin.  It’s amazing how much it can change the picture.  Looks like the lights are getting dimmer then brighter.  It’s too much!  I ordered a black pair of rubber gloves to see if it will help.  More on them in a future blog after I use them.  Almost sure it will make a big difference.

In the past I’ve added sweet pepper cut offs then forgot to check on the progress.  When I remembered to check there wasn’t a trace so I never knew what happened to them.  This time I have a small bunch and a clean area to experiment with.  The before and after pictures show how little interest they have in them throughout decomposition.

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August 9th, bin 3, sweet pepper experiment.

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August 18th, bin 3, sweet pepper experiment.

The worms were spotted around the peppers but never in them. I think the condition of the other waste in the same bin over the same time frame also shows how little interest they had in the peppers. Check out the pictures. It’s like most of it was never there.

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August 9th, bin 3, usual vegetable waste.

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August 18th, bin 3, usual vegetable waste.

I think if the worms were interested in the peppers, that they would look like what happened to the other waste pile I put in there at the same time. Gone. There were more peppers that were thrown into our outdoor compost.

So it’s, cut the fruit up, ventilation, try the new gloves, lizard spider control services if you can catch them and by all means take notes.  Got it!  Part 2 is below.  -13

 

PART 2: Psycho in the Mail? Thank you Debbie Wasserman Schultz! Reason number 3 why you should be prepared for —–anything!

More Psycho in the Mail?  This time directly in my email box. The psycho in people seems to be never ending.  It might be escalating and the recent email from Debbie Wasserman Schultz is my indicator.

These anti- American/constitution types, I’m not sure if they’re communist saboteurs, millionaire socialists wannabes or what?  That part doesn’t matter, the part that does is their destructive intentions.  Congress should not be looking for more ways to restrict freedom at all. In any way, shape, or form.  None.  On that note it should be clear I’d never agree to more restrictions on people.  I’m for the opposite, more freedom.  More! Never less!

Never agree to that, more laws restricting Americans.  It’s like this, if you don’t 100% support the U.S. Constitution why are you here?  There are so many other places to live that welcome the commie-socialist mindset.  Don’t let the door hit you in the ass as the saying goes.  Personally, I think these individuals are self destructive and want to create a fight similar in their minds, to the American revolution.  A fight they would by completely unprepared for.  Amazing to watch isn’t it?

With treasonus people like that around thank goodness we’ve had the second amendment to keep firearms in our hands in case they get what they want.  The destruction of America?  Reason number 3 why you should be ready for anything is below.  -13

 

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Anti American Propaganda

Worm bin notes: Population Grows

Update 9, Bin 1.  Could have wrote this and made the video days ago but got sidetracked on the Project: Closed Caption Words matter, in a world of silence. marathon.  Then I also somehow had in mind I needed to wait until I documented the progress of the last additions to bins 2 & 3.  Not sure why, I didn’t plan on getting back into the bin until the next round of waste is ready to add.

There hasn’t been as much waste material over the last few weeks so it took a little longer between feedings.  I’d rather not disturb them and let things progress with as little interference as possible.  It seems like things work much better that way.   This bin has had a few disturbances with the roaches.  That left me digging around in there when I otherwise would not have been.

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July 20, 2018 Condition of bin after waste added.

It does look like the roach rodeo roundup was successful.  Didn’t see anything in there.  The white dot bugs are abundant and active.  The earwig looking things have been slow to populate.  I wonder if the roly polys have anything to do with it?  The roly polys population is growing really fast.

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August 9, 2018 Untouched since July 20th.

I was worried about them in a confined area and over population.  Have an idea to try and get some out and add to my yard compost and other areas where leaf litter builds up.  More on that in the next blog/video since I don’t have the details worked out yet.

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August 9, 2018 After checking for roaches waste was added.

The mangos don’t want to quit.  I thought I had killed them off last time but as the evidence shows, it didn’t work.  This time I broke the sprout to see how it works.  The bin had no odors and it appeared that all the waste added last time was completely gone.  Except for the potato skins which, over time I’ve noticed takes some time to decompose.

The worms were hard to find at the surface, had to dig a little to make sure of their health.  That’s usually how it is when all the waste at the top has been consumed.  They looked like they’re doing well.  My next visit will be to remove some of the roly polys and take them to other useful places.  Now that it looks like the roaches are gone the bin can be left to progress without chaos.  The issue will be finding enough waste to keep the eating machine running.  -13

 

Dash Cam: August post so far, video 100, and back to the sort.

97-102 are posted on the South Florida Driving 101 YouTube channel.  No descriptions needed (except for the short butterfly scene 102), count on it there is plenty of crazy.  There are now over 100 videos of south Florida driving craziness and local sights.  Never imagined there would be this much footage.  As this is written there are 700 + videos waiting to be sorted for editing.  Check out the videos for a true south Florida driving experience.

A note about the pedestrian crossings that only use the yellow flashing lights to warn traffic of pedestrians in the crosswalk.  I think it will give the pedestrian a false sense that traffic will stop like its a red light.  As can be seen in the footage if two of the three lanes have stopped and blocked the view of the drivers behind they tend to go around in an open lane if they can without regard to the flashing yellow lights or presence of a pedestrian in motion.

Maybe changing the color of the lights to red may help.  I would react differently if they were red flashing.  The best solution may be another traffic light with a green, yellow, and red.  That would get me to stop for sure and know what is expected of me.  This new yellow lights flashing everywhere thing didn’t mean anything until after seeing them on video paused otherwise they’re passing by like everything else when driving.  Making these videos has made me more aware of how they function.  I wonder how many others are confused by them?

Thank you, everyone who watches these videos. Enjoy!  -13

Lesson 97

Speed trap, Tunnel ride, Truck goes for its first walk?

Lesson 98

Near miss van almost strikes a truck, almost blast thought a red light, pedestrian chaos, bicycle surprise + close call with motorcycle.

Lesson 99

Another cool jet crossing, dK2 oops, leaf falling, toll lane highway robbery?, lost dog finds way home, improperly marked lanes nearly cause accident, cloud formations.

Lesson 100

100 plus and counting!  Truck door opens, cloud formation, bicyclist have issues.

Lesson 101

Finally got a mattress hauler!  Everything looks normal in the video, however when at speed it looks much more interesting, a cooked tour bus, accident scene aftermath,  nice jet crossing, lane line confusion.

Lesson 102

Accident aftermath, pedestrian crossing blunder waiting to happen?, cool butterfly crossing.

Dash Cam: July over, almost there!

Dash Cam 88-96, plus specials, Special 9 and Merge-Exit Madness 5 videos have been posted to the South Florida Driving 101 YouTube channel in July.  July over, almost there!  Getting caught up on editing, nearly to the current date.  Still amazed how much footage we record driving here.  It’s a lot to sort through.  Going to limit the video descriptions.  There some driving experiences that happen in every video, accident scene aftermath, no signal lane cutting, merge-exit stunts, the descriptions get boring to read.  From now on it will only include unusual sights/sighting of cloud formations, aircraft close-ups, wildlife encounters etc. -13

Lesson 88-96 date back to February.  There is a dK2 involved accident(89), a speed trap, wildlife encounters, merge-exit stunts, cruise ships, cool views, stop light free for all, clouds at night, passing on neighborhood streets, Florida Turnpike jackknife, aftermath traffic, and skid marks (6/29), and a side trip to Ocala.

Lesson 88

Short Peacock crossing, caught in a red light, accident aftermath.

Lesson 89

Henry E. Kinney Tunnel ride, Cruise ship drive-by, dK2 gets struck by a car (why we use a camera), one close call with a median barrier.

Lesson 90

Lightening show in several scenes, some choice cuts of merge-exit madness, dk2 lane oops,  Bill Bird Marina Art Deco building, red light chaos -when the lights are flashing.

Lesson 91

New ROAV A1 cameras installed for dK2 and Unit-13, building art, clouds at night.

Lesson 92

Overturned car accident aftermath, muffler dragging, Florida Turnpike trouble on the 28th of June when a truck jackknifed blocking all lanes, traffic backed up for miles, also later are the skid marks, a couple of scenes with FSU bridge rubble.

Lesson 93

Ocala and back.  Cool vintage truck, I-75 south accident aftermath, speed traps, what looks like a trooper driving straight into traffic, storm over the everglades, driver on the wrong side?

Lesson 94

Starts with some fire rescue action, Henry E. Kinney Tunnel ride, sculpture art, smoke ’em if you got ’em.

Lesson 95

Load issues?, motorcycle rider lucky to be alive.

Lesson 96

Pedestrian close call, tree limb on FedEx truck, reflections of the city, express lane “privilege” gets expensive.

Special 9 The long way around to avoid an accident on I-95.  MIAMI US-1 / I-95 TO Fort LauderdalE US-441 / I-595 ONE-WAY TICKET.

Merge-Exit Madness 5 features special crazy drivers from Lessons 76-86.  Plenty of exciting close calls.

Dash Cam: dK2 crash footage

Lesson 89 dK2 gets struck by car passing during turn.  No injuries.  Live here?  Visit here?  Get a dash camera! -13

 

 

 

Worm bin notes: Gecko Chaos, All Is Well & Censorship?

Bins 2 & 3, Update 10, 20 July  It dawned on me editing the video that this is a good subject for school kids and I like cussing, so I’ll cuss as much as usual. Or, add a few extra to keep your on your toes, the only difference is I’ll bleep it out.  I won’t use the normal bleep sound.  There are all kinds of interesting and fun sound effects that are a much better substitute.  I’d rather be me, do the bleeps and still have something that may have educational value that a family could watch together.

CENSORED

Since that’s why I started all this to begin with.  Documenting examples of things I did not see on video/photo.  There are always lots of words often with no photographs or video.  I’ve thrown several food waste items in my bins I’m not sure how many times over the last two years successfully.  Then read online at various websites how this or that is a never, no-no, ever! kind of thing.  The worms in these bins have a different opinion on what they find acceptable.

Following no dogma, I like to see for myself, the who, what, when and where.  Then share what is discovered with video/photographic examples.  Much is edited out of my videos for brevity.  I don’t want to waste time with unnecessary footage that doesn’t add anything or document an actual event.  Update 10 video for bins 2 & 3 has more footage than usual because extraordinary events did happen.  It will show more detail how the bins are maintained and recorded.

Bin 2 starts with a little excitement when I discover a gecko in the bin.  Didn’t notice it when the cardboard was moved all the spiders were distracting me.  While I was trying to figure out where and what to do the with more than 20 spiders I spotted a gecko in the bin.

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20 July Spiders do well in bin 2

Once you see them you have to move fast or loose your chance to catch them.  When this happens I’m usually able to catch it and let it go outside.  This time all the chaos and my unsuccessful attempt at capture and release was recorded.  Maybe next time.  Hope I get it before the cats do.

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20 July Bin 2 Gecko

As can be seen in the photos in this blog and in the video, the worms and other insects have picked everything clean.  It’s amazing to see.  The mangos want to grow don’t they?  It looks like a nursery for mangos seedlings.

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20 July Bin 2 Mangos reaching for the sun

There was no noticeable odor or roaches.  Overall it looks good inside bin two.  The addition of more worms has clearly worked.

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20 July Bin 2 Picked clean mango seeds

Bin 3  Not much to note about this bin.  No odor, no roaches or chaos.  A single mango seedling trying like all the others.

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20 July Bin 3

There must be a lot of worms in bin 3 because they clean the waste in there like a boss.  Look at the photo below or better, the video.  What an amazing transformation.

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July 7 Bin 3

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20 July Bin 3

The video has as much as the fun and excitement as the camera could capture. Would liked to have caught the lizard and moved it off the porch to think if the cats get it leaves me unsettled. But that is life in or on any porch in Florida, a deathtrap for lizards when there is no food source or in many cases, they’re on the menu.  Seems like I have a few regular viewers and readers of the blog.  That’s a surprise.  Hope you find something useful here while you visit. -13

Worm bin notes: Roach Rodeo Arrives, Chaos Ensues

Update 8, Bin 1, 10th July.  Need to remove the dead grass out of a planter and recycle it into the bin.  Everything set up to film, before recording began I removed the lid to make sure everything was in frame when the pursuit began.  Caught a roach off guard.  After tearing through all the cardboard caught the only roach in sight and ended it there.  Searched the bin several times and saw nothing.

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10 July  After Roach Rodeo Chaos

The video starts soon after the roach rodeo ended.  Not very good footage of the transfer.  Doing any task while watching it though the camera is not as easy as one might think.  No offensive odors to note.  Did not add any waste there was plenty from last time.

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10 July  After photo.  Patch of grass added.

20th July  Time to check bin conditions.  Set up to film, hit record before I started this time.  Roach rodeo part two begins as the cardboard is removed.  It nearly escaped me it moved so fast.  All the gory details caught on video.  There was another roach in the cardboard that was taken out of the bin and set aside.  Caught that roach and it is on its way to somewhere.

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20 July More Roach Rodeo Chaos Aftermath

The overall condition of the bin looks like its progressing well.  There are worms dispersed throughout the waste.  The roly-polys are thriving the evidence is visible in the bin.  There are maybe 50 or more.  It’s hard to tell for sure.  Plenty of white dot bugs wish I could see them under magnification.  No foul odors.

An observation on onions in all of my bins over time.  An onion, no not just the onion, most of the root/underground grown plants take much longer to decompose in the bin.  The thing to note about the onion is while it looks like not much is happening from a top view, when turned over the bottom will be full of small earth worms.  Not sure if I have footage yet in any of the videos.  It appears that the younger worms are attracted to them.

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Those mangos like theses bins.

To wrap it up, added a small amount of mangos and greens.  Covered it with cardboard as usual.  Didn’t add water this time the humidity level looked good.  There isn’t much soil at this point so moisture levels have to be maintained and monitored.  I’ve seen the top layer dry before.  It helps to keep the cardboard close to the surface of the waste yet still have air flow.

Filmed a short video inside the bin.  Not much to see.  Close up view of how I like to see this bin with all the activity.  Next time we’ll see if there’ll be another uninvited Roach Rodeo in town.  For now everything looks good in the bin.

The title of the video was another topic I wanted to cover.  I had come up with two.  First was “Invaders caught, 3 Dead, Search continues” all of it true and clickbait as it gets.  Sounds like and inspired by local headlines.  The other choice was “Roach Rodeo Comes To Town”.  That one is fun but not as headline dramatic as the first one.  The next Worm bin notes will be more challenging and fun to title.  Another reason why this is called the Vermicompost Experiment. -13

All Good In The Wood by Audionautix is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution license.  For more check out the artist at: http://audionautix.com/

 

Note: 23 July 2018, as an experiment I changed the title of the video and blog to “Worm bin notes: Roach Rodeo Arrives, Chaos Ensues”.  Lets see what happens.  -13

Marine Expeditionary Boot: Danner Waterproofing Spray

WATERPROOF

In the blog/videos Marine Expeditionary Boot: First ImpressionsMarine Expeditionary Boot: Why I choose the M.E.B. for everyday wear and Marine Expeditionary Boot: Notes of the First 7 Days the topic of waterproofing new boots was left out to make this blog/video.  I’ve read some product reviews stating that the nap and color of the boot had changed after using the Danner waterproofing spray.  Function over aesthetics every time lets find out what happens.

VERTSPRAY

Wearing the Danner Marine Expeditionary Boot for a few days indoors and deciding to keep them the waterproofing spray was applied before I wore the boots outdoors.  The online reviews made me think the worst.  Drastic color change, ruined nap.  I’d rather have ugly waterproof dry boots than pretty khaki color wet ones.

RUB

The water based Danner waterproofing spray was easy to apply and smelled a little like Armor-all.  Due to the runny nature of the spray I found it worked better if the surface was horizontal.  At first I was spraying the boot in vertical.  As soon as my first spray hit the leather/nylon the liquid ran off of the surface.   It seemed to be better to spray the area, then distribute it evenly by hand.  Washing hands first or wearing gloves will prevent dirt transfer from skin.

BLOTCH

Two, soaking coats were applied, drying in between each coat.  When first applied, before it dried, the surface of the leather did not look good.  It was blotchy, light and dark spots throughout.  It looked bad. Like the discoloration was permanent.  Thought for sure I ruined them.  After drying for several hours the color seems to be unchanged.  Like disappearing ink.  Remember that stuff?

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A quick test under running water resulted in water beading off both boots like car wax.  Not sure how much confidence I have in water based waterproofing.  It worked or seems to.  I’m wondering how long it will hold up.  The real test will be on the fringes of the Everglades and getting the trash can to the curb.  Check out the short video below if you want to see what happened. -13

 

Marine Expeditionary Boot: Why I choose the M.E.B. for everyday wear

My search for boots.  What a change in experience over the past 40 years or so.  I used to be in a place where I had access to multiple individuals wearing the best boots available at the time.  Shopping for boots back then involved asking lots of questions to those who had them on their feet as we spoke.  Checking out company claims then trying on a few prospects in store until I found what worked best.

flight flying helicopter

Photo by Somchai Kongkamsri on Pexels.com

2018 the search for new boots is much different.  I’m no longer around multiple individuals with the best boots and trustworthy opinions.  I’m surrounded by bare feet and flip-flops!  Now if I need an opinion on boots I have to watch a video if I can find one or read a rating posted online.  Given the nature of corporations to censor bad ratings, good rating sources must be scrutinized.  Sucks not being able to ask the person wearing them the questions I’d like to.

photography of a girl s feet near flip flops

Photo by bruce mars on Pexels.com

Most retail stores won’t carry the kind of boots I would buy.  They’re more of a speciality and much too expensive to have sitting around collecting dust.  In the past there were only a few places that would sell them.  With the internet I haven’t found any local stores that carried any of the boots I’d considered.  They were only available online.  That leaves me ordering boots online.  If they don’t fit ship them back then order the next size or a completely different boot.  Don’t like it much but that’s modern shopping.

working macbook computer keyboard

Photo by Negative Space on Pexels.com

I’m very picky about my boots.  My opinions began to form in the 1970’s.  From first hand experience as a Boy Scout on local hikes to my favorite, advise from infantry soldiers and pilots returning from Vietnam.  I can still spit-shine boots if I have too.  You?  There is  lace breaking, eyelets tearing out, soles falling off, laces caught in pedals, foot rot, leather or nylon/leather combo issues, vents or not, zippers and more.  I could never have imagined all the possibilities of failure or discomfort, it pays to ask questions.  I was really lucky.

green trees

Photo by Snapwire on Pexels.com

My preferences then evolved from experiences responding to emergencies with a rescue squad, fire department, ambulance service and some related type side jobs.  I no longer look for daily wear boots with NFPA ratings, nothing else has changed.  My requirements are few but hard to find in one boot.  Fit, comfort, materials, reputation, durability, confidence, performance and no excuses.

accident action danger emergency

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My requirements narrow the choices quickly.  Goodyear welt fully sewn and a Vibram brand outsole.  A heat fused sole as seen on most boots, once separated from the boot renders the boot useless.  Unrepairable!  Goodyear welt soles can be repaired multiple times.  Can also be field repaired with the right materials.  One should know how to fix one’s boots and have spare.  I’ve never had a Goodyear welt sole fail me.  Every pair of heat fused/glued boot or shoes I’ve tried failed.

Laces.  How laces pass through and attach to the boot is also a major factor in my boot choice.  Only two types of eyelet are acceptable.  One or two piece eyelets or a loop type speed lace combination.  Never, ever, hook type speed laces.  One pair of boots 30 something years ago taught me everything I needed to know about them.

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If I had a pair I would demonstrate the issues on video.  But I made a vow then that I would never buy another pair of boots with them and support that crap ever again.  Anyone who has the responsibility of life and property as a job task, hope the following helps you.

My why- never again of hook speed laces.  The hook in the photo above is a good example.  It’s the first hook located at the top of the boot.  Items can catch that hook and pull it outward forcing the top of the boot inward flipping the lace off the hook requiring the boot to be tied again.  These hooks can also be bent outward so the lace won’t hold or bent in trapping the lace preventing it from being untied.  When attempting to bend it back into place the hook breaks.  Also, the placement of the lace make the hook pull the boot body outward and from above.  Eyelets pull lower and do not cause the inward motion caused by the hook.

Actual never again with the speed lace hooks come from emergency calls I was working. I like many saw the speed laces and thought it would be great to be able to put my boots on faster when a run comes in.  Until several in field experiences changed my mind.

On the roof of a house about to lower a patient down a ladder, the wire part of a Stokes litter catches the top speed hook, flips it out, unties my boot.  Pain in the ass I thought as I quickly tied the boot.  Good thing there were others around it was doing CPR compressions.  Didn’t give it much thought after that.  Seemed like not such a big deal at the time just a hassle.

Not long after that experience I had another cardiac patient untie mishap.  Doing compressions on an arrest I had to quickly brace my foot on the gurney to keep from falling when the ambulance made an evasive movement to avoid an accident.  I was trying to get my footing on any part of the gurney I could.  As I moved my foot the top speed hook caught on the gurney and untied it instantly.

Once part of the hook system comes unlaced it all goes.  That time I was pissed off.  Swore off the boots “never again!” and casually started looking for another pair.

But I didn’t get the message or move quickly enough.  About a month after that I’m chest deep in Spring Creek with a patient clinging to the bridge foundation.   I don’t know what’s under the water but the lace hooks at some point catch on something.  Can’t reach it by hand without going under water.  Not a reasonable or safe option at that point.  Moving my foot around didn’t work so I pulled hard as a could.

It felt like I ripped the boot.  Couldn’t see anything until we got out of the water.  The patient was packaged at that point all that mattered was getting up the embankment into our ambulance.  The way up the embankment was the last time I ever wore boots with speed laces.  On our way to the place where we get back to the road I noticed that two of the hooks were bent.  During a pause as we were preparing to go up the embankment I had the bright idea to bent the hooks back and broke them both.

So, that is the why, of the never again, with speed lace hooks.  There are more  problems I’ve seen over the years when other people were wearing them.  On the opposite end I’ve heard from many people over the years how much they love their speed lace hooks.  I wonder how much they’d like them if any of that was happening while they were being rescued.  Can’t do that to anyone or myself ever again.  It’s hard to believe those things have made it this far on boots.

Shank is also a must have.  Prefer metal over plastic.  Working on a ladder or pushing a shovel you will tell you very quickly if you have them.  The M.E.B has a fiberglass shank.  We’ll see how that works out.

agriculture backyard blur close up

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Leather is a must, some nylon is also acceptable for hotter climates.  As much as I’d like to have vents I have never found them practical in any application.  In some of the driest locations I’ve been there is still a need for the ability to walk through shallow bodies of water.  I’d rather have a boot be a little warm and dry and have to change sweaty socks than worry about wet feet for the shift because I stepped in a puddle of possibly contaminated water in boots with vents.

 

brown leather textile on top of drafting board

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That was a long ass winded way to get to this place wasn’t it?  The Danner Marine Expeditionary Boot has what I’m looking for.  Snug, comfortable out of the box.  No excessive foot movement within the boot that needs to be filled with insoles and socks.  There is enough head-room over the top part of my foot to allow comfortable movement/flexing of my foot and toes.  Like a glove fit.  I did add *arch support like I do with all my footwear it was no surprise.

Leather/Cordura outer for durability and comfort in hotter climates like we have in Florida.  A Gore-Tex liner so I can keep my feet dry when the water isn’t deep enough for rubber boots.  We often have storms that leave standing water that require wading.  Eyelet and loop speed lace combination works great.  It’s easy to fine tune the laces.

Goodyear welt construction with a replaceable Vibram outsole.  Danner says this boot is recraftable meaning they can repair the boot but not in every case.  Based on past experience a good cobbler may also fix issues if the factory wasn’t able or not available.  Then there is a USMC reputation for durability and confidence when my or someone else’s life depends on it.

I made notes of wearing the boot in the blog Marine Expeditionary Boot: Notes of the First 7 Days I’ll make an update video/blog in six months.  We’ll see how the boots are holding up and if my opinion changes.  Also there is a video review below check it out.  -13

 

*NOTE: Spenco Total Support Max will not fit this boot.  After trimming the insole to match the factory insoles I attempted to put one into the boot.  With or without the laces in place it was so difficult to get into place I was sure I would either break the plastic support of the insole or the edge of the plastic support would tear the inside of the boot or liner.

The insole seems like it might be too wide or inflexible to work properly with these boots.  I was able to angle them into the boot after much trying, aggravation and fear of damaging something during the process.  Once in the boot it was clear it would not work in any way at all.  In place the insole wanted to push up down the length in the middle as if it was being folded in half.  Not a drastic bend, just a small raised area from lateral compression making them unusable in the M.E.B.