have this thing about incense burners. The quick and easy version
of it is this: I find some of them irresistibly cool.
longer version places us on Fremont Street in Las Vegas, December
of 2004. There was a German Christmas festival of sorts being
held. It was more or less a grouping of vendors, presenting arts
and crafts with holiday themes.
one of the booths, incense and incense burners were on display.
One of the burners was a man standing next to a display of fruit.
He had a pipe in his mouth. The wonder of the figure was that
it was designed so you could remove his upper body, which had
been hollowed out from the waist to the head with a small hole
connecting to the mouth. The lower half was designed as a pedestal,
with a metal burner pad. So… light an incense cone… set the top
half in place… the incense smoke would rise and exit from his
mouth as though he was smoking a pipe.
I said, irresistibly cool.
that time, we’ve added a similar figure of Santa Claus with a
pipe, and a combination old-man-tree. It’s not an incredible collection
as far as quantity. But, we really like them. And not being every
day users of incense, they make for nice little displays and occasional
went on a trip with work recently. Northeast type of thing… Maine
and a bit of Canada. In one store, she saw an incense burner.
A log cabin with a chimney. She had found a gift to bring home
arrived, presented to me with a smile, and was accompanied by
three packages of different incense. And it is here that we arrive
at the frustrations part of the story.
you burn incense? Have you ever had problems with them?
so often, I’ve come across some that simply won’t catch. They
don’t burn. You can get them lit, but they don’t keep that hot
spot… that red glow spot… that burn.
has been taking forever to get even just a fraction of these recently
purchased incense cones and sticks to burn. Matches don’t stay
lit long enough. I’ve gone through a couple of grill lighters,
and don’t plan on wasting more.
heard that dampness can be a major factor in this issue. Makes
sense. Cones and sticks are dried out when made, with lots of
moisture in the air cones and sticks capture a bit of the humidity,
which in turn brings on problems getting cones and sticks to stay
burning. It has been a very damp few weeks here in the northeast.
So, yeah, it adds up. But…
just not in the mood to try and rectify the situation. I’m not
going to spread out the incense on a baking pan or sheet of foil
and then place them into an oven set on a low heat in an attempt
to dry them out. I have no desire to get a dozen grill lighters
so I can sit next to the burner for five-minute stretches, lighting
and relighting and relighting yet again, hoping that eventually
the incense stick will continue to burn completely.
out in the garage working on some projects. While Terry makes
the masterpieces when it comes to craft arrangements, every so
often I turn in a few contributions. One of them involves wooden
sleds, which I cut and sand and prep for the eventual painting
and staining and assembly.
bought one of those all-in-one kits a while ago. You know the
idea… you head out to pick up a drill, because you need a new
one that can handle a big project. When you get to the store,
they have the drill you need. They also have a multi-piece kit,
featuring that drill and a battery and a charger. Plus, a second
battery… a saw and a flashlight and a sander… a heavy-duty carry
bag… all for just $40 more. So, you buy the kit.
ten-plus years—and by plus, it’s well over ten—that kit has served
me well. But… the batteries are on the way out. I could buy new
ones… at one point I did buy new ones because of how much use
I was giving it during holiday craft projects… but honestly for
the cost of even more batteries it’s likely time to consider investing
in another all-in-one kit. For now, they do charge, and do work,
but for short bursts. It takes a while to get them charged back
up… basically I can have them all fully charged, run through them
all while dropping the first one used into the charger, and before
the first one is even close to ready again the others will be
dead. Becomes a work for a half-hour, stop for four or more hours,
repeat routine. So… yeah.
hate headaches. But I think what I hate more is when they aren’t
one thing when an incense cone won’t light. Another thing when
an incense stick won’t stay burning. But those are inconveniences,
and usually a bit of a surprise.
the sander died on me one day this past week… quickly… and wouldn’t
charge again… well, I knew there were problems heading my way
three or four years ago. I had been given warnings. Repeatedly.
I just powered through them, adjusting my schedule or plans and
getting the work done. Every project saying something like this
to myself: “Just get me through this project, and I’ll buy new
stuff for the next one.” Only every time I don’t buy new stuff.
The next project arrives, I plug in the charger a day or two in
advance and get the batteries as ready as they can be, and then
find myself trying to nurse a battery-powered sander to the finish
line just one more time.
those situations where I knew better, and I could have done something
about it, that’s… that’s frustrating.
think the batteries are about charged again by now. And I still
have some of that project to finish. So, if you’ll excuse me…
(I’ll be back in about thirty minutes.)