Review: Überleben Stöker Flatpack Stove

It is no secret that I love gear, so when I came across this Uberleben Stoker flatpack stove I knew I had to give it a try. I already own a Solostove Lite which I love. In my opinion you can’t have too many twig stoves.

This afternoon I headed to my local State Park to get it’s fire burning and have some food. Conditions out on the trail aren’t always perfect and today’s weather I feel was a good representative of that. The temperature a balmy 38 degrees in addition to 15-17MPH winds and snow flurries thrown in for good measure. It has been very damp and wet here lately so in order to get the fire going I decided to bring some dryer lint and two small pieces of fat wood and in no time the belly of this beast had come alive.

I filled my pot with 12 ounces of cold water and placed it on top. I continued to feed the fire a steady diet of leaves, twigs and sticks. The one thing I have noticed with these twigs stoves is they are constantly hungry. In these conditions it took 15 minutes for the 12 ounces of water to boil which I felt was reasonable. On a warm day with light wind I’m confident boiling time would be around 8-9 minutes.

I poured the water into a Goodto-Go single serve dehydrated meal (Chicken Gumbo) stirred and sealed and let rehydrate for 15 minutes. I put another 12 ounces of water back into my pot in order to boil for coffee.

The Stove: A little on the heavy side (14.5 ounces with canvas sleeve), this extremely compact and simple 5 panel stove assembles in about a minute or so. The first time I put it together it felt a little clumsy to me and I was skeptical that it would be as sturdy as I have read. All the pieces fit snug together giving it a solid base. This stove is made from heavy duty 304 grade stainless steel which is anti-corrosive.  After I had it assembled I truly liked its feel, solid as a tank. You will have no issue what so ever placing a heavy cast iron skillet or pot on this stove. Another great feature about this product was the large opening to feed the fire and the nicely placed holes for consistent airflow.

What I Liked:

Ease of assembly, compact, large opening to feed the fire, Sturdiness, airflow and lastly the price.

What I Didn’t Like:

A little heavier than I would like and extremely sooty during disassembly.

I believe that the positives outweigh the negatives and highly recommend this compact, affordable twig stove. I hope this review of the Uberleben Stoker Flatpack Stove was helpful and if you have a product that you would like me to review please feel free to contact me.

Cheers!

Compact & flat the Überleben Stöker Flatpack Stove comes in this nice canvas sleeve. ©Joe Geronimo
All the parts of the very compact easy to assemble Überleben Stöker Flatpack Stove. © Joe Geronimo
Completely assembled the Überleben Stöker Flatpack Stove is extremely sturdy. ©Joe Geronimo

 

The belly of the Überleben Stöker Flatpack Stove is alive with fire. ©Joe Geronimo

 

12 ounces of water working itself to a boil atop of the Überleben Stöker Flatpack Stove. ©Joe Geronimo

 

15 minutes later we have boiling water atop of the Überleben Stöker Flatpack Stove. ©Joe Geronimo

 

Goodto-Go chicken gumbo and a hot cup of coffee on cold and windy winter afternoon. ©Joe Geronimo
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Life in Boxes:

I began shooting slide film around 1990 but most of the images I made at this point were mostly captured on print film, something I regret. I didn’t really begin to convert solely to slide film until early 1992 and have been shooting it ever since. I’ll admit that in 2005 I was intrigued by the digital camera and purchased my first DSLR (Digital Single Lens Reflex) camera. I enjoyed it and made some great images with it as well. I loved the instant gratification of viewing the picture immediately. I also liked the fact that outside the camera and flash card there was no additional cost of film purchase and processing. I vowed to never shoot another roll of film again.

That vow would only last about 6 months before I found myself lacking in something I craved the most. A tangible asset. I would go on to own more DSLR camera bodies as well as film bodies. I spent several years arguing the film vs. digital argument only to realize that it all boils down to preference and what your goals are. There is room in my camera bag for both film and digital.

Our world moves at the speed of now and that is why I carry a DSLR with me most of the time. News happens at a moments notice!

A passion of mine is to preserve history and I choose to do my preservation through photography. No matter the subject matter or the camera you use every click of the shutter captures a moment in time, a piece of our history and for me that is most important. Over the past 24 years I have been documenting my career mostly on film but I do have several hundred images made with a digital camera. I have also been documenting our family as well which is 90% slide film and 10% digital. Without an actual physical count I’d have to estimate my family slide collection hovers somewhere near 8,000 images of which only half have been filed. I just received another 216 slides the other day from the holidays.

Another reason I still shoot slide film is because of monetary value. Collectors want originals. I’ve sold older slides from my collection on Ebay for some serious amounts of money. As a matter of fact I know people who do it for a living. They buy slide collections and break them up. This is both sad and fascinating as well. I’ve slowly been acquiring slides that I hope to flip in the near future but only time will tell.

Since Kodak has exited the slide film market entirely there are only several choices left in which to buy it. Agfa Photo has recently restarted its slide film business and I’m glad because I love the stuff compared to Fuji’s. Its comes done to personal choice. Also Kodak does not process film anymore and most film (Print) is either processed in house at local photo labs or stores like Walmart or CVS. Slide film processing is only done at a handful of locations around the United States with the most popular being Dwayne’s Photo in Parsons, Kansas.

Although those yellow Kodak boxes of joy that came in the mail are no longer I still get excited for those Red, White & Blue boxes from Dwayne’s!

Cheers!!!!!!

Twas the night before Christmas. Agfa CT Precisa 100, ©Joe Geronimo 2015.
Twas the night before Christmas. Agfa CT Precisa 100, ©Joe Geronimo 2015.
Agfa CT Precis 100 Slide Film.
Agfa CT Precis 100 Slide Film.
I just received 6 boxes of slides from Dwayne's Photo shot over the Christmas holiday. ©Joe Geronimo
I just received 6 boxes of slides from Dwayne’s Photo I shot over the Christmas holiday. ©Joe Geronimo

 

Gear Review: LL Bean “Ascent” Packaway Jacket

I’ve been an LL Bean fan and customer for years. As a matter of fact my life contains a vast majority of their clothing and gear. In my opinion LL Bean’s customer service is legendary, so when I needed a jacket for layering I turned to Bean. February here in New York has been extremely cold, with Jack Frost nipping at the noses of most in the Northeast. In retrospect a perfect environment to put my new remarkably light LL Bean “Ascent” Packaway jacket to the test.

The Jacket: 

This jacket boasts 60-gram remarkably light PrimaLoft One insulation. Ultralight ripstop nylon shell is treated to shed water and block wind. A highly compact alternative to fleece, packing into its own hand pocket.

Improved fit is trimmer through the body and upper arms with the ultralight ripstop nylon gliding easily under layers for a smooth fit that won’t restrict your motion. Shell resists wind and weather, has a drawcord hem and elasticized cuffs to seal in body heat, rated at -15 degrees.

Center back length, size L: 27″. Imported. Machine wash and dry.

Fit

Slightly fitted, best with lightweight layer, falling at hip. I wear a size large but decided to order an extra large for additional layering as I plan on using the jacket snowshoeing in the High Peak’s of New York’s Adirondack Park. Here weather conditions could change within minutes.

Test Dates:

Friday February 13th 2015 was sunny and cold with the temperature at 3 degrees and a wind chill of -13 degrees. With the wind at a moderate 11 mph I snowshoed around the local park for 3 miles averaging 2.9 mph. This particular park is open with no shelter what so ever. The jacket performed flawlessly. It did what it said, blocked the wind and kept me extremely warm, I was very impressed and extremely excited. I thought the jacket fit just right, I was unrestricted in my movements and after the first mile or so I had to slightly unzip it as I began to sweat a little.

Sunday February 15th 2015 was sunny and cold with the temperature at 0 degrees and a wind chill of -22 degrees. The wind was howling at 22 mph today and I went for a 5 mile snowshoe hike at a place called the “IBM Glen” where I averaged 3 mph. The first and last parts of my hike were .35 miles each across an open wind swept and snow drifting golf course. The wind was pushing at me so hard I had to use my poles to keep me upright. Again this jacket performed flawlessly! In truth I was utterly impressed because it was brutally cold out. Once in the woods I did receive some shelter from the wind. Like I said the jacket fit just right and I was unrestricted in my movements.

On both days I wore the exact same clothing to make sure this test was as accurate as possible. The layer closest to my body consisted of an Under Armour Cold Gear compression long sleeve shirt, followed by an LL Bean “Expedition Weight” base layer, topped with LL Bean’s linden green Ascent Packaway jacket.

Conclusion:

I truly love this jacket and its versatility. I felt very warm during the weather conditions on both days. I like the fitted style and feel of this jacket and I strongly believe it does what it says it does, blocks the wind and sheds water. This jacket is perfect for layering during the winter and can stand alone during the Spring and Fall months.

I have no affiliation with LL Bean or was I given this jacket. Just like you I am a consumer and I think I should get what I pay for. With that said I highly recommend this product.

If you are looking for a light weight versitile jacket look no further than LL Bean’s “Ascent” Packaway Jacket. http://www.llbean.com/llb/shop/86465?feat=ascent-SR0&page=ascent-packaway-jacket

Sunday February 15th 2015.
Sunday February 15th 2015.

Garlic Parmesan Mashed Cauliflower

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1 large head cauliflower
5 large cloves garlic
Salt
2 tablespoons grass-fed or unsalted butter “I used one”
¼ ground nutmeg
Freshly ground black pepper to taste

I started by filling up a large (6-quart) stock pot with an inch or two of water. I put the pot on a burner set on high, dumped in a steamer insert, and put on the lid.

NOTE: I don’t have a steamer insert so I went old school. I just dumped the cauliflower and garlic into the pot of boiling water. Works like a charm and less crap to have in your kitchen. By all means use a steamer if you have one!

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While waiting for the water to boil, I washed and trimmed a large head of cauliflower and cut up the florets and stem. I then grabbed a packet of Trader Joe’s peeled garlic from the fridge and sliced up all the cloves. Don’t worry about how everything looks because it’ll get pulverized later in the Cuisinart.

NOTE: Here in the Southern Tier of New York we do not have Trader Joe’s. Again I went old school and peeled 5 cloves of garlic.

Once the water in the pot begins to boil, I threw in the stems, half/or all “Your Choice” of the florets, and all of the garlic.

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Since I didn’t use a steamer I dumped all the cauliflower, all the garlic into the boiling water. Added a bit of salt and in about 10 minutes, Voila!

Once the florets were done, I dumped everything into a colander and let it drain. Then I dumped everything into a large bowl “Because I don’t have a food processor but if you do great you can use it (fitted with the steel knife), and added some fresh cracked pepper, nutmeg, and the butter. Grabbed my stick blender and went to town.. Works perfect! I processed everything until smooth. After one last taste for seasoning, I covered my faux “mashed potatoes” and popped it in my fridge. These faux “mashed potatoes” reheat beautifully in the microwave!

I heated this up for dinner last night at it tastes amazing! Definitely going to be a staple in my diet. Enjoy!

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I modified this recipe from a blog “Nom Nom Paleo”

Frank Chetko, Photographer Endicott Johnson Shoe Manufacturing Circa 1950

Frank Chetko, 78, of 2177 Lagoon Dr., Dunedin, FL, formerly of 118 Glenwood Ave., Binghamton, NY, went to be with his Lord, Wednesday, August 19, 1987, at his daughter’s home in Johnson City, NY. He was predeceased by his wife, Anna, in 1985. He is survived by a son and daughter-in-law, Charles and Nancy Chetko, Bridgeport, CT.; two daughters and sons-in-law, Shirley and William Merrall, Dunedin, FL, Roxanne and Paul P. Misata, Johnson City; seven grandchildren; four great grandchildren; a sister, Mary Pigos, Binghamton; also several nieces and nephews. He was a photographer for the Binghamton Sun, the Endicott Johnson Corporation and retired from SUNY-Binghamton. He was a charter member of the National Press Photographer’s Assoc. He was a 50-year member of the Sokol USA and the Honorary Chairman of the Public Relations Department Sokol USA. He was a past president and member of Lodge 36 Sokol USA. He was a member of the Czechoslovakian American Society in St. Petersburg, FL. He was a navy veteran of World War II, a member of the First Ward American Legion, and the DAV Chapter 60. He was an avid athlete, playing baseball for the Triplets, playing semi-professional football and basketball.

http://www.frankchetko.kwikfold.com/index.html

Binghamton Clinton St. Store
Binghamton Clinton St. Store
Factory on Helen Drive, Johnson City,NY, built 1921, named for the successful conclusion of WW I housed West End and Women's Fine McKay operations with a capacity of 22,000 pairs of shoes daily. Bob Blakeslee worked in cutting room of West End in 1951.
Factory on Helen Drive, Johnson City,NY, built 1921, named for the successful conclusion of WW I housed West End and Women’s Fine McKay operations with a capacity of 22,000 pairs of shoes daily. Bob Blakeslee worked in cutting room of West End in 1951.
EJ Security Annex in Endicott,NY. with light-colored IBM facilities in the background.
EJ Security Annex in Endicott,NY. with light-colored IBM facilities in the background.
Endicott Oak Hill Ave. Plant
Endicott Oak Hill Ave. Plant
Infants Factory on Corliss Avenue, Johnson City, NY, built 1916, called the Pioneer Annex by locals. The first two floors were used to produce shipping cartons for the company.
Infants Factory on Corliss Avenue, Johnson City, NY, built 1916, called the Pioneer Annex by locals. The first two floors were used to produce shipping cartons for the company.
C.F.J. Factory (Boys,Youths,& Men's McKay Operations) adjacent to Lester Avenue,J.C., NY built in 1913, named for C.Fred Johnson, brother of George F.Johnson producing up to 24,000 pairs of shoes daily. Cafeteria with porch serving up 2,000 meals intially at 15¢ each, 35¢ in 1951. Victory Factory on left.
C.F.J. Factory (Boys,Youths,& Men’s McKay Operations) adjacent to Lester Avenue,J.C., NY built in 1913, named for C.Fred Johnson, brother of George F.Johnson producing up to 24,000 pairs of shoes daily. Cafeteria with porch serving up 2,000 meals intially at 15¢ each, 35¢ in 1951. Victory Factory on left.
EJ factory complex in Endicott,NY
EJ factory complex in Endicott,NY
EJ Workers Public Market, adjacent to C.F.J. Park, Johnson City, NY, built in 1934 for $120,000 with 40,000 square feet, 200 vendor stalls, and air conditioning replacing the original market, open to everyone 3 days a week. The official name was "John S. Patterson Market", named for the private caterer George F. Johnson paid to start the original market in 1917. The market closed sometime in the mid-50's and was converted to the Zing Factory for manufacturing.
EJ Workers Public Market, adjacent to C.F.J. Park, Johnson City, NY, built in 1934 for $120,000 with 40,000 square feet, 200 vendor stalls, and air conditioning replacing the original market, open to everyone 3 days a week. The official name was “John S. Patterson Market”, named for the private caterer George F. Johnson paid to start the original market in 1917. The market closed sometime in the mid-50’s and was converted to the Zing Factory for manufacturing.
Ranger/Paracord Factory adjacent to C.F.J. Park in Johnson City built in 1944 to produce footwear for the military. Locals referred to the new (and old) Paracord plant as the "rubber mill." C.F.J. Park swimming pool at left of picture. The Pagoda Pump-house can be seen at the left of the photo is the only preserved structure from this entire factory complex which covered about 30 acres. The Gannett printing facility now occupies this site.
Ranger/Paracord Factory adjacent to C.F.J. Park in Johnson City built in 1944 to produce footwear for the military. Locals referred to the new (and old) Paracord plant as the “rubber mill.” C.F.J. Park swimming pool at left of picture. The Pagoda Pump-house can be seen at the left of the photo is the only preserved structure from this entire factory complex which covered about 30 acres. The Gannett printing facility now occupies this site.
Looking West along Lackawanna tracks at Willow Street,Johnson City.Sunrise Factory in center completed in 1929 named to suggest a new day coming in the nation. Sunrise produced the all-rubber boots and overshoes for EJ with a walkway across the tracks to the Jigger Factory at right built in 1926, taking its name from the rubber-soled canvas-topped footwear called "Jiggers. Both factories initially used a common labor force of some 400 employees. In the summer,Sunrise workers produced foot-wear for winter use; in the winter, the same workers moved to the Jigger factory and produced footwear for summer use. Jigger was demolished in February 2012. Light factory at the left was the Fair Play Caramel Company.
Looking West along Lackawanna tracks at Willow Street,Johnson City.Sunrise Factory in center completed in 1929 named to suggest a new day coming in the nation. Sunrise produced the all-rubber boots and overshoes for EJ with a walkway across the tracks to the Jigger Factory at right built in 1926, taking its name from the rubber-soled canvas-topped footwear called “Jiggers. Both factories initially used a common labor force of some 400 employees. In the summer,Sunrise workers produced foot-wear for winter use; in the winter, the same workers moved to the Jigger factory and produced footwear for summer use. Jigger was demolished in February 2012. Light factory at the left was the Fair Play Caramel Company.
Sunrise Factory looking west. All Sports Factory on left partially obscured by smoke from train engine.
Sunrise Factory looking west. All Sports Factory on left partially obscured by smoke from train engine.
C.F.J. Annex (center) in Johnson City, housing the heeling, lining and trimming departments built in 1921.
C.F.J. Annex (center) in Johnson City, housing the heeling, lining and trimming departments built in 1921.
"All Sports Factory" in foreground at Lackawanna Railroad crossing at Baldwin Street, JC, NY built in 1923. Originally called South End Factory, then the Welt Factory. Ice skates and cleated athletic shoes were the most popular products. The Sunrise Factory can be seen on the left.
“All Sports Factory” in foreground at Lackawanna Railroad crossing at Baldwin Street, JC, NY built in 1923. Originally called South End Factory, then the Welt Factory. Ice skates and cleated athletic shoes were the most popular products. The Sunrise Factory can be seen on the left.
Pioneer factory complex at the corner of Willow Street and Corliss Avenue, looking west on Corliss Avenue occupied an entire block. The original factory had a 225 horsepower Corliss steam engine to supply power.
Pioneer factory complex at the corner of Willow Street and Corliss Avenue, looking west on Corliss Avenue occupied an entire block. The original factory had a 225 horsepower Corliss steam engine to supply power.
Endicott Johnson Complex on North Street, Endicott, NY
Endicott Johnson Complex on North Street, Endicott, NY
Nurses Home in Johnson City provided housing for 85 nurses and student nurses at Wilson Memorial Hospital (in background). The facility was given by C. Fred Johnson in memory of his wife.
Nurses Home in Johnson City provided housing for 85 nurses and student nurses at Wilson Memorial Hospital (in background). The facility was given by C. Fred Johnson in memory of his wife.
Chas. S. Wilson Memorial Hospital Annex on Clinton Street, Binghamton, NY
Chas. S. Wilson Memorial Hospital Annex on Clinton Street, Binghamton, NY
Fire Prevention Station No.1 on Avenue B in Johnson City,NY
Fire Prevention Station No.1 on Avenue B in Johnson City,NY
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Any information about the locations of the photographs,
Frank Chetko, or EJ would be appreciated.
Captions by Bob Blakeslee who worked at EJ in the fifties are appreciated.
More of Frank’s photographs are available.

Contact Dennis Dunda (607) 722-4377

Visit http://www.kwikfold.com for trade show displays, photography,
and web site creation.

Spongebob MailPants

In early December 2013 Nickelodeon and the United States Postal Service launched “SpongeBob MailPants,” an educational letter-writing program that uses SpongeBob SquarePants to show kids the fun of writing, sending and receiving mail during the holiday season. Kids could have gotten a special postage-paid, customized SpongeBob postcards at more than 25,000 Post Office locations nationwide to connect with their loved ones using the U.S. Postal Service.

One of three Spongebob postcard designs from my collection.
One of three Spongebob postcard designs from my collection.
Two Spongebob postcard designs from my collection.
Two Spongebob postcard designs from my collection.

In addition to the postcards, 30 mailboxes are being wrapped in a custom SpongeBob design in cities, including Atlanta, GA; Boston, MA; Charlotte, N.C.; Chicago, IL; Dallas, TX; Hollywood, FL; Kirkwood, MO; Los Angeles, CA; Miami, FL; New York, N.Y.; Orlando, FL; Philadelphia, PA; and Washington, D.C., adding a blast of color and comedy to sidewalks this winter.

Images of USPS Spongebob mailbox.
Images of USPS Spongebob mailbox.

“This program is a great way to inspire kids to write and send cards and letters because it’s done with the fun, positivity and humor of the one and only SpongeBob SquarePants,” said Pam Kaufman, Chief Marketing Officer and President of Consumer Products for Nickelodeon. “SpongeBob MailPants is a terrific partnership between Nickelodeon and the Postal Service, and we’re thrilled that kids and families across the country can go to their local Post Office for some SpongeBob-inspired holiday cheer.”

“We’re excited to partner with Nickelodeon. This is a great, fun way to teach kids to write postcards. What better way to encourage kids to experience the excitement of sending personal correspondence than teaming up with SpongeBob, who is adored by children of all ages,” said Nagisa Manabe, Chief Marketing and Sales Officer at the United States Postal Service. “And the timing is perfect. A postcard is a terrific way to send a holiday thank you.”

Since its launch in July 1999, SpongeBob SquarePants has emerged as a pop culture phenomenon. The series has been the most-watched animated program with kids 2-11 for more than 12 consecutive years, and over the past several years, it has averaged more than 100 million total viewers every quarter across all Nickelodeon networks. As the most widely distributed property in Viacom history, SpongeBob is seen in more than 170 countries and translated into more than 35 languages. The character-driven cartoon chronicles the nautical and sometimes nonsensical adventures of SpongeBob, an incurable optimist and earnest sea sponge, and his undersea friends.

Read more about Nickelodeon Teams with USPS on ‘SpongeBob MailPants’ Letter Writing Program – BWWTVWorld by http://www.broadwayworld.com

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