New ideas abound at home show

Sam Bauman/Nevada Appeal Demonstratons have increased at home and garden shows, in this case with a standup comic, Ivan Whitworth, in charge.

Sam Bauman/Nevada Appeal Demonstratons have increased at home and garden shows, in this case with a standup comic, Ivan Whitworth, in charge.

Hot tubs to stainless-steel cookware, the annual show had a little of it all

By Sam Bauman

Nevada Appeal Staff Writer

The annual Reno Home and Garden Show has come and gone, and if you missed it you missed a few new things buried among the hundreds of hot tubs, the dozens of building ideas and the home-siding booths.

The Lockett and Sullivan show (the firm is the organizer of the home show and other exhibitions) drew 25,000 guests. They were met by 207 exhibitors, all offering things to make the home handier, less expensive, more expensive, more attractive, unique. So what did they get for their money, those 25,000?

First off, as mentioned, acres of hot tubs. And not just your father's hot tubs. These came in mutiple colors, with more jets than a squadron of F-18As. No more just a couple of water jets tucked in logical places. These hot tubs (spas is the preferred name) did everything but send the water bubbling in the air.

You want music while you soak? That's passe; now you can have a wide, flowing fountain of water splashing over a falls into the tub. You like TV with your gushing water? The flat high-definiton screens are near-theater size. Cost? Just about that of a new SUV (and there was even a mini-mini car at the show), say about $27,000. Plus installation, by crane if necessary.

Got a bit of arthritis? The Migun Jade Thermal Massage System is just the thing for you. Or if you suffer from diabetes, cancer, asthma, sciatica, mastitis, prostate, gout, circulatory problems, nervous tension and stress, muscle spasms and sports injuries, skin problems, including burns, scars tissue and acne, Mingun can help (they say).

How does his magical system work?

"For thousands of years, jade has been known as a mysterious healing stone in Oriental Medicine," says the brochure. You doubt? Just drop in at the Integrative Wellness Center, 961 W. Fifth St. in Reno for a free spin on the massage bed. Tell 'em Sam sent you.

If you're thinking of building a house or garage or shed, consider the LOGIX system of pre-formed cement components. These interlocking units for walls offer R-4 insulation values, up to 8.5 times the strength over conventional walls, twice as much sound insulation as conventional wood-framed walls, moisture resistance and are nice to the environment.

The salesman noted that it takes only nine steps to build a LOGIX wall. Bet you thought it took 10.

You may need FASTFOOT fabric for these formed footings to "protect against ground mositure" with the LOGIX system. No problem, Suprior Buildings Products of Gardnerville handles them both.

But perhaps the most intriguing booth at the show was manned by Ivan Whitworth, a Hawaiian who is missing a bet hyping Wearever pots and pans when he could be appearing in comedy clubs and not having to worry about cleaning up leftover vegetables.

His big point about Wearever pots and pans was how they work just like the old cast iron pots and pans. How? By including some of that cast iron in the base of the high-quality stainless steel they are made of. Simple, but what's wrong with the old cast iron things in the first place? Don't ask Ivan.

He also is a health guru, preaching the virtues of "cooking veggies without water."

He demonstrates, plunging some veggies in boiling water. A few minutes later he pours the cooking water into a glass. "See all that green in there? That's the vitamins leached out by the water." No problem with cooking the veggies dry, as he does and then passes samples about. The audience seems impressed.

This guy is better than any Tupperware party, and while he doesn't like to do home shows, you can book him at (831) 279-5533.

But the more timely product is the Fuel Meister, a "personal biodiesel production system." Pour old cooking oil in and get No. 2 diesel fuel out. Of course, there's more to it than that, such as a barrel of used fryer oil, lye, a barrel of racing menthol, a barrel for your diesel fuel, electical power and a water hose.

I know, it sounds complicated, but the system looks pretty scientific and the smaller model costs only $2,995, plus shipping. Don't laugh; we all may be needing this sort of thing when fuel hits $7 a gallon.

Along the same line of thinking forward, Reno's Independent Power Corp. has a dandy idea to save money in the face of rising electrical costs: Install solar power.

Here's the cost of a typical system for 1 kilowatt with annual production of 1,766 kWh, price, $10,600, less state rebate of $2,475, less 2006-07 federal tax credit of $2,000 for a bottom line of $6,125.

A lot of monthly electricity bills there? Add it up over a 10-year period.

You could also buy a wind turbine, which comes with its own tower, but prices were a little vague.

Need a little exercise? How about a swim spa where you stroke against an artificial current? The young lady demonstating the pool seemed a bit soggy, but the spa can also be used as a hot tub (see spas above). Call 323-5131 and the Reno company (unnamed in their brochure, tsk, tsk) will deliver within 30 miles.

The Pampered Chef was on hand with easy appetizers. The coupon handed out by Alice E. Mendez, unfortuntely, expired July 1.

Still interested? Well, walking a home and garden show is a bit tiring, so maybe you can wait until next year.

But wait, one other booth. The Spiritkeeper Wolf Center is dedicated to dispelling myths about wolves and raising public awareness. The two demo wolves on hand looked calm and not too hungry. But the brochure said plainly that "wolves do not make good pets." If you want to know more, give them a call at 475-2129 or 475-2320. Hang up if a wolf answers, there may have been some problems there.

-- Contact Sam Bauman at or 881-1236.


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