Archive for February, 2012







As of February 20, 20012 P

URE JAKE BOOKS & VIDEOS are available through the ALOA (Associated Locksmiths of America) Book store. If you are a member, visit for some great buys on eBooks, videos and PowerPoint presentations



ALSO: ClearStar Security Network (CSN) has become a PURE JAKE BOOKS & VIDEO affiliate and is offering my books and stuff (In instantly downloadable files) for sale to CSN members.


Many thanks to ALOA and CSN for their participation and support.  By the way: both organizations are members only, secured sites.

I have numerous books and videos that will be added to my catalog over the next weeks and months. There are at least two books ready, a number of videos and a couple of PowerPoint presentations.

So, if you don’t see something that strikces your fancy today, there will most likely be something that will later…

Again, my thanks to ALOA, Clearstar and all of my fans and followers…

BTW: For those who missed it: these books are all complete and unabridged. The only difference between the print versio and the eBook version is that the eBook versions are INSTANTLY (At least at the speed of your computer) downloadable and the price is just $9.99 per item!



Old Safes and Winning Lotteries….

About twenty years ago, I wrote the following article for The Hednerson Daily Dispatch.

Recently on one Face Book, a group of locksmith friends began discussing “clients” that had old, locked, safes that they needed open and were sure there was treasure maps, forgotten money or valuable manuscripts inside and wanted the locksmith to open that safe for a share of the treasure that was hidden inside.

Like many of my locksmith friends, I have been approached by folks that have bought safes at auctions, or found a safe in Grandpa’s basement and suddenly dreams of lost fortunes dance through their heads…

Alth9ugh there really have been treasures found in old safes, the chances of stumbling across one is, in my opinion, about the same as winning  big money in the state lottery…

So, I thought my readers and locksmith friends might enjoy the following:


Buying An Old Safe May Lock Up Unforeseen Costs

By Jake Jakubuwski

 Copyright, 1992 – 2012

            I imagine that on the average, I get at least one call a month from folks that are either buying or have bought “a really old safe.”  They want to know what I will charge them to get the safe open or find the combination.  When I quote our minimum price for opening a locked safe, the next statement is generally, “Gee, I only paid “x” number of dollars for it, and the fellow who sold It to me said any locksmith could open it for a few bucks.”

            The seller was good.  He sold the buyer a big box that no one has a key to.  A basically useless, big, heavy, securely locked old steel box because:  it is unopenable (without ruining it) by an unskilled person.

            The buyer, either because he really needs a safe, or thinks that after it is “restored,” that old steel box will be a valuable antique, purchases it.  Then, after much strain, aggravation, two out of six friends with a strained back, one pickup truck with a busted spring, and a chunk of concrete knocked out of his driveway, he finally get the safe into his basement or garage.  Then he calls a locksmith and finds out, that depending on what is required to open it, the price for opening it can run into serious bucks.

            Why does it cost so much to open a locked safe?  After all, we have all watched TV and seen how easily the good guys, and bad alike, can open them.  They put their ear against the door, turn the dial, listen to “the tumblers fall” (actually, there are no “tumblers” in a safes’ combination lock), turn the handle, and it is open.  Two, three minutes…tops.  I hate to disillusion everyone, but it just doesn’t work that way!

         The reason it costs so much to open a locked safe, without ruining it, is that it takes a great deal of knowledge, training, effort, proper equipment, skill, concentration and a smidgin of luck to open one…period!

            Consider this:  the average safe has three wheels, with 100 numbers on each wheel.  Theoretically, that lock has 1 million possible combinations (that’s 100 to the third power!).  Realistically, because various characteristics of a combination lock “forbid” using certain combinations, the actual number is considerably less…only 700,000 or so.  It is from these 700,000 possibilities that our safe buyer wants me to find the combination to his safe!  By no means impossible…just difficult and time consuming, provided…

            The combination lock on this old safe is functioning properly, and that the bolt work has not frozen up from disuse, and the relockers (security devices to thwart burglars, found on many safes) have not been activated by all the moving, thumping, and dropping onto concrete driveways!  If everything is within “normal” parameters, and I’m having a pretty good day, I can probably open the safe within an hour or two, without drilling, banging, burning or chiseling.

            If all is not well within the confines of that big, heavy, securely locked, old steel box, I’ll have to resort to “methods of penetration” , i.e., drilling, etc.  Then comes the repairs (always needed after drilling), and possibly a new lock, dial and dial ring.  All of which add to the cost of the opening.

             If you’re planning on buying an old safe, whether you need it to store documents in, or keep valuables in, or you just want to “restore” it for its antique value, make sure you buy one that has a known combination, or is open.  Otherwise, that big, heavy, securely locked, old steel box, might be better used as a boat anchor…provided you have a big enough boat and your friends are willing to help you move that monster again!



As of February 20, 20012 PURE JAKE BOOKS & VIDEOS are available through the ALOA (Associated Locksmiths of America) Book store. If you are a member, visit for some great buys on eBooks, videos and PowerPoint presentations

ALSO: ClearStar Security Network (CSN) has become a PURE JAKE BOOKS & VIDEO affiliate and is offering my books and stuff (In instantly downloadable files) for sale to CSN members.

Many thanks to ALOA and CSN for their participation and support.  By the way: both organizations are members only, secured sites.



Snowbirds, Damn Yankees and Traffic Jams

Snowbirds, Damn Yankees and Traffic Jams

By Jake Jakubuwski

Copyright, 2012

All Rights Reserved



I was reading some posts on Face Book the other day and one poster told another that he was almost ready to become a “Snowbird.” That is, he was going to retire to Florida as soon as he could get his money, IRAs and the IRS straightened out.

Being a former, twenty-plus year, resident of theSunshine State, I have a bit of knowledge about Snowbirds, in general. Damn Yankees, more specifically — and traffic jams created by both Snowbirds and Damn Yankees who either come to Florida for a vacation or they’re looking for a place to wait out the cold weather in New England, Canada, Detroit and Ohio — especially Ohio.

First off, a Snowbird is a Damn Yankee who is only vacationing, in Florida,  any time between late September to about the middle of April or the first of May. Later, their plumage may change as they take up permanent residence in Florida.

Snowbirds, are a migratory North American species, who begin to show up on Florida (Particularly Southwest Florida. I lived inFt. Myers) highways just shortly before the first frost hits their northern home state or immediately after. They may come for a week, ten-days, a month or maybe even the entire winter. Some sub-species of Snowbirds migrate toLas Vegas, So. California, Arizona and other states that have mild winters.

You can easily spot them. They have Ohio (Or other foreign) license plates on their cars, drive with their foot on the brake and make sudden, unanticipated, turns into alligator farms, Indian souvenir shops and Denny’s. They also like shell shops, Tiki Huts and to tie up traffic on US 41 while rubbernecking at the orange groves or folks fishing in the roadside ditch or canal.

I’ve often wondered, as I followed a Snow Bird from North Ft. Myers to Punta Gorda, how much Sloan’s Liniment they’d have to use to get the “cricks” out of their necks after a hard day of rubbernecking 

If you watch them driving along at a sedate 35 miles an hour (In a 65 MPH zone), you would think they were watching a mobile tennis match. Their heads are constantly swiveling from left to right. Left to right. Left to right. It’s almost mesmerizing to watch. Sometimes it was downright scary.

 Depending on which side of the car, SUV, Motor Home or pickup truck they’re sitting on…their left or right hand and arm are getting a workout as they try to get the other Snowbird to look at the alligator on the side of the road, the dead snake in the fast lane or the gal cutting her grass in a bikini (Well, okay, so I looked at her too!). Stll, I can’t help but speculate about what keeps them from poking each other’s eyes out with all that random finger pointing.

It’s easy to spot them in WalMart. She’s wearing a shocking pink shorts and top ensemble with flip flops that have big daisies on the top of the strap and carrying a huge beach bag decorated with seashells and seahorses. Either that or she’s wearing a Mumu that contains enough material for a Boy Scout to make a good sized tent.

 Usually it – the Mumu – has a floral pattern that reminds me of my grandmother’s old upholstered living room furniture with huge flowers all over it that she had covered with clear plastic covers. She, the Snowbird, still has the same beach bag. Did I mention the blue hair? Or, the paper fan from Flower’s Funeral Home?

 Sometimes they’re not driving but riding three-wheel, adult bicycles.  At various mobile home parks where so many of these Snowbirds nest, they actually decorate those bikes and have parades!

He, on the other hand, is wearing shorts and a nylon see-through shirt or a ribbed undershirt, with black over-the-calf socks and either tennis shoes or leather sandals. Some have on gold wristwatches and most have bad eyesight along with very white legs and extremely red, sun-burned faces. You even see some of the male Snowbirds pulling oxygen tanks and hurriedly puffing on a cigarette before they go into WalMart or Denny’s…

 A Damn Yankee, on the other hand, is a Northerner who has decided to move to Florida for good.

 Or at least until they’re called to their final reward.

 A Damn Yankee may have been a dyed-in-the-wool Snow Bird at one time, but now he/she shakes her fists at the Snowbirds driving and sightseeing and making all those unanticipated stops at tourist attractions. And, generally making traffic a nightmare.

 A Damn Yankee still dresses about the same as they did when they were Snowbirds but now they mostly have a good tan. If you get trapped into a conversation with a Damn Yankee, they will invariably tell you how much better things were inMinnesotawhere winter lasts longer then the gestation period of Homo Sapiens!

 They also bemoan the fact that it’s too hot, the sun’s too bright and the air is too humid. Duh?  You moved to the semi-tropics, right?

 At least there is seldom any snow, ice storms, blizzards, and little need for Snow Emergency Routes, snow tires and darned few people drop dead from trying to dig their car out of a snow drift that’s about as high as the old Caloosahatchee Bridge.

 Another complaint they have is that there is no ice fishing in Florida! The last time I was in Minnesota and went ice fishing; the only thing I caught was a cold! At least in Florida, I have caught BIG fish that I could eat without using an ice axe to clean them.

 Some Damn Yankees, if they live in Florida long enough, begin to take on local coloration and the only way you can tell them from  native “Crackers” is their accent, That, and the fact they still haven’t gotten over the novelty of eating on the patio, nearly all year around and drinking sweet tea.  Another way is to watch them drive.

 I have a friend in Florida who’s daddy homesteaded (Yeah! Really) a piece of property on Pine Island. As far as Mr. Starling was concerned a Damn Yankee was anyone who lived North of the Florida state line.

 He even went so far to tell me, one time, that: “…them Damn Yankees from Pensacola….”  I gently reminded him that Pensacola was in Florida. He opined that it shouldn’t be because the only thing that made it better then Southern Georgia was the beaches which were just one more place them Damn Yankees could tie up traffic and make life miserable for the native sons..

 About twenty-five years ago, I moved to the Piedmont area  of North Carolina. This is a great place to live except for all those Florida Crackers and Damn Yankees, from Florida, who come up here in the summertime and then want to tell me how much nicer the weather is in Florida.

I spoke to one the other day while we were waiting for a traffic jam to break up and I asked him where he was from. He said: “Florida, but I moved down there from Ohio about ten years ago. I shoulda stayed inOhio!”  I agree — he should have. At the very least, he should have stayed in Florida.

In fact, I might still be living in Florida if the population hadn’t gone into overdrive and there were more Damn Yankees on the road then Crackers. Then, again, I think I’ve become acclimated to this area…I’ll most likely stay here until…

I liked Florida where the fishing was great and I didn’t have to explain why I talked funny. Here, that mostly happens when local folks say: “Y’all ain’t from around here, are you?” After twenty-five years, I’m beginning to blend in and like to think I’m learning to talk like the locals do…

Cell Phone or Hell Phone?

Cell Phones or Hell Phones?

By: Jake Jakubuwski

Copyright, 2012

All rights reserved





I often take part in a business-to-business forum where various participants ask questions about problems that they’ve encountered and seek possible solutions to those problems.

The question that I answered below was one, as you will see, regarding personal cell phone use in the workplace.

For my part, I dislike cell phones. Sure, they are great for staying in touch and emergencies and letting folks know that you’re tied up in traffic and will be late for a meeting, church service, or your wedding.

I also realize that cell phones have changed the way we communicate. Some of that is good. Some of it I find distasteful, rude, and an infringement on my privacy.

Anyway, here’s my answer to the question that was asked:



Robert said that he might be “Old School” in the way he deals with the issue of personal cell phone use in the workplace. I guess that makes me an antiquated boor and my ideas about this issue totally archaic.

Robert also said that his “worst offender” chalked up a whopping 45 hours of personal calls made during one month! Roughly translated that means that person only worked for Robert three weeks out of an entire month! That individual “stole” over a week’s worth of production from Robert’s company!

Figuratively, I’ll probably be lynched for this statement: To my way of thinking stealing a week’s worth of production from an employer is no different then stealing a week’s pay out of the cash box!

The pathetic thing is that this type of ‘theft” is happening everyday, of every week, across the employment spectrum — employees subverting production time by using their cell phones to text and talk to friends, neighbors, play games and participate in “Social media”. None of which is germane, and certainly not beneficial, to the employers interests.

Yes, Pam, this is definitely a rant.

On the other hand, I must make it clear that since I now work alone, and free lance, I no longer have direct employee issues regarding this matter. Yet, I can readily empathize with employers who have to deal with the topic — a problem that is growing exponentially everyday!

As a consumer and observer, Pam, I DO have issues regarding cell phone use in the workplace.

I find it distasteful for the counter personnel at Mickey D’s, BK and Wendy’s to be talking on a cell phone while trying to ring up my order.

I find it irritating to be shopping and have the salesperson talking, or texting, on their cell phone.

I think it is totally ridiculous, as well as unsafe, for the sanitation worker to be talking on a cell phone while trying to wrestle a 90 gallon trash container into position to be dumped in the truck.

I have refused to deal with service personnel who come to my office with a Blue Tooth hanging out of their ear and while I’m trying to explain my problem and they give me “THE HAND” while they take a call! After all, I am paying for their time, so technically they are my employee for a given period.

I have had business dinners, lunches, breakfasts where the person I’m trying to interact with (on a personal or business level) interrupts the meal to take a call or text a message. That’s rude and constitutes stealing my time.

As a result, I don’t think any employer should have to be sensitive to any “issues” that an employee has regarding their “dependence” on cell phones and develop a “more accepting approach” as Andrew suggested.

After all, the individual works for the employer — not the other way around — which means that it is the employer who loses money for the production hours that are eaten up with personal calls, texts and game playing.

My personal feeling is that employees should be told up front (And apparently, Pam, your firm has done just that) that personal use of company cell phones is prohibited — and the use of personal cell phones are forbidden on company time. If necessary, spell the rules out as an official statement of company policy and have the employee read, agree to, and sign the policy statement. Then enforce it!

Long before cell phones became ever-present trappings for professional and personal use alike, calls of a personal nature were made to an employee through the employer’s office. Non-emergency calls were frowned upon and often harshly discouraged.

The problem, today, goes beyond emergency calls…it has become an issue that has grown to be of truly epic proportions and highly expensive practice in many workplaces. Stop to think about Robert’s single example. An employee stole 45 hours of time from Robert’s company — how many times a month are employees stealing time, with cell phones, throughout the American workplace?

In my mind, this issue is one that every employer, manager and HR department should take very seriously and work assiduously to control; if not eliminate.

I also believe that organizations that send their personnel to interact with customers on a face-to-face, one-on-one, basis should “train” those representatives to but their cell phone on “MESSAGE” until the interview, service call or whatever is complete.

Pam, thanks again for asking this question. And, thanks for giving me an opportunity to offer my probable, and potentially archaic, solutions — sometimes the old ideas really are the best. But, that’s for you and your other readers to decide.”


In closing: You, my blog readers,  may agree with my assessment or you may disagree with it. One thing you can be sure of: It’s PURE JAKE to the core!

Jake Jakubuwski



A FaceBook friend posted the following notice in an FB group that I belong to and I thought  might pass it on. If you’re into treasure hunting this could be a really fun day for you and your family.

Kenneth W Briggs Crl

Three Seasons Treasure Hunters LLC

The Three Seasons Treasure Hunters LLC will host there 2nd Annual Open Seeded Treasure Hunt/Contest June 2nd, 2012 at the River View Park in Cadott, WI. There will be Raffles and drawings throughout the day. We will be raffling a Tesoro Metal Detector. There will be 2 timed hunts. One in the morning and one in the afternoon. This will be held rain or shine. If you have a metal detector and want to try your hand at a timed hunt for prizes, contact Ken Briggs, President of Three Seasons Treasure Hunters at (715) 577-0235 Entry fee is $30.00 for the day. Cut off is May 15th, 2012 so we have a head count for food and prizes.

If you call ’em to reserve a slot…mention the PURE JAKE blog…