A Volkswagen microbus tent, for camping or just hanging out


After briefly scrambling every available neuron my brain had to offer, this VW Van shaped tent makes perfect sense.

You wanted to go camping in your VW camper, but it wouldn't start! Instead you take your VW sized tent, authentic to a 1965 T1, and cram on in!

I love camping in my VW Vanagon Westy.

VW Volkswagen T1 Camper Van Adult Camping Tent via Amazon Read the rest

Trump to avoid "appearance" of business conflicts


Today President-Elect Trump took to Twitter in an attempt to assure the world he will not let it look like he is making money off the Presidency.

Via the New York Times:

Noah Bookbinder, executive director of Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics, a liberal nonprofit group that promotes ethics in government, said: “Unless his solution is to sell the business outside the family and put the proceeds in a blind trust, he’s not really doing anything to solve the problem. Just because you say something on Twitter doesn’t make it so.”

It remains unclear what the president-elect’s plan will look like, but simply removing Mr. Trump from operational, day-to-day control of business decisions still could allow him to benefit financially from payments made to his companies by foreign governments, which may be prohibited by the so-called emoluments clause of the Constitution, Mr. Eisen said.

And Mr. Trump’s Twitter posts said nothing about whether his children — who serve as advisers on his presidential transition committee — would continue to have roles in his administration.

If the business is run by his children, they must be entirely separated from government operations, Mr. Eisen and Mr. Painter said. That means they could not participate in meetings with world leaders, like the prime minister of Japan, as Ivanka Trump did this month.

“Without an ethics firewall that is set up at once and continues into the administration, scandal is sure to follow,” their statement said.

Aides to Mr. Trump did not immediately respond to requests for more detail.

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Free e-copy of Sinclair Lewis' "It Can't Happen Here"


Sinclair Lewis' chilling political novel of a journalist's struggle against a fascist regime is available free via Feedbooks. Read the rest

On the proper care and feeding of horn-rimmed glasses

I had no idea I was supposed to be treating my horn rimmed glasses with special care. Over time, my favorite pair developed a lovely patina, and moulded to fit me. Little did I know, I was letting them go to waste.

For years our Xeni has been discovering amazing glasses shop(s), places where they craft the most fantastical frames out of rare and precious unobtanium. Every time I am headed to LA I get a message like "FANCY FRAME SHOP, LETS GO!" but I've managed to cling to my doddering old time-y, round horn rimmed glasses.

I like how horn feels. I like how horn looks. Each pair has a distinct pattern, and texture, there is grain in the bone, and while artisans are able to bend and turn the bone into shapes that fit our faces, the bone will always be a natural, biologically created material and have a life of its own.

Because of this fact, I should have expected that care for the horn rims would be more than just "wear them." Over time sunlight, water, sweat, heat, and dry conditions will all take their toll on bone. My favorite pair had expanded and dried out enough times that the grain was pretty easy to feel and the glasses lost all their shine. Like all things, wearing them motorcycling added extra abuse -- 100s of hours inside a helmet did them no favors.

Wipe your horn rim glasses down with mineral oil or vitamin E oil once every 3 months or so. Read the rest

Cheap replacement center-pinch lens caps


These work.

I like center-pinch lens caps as they try to hold themselves on. I don't bother with the leashes, they get in my way. I just buy more caps when I lose them.

I lose a lot of them. Sometimes I wonder if there is a section of the Pacific gyre dedicated to my missing lens caps.

The link is for 52mm caps, but you can adjust the size on the Amazon page and buy whichever you're currently losing. The only lens cap I've held on to (thus far) is the weirdly unique one for my Nikon 14-24 F2.8

5 Center Pinch Lens Cap (52mm) and 5 Cap Keeper Leash"5 Center Pinch Lens Cap (52mm) and 5 Cap Keeper Leash via Amazon Read the rest

Things I miss: Weebles wobbling, not falling down


I loved Weebles. As a little kid I tried and tried to balance them upside down.

As a young boy scout I learned they make dangerous ammunition for homemade calcium carbide cannons. They fit an available diameter of PVC very well, I don't recall which. Read the rest

Fermentation air locks for wide mouth jars


Xeni and Mark got me addicted to fermenting vegetables. These fermentation locks make fermenting a variety of things at once simple.

Using home-brew style fermentation locks with my wide mouth Bell jars is a pain, I constantly knock the tall bubble chambers off the bungs in my jar's lid. These simple, easy to clean airlocks sit flat on top of the jar and work without added water. Just screw them on and away you go.

Easy Fermenter Wide Mouth Lid Kit 3 Lids, Extractor Pump & Recipe eBook, via Amazon Read the rest

MECO's disco Star Wars


In my head the lyrics are as sung by Bill Murray. Read the rest

WKRP in Cincinnati's "Turkeys Away"


Some of the greatest 25 minutes in television history. Read the rest

Beginners set of watch repair tools


I may not be able to fix a broken watch, but I do not blame this set of tools.

I have a dead self-winding Bulova I wanted to see if I could puzzle out, and fix on my own. That did not work out, but these tools are wonderful to have around. I can open cases of watches I previously had to take in for battery replacement, and changing, or resizing bands got a lot easier.

I find I use this set for a lot more than trying to fix a watch, too. Eye glasses repair and just about anything that needs tiny screwdrivers and picks will benefit from keeping this toolkit handy.

At least my Timex Mickey is running again.

Readaeer® Portable Watchmaker Watch Repair Tools Kit Set Back Case Opener Adjuster Remover via Amazon Read the rest

These bears are down with the boogie


Happy Sunday! Read the rest

Park dedicated to Adam MCA Yauch vandalized with pro-Trump swastikas


The incredibly well loved, respected and admired Adam Yauch was a buddhist.

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Joule turns sous vide from an experiment into an everyday cooking technique


ChefSteps Joule sous vide eliminates all the niggling inconveniences of other models and turns sous vide into a really useful, everyday technique. I've been cooking with it for months now, and I'm in love.

Sous vide cooking is a method of bringing the foodstuffs you want to eat up to their cooked temperature in a gentle bath of heated water. The protein changes are more predictable, flavors far bolder and less cooked out, textures not destroyed by high heat. I love the results sous vide produces but even the best of last years circulators kept it as an every-so-often technique.

The containers I found I had to use to match up with the depth, clips and mounting hardware of most units was a total pain in the butt. Over time I settled on using an igloo cooler with the then favorite circulator. It was larger than I wanted to keep in my kitchen, and needed more water than a California felt great about for making a few steaks. Sure, I could recycle the water but it just never felt like something I could do every day.

Here is what is so great about Joule: it has a magnet in its bottom instead of using a mounting clip. Even the best mounting hardware doesn't compare to this. If you have any pots that a magnet will stick to, you can sous vide in them. The Joule also runs with much less water than other units I've tried. You do not have to fill the pot up to where the exhaust hole in the unit is. Read the rest

Highway to Hell: Trump PAC CEO praises Muslim registry, internment camps


The United States of America interned citizens of Japanese descent during World War II. The 1988 Civil Liberties Act signed by President Ronald Reagan issued a formal apology and $20,000 to each surviving victim of this racist program. It was a dark chapter in American history.

Trump surrogate Carl Higbie believes that bringing back internment camps for Muslim citizens would Make America Great Again.

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White Starbucks customer rants on "discrimination" slowing his order


Slow coffee service at a Miami Starbucks launched this gentleman into a racially based tirade. Apparently this is now America's answer to everything.

Via @jbdcl

We already understand you prefer horizontally recorded video of racists. Thanks! Read the rest

Lakeside's Fantastic Voyage


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Betrayal and intrigue build a Death Star in "Catalyst: A Rogue One Novel"


Catalyst, a new Star Wars novel by James Luceno, is a must read before you see Rogue One.

Catalyst is the story of how the Death Star gets built, and feeds directly into the movie. You'll meet the two men most responsible for development of the Empire's super weapon, one cunning and conniving while the other is an altruistic scientist. Their friendship makes this super weapon possible.

Regardless the depth of your Star Wars knowledge, this book goes into detail everyone will appreciate. Key characters for the new film are introduced, and their stories are told incredibly well. Orson Krennic, a key political architect of the Death Star, realizes his friend, pacifist Dr. Galen Erso holds the key to really being able to destroy things. This story of politics, manipulation and betrayal shed a lot of light on the days between Revenge of the Sith, and A New Hope.

Read this before seeing the movie!

Catalyst (Star Wars): A Rogue One Novel via Amazon Read the rest

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