Tobin's Spirit Guide

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"The architect's name was Evo Shandor. I found it in Tobin's Spirit Guide. He was also a doctor, performed a lot of unnecessary surgery. And then in 1920, he started a secret society... " -- Dr. Egon Spengler

If you are a Ghostbusters fan, you've been hoping, since 1984, to get your hands on a copy of Tobin's Spirit Guide. Here it is!

Fantastically illustrated by Kyle Holtz, and written by Erik Burnham, Tobin's Spirit Guide shares the backstory of many familiar Ghostbusters ghosts and demons. From Class 5 Free Roaming Vapors to Vigo the Carpathian, they're all here!

Certainly a fun book to have in your collection!

Tobin's Spirit Guide via Amazon Read the rest

Things I miss: Rock 'em Sock 'em Robots

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One of my favorite management techniques, back during the dotcom boom and bust, was to have engineers on my team solve their differences with Rock 'em Sock 'em Robots!

A quick check shows Rock 'em Sock 'ems aren't gone, but I haven't seen a set in years. Mine are in a box in my basement, marked for the last start-up wherein I attempted decision-making by robot duel.

The controls? Kinda awful. Opponents sliding forward/back and side-to-side tends to keep the boxing ring bouncing about. Those buttons also take a lot of force, and over time one robot or another's head latch would get loose, giving the opposing color a sure win. Repairs were possible, but over time both robots would become incredibly sensitive. Sometimes, as the weary boxers aged, heads would break free and launch themselves into orbit!

I miss knocking your block off.

Current Era Mattel Rock 'em Sock 'em Robots via Amazon Read the rest

Great glue for DIY shoe repair

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In the past, saving a well worn pair of shoes or boots was a very frustrating mission. Freesole urethane shoe glue is amazing, and good for a lot more than shoes!

I've had a lot of success using Freesole to repair wetsuit booties, flip-flops, and a pair of Asolo hiking boots. The booties and flip-flops were both cases of reattaching rubber to neoprene. The hiking boots had a crack in the sole. All three have been held together wonderfully by Freesole.

Freesole is a urethane glue that remains super flexible after it cures. The Freesole creates a super strong bond between the surfaces and purportedly will handle extreme temperatures, and water, as well or better than your manufacturers glue. I believe it! The reattached soles on my wetsuit booties have lasted 2-3 months without peeling at all, with probably north of 10-15 hours in the water.

Applying Freesole is pretty easy. First, just clean the two surfaces you need to attach with rubbing alcohol. Next spread a layer of Freesole on one side, making sure to get good coverage. I then use binder clips to clamp everything together and simply set it aside for 24-48 hours. The glue takes a day to cure, but when it does the seal is as permanent as when the shoes were new.

You can get a few uses out of Freesole if you make sure to wipe the tip of the tube off, put the cap back on, and then stick it in your freezer! Read the rest

Two candidates battle public school yoga program

Image via Boredpanda

Two anti-yoga candidates are seeking seats on the Encinitas Union School Board. Both candidates feel the district spending $400k on yoga, while other programs struggle, is out of balance.

Via the Encinitas Advocate:

In June, the board approved spending $416,000 for a health and wellness program centered on yoga practice, as part of the district’s 2016-17 budget. That amount was scaled back from the $800,000 that Superintendent Tim Baird initially wanted to spend on district-wide yoga instruction, after losing grant funding that previously paid for the program.

The decision to devote school funding to yoga infuriated many parents, who said they must raise money constantly to pay for services including science, art, music and physical education instruction. District money would be better spent on those programs, or on class size reductions, rather than yoga, they said.

Read the rest

Park superintendent hides 2200 stolen human bones in his garage

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Indian Country Today shares the decades long investigation into Effigy Mounds National Monument's missing bones. A large number of human remains went missing, and no one could track them down. Turns out park superintendent Thomas Munson had stashed them in his garage. Munson hid the bones to avoid returning the funerary objects they were buried with, and were on display in the parks museum, to their ancestors.

Via ICTMN:

It’s like something out of a Stephen King story. An aging National Park Service superintendent steals the remains of hundreds of ancient medicine men and leaders and sticks them under a workbench in his garage in cardboard boxes. It’s 1990 and NAGPRA, the Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act, is about to go into effect. The superintendent suspects the remains will have to be returned to the Native tribes in the area because of NAGPRA. He’s not worried about that so much, but he fears also having to return the funerary objects that were buried with them thousands of years ago, objects now on display in the park’s museum. He hides the bones in his garage.

Then, after sitting there for years, the bones suddenly come to life and possess the park superintendent, taking control of his body and forcing him to start killing people.

Ok, so, that last part didn’t really happen. But the first part did, according to a timeline prepared by current Effigy Mounds National Monument superintendent Jim Nepstad. The timeline shows how approximately 2,200 human bone fragments where stolen from the park’s museum collection and hidden in former superintendent Thomas Munson’s garage for over 20 years while park employees and several state agencies half-heartedly searched for them.

Read the rest

Making a Westfalia's fridge work for you

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The fridge on my Volkswagen Westfalia can be a wonderful thing that you love having along, or a sour disappointment that plagues your trip. The difference? Circulating some air inside the damn thing.

The odd little fridge in my VW runs off of electricity, or propane. It seems not to care if you are using supplied electricity, its own alternator, or the propane, the cooling fins inside the cold box get cold but didn't cool the box down. Problem is, very little air moves around them and it takes a long time for the cooling element to chill the contents of the box.

Adding this small, and very quiet fan made all the difference in the world. The fan moves air around in the box, and everything gets to a pretty even level of cold. I need to be sure not to over fill the fridge, and to leave room for air to move around. The fan doesn't blow very strong, but it'll keep the air moving enough for the cooling fins to do their job. I suggest removing the charcoal filter packet, as it just seems to restrict flow.

Thanks to this little fan, drinks are now cold. I still keep meats and dairy in a cooler with ice, but this simple fan turned my fridge from storage for dry goods into a refrigerator.

Camco 44123 Fridge Airator via Amazon Read the rest

Great Pyrenees re-elected mayor, again!

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Duke the Great Pyrenees will serve a third term as mayor of Cormorant, MN.

Via WLWT:

"I don't know who would run against him because he's done such great things for the community," Cormorant resident Karen Nelson told Detroit Lakes Online.

The locals say Duke has one of the highest approval ratings in the country.

"Everybody voted for Duke, except for one vote for his girlfriend, Lassie," Duke's owner David Rick said.

Read the rest

Upset at being honked at Cop declares horn use "road rage"

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I am impressed with this motorcyclist's ability to remain calm, and attempt to reason with this angry police officer!

A motorcyclist was frustrated by having to wait behind a non-moving car at a round-about, so he honked! The driver of the car turned out to be a police officer who claimed his texting-while-driving was in the name of public safety. The cop then proceeded to educate the motorcyclist, evidently honking is "road rage."

Anyone here from Colorado, where the video took place? Is using a horn illegal in Denver? Read the rest

A handy set of binoculars

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My daughter and I lucked out on a great view from our home. These Bushnell Falcon binoculars are our go to set.

Sporting 7x magnification we're pretty fond of these viewers for checking out everything from birds to dolphin and whales. These binoculars are easy to focus and use. Most importantly of all this set takes a pretty good hit! I've got a fleet of 8 to 10 year old kids dropping'em, smacking'em into my windows, or putting their greasy finger prints all over the lenses. These glasses do very well for the $25 price.

Bushnell Falcon 7x35 Binoculars via Amazon Read the rest

How to make a difference

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A PSA from Donate Life America.

Checking that box on your driver's license renewal, or application, is simple and saves lives.

(Thanks Robert O'Neal!) Read the rest

Things I miss: Garanimals

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My mother bought me Garanimals. Outfits guaranteed to make you look catalog perfect if you selected the right tags. I still looked like Oscar the Grouch.

Kids today are so lucky! They have Hot Topic and Garanimals! Codified children's styling was apparently re-introduced in 2008! Strangely, I've never seen them even though my daughter is only nine, and absolutely the right age. I guess she doesn't need the help! Read the rest

Lane splitting now legal in California

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While not previously against the law, lane splitting was left up to officer discretion. Now it is state law that the lane splitting is legal. Officers will use their judgement to determine what is safe behavior and what is not.

Via the LA Times:

Gov. Jerry Brown has signed legislation by Assemblyman Bill Quirk (D-Hayward) that defines the practice and authorizes the California Highway Patrol to establish rules for motorcyclists on how to do it safely.

Assemblyman Tom Lackey (R-Palmdale), a retired state highway patrol sergeant who co-wrote the bill, called the new law a "groundbreaking step."

"This is a huge win for roadway safety,” Lackey said in a statement. "We are now giving riders and motorists clear guidance on when it is safe."

Lane splitting, in which a motorcyclist passes other vehicles by riding between them along the lane line, has long been a controversial issue.

Technically, it has not been legal or illegal, falling in a gray area where it was treated as acceptable by law enforcement agencies. But when the CHP published guidelines on the practice in 2015, a citizen complained that the agency should not be allowed to create public policy. In came AB 51.

Quirk's original bill proposed that lane splitting could occur legally only when a motorcycle was moving no more than 15 mph faster than the traffic around it, and it prohibited the practice at speeds above 50 mph.

Several motorcyclists' groups objected to that, saying the limit was too low. Other groups and individuals, who believe that lane splitting is dangerous regardless of speed, objected to the proposal entirely.

Read the rest

Defogging your scuba mask or swim goggles

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To keep my scuba face mask from fogging up I was taught to spit in it. You then wipe your saliva around and put on the mask. The very first time I was standing on the deck of a boat, waiting to jump 15 feet to the water and needed to spit in my mask, I found that nerves had dried me up! The best solution for defogging a mask I've found is 500 psi Mask Defogger.

When a mask is new, make sure to clean the inside surface of the glass with some toothpaste. It'll rub the chemicals the manufacturer put on the glass to make the machine processes less prone to breakage. If you don't those chemicals will cause the mask to fog a lot, regardless what you do, until use rinses them out.

Having done that, I rub a healthy amount of 500 psi inside my mask before my first dive, lightly rinse it out, and don the mask. One treatment tends to be good for several tanks of diving. Generally it will last all day and I may only need some more come night-dive time.

In the world of "just use some dish soap or shampoo," I'd say 500 psi reminds me most of Head and Shoulders. Those things work with varying degrees of success, as does spit, but why take a chance?

Nothing is worse than spending a few days getting to dive site and battling a fogging mask your first dive. Remember, you can flood your mask and clear it for temporary relief too! Read the rest

Things I miss: Vent Windows

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By the late 1980s an automotive feature that I love, colloquially known as Vent Windows, or Wing Windows, or Bat Wings had largely been phased out. Read the rest

How Zzyzx Road got its name

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Having driven the LA to Vegas route more times than I can recall, I've often marveled at the Zzyzx Road sign. I'd been told the name was intentionally chosen to ensure it the last spot on a list of US road names. Seems there is a little truth in that...

Road Trippers shares:

Zzyzx (AKA Camp Soda and Soda Springs) is located at the end of Zzyzx Road, a 4.5-mile-long rural road off Interstate 15, in San Bernadino County, California. The unicorporated community is also located within Mojave National Preserve. In its former life, it was the the Zzyzx Mineral Springs and Health Spa. What makes Zzyzx, California such a weird and wonderful place is that it was founded by a crackpot preacher who stuck his middle finger up at the government when he named the town with the last letters of the alphabet.

So, who the heck came up with that crazy name?!

Well, that's where things get a little weird. Curtis Howe Springer was one of those old-timey radio evangelists, way back in the day. However, he wasn't actually a minister of any kind. He was born in 1896 in Birmingham, Alabama, and spent much of his early life convincing people he was a doctor. He proclaimed himself to be the "last of the old-time medicine men", but the American Medical Association disagreed. They proclaimed him "King of the Quacks" in 1969.

Throughout his life Curtis also claimed to be a boxing teacher in the U.S. Army, the "Dean of Greer College" (a defunct/bankrupt school in Chicago), he was a rabble-rouser during Prohibition (he was in favor of it, and railed against "Demon Rum").

Read the rest

Zeusray multifunction battery pack with jump starter

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When you drive a Volkswagen Vanagon you get used to woefully inadequate charging systems. I've been carrying this Zeusray battery pack with jumpstarter for an added sense of security.

I have several portable jumpstarting power solutions for my various vehicles. The Wagan Powerdome I was carrying in the VW broke the positive clamp trying to squeeze into an odd space on an old motorcycle, and I was looking for something versatile, yet small to stash in the van. I was also tired of the Wagan sliding around the cargo compartment on windy roads.

Price and performance wise, I'm thrilled with the Zeusray! My Vanagon's battery was drained and I was easily able to start it on the first try. I charged it back up via the AC adaptor in the van as I drove around and fit it easily in the clothes closet. I've also charged the iPhone off it and the USB port works just fine.

Only thing I'll miss from the Wagan is the tire inflator, which saved my butt in Baja a few years ago, but I'm already looking at some tiny replacements. I'm far happier with a smaller package, and lighter battery.

The Antigravity XP-1 I reviewed is currently in my second car. It is still going strong. It is about the same size, physically, and 2x the price. I could have moved it over, but wanted one in each car.

Zeusray 12000mah Multi function Portable power bank, USB 5V/2A , 12V 400A jump starter for automobile ,DV 12V,16V,19V output via Amazon Read the rest

Ted Koppel schools Bill O'Reilly for his 20 years of dumbing down journalism

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In this beautiful exchange, former ABC Nightline anchor Ted Koppel lets Fox News host Bill O'Reilly have it with both barrels. Feels great to watch!

Read the rest

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