Once again the Magma BBQ saved my camping trip. Copied from the pages of The Samba, where user Rhinoculips shared his install, this is one fantastic addition to my arsenal of VW Westfalia camping gear!
I used to carry a Parker 51. I'll never let that pen go, but like many fountain pens it was too risky to take on a plane. Pressurized cabins seem the perfect environment to cause a leak. I've tried and tried but many a jacket or shirt pocket bear the stains of my forgetfulness.
Several years ago, I found the Pilot Vanishing Point fountain pen. It is a well-balanced and well-sealing writing instrument that has never let me down. A truly modern take on a the classic fountain design.
The Vanishing Point has a retractable nib, like clicking a Bic. Uniquely, for a fountain pen, when the pen is closed it is closed! The ink and nib are surrounded in a sealed chamber. This has resulted in several hundred thousand miles flown without a single leak.
But how does it write? I like a fine nib and the Pilot comes with a beautifully flexible 18 carat gold one -- it is super fine. The pen is really well balanced and feels solid in my hand. It is heavy but in the best way. Writing is a joy! I find Pilot's cartridge ink to be fast drying and the black is dark enough for me (I'm a long time Quink fan but we can discuss ink all day...)
Slat went on to found The Ocean Cleanup Foundation, a non-profit organization which is responsible for the development of his proposed technologies. His ingenious solution could potentially save hundreds of thousands of aquatic animals annually, and reduce pollutants (including PCB and DDT) from building up in the food chain. It could also save millions per year, both in clean-up costs, lost tourism and damage to marine vessels.
I've spent around two decades practicing sleights of hand, flourishes and card tricks. Nearly every thing I have learned is in the Royal Road to Card Magic, a book first published in 1949 and written by Jean Hugard and Frederick Braue.
I have struggled and struggled with what I felt were poor illustrations and overly complex descriptions to learn many of the secrets housed in this famous book. No more! I was recently introduced to a 6 DVD demonstration of the book that clearly and easily shows each move!
I've spent a few hours with the DVD set and I'm very happy! The set is filling in gaps where I felt the book was incomprehensible. I'd skipped a number of tricks where lack of a strong visual made it impossible for me to learn. I'm picking things up very quickly! I'm thrilled!
For beginners I highly recommend both a copy of the book and the DVDs.
Since the coil is wrapped around the tube from a plastic pen, and the iron projectile is inside the tube, it will fly along towards the coil. As all the energy from the capacitors will be spent in a matter of milliseconds, the coil should ideally be turned off by the time the projectile passes its center and exits out the other side of the tube.
Simon's plans and walk-through are wonderful. I learned a lot reading the detailed but easy to understand instructions. He also selects parts and components that I am sure I can source locally and I love that he improvised brackets from a plastic drinking bottle.
I also learned that I will not be making a coil gun. That curiosity is now satisfied!
A few years ago I was bored with digital photography and started shooting 35mm film again. Digital lets me do anything but there is no challenge! The film results were beautiful but I was still not having the fun I was looking for! I decided to try medium-format photography but didn't want to just stumble into it, I wanted a Rolleiflex.
Rolleiflex is actually a series of cameras first produced in 1929, by German camera company Franke and Heidecke. The simple, square 6x6 centimeter images revolutionized photography. The Rollei made it easy to take large, high quality negatives (and positives) with its simple, elegant and incredibly reliable compact design. The TLR or Twin Lens Reflex camera became a staple of pros and news photographers the world over.
We arrived shortly before sunset and almost immediately the reason for our bone-jarring, Vanagon-risking, ride became clear: we could see whales spouting and spy-hopping (poking their heads out of the water) before we'd even shut off the engine!
When morning came and it was time to see the whales, the weather was incredibly windy. More than a few of us were thinking of staying on shore. Luckily we trusted our host and boarded the small 7-10 person boats and headed out. Within moments the magic began.
Wow. Four days without internet. That's been interesting!
We've had quite an adventure thus far. Saturday AM we met 9 other Vanagons and headed south. It is an amazing group of people and we've fallen for everyone. It is an incredible melange of VW camper van enthusiasts.
We spent our first night 16km south of San Quentin. We then made our way to Bahia de Los Angeles for 2 nights. From our campsite at La Gringa I dug for clams, caught a striped bass from a kayak and spent a few hours trying to fix my now destroyed awning (an old Dometic A&E that was beautifully color matched to Serendipity but alas, is no more.)
Today we drove to San Ignacio. Tomorrow we see whales. I wish I had more time to write. Perhaps this evening, but we're being rushed off to the campsite from here in town square. The church is lovely.
I got side tracked by Dinseyland. On Thursday AM my traveling companion Jenny landed at LAX. She'd never been to the Magic Kingdom and we had a day to kill before heading to San Diego. What else could I do?
It was amazing. We had a wonderful time and even I, a far too frequent visitor, found some new things to marvel at. Most interestingly, we had an incredible customer service experience.