Cheap replacement center-pinch lens caps

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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

Fermentation air locks for wide mouth jars

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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

Beginners set of watch repair tools

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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.

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

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

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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

Audio while swimming is getting pretty good

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I've been swimming, surfing, boogie boarding and scuba diving with these HydroActive waterproof headphones by Underwater Audio. Everything about them is an upgrade on earlier models.

I love having some music to help keep me out of my head as I swim. Finding headphones that fit well, didn't interfere with activity, and sounded good seemed to be sets that would not intersect. These HydroActive swim buds have done the trick for almost all aquatic endeavors I enjoy.

These phones come with a large selection of earbud shapes and styles. I'm using the smaller sized ergo buds, and they fit wonderfully. I tried several, in the water and out, several fit well and felt great. Choosing ones as "mine" took a but but I prefer the ergo shape. The phones also sport a wrap-around bar, which seems like it'd be a problem but actually works very well. The headphones stay in and the bar doesn't create weird drag or leverage problems in the water very often. I've wiped out more than a few times, dove under, and taken waves directly in the face with these on without missing a beat.

The sound is far improved over earlier models. These are the first underwater headphones I've had with any amount of detailed bass. I've enjoyed everything from classical to funk, and for once I do not find myself thinking they are just 'good enough' these headphones are actually good.

These are better but still not very good for SCUBA diving. The wrap-around-bar is incompatible with my hood, and the first stage regulator, plus air hoses behind my head. Read the rest

The much easier way to re-proof waxed cotton

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I have spent a lot of time running a bar of wax over my Belstaff jacket. No longer, now I use spray on Nikwax.

Every now and then my waxed cotton jacket needs a touch up. Nikwax is about 1000x easier to use than a solid or cream wax. You liberally spray this on, rub it in and let it dry. I find it has a pleasant, not noxious scent.

There are two colors: green and neutral. Make sure you check the label, although green will work fine on black. It is a very light tint and won't show through, at least on my ancient jacket.

California's recent rains show this stuff not only goes on easy, but works well.

Nikwax Wax Cotton Proof via Amazon Read the rest

Beatles LEGO Yellow Submarine now shipping

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As soon as Pesco posted this, I knew I had to have the minifigs, especially the nowhere man.

The LEGO Yellow submarine is now shipping!

LEGO Ideas Yellow Submarine 21306 Building Kit via Amazon Read the rest

Make labels like it is 1978

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Want to label things like Mom and Dad did?

I needed a label gun, but I hate the printer-in-your-hands models. What I needed was an old-style click-wheel embossing label maker!

KA-Click! KA-Click!

I remember spending hours as kid making labels with my dad's click wheel embosser! A hard plastic tape runs through a mini-printing press, and you simply squeeze to emboss letters on to it. This click wheel is simple to mash, I remember my parents one as taking Herculean effort.

The tape comes in all sorts of great colors too!

DYMO Organizer Xpress Handheld Embossing Label Maker via Amazon Read the rest

Another awesome cookbook from Mary and Vincent Price

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I was so happy to learn of Mary and Vincent Price's Come into the Kitchen: A Collector's treasury of America's great recipes that I pulled over to the side of the road to order a copy.

One of my favorite podcasts, Stuff You Missed in History Class, had a chat with Victoria Price about her father, the famed Vincent Price. The entire podcast is wonderful. They briefly mention the Price's A Treasury of Great Recipes, which is one of my favorite cookbooks. At the end of that segment Victoria says something along the lines of, "...and they just re-issued the second book."

I slammed on the brakes! I pulled over to the shoulder, shook my head in shock and then clearly thought: "Re-issue?" Within moments a hardcover copy of the 1969 edition, with its dust jacket was on the way. I could have had the re-issue for $5 less.

The Price's earlier Treasury is a pleasure to just sit and read! In addition to amazingly delicious, and fairly easy, recipes from the greatest restaurants on earth, it is a cookbook that shares an adventure. You get to see the world's restaurants and meet the people that make them great with Vincent Price! I couldn't wait!

Come into the Kitchen offers up Mary and Vincent's favorite American foods, by historic period in time. Some of the earlier recipes take some cooking tools we don't much use any longer, and probably were not a whole lot easier to find in 1969, but you certainly get a feel for how regionality and availability of foodstuffs has changed over the several hundred years this catalogs. Read the rest

New Roku Premier is more of the same awesome

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My favorite set top box company continues to evolve with the Roku Premier.

I've written about the Roku a number of times. Every teevee in my house has one, I no longer pay for satellite and take all my video media streamed over it. Matched with Plex, Roku is unstoppable.

The new line of Roku units are faster, higher resolution versions of the old. The UI is the same, the same apps are available, everything is just a lot faster. I replaced a Roku 3 with this Premier unit.

The Premier is also 4k ready at 60 fps, although I have nothing that'll display that currently.

Roku Premiere Streaming Media Player via Amazon Read the rest

Beautiful, slim rosewood iPhone 7 plus case for $8

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I love this rosewood case for my iPhone 7 plus. I went with the compass design.

I hate thick cases and kind of love the simplicity of the iPhone's design. My daughter gives me grief for the number of screen, and other, repairs I can inflict on a phone. We split the difference on this lovely rosewood and rubber case.

The phone sits in a thin rubber cage that does most of the protecting, the wood back is adhered to the rubber, is both decorative and likely adds some additional buffer. There looks to be room in the case for a tempered glass screen protector, so I'm gonna add one soon.

I couldn't be happier with this $8 case.

FULLLIGHT TECH iPhone 7 Plus Case Unique Handmade Natural RoseWood Back Shell Cover Slim Bumper Protective Wooden Cases for Apple iPhone 7 Plus 5.5" via Amazon Read the rest

Quick, easy and good smelling tear stain remover for dogs

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My darling Cavalier, Pretzel, gets yucky tear stains that don't smell too great. Well and Good Tear Stain for dogs cleans them up.

Pretzel, like many of the Cavalier King Charles Spaniels, I've lived with likes to sleep on my head. Luckily, I'm bald and this serves as a heated, and kinda snuggly, stocking cap. Unfortunately it can smell really, really bad when her tear ducts have formed crunchy masses of fur under her eyes, and around her snout.

The stuff works quick and easy, just apply the remover to a cotton ball or a paper towel, and wipe away the stinky stuff.

Well & Good Dog Tear Stain Remover, 4 fl. oz. via Amazon Read the rest

C Is for Cthulhu: The Lovecraft Alphabet Book

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Let Shub-Niggurath teach your child the alphabet with C Is for Cthulhu: The Lovecraft Alphabet Book

I wish we had this book when my daughter was younger. Things would be much different!

C Is for Cthulhu: The Lovecraft Alphabet Book via Amazon Read the rest

Hot Wheels retro Batmobile

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This die cast Hot Wheels Retro Entertainment collection Batmobile brings me a ton of joy.

I also have the Mystery Machine. Read the rest

Weight works better than volume for my baking

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I've found that weighing ingredients makes a huge difference in my baking, so I've added a digital scale.

This simple scale zeros out easily, and its maximum capacity of 11lbs pretty much ensures I won't need something larger.

When baking cookies, bread or cakes I've found that simply scooping ingredients via cup measure, or measuring spoon, and result in some pretty large differences when compared to weighing out exactly the amounts called for.

Here is an online calculator to help you convert volume based recipes to weight, if you'd like to try. I have found cooking by weight makes for a more consistent product. I have an easier time getting chocolate chip cookies just like I want them.

Etekcity Digital Multifunction Food Kitchen Scale, Stainless Steel,11lb 5kg, Silver (Batteries Included) via Amazon Read the rest

Rysa Walker's new novel, 'The Delphi Effect'

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Rysa Walker's Chronos Files series is some of the best time travel science fiction I've read in a long time. Her new novel The Delphi Effect deals with the paranormal, and does not disappoint!

The Delphi Effect introduces Anna Morgan, a young woman who has been bounced around foster care and psychiatric institutions for most of her life. Anna can talk to ghosts. Naturally, she runs into a spectre connected to some pretty big secrets and gets embroiled in some tumultuous cloak and dagger shenanigans. Good thing teenagers are well equipped to deal in these situations.

The plot is fun, but with Rysa Walker it is the characters and world building that are so immersive and fantastic. You immediately believe in what is going on, and everything feels natural. You care about these characters, you want to see bad things happen to the bad people, and you cheer on the good regardless how flawed and immature. Teenagers.

Walker writes books that are hard to put down.

The Delphi Effect by Rysa Walker via Amazon Read the rest

My 9-year-old daughter is tearing through the Land of Stories series

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Yesterday my daughter insisted we go to the bookstore and get the third installment in Chris Colfer's Land of Stories series. These addictive fantasy adventures have her reading rather than asking to watch teen web series about hair styles!

I was thrilled and a little bit shocked when my kid's requested activity on a day off of school was to go to the bookstore. I assumed we were in for another long perusal, punctuated by me repeating the mantra "one fashion magazine AFTER you choose a book!" but she went straight to a clerk, asked for the book she wanted and was pleased as punch to find there was one copy left. She cheerfully brought it over and started to tell me all about it! Amazingly, I'd never heard of this Land of Stories.

Seems twins, Alex and Conner, are swept into the land of fairytales through their recently passed away father's magic journal. Their grandmother turns out to be a fairy-grandmother, and the two go on various quests with familiar fairy tale characters. While fun and fantastic, the content isn't all whimsical as the twins learn to cope with the loss of their Dad in the first book, and rescue their Mom in the second.

The characters must be engaging, as my daughter clearly and animatedly discusses them. She could not wait to read the third book in the series, opening it as we left the store and double checking her backpack for it this morning.

While Colfer may be better known for his fantastic role on Glee, this series is helping teach my daughter to love reading. Read the rest

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