Sunday, November 20, 2011

New Vise Coming My Way

I've been looking for a small vise to use for my home handy-man/manic/maniac activities. I scored this beauty advertised in the 1924 edition of Popular Mechanics.

The vise was made by Goodell-Pratt (Makers of Mr. Punch) located in Greenfield, Massachusetts. The vise I'm getting is No. 161 with the 2 inch jaws. It was $2.60 back in the 1920's and I got it for about 8 times that via eBay.

This is a page from the 1926 Goodell-Pratt catalog showing the vise.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

SweeTango Apple

I'd never heard of the SweeTango apple until I read the article  "Crunch" by John Seabrook in this month's New Yorker. I'm looking forward to trying this apple, from what I've read they are sweet and crunchy, with maybe a hint of spice.

The SweeTango is a hybrid between the Honeycrisp and the Zestar. I don't recall seeing the Zestar apple around here - I think it's more of a local apple in Minnesota.

All three of these apples - Honeycrisp, Zestar and the SweeTango (sweet and tangy) were developed at the University of Minnesota. The picture below of some Sweetango apples on a conveyor belt is from Wikipedia.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

5 Dangerous Things You Should Let Your Children Do

Summary - in case you don't have 9 minutes to watch the video. You should let your kids play with fire, use sharp knives, throw spears, take apart appliances and drive a car. This gives them a chance to learn how things work and how to use them safely.

Children raised in an over-protective  hyper-safe environment have no chance to learn self-protection skills - increasing their chance of being seriously injured when they encounter potentially dangerous things outside the home, or growing up to be overly cautious fearful adults.

Across the Country on a Honda C70 Super Cub

Across the Country on a Honda C70 Super Cub - ADVrider I love these stories where someone takes an old cheap motorbike on a long trip. This guy is 18 years old - riding an old Honda moped, that he fixed up himself, from California to New York with a budget of 600 dollars. Top speed 35 mph. Dangerous? Yes, but totally awesome. He's got some writing skills too.

This isn't his bike but this is what a Honda C70 Super Cub (also called a Passport) looks like.

It's got a 72 cubic centimeter engine (4.4 cubic inches), about 5 horsepower, and gets 115 mpg.

I've posted a link to this one before Sydney to London on a moped called Dot - ADVrider it's quite an epic moped adventure as well.

One of the nice things about being young is you don't know what you can't do. An older person creates lots of rules about what they can't do and would think of all the reasons why riding a moped for thousands of mile is impractical, foolish, unsafe - and miss out on a great adventure.

Tuesday, November 08, 2011

Monty Python's Spamalot

I'm looking forward to seeing the play Spamalot this Thursday at the Mt. Baker Theatre in Bellingham. Spamalot has been around for awhile now - it opened on Broadway in 2005, has toured in fifteen countries. This is the third U.S. tour.

The Mt. Baker Theatre is a nice venue, built in 1927 and designed by Robert Reamer who also designed the 5th Avenue Theatre in Seattle, Lake Quinault Lodge, the Old Faithful Inn and the Fox Theatre in Billings Montana - now known as the Alberta Bair Theater.

This is a picture of the theatre I took when we were there to see Arlo Guthrie and his family play.

Monday, November 07, 2011

iPad2 For B

Betsy's iPad2 is on it's way from China.

When I got the UPS tracking notice it said the iPad shipped from EPZ, China. I thought maybe EPZ was the English name of a city in China - but it's an acronym for export processing zone - a free trade zone where items are shipped without intervention of customs.

I think she's going to like being able to access news, some email, chat, games and whatever else the iPad has to offer. 

Thank you Steve Jobs. Amazing to me to think about the impact things he designed have on our lives. Point and click, touch screens, Google and Maps in your pocket (iPhone). Very cool stuff and real game/society changers in some ways.

She'll need to get the camera adapter so she can download photos and maybe one of those snazzy magnetic covers.