31 December 2014


If you are a frequent reader of this series, you might be wondering, "where is the December 2014 issue?"  Well, I was on vacation for most of the month.  This mean I had my phone turned off.  When I go on vacation, I go on vacation, no mobile or internet.  Well, mainly because I was out of the country and too cheap to pay for roaming and internet charges.  Anyway, we should get to the last call of the year.

31 December 2014
   918-930-9160   Westville, OK - No, not OK.  I think I used that joke the last time I got a telemarketer from Oklahoma.  While I am not surprised, I am impressed that these fuckers are so dedicated into scamming us.  I mean, they are calling on New Year's Eve.  That is dedication...fuck you and your dedication.

Even though I had my phone turned off for about three weeks this month, the terrorists managed to call.  I almost had a telemarketer-free month.  The only telemarketer-free month I have had, since October 2010, was December 2012.

Oh hey, October 2015 will mark the fifth anniversary of this series.  I am excited (not really) to bring you more telemarketing rants inn 2015.

22 December 2014

DMC Holiday Ornaments

Special day, today.  Five years ago, I went down to DMC-California and took a first look at the DeLorean I would eventually purchase.

This is also a special time of year for most as the Holidays are here, Christmas is a few days away, the year is winding down, and a new year begins as we start 2015.  Oh, I have a feeling there will be some exciting DeLorean related things happening in 2015.  Actually, I know there are some things planned.

Anyway, I got a package from DeLorean Motor Company.  Well, I ordered some stuff, so I was kinda expecting it.  Just play along.

Best wrapping paper, ever
I ordered a complete set of DeLorean Holiday Ornaments.  Back in 2004, DMC released their first ornament, limited to 500, individually numbered.  I noticed these back in the day during my many visits to the DMC website.  But, I never got any as they were a bit pricy.  Plus, at the time, I did not have a DeLorean.  Although, I did have a key blank.

When I finally got my car, it was really pricey to get the set and catch up to the current release of the series.  It meant I need to order 'back issues' of six ornaments.  I believe they started at $25 and when up as the older they were.  The investment would have been around $150-200.

In 2013, DMC ended the series at ten ornaments.  Getting all ten would have made about a $350-$400 dent in my wallet.  That is almost a price of a left front fender.  Having a complete numbered set was not a priority, but I would love a set.

A few weeks ago, DMC sent out their Holiday mailer with a special price of $99 for a complete set of the ornaments (with non-matching numbers).  What?  For the price of about three ornaments, I could get the whole set?  Sign me up!  A matched set would set you back $400.

Complete set of ten DMC Holiday Ornaments (grille emblem not part of set)
The package came the other day and to my surprise, this is almost a complete numbered set.  All but one (2004) had matching numbers.  Close enough.
  • 2004 - Front view, with doors up. Cast in pewter with painted red bow.
  • 2005 - Iconic pose, right side view with doors up.  Cast in pewter with "Happy Holidays" In door way and dangling snowflake from door in gold plate. 
  • 2006 - Rear view with a string of lights along rear fascia.  Cast in pewter, painted light bulbs and taillights.
  • 2007 - Left side view, with tree on roof (and most likely on a luggage rack).  Cast in pewter, painted tree, "2007" painted in red.
  • 2008 - Porcelain circle with image of DeLorean and Santa Clause.  Includes red ribbon.  Rear has DMC logo and list of the six DMC franchises.
  • 2009 - Not sure what metal this is cast in.  Polished finished of the DMC wheel.
  • 2010 - Polished thin metal ornament, with intricate detail.  "Happy Holidays 2010" in red
  • 2011 - Porcelain DMC logo.  Painted in silver with black trim and adorned with holly.
  • 2012 - Crystal disc with faceted edge.  Image of DeLorean etched.
  • 2013 - Polished finish, low front view with doors up. 
Finally seeing these up close, I would highly recommend getting a set or some individual ornaments if you are a DeLorean fanboy like myself.  These are quality items and really well crafted.

08 December 2014

Flux Capacitor Watch by ThinkGeek

The Flux Capacitor Watch by ThinkGeek
ThinkGeek is a great place to get your fill on geeky stuff.  Their 'Invented at ThinkGeek' items are almost always a hit.  I have quite a few of these exclusive items. ThinkGeek's latest awesomeness is the Back to the Future Flux Capacitor Watch.  At only $50, this thing is worth your...wait for it...time.

Makes time travel possible
Out of the box, this thing is just amazing.  Maybe I am just a major Back to the Future fanboy, but I am truly impressed by the presentation.  Even the box is really nice.  The only complaint I have is the window shows too much of the foam surrounding.  While the pack out is acceptable, generally, you use a more 'quality' padding material if you display it in a window.  But enough about the box, we should talk about the watch itself.

This is heavy
This is one bulky watch.  The case is really thick and the band is fairly thick.  Having said that, this does feel like a quality piece of jewelry and quite heavy.  Watches are consider jewelry, right?  I just wanted to write that sentence without using the word 'watch'.  Because, you know that 'watch' will come up many more times in this post.  I guess you could also call a watch, a....wait for it...time machine.

Flux capacitor, fluxing
Telling time on the watch is a different from your typical watch.  There are three 'arms' to the Flux Capacitor, each arm with four LED's. This makes twelve total LED's for the twelve hours on a regular clock face.  Looking at the top left arm of the "Y", the four lights represent 1, 2, 3, 4.  The right arm of the "Y" is 5, 6, 7, 8.  Leaving the leg of the "Y" with 9, 10, 11, 12.

To read the time, press the middle button.  The lights will blink three times. For example:  at 9:41, the lights will blink 9, 4, 1.  It takes a little while to get used to, but it is quite simple.

Does it flux?  Well of course it does.  The main reason to get this is to see the chasing lights.  Just press the bottom button and flux away.  The time circuits will show a random date...you just traveled to this date.

Time circuits, on
The time circuits show the date; year, month, and day.  The liquid crystal display is a little dim and difficult to read in some lighting.  I wish this area was back lit somehow and would prefer the month-day-year format.  But it is red, and red meaning Destination Time on the real time circuits.  Oh, you guys at ThinkGeek think of everything geeky.

I have girly wrists
As mentioned, this watch is quite bulky.  I mean, look how it makes my wrist look all dainty.  I am guessing this is due to the minimal spacing of the LED's, any closer and you would not be able to read the lights as separate lights.  Also, the depth of the face needs to accommodate the "Y" and cable details, as well as the LCD time circuit screen.  Plus, you need all that room in there to shield against the 1.21 gigawatts of power.

The bezel and band are stainless steel.  Awesome, this matches my car.

I have a cool scar and cool car
The watch is secured with a heavy duty clasp.  This is a fold over clasp with dual button release, it also has a locking latch.  The band is quite wide, not only making my wrist look tiny (again), but also covering almost a third of my awesome scar.

Watch dimensions:

  • Band width - 24 mm (measured at middle of watch band, not bit rate of data)
  • Case width - 35 mm 
  • Case length - 44 mm
  • Case height - 17 mm
  • Weight - 164 g (weight as is, without removal of links for sizing)
Is it worth it?  If you read this far (by the way, thanks for reading), then you are obviously interested in Back to the Future and/or watches.  So, yes!  For $50, you cannot go wrong.  The cool factor alone is worth $34.50, be a man.  Any Back to the Future fan will enjoy this.  Plus, if you are driving your DeLorean and someone...everyone one...asks you "where is the flux capacitor?", you can show them your watch.  Heck, you can even do the poster pose.

For another cool Flux Capacitor item from ThinkGeek, check out their USB Car Charger.  I may or may not do a review on this.  But, it is really cool. 

27 November 2014

Nike Air MAG's vs Knockoffs vs Costume Version

This will be a review of the Halloween Costumes version of the Back to the Future shoe. Also, I will compare the China knockoff  as well as the real deal Nike Air MAG's.  This will be formatted much like my last review.  In the photos, the authentic Nike Air Mag (refer to as Nike) will be on the left, China knockoff (refer to as knockoff) in the middle, and the Halloween Costumes version (refer to as HC version) will be on the right.

For a more in depth review of Nike Air MAG vs. Knockoff, click here.


While the Nike and Knockoff boxes look very similar, the Halloween Costumes version is totally different.  It is a typical shoe box with an incorporated lid.  The base is grey with dark blue paint splatter graphics, this is to mimic the paint splatter on the sides of the shoe.  The lid is blue with official Back to the Future Part II logo across.  One side of the box has a label with an official Universal Pictures logo and number indicating size of shoe.  Note that all three shoes are the same size.

Sure, the box does not match the cool Nike version, but it is better made than the Knockoff. It also helps that the HC and Nike came in a sturdy shipper.  The Knockoff was poorly packed for shipping, especially for something that was shipped overseas.  This is why there are lovely creases and dents on my Knockoff box.

Pack out of the three versions
Pack out of the HC is typical of your average shoe.  The standout is the printed paper since there is a lack of cut out foam to fill in negative space.  Normally, when you get shoes, it comes wrapped  in thin tissue paper.  But, this paper is quite thick...but it has cool printing on it.  Win some, lose some.

Packing paper with Back to the Future Part II logos
A charger cable is included with the shoes, but no plug-in unit.  This means you will need to plug into a USB port, instead of a wall, to charge.  Lack of foam and plug-in unit keeps the cost down.  I wonder if I can access data if I plug my shoes into my computer.  Different kind of shoe hack.

The Shoe:

Outside of shoes
The first thing you will notice is, there is no Nike logo on the HC.  Since these are only licensed from Universal Pictures and not Nike, there is no swoosh.  It looks kinda naked without the logos.  Although, I have no clue how they basically knocked off Nike's design and not face legal action from Nike.  But, there is a rule that states that a 10-15% change of a design means it is a 'new' design.  More on that later.

Before I continue, I am just going to flat out say that the HC is very similar to the Knockoff.  The HC is basically the Knockoff without Nike logos.  I would not be surprised if these are made by the same manufactures and just re-branded (or un-branded) to legitimately sell to the mass market.  Even the electronics are basically the same.  There are some minor differences that I will point out.

Moving on, you will notice that the construction is the same as the Knockoffs, even down to the well defined ribs of the quarters.  Most of the differences between the Knockoffs and Nike are exaggerated on the HC.  For example, the ribs are deeper and on the HC than on the Knockoffs.  The Nike has smooth sides with slightly raised ribs.  Both the Knockoff and HC have sharp transitions to the rib, even to the point were it dips down before it raise up to the rib...as if they used a George Foreman Grill to press these grill marks.  You will notice this in different lighting as you will see hard edges on non-authentic MAG's (see photo below).

Laces are four elastic straps.  On the HC , the quality of these elastics are lower than that of the Knockoff.  Both are wider and not as thick as the Nike laces.  I can see the others wearing out in time, but Nike straps lasting longer.  I would not know, I have yet to put any of these on...so, I cannot comment on the comfort of these shoes, but they look damn cool.

Comparing toe box of MAG's
From the picture above, you can see that the toe box shape and size is very different.  The Nike is sleek and low, slightly above the toe cap.  The Knockoff has a larger toe box with a taller front wall, it is about twice the height of Nike.  The HC has the most toe room, with a very bulbous toe box at nearly three times the height of the Nike toe box.  These  differences are also apparent in the width of the toe box.  The wider HC almost extends past the outsole.  If you look down, you will see outsold peeking through on the Nike, a little less on the Knockoff, and almost completely covered on the HC.

The collars of the HC are similar to the Knockoff as they are floppy compared to Nike, which are stiffer and offer a little more ankle support.  The Nike collar, the white part, is almost flush with the side walls.  Both the Knockoff and HC have puffy collars.  If you like really luscious collars, then you will love the HC.  They seem to over stuff the HC collars, they also sit low, about the same height as the Knockoff.  Both collars sit low compared to Nike.

Nike collar is a uniform height all around, Knockoff has slight variation, almost unnoticeable.  The HC collar is all over the place.  They did not get the side supports shape quite right and it seems they are compensating by varying the height of the white collar.

Inside of shoes
In the photo above you can see what I mean about the depth of the ribs.  The uppers are a slightly darker shade on the HC. Hard to tell in pictures, but the Nike is the lightest grey, then slightly darker Knockoff, then slightly darker-er HC.  The colour of the outsole and heel cup is also darker on the HC. There is a slight teal tint in these parts.  The photo above shows this.

Along the throat of the HC, there is stitching all around.  This creates a piping effect around the edge of the lace area. Nike and Knockoff do not have this.  Speaking of stitches, there is additional stitching around the ankle strap on the HC.  The stitching is there to hold the hook and loop system that secures the strap to itself and to the shoe.  Nike and Knockoff use some sort of glue to hold down their hook and loop, resulting in cleaner looking straps.

While we are in the ankle area, we should talk about the hole.  On the Nike, this hole is a crisp three-sided window with tight radius corners, with no stitching around the perimeter.  Knockoff window is more rounded, still somewhat of a three-sided shape with larger radius in the corners with stitching.  The HC also has stitching, their window is more of an ellipse or pill-shaped, and a lot smaller opening than the others.  If you have girthy fingers, it may get trapped in the HC window.

Achilles pad and heel cups
From the back of the shoes, you can see the differences in collar puffiness.

Again, since the HC is not made and not licensed by Nike, we do not see any reference to "Nike MAG" on the heel cup.  You will also not see "Nike" on the front of the ankle strap.  The profile of the HC heel cup is also flatter than the other two, you can see this better in the side views above.  Texture on the heel cup and outsole are the same on all three, but the HC texture is not as deep. 

The ankle strap is reversed on the HC, with the hook and loop closure on the outside.  This might be just a manufacturer error on some and can easily be swapped with the other shoe.  At least they did not give me two rights or two lefts.  The HC Achilles pad matches the Knockoff, while both slightly differ from the Nike.  Nike's pad is fused to the back of the shoe, the others attached by hook and loop and completely removable.

Soles of the MAG's
There are some small details on the Nike sole that the others did not replicate.  First, you will notice that the Nike sole is wider than the others.  This is due to a flare of outside edges of the sole, imagine it looking like a flat tire.  The clear parts are clear with a slight blue tint on the Nike, while the others have a yellow-ish tint...looking like it did not come from a smoke free home.  These are new, and there is no smoke in this home.  Maybe they smoked a lot at the factory.

The waffle pattern of the sole is obviously cleaner on the Nike.  It is hard to see in photos, but on the bottom surface, the waffle pattern turns in to inverter pyramids, instead of recessed squares as they are on the sides.  Think meat tenderizer and the little pyramids, but the inverse of that, versus your typical waffle from a George Foreman Grill.  Yes, that is two George Foreman Gill references.  Both the Knockoff and HC's waffle pattern is recessed flat squares all around. 

Light them up!
Yes, they light up...but you already knew that.  Here are some major differences between the authentic and not-so-authentic ones. Nike uses a LED's with tinted bulbs on the heel.  The tinted bulb or lens allows the green, amber, and red to be seen even when not lit.  On the Knockoff and HC, you see the bare LED elements through the window in the heel cup, and only see the colours when it is lit.  Because of the bare LED, the hot spots are more noticeable on the non-authentic shoes.

Nike has electroluminescent panels to light up the two 'D' windows on the outsole.  This is why there is a nice crisp light when powered.  The others use two blue LED bulbs to light the window, resulting in a hotspot in the corner.  The Knockoff has better light distribution than the HC.  Also note that the Nike lights are a flat teal, while the other are a deep blue with hot spots.

Both non-Nike shoes seem to use the same electronics. The charge port and activation button are very similar as they just hang out the back of the shoe, hidden by the Achilles pad.  It takes a lot of effort to access these dangling wires.  One will have to 'dig' behind the Achilles pad to activate the lights.  In the Nike, the button is hidden inside the corner of the outside collar, while the charging port is on the bottom of the Achilles pad.


You get what you paid for.  At $100, you are getting a really good replica of the Nike Air MAG's.  With a little modification, like adding a Nike logo on the front of the strap, 'Nike MAG' on the back, and swoosh on the side, the Halloween Customs version can easily pass as a great replica to an average person.  Plus at only $100, I could wear these and not worry about it.

As stated in my previous post about these shoes, it is really hard to tell the difference between the Knockoffs and Nike's.  Unless you have seen (or have) the authentic ones to compare to, the $250 Knockoffs are a great replicas.  Although they are bootlegs, they make a great alternative to spending $6000 for an authentic pair and the risk of messing up your investment. 
Where to buy:

Nike:  Since my last post on this subject, a few have asked me where to get these shoes.  The Nike's are long gone.  As stated before, they were only available through eBay or select Nike Store auction.  Pretty much the only place you can get these are still on eBay.  But be prepared to spend  at least $6000 for a pair of authentic ones.  Keep in mind that there are strong rumours of a re-release of the MAG's with power lacing, from Nike, in 2015.  Again, these are unconfirmed rumours.

Knockoffs:  There are a few places online that sell these.  I got mine from AliExpress for about $200-250.  While it seems risky to order something like this from overseas, they seem legit as bootleggers go.  Others are selling these exact Knockoff on online auction sites for double the price.  Again, I should stress that these are knockoffs and  violate of many licenses.  But, they are pretty nice considering the cost.

Halloween Costumes:  These are officially licensed from Universal Pictures, so they will have Back to the Future logos.  These are sold as "Back tot he Future 2 Light Up Shoes" and not as "Air MAG's".  Halloween Costumes sell these for about $100 and are almost as good as the Knockoffs. 

Now, you know the differences between the three.  Hope this information helps should you decide to invest in pair of these shoes.  Please be careful of scams.

17 November 2014

Coolant Leak in the DeLorean

A few days ago, I noticed a small puddle underneath the DeLorean.  At first, I thought it was some oil or fuel.  Either way, anything dripping from a car is not cool.  I took a sample, no science involved, I dipped my bare finger in the puddle and noticed it was green.  Obviously, I had a coolant leak.

Coolant appears to be dripping from frame
I drove to work and back a couple of times to see if it was just a one time thing.  Again, I noticed small puddles at the end of the day.  My guess it I lost about 500 ml of antifreeze.  I found it odd that it was dripping off of the frame on the driver's side, since the coolant bottle is on the passenger side.  The location also lead me to believe that is was oil, since the drip area was near the oil pan.

Before:  Coolant leaking from the otterstat
Upon further inspection, I figured that it was leaking from the Cooling Fan Switch (100816).  Notice the wet spot on the frame, the coolant was dripping from the switch on to the frame, then on to the pavement.  This made it appear to be 'leaking from the frame'.

Well, this seems like a job for the pros, way more complex than swapping out light bulbs. Back to DMC-California and have them work on this.

New Coolant Pipe
They replaced the 33 year old Coolant Pipe (110131) as well as the Cooling Fan Switch and Cooling Fan Switch Seal (106959).  The hoses were replaced in March 2013, so they are pretty much new.  This is why you still see the feather sitting there from the time I killed a pigeon

New pipe, switch, and seal
They also drained, flushed, and refilled the cooling system.  I may have been able to replace the pipe, switch, and seal...but the whole flushing of the system is beyond my capabilities, as I do not have the tools nor facility to do that.

After:  No more leaking of coolant
So, there you go.  Another three decade part replaced with new.  Hopefully, this will last a few decades.  Now, I am just waiting for the next 33 year old part to replace.  I already have something I want replaced the next time I head over to DMC-California.  Stay tuned.

14 November 2014

Tool Pen - Kickstarter

Tool Pen by mininch

One can never have too many tools.  Especially, something as elegant and useful as this.  I came upon the Tool Pen by mininch on Kickstarter.  It was a Staff Pick, and you can see why.  The campaign wanted to raise a mere $7000 and ended up getting almost $275,000 in their funding, with over 4,600 backers.

The genius of this gadget is its compact design.  You can carry six bits at a time in your Tool Pen, using there 'Pop-A-Point' system.  Most quick jobs will not require more than three or four tool bits anyway.  Plus, you can have additional bits to pop in as needed.

I was one of the many that backed this project back in August, and today I got my reward.  So excited.

Simple packaging
The item came in a shipper pouch and inside was a simple brown box with simple graphics.  I like simple, it does not complicated things.  Another thing I like, the package contains all recyclable cardboard.  I also like boxes, and this is a cool box.

This is what you get
There were several versions of the kit available.  This included three finishes and bit configurations depending on your needs. I chose the Snow Silver Premium package.  This package comprised of the Tool Pen body and 13 tool bits.  There were options to add more bits, but I had no use for those other bits.  Looking back, I probably should have ordered them, just so I have a complete set of bits for the Tool Pen. I may have to stock up on bits when they become available again.

Tool Pen and bits
The thirteen bits in my kit included three slotted screwdriver bits (SL3, SL4, SL4.5), two Phillips bits, (PH1, PH2), metric hex bits (H2, H2.5, H3, H4), and four Torx bits (T10, T15, T20, T25).  These are common sizes and pretty much all I need.  Anything special, I would have to dig into my tool box to find.

A nice added feature is the cap is magnetically held into place. The only flaw is, there is no where to put the cap when you are using the tool.  You cannot have it placed on the end, as it would get in the way or pop off whilst torquing down a screw.  This is a minor flaw and the magnetic cap more than makes up for it. I like magnets, too.

Bits marked with type and size
Each bit is clearly marked with the size and type.  This can been seen through the window of the Tool Pen so you know which bits are in the chamber.  By simply removing the first bit and pushing it the chain for bits forward, you can rotate through your tools.  Obviously, new bits can be introduced at anytime, with a limit of six in the Tool Pen.


  • 14.8cm long with cap on
  • 1.7cm wide from corner to corner
  • 1.5cm wide from side to side
  • 91.5 grams with six bits and cap on

For more information, check out their website at www.mininch.com

05 November 2014


So, did you adjust your clocks?  It is 2014 and we are still adjusting our clocks.  One that annoys me more than going around readjusting clocks twice a year is telemarketers.

5 November 2014
   310-598-2578  Los Angeles, CA - A return caller.  Funny, I did a search just to see what kind of scam these fuckers were running.  I was thinking it was a some sort of poll or election campaign. But that shit was all done with yesterday.  Anyway, one of the links that popped up was this site...I found me on Google.  So, welcome to if you too found me via Google.  Fuck Daylight Savings and Standard Time, there should be one time...no losing/gaining an hour. I feel like I am on a diet lose a pound and fall back, gain a pound and spring forward.  Oh, and fuck you, telemarketers.

24 November 2014
   860-866-2577  Norwich, CT - Wow, it has been so long since the last call.  It almost feels like that bullshit Do Not Call Registry actually works.  No matter, I have given up on that shit years ago.  Anyway, it had been so long, I did a Google search on this number.  Apparently, your typical credit card scam.  Shock!  So, fuck you, Connecticut...even though I am sure that they are routing their calls from a undisclosed location.

17 October 2014

New Battery for the DeLorean

I was having trouble starting the car, this happened twice in the last few months.  I did some testing with a volt meter and it was obviously the battery as it was not holding a charge.  Better to be the battery and not the alternator.  At least with the battery I can swap out with relative ease.

Missing the 'loop' part of the latch
I am going with a smaller, lighter battery that still packs a punch.  Before I install the new battery, I need to make sure smaller battery will be secure in the battery compartment.  There is a strap to keep the battery from moving, but I am missing half of the latch/hook system.

Sketches of the new latch
So, I will have to make one.  First, some sketches, a simple design.  I have no idea what the original one looks like, and I was unable to find images of one on the internet.  I did not look very hard.  This should be simple enough.  I took some measurements off the existing 'hook' and used that as my guide.

Laying out the lines in Illustrator
Next step it so to layout the lines in Illustrator in preparation for the laser cutter.  I need something a little stronger than styrene, so we are going with Delrin, again.

Delrin battery strap latch
The slot on top is for the hook, while the two slots on the bottom allow the strap to be adjustable.  The advantage of having access to a laser cutter, other fun tools, and co-workers willing to help out.  Meanwhile, I ordered a replacement battery and it should be here in a few days. 

Odyssey PC925L Battery
Here is my little battery.  So cute.  I did  a quick volt check and installed it in the car.  The old battery is about 40 pounds, while the new battery weighs in at 24 pounds. 

Strap is too long
Since the battery is smaller, the strap is too long.  Looks like I will have to come up with a strap shortening device.

Battery strap shortening thing
There are many similar/better strap or seat belt shortening clips out there. Of course, I realize this after I had my clip made.  Most of these seat belt clips only shorten the belt about three inches, I needed my strap about eight inches shorter.  Although, I could have borrowed and modified the design to shorten the strap to the appropriate length.

Delrin strap shortening clip and strap latch
Clip and strap works, batter is locked down.  Oh, and the new battery works, too.  I should be able to get a few years from this battery.  One less thing I have to worry about...until the next thing goes wrong with the car.

06 October 2014


Fall is upon us, the days are getting shorter as darkness creeps up faster.  But not as fast as the evil of telemarketer.

6 October 2014
   509-982-4532  Odessa, WA - Odessa?  Hey, remember Odessa, Texas?  That was one of the places in Heroes.  Remember Heroes?  Those people with extraordinary powers.  Well, telemarketers have the super power to annoy everyone.  I wish I had the power to destroy all telemarketers, that would be awesome.  Save the cheerleader, save the world.  Destroy telemarketing, save the world. By the way, the telemarketers seem to be calling from the Pacific Northwest, as they were few years back.  Fuck you!

14 October 2014
  ba17612@163.com - Yes, this was a text message.  The good news is, this was sent via iMessage, so it should be free for me.  Otherwise, these fuckers owe me twenty cents.  Either way, they owe me time...and time is priceless.

Telemarketers use iMessage, too
So, if you need some knock off Micheal Kors bags, give these guys a call or go to their website.  I am sure it is totally legit.  Fuck you!

  Unknown - Argh!  One of these numbers, again.  Could be someone I know, but most likely...since there was no message left...this is another telemarketers.  Oh, perhaps it is ba17612@163.com calling me to ask if I want some shitty handbags.  Fuck off!

28 October 2014
  347-898-5427  NY, USA  - Nice two week gap of no calls.  But, the end of month is near, so this could mark the beginning of a wave of calls.  Hey, anyone out there want to be a telemarketer for Halloween?  Ladies?  How about a sexy telemarketer?

This year's most popular Halloween costume, the telemarketer.
Okay, I had to Google 'sexy telemarketer costume'.  The image above is one that came up.  Works for me.  

30 September 2014

Nerdwax - Kickstarter

Nerdwax, the Original Glasses Wax

I stumbled onto this on Kickstarter and thought it was a fun product.  Sometimes a great name is good enough to sell a product.  They were funded over twelve times their goal.  Nerdwax is wax applied to the bridge of your glasses to keep them up.  Anyone with glasses knows the constant routine of pushing up their spectacles every few minutes.  Oh gravity, you so funny.

All natural waxes are blended to create a non-slip coating to prevent your glasses from slipping off your nose.

Applying Nerdwax to glasses
The application is simple.  Just rub the wax onto the nose pad of your glasses, as if you are applying lip gloss. Only instead of smooth, moist lips...you have a sticky nose pad.  The residue can be easily removed by wiping with finger or tissue.  The all natural materials means it does no irritate the skin...at least, I have no have any problems yet.  Make sure you are not allergic to beeswax and other natural waxes.

The weather here is a little warm, so my wax is a little on the soft side.  It makes it hard to get a smooth coat of wax, as it chunks up.  I am sure once the weather gets a little cooler, it will glide on more consistently.  Placing the wax in a cool place may help.

Because of the width of the tube, I found it hard to get into the corners.  Perhaps using a smaller diameter applicator, like a Softlips tube, would make it easier in this situation.

Hard to read areas
I have been using this for about a week and it seems to work like it is supposed to.  Depending on how greasy your nose is and oh often you take on/off your glasses, the wax lasts about 2-3 days.  I think I have a pretty greasy face, so each application lasts me about a day.  Perhaps I am not putting enough on, or not applying it correctly.

I notice that I only have slipping issues on full plastic frames.  Frames with separate or rubber-like nose pads and/or temples tend to have better grip anyway.  There is no need, at least for me, to use it on these type of frames.

You use very little, so a tube could last a few months, maybe even up to a year.  If you have trouble keeping your glasses up, give this a try.  You can order from their website at Nerdwax.com for $10 a tube.  

07 September 2014

Engine Cover Support Bracket

My design of the engine cover support bracket
Time to tackle that Engine Cover Support Bracket that I have been talking about.  This is a simple design based on the DMC Louvre bracket I mentioned in previous posts.

Preliminary sketches of the bracket
I went through a few designs, but the idea is the same:  Use the existing holes from the Louvre Reinforcement Strip install, design a bracket that will hold the engine cover.  The final piece will be made by CNC from Delrin, while initial prototypes will be made by STL rapid prototyping.

First prototype of the bracket
In order to not waste material, I designed the prototypes with holes and negative spaces.  The important parts are the mounting holes, latch hook, and recess channel.  Note there are many holes and a section missing from the above prototype and design sketches.  More exploration sketches were needed to refine the design.

Second prototype, on top
After the first prototype, I found that I needed thicker channel walls.  Also the latch hook needed to be moved about a quarter inch forward and about a quarter inch shallower.  Adjustments were made in the design and digital model.  I test fitted the latest version, and it seem to fit nicely. Time to make the final-full version.

Comparing first and second prototype with final bracket.
Since I know the second prototype fit, there was no need to print out a third.  The final version went straight to CNC to be cut in Delrin.  You can see in the photo above that the important areas - mounting holes, latch hook, and recess channel - remain unchanged from prototype to final.

I wanted to have the DMC logo featured on both sides.  The initial idea was to have negative area of the D (or C, depending on which side you are looking at) as the hook.  This is different from the DMC Louvre Brace design as the logo is negative and the have a notch cut of the D (or C) to  allow for the engine cover latch.

Notice that my cut out area is not as deep as the 'crotch' of the D.  I have stock louvre struts on my car.  It is recommended that you get longer struts if you install the DMC Louvre Brace.  This raises the louvre and allows the engine cover latch to hook on to the brace.  The DMC Louvre Brace will not work with the shorter stock louvre struts.  If I ever go with longer struts, I could cut a deep notch in my bracket.

Need longer screws to install new bracket
The channel of the bracket makes it too wide for the screws that came with my Louvre Reinforcement Strips.  This means I will need some longer screws.  Since these are in metric, and we do not have a stock of metric screws, I need to pick some up at the hardware store.

Big deal, right?  Well, here is the interesting part.  I figured they would not be over a dollar so, I used my last dollar to purchase the screws.  Yeah, I do not carry that much cash on me.  Anyway, the clerk gave me change.  At first, I thought, "hey, cool quarter".  A Fort McHenry back quarter...not that I know what Fort McHenry is...I guess I could Google it.

Then, I realized that the clerk also gave me a Buffalo nickel.  These nickels were in circulation from 1916-1938 (I Googled that).  I have no idea when this one was made as the front is almost totally worn away.  Only a faint silhouette of the American Indian head and the text was totally worn away.  You can see that the back is quite worn as well.

Installed bracket
Oh, here was I ?  Oh yeah, the bracket.  Installation is pretty straight forward.  I already did the hard work with the measurements and dry fitting the prototypes.

Remove old screws, put bracket in place, replace longer new screws, tighten nuts.  Done

Bracket holding up engine cover
The bracket does its job and holds up the engine cover.  Hey, it works!

Close up of the hook and latch

The new bracket totally negates the Engine Cover Support Slide Block.  Which is okay, since there is no more stress on the slide block and related assembly.  Now the stress from the weight of the engine cover rests on the louvre, struts, and rear quarter panels.  Again, this is acceptable since the louvres are reinforced with the strips.

If needed, I could always remove the bracket and go back to the slide block taking the weight.  For now, I like my new bracket.

View of bracket when louvres are closed.