21 June 2016

Stage II Sneak Peek

Photo by Cameron at DMC-CA
Almost there.

The new engine is in.  After some testing, the 35 year old transmission failed.  So, new transmission on the way.  Looks like I will have to sell the other kidney.  Should be another week or two and I will new drive train.

Stay tuned.

06 June 2016

Titanium Pocket Tool - Kickstarter

I am a sucker for titanium.  Heck, I will sometimes do a search for 'titanium' on auction sites just to see what is out there.  Another place I will go is Kickstarter...which is where I found the Titanium Pocket Tool.  I like multi-function tools and obviously, I love titanium...so of course I had to get this.

Titanium Pocket Tool
The Kickstarter campaign started by Big iDesign around March of this year, with a goal of raising $5000.  When the campaign ended the TPT raised just over $229K.  As promised, the item arrived in June.

I have had the tool for a day and did some non-scientific testing on it.  Here are my thoughts and results with each tool listed on their website

• Bottle Opener - What is a Kickstarter campaign without a bottle opener function?  As I have mentioned, I to a search for titanium and usually a handful of items come up.  I bet if you do a search for 'bottle opener', you would break Kickstarter.  Where was I?  Oh yeah.  It works fine for a bottle opener on a multi-tool.  I am sure you have many bottle openers at home that can do better...or other Kickstarter items you that also have a bottle opener 'designed into it'.

• Flat Head Screwdriver - Again, works fine.  Obviously, this is not as ergonomically friendly as your traditional screwdriver, but like the bottle opener, in a pinch, it works.

• Wide Flat Head Screwdriver - See above for function.  But, I find this 'tool' to be a little misleading.  The wide flat-head screwdriver is the area in the lower left of tool (see above image).  It is like saying a coin is a multi functional currency.  It works, but again, there is no leverage.

• Internal Magnet - Strong enough to hold its own weight (listed at 24 grams).  But, not more than two pieces of paper.

• 1/4″ (6mm) Hex Bit Opening - Good enough in 'survival' situation.

• Measurement Cues - This is interesting.  From the top, the center of the screw to the edge of the button does measure 25mm.  And, from center to center of the bottom screws, it does measure 50mm.  There are no other markers, so this is only good for rough measurements.

• Mini Pry Bar - Just like how a coin can be a pry bar, but you get a little better leverage here.  Bonus, it is also the flat head screwdriver.

• Scraper Edge - Not really feeling this one.  There is a slight overlap where the two halves meet, forming a slight...very slight...edge that can be used for scraping.  Again, you can use a coin to scrap a lottery card, too.

• Stainless Steel Insert “Dual Function” - The "dull edge package opener" works fine.  I have opened packages with keys, even toothpicks.  I give this one a pass.  I wonder if this is 'airport safe'.
  The camping fork would probably work better if it was four pronged.  The three prong design results in wide prongs.  Stabbing something soft like pasta is fine.  Anything harder like vegetables, the fork does not hold very well.  A normal fork is curved and that helps lock in the food. This being straight, anything hard or heavy tends to slip off the end.  Obviously, the prongs are short (they are also angled) stabbing more than one or two pieces of food is going to be a challenge.  Also, noodles are out of the question.

• 550 Paracord Lanyard / Key Ring Opening - To put it bluntly, this is a hole with a string tied in a knot.  The paracord, and anything you have attached to it, can get in the way of tool usage.  But having an option to latch it on to something is a great option.  A soft loop like paracord is a preferred alternative to a hard metal ring that can scratch my beloved titanium.

• Accepts Standard Utility Razor Blades (not included) - The insert is basically a blunt utility razor with notches cut in to make a fork.  So yeah, I give this a pass.  I prefer the included insert as it has a fork and hopefully airport safe.

• Universal Wrench Design (15 Socket Sizes) - Not really feeling this one either.  The best place to grip a nut (you have a dirty mind) is on its sides.  This design grips the nut by the corners, the weakest part.  While it does work, there really is not enough leverage and nut grip (get your mind out of the gutter) to torque a nut.  I found that it slipped more times than expected.  Also, the design means you have to flip it one way to tighten bolt and the other to loosen, much like a pipe wrench.

Well, there you go.  For the price, it might be a little over priced for what it is.  There are better multi-tools out there that can do more for less money.  Although few are as compact and even fewer are made of titanium.  Overall, I like it (mainly for the titanium) and most of the functions are good enough for emergency use.  I recommend carrying a tool with you, whether it be this one or others, for emergencies, at least have something like this in your bag or glove compartment.

If you want to pick one up for yourself, visit the Big iDesign website

02 June 2016


Well that did not take long.  After a holiday weekend, they got right back on the phone.  Although, did did call me on the Saturday, in the the morning, on a three-day weekend.

2 June 2016
  424-320-8457  Los Angeles, CA - What do we have here?  Folks, I believe this is our first return caller of the year.  This is exciting.  Last call was nine days ago, on 24 May.  As usual, I did a quick search and conveniently Google remembered that I searched for this number.  Until the next time you call, fuck you!

  424-320-8457  Los Angeles, CA - Oh, you thought I was kidding when I wrote, "Until the next time you call, fuck you!"  Yep, you guessed it...they called again.  So, again I will say, fuck you!

For a good time, call 424-320-8457
3 June 2016
  310-849-0617  Beverly Hills, CA - Based on quick search, this is not a 100% confirmed telemarketer number.  So, that means it is just a 99% confirmed telemarketer number.  Most likely, the call has been routed through various ports until a 'local' number shows up on caller ID. But hey, three calls in two days.  I am guess they will take the weekend off and get right back to it on Monday.  Until then, fuck you!

4 June 2016
  No Caller ID - I guess we did not have to wait until Monday, another Saturday call.

June 2016 calls, so far
Hiding behind a "No Caller ID" is a sure guarantee that I will not pick up.  Good try with the local area code trick.  At least for a split second, that gets me thinking someone I might know is calling.  It would do the world a favour if all telemarketer calls came in as "No Caller ID", better yet, "telemarketer".  Fuck you!

6 June 2016
   323-315-9234  Los Angeles, CA - Looks link June is going to be a busy month for telemarketers. The fun part is, I get to post all these numbers.  The hard part is, I will need to come up with some witty comments as to not to bore you.  I mean, this comment seems like a total cop out, I hope future calls will generate better comments.  In honour of the 72nd Anniversary of D-Day, Duck you!

7 June 2016
  323-230-4526  Los Angeles, CA - Ah, let the games begin. It has been awhile since we have calls coming in almost everyday.  Could it be because it is an Olympic year?  Could it be because it is an election year?  This may or be helpful, but elections are held during Olympic years, which is every four years...Leap Years...and the years are divisible by four.  I know, totally random...yet so is the call...but, not this:  fuck you!

8 June 2016
  424-320-8457  Los Angeles, CA - Third call this month, and if you count last month, this is call number four.  I do not recall what the record was, but I think it was around ten calls from a specific number.   However, I do recall that the calls came from somewhere in the Northwest, it was either Washington or Oregon.  Whatever.  If these guys can do half the days in June, fifteen calls, I will be impressed and crown you the undisputed champs.  Fuck you!

11 June 2016
  209-849-9472 Unknown - Unknown?  Well, at least that was the way it was listed on my phone.  But, a quick search tells me that the call originated from Stockton area in Northern California.  I will say that the search did not wave any telemarketer flags, but we all know how 'innocent' numbers can easily turn out to be evil telemarketers.  Oh, and you skipped three days...fuck you!

13 June 2016
  310-849-9471  Unknown - Another 'unknown'.  By now, we all know that 310 is Los Angeles.  Here is something interesting.  Note the same prefix as previous caller from Stockton...and one number off in the suffix.  Seems to me that someone is generating fake numbers to hide behind.  There was one good thing about this call, my phone barley rang before the call was cut off.  Still counts as a call, though.  Fuck you!

16 June 2016
  323-609-6026  Los Angeles, CA - Yeah, everyone knows 323 is Los Angeles.  No need to try to hide that with an 'unknown'.  How exciting is it to have all the calls, so far, coming from California.

Here is some more area code trivia for you.  Back in the day rotary phones where all the rage...and not because of the hipster movement...but because that is all we had.  Area codes in large metropolitan areas had 'shorter' dialing...1's, 2', and 3'.  For example, New York-212, Los Angeles-213, Chicago-312.  Places like Hawaii got 808, 'longer' dialing area code.  Now, with keypads, it does not matter.

Until the next call, hopefully from California, fuck you!

20 June 2016
  323-576-3499  Los Angeles, CA - First day of Summer...first call of Summer.  It is going to be a hot day with record setting temperatures.  Why not start out the Summer with a call from a telemarketer...most likely a bot.  I hope your circuits fry in the heat.  Fuck you!

24 June 2016
  815-867-2491  Pontiac, IL - Illinois?  But, what happened to all the California calls?  Thanks, Pontiac, for ruining the streak.  Now, the Californians will have to start all over next month.  I hope you are happy.  Fuck you!