What's davintosh? Mostly just the random ramblings of a hopelessly distractible… Hey, what's that?

The Cat Magnet

Filed under: Fun! — dave @ 10:38 pm 2007/08/29

There’s a great PSA being aired now for the the inventnow.org website; The Cat Magnet. It’s my new favorite. Click the image below to see the commercial on YouTube.

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The AutoCanoe

Filed under: Bikes — dave @ 9:09 pm 2007/08/26

Here’s another unique pedal-powered machine; the AutoCanoeTM.

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The Autocanoe Is a Pedal Powered Amphibious Recumbent Tricycle and a Roadable Pedal Canoe! The configuration is that of a Recumbent Tricycle with the two forward wheels driving and the single rear wheel steering both on land and in the water. It can travel over the road and through the water with comfort and grace. Transitions from land to water and back are accomplished smoothly and seamlessly without leaving your seat. On the road it is stable and secure. On the water it is tractable and relaxing. This human powered vehicle appeals to bicycle enthusiasts as well as wooden boat fans.

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It was built by some guy in Washington state; he thought it was a great enough idea that he trademarked the name and is selling plans for $30 a pop. The thing looks like it’d be kinda fun on the water, but getting anywhere on land would be difficult. It’s got to weigh a ton, and can’t be very maneuverable (or very fast). Look at that front overhang; you’d almost have to build a steel plate into the prow of the thing for all the approaches you’d be smacking into.

BECAUSE I SAID SO

Filed under: Links — dave @ 9:08 pm

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Another neat find from Neatorama; BECAUSE I SAID SO. A mom’s blog expressing the frustrations of child rearing (suppose that term was coined by the spankings that are applied when said children misbehave?)

The blog is very well written, and unlike a lot of blogs, is very unassuming and innocent in what is posted. Most blogs seem to be written to gain attention, because it’s the cool thing to do, to make money, (is my blog different? I hope so.)… I guess the word I’d use is unassuming, or maybe unpretentious. Dawn seems to write just to get things off her chest and was truly unprepared for all the attention she’s now getting. And the attention started when she put a baseball up for auction on eBay using the story behind how the baseball kicked off a terrible, horrible, no-good, very-bad day for her.

The Ball That Started it All

I’m selling the baseball that started my wonderful first day of spring break. Do you want to know why I’m selling the baseball that started off my wonderful first day of spring break? Only because Ebay won’t let me sell my kids who were playing with the baseball that started my wonderful day. Is spring break over yet?! Here’s the whole story…

You’ve just got to read it and laugh, because if you’ve got kids, you’ve probably had a day like that before. At least one.

Should Do This

Filed under: Links — dave @ 3:39 pm

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Just bumped into ShouldDoThis.com this morning (thanks to a link on Neatorama). Think of it as a suggestion box for everything. Some suggestions are serious, some not; some are helpful, some naughty… But most are fun to read.

The Free LaFree

Filed under: Bikes — dave @ 1:19 am 2007/08/17

I’ve been planning to buy an electric conversion kit for one of my bikes for a while now, and finally got the money and the CFO’s blessing last week, and ordered one. It’s due to arrive on Saturday. But that’s another story for another post, because Fortune smiled on me tonight.

Ian had a flat on his bike, so we stopped by Spoke-n-Sport to pick up some tubes tonight. I had emailed Chad, the owner, earlier asking about ebikes, so he knew I was interested. He was there tonight & asked if I had received the email he sent about the two Giant LaFree electric bikes one of his customers was looking to sell. I had seen the email, but hadn’t contacted the owner about them because I had already decided on the hub motor kit. Good thing, because the owner had bought new bikes and traded in the old ones. Chad wasn’t sure how much work it was going to be to get them running again — the owner said that one of them had a major problem but wasn’t sure about the other — so he was just looking to get rid of them. He said that if I didn’t want them he was probably just going to dump them. So, being the pack rat scavenger that I am, I couldn’t say no.

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The bikes look like they’ve spent more time in the garage than on the road; a little dusty, but very little wear on anything. The burgundy one is missing the bottom plastics, and by turning the crank I can tell that that’s the problem child. The silver one seems to be ok. I plugged the batteries in, and they appeared to be charging; so far so good. Then, on a whim, I check the batteries just before bed, and one is showing a green light — charged. So, on another whim I pop the battery into the silver bike; nothing. Pop it into the burgundy bike & fiddle with the key and I get what sounds like an error beep and one LED lit on the battery level indicator. Pop it back in the silver, fiddle with it’s key, and get full battery lights! Cranking on the throttle doesn’t do anything, so on another whim I roll it to the driveway & hop on. And whaddyaknow! It works!

This is the first time I’ve ridden an electric bike, and the first time since 1986 that I’ve ridden any 2-wheeled conveyance that isn’t powered by me, so it was great having the wind in my hair again. I’m glad it was 11pm; the darkness hid my ear-to-ear smile from the neighbors. The ride was great. Went around the block a couple of times & discovered that the motor only engages when the pedals are turning. You don’t have to be pushing to get it to engage, only a token spin is required. And because the motor is ahead of the crank, it drives the chain, which also uses a standard 7-speed freewheel; that allows the motor to work in conjunction with the gears. Gear down to go up hills, and gear up for the flats. Pedal harder to give the motor some assist to go a little faster and get a little more life out of the batteries.

I couldn’t be more pleased to have a working bike without having to fix it. The other bike I’ll keep around for scavenging or selling parts. The frame may one day be incorporated into a hub-drive electric, but that’s gonna take some work. Especially getting rid of the girl frame look. Lessee… a tube across the top and a plastic fairing in between? That might be a start.

Lightning Samurai

Filed under: Cars! — dave @ 11:27 pm 2007/08/05

What do you get when you stretch the front of a Suzuki Samurai out & stuff a 425 horsepower Corvette engine under the hood? The Lightning Samurai, built by SuzukiConversion.com. It’s apparently a one-off, but I’m guessing they could churn out another if someone were to come up with $25,000.

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The car has been converted to 2-wheel drive, and also features a 6-speed Camaro transmission, narrowed rear end to make room for the extra wide rear tires & antilock disk brakes on all four wheels. they say it’ll do 160mph, and will cruise at 140. I believe it.

It looks a little funny with that extra long nose on it, but I guess the short little engine bay on a stock Samurai isn’t quite enough for the LT1. They’ve got a nice set of photos on their site — I nabbed them just in case they sell the thing & take down the pics — but I’d sure like to see what it looks like with the top off, since that’s the way I’d be driving it.

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