Wednesday, 30 September 2009

S.o.t.D. – Stomp the Yard – Ooah

Logo – Bowyer

A logo I did for, well, a bowyer.

Lego – RedRamRod

In the future, rednecks have become very jaded with conventional motorsports. The thrill will have gone out of smash up derby and drag racing for them. What once had them hooting and hollering with excitement, now barely gets a rise out of them anymore.

Well a new sport has been invented just for them, and they’re returning to the motopark in droves – DragSmash! Combining the best of drag racing and smash up derby into one exciting sport!
And the biggest star of the sport is Rod Redram and his RedRamRod!
He’s a hero to millions of his adoring fans!
And this is the vehicle that has propelled him to superstardom in this exciting new sport  – The RedRamRod!
Not only is Rod the greatest driver this sport has ever seen, but he’s also its greatest builder! He designed and built the RedRamRod from the ground up, all by himself!
Many claim that he single-handedly built this sport into what it is! That his build of this champion vehicle set a very high bar right out of the starting gates that no one else has been able to reach!
As exciting as this sport is, the premise is pretty simple! It’s perfect for those who found NASCAR too complicated! Two vehicles start at opposite ends of the track, drive as fast as possible and bash into each other!
And with this brutal beast of a battering ram, Rod Redram has clobbered all of his opponents and emerged victorious every time!
What makes the RedRamRod so devastating is that it starts out with thousands of gallons of water in the back end! This allows him to pop a wheelie at the start of the race!
With most of the weight in the the back end, and the front end right up off the ground, the large rear tires hurtle the RedRamRod down the track.
At just the right moment Rod activates the powerful pumps that quickly forces all the water back towards the front into the battering ram!
The massive battering ram is part hydraulic shock absorber, part hardened steel block, part voluminous water reservoir!
But part of what makes Rod such a deadly effective DragSmasher is that he has impeccable timing! Rather than put the ram right down on the ground and drive into his opponents, he times it so that he brings the ram down on top of them and drives right over top of them! Ooooh that’s gotta hurt!
And the grinder attachments on the wheels add injury to insult!

While other budding DragSmashers are dressed in Nomex, tethered in harnesses and housed in roll cages with fire extinguishers pointed at them, Rod is such a daredevil that he rides in an open cockpit with only a lap belt!

And once again, Rod emerges victorious, leaving behind a smashed burning hulk in his wake!

Cottage 13 Ad/Postcard


Tuesday, 29 September 2009

S.o.t.D. – Blue Magnetic Ocean – Mystical Sun

Hammock – Algonquin

I had used another hammock once before on a canoe trip to Algonquin and absolutely loved the concept. I was aware of Hennessy Hammocks and knew I wanted to get one. (Now I’m aware of several more, one or two of which I’m tempted to get, and now also understand how to make them, which I’m even more tempted to do.)

While at the (at the time) newly opened Lee Valley on King Street in Toronto, and browsing through their tables of one-offs, remainders, sale stuff, etc., I noticed a Hennessy Hammock, an Expedition Asym. I knew they’d never carried it, so I found that curious. The price was right though, only a hundred dollars. What the hell. I got it. I suspected that it wouldn’t fit me, but I figured I could always flip it. Opening the stuff sack, from the way it was wrapped, I could see that it had probably never been used. I set it up, looked it over, got in and saw that it wouldn’t fit me.

My pal Jay expressed an interest, so I sold it to him for the price I got it for, and put that money towards an Explorer Deluxe A-sym. It fits my galootish frame just fine.

Hammocking has become a really big thing for me. No matter how tough the slog, no matter the weather conditions, knowing that at the end of the day I’ll be comfortably ensconced in it, is a huge morale booster.

Photos taken in various spots in Algonquin Provincial Park.
Here you can see the tarp wrapped up in the SnakeSkins. In nice weather you can keep the tarp furled to enjoy the night sky.
View of the front and back on Pen Lake. Sorry about the mess in my temporary home. Busy repacking as the pics were snapped.
(Photos by Jason Irwin.)

Sigg 0.6L Oval Bottle

When I saw this reproduction of a 1940s era Swiss Army canteen, I knew I wanted one. Partially because I was trying to find a way to carry some water on the Manta, but also because it just looks really cool.
The original canteen can be seen here.
And the ones exactly like I have are now not produced anymore, but something very similar is. I believe the only difference is the cap.
It comes with a faux leather (worse than leather, better than leather? Not sure.) strap that is meant to hold the cup to the bottle.
It holds 0.6 liters, so not a whole lot. When you’re a water guzzler like me it’s not a lot anyway.
The leatherette strap isn’t strictly necessary since the bottle fits fairly snug inside the cup.
Besides the aesthetics of it, and the ergonomic shape, another thing that appealed to me was the nestled cup. I have a thing for cups and water bottles together.
I have to say that the way the bottom of the cup is finished left me underwhelmed.
The finish is very rough and uneven. In some places it has been sanded smooth and in other places it has a pronounced lip.

The cup on the old ones had no seam at the bottom. The newer ones have a soldered seam, and I wouldn’t trust it to hold up to being put in the fire. Fine if you’re getting a cup of coffee or tea (cutting down on the amount of disposable cups used is a good thing) but I see the ability to boil up some water as a really crucial feature.

Besides the soldered seam not being suitable for use over a fire, another feature that I wish it had, is a second knob side of the cup. If it had that, a bail could be put on it, so that it could hang over a fire. It seems kind of obvious to me. But then I see being able to actually boil water in it as kind of obvious too.

I was also a little dismayed to see upon taking the bottle out of my pack my first time out with it, that there was a dent in the seam of the bottle. Right where the main walls start to taper up towards the spout. Didn’t recall any sort of rough treatment, didn’t recall slamming into a door jamb, dropping my pack on the floor.
Oh yeah, and then there’s that whole thing of SIGG recently admitting that their BPA free bottles apparently weren’t really BPA free. 

It’s not terrible, but it fell a bit short of my expectations. I think if SIGG had made them in Switzerland instead of farming it out to China, it would have been a much nicer piece.
Here you can see a pouch that I made for it, the Sigg’mups.
I’ve carried this for a few years now, and in that time it has become a bit rattley. The bottle and cup were at one point a fairly snug fit, but I suspect the cup may have deformed slightly to make it so that the two bang against one another when moving. Not a deal breaker, but it does affect my ability to be a super stealthy ninja.