captpackrat: (MLP Big Macintosh plush)

Yes!  Now I have the Mane Six, Spike, Princess Pepto Celestia and Princess Luna, Cheerilee and the Cutey Mark Crusaders.  Now I just need Zecora, DJ Pon-3, The Great and Powerful Trixie, Derpy Hooves and Nightmare Moon, if these ever actually come out.

"Pony School Pals" kinda sounds like the name of a porno.

My Little Phony

I saw this at a "farm & home" supply store in Nebraska City.  This is supposed to represent a family?  When both adults are clearly mares?  Nice to see the Chinese are promoting same-sex marriage and alternative families.

I was particularly amused by the fact that the pink pony, who totally isn't Pinkie Pie, has blue and yellow balloons on her rump.  Not at all like Pinkie Pie, no....
captpackrat: (MLP Lazor)

Simply unique, indeed.

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas.  At least at Costco.

You're hired!  You're fired!

U-turn fail.  It might not be immediately obvious, but the front of the trailer is sitting on the roadway.

Pony pulls the wagon or it gets the hose again!

I had to explain to my roommate why it was absurd that a pegasus pony would be pulling a wagon.  I've succumbed to the brony side.
captpackrat: (Sniper Bunny)
I have an old .30-06 rifle, two 12 gauge shotguns, a .45 Colt revolver, a couple air pistols and a high-powered .177 air rifle.  Ammo for the .30-06 is insanely expensive, about $1-1.50 per round.  .45 Colt isn't much better, about 50 to 75 cents per shot.  12 gauge shotguns are a bit limited in what you can use them for, and while .177 pellets are super cheap (a few dollars for hundreds of rounds), the air pistols and rifle that I own are single-shot, and the rifle's break-action is a real bear to cock.

I was at Scheels today, looking at the firearms, and I saw a Marlin 795 rifle on sale, normally $150, but with sale and a mail-in rebate, down to just $115.  Then I saw a box of ammo, 555 rounds of .22LR for just $22, about the price for just 20 .30-06 rounds.  That sold me on it.

This is my first semi-automatic firearm.  Everything else I've owned has had a bolt or slide, or fired only a single shot.  The closest thing I've had was my double-action revolver.  This rifle promises to be fun, and possibly useful.  I used my air rifle to take out the flock of pigeons that were damaging the barn, but it was a lot of work, cock-load-aim-fire, cock-load-aim-fire, cock-load-aim-fire, over and over again.  This rifle has a 10 round magazine (hopefully I can buy more), so I'll be able to take 10 shots without losing my bead on the target.

While at Scheels I saw a couple other rifles I'd really love to own.  The first is a Henry Big Boy lever-action repeater chambered in .45 Colt.  I love the design of Henry rifles, and having one that's chambered in a round I already use (and a very powerful round at that) would be nice.  Alas, it was about $850.

The other rifle I was lusting over, and probably the next one I'll buy is the Rossi Circuit Judge.  Like my Nightcourt Judge pistol, it's chambered for both .45 Colt and .410 shotshells, but uniquely, this rifle has a revolver action!  It looks like a normal revolver pistol, but with a full stock and a loooooong barrel.  It's a more reasonable $550, which is still more than I was willing to spend right now.  It would be so sweet to take that rifle to a firing range and have everyone oohing and aahing over its unusual design.
captpackrat: (Sims Firestorm)
Weird Al's latest album, Alpocalypse, is available from Amazon for $3.99 for the MP3 album!  Offer expires at midnight Pacific time!
captpackrat: (Camera)

Licorice is the same thing as bubble gum?

Should I get the fat free fig cookies, or the fig cookies that are fat free?

An EC-135S Cobra Ball measurement and signals intelligence (MASINT) collector plane flying low overhead on the way to Offutt Air Force Base.

I was taking the dogs for walkies when I came across this tiny little snake in the driveway.  The dogs somehow managed to not see the snake; one of them actually stepped on it, though it didn't appear to do any harm.

The first flowers of Spring.  (It's Common Field Speedwell)
captpackrat: (Smug)

There was a guy in an inflatable Chester Cheetah costume at Walmart today.
captpackrat: (Books) is offering free standard shipping on all orders to the 50 US states Feb 1-3.  Use promo code SNOWGO for standard shipping, SNOWBOX for shipping to P.O. Boxes.
captpackrat: (Scuzz the Rat)

The Mouse King is without a doubt the most difficult of all Nutcracker characters to obtain.  I've only seen one once before, and I kicked myself for weeks afterward for not buying it.  When I saw this one at Target for just $12, I didn't have to think twice about it.
captpackrat: (TV)
While the new house was wired for satellite, the old house wasn't.  Instead, the former occupants had put up a small VHF antenna and wired it into the east bedroom (which became my SO's).  The antenna worked adequately until the switch to digital TV, when nearly all the local stations switched from VHF to UHF.  The old antenna became utterly useless.  My SO tried to make due with an indoor antenna, but something happened recently and reception went to pot.  He started becoming very frustrated, so I went out and bought the biggest, most powerful antenna I could find along with an outdoor amplifier.  It's an RCA VHF/UHF antenna that claims to have a 100 mile range and is rated Green (medium-long range) by itself and Purple (extreme range) with an amplifier.

(This is a different antenna from the one I installed a couple weeks ago; that one was for my room only.  There is no wiring between the two rooms and running a wire would be very difficult.)

About 2:30 this afternoon I started working on replacing the old antenna.  It was mounted atop a 10 or 12 foot mast with one end driven into the ground and attached to the side of the roof part-way up.  Disconnecting the mast from the roof was easy enough, and I only had to climb 4 rungs on the ladder.  The ground was fairly muddy, so pulling the mast out of the ground would have been easy, had the former occupants not driven a couple twisted wires into the mud, presumably as some sort of (totally inadequate) ground.  Those wires managed to grab the mud making it nearly impossible to pull the mast out.  The clamp holding the wire onto the mast was stuck and didn't want to come loose.  Finally, with a ton of effort, I managed to wrench the mast out of the ground.

Only to discover problem number two: the installers left almost no slack in the cable and had securely taped the cable to the mast, well above my head, so that it was impossible to simply lay the mast down.  I had to pick the whole thing up and maneuver it around carefully, making sure not to smash out the nearby basement window, until I could get enough slack to lay the mast down.

I started cutting the straps of electrical tape to loosen the cable, then discovered problem number three, and the worst one so far.  The previous occupants had used half a roll of electrical tape around the connectors, which years of sun had baked into a solid plastic block.  There was no way to cut through it or peel it off.  Since the wire came out of the wall with no connectors, I would have to cut the wire and install a new connector.

I've got tons of tools for fashioning UTP ethernet cables, but I've never had to work with coax before, so I didn't have any tools.  I knew the local small-town hardware store wouldn't have anything, so I had to drive about an hour round-trip to Menards. I bought an RCA kit that claimed to have "everything" needed to attach connectors to cable.  I drive home, open the kit... and discover it doesn't have "everything", in fact, it's a whole lot of nothing.  Near as I can figure, the tool the kit comes with is for inserting the cable into the connector, you still need to strip and crimp the cable yourself.  I suppose I could improvise with a pocket knife and a pair of pliers, but this is going to be outside for years and years, so I'd rather do the job right.

I hop back in my car and drive the half-hour to Menards, pick up a pricey universal cable stripper (for coax, UTP and flat phone cables) and an even pricier ratcheting coax crimper.  If you're buying tools, might as well buy good ones, right?  Another half-hour drive home, then I start working on the cable.  By this time, the sun has gone down and it's beginning to get dark out.

The cable stripper works like a charm, once I figure out which way the cable goes in.  I jam a connector onto the end, then stick it into the crimper and give it a squeeze.  The crimper seizes up solid.  I can't open it, I can't squeeze it any farther, and there doesn't appear to be any sort of emergency release.  I try banging it on the concrete, I try stepping on it, but nothing works.  It was finally dark out before I gave up.

It should have taken a couple hours at most to replace this antenna.  So far I've spent nearly 5 hours on it, and I'll have at least another hour long drive tomorrow to return this broken crimper and try to find something else.  And I'm not even half way finished.
captpackrat: (Gasp!)
Every so often, Amazon still manages to surprise me.

I pre-ordered the latest Redwall novel, The Sable Quean, from Amazon several months ago.  At the time, I was quoted a price of $16.19, well below the MSRP of $23.99.  The book arrived yesterday and today I got an e-mail that they only charged me $12.95, the lowest price since I placed the order.  Out of curiosity, I checked Amazon's web site and they're currently listing the book for $14.03, so by pre-ordering, I saved an extra $1.08!

If you want to order something from Amazon but it's not out yet, go ahead and pre-order.  You might just save some money.


Jan. 23rd, 2010 10:33 pm
captpackrat: (Homer Mmmmmm...)
I was shopping at Costco today and noticed they now carry Pepsi Throwback and Mountain Dew Throwback.  Both versions are made with real sugar instead of high fructose corn syrup like the regular versions.

The difference in flavor between Pepsi and Pepsi Throwback is fairly subtle.  The latter is a bit smoother and slightly sweeter.  The Mountain Dew Throwback, on the other hand, tastes significantly bettert.  The sugar-sweetened version is much crisper and the flavor bolder than its HFCS counterpart.

The packaging says that it's for a limited time only, however they are priced only slightly higher than the regular versions.  Costco was selling the 18 count cases for $4.99, while a 36 count case of regular Pepsi or Mt. Dew usually goes for around $9.
captpackrat: (MacGyver)
Finally got around to buying new shoes.  I've been wearing my old boots for at least 7 or 8 years and the soles were almost completely smooth.  It was getting dangerous to walk on ice, snow or mud because I had no traction at all.  They're also terribly scuffed, there's a rather large gash across the toe of one, and the lining is starting to wear out.  I'm a hard person to buy shoes for, so I just kept putting it off.

I'm a firm believer in steel safety shoes.  They saved my grandfather's feet when a 50 gallon drum fell on his foot, and they saved my foot from a poorly aimed axe.  But that requirement severely limits my choices.  I also prefer leather; no other material can hold up to abrasion and sharp objects.  I prefer black, but a dark, dark brown is acceptable.  I also need shoes that provide electrical protection.  Steel-toe + leather + black + EH = damn few options.

I've tried several places.  I bought a pair of shoes at WalMart, but they ended up hurting my feet and I couldn't take them back.  None of the other shoes or boots at WalMart seemed to fit any better.  I found a single pair that fit well and looked nice at a local boot shop, but it fell apart within a day of purchase.  Payless, Target, Sears and most other stores don't carry steel-toed boots at all.  I'd just about resigned myself to never finding a decent pair of boots and had considered trying to have my old boots resoled.

Someone suggested I try Tractor Supply Co., so I went there today.  I found two shoes that interested me, a pair of low-ankle shoes with a very aggressive sole pattern which would be great on ice and snow and a pair of Georgia Boot Renegade work boots with a 6" ankle.  I tried on the shoes first and they fit adequately, but low cut shoes just feel weird after at least a decade of wearing boots.  Then I tried on the boots.  It was like sliding my feet into butter.  I've never felt a pair of boots that fit so well right off the bat.

Those were the absolute last pair they had, in any size, and it fit me perfectly.  And just as I finished trying them on, they started closing the store early for New Years Eve.

They cost a bit more than I'd like, and they're "tumbled chocolate" instead of black, but I'm just glad to have a decent pair of shoes again.
captpackrat: (CA state quarter)
They were handing out coupon books at Costco today. The coupons are only good November 27th, 28th and 29th. There are a quite a few deals that some folks might be interested in.

A pack of four $15 iTunes gift cards are normally $56, but with the coupon, they're $8 off for a total of $47.99 for $60 worth of cards. There's no limit.

The 8GB iPod nano, normally $139.99, is $10 off with coupon for a final price of $129.99. Limit 1.

A Philips 10.4" digital picture frame, normally $99.99 is $20 off with coupon. Final cost $79.99. No Limit.

KitchenAid Professional HD mixer is $50 off with coupon. Normally $279.99, $229.99 after coupon. Limit 3.

Hitachi 18 Volt Lithium 4 piece cordless tool kit with 1/2" drill, reciprocating saw, 6.5" circular saw, lantern, fast-charger, 2 batteries and carrying case. Normally $299.99, $199.99 after $100 coupon. Limit 1.

SanDisk Cruzer 16GB USB flash drive, $25 off. 2 pack of SanDisk Ultra II 8GB SDHC cards, $15 off. SanDisk Ultra II 8GB CF card, $15 off. 2 pack of SanDisk Ultra II 4GB SDHC cards, $10 off. 3 pack of SanDisk Cruzer Micro 4GB USB flash drives, $10 off. SanDisk 8GB MicroSDHC card, $10 off. No limit

Flip Ultra Camcorder, $30 off with coupon. No limit.

$300 off a Vizio 55" 1080p 120Hz LCD HDTV, limit 2.

$100 off a Garmin Nuvi 5.0" GPS, Limit 2. $55 off a TomTom 4.3" GPS, Limit 2.

$35 off a Sony Blu-ray player, Limit 4.

There will also be some really great deals on from 11/27 through 12/14.

A Galileo CT-1380 Catadioptric reflector telescope, normally $199.99, now $149.99 including shipping.

ETQ 3200W generator, normally $349.99, now $249.99 (+$30 if you need the CARB approved version). Shipping included.

Costco also usually gives away free copies of their Cooking The Costco Way cookbook on Black Friday.


Nov. 19th, 2009 08:25 pm
captpackrat: (Grinning plane)
Walgreens has the Crest Spinbrush Pro Whitening powered toothbrush on special, if you buy one (about $8) you get a coupon for $3 off your next Walgreens purchase. I bought one today, then turned around and used the $3 to buy candy. Heh.

This toothbrush feels really weird. I was using an Oral-B Pulsar, which is just a regular toothbrush strapped to a vibrator. The Spinbrush, on the other hand, has a part that spins around in a circle, kind of like that funky tooth polisher your dentist uses, and it has a part that scrubs up and down. The result is a toothbrush that feels like it's doing the brushing for you. My teeth feel almost dentist-visit clean now.

I used the $3 coupon to buy a couple tins of the latest Altoids flavor, Cool Honey. Alas, it doesn't taste much like honey, it's mostly a minty flavor. It's not really all that good. I am disappoint.
captpackrat: (Books)
Borders is having another deal where you can get a $5 gift certificate for every $50 you spend in store or on, though October 31st.  You have to be a Borders Rewards member, of course, but signing up is free.
captpackrat: (Tools.  *snicker*)
At Target today I bought a Gerber EAB Pocket Knife.  Instead of a traditional knife blade, it uses standard utility knife blades.  But unlike a typical utility knife, the Gerber EAB is tiny, barely bigger than the blade itself, and extremely lightweight.   This is a knife you could easily carry around in your pocket.  It's made of matte gray stainless steel so it looks really nice too.  Best of all, it's less than $11, which isn't much more than you'd pay for a regular utility knife.

(I found it in with the camping equipment, not in the tool department.)

captpackrat: (Scrooge)
Before you go paying $20 to $100 for an HDMI cable at a retail store, check out  They have 6 foot HDMI cables for $3-5.  And for current generation equipment, they're just as good as Monster.   They sell all kinds of home theater equipment, not just cables.  Their shipping is really good too; I placed my order Sunday night and it was shipped out Monday morning.
captpackrat: (Grinning plane)
Went to Borders this afternoon.  The dead tree version of Garfield Minus Garfield is normally $12, but I had a 40% off coupon and the $5 gift certificate I earned last month, so that dropped the price down to $2.35 with tax.

Garfield Minus Garfield
has quickly become one of my favorite webcomics.  The concept is simple, the artist takes original Garfield comics drawn by Jim Davis, then removes Garfield from the panels.  The comics take on a totally new and often bizarre meaning when it becomes just Jon Arbuckle talking to himself.  After reading the original comics next to the modified panels (in the book), I've come to the conclusion that Garfield just isn't funny, but watching Jon going insane is.

captpackrat: (Push Tail To Open)
After spending all day yesterday sitting in the Toyota dealership waiting for my roommate's car (which was just supposed to get an oil change but ended up needing new brakes), I went out again today to finish my shopping.  I had a ton of coupons and got some pretty good deals.

First I hit Petco for a free pound of dog treats with a coupon I got for being a Petco PALS member.  Yay.

I then went to Borders and bought two books, The Legend of Sigurd & Gudrún by J.R.R. (and Christopher) Tolkien and The Complete Worst-Case Scenario Survival Handbook.  Borders (and Waldenbooks) has a deal where if you buy $50 worth of books by July 27th, you get a free backpack worth at least $20, no coupon required.  The pack I got was normally priced at $25.  And for every $50 you spend by the end of the month, you get a $5 Borders Bucks gift certificate by mail.  Score!  They also have a Buy 4, Get the 5th Book Free promotion through July 27th, but I didn't see anything else I really had to have.

Then I picked up the hardcover version of Mouse Guard: Winter 1152 from a local comic shop.  Great comic, I highly recommend it.  No coupons or discounts on this purchase, though.

And finally I stopped in at Worst Buy and bought Tiger Woods 10 with the WiiMotionPlus dongle.  I had a $5 gift certificate, buying the bundle saves $10 over buying the game and dongle separately, and it comes with a certificate for a free year of Golf Digest worth $10.  I may try selling my copy of Tiger Woods 09 to GameStop or somesuch, if they give me a decent price.


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