WTF Modality

Finding weird stuff on Ebay is a hobby of mine, and my friends know me as a person who is good at sourcing the right thing for a project. So I get asked “where can I find X?” for many X. Sometimes I get stared at, like the time a guest mentioned that they wanted to make a kill jar for insect-collecting and I asked “how are those made?”  Apparently it’s a jar with a base layer of plaster of paris that you can pour ethyl acetate into, so the vapors release into the jar and kill insects without damaging them much. So I hopped up, went to the kitchen cabinet, and came up with a Weck jar, some hydrocal and a 500ml bottle of anyhdrous ether. What, don’t you have that sort of thing in your kitchen?

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Real-Life Trolleyology

It was a lovely spring day in 2000, around May, I think, that I decided to fire up the jeep and drive to work in it for a change. The jeep (I don’t have pictures, unfortunately) was a 1976 CJ-5 with a V-8 engine, a moderate lift, big tires, and steel I-beam front and rear bumpers. I bought it for $2500 off Norm L., who had owned it for a decade or so and wanted to get rid of it because he never drove it. It was a great thing to pull stumps with, or put the wheel locks in, and go 4x4ing around the yard in when the snow got deep. Since it had no top, it just filled with snow in the winter, but you could climb in, sit in the snow, and start right up.

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In the Magicians’ Den

Ever since I was a kid, I’ve loved the magic of movies. There was a long time when I wanted to go into SFX (specifically, to wrangle weaponry for movies, after seeing so many stupid ray guns and anachronisms, like sterling 9mm submachineguns firing blaster bolts or MG42 ‘smart gun’ pulse rifles – and don’t even get me started on mis-balanced swords!) I started buying Cinefex when it first came out and only stopped when the pile got too heavy to move.

Movies are magic. So, you can imagine me squeeing long and hard when I got a chance to wander around the back lot at a major Hollywood studio.

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