When the pandemic hit, I needed something to do. All my music stuff had been canceled. Unlike me, who works remotely, it was apparent that several businesses were going to be negatively impacted.

I contacted Best American Craftsman (aka BAC) in Overland Park, Kansas to see if they’d still be fixing instruments. They would be, but with some staff doing repairs at home, and a smaller staff in the shop at any given time. All good, I was in no hurry.

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I was talking to a friend about my Chevy Bolt after I got it, and remarked how many features it has. Then I realized nothing on the list of features would impress him. He’s the type of guy that gets a new car every 2 years, so he’s seen the gradual stair-step addition of features across several models.

The “new” automatic windows that go all the way up/down with a single button press astound/annoy me. That’s how far behind I was.

I’d driven a 2002 Subaru WRX since 2005. It was a fantastic little car that was terrifically fast. At the time it didn’t have a lot of extra features – you could buy the base WRX for less than $25k in 2002. While the base MSRP for a 2021 Chevy Bolt is in the $30k range, tax and dealer incentives frequently brought it to the $25k price point.

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I got my daughter a FItbit Ace 2 from Best Buy for her birthday in 2021. You can get the older model Ace 2 there frequently on sale for less than $50. I honestly didn’t think she’s wear it, but I quickly learned she loved completing the challenges that it offered. She’s the type of kid that never sits still, so it seemed like a good fit.

She stopped wearing it later in the year. I thought getting her a new band for Christmas would get her excited about wearing it again, but my wife thought it was a lost cause. After Christmas came and went I asked her why she didn’t wear it, and it was because she didn’t like the band! πŸ’‘So I decided to revisit a new band for her birthday.

There are several big band stores out there like StrapsCo and Axios that sell several different styles of Fitbit bands. I really thought she’d like this rainbow one (which cost as much as I spent on the watch) πŸ˜…

Inspire 2 / Ace 2 bands – interchangeable?

So I ordered it because it claimed the Inspire 2 bands also work on the the Ace 2… sort of…

When I got the band, there was one problem. There’s an extra ridge on the band that must work on the Inspire but the Ace doesn’t accommodate it.

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I saved $300 on a portal-axle G500 crawler!
Or did I? I was at Hub Hobby, my local hobby shop, getting some body posts for the LaTrax Prerunner after they busted out on the ice. I wandered into the RC section and noticed they had a few of the new PandaHobby Tetra 1/24 scale portal-axle rigs. I asked the sales guy if they had blue. He said they did in the back and went to go get it. I didn’t expect to buy anything besides LaTrax parts, but I guess I’m doing this! I already knew of some of the 1/24 Tetra’s shortcomings – having subscribed to a Tetra Facebook group a while ago. Continue reading

My old barrel stove was getting dangerous. I bought it on Craigslist for $25 or $50 almost a decade ago now. It was rusty when I bought it, and all that heat and snow over the years has made it really crumble. To give you an idea of how dangerous it was – at the end of it’s life I had to prop it up with a log (one leg rusted off completely). The log started to catch fire due to small holes in the barrel. Time for something new! πŸ”₯

I got a BSK1000 Camp Stove Kit from Amazon for $60. They’re likely cheaper to get at a local hardware store or farm & fleet warehouse, usually for less than $50: https://www.menards.com/main/heating-cooling/fireplaces-stoves/fireplace-wood-stove-tools-accessories/wood-stove-accessories/united-states-stove-camp-barrel-stove-kit/bsk1000/p-1444445447395.htm

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