Coleman North Rim Mummy Sleeping Bag

Submitted by Bill St. Clair on Sun, 06 Nov 2016 20:17:53 GMT  <== Gadgets ==> 

Claire Wolfe has been running Amazon ads on her blog. I spied this one the other day. $40 got me a zero-degree bag that's just big enough for my nearly-6-foot, overweight frame. Delivered by the USPS on a Sunday! Thanks, Claire.

I'm not at all fond of camping, so I've never owned a sleeping bag. I bought a pad last summer, which I used to sleep at my son's new house; they don't have any guest beds yet. Now I have a bag. I guess a tent is next.

This survival stuff isn't for me. If the electricity goes out, my computer doesn't work. Bloody near time to eat my shotgun.

Coleman North Rim Mummy Sleeping Bag
Coleman Sleeping Bag Box
Coleman Sleeping Bag Sack

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Xaphoon: The Pocket Sax

Submitted by Bill St. Clair on Fri, 27 Dec 2013 15:51:45 GMT  <== Gadgets ==> 

My son and his fiancé gave me a Xaphoon Pocket Sax for Christmas. It will take a while to get my bottom lip accustomed to holding a buzzing reed, but I'll be doing that over the next little while. Very nice! More photos and links at

Xaphoon Pocket Sax

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Goodbye Ergon. You Served Me Well

Submitted by Bill St. Clair on Wed, 09 Oct 2013 20:16:25 GMT  <== Gadgets ==> 

In 1979, I bought a Herman Miller Ergon Chair for $600. That was a lot of money in 1979, especially for a programmer fresh out of college, but it was well worth it. I replaced it with an Aeron a few months ago, but my wife has been using it since then, with two missing casters. She finally got sick of that, so I'm tossing it in the dumpster. I disassembled it a bit to make that easier, and snapped a final photo for posterity.

Herman Miller Ergon Chair Disassembled

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How a Sewing Machine Works

Submitted by Bill St. Clair on Tue, 24 Jan 2012 17:34:16 GMT  <== Gadgets ==> 

d-CON Ultra Set Mousetrap

Submitted by Bill St. Clair on Sun, 15 Jan 2012 15:45:05 GMT  <== Gadgets ==> 

d-CON has built a better mouse trap. The d-CON Ultra Set is a plastic-covered mouse trap. You lift the top, place bait, close, and set it with a lever that sticks out of a slot. My wife bought two of them. She set them yesterday afternoon, and put them on the kitchen counter. This morning each of them had caught a mouse. To get the mouse out, you hold the plastic, and depress the lever. She paid $5 apiece. Amazon wants $6.49.

d-CON Ultra Set mousetrap
d-CON Ultra Set top view
d-CON Ultra Set with captured mouse

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Steger Mukluks

Submitted by Bill St. Clair on Tue, 13 Dec 2011 19:30:18 GMT  <== Gadgets ==> 

I got the idea this fall to get a pair of mocassin boots. Google led my to Steger Mukluks ( as the likeliest candidate. I ordered their Traditional Short boot in Chestnut & Black, but the wide width was too narrow for my feet, so I sent them back and paid $20 more for the Yukon Jack model, in double-wide. Those fit nicely. They're black moosehide with a Cordura™ upper. Very different feel than my old, stiff boots. So far, I'm liking them. Very flexible with lots of sense of the ground beneath my feet. Toasty warm. Really really like to be in snow. They slip around a little more than Vibram™, but the tread seems sufficient for my uses, and the huge added flexibility is glorious. Here are a couple of snapshots I took after my walk with the dogs today over the snowy logging path near our house. $180 plus $13 for snow-proof water repellent.

Steger Mukluks

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The Ryno Electric Unicycle is a One-Wheeled Muscle Machine

Submitted by Bill St. Clair on Sun, 13 Nov 2011 14:54:37 GMT  <== Gadgets ==> 

Brit Liggett at Inhabit - Chris Hoffman's Ryno Motors is close to going into production with an electric unicycle. 30 mile range, 25 MPH max speed, gryo-balanced, expected to ship in early 2012 for $3500 - $4200. Or you can order a custom pre-production model now for $25K. Very cool.

Engadget article

Rino Electric Unicycle

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Lytro’s Light Field Camera Creates ‘Living’ Pictures

Submitted by Bill St. Clair on Thu, 20 Oct 2011 11:52:22 GMT  <== Gadgets ==> 

Christina Bonnington at Wired - I remember seeing demos of these focus-later images a while back. The Lytro Light Field Camera will be shipping in early 2012, but you can pre-order today. $399 for Electric Blue or Graphite 8GB model (350 pictures). $499 for Red Hot 16GB model (750 pictures). The 1.61 x 1.61 x 4.41 inch box has a large lens on one side and a touch-sensitive display on the other. 8x optical zoom, but no focus. You do that after you take the pictures. Currently ships with Mac-only software, but they're working on a Windows version. Neat.

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Can Lisp/Clojure Programmers Ride a Scooter, Wear a Kilt and Still Be a Man?

Submitted by Bill St. Clair on Wed, 07 Sep 2011 13:30:00 GMT  <== Gadgets ==> 

J. Orlin Grabbe uses the title above to link to Joe Donatelli's Mademan article: Can You Ride a Scooter and Still Be a Man?. Donatelli rides a Vespa GTS 300 around LA for a week, and answers with a resounding, "Yes!" I'm pretty sure I'm the only Lisp programmer in the world who wears a kilt while driving his scooter, so thanks, Hiro.

Sheriff Bill on his scooter wearing his kilt
Sheriff Bill on his scooter wearing his kilt

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Submitted by Bill St. Clair on Wed, 31 Aug 2011 18:35:23 GMT  <== Gadgets ==> 

My son, Christopher, has been waiting six months for a new custom-made bass guitar from Birdsong Guitars. It arrived last Friday, and he opened it on Monday night, right after he returned from vacation. The happy musician is pictured below with his new axe.

Birdsong Guitars Bass

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