Thursday, July 17, 2014

Stunt Zombie makes some crystal in the kitchen.

The past few years, I kept hearing about this science show, where two guys create crystals in their kitchen and get into all kinds of adventures. I thought it sounded like fun, so I went out and bought my very own crystal growing kit. Let's go do some science!

If the back of the package is any indication, this should be easy, as well as fun. It certainly doesn't sound too difficult. Basically, you just dissolve some powder in water and you're done. It's not much different than making Kool-Aid. Except, you don't use rocks when you make Kool-Aid. Well, you might, but I know I certainly don't.

Pictured is everything you need to make your own crystals. The rocks, popsicle stick, display tray and powder were all included. You also need some newspaper to set everything on, because this stuff looks like it will stain anything it touches. The glass of wine wasn't part of the experiment, but it was still necessary. After I read the actual directions, I discovered the process is a little more involved. It requires filling the display tray, measuring how much water was in it, dumping that out, refilling the glass to the same level and then you dissolve the crystal powder. Okay, so it's still sorta easy. I'm just waiting for the fun part.

This is the packet of magical crystal growing chemical. I'm not sure what monoammonium phosphate is, but now I'm wishing I had worn gloves while I was doing this. If I start growing extra limbs, we'll know why. Once you have your water measured out correctly, you use it to dissolve 3/4 of this package. Just pour it right in and stir away.

Using the included stick, I stirred this stuff until my arm cramped up and it still wasn't fully dissolved. I was starting to get a little frustrated by all of this "fun", so I decided to add a little more power to the stirring operation. Time for the frother!

Now that's more like it. I wish I had thought of this earlier. It would have saved me the trouble of cramping my entire left side. I still wasn't able to get all of the powder to dissolve, so I eventually just said "Screw it", and dumped the mixture in the tray. I probably should have cleaned the frother off too, but I'm sure it'll be fine.

After you've filled the tray, you drop your rocks in, and then you sprinkle the remaining magic crystal chemical on top of them. You did remember to only mix in 3/4 of the package right? If not, I doubt it would even matter at this point.

Other than the photo on the front of the package, there are no other pictures showing me what each step is supposed to look like. I can only assume that this is what everything is supposed to look like when you're done. According to the directions, I could expect to see crystal growth in just a few hours. So, every couple of hours I would go back to the kitchen and see if anything was happening.

 It might look like the same photo three times in a row, but I promise you, these were all taken hours apart from each other. Chelsea eventually got tired of me hanging around waiting for the crystals to grow, and she shooed me out of the kitchen. Of course, I immediately forgot about the whole thing for the next few days, until I was told to get it out of the kitchen. By that time, it looked like this:

Apparently the trick to making crystals grow is to set everything up and forget about it for four or five days. I'm a little disappointed though. The package promised at least 3-4" of growth, yet this is barely out of the tray. Now I know how all my ex-girlfriends felt. So there you have it. It wasn't particularly fun, not that easy, and didn't teach me a single thing.

It does look like the sort of thing Cobra Commander would have lusted after on the G.I. Joe cartoon, so, that's something.

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Transformers Universe Silverstreak

This Silverstreak is a replacement for the one I broke and ultimately traded off a couple years ago. He was such a cool figure, if a bit fragile, and I felt bad for trading off what was a very thoughtful gift. So, I scoured the internet for a few months until I came across one on eBay for a price that wasn't as ridiculous as all the others. A few days later, and Silverstreak was back in my possession.

He is a really cool figure, even if he does have some trouble standing on his own. Much like vintage Star Wars figures, it takes a little finesse to get Silverstreak to stay up on his own. I'm also happy to report that I was able to transform him without any parts breakage this time. Sadly, he'll never be changed back to his Sports Car Mode, because I just don't want to take any chances.  I'm sure if I had to go looking for him again, he'd probably cost me a couple hundred dollars. Thankfully, he doesn't come with much in the way of accessories, just one blaster and that's it. There's less to lose that way. Most of the newer figures have much better articulation than their G1 counterparts, and Silverstreak is no exception. He may even be more articulated than the newer G.I. Joe figures. When you consider that most G1Transformers only had one or two POA's, it's rather impressive.

Silverstreak's card gives us a short biography on the character, as well as his tech specs. Apparently, he's the blabber mouth of the Autobots, since he never shuts up and will talk even while he's charging. That's right, Silverstreak even talks in his sleep. We also get a good view of his alt mode. I think he changes into a Nissan 350Z, which is fitting since the figure he's based on originally turned into a Datsun Fairlady Z. It's a sharp looking car, and I'm actually a little tempted to find a real used one that I can repaint and rebadge with an Autobot symbol. I'd probably be the only person that got it, but that's really nothing new for me.

Who knows, maybe they'll figure out how to make real cars and trucks transform by then..

Sunday, June 29, 2014

Squirrelanoid is squirrel-annoying.

I bought Squirrelanoid. I'm having trouble trying to explain why I picked him out of all the other Turtle enemies. I think cost played a large part in my decision, since he was the cheapest out of all the villain characters on Amazon. After I finally got Squirrelanoid in my hands, I felt like I made the right choice, regardless of the physical and mental cost.

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Reese's Peanut Butter Cup Oreos

Oreos are my favorite cookie. There are no exceptions to that statement. I'll buy other cookies, but I almost always end up thinking, "Man, I really should have gone with the Oreos". The same goes with Reese's Peanut Butter Cups, known from now on as PBC's. I have some candies that are seasonal favorites, but the rest of the year, the Reese's PBC's are king. That's why, when I heard that Nabisco was going to combine two of my favorite treats, I immediately drove to the store in search of them. Then I went home, re-read the article, and discovered I still had two weeks before they were available. I was so excited, I wasn't even upset about wasting 7 dollars worth of gas.

Thursday, June 12, 2014

1992's Firefly lives up to his namesake.

It was the summer of 1992. My parents and I were making the trek to Berlin, Maryland for a long weekend of cooking out and fishing with my uncle and his family. He wasn't technically an uncle, but one of those people that had been friends with my parents so long, he was practically family. My "uncle" had a son that was a few years older than me, but he never acted like he was too old or too cool to play with action figures. So I loaded up a bunch of my G.I. Joes, expecting to spend the weekend fishing and playing with toys until my fingers bled.

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

League Assignment: Express your shelf!

This week’s assignment from the League: Shelf Expression

It's been a long time since I participated, but I couldn't resist taking part in this week's assignment from the League of Extraordinary Bloggers:

Shelf Expression. Take a picture of your shelves, featuring a few of your favorite things.

The nice thing about keeping my collection small, is that most of it will fit inside one little display case.

I actually just thinned the collection out a little bit, and kept my favorite items. The Lego sets you see at the bottom are mainly just the Star Wars models. The rest are stored in a Tupperware container. These are my favorites, but I may rotate some of my other sets into the case in the future.

Bazooka has that "Not this story again" look on his face. 

Michelangelo looks way too happy for being a prisoner.

I like having a collection like this. It doesn't take up much room, and if I ever needed to move it, it would all fit in one container. Some of you guys have amazing collections, but if I had all that stuff, it would probably give me a daily anxiety attack.

Down the wall from my display case, I have an end table where I keep my magazines, comics, and catalogs for upcoming projects. It also makes a handy platform for taking photos when I need it.

So there you have it, my little collection of shelves. Let's see what some of my fellow bloggers had to say.

Jason Bucky Roberts' from Nerdy Life of Mine has an awesome computer desk and shelf set up.

jSarie from Revenge of the Toy Box shows off some shelves from the past.

Brian of Cool and Collected has gone bananas for Planet of the Apes.

Derek of Goodwill Hunting 4 Geeks shows off an impressive mix of properties.

Erik Johnson Illustrator uses his book shelves for..well, books.

MonsterFink from the Midnight Monster Spookshow shows off a Universal collection.

George of G.I. Jigsaw shows off his giant Star Wars collection.

Kal from Calvin's Canadian Cave of Cool has enough toys to open his own store.

Primordial Badger's Transformers collection is a masterpiece.

Rich from The Nerd Nook has some carded treasures.

Sunday, June 1, 2014

Now you're reading with power, Worlds of Power

If you've never heard of Worlds of Power, it was a series of books published by Scholastic that were based on various Nintendo properties. They were basically just a way to get kids to put down their controllers and, you know, actually read a book or two. Apparently it worked, because over a million Worlds of Power books were sold before they went out of print. I only ever owned one of them, a novelization of the game Mega Man 2.

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