Fire Towers of the Northwest

Fire Towers of the Northwest

Staying at remote fire watch towers in the Pacific Northwest is kind of a thing for me. After getting lucky enough to land a near-impossible reservation, they usually require you to hike in to remote locations at the top of mountains. No power, no plumbing, and sometimes no cell service. You have to hike your own food and water into these remote locations – making them amazing experiences in living off the grid. The views, solitude, quiet, and beauty can be jaw dropping experiences for the lucky.

Keeping track of which ones are closed for repairs, inaccessible due to landslides, fires, blowdowns, snow, learning about new regulations and seasons of operation has never been easy.

Fortunately I’ve found another person with the same passion and she posts updates on some of these towers as well as her progress on visiting every one before they are gone.

Live out your bomb squad dreams

Live out your bomb squad dreams

We all know the trope: the hero has to defuse a bomb while sweating out the timer. As I kid I fondly remember the season 1 episode of MacGyver called “Countdown” where he defuses a bomb on a ship.

Now you can have your chance. Puzzle expert Andy Gilker spent hundreds of hours creating this challenging bomb defuse style puzzle that you and your friends try to defuse. It’s a pretty awesome idea but with an estimated 90 minute solve time – the price is a little explosive at $1100.

No word yet on what would happen if you tried to take it on an airplane…

Most unusual places to stay

Most unusual places to stay

Want to stay at some truly unique places around the world? How about an abandoned island fort off the coast of England, underwater rooms in the middle of a lake, drawbridge towers in Amsterdam, an oil rig turned into a dive center, an ice hotel, a harbor crane, a palace in Morocco, or over river bungalows in southeast Asia?

Go Unusual offers really unique stays and experiences all over the world.

https://www.unusualhotelsoftheworld.com/home

Hydroforming

Hydroforming

One way of making curved and round surfaces out of steel is to use hydroforming. By welding different shapes completely closed and filling them up with high pressure water – the incompressibility of water pushes on all the surfaces to bend them in unique ways.

But if water isn’t cool enough, one can always try explosives…

Infamous vending machines of Akihabara

Infamous vending machines of Akihabara

I come to these vending machines every time I get to Tokyo and buy at least one thing from them.

In the past, I have gotten a written story (in Japanese and I still need help translating it), a wind up giant stag beetle, and numerous other trinkets I keep on my desk to remind me of better days of travel.

Here’s are two pretty good write-ups on what to experience if you decide to go yourself. But do be aware of the uncharacteristic graphic warning signs posted there.

If these items aren’t your fare, maybe find some of the exclusive vending machines that sell one of a kind and delicious, products.

Favorite Scary Stories for Fall

Favorite Scary Stories for Fall

One of my favorite pastimes is reading and listening to classic spooky stories. There’s no better time for curling up with a spooky story than a cold, fall evening in front of the fire.

Here’s a collection of my all-time favorite scary stories:

Plays/Dramatizations

Good general scary classics channels on YouTube:

Books

Oxford Book of English Ghost Stories – Michael Cox, R.A. Gilbert

Playlists: