Sunday, July 1, 2012

Blazon Display Cases for 3 3/4" figures (G.I. Joe)

Last month at the San Jose Big Wow! Comic book convention I spotted nice display cases for 3 3/4" figures. By Blazon Displays, these cases were a lot more economical than others I have seen and easy to set-up. Having just moved, with less place to display my collection, these were the perfect solution to show off modest collection attractively and at a reasonable price.

I ended up buying the basic display case, as shown ($59.99). A step up from this is the same case but with a motion-sensitive light at the top ($69.99). Finally, a 3rd option comes with the light and a colored backdrop ($79.99).

The display cases are sturdy but very lightweight. Made out of acrylic and plastic with magnets that keep the door close, they include two shelves that you can remove and adjust as needed. You can fit 27-30 3 3/4" figures, depending on how tightly you want to place them. To attach it to the wall, there are two slots on the back where nails/hangers slip in. Overall, easy to mount, and easy to add or remove figures.

I'm very happy with how these cases look and ended up buying another case afterwards so that I could have one case dedicated to Joe and one to Cobra. It was pretty difficult pairing my collection to about 60, but at least now my Joes are displayed in a nice way and kept dust-free.

Besides the display cases, Blazon Displays has another product which is inexpensive and unique. "Magnaclipz" are hooks with magnets on the end that attach to your action figures. You can place them on your fridge or purchase their magnetic display boards and strips and attach them to your wall. Also worth checking out.

Saturday, June 30, 2012

Silicon Valley Sprint Triathlon


My first triathlon in CA! The original swim location got moved because of water quality, which resulted in a point to point transition and an increase in the bike distance. The swim took place in UVAS reservoir, and the bike ride was to Almaden Lake, where the run finished up.

The sprint swim started mid-lake which was problematic because it was quite the swim to the start! I started off and realized I wouldn't make it there in time. So I swum to the shore to try and walk closer to the start but it was really rocky and hurt my feet so I didn't make much progress. I was a couple of minutes from the start when my wave started which only made my time worse. The swim was alright but I'm slow so it took a while.

The bike ride was nice but hilly and through rolling hills and farms. I got passed by many people, but as this was the longest bike ride I've done in some time (18 miles) that was to be expected. A couple of tough hills, but they ended in fast downhills which is fun :) This year I bought bike clips.. did they help? Maybe? So I've gone from mountain bike to road bike to road bike with clips for each subsequent tri.

For the run, I was more beat than previous tris, so my pace wasn't as fast as it could be. It was a beautiful day though, mid 60s, not like the day Shannon and I scouted out a few weeks earlier where it was the upper 80s! Afterwards I changed into sandals and Shannon noticed my foot. It had felt like something was in my shoe when I was in the t1, but I couldn't figure out what it was. Turned out I sliced my foot up on the rocks trying to scramble to the start of the swim. Three large cuts and a few slices. Ouch.

I finished 3rd from last in the male category which is pretty bad, but considering I didn't train hardcore..

  • 32.53 - swim (0.5 miles)
  • 4.44 - t1
  • 1:30:13 -bike (18 miles)
  • 1:40 - t2
  • 34:37 - run (5k)
  • 2:44:47 - Total

Monday, August 15, 2011

Warrior Dash

Warrior Dash was on Saturday Aug 13th. It's a 5k with obstacles. I ran the 4pm wave, but some of my friends ran earlier.

Having done little to prepare, the first mile was really grueling, as it was uphill on mountainous terrain (the race took place at a ski resort.) Thankfully the obstacles were fun and after the uphill was done, it was a lot more manageable.

The obstacles were:
- Barricade breakdown: Going over and under small barricades. It wasn't so bad.
- Road Rage: tire course with junk cars. It was fun to jump over the hood of cars.
- Teetering Traverse: several balance beams; after this, the course was pretty much down w/ the uphill stuff
- Deadweight drifter: this is where you got wet. Waist-deep clay water and you had to traverse over logs. Several people had trouble with this and I helped some by pulling them across the logs.
- Cliffhanger: using a rope to pull yourself up an incline. This one was fun as my upper body was fresh and not at all tired.
- Deadman's Drop: Steps over to a drop off; again, not that difficult though I saw some people have trouble
- Rubber Ricochet: Run through some tire "swings"; the volunteers were encouraging you to bash into them
- Cargo Climb: cargo net up and down; pretty easy, though again, some people had trouble
- Chaotic Crossover: cargo net crawl across; more difficult than the previous one but fun
- Petrifying Plunge: slllllip! slip and slide!
- Warrior Roast: jump over fire! On the first, I jumped and touched my toes. On the second.. well, the picture looks like my foot was on fire. Was it??!
- Muddy Mayhem: crawl through mud and under barbed wire

It was a lot of fun, though next time doing it at the same time as my friends would be more fun. That first hill though.. ugh..

My watch time was 46:51, though official time says I was 46:39:55, making me 2864 out of 9321. (That's a lot of people!) In my age group, I was 328/782. Not bad?

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Pine Bush Triathlon 2011

The Pine Bush Tri was on July 10, 2011. It was the tri I meant to do last year but waited too long to do. This time I didn't wait! It's a 0.2 mile swim, 11.5 mile bike, 3.25 mile run.

The race started at 8 but was a little late to get off. The day was great, the weather was mild and only really hot during parts of the run when there wasn't shade.There were 10 waves composed of different age groups (5 years apart and based by sex). This meant that the competitors were spaced out more, unlike last year's FTT where there were only two waves. I was wave 7. This meant, with luck, I wouldn't be the last one out of the swim!

I finished the swim 3rd to last, beating two guys in my age group. The transition went okay, though I briefly forgot where I put my bike. BTW, this year I actually bought a new road bike to replace my mountain bike on the tri. It's a 2010 Scott s40 speedster. I had ridden the bike a couple of weeks before so I knew the route. It's a pretty nice course and it went a lot faster this time then the first. Still, people flew past me pumping their legs. I had a little competition with one lady and we passed each other back and forth, with me ultimately pulling ahead in the end :)

This tri is weird in that you don't end where you start. So I mounted my bike in the transition and started running. I also ran the course the previous week so I knew what to expect. Overall my training was more lax this year as I got a little complacent and lazy. I was only able to swim 4 times and never really consistently ran 5ks. I was a little off my game on the run then, but still, I just biked and swam for an hour! Unfortunately, one of the guys I recognized from my age group who I had beaten on the swim overtook me at about .7 miles left. I was unable to catch back up :( Still, I finished 1:34:40 and it was a lot of fun. Shannon cheered me on and took pictures along the way. It's definitely a tri I want to do again, and next time I'll train harder to beat my time.

Official Results:
9:15 Swim (262)
51:14 Bike (239)
34:12 Run (226)
1:34:40 Total (Looks like I lost by one second to someone else)

Sunday, September 26, 2010

1st 5k of the year

Today was the Aids Walk and 5k run in Albany. My time was 30:48, with a photo finish sprint against another runner in the last 20 feet. Shannon finished 32:31; her first time running 5k this year. It was a beautiful day in Washington Park and the course was 2 laps around/in the park. Both my knees were hurting by the 2nd lap, but I managed to keep on pace.

I ended up 44th overall (though I maintain I won that sprint-off) out of 88, and 4th in the 30-34 male age group. Shannon was also 4th in her 5 year age group. Awesome!

Next week is another 5k and in 3 weeks the duathlon!

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

My first Tri

I did my first triathlon on Aug 7; the Fronhofer Tool Sprint Triathlon. I'd meant to do the (closer and shorter) Pine Bush Triathlon the month before but missed the registration deadline.

Swim: .5 mile

Bike: 14.5 mile

Run: 3.1 mile

The day was perfect; no humidity and in the 70s. The water was warm, the ride was peaceful (though crazy hills in the beginning) and the volunteers were very helpful.

The swim was of course the hardest, since I'm not the best swimmer. I kept at it though as the women (who started 3 minutes after) passed me one by one. There was one other slow guy but he steadily kept ahead of me and beat me by a a handful of minutes. I ended up ahead of a few people in the end, but the swim was definitely my weak spot. Despite this, I somehow came in 10 min. under my estimated time. Which is a lot better than the other way around. The T1 was brutal as my legs felt like jello and I had trouble getting on my socks and shoes standing on one leg. Also my race bib got messed up when putting on my shirt and I had to reattach it. I didn't mind the rest at the time though!

The bike section was tough in the beginning with some crazy hills. However, this meant there was a great downhill not long after this. It also gave me the chance to pass a few people that were walking up the hills. I used my mountain bike and was one of the few to do so (Shannon said she saw a couple of others.) It seems like they weren't preparing for this though as the bike racks didn't accommodate my bigger wheels too well. Even though I passed people, I got passed a lot later one when a road bike would come out of nowhere and whiz by me. It really hurt having a mountain bike and no clipless peddles.

For the run, I actually did really well. This is where I was able to make up for the swim and ride. Even after the ride, I was making good time, 10 min miles, which is a good time for me. On the last mile I actually felt good and sped up to pass several people. Besides a guy in his 60s, I passed a 37 year old guy on the last mile to not come in dead last for Mens. Yay! As a side note, they actually were unable to get my finishing time for the run and I had to tell them the actual time, so my run time is 30 seconds off. Oh well ;)

My parents and Shannon cheered me on and it was a great experience. I still felt good several hours after until I crashed. I didn't get sore either, especially not compared to the triple headers we used to have in soccer. Anyway, I can't wait to do it again next year. I'll definitely do Pine Bush and probably the FTT again.

Swim Time 22:49
T1 2:52
Bike Time 1:06:35
T2 00:52
Run Time 29:03
Total Time: 2:02:11

Saturday, June 12, 2010

My Converse Chuck Taylor All Star Collection

Here's my Converse collection. My first pair was of course black. After that, I picked up a pair of grey high tops in NYC. Followed by a tricolor pair in Hollywood. And so it started... The black leather ones are my "fancy" pair that I got married in. My latest are the last two, the zippered and scribble Chucks.

My favorite place to find Converse is Marshalls, where you can pick them up for $20. I bought all the black/colored tongue ones there. I've found quite a few online though when they're onsale however. Famous Footwear is good because of their buy 1, 2nd half off. Of course has the fastest shipping and are great, but it's hard to find Chucks on sale there.

Why do I have so many Converse? Well.. it doesn't help when your wife is a shoe-aholic (70+)!

black chucks

grey chucks

tricolor chucks

stencil chucks
Stencil White/Pink

red chucks

double chucks
Double Grey/Black


Double Tongue Grey/White


Black Leather


chucks poorman pro team
Leather Poorman Pro

Multi-eyelet Black


Zipper Black

scribble chucks
Scribble Black

Purple Dip Dye

Cranberry Retro Strip


Double Zipper Dark Steel

Leather Black/White

Casino Red

Double Zipper Poseidon

Converse II Mono black