Monday, October 31, 2011

Air Jordan Chambray VII

The Air Jordan Chambray VII’s were released in February 2006, and came with a black and white retro card.  I really miss the days when Jordan Brand would include retro cards.  I assume they stopped putting them in because retro sneakers weren’t as limited as before.  Now you get a retro Jordan every month, so there’s no need to add an additional item with a release.  Not many people cared for the card when it stopped being included, but I did.  I just felt a special attachment to the artwork and photos when I would look at them.  It’s like it would remind me of the ‘good-old days’ when Air Jordan’s were the best sneakers.
Today, I have a different opinion of the Brand and the sneakers.  Not that I think they’re producing garbage, but is just not the same quality.  I do however still treasure the sneakers that I have in my collection.  The pair I’m reviewing for this post are the Air Jordan Chambray VII.  I bought them back in 2006 after many months of waiting for them.  I would look at websites that would show pictures of the shoes before the release and I would save up to get them.  It kind sucked that I was broke at the time because I also wanted the Flint VII’s, but could only afford one pair, so I went with the Chambray`s which I don`t regret.
The shoes are made with black nubuck and feature chambray (a powder blue), white and grey accents throughout the shoe.  The item number for these sneakers is 304775 042.  According to Tinker Hatfield he got design inspirations for the shoe from African tribe artwork.  The triangles are a real nice touch, and I really love the circles on the soles which act as traction for the shoe.  The laces are thin but come with lace tips that are painted chrome which shine when light hits them.  Though this is a retro, the overall silhouette of the sneaker is still faithful to the original VII’s.  This is an excellent release and I highly recommend them if you plan on getting them.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Nike Air Karst Z

With autumn in full swing I decided to dust off a pair of Nike boots I hardly wear.  The boots are my Air Karst Z that I bought back in 2005.  I bought them on clearance which I can only assume is because they didn’t sell very well.  I guess Nike tried to compete with Timberland boots and lost.  Plus I also assume it was because the ‘boots in the summer look’ was going out of fashion, just like wearing jerseys.  I’m still glad I held on to them because they’re now a rarity, which is something I like.
They are made from water proof leather and rubber is used on the soles.  They also feature soft brown leather on the inside.  I have only worn my pair a few times in the past and they have felt really comfortable.  I think that is the advantage of Nike in creating boots, to be able to use Air technology in their products.  Another thing I like about the boots is the leather, whenever I get them dirty it’s pretty easy to get them clean by rubbing off the dirt (I also spray them with protector).
I have only two complaints about the boots.  The first is that I don’t like the way Nike stitches their boots.  The shape makes them seem really odd, especially compared to a pair Timberlands.  The second complaint is that because the shape is so awkward the boot seems to press against my feet, and this pressure causes my feet to hurt.  After a long day this tends to lead to pain.  The most painful areas are on top and around the toe box area.
One of the top reasons why I started wearing and collecting sneakers was because I used to wear dress shoes all the time and at the end of the day my feet would hurt.  A buddy of mine told me to buy a pair of Adidas sneakers he was wearing because they felt comfortable.  I went to go buy them after work and as soon as I started wearing them I loved them.  I told myself I would never again wear shoes that hurt my feet.  With respects to the Air Karst Z, although they are affordable and look really nice, I would advise anyone to pass on them and to spend their money on a better product.

Monday, October 17, 2011

Harvesting Sunflower Seeds

I like to tell people I live for inspiration.  Usually this belief center’s around learning new things that make me look at the world with a better understanding.  The inspiration for this post came from my love for van Gogh paintings.  Vincent was fascinated with sunflowers and so I decided to grow some myself to see how lovely they could be.  When I went to go buy the seeds, I picked giant sunflower seeds because I would also be able to harvest the seeds as well.  As a baseball fan I like to eat them whenever I go to a game or watch one on TV.  My favourite flavour is dill pickle flavoured seeds.
I planted the seeds near the edge of my driveway just in case the plant grew too big or attracted wild annoying animals (racoons).  I also planted them in late spring.  They require very little energy to grow so you don’t need to water them as much as other vegetables.    Mine grew to about 8 feet by late August and the flower bloom lasted only about a week.  During that week, everyone who walked by would stare and comment how they loved the flower.  I must say the bloom is impressive and I could finally understand van Gogh’s reason for painting it so often.
The advantage of growing my plant near my driveway was that I could use a light pole for support by simply tying the plant’s stem up against the pole.  Once the bloom started to fade, the head started to sag and I then used more wire to support the head until eventually the head was the only thing sagging.  This isn’t a big deal because the seeds inside of the head still continue to grow.  By mid-September I could finally start seeing the seeds growing, with their slight black stripes.  It wasn’t until the middle of October that I was finally able to chop off the sunflower head and be able to harvest the seeds.  By this time, the seeds looked plump and the back of the sunflower head was black and brown.
I read online and looked at videos on how to best harvest my seeds, and somehow came up with a version I was comfortable with.  I chopped off the head, removed the seeds and placed them in a bucket full of water for about a day, then I dried them on paper towels,  I baked them in the oven for a half-hour, and when they were baked I added a little olive oil and salt.  The seeds tasted really good, and I must have gotten well over 10 bags full of seeds.    While the experience was informative, I think the next time I want to eat sunflower seeds I’ll stick to the dill pickle bag I buy from the store.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

The Collector

In the world of collecting, I have noticed that there are two kinds of people; those that collect and use the things they collect, and those that collect and never touch the things they collect. I would describe myself as being more of the collector that never touches the things I collect, though I do have some exceptions. An icon of mine that I admire for this very trait of never opening up the things he collects is The Collector, aka Comic Book Guy from the Simpsons.  The Collector first made his debut in Treehouse of Horror X. In the episode Comic Book Guy becomes a villain who takes his hobby to extremes by collecting real life individuals. Unfortunately the Collector does lose to Bart and Lisa, and even mistakenly opens up an extremely rare and expensive collectable, noooo.
That episode was hilarious, and I loved the super hero villain treatment Comic Book Guy received. He also gave a voice to us collectors that love things to be mint in box.  I’ve always wanted to buy the version of the Collector that Playmates toys made, but it was out of my budget for what I was willing to pay a reseller. Then early last month (September) I heard that Burger King would be coming out with the Simpsons kid’s meal toy, and that it would include a version of the Collector. This got me real excited, because I would finally be able to add him to my collection.
The toy is nicely painted, and bright colours were used to make him stand out. On the back of the figure there is a switch and button that activates a red light, so that you are able to read a secret code or image on a brick wall. Unfortunately my toy’s light didn’t work, but it wasn’t so bad because eventually these added features stop working anyway. Regardless of that, I am glad to now add the Collector to my collection of the Simpsons Burger King toys (right beside Comic Book Guy).
Burger King:
Comic Book Guy Wiki:
YouTube link: