Monthly Archives: February 2013

Poll: My Car’s New Look – You Decide!

Honda front

Last spring, while en route to a gaming event, my Honda Civic was rear-ended by another driver. Fortunately,  no one was seriously injured, and insurance covered just about all of the damages, except for my Honda front plate logo that I had just purchased. Rather than replace it with the an identical plate, I viewed this as an opportunity to find an even better license plate that would capture the character of my car. I searched and searched and still couldn’t find the perfect plate, so I decided to wait and try find something at the New York Comic Con, but that too was a bust. Now, several months later, I still have yet to decide on a new front plate. My car is running around naked, and that is where you come in. Since I can’t decide on my own, I’m going to crowd-source the decision.

I sat down for one last web search and narrowed it down to four potential winners. Below are the plates that are in the running. Follow the link to see the actual image. Voting will end next Sunday night. Thanks for your help!!!!

A Peacock. Perhaps not a very masculine choice, but I once had a profound encounter with a peacock.

Peacock and I

A Red Bow Tie. I named my car Simon, and if it were a person, a bow tie would suit him perfectly.

A Sailfish. Majestic, yet kitschy.

A Clipper Ship. I know, another sea theme….but I like nautical motifs, and I couldn’t find a decent Aquaman plate.

Ahoy

The fate of my car is on your hands, internet. Will it be a peacock, a bow tie, a sailfish, or a clipper ship? Vote well.

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The Adventures of Sprowkey #2

Sprowkey and Polly

Stop the presses! Sprowkey has made his first move!  After several weeks in the wild, our favorite geocache adventurer finally began his quest, traveling almost six miles west. He is now taking cover in a new hideout, awaiting his next move.

So far, the only danger that Sprowkey has encountered has been bitter temperatures and persistent, blustery winds that slowed his pace to crawl. At first, the howling winds played at his fears of traveling alone, but they soon became such a familiar part of the landscape that he no longer even noticed they were there. In fact, he had gotten so used to fierce winds, that he didn’t even take notice of the stirring sounds of mysterious local creatures around which he was selecting his new camp location. He had stumbled right smack in the middle of their village!

What’s in store for Sprowkey? Will the strange creatures detect his presence, or will he confront them first? Will he take off and make a run for it? Will he slip by unnoticed? Anything can happen. Be sure to stay tuned for the next chapter in Sprowkey’s Adventure!

Special thanks to SCPA Backpackers for facilitating Sprowkey’s maiden voyage.

Sprowkey 1 Sprowkey 2 Sprowkey 3

Special thanks to SCPA Backpackers for facilitating Sprowkey’s maiden voyage.

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The Adventures of Sprowkey

Sprowkey and PollyAllow me to introduce you to Sprowkey (my daughter named him), a geocaching trackable figurine that we customized and unleashed into the wild last week. He is made of polymer clay that was sculpted around an official geocaching identification tag called a travel bug. If you have never heard of geocaching, it is a growing hobby akin to a treasure hunt, that uses smartphones or other GPS devices, as well as online clues, to track down and find hidden geocaches. Although modern technology can help get you in the vicinity of caches, you’ll probably still have to do some serious old-school hunting as well as some problem-solving to find the prize.

Sprowkey Rear

There are many types of caches, ranging in size from large Tupperware containers to micro-containers the size of a pen cap. Then there are virtual caches, where the goal is to find a specific location as opposed to a container. Inside the cache there is typically a log book for geocachers to sign, trinkets and other swag available for trade, and if you are lucky, you may even find collectible or trackable items, like Sprowkey, that have specific goals. Geocachers may remove trackable items, log them online at geocaching.com, and move them to other geocaches.

Sprowkey’s insanely ambitious goal is to travel all the way to California, or as far west as possible, and for his adventures to be recorded along the way. Surely his travels will be chock-full of suspense, mystery, and all kinds of mayhem, and I’m hoping that fellow geocachers will play along and send me their own stories of Sprowkey’s exploits so I may highlight them here on this blog. Will he meet new friends and confront old foes, traverse difficult terrain, perhaps even fall in love? Time will tell.

As spring approaches and you yearn for some outdoor family fun, give geocaching a shot. Still not sure? Try looking at a map of your area on geocaching.com. You’ll be surprised at the number of caches quietly hiding right under your nose that you never even knew existed. There could be fantastic treasures hiding just around the corner….and maybe, just maybe, you’ll even stumble upon Sprowkey.

Return of the TMNT Party Wagon: The Interview!

The other day my wife was shopping at the same location where we had previously spotted the real-life Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle party wagon, when she serendipitously spotted it again! Can you believe it? Knowing that I would have loved to speak with the owner but had missed my chance, my wife took it upon herself to find this person and obtain his contact information. Do I have the coolest wife in the world or what? I promptly emailed Dan, the owner, who agreed to an email interview about his bodacious green machine. I’m so excited to share with you my first ever interview on Secret Dad Society!

TMNT Party wagon

Hi Dan!  So tell me why you decided to trick out your car? Was the decal just an afterthought or was it all part of the master plan?
Originally when shopping for a Scion xB I really wanted the first line of them put out in 2005. (The brownish copper limited edition ones). I wanted one of those so I could put decals stating, “fragile handle with care,” and “this side up,”  to make it look like a cardboard box. The green 2006 xB just kind of fell into my hand along the way while shopping for the other one. The moment I got the green one, I knew what I had to do. I looked to try to find the TMNT decal for months with no prevail. Finally, I decided to have it custom-made.
Do you have any customizations on the inside?
The inside has a DVD player with two screens, one in the back of each headrest, and there are neon green lights that line the floor of the car all around.
 
Do you have any other modifications planned?
I would like to get a red band around the middle of the car with a knot in the back that would wrap around all of the way to the head lights to form a mask. also in the back small windows I would like to get the faces of the turtles peering out.
 
How big of a TMNT fan are you? 
I was a huge TMNT fan in my child hood. Growing up in the eighties who wasn’t? But I held on to that childhood fandom well into highschool, and even further, when most kids let it go as they got older. I couldn’t get enough. While in high school I started collecting the comics, both old ones and current ones, and they never left my side.
 
What do your friends and family think? Always asking for a ride or refuse to get in?
Everyone loves the car. Little kids point and stare at it as they tug at their parents clothing, trying to show them as I drive by. I get compliments on it at least two or three times per week. Friends love it. Even the ones who would never do it themselves say things like, “Oh my God, I can’t believe you actually got that,” but always follow it up with, “It is pretty awesome though.”
 
Somewhere along the line I parted with my childhood TMNT toys, which is a bummer because I would have loved to pass them on to my son. Do you have an action figure collection, and if so, is it original, the new line, or both?
I don’t have so much of a collection anymore, however, I do still have about five or six of the old original figures stored away.
 
Have any other crazy people snapped photos or otherwise commented on it?
Quite a few people have snapped pictures. I even stumbled upon a picture of it on Facebook on a random persons page once and was just like….. wait … that’s mine…. glad they liked it.
 
My favorite Ninja Turtle was Donatello because he was so stinkin’ smart and because the bo staff is an awesome weapon. Who was your favorite Ninja Turtle and why?
Growing up it was Leonardo. He was the leader, and well, he had not one – but TWO swords. Pretty badass in my opinion. As I got a little older, I grew more fond of Mikey.  He was more fun, always goofing off. But as I hit highschool and my adult years I grew more fond of Raph. He was darker, more gritty, especially in the first movie.

Do you watch the new cartoon series? If so, how do you like it?
I have seen a few episodes of it, and I like it. The CG leaves a little something to be desired because of the skinny form of all of them, but other than that I dig it. It is entertaining and still feels like the old turtles I used to know. But, for the love of god, keep Michael Bay away from the new movie plans. I am terrified to see what he is planning for the new movies. Teenage alien ninja turtles. Help us all! Look into that you will see what I mean.
Any last thoughts?
Just a big thank you. This was pretty cool. I hope your readers enjoy.
Thanks so much, Dan! Make sure you send us updated photos of any modifications when they come to fruition. As for the new movie, I don’t think there is any official word out yet. I, for one, certainly don’t mind them holding off until they can do it right, and besides, by that time my son may be old enough to see it with me!