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My son is really into the TV show Mythbusters on the Discovery channel. So for his 6th birthday party he wanted to have a Mythbusters party. The birthday party ended up being a pretty standard 90 minute party with some Mythbusters like experiments and a special Mythbusters cake.
Here are the experiments that we did:
- Mentos and Diet coke. This one is very impressive because it shoots a lot higher than you would think. I recommend getting this device which is designed for this experiment, it makes it a lot simpler to get the Mentos into the bottle quickly.
- Baking sode and vinegar volcano. Include some red food coloring so it looks like lava. A lot of kids had seen this one before, but they still really liked it.
- Test to see how much a helium balloon can lift. Well apparently they can’t lift very much. But at least each kid got to take a balloon home after the party.
The cake turned our really well. My wife is just an amateur cake maker, but a lot of the parents though the cake was professionally made. Here are some tips:
- Get some fondant. I’d never heard of this before, but it is like a dense, brightly colored frosting that you can make things out of. You can blend it together to make things look nice (this is how the blue and yellow stripes are made).
- Use some red fondant to wrap up some red candles in a bundle. This looks like sticks of dynamite. But be aware that when you light them the flames will be much bigger and burn quicker than a single candle. So be ready to blow them out quickly.
- We found some traffic cone candles at the store that looked pretty nice on the cake.
- The cake topper is a Jamie bobblehead which you can get here (look down the page and they have the other characters if you want a different one). These are pretty expensive for a bobblehead but they are high quality. After the cake is cut you can save the bobblehead as a decoration.
Here are some pictures of the cake:
Amazon is a great online store and I order from them all the time. I really like the Free Super Saver Shipping. The problem is that sometimes I’m not buying $25 worth of items to get the free shipping. I searched through Amazon and found some cheap items to add as filler. These items will add filler to your purchase to “fill” it up to the minimum $25 to get free shipping.
These filler items are cheap enough that you can just add multiples of them to get your price above $25. So if you need an extra dollar, just add in 2 58 cent filler items. As soon as you add enough filler items you will get the Amazon free super saver shipping.
Here are the items I found:
If you use Amazon regularly you might want to check out my other page to find out how to install an Amazon search plugin that gives you real time suggestions as you type:
The gutters on my house are under a lot of trees. So they get clogged up all the time which causes the rain to overflow the gutters. I’m tired of going up on the roof to remove the leaves and pine needles from the gutter so I’m currently looking for one of the gutter cover products that are supposed to protect the gutters from leaves.
I contacted Leaf Guard and they came out to my house recently to give an estimate. The guy was nice enough and took all the necessary measurements. For some reason he wanted to give us a PowerPoint presentation on Leaf Guard. This was my first key that these guys are probably a rip-off, but I went ahead and watched the presentation. It was the usual stuff: Leaf Guard is the best and all the rest are terrible and worthless. After the waste of time presentation he gave me the quote and wanted me to buy it on the spot. That is the sure sign that these guys are a rip-off. The quote was for $5000, including a $700 buy right now discount. Of course I just told him I wasn’t going to buy today and he left. Now I know that these guys are just con artists trying to get a huge markup on people who don’t know much about gutters.
From what I hear from other people all of these gutter cover companies have huge markups like this. So I recommend avoiding all of them. I did hear about one product called Leaf Relief that is manufactured by the Alcoa corporation (a large, well know company). I figured Alcoa wouldn’t want to ruin their reputation on rip-offs so I found a couple of contractors on their website who could install the product. Both quotes were for about $2000, less than half the price of Leaf Guard which seems like a reasonable price. They could go even cheaper if you have existing gutters and just want to install the covers. So far Leaf Relief is the only legitimate gutter cover company I can find. If anyone knows of any others then please leave a comment about the company.
If you don’t want to pay a contractor you could go even cheaper with a do it yourself project. You can buy Elko Gutter Genius guards online here. Or if you don’t want to install anything then how about having a robot clean your gutters. The robot sounds pretty cool, but I have no idea how well it works. Please post here if you have used either of these products.