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Karate Kid Miyagi-Do New Onesie!

It's been a while since I had some new onesies to debut.  Over the next few weeks I will have a bunch coming out.  The first onesie that I am releasing is another Karate Kid Onesie.  Before this I only had this item:

   Now you can dress your kid like a hero with the new Miyagi-Do onesie.  I had always wanted to do a print involving the Miyagi-Do logo.  This onesie came out awesome and whether you buy this for your kid, or a gift for someone elses, everyone will love this.

This is available in our Etsy, eBay, and main website at where you will get the lowest price.  Follow us on Instagram for a coupon code to use at our main website.
I finally got my hands on the #1 rated beer on Beer Advocate...

    Last night I was feeding my daughter at the kitchen table, thumbing through my phone as she currently is in this stage where it takes her forever to eat.  Occasionally she just likes to practice holding the foods, which is adorable, but can go on for a long time.  On facebook there was a post from Mike Shatzel, a guy pretty much responsible for opening the best beer bars in Buffalo.  The post read:

"2 cases of heady at monk"

    I had plans to go out later that night with my friend Pat, to catch a beer or two, and we happened to be going there.  I was pretty excited at potentially getting to try this.  People have been hyping it for some time now in forums and Facebook groups - it's not sold here.  I tried not to get my hopes up for scoring a can, and in a few hours I made my way over to The Blue Monk.

   As soon as I walked in, I saw a couple dudes at the bar with some.  I looked around to see if it was advertised anywhere.  There was nothing.  I wasn't sure if it was some secret thing or if I had to quietly ask for it...I wasn't sure how this worked.  I finally decided to ask as I wasn't quite sure if I'd ever have another opportunity.  Good thing I did.  For $9.00 a can, I now had in my hands a can of "Heady Topper," the number one rated beer on beer advocate with an impressive 100 rating.

    Now I'm not going to say anything bad about this beer because it was very good.  Just not at all what I expected.  I mean look at the artwork on the can.  It's awesome.  There are loads of hops exploding out of this man's head.  Getting to try another one of the other best beers in the world, Pliney the Elder, when I was in San Diego - I had high hopes for this beer.  I cracked open the can and took my first delicious sips.  It was really good, just not at all what thought it would be.  This beer was a lot sweeter then I ever expected.  It had a slight hop finish, but nothing memorable.  Maybe it's the West Coast beer lover in me, where I love a citrus, piney, hoppy overload that Pliney is able to supply, even Firestone Walker's Double Jack, but this beer was nothing like them.  It was unique in flavor, and the flavor was very good, just nothing I'd seek out special. 

   I suppose where this beer gets its praise is it's balance.  The balance of hop and malt among beer lover's is praised in over 7,000 reviews.  So from a personal point of view, I thought this beer was good, but not amazing.  Putting that aside, and breaking down what this beer actually is, how it tastes, the balance, the color and carbonation, this beer is very impressive and well crafted.  I had to really separate my personal preferences when tasting this.  I will have to thank my daughter later for forcing me to look at Facebook by endlessly staring at her piece if spiral pasta.  Love you kid :)

"Beer Camp" Weekend

    Typically I just drink IPA's, but have recently started trying other things. The local beer forums have been buzzing about "Beer Camp," a 12 pack collaboration with 12 top notch breweries. These breweries include Ninkasi, Firestone Walker, New Glarus, Ballast Point, 3 Floyd’s, Bells, Allagash, Russian River, Asheville Brewers Alliance, and Russian River in 12 oz bottles. With breweries like this participating, I had to try it out. I had seen the price for this 12 pack differ by location, but I found it here in Buffalo for $25. A bit steep, but these are one shot brews, so I made an exception.
As I stated before, I typically only go for West Coast IPAs and Double IPAs. This 12 pack had some stuff in it that I would never normally try. I decided to go into it with a completely open mind. The first beer I had tried from the pack was the Sierra Nevada/Cigar City Brewery collaboration, "Yonder Bock Tropical Maibock." This was actually in a can. I had tried a few beers from Cigar City earlier in the summer and was pretty impressed. A friend of my wife had brought us some from Florida. It was their year round releases: "Invasion Pale Ale" and "Florida Cracker White Ale." Both of them were very good. I chose to pour this into a glass.  Some would argue that it's meant to be consumed out of the can, but I hate doing that. The beer poured nicely and smelled great. I have found that Cigar City's beers have a "flavor" that sticks with each brew they make. It's not a bad flavor, it's actually really good. The color on this beer was as vivid as it's taste. I surprisingly loved this beer. As I write this, I am about 5 beers into the 12 pack (not all at once), and this remains my favorite. Bravo, Cigar City. You have impressed me.
Yonder Bock Tropical Maibock 
The next beer of choice was from the Sierra Nevada/Firestone Walker collaboration called "Torpedo Pilsner," which was touted as a "Hoppy Pilsner." I had high hopes for this one, as Firestone Walker is one of my favorite breweries. However, this was not a "hoppy pilsner."  It wasn't a bad beer, but it was nothing I'd bring up in a conversation. When I think of a "hoppy pilsner," I think of Victory's "Prima Pils" which is an excellent pilsner. This beer was light and refreshing, but lackluster and forgettable.

Torpedo Pilsner
Up next, Sierra Nevada and Russian River have created a Belgian style brew called "Yvan the Great Belgian-Style Blonde." I actually loved this beer as well. I don't particularly like Belgian-style beers, but maybe it was the weather?  Whatever the reason, I found this beer to be tasty and refreshing.  It held its flavor as it warmed up, too. A surprisingly good beer.

Yvan the Great Belgian-Style Blonde
I tried to drink these strategically, so the next beer I had was a collaboration from Sierra Nevada and Allagash Brewing known as "Myron's Walk," a Belgian Pale Ale. This beer was just "good." It was nothing special, yet it served as another Belgian-style beer that won me over. Not something I would seek out, but was a tasty, refreshing one-timer.

Myron's Walk - Belgian Pale Ale
The next selection was one I was excited to try. The Sierra Nevada and Ballast Point creation a"Electric Ray," labeled as an India Pale Lager. This tasted more like a double IPA to me, but I loved it. It was a bold beer, with a good balance of malt and hops. There were really no lager-like characteristics, so that aspect of it failed in my opinion, but the beer delivered some really good flavor that only got more intense as it warmed up.

The next beer that I tried from Beer Camp was the Sierra Nevada/Oskar Blues collaboration "CANfusion" Rye Bock. I'm not all that familiar with bocks, but this beer was solid as well. One of the higher ABV's in this pack, at 7.2, this beer packed a nice blend of rye, caramel and hops. This is one I would like to try again.

CANfusion - Rye Bock
The final beer for this post (I haven't finished the 12 pack yet), is the "Chico King" Pale Ale from Sierra Nevada and 3 Floyd's Brewing. This isn't like many pale ales I have had before, this one was beefier. For a pale ale, I found this to be powerfully malty and equally as hoppy. Another beer from this box of gems that I would like to have another of.

Chico King - Pale Ale
I should have the rest of these up in a few days. So far Beer Camp is a fun trip and makes for an engaging, at home, beer drinking experience. Although I'd say 90% of these beers are about average, they are good enough to enjoy this way. 

"Wet Hot American Summer" Shirt!

    A new shirt has been released this week in all of our shops.  The shirt is my tribute to the film, "Wet Hot American Summer" written by David Wain and Michael Showalter.  If you haven't seen this film, you should.  It has become a cult hit for good reason.  The movie takes place in 1981 at the fictional Jewish summercamp, "Camp Firewood", in Waterville, Maine.  The camp is preparing for the last day of summer which gives the counselors one last chance to hook up with someone.  In the end, the film builds to a talent show.  
    The cast for this film is awesome, both in coolness and in size. 

  • Janeane Garofalo
  • David Hyde Pierce
  • Michael Showalter
  • Marguerite Moreau
  • Michael Ian Black
  • Zak Orth
  • A.D. Miles
  • Paul Rudd
  • Christopher Meloni
  • Molly Shannon
  • Ken Marino
  • Joe Lo Truglio
  • Amy Poehler
  • Bradley Cooper
  • Elizabeth Banks
  • Judah Friedlander
  • and more...

Our "Camp Firewood" design shirt has been added to all of our eBay and Etsy shops, and also at  Remember, save yourself a few bucks by shopping at our main site!

Buffering is Bullshit.  Get VPN.

    So much is happening these days with video streaming services and ISP's.  They are at each others throats, blaming each other for terrible speeds/buffering issues, with the real loser being the consumer.  Its obnoxious, but there is a way around it.  VPN.
The Verge published a great article a few days ago with video of a guy visually showing you the difference in speeds both using a VPN, and when your not using a VPN.  If you are unfamiliar with what a VPN is, it is basically this:

There are loads of benefits to having a VPN.  One is protecting your IP address.  Your IP address is your digital footprint and personal identifier.  When using a VPN, you can hide this information from websites you visit.  If you live in a country that regulates internet usage by forcing censorship with firewalls, stealth vpn can free you from that nonsense.  VPN can also hide your activity from big brother.  Its your business, keep it that way.
    Lets get back to that article I was referring to.  All of the ISP's are messing with streaming services, and no matter how much you bitch, there isn't anything you can do.  Or is there?  When using a VPN, your ISP doesn't know that your watching Netflix.  If it doesn't know, it can't throttle you.  Some bloggers may argue that there is no difference, but I disagree.  A writer on Verge also subscribed to this theory.  Watch this experiment:

I have seen the same results from personal experiences.  Those who argue this theory, also make mention of low quality or free vpn services which are no good.  If you are going to go with a vpn, I highly suggest using Torguard.  Torguard offers a few different products, all very useful depending on what you're looking for.  I currently have a vpn through them, along with a torrent proxy.  The speeds are fantastic, and I have had nothing but good luck with them.  I have used STRONGVPN as well, but cancelled.  The service was decent, but they were expensive and made it difficult to switch locations by tacking on all sorts of charges.  Torguard makes it easy.
There is one more thing you may want to do when considering a VPN company to go with.  Torrentfreak wrote an article this year called "Which VPN Services Take Your Anonymity Seriously? 2014 Edition."  They contacted loads of VPN providers asking them their policy on "logs."  Basically the only evidence possible that can be used against you when using a VPN.  Torrentfreak asked the following questions to these providers:

1. Do you keep ANY logs which would allow you to match an IP-address and a time stamp to a user of your service? If so, exactly what information do you hold and for how long?

2. Under what jurisdictions does your company operate and under what exact circumstances will you share the information you hold with a 3rd party?

3. What tools are used to monitor and mitigate abuse of your service?

4. In the event you receive a DMCA takedown notice or European equivalent, how are these handled?

5. What steps are taken when a valid court order requires your company to identify an active user of your service?

6. Is BitTorrent and other file-sharing traffic allowed on all servers? If not, why?

7. Which payment systems do you use and how are these linked to individual user accounts?

8. What is the most secure VPN connection and encryption algorithm you would recommend to your users?

Torguard answered the questions if great detail.

1. TorGuard does not store any IP address or time stamps on any VPN and proxy servers, not even for a second. Further, we do not store any logs or time stamps on user authentication servers connected to the VPN. In this way it is not even possible to match an external time stamp to a user that was simultaneously logged in. Because the VPN servers utilize a shared IP configuration, there can be hundreds of users sharing the same IP at any given moment further obfuscating the ability to single out any specific user on the network.

2. TorGuard is a privately owned company with parent ownership based in Nevis and our headquarters currently located in the US. Our legal representation at the moment is comfortable with the current corporate structuring however we wouldn’t hesitate to move all operations internationally should the ground shift beneath our feet. We now offer VPN access in 23+ countries worldwide and maintain all customer billing servers well outside US borders.

We would only be forced to communicate with a third-party in the event that our legal team received a court ordered subpoena to do so. This has yet to happen, however if it did we would proceed with complete transparency and further explain the nature of TorGuard’s shared VPN configuration. We have no logs to investigate, and thus no information to share.

3. Our network team uses commercial monitoring software with custom scripts to keep an eye on individual server load and service status/uptime so we can identify problems as fast as possible. If abuse reports are received from an upstream provider, we block it by employing various levels of filtering and global firewall rules to large clusters of servers. Instead of back tracing abuse by logging, our team mitigates things in real-time. We have a responsibility to provide fast, abuse-free VPN services for our clients and have perfected these methods over time.

4. In the event of receiving a DMCA notice, the request is immediately processed by our abuse team. Because it is impossible for us to locate which user on the server is actually responsible for the violation, we temporarily block the infringing server and apply global rules depending on the nature of the content and the server responsible. The system we use for filtering certain content is similar to keyword blocking but with much more accuracy. This ensures the content in question to no longer pass through the server and satisfies requirements from our bandwidth providers.

5. Due to the nature of shared VPN services and how our network is configured, it is not technically possible to effectively identity or single out one active user from a single IP address. If our legal department received a valid subpoena, we would proceed with complete transparency from day one. Our team is prepared to defend our client’s right to privacy to the fullest extent of the law.

6. BitTorrent is only allowed on select server locations. TorGuard now offers a variety of protocols like http/socks proxies, OpenVPN, SSH Tunnels, SSTP VPN and Stealth VPN (DPI Bypass), with each connection method serving a very specific purpose for usage. Since BitTorrent is largely bandwidth intensive, we do not encourage torrent usage on all servers. Locations that are optimized for torrent traffic include endpoints in: Canada, Netherlands, Iceland, Sweden, Romania, Russia and select servers in Hong Kong. This is a wide range of locations that works efficiently regardless of the continent you are trying to torrent from.

7. We currently accept payments through all forms of credit or debit card, PayPal, OKPAY, and Bitcoin. During checkout we may ask the user to verify a billing phone and address but this is simply to prevent credit card fraud, spammers, and keep the network running fast and clean. After payment it is possible to change this to something generic that offers more privacy. No VPN or Proxy usage can be linked back to a billing account due to the fact we hold absolutely no levels of logging on any one of our servers, not even timestamps!

8. For best security we advise clients to choose OpenVPN connections only, and if higher encryption is called for use AES256 bit. This option is available on many locations and offers excellent security without degrading performance. For those that are looking to defeat Deep Packet Inspection firewalls (DPI) like what is encountered in countries such as China or Iran, TorGuard offers “Stealth” VPN connections in the Netherlands, UK and Canada. Stealth connections feature OpenVPN obfuscation technology that causes VPN traffic to appear as regular connections, allowing VPN access even behind the most strict corporate wifi networks or government regulated ISPs.

The complete article can be read here.  StrongVPN gave an evasive answer at first which made me not want to use them.
    I'm going to continue this series throughout the month, sharing how to configure a router for your home to be permanently connected to a VPN, how to set up a torrent proxy with uTorrent, and how to take almost any router and flash it with DDWRT which will allow it to be permanently connected to VPN. 
Flash Auctions!

   I've started listing random items in our eBay store in auction format starting at 99 cents!  The items are completely random as they are just things we have extra laying around.  All items are brand new.  Every day there will be some new ones listed so the easiest way to not miss out, is to follow our store on eBay.

Fan Expo Canada Bound! (I'm not sure if I'm excited.)

I consider myself a comic geek, although at the age of 35, I have to curb by buying habits to not look like a total asshole.  I have a baby and a wife, so instead of buying the Punisher first appearance, Spiderman Issue #129, I'll make a home repair or maybe throw some money in my baby daughters starter account.  But on occasion, I do pick up a few issues still hear and there.  I also love sci-fi and Doctor Who.  With being a fan of all these things, one would think that I must attend geek festivals and cons, left and right.  I actually don't.  At the end of August, I will be heading up to Toronto for "Fan Expo", the biggest event I will have attended, and also, only the second.
   My first experience at one of these things was at the Niagara Falls Comic-con.  I was pretty excited to go to this event.  There was going to be a few guests that I found interesting, one being Mic Foley (whom I've always been a huge fan of) and Cory Feldman (that's right, Corey Feldman.)  I have gone to see Foley at other wrestling related appearances, so I wasn't too excited to see him, but it would have been cool to get my "Stand By Me" DVD signed by Corey Feldman.  We arrived on time to this event, where we were surrounded by people in costumes in the parking lot.  It was neat to see.  We then approached the Niagara Falls Convention Center only to find ourselves standing in a gigantic line because the building was at capacity.  This is an absurd notion if you are selling tickets to something.  I was pretty annoyed from the start.  After about an hour, we found ourselves close to the entrance.  Anytime now!  All of a sudden, flocks of nerds started running out of the line at full speed to the other side of the building.  We stood there wondering what had just happened, only caring slightly as we felt that at any moment, we would be inside.  One of the door guys casually came out and said, "Oh hey guys, the line has moved to the other side. We are closing this entrance."

Looking across the parking lot at the other side of the building, the new line appeared.....even bigger than it was before.  After another hour of standing around, we had finally made it inside.
What to do first!?  A casual stroll was in order to browse the vendors, see some people, etc.  So much is for sale at these things!  I started to see the celebrities set up their tables, and the lines started to form to see them.  Corey Feldman's line was huge. I immediately gave up on that, and headed over to Foley's line.  It was reasonable, and I had a copy of his first fictional book, "Tatum Brown" that I wanted to get signed.  I was in line for about 30 minutes, when I was told that it was about $80.00 to get this signed (I could be off a little. but by no more than 10 or 15 bucks.)  Cash only.  Fucking Cash only.  What if you wanted to meet 2 people and buy some comics.  You're supposed to stroll around with hundreds of dollars cash in your pocket like "Joe Bucks?"  It's insane!  At this point, I'm determined to accomplish something.  The person behind me offered to hold my place in line so that I could go to the ATM machine around the corner.  I stood there, in line, again....waiting for my turn at the ATM.  The guy in front of me looked as though someone he knew had just died.  Then he filled me in.  The ATM was out of money.  The ATM....was out of money.....

So I quit.  I grabbed the $20.00 in my pocket, bought a Doctor Who shirt and left that shit-hole, never intending on going back for future events.
   Toronto Fan Expo, is supposed to be the real deal.  Huge lineup of guests, one being Patrick Stewart whom I would love to meet.  According to the Internet, the event drew 100,000 people last year.  At the moment, this very moment, I am excited.  I'm sure it will remain that way, up until I realize that Patrick Stewart will want an absurd amount of money, or I get stuck in some gigantic line.....or the ATM runs out of money.  Regardless, I will keep my head up...

I'll at least walk out with a T-Shirt.