Al Pedrique: RBI Baseball mystery man

Al Pedrique: RBI Baseball mystery man

RBI Baseball was the first hugely popular baseball game to appear on the Nintendo NES. It featured real baseball teams who’d done well in 1986 and 1987 with actual player names, so kids could replay the 1986 and 1987 postseasons. It also featured two All-Star teams. The National League All Star team included a mystery man: Pedrique, a shortstop. His real life counterpart was Al Pedrique, who briefly played shortstop for the Pittsburgh Pirates.

Today, if people remember Al Pedrique, it’s probably for his appearance in RBI Baseball.

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Wash an electric toothbrush in a dishwasher

Wash an electric toothbrush in a dishwasher

We bought our kids electric toothbrushes. They aren’t expensive and they seem to help our kids get fewer cavities. But how do you clean them after they’ve been sick, or one of them uses the wrong one? You put a regular toothbrush in the dishwasher. But what about an electric? Here’s how to wash an electric toothbrush in a dishwasher.

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Stop cordless phone interference

Stop cordless phone interference

Cordless phone interference has always been a problem–phones interfering with other things, and other things interfering with them.

That was the draw of 900 MHz phones. There wasn’t anything else running on that frequency at the time, so there was little to no interference. But 900 MHz didn’t sound hi-tech in the age of gigahertz computers. So in the early 2000s, 900 MHz gave way to 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz phones. That brought back the problem, because there’s so much other stuff operating at those frequencies these days, like wireless computer networks. But there is a solution that doesn’t involve digging up a 20-year-old 900 MHz phone and trying to find a battery that works in it.

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Keep cordless phones from interfering with Wi-Fi

Keep cordless phones from interfering with Wi-Fi

Long ago, when dinosaurs roamed the earth and knights in shining armor fought them, people had landlines. And they plugged cordless phones into them. Everything was great. Then phones started using the 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz frequencies. Wi-Fi came out using the same frequencies and the two interfered with each other. Now, it seems increasingly difficult to keep cordless phones from interfering with Wi-Fi.

Many people have neatly solved the problem by using cell phones exclusively. But what if that isn’t an option? You’re actually in luck, and you don’t have to dig up a 20-year-old 900 MHz phone and try to find a battery that works in it.

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The hall of famer lets me down

My check engine light came on this morning. I’ve been driving this Honda Civic since May 2003, and this is only the third time that’s happened. But the other two times were nuisance lights. The car ran fine, so I bought a new gas cap, replaced the cap, and the light went off.

This time was different. I confirmed it when I turned the corner and tried to accelerate to 25 miles per hour. The car acted like I was asking it to go a hundred and twenty-five.

After 10-plus years and 194,000-plus miles, I had my first mechanical problem. For the first time, I was going to the mechanic for something other than arbitrary, mileage-based maintenance. Read more

I’m glad Ryne Sandberg is getting a chance

I grew up admiring Ryne Sandberg. He was a hard-hitting, smooth-fielding second baseman, and while his hitting statistics look a little wimpy compared to the steroids era, in the 1980s the sight of him in the on-deck circle struck fear in the hearts of opposing pitchers. He went on to be inducted into the Hall of Fame, and I’m glad to have had the chance to watch him play. I watched him a lot, because all the Cubs games were on WGN, which was available nationally.

Now Sandberg is the new manager of the Phillies. As a Kansas City Royals fan–bear with me–I have a special perspective on this.

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2011 retail tinplate finds, at Big Lots and Shack

If you’re a tinplate fan like me, it would behoove you to make a trip to Big Lots sometime this week. Big Lots has a selection of building-shaped cookie tins priced at $5 each. The buildings include a town hall, post office, bakery, and general store. Additionally, my old friend Radio Shack is selling a building tin full of AA and AAA batteries for $10 until December 10 (it’ll be $20 after that).
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