The first time I saw the Toyota Tacoma Texas Edition wheels, I wanted them. The wheels would look absolutely perfect on my 1997 Toyota 4Runner SR5. I searched the internet to see if anybody had put these on a third generation 4Runner, but I found nothing. I searched the online 4Runner forums, and also the Tacoma forums. While I didn’t find any images, I did find some links to where I could buy the wheels at a Toyota dealership in Dallas. At over $800 for a set, I decided to check craigslist. And after several months of waiting and searching, I finally pounced on a set that came up for sale locally for a little over half the retail price.
They fit perfect. This is the 4th set of wheels I’ve had on my 4Runner since I purchased it in December of 2010. It originally had the factory wheels, the split 6-spoke 16″ wheels. Then I purchased the 6-spoke FJ Cruiser wheels. And after that I had the 8-hole FJ Cruiser wheels (which I believe are the same as the 5th generation 4Runner Trail Edition wheels).
The state’s sole vendor of overpriced specialty plates is making news again with some of its most unpopular designs. Several specialty license plates are on the chopping block due to poor sales performance (in addition to causing confusion for police officers across the state of Texas). This is according to the Dallas Morning News.
“The DMV now requires that plates have at least 200 active users, a decision driven by police complaints about a glut of confusing tags since the state’s exclusive vendor began customized sales five years ago.”
In a response, My Plates has decided to rebate the poor-selling plates in an effort to drive sales. What a novel ideal, offer a product at a lower price to increase sales. It’s a shame that MyPlates.com can’t apply this principle to their entire product line. I’m not too excited about this discount program. In the past, MyPlates coupons only apply for the first year, then revert to the regular, overpriced amount when renewal is due. And in my experience, some times they just want to increase the price even higher.
The article also reports that the DMV is investigating if restrictions are needed to reduce the number of graphic-cluttered plates that My Plates offers.
All this talk about personalized licence plates and law enforcement reminds me of the line from the 1996 classic, Fargo. “Say Lou, did you hear the one about the guy who couldn’t afford personalized plates so he went and changed his name to J3L2404?”
After several intense minutes of searching online for an Angry Birds bean bag chair, I realized that this product does not exist. If I want to get my hands on such a bean bag, I am going to have to get creative. As we all know, HotBeanBags.com creates custom bean bag chairs with fabric provided by customers, thanks to the genius mind of its brilliant proprietor (full disclosure for all you newbs out there, that handsome devil is me). So now all I have to do is find some Angry Birds fabric to create my one-of-a-kind bean bag. Well, after another session of extensive research, turns out Angry Bird fabric is non-existent as well. Strike two! But wait, what did I happen to stumble across on this seemingly unfruitful search for fabric??? a shower curtain from Bed Bath & Beyond, printed end-to-end with those loveable Angry Birds! Turns out the 72″ x 72″ fabric will work perfectly for the custom fabric bean bag chair. Things are finally coming together. So a trip to Bed Bath & Beyond later and the curtain/fabric is on its way to the bean bag factory!
Here is the product from Bed Bath & Beyond:
This is a full size view of the fabric. The fabric was a bit thinner than I expected, but I think it will still make a good bean bag chair.
I will update this post with pictures as soon as the chair arrives.
(one week later)
[insert magical harp music]
And now, without further ado, I give you… the Angry Birds bean bag chair:
The chair turned out AWESOME! My only minor complaint is that it appears to be slightly smaller than the typical 30″ diameter bean bags, but I sort of expected that. They had to make the bean bag slightly smaller because the shape of the curtain and orientation of the graphics reduce the usable fabric area. The curtain from Bed Bath & Beyond was about $25 and the fee from HotBeanBags to make the custom bean bag was $95 (including shipping). Bottomline: My custom fabric bean bag looks awesome and I will probably do this again if I find another cool fabric shower curtain!
I’m not sure why any modern vehicle has a horn that sounds like the 4Runner horn. It’s wimpy and pathetic. It sounds like it’s the same horn from a 1980’s Honda Civic. Needless to say, my 4Runner needed an upgrade. In this video, I demonstrate how I installed a horn from a 1994 Ford F150 into my 1997 Toyota 4Runner SR5. I got the Ford horn from an eBay seller for $10 (plus $7 for shipping). One thing American vehicles have never had a problem with, the horn. I’ve seen other write-ups about how to do this and they made the task seem daunting, but I found this to be an extremely simple project. It’s one wire.