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Category: found things

Advance Auto Parts Marine Grease is PEAK Performance Synthetic Marine Grease

En route to work today I stopped off at Advance Auto Parts and picked up some house brand Marine Grease to use when reassembling my bike rack after fixing the hitch retention piece. I wanted to find the MSDS for this product so I could try to figure out what materials this product is compatible with, but after the Advance Auto Parts MSDS Page didn’t return anything when searching for the product (SKU #A2953013) I called the listed phone number and asked for help.

The person who answered the phone was very helpful and — despite not being able to find the product by SKU — found the MSDS and emailed it to me. You can get a copy of it here. Embedded in the email was the path I:\M9\OLD WORLD INDUSTRIES\ELRMA14OZ.PDF, which I find interesting as it shows both that the company has a simple directory structure full of MSDS, and that this product is actually made by Old World Industries, the parent company for PEAK and a number of other automotive companies. Per a recent press release:

Old World Industries, LLC is among the largest privately-held companies competing in the automotive aftermarket. The Northbrook, Illinois-based company enjoys a presence in various consumer product markets in more than 30 countries worldwide. Old World’s brands include a full line of PEAK® Performance Products including Antifreeze, Motor Oil, Washer Fluid, Electronics and Wiper Blades; SIERRA® Antifreeze; Fleet Charge® Fully Formulated Coolant; Final Charge® Heavy Duty Global Extended Life Antifreeze/Coolant; SmartBLADE™ Premium Wiper Blades; HERCULINER® Truck Bed Liner Kits; and BlueDEF® Diesel Exhaust Fluid. For more information, please visit

Comparing this product’s MSDS to the one from Advance Auto Parts SKU #A2953013 shows them to be identical (including the contact person and his phone number), save for some slight formatting and naming changes. Based on this I think this $3.99 tube of Advance Auto Parts-brand Marine Grease is the same as PEAK® Performance Synthetic Marine Grease. Thus these should also be the specs for the Advance Auto Parts grease.

Isn’t research via MSDS great? Digging into these lets one peer behind the labels on lots of products…

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Synergistic Combinations of Surfactants

Danielle and I recently got new glasses from SVS Vision Optical Centers‘ Mt. Clemens location. While we had a great experience there (would recommend, will return), along with her work safety glasses she received an eyeglass cleaning kit with some rather amusing wording on it. On the back of the kit the advertising text tries to use big words to sell the product:

SVS Lens Cleaner is unique in that it actually wets out the most hydrophobic of surfaces and then allows the synergistic combinations of surfactants to emulsify the soils or contaminants present, making the lens easier to clean. This is achieved without any detrimental effect on the expensive lens treatments such as antiglare coatings or easy to clean topcoats.

Yes. That’s exactly what I was looking for: synergistic combinations of surfactants.

If this didn’t read so well I’d think it was just Engrish, but instead I just think that some copywriter did it just to see what they could get away with. It’s great.

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Space Debris Hit My Dad?

Back in 2000-2001, just before my dad retired from the Detroit Board of Education, he was standing outside of the school that he worked at with a coworker when glowing hot blocks — one of which is seen above — began raining down from the sky around them. No aircraft were visible overhead, and being glowing hot, partially melted, and seemingly made of ceramic, I strongly suspect that this was space debris. At almost the size of a box of matches and with a mass of only about 5g it’s terminal velocity near ground level couldn’t have been very high, which would explain how they could have been hit by them and not injured.

I’d forgotten about this until my parents mentioned it to me this past weekend when I moved this object from it’s place of display while helping them around the house. My dad had recently read a news article about a woman who was hit by a small piece of a disintegrating Delta II and can’t help but think that maybe he and his coworkers should be added to the (very short) list of people on Earth who have been hit by space debris.

A number of other photos of this object can be see here. It’s a little dusty from sitting out for a few years, but the hollow cells and ceramic-like appearance are pretty visible.


The Circle of Life

This is the scene on the sidewalk near the front porch: a group of ants eating the remains of a squished cricket full of orange pulp-looking eggs. I wonder if this is the cricket that I’ve been hearing at night when falling asleep.

Nature takes care of its own.

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Hillbilly Fantasy

While heading out to Highland this morning I followed this van for a while. I appreciated the use of actual Helvetica (bold) for part of the “Hillbilly Fantasy” logo, but the other bumper sticker which reads “It’s A&R Thing You Spartan Fag’s Don’t Understand” was rather opaque to me.

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Satan Can’t Punctuate

Lunch time today found me taking a quick ride at River Bends, and while there I came across this dumpster. Graffiti reading “Satan Was Here” on a dumpster doesn’t really surprise me, but the quotation marks surrounding the upside down cross do. Has the moronic use of quotation marks purely for emphasis really gone this far?

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Fallen Tornado Siren

While out on today’s ride I was finally able to get photos of the tornado siren on 22 Mile just east of M-53 which was knocked down after apparently being hit by a car. Per the decal inside of the Vortex Gear Drive Rotor this is made by Whelen Engineering, and after digging around a bit this appears to be part of Whelen’s Vortex series. I probably should have looked closer at the outside of the control box to see more specifically what it is.

This company was featured in an episode of How It’s Made about warning sires which can be viewed here on their site.

Seeing it laying at the side of the road for the past couple weeks it’s hard not to fantasize about picking up the siren and taking it home to play. Ignoring the illegality (and potential terrorism charges) related to this, there’s some serious practical concerns… Like, how exactly does one activate a tornado siren anywhere but the remotest parts of Michigan without attracting significant attention? After all, the literature I was finding online claims 129dB at 100 feet. Playing with this would be a bad, bad idea.

For some more photos of this fallen siren, click here. There is also a PDF listing all of Whelen’s Mass Notification products available here, and this is a series of tutorial videos showing how to use their online siren location planning software. Finally, this map lists all the warning siren locations in Macomb County. Apparently the place where Danielle and I live is technically just slightly outside of listed coverage areas.

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