SOS Sports in Venice has just hit the slopes with a shirt bearing upside-down trail maps of popular Western ski resorts. For skiers who are seeking a particular trail, or, heaven forbid, are lost, all they need do is to stop and read their shirt.
The Survival Shirt comes in 100% cotton T-shirts ($16), mock turtlenecks ($26) and sweat shirts ($30). They're for sale at 24 ski resorts in four Western states for which they were designed.
Among the California resorts are Mammoth Mountain, Snow Summit, Bear Mountain at Big Bear, Squaw Valley, Northstar-at-Tahoe and Mountain High. In Colorado: Vail, Steamboat Springs, Beaver Creek, Breckenridge, Telluride, Loveland and Keystone. In Utah: Park City, Snowbird, Alta and Brian Head. They also can be found in Taos, N.M.
The shirts, like ski maps handed out at resorts, show the runs and their level of difficulty, lift sites and locations of restaurants, telephones and ski schools.
Besides being helpful guides, they "are also a unique souvenir of the trip," said Jack De Sort, a television commercial director who founded SOS Sports a few months ago. He noted the shirt might have aided a skier who recently got lost in the snow at a local resort for 18 hours.
A Chicago native who admits he is a "beach person, not a skier" because he doesn't like to get cold, De Sort plans to expand his shirt line later this year to map golf courses and amusement parks. For more information, write SOS Sports, 2017 Pacific Ave., Venice, Calif. 90291 or call (213) 822-2400.
Last year in California, 58,369 license plates were stolen-- a little-known fact that prompted a local reserve police officer to invent the Auto License Plate Security Bar.
It is 5/16-inch cold-rolled steel, zinc plated to protect it from rust. It is secured to the vehicle by two steel brackets, fastened onto the top or bottom screws of the plate. The bar slips through the brackets and locks with a small, steel Master padlock. One bar secures one plate.
"While taking a stolen license plate report, I began thinking of ways of how to secure the plate to the vehicle in order to deter a thief," inventor Bob Moos said. "Plates are stolen by people who use them on their own autos to avoid paying fees or by private collectors who take the personalized plates to hang on walls, or, unfortunately, to be used on vehicles while committing crimes. Thousands of other plates are lost just by the holding screws vibrating loose."
The Department of Motor Vehicles charges $8 for a duplicate plate; $31 for a personalized or "vanity" plate; and $30 for a 1984 Olympic plate. "I wouldn't guarantee that this makes the plate theft-proof," he said. "Because nothing is theft-proof, but this will work as a deterrent."
The bar comes in gold, red, black or white. Including the shipping and handling charges, it costs $9.95, plus 65 cents tax. To order, send a check or money order to Bob Moos Enterprises, 5921 Wilmington Ave., Los Angeles, Calif. 90001. Allow three to four weeks for delivery.
There's a new electrical outlet cover available that recently won the Department of Energy's National Award for Energy Innovation.
Unlike its predecessors, CareCover fits flat against the outlet's face. It has an internal spring that snaps a slide shut to cover the outlet's holes when not in use. Available in ivory, white or brown, it fits standard, two- and three-prong outlets.
The device is "really energy efficient" because it blocks air that can blow through an electrical outlet, particularly on a windy day and with an outlet on an outside wall, said Wallace Weiger, president of We Care Inc. in Pierre, S.D.
He said the CareCover, which costs $3, is easy to install: "All you need is a screwdriver and 10 seconds."
By early March, CareCovers will be available at Ace Hardware Stores or they can be ordered now from We Care Inc., P.O. Box 873, Pierre, S.D. 57501; (605) 224-5304.
Dog Training Aid
If your dog barks constantly, you may want to try Barker-Breaker from Amtek Signal Corp in Livermore, Calif.
A small black box about the size of a pack of cigarettes, it emits a high frequency noise at the push of a button. The shrieking sound, the manufacturers claim, is "a minimum of 80% successful" in stopping dogs from barking.
"You can use it for a lot of things besides barking problems," Amtek's general manager Helena Smith-Squires said. "Dog trainers are using them very successfully, people who train cattle dogs or pet owners who don't want their cats to claw the furniture."
Smith-Squires said the device has a range of 75 to 100 feet and gets best results when aimed toward the pet. Its tone, she said, should be administered until the barking or behavior problem stops (or until you can't stand the noise); it should be repeated as necessary, though it should be used only to discipline the animal, she said.
"It won't work, obviously, on a deaf animal, or with some dogs who are around high frequency noises or loud noises a lot," Smith-Squires explained. "Hunting dogs often do not respond well to it because they're used to the sound of guns."
Barker-Breaker--which costs $39.95 plus shipping and handling charges--can be ordered C.O.D. from Amtek Signal Corp, 2175 Research Drive, Livermore, Calif. 94550. Or call (415) 449-4430 or (415) 449-4592. Outside California, call (800) 543-4311. The product has a 30-day money-back, satisfaction guarantee.