Saturday, August 9, 2008

Jack Purcell Sneakers

My new pair of kicks. They're pretty much the most comfortable sneakers I own.
No new gadgety technology with these 70+ year old classics. You have to keep a good thing good.
Converse did update the insole and sock liner, they're still one of the best out there.
They have now replaced my Adidas Sambas as favorite.

Thursday, July 31, 2008

Nikon SB 800

I just received Nikon's SB 800. I have a few days to learn and experiment with this this before my friends wedding on August 2.
Thankfully, there are tons of tutorials available on the web.
I'll update more after the shoot.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Gerber Infinity Ultra

I had an original CMG Infinity, lost it, now replaced with this Gerber version.
The quality of the build is good. Light is bright enough for minor tasks.
The on-off switch is triggered with the twist of the knurled knob in the back of the unit.
You can adjust the knob to the sweet spot and actuate a momentary on/off with a push of your thumb.

The recessed LED is non-adjustable and is deep enough to provide adequate protection.

The clip is tight and will scratch the finish of this torch. I moved mine back, so the contact point of the clip is on the knurled part of the switch.

I have not yet replaced the single AA battery.

This is part of my EDCs.

Leatherman's Skeletool CX

The Skeletool CX is my new edc. It has everything I would need walking around the streets of San Francisco.
  1. Pliers
  2. CM154 Combo Blade
  3. Bit driver & bit holder
  4. Bottle opener
I normally don't like combo blades, but the CM154 steel will hold the edge longer than the standard Skeletool's blade. Don't go for the carbon fiber aspect of this tool. It's only the bit holder that's carbon fiber. I think it's more for aesthetics more than function.

It does not have the functionality nor as comfortable in the hand as my Leatherman Charge.
For a basic every day carry, it works perfectly.

Oceanic's Atom

Oceanic's Atom is a serious watch.
The Atom is a dive watch. It will wirelessly give you details on ratios, dive time, depth, psi... all the information you need on a dive. You can also upload details to your PC using the data port.

I haven't tapped into the complete functionality of this watch.

Currently I only use 5 Function Modes
  1. Standard Time in 24 Hour Mode
  2. Travel Time in 24 Hour Mode
  3. Daily Alarm
  4. Timer
  5. Stopwatch
Function modes can be cycled through using the button at the 10 position.

The watch face is divided into thirds.
  1. Top displays the day.
  2. Middle displays the month/date and seconds
  3. Bottom displays the time.
All the basic functions can be easily assessed due to the layout and large display. There is a blue backlight that can be turned on for a few seconds with the button at the 4 position.

The Atom is encased in rubber, the bracelet is pliable and comfortable.
The buttons press down with more effort, probably due to the need of the water proof seals. There is also a small led, at the 9 position. It softly glows red when an alarm is activated.

Since I acquired the Oceanic Atom, my Suunto Vector has been playing second string.

Shure SCL2-CL

Update: 20080809

My Shure SCL2-CL have finally broken in. It took about 3 days, of regular use and 3 nights of overnight play.

One the 4th day, I put them on, hit "play" and the sound was just incredible.
The bass is just perfect as is the treble.
I did play around with the custom fittings and settled in with the small black pieces.

These really kick ass.

Cable housing seems more pliant. Time will show if Shure improved on the cracking issue.

My old Shure E2Cs finally ate it.
Plagued with a well documented peeling issue with the wiring housing.

I tried to fix it myself, with electrical tape with no success. Second effort was with liquid electrical tape. The sophomore effort was good, but then the cracking and peeling just occurred elsewhere along the wiring.

I filled out the forms, no RMA required, sent it out and in a few days, received an email response letting me know the replacement SCL2-CLs are on the way.

Shure is incredible with their customer service... 2 year guarantee.

I'll post an update when I receive them.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Shun Classic 8" Chef's Knife

Many of my friends know how I normally have a small pocket knife or a multi-tool with me.
It's natural for me to buy one for kitchen use.
I to purchase a good quality Japanese kitchen knife.

Shun is the favorite of Good Eats, Alton Brown. I later discovered he his own line. I'm not a big fan of the angle Alton's line has.

My 8" Chef's knife fits perfectly in my hand. It feels like an extension.
The pakkawood handle is hand specific because of the ergonomic bolster.
If you're a lefty, you need to special order that style.

It is scary sharp, but soon, you'll feel comfortable using it.
It's always beem a saying that a sharp knife is a safe knife.

Nau Succintshell

I just received and I am very happy with my purchase from Nau.

I selected the Succintshell Jacket. It's perfect for our weather here in San Francisco year round. Just remember it's important to dress in layers here.

I'm pretty impressed with the design details of this jacket.
The soft fabric that covers the zipper that might contact your neck and chin. The wrist holes are elliptical, more fabric on the outside edge. The many cords that will adjust the jackets fit. The seams are all taped.

Nau is undergoing some growing pains but not out for the picture. They are placing the remaing current line on sale for 50% off.

I can't say enough about this company. I'm glad they are still going to be around.

Friday, May 30, 2008

Merkur Hefty Classic

After years of shaving with 3 or more blades, I've decided to go back to the classic safety razor.

Tons of sites recommended the Merkur, from Solingen, Germany.
Solingen is famous for it's cutlery so, I knew I was not going to go wrong.

I ordered from and 3 days later, I had pretty much the best shave ever.

I bought some extra blades, additional Merkurs and I decided to try the Japanese brand Feather. Feathers are reputedly the sharpest razors in the market.

Small packages of 10 blades will run you about US$5.00. Insanely cheap compared to the modern 3+ bladed and some even vibrating models... the actual razor will last a lifetime and run you about US$30.00.

Do yourself and the environment a favor. Get yourself a real razor.

Friday, January 26, 2007

Titan Money Clip

When I saw it, I just had to get the Titanium Money Clip from Superior Titanum.
You might be wondering, why would you need a titanium money clip…
It's strong, light in weight and non-magnetic, you don't need to worry about damaging any card with a magnetic strip.
I gave mine away on a recent trip. I'm getting another soon.

Hiny Hiders

I almost fell off the toilet when I realized what I was reading. You may not know them as Hiny Hiders, but you certainly know what they are and appreciate them. Santana Products calls their line of bathroom partitions, Hiny Hiders. Hilarious. Someone please check out their local public/semi-public restroom and let us know if we're not the only ones.

Thursday, January 25, 2007

BAD Bags - Best American Duffel

I've been using these duffels for over 10 years.
As soon as you see you one, you see the quality.
My favorite travel companion is the Duffel #3 SP.
The maximum size for a carry-on, its enough for a week's worth of clothes.
These are manufactured in the USA. Buy American dude.

Playstation 3

Oh man, poor Playstation 3. It's really gotten a bad rap. Lagging sales, high cost, and the whole Blu-ray versus HD-DVD war. Can I say it? Well, it's all probably leaving Sony a little... blu :(. But hey, if Sony won't learn from their past mistakes (cough: Beta-max), then we'll just have to leave them to it.

But for reals, I got myself a Playstation 3 (60GB fully loaded, crazy style) and I have to admit, it's actually quite good. I mean, let's take a quick looksee. It's got everything you need: Built-in High Definition optical drive, built-in wifi, upgradeable hard drive, all in one package. Compared to the XBox 360, the Playstation 3 is actually cheaper when you consider all the features.

The problem? Well, Blu-ray, despite its larger capacity, is suffering. And, it turns out that the optical drive in the Playstation 3 is actually slower in reading (MB/sec) content from the discs than XBox's HD-DVD drive. This means longer loading times :(, at least initially. Game developers do have the option of downloading important content to the PS3's internal hard drive. Doubly troublesome for Sony is apparently, their development process for creating PS3 games is considerably less appealing than XBox's. What does this mean? Well, it means that game makers prefer making games for the XBox 360, more than the PS3. But, we all know that money talks and no-money walks.

The point? It all comes down to the games. And as long as there is money to be made in making games for the Playstation 3, then game developers, or rather their overlords, will force them to create them.

I'm just waiting for Sony to announce that with a firmware update, the PS3 will be able to read HD-DVD discs. Damn son that would be nice. Oh, and a new version of their development package that makes it much easier for game makers to do their job. Yeah, then it will be the bomb. Oh, and come out with Wii-like functionality and games. Yeah.

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

The Turtle's Neck

Being a commuter in San Francisco, I've learned the proper way to prepare for the weather. I wear layers and always carry the best multi-function article of clothing ever, The Turtle's Neck.

You can wear it as a scarf, a hat, or a band to cover your ears.

The best use I've found for it? An emergency shelter for my digital SLR. San Francisco fog trembles and runs.

Shure E2c Sound Isolating Earphones

After my stock iPod ear buds died, which lasted 6 months, I bought Shure's E2c earphones. Actings as ear plugs with speakers in them, you can play your favorite video games in bed without waking your special partner. However, they won't prevent you from accidentally deflating him, her, or it. Ouch.

Camelbak Bottles

Now, we just be talkin' about our love for Nalgene, but you know what? They ain't the only players in the colorful plastic bottles for holding your Vodka disguised as water game. The peeps famous for throwing juice on your back are out with their own solution cum special dispenser.

Gently bite down on that nipple, suck, and bathe your tongue in all that is good in this world.

But what Geordie really likes about these bottles, besides biting their nipples, is the fact that the war that is his desk doesn't get contaminated by the Emergen-C water he's drinking from this sippy cup. No spills! AND that's not all folks. The nipple holding cap also fits Nalgene bottles. Damn.

Available in 3 sizes (1.0 liter, 0.75 liter, and 0.5 liter) and a multitude of colors. Plus, their web site rocks. Good job Camelbak.

guyotdesigns SplashGuard

Now you know I be lovin' my Nalgene bottle like the rest of yall. I even love its wide mouth. But you know, sometimes you just need a smaller mouth to easily drink from it. So, with that in mind, these crazy peeps over at guyotdesigns are throwing down these SplashGuards that do just that. Now, I gots me one of these and my Nalgene do be making me more happy. I can drink from it, as like I were human. Meaning, no splashing myself in the bathroom, I mean at me desk, mate.

Let's be straight, they even put in a rear entrance to provide for improved refilling. It can take the full flow of the local water dispenser, mad style, I was impressed.

But yo, it can get it a little funky if you don't wash it often, just like your Nalgene, so take cares of its. And it will takes cares of yous.

Casio PAW-1200 vs Suunto Vector X

The throw down in ultimate, ridiculously large, geek watches begins with two heavyweights from two heavyweight watch makers.

In the left corner we have Casio, with their PAW-1200 featuring atomic time calibration, solar power recharging, altimeter, barometer, thermometer, compass, and life jacket.

In the right corner we have Suunto, with their Vector X negative display featuring a ridiculously large badass display, altimeter, barometer, thermometer, compass and breathalyser.

They're big, they're bad, they're super sporto-geeked out. Man!

Suunto Vector X

Hailing from Finland, weighing in at 1.9 ounces (53.86 grams), 2 inches (50.8 mm) in diameter and 0.62 inches (15.9 mm) in height, this watch is huge folks, HUGE. Polar's F6 men's looks like the women's model by comparison. The negative display is a nice touch, easy to read in any amount of light. When a little boost is needed, the blue electro-luminosity can be activated. The illumination is low, plenty enough to read the time, elevation, temperature, barometric pressure and compass reading.

As you cycle through the functions, the time remains constantly displayed in the lower third of the watch.

The altimeter seems pretty accurate (field test verification coming).

The barometer is very accurate. The barometric trend display is helpful and can forecast upcoming weather.

The compass is very sensitive. The manual suggests that it only be used outdoors, less your fridge magnets throw it out of whack. CHECK IT.

Casio PAW-1200

If you think the Suunto is huge, check out the Casio weighing in at 2.93 ounces (83 grams), 2.52 inches wide (64 mm), and 0.57 inches (14.4 mm) in height, the PAW-1200 is bigger, beefer, and just plain meaner looking than the Vector X, but is it badder, meaning gooder?

PAW1200 64.0 x 48.9 x 14.4mm / 83g

I must admit, when I read the specification sheet for this watch, I was blown away. Could it get any better? Well, of course it COULD, but we're not far enough into the future just yet. I thought for certain this thing would smoke the Vector, no problem.


Well, let's just say specification sheets can be, uh, misleading. Don't get me wrong, it has all the functions it's advertising, they just don't work like you would expect. I mean, there are certain limitations.

For example, the thermometer has no problem reading the temperature of your wrist, which can be anywhere between 20 and 80 degrees warmer than the ambient air temperature. Whilst on a recent trip to Chicagoland, USA where it was SNOWING, my faithful PAW-1200 reported a brisk 54.3 degrees Fahrenheit. IS HELL FREEZING OVER??? Oh wait, it's really 23 degrees, shit. No worries though, just take your watch off and sit it, good watchie, in a neutral place for 10-15 minutes and you'll get a more accurate reading, like 74.6 degrees Fahrenheit where the wall thermostat is reporting 72.2 degrees Fahrenheit.

For reals, I personally like my Casio compared to the Suunto because of the added atomic time keeping and solar powering, but I have to give the Suunto the big thumbs up on their big negative display. It looks sweet, but then again it doesn't have the crazy compass indicators that the Casio has. CHECK IT.