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December 15, 2005

The Dremel kit we told you about last week came with three fully stocked boxes of tips, discs, pads, and wheels.  Each box has a varied combination of these accessories

In total, 90 pieces came with the kit...for cutting, grinding, carving, and sanding.   Go get a closer FirstLook at the accessories here.


December 14, 2005

We didn't make anything as cool as Laser Chess, but we did set up the Lazer Tripwire we told you about a few days ago. 


The Wild Planet Lazer Tripwire works quite well and it's a lot of fun.  It will make a perfect gift for the junior spy-in-training or the grown-up spy-wanna-be on your list this holiday season. Go check out the FirstUse videos here.


December 8, 2005

If you need to get a present for your Do-It-Yourself significant other, you WILL NOT GO WRONG with this amazing Dremel 400 XPR Rotary Tool kit. Dremel is a name folks have associated with high-quality rotary tools ever since we can remember.

Dremel has put together a rotary tool kit that has a large collection of tips and attachments useful for all kinds of applications. We thought it would be perfect for our RainyDayMagazine readers so we got a unit to see just exactly what can be done with it.  Go check out our FirstLook now, but don't spend too much time reading it... this item is flying off the shelves at Home Depot!


December 5, 2005

Bank and museums use laser intrusion detection systems to safe guard their valuables.  The cubicles at RainyDayMagazine does not need the same level of protection, but that does not mean we would use anything less high tech :-)

The Wild Planet Lazer Tripwire looks to be a perfect gift for the junior spy-in-training on your list this holiday season.  Go here to see our FirstLook.  Go check out this and other fun items at Wild Planet on Amazon.


December 1, 2005

At first glance these Stanley watches appear to be a gadget lover's dream.  However, even though we do not read Japanese, we figured out enough to realize there is only one tool for each watch.  Hmmm...if the tool is THAT important, maybe Stanley should focus on embedding a TimeTag into the tool instead of a tool into the watch.

Everybody has heard of Craftsman, especially for their pliers, wrenches, and automotive tools.  Craftsman has been quietly adding "appropriate" high technologies to their tools for the past few years...especially with lasers.  

We have been using their gear for years now and recently added their Laser Trac Level to our collection of Craftsman tools.  The Laser Trac Level is fantastic if you are doing major renovations, but it is also great just for getting all the picture frames around the room to line up :-) 

ColdHeat has been heating up lately.  We have two of their soldering irons in the RainyDayGarage and we used them all the time.  Recently, ColdHeat announced a partnership with Weller.  We look forward to see lots of cool stuff from these guys in the near future!


November 29, 2005

Al pulls in more than 5000 (yes...thousands) of channels with his 12 satellite dishes.  Apparently there are a lot of "free stuff" out there up in the sky :-) This guy definitely needs the Logitech Harmony 880 remote control! 


November 17, 2005

The CamelBak may be a good idea if you were planning on going to visit an IKEA store.  One just opened in MA last week.

RainyDayMagazine didn't have solid plans to visit the Ikea store in Stoughton on opening day... why, maybe because the Managing Editor thought that traffic could be an issue????

But once it sunk in that the store was less than 15 miles from the office, some of us became quite persistent in our, um, adamantations that we go.  Go read all about RainyDayMagazine's  IKEA adventure on Carolyn's World!


November 8, 2005

The folks at RainyDayKitchen like to try recipes from different parts of the world.  Sometimes there are a lot of different, uh, aromas, competing for attention.  Some of it comes from the stove and some of it from the refrigerator.

We have a venting system to handle the stove.  With the Oreck Air Purifier, we now have something to help us eliminate the smells from the fridge.  Go see if one of these make sense for you.

Oreck is better known for their superb vacuum cleaners.  Carolyn's World had a chance to check out the Oreck XL21.

The XL21 is a heavyweight when it comes to vacuuming, but it's in the superlight category (just 8 lbs) when it comes to its actual weight!  Go and read all about it in Carolyn's World.


October 5, 2005

We told you about the ColdHeat cordless soldering tool back in January.  They have now updated the tool with a more rugged version designed for more industrial applications.  The new ColdHeat Pro is beefier, gets hotter, and lasts longer than its smaller version. 

The ColdHeat Pro is not just for electronic circuit board work.  It easily handled our larger repair jobs.  We had no problems using it to fix this broken toaster oven in the RainyDayKitchen.  Sure, it took us 40 minutes to get the toaster oven apart to get at the broken connection, but it only took us 2 seconds to solder the broken wire back onto the switch!  This is an amazing tool for $29.95.  Check out the FirstLook review of the ColdHeat Pro here.


September 11, 2005

Groundbreaking for the new World Trade Center in NYC will take place early 2006.  Construction is scheduled to be completed by September 2009. 


August 26, 2005

Up until now, controlling all the devices in a well stocked media room meant the user had to have mental model of how things (signal flow) were connected up.  Was the VCR's output connected to the TV's Video1 or Video2 input?  To watch a DVD, do we need to be on Channel 3 or Channel 4?  Which remote controlled the volume... to the TV or to the Digital Cable Box?

Sure the RainyDayMagazine AV guy knew that in order to watch a DVD, the projection TV's input must be on Video2, the aspect ratio should be on "Cinema", the VCR and Cable should be off, and the DVD player on. 

Now that we have the Logitech Harmony 880 programmed, all folks had to do was hit the "Watch DVD" button and all the appropriate devices will be turned on/off, video sources selected, and aspect ratio selected!  Go check out the full FirstUse Review here.


August 25, 2005

One remote to control them all!  No.  It was not a line from "Lord Of The Rings".  It was something someone at RainyDayMagazine uttered when they saw the Logitech Harmony880 Advanced Universal Remote.

In the RainyDayMagazine's FirstLook review, we took a look at the Logitech Harmony880 Advanced Universal Remote from box to setup.  Go check out the review here.


August 22, 2005

With all the cooking that goes on at RainyDayKitchen, it is not easy keeping it clean.

A few months ago, we discovered a great method for getting clean ...or rather, a great collection of products from a company called method to help us get everything clean :-)

We have now used a few of their products around RainyDayKitchen.  Method offers an entire series of cleaners for fighting grease and grime!  In this RainyDayKitchen FirstLook Review, we reported on three of method's products (dish soap, all purpose spray, and hand wash).  Go check it out and clean up!


July 2, 2005

If you use a lot of candles, these Candela rechargeable lamps can save you a lot of money.  If you worry about candles getting knocked over and setting the house on fire, these lamps from Vessel are priceless.  Go read all about them here!


June 25, 2005

Weekends are for doing things around the house or garden.  In our case here at RainyDayMagazine, it is more like reviewing tools that let us do things around the house or garden :-)

One such tool being passed around the office is the Bionic Wrench.  We have all used pliers and wrenches to tighten nuts and bolts.  Many of us have a collection of different sizes for different needs.

The Bionic Wrench was engineered by Dan Brown of LoggerHead Tools to not just combine the best features of pliers and wrenches, but to improve upon them using a different design.  Go read all about it here!


May 16 , 2005

Antiques and Brimfield have a long history together. The Brimfield Antique Show is a HUGE show (over 5000 dealers) with miles of booths. We went on the last day of the Spring show to see if we could find ourselves any bargains.

We didn't end up with any great deals, but we did meet some great people...people like Joe and Claudia who designs amazing bird houses!

We also stopped and talked to master model maker George Anton and Kirby Harris of Vintage Optical. Go read about them here.

The next one is from July 5th to July 10th. Put it on your calendar now and get your walking shoes ready.

March 28, 2005

With the current Dollars/Euros conversion rate, it is a lot cheaper traveling around the US than in Europe. However, there are inexpensive lodgings if you do decide to head across the pond.

We had mentioned EasyHotel a while back... for less than the price of a meal at McDonald's ($10-60), you can get a clean, small (and we mean it ...60 sq. ft) room with a bathroom. It is one of the cheapest way to say in London.

If you want something a little more upscale, the YO! Sushi folks will have the YOtel chain up and running in London by 2006. For about $150/night, you'll get something much bigger (100 sq. ft) and a bit better appointed.

We don't know if either one of these chains have plans to bring the concept to the US, but we would love a cheap place to stay in cities like New York, San Francisco, and L.A.


March 14, 2005

The New England Flower Show has been the first sign of Spring for Boston since as long as I've been here...which is more years than I care to mention :-) We spent a wonderful afternoon wandering around the show getting ideas for when the snow is gone and ground thaws.

The show also featured many artisans that create items to make your garden special! These items may be metal planters, stone carvings, or specially created water features.

The New England Spring Flower Show will be at the Bayside Expo Center until March 20th... get over there before the blooms fade!


Feb 25, 2005

Here is something for those that like to fall asleep in front of the TV. I like the idea from ruf BETTEN, but has anyone actually sat next to a LCD projector recently?

The projectors have gotten a LOT better, but they are not exactly quiet :-) The air circulation needed to keep the projector bulb from flaming out means the projector's cooling fan has to spin at a pretty good clip... which usually translates to "annoying whining noises". All that aside, I love the idea of the retracting projector screen and the adjustable back cushions! I guess one can always just crank up the surround sound. More about the ruff-CINEMA here.


January 28, 2005

A few months back we saw the advertisement for a cordless soldering iron from a company called ColdHeat on TV. Their claim is the cordless soldering iron is hot enough to melt solder, but will not burn your fingers!

Like many of you, we thought... great idea, bet it doesn't work. Still, I was intrigued. A little more research on ColdHeat's site gave me enough info to think they may be for real. We got our hands on one and we have to admit... we are now believers :-) Go here to read the full RainyDayReview.


January 25, 2005

After a few days of digging, we finally extricated ourselves out of the drift. We took the Pathfinder out for a quick spin to see how things were around town. It was a good thing we had a 4x4.

Most of the major roads in Boston have been cleared, but a lot of the side streets are still pretty congested...there just aren't any place to put the snow! We drove around for a while and ended up at Trader Joe's. We decided it was probably a good idea to stock up on some staples.

Trader Joe's is a not just a great place for bulk items, but also fantastic for things like jumbo shrimp, soy products, beer, and champagnes. Go check 'em out even if you weren't going to be snowbound for a week:-)


January 23, 2005

The storm blew in to New England last night and it was still blowing this morning. We went out to get a first hand look.

It was too cold out for the snow to be anything but light and fluffy. The problem was not the snow, but the snow drifts. To get out the door this morning meant we had to push our way through a foot and a half of white stuff.



January 3, 2005

With all the need for emergency aid in South Asia, I thought there must be some folks using Buckminster Fuller's ideas on geodesics to make emergency shelters. Sure enough, there are a bunch of them out there.

The $200 Dymax Emergency Shelter is pretty amazing. It weighs only 75lbs, needs no tools for assembly, takes 30 minutes to erect, and is weatherproof.

Jonathan Smith has put together a site on how to construct your own geodesic dome out of cardboard.

Its principles are the same as the Dymax, but definitely of a lighter spirit. Once again, proving there is not much you can't do with duct tape, velcro, and a sharp box cutter!


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