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December 10,2009

We have been wearing the Scottevest convertible vest/jacket for over two years. The pullovers (Microfleece, Q-Zip) have been in-house since Spring. Since we made the FirstLook posts, we have had periodic email requests asking for the InTheWild update. The upcoming Holiday season would be a good time to update folks on how the ScotteVest items have fared.  

ScotteVest has a large line of clothing designed specifically for folks who carry a lot of gadgets. The three that we have are the ones which makes the most sense for us New Englanders. The Pullover is perfect for three of the four seasons. It fits well under most jackets, has a vented back for comfort, and has a built-in cord managment system.

The vest/jacket (shown here with the sleeves removed) is a great three-season garment as well. It can work in combination with the pullover as either a full outer layer or as a vest. The vest has 12 pockets, reflective piping, magnetic closures, and lots of other useful details.  The load distribution on this jacket is quite excellent, even when fully geared up.

The nylon layer on the shoulder is a nice touch. The covering allows the vest to better withstand the daily wear and tear. As with the other ScotteVest garments, the cord management loops are sewn into the collar. We have found that having a full front zipper works better compared to the pullovers as we tend to leave the earphones on the jackets.  Sometimes, with the pullover, we have gotten tangled up with the cords when putting on the jacket.

Our experience has been that all fleece tend to pill, but the ScotteVest fleeces are much better than most, although they too have a pilling problem to a degree. The Q-Zip has no such problems. It is made of a breathable nylon fabric that wicks moisture from the body. This long sleeve layer is perfect either over a t-shirt or just by itself. It has three pockets that are so well intergrated it looks like there are none.

Our ScotteVest garments have held up really well to heavy use. That says something about their quality. Also, even thought the designs are well thought out, they are constantly being improved upon. The Scott Jordan Signature System is currently on Version 5.0. After having used them InTheWild, we are more than happy to recommend the ScotteVest garments to our RainyDayReaders. If you are interested, you should check out the Sale&News section as there are always excellent deals and special discounts. Happy Holidays!   [Permalink] -ScotteVest InTheWild


November 2,2009

Let us be clear...we LOVE the styling of Oakely's Juliet x-metal sunglasses.  However, with all of Oakley's high-tech sounding material, one would think their lenses would be tough as nails. Ah... no, sorry, not so.

The coating on Oakley's Juliet X-Metal lenses may be optically true, the colors correct, and blocks out 100% of whatever, but they are wimps when it comes to scratch-resistance toughness.   The lenses will be scratched by the slightest contact with anything harder than cat fur and will likely need to be replaced annually with normal use.  We did the first replacement back in March of this year.  Our set only managed to make it through Spring and Summer.

The Juliet X-Metal sunglasses are great for when we just want to be posing, but as we also want to USE them, we now factor in an annual cost of $50 to $80 for lens replacement.  There are several sources for replacement lenses.  Since the last replacement was done using Oakley OEM lenses, we thought we would go after-market with this next pair.  This set of burgundy-color replacement lenses is from ExoVISTA.  They were about 1/3 the price...via EBay, of course.  We'll report back on how these ExoVISTA lenses performed in the Spring.

Now that we have used these Oakley Juliets for a while, here are some tips from our experience with the sunglasses:

  • Always store them in the pouch when not in use
  • Get a hard case if you want to carry them around in a backpack
  • EXPECT to replace the lenses as they WILL get scratched
  • Scan Craigslist and EBay for the best prices

These Juliet X-Metal sunglasses have drool-worthy looks, but can be expensive to maintain.  So go into this "relationship" with eyes open :-)  Unless one carries $100 bills as pocket change, one would have to be mental to pay full prices for these sunglasses and/or lens replacements.  We purchased our Oakley Juliet X-Metal on Craigslist for pennies on the dollar.  Replacement lenses are available from a variety of sources (Sunglasses shops, Internet, etc...).  The least expensive we have found to date were on EBay.   [Permalink] - Oakley Lens Replacement: ExoVISTA


October 9,2009

Next Friday the Shoalin Warriors will be performing at Boston's Orpheum Theatre at 8PM. We gave them a mention back in September. They don't come to town too often, so if you have not seen these amazing martial artists in action, you need to go now and reserve yourself some tickets. 

To make sure at least two of our local RainyDayMagazine readers get a chance to see the show, we are giving away 2 tickets for next Friday's performance. There is NOTHING to buy, but you will have to "snatch a few pebbles" from our hand :-)

First, tell us who is promoting the Shaolin performance in Boston by finding the link to the "About Us" page of the promoter's site. Second, the photo below contains all of the items up for review next week. Find the product link to each of the items on the respective manufacter's site. 

Once you think you have all the pebbles (links), put them in an email with the following in the subject line: "I've snatched all the pebbles, will exchange them for two Shaolin tickets." Good luck! 

The contest ends at midnight on Columbus Day, Monday October 12th. A winner will be randomly selected from all of the emails with the correct answers. We'll let the winner know by end of day Wednesday so he/she will have plenty of time to call their significant other and finalize plans for what will no doubt be a very special date night.   [Permalink] - Preview


September 29,2009

We have a "thing" for flashlights (LumaRay FL-6, FL-12, Surefire, U2 Ultra) at RainyDayMagazine. Having a good flashlight when we are in the woods can help prevent us from walking into a tree or tripping over a rock. Carrying one in the city is equally useul for when we are out and about. 

The TigerLight T100 showed up at the office a few weeks ago. We thought it was one of those super-bright flashlights that temporarily blinds a person. The T100 is a slightly different form of non-lethal self defense.

The TigerLight T100 is a personal protection device which combines  a high intensity light with a built-in pepper spray. It features the same technology used by law enforcement and the military to temporarily blind and incapacitate potential threats. It is small and light. The size makes it easy to carry and usable by everyone.

Flashlights are typically good for peeling back the dark or showing others where you are, but they are not much good in a threat situation...unless you happen to be packing the TigerLight. We'll have more in our FirstUse article. It may be a few days as the interns are not totally onboard with being the test subjects...  [Permalink] - TigerLight T100


August 31,2009

Aikido has its roots in many other martial arts (sword, jujitsu, etc.).  It also has a lot iof movements in common with Tai Chi and Yoga.  Most folks today view Tai Chi and Yoga as non-combat forms practiced mainly for their health benefits.  However, if we reach just a little further back, we would discover that both Tai Chi and Yoga were also rooted in the combat arts.

For those eager to understand why the ancient yogis were also powerful martial artists, we encourage you, if you are in the Boston area on Sept 19th, to attend a special seminar given at Shobu Aikido of Boston.  This is an all day seminar (9AM-noon, 2PM-4PM).

The seminar will be taught by Rob Liberti Sensei, head instructor for Shobu Aikido of Connecticut. He has been training in the Martial Arts for 30 years. Rob Sensei runs three dojos including programs at Yale University and the University of Connecticut. He is known for his beginner-friendly explanations and practical techniques.

The focus of the seminar is to demonstrate how yoga practice, internal stretching, body posture and Ki focus has powerful self-defense applications.  Anyone with an understanding of Yoga can discover confidence-building exercises and simple techniques to create effortless power.  Specific stretches and other 'take-home' exercises will be taught so that these ancient techniques can be practiced at home and incorporated into other practices. [Permalink] - Yoga and Aikido

BTW...No Martial Arts experience needed.  This seminar is suitable for for all ages, shapes and sizes women & men. (No impact practice)

Cost: $40 entire day - AM + PM Classes 
Morning Only - $25

NOTE: Yoga mat and blocks helpful but not necessary


August 19,2009

Zen and Buddhism conjures up a lot of images for people. Some associate it with chanting, others think of meditations, still some have images of monks in orange robes and shaved heads. Of course, all of those images are part of the popular notion of Zen and Buddhism, but they don't express the teachings and philosophies them. We have had some introduction to Zen concepts through our study of Aikido.  The study of Zen is inescapable to any serious student of any art, martial or otherwise, as Zen naturally emerges from the deep study of any subject.  It does not matter whether the student actively seeks to study Zen concepts. 

We started 2009 with an article about yoga.  About six months ago, we were turned on to a magazine called Tricycle by a few readers.  Six months and three issues later, Tricycle: the Buddhist Review is the one magazine which we read cover-to-cover in one sitting as soon as it arrives.  There are so many excellent articles in each issue that sometimes we wish we could read them all simultaneously.

The Do Less, accomplish more in the Fall 2009 issue is a must read for the multi-taskers in all of us.  Other like the Mindful Cooking and Mindful Eating articles are great in that they are immediately applicable and the tips serve as physical reminders of how we can enjoy living in the moment even with the simpliest of actions.

For readers looking to take a more mindful approach to business, we can highly recommend The Leader's Way.  We have been listening to the unabridged audio version from RandomHouse Audio.  The book was written by his Holiness the Dalia Lama in collaboration with Laurens Van Den Muyzenberg.  This blending of the views of the practicality of Buddhism with the goals of business is extremely timely and thought-provoking given the current economic turmoil.

The understanding of interconnectedness, impermanence, and interdependence of people, business, and the global economic system is discussed in a functional and clear-headed fashion by both contributors. We found this 6-hour, 5-disc audiobook utterly engaging.  It gave us a new and deeper appreciation of just how practical Zen Buddhism is and how to better apply it in both our daily decisions as well as interactions.  We highly recommend that you add both Tricycle and The Leader's Way to your reading list.  [Permalink] - Tricycle and such


July 31,2009

Many readers have told us that they enjoy going to symphonies and dance performances.   Quite a few have asked us to review/recommend alternative dance events in the Boston area.   For Fall 2009, we have decided to take on that task first hand.

Our first event will be one presented by World Music/CRASHarts.  Since 1990, these folks have been one of Boston's premiere presenters of contemporary, emerging, and cutting-edge dance and other performance artists.  Feel free to check out their 2009 Fall season here.  As many of these events are one night performances, we will post our recommendations a few months ahead to give you plenty of time to make plans and purchase tickets.

Some of the folks here are students of Aikido, so the World Music event which piqued their interest most is the Shaolin Warriors scheduled for Oct 16 at the Oprheum theater.  In a fully choreographed theatrical production, the Shaolin Warriors bring the skill, movement and imagery of Kung Fu to the stage.  Audiences can look forward to being amazed and thrilled by watching Kung-fu disciplines such as qigong, animal imitation boxing, drunken boxing, and fighting with many different kinds of traditional weapons.

We will post a quick reminder about a week before the event and will have a write-up of the event for those who may not have had the opportunity to attend.  This economy needs a serious jump start.  No reason why we shouldn't do it by promoting interesting non-traditional performances :-)  [Permalink] - Shaolin Warriors


June 11,2009

When it comes to driving, Boston drivers have a certain "flair."  So wearing a helmet while riding a Vespa just makes sense.  Many would argue that wearing one while driving a car wouldn't be such a bad idea neither.  Having lived in this city for over 20 years, we have to say they are really not all that bad.  The traffic moves relatively slowly due to the windy (and we don't mean air speed) roads and the associated congestion.  Someone on a Vespa with top speed of 35 mph really can keep up with traffic.  OK, we wouldn't try it on Storrow Drive, but riding on Memorial Drive during rush hour would not be a problem.  Regardless, we would not do it without wearing a helmet.

When we purchased the Vespa last season, it came with a half helmet.  For riding in the city we wanted to get a full face helmet.  We checked around and found a good deal on a used Nolan.  A big reason why we went with the Nolan helmet is the pivoting chin bar.  This design has both the protection advantages of a full-face helmet and the ease of an open-face helmets.  There are many occassions where it is convenient to not have to take the helmet off (snacking, getting quick drink, etc...).

The pivoting chin bar may be unlocked with a button on the left.  Pushing levers on the underside frees the catch-mechanism and the bar may be easily pivoted up and out of the way.

This Nolan helment also has scoops and vents to help circulate air inside the helmet.  The scoops on top and front are easily adjustible.  The vents really do make a big difference in both keeping the head cool and the face shield from fogging up. 

We have had this Nolan helment since last October and have not experienced what it is like wearing it on a really hot day.  We'll report back in August and let you know how this helmet performed after a few rides on 90º days.   [Permalink] - Nolan Helmets


June 10,2009

The Vespa has been getting a lot of use lately.  It really is the perfect get-around-town transport for a city like Boston.  They get about 60 miles to a gallon of gas.  We filled it up last September and we are only at a half tank.  A motorcycle license is not needed for a Vespa if it is 50cc or under.  No special insurance is required.  The best part of all, they can be parked anywhere, even on the sidewalk!

Even though a 50cc Vespa tops out at 35mph, we would never get on one without a wearing a helmet.  The reasons are many...streets can be bumpy, cement is hard, and we are fond of the shape of our heads.  For a helmet to work, you have to get one that fits, and you have to wear it. 

Some of us here have a problem with enclosed spaces...so they wear an open-face helmet.  They are easy to put on and take off, are very comfortable, and will fit in the storage compartment of the seat of the Vespa.  While not as protective as a full-face unit, they are infinitely better than no helmet at all.  If we were on Monhegan Island, say, we would consider not wearing a helmet, but since we are in Boston we would never get on the Vespa without one.  [Permalink] - Vespa Helmets


April 14,2009

Last Summer we told readers about some awesome mats from a company called Jade Yoga.  While this was almost a year ago, we still receive emails from readers who tell us how much they love their Jade Yoga mats.   Jade Yoga is one of the new breed of companies who makes money while being mindful of their products' impact on the environment.  They recognize that the world is what we make it and are actively trying to make it better.

This past Easter Monday, Michelle Obama welcomed approximately 30,000 people to the White House with the following words: “Our goal today is just to have fun. We want to focus on activity, healthy eating. We’ve got yoga, we’ve got dancing, we’ve got storytelling, we’ve got Easter egg decorating. Oh, we’ve got basketball — (applause) — a little soccer, as well. And we want everybody to think about moving their bodies.“

Approximately 1,000 kids over the course of the day tried out yoga (and Jade mats), taking classes from some fantastic teachers from Zuda Yoga of Sacramento. These kids had a great time trying different poses (including warrior, tree, downward dog and, of course, child’s pose) and learning a little about yoga.

Dean Jerrehian, President of JadeYoga said: “Not only was it a thrill to be at the White House, but it was even more of a thrill to see so many children under the age of 10 getting on the mats and trying yoga for the first time – they loved it. The best part, however, was that we were able to use our new Recycle/Reuse program to find a home for the 50 mats used that day – donating them to YoKid, a D.C. organization that provides yoga and meditation instruction to children from all socio-economic backgrounds.” 

So if you are looking for "Nature's Best Yoga mats," check out the offerings from Jade Yoga.  You will be doing more than just your body good.  [Permalink]- Jade Yoga


April 13,2009

As many of you know, there is a very cool Yoga class at the Shobu Aikido dojo on Mondays and Fridays at 6:30pm.  The class is taught by Jenn Pici and is a Restorative Slow-Flow Yoga style which is great for stress relief, stretching and toning muscles and healing minor injuries from uh, too much aikido or just day-to-day stress and strain.

If you are in the Somerville area, you may want to make plans THIS Friday night to welcome Spring into your minds and bodies with this Free Yoga Class!

When: Friday April 17th - 6:30pm
Where: Shobu Aikido - 34 Allen Street - Somerville - 02143
Cost: FREE

Hope to see you on the mat for this special event.  The class is great for beginners, so bring a yoga mat and some warmer layers of clothing as this is not "hot-room" style yoga.  It is nice to have these layers for the cool-down.    [Permalink]- Restorative Yoga


April 8,2009(Wednesday)

The Vespa we purchased last Fall spent the entire winter outside under an all-weather cover.  We had no idea what would emerge when we uncovered it in the Spring or how much work we would need to do to get it ready for riding.

When the cover came off this weekend, the bike looked pretty much like when we covered it last Fall.  Everything was dry.  There was no moisture in the dash, no rust on the disc brake, and just a little bit of rust on the muffler.

The big question was, would it start up?  When we hit the starter switch, the Vespa coughed a few times and, much to our relief, came to life.  We were very excited to see that we did not have to do anything to get the scooter running. 

Eliot was ready to go, so we took it out for a quick spin around the block. We will give the Vespa a complete cleaning just to shine it up for our first extended ride.  [Permalink]- Vespa after Winter

April 6,2009

This weekend's trip to the Arnold Arboretum was more than just to get some fresh air, we used the outing as an opportunity for a FirstUse test of our Nikon GP-1 equiped D90 camera.

Digital images are often tagged with info about the capture conditions (F-stops, shutter speed, etc...).  When a GPS module is attached, the D90 also attaches the latitude and longitude data to the file.  The information may be reviewed directly on the camera.  While interesting, the utility is limited when examined in that fashion.

What occurred to us when we were taking the photos was we had no idea of the accuracy of the GPS data.  Fortunately, the Arboretum had a map with a big red arrow with the label "You are here."

The power of the GPS info is evident when it is coupled with a mapping software such as Google Earth.  We will have more details to show just how cool this is.  For now, unless you get one of these GP-1 modules and try it for yourself, you will just take our words for it.    [Permalink]- Nikon GP-1 FirstUse

April 3,2009

Judging by the sudden swell of unread emails in our InBox with the subject "Nikon GPS..." there were a lot of readers interested in the subject of geotagging images.  We will go and try out the Nikon GP-1 this weekend.  First, we wanted to show how easy it was to get this GPS module up and running.

As we had indicated in the FirstLook write-up, the Nikon GP-1 gets its power from the camera.  When the unit is properly attached and the camera turned on, the GPS module will automatically try to lock on the satellites.  When the LED on the GP-1 is blinking red, it means it is trying to acquire a signal.


In addition to the LED, there is a GPS status icon in the top LCD panel of the camera.  The detail information is available in the GPS section in the "tools" menu.  There are two options in the GPS section: Auto Meter-off, Position. 

The Auto Meter-off will save the camera's battery (w/ the GP-1 attached) by turning off the exposure meters after a set period of time of no activity.  The Position page shows the current GPS location info when it has acquired at least 3 satellites.

When four or more satellites have been acquired, the LED will go from blinking green to a steady green.  We were impressed that the GP-1 had no problem getting a fix on our position even when inside.  Now that we have the module installed, we'll take it out this weekend and check out the accuracy of the GPS info.  [Permalink]- Nikon GP-1 Installation

April 2,2009

GPS is useful for getting us around town, back to base camp, and tracking the vehicles in our motor pool.  A newer and increasingly popular use of GPS information is for location tagging of digital images so they can be mapped or sorted with applications such as Google Maps.  We take thousands of travel photos each years and do try to sort and categorize them, but it does get a bit tedious. 

Our new Nikon D90 has GPS capabilities.  The GPS sensor is not built into the camera, just the ability to take GPS information and associate it with the photo.  The GPS sensor itself is an add-on accessory.

Nikon has a dedicated GPS module (GP-1) for their digital SLRs based on the same chip technology as those in handheld units.  The GP-1 will work with our new D90 as well as many other Nikon DSLRs (D3, D700, D300, D2, D200).  The unit takes it power from the camera and can be attached via the neck strap or onto the flash mount.

There is a dedicated GPS port on the camera with a special connector.  It is not the standard USB type socket.  The GP-1 package includes cables for both the newer D90 camera and for the other Nikon DSLR models.

The GPS accessory is a bit pricey at $200, but just think of all the time you will save sorting your travel photos!  Also, in ten years, you may not remember where you took that amazing photo and will be wishing you could. 

If your current camera can take a GPS module, start tagging your photos now because the applications which will be able to take advantage of the info may not be here today, but they are coming.  [Permalink]- Nikon GP-1


March 27,2009

Our Oakley Juliet sunglasses came with two sets of lenses.  Both sets were polarized, but the yellow ones had a more reflective mirror coating.  We thought we would swap out the blue ones for yellow in honor of Spring.   Ok, it is not a very compelling reason, but it gave us an excuse to take apart the Oakley frame :-)

The Oakley frame is a little different compared to a typical sunglasses frame.  The screw holding everything together is on the bottom rather than on the side.  The screw is not a flat or Phillips, but a Torx...a T6 to be precise.

There was a rubber gasket in the gap cushioning the ends.  With the screw removed, the lens was easily popped from the frame.  Getting the new lens back in was a little more difficult than the removal.  However, we finally managed to get it in, but not without leaving a lot of finger prints on the lens.

The two lenses are quite different in appearance and they give the Oakley a whole different vibe.  Blue and Yellow are not the only color options available.  We are currently bidding on a set of ruby red lenses on EBay so we can fashion a pair similar to those worn by Cyclops in X-Men!  [Permalink]- Oakley Lens Replacement


March 11,2009

Yesterday we did a quick look at ScotteVest's Q-Zip and MicroFleece pullovers.  The fabric and construction of the both jackets are high quality.  The Q-Zip features two side and one chest pocket.  The MicroFleece has five pockets embedded in its structure.   While that is a lot of pockets, they did not make the garments bulky-looking.  In fact, these pullovers are much sleeker in appearance than their normal counterparts. 

Each pocket has been designed for a distinct purpose.  To show the versatility of the pockets, each comes with a note card with some suggested uses for that pocket.  One major feature of these ScotteVest pullover is its cord management capability.  Today we will show how easy it is to wire them up for the iPod.

Sewn into the collar of the Q-Zip are elastic loops for guiding the headphone cords around the back of the pullover.  Once the headphone plugs are threaded through the loops, they are free to slide about, but cannot slide back out.  Strategically placed holes in the pockets allow the plug to be connect to the iPod from the inside of the garment.

The larger MicroFleece jacket has more loops in the collar, but the idea is exactly the same... to guide the cords around the back and out of the way.  There are zippers on all of the external pockets, but many of the pockets also have magnetic closures.  The magnets will keep the pockets closed even when unzipped.  It is an interesting feature, but we'll have to see whether it interferes with any of our gear when used in every day situations.

Other features and details of the MicroFleece are more subtle.  In one of the pockets is a key cord.  There are reflective accents on the pockets and the back.  The back of the jacket is vented.  These small details are a reflection of the level of design attention paid to the creation of this piece of gear.  It is an attitude of pride.  We like that and encourage readers to support companies that take this approach in the making of their products.

These ScotteVest pullovers are better-looking than many of the "normal" ones we have in the office, and they may be a lot more functional!  Spring is coming and we are eager to test out these pullovers.  We will have the FirstUse report of both the ScotteVest Q-Zip and MicroFleece in April. [Permalink]- ScotteVest Wired

March 10,2009

An iPod is part of the wardrobe for a lot of us in the office.  One problem with carrying around the iPod all the time is managing the headphone cord.  Scott Jordan, CEO and founder of SCOTTEVEST (SeV) , has been addressing this and other problems related to carrying around personal electronics for close to a decade.

The Q-Zip and the MicroFleece pullover are two items which are perfect for Spring.  The Q-Zip is a thin, long-sleeve pullover that is great for layering.   It has the famous cord management feature of all SeV jackets and three hidden pockets.

The MicroFleece pullover is a heavier-duty jacket and is a great complement to the Q-Zip.  The MicroFleece has the same great cord management, plus five pockets, reflective strippings, and lots of other functional details.

We will take a closer look at both of these jackets soon.  SeV has lot of new gear for 2009.  Go check out their really cool online catalog, especially the X-Ray feature!  [Permalink]- ScotteVest


Feb 21,2009

Shobu Aikido of Boston has sword classes on Sunday as part of their regular Aikido program.  This weekend, Gleason sensei gave a sword seminar which was open to all.   Most of the time Gleason sensei demonstrates, discusses, and dissects the different kata.  This weekend Gleason sensei extended the class to Sunday. 

He started at the very beginning (how to hold the sword, how to cut, etc...) and one day was just not enough.  This was a rare seminar as Gleason sensei does not start from scratch too often.   The info on the site only listed a Saturday class.  Sunday was not listed because the Sat class is a prereq for the Sunday one.

We changed our weekend plans so we could attend and we are definitely glad we did.  If you are even remotely interested in sword, we highly recommend coming to Boston and attending one of Gleason Sensei's sword seminar.  You may also want to check his travel calendar to see if one will be coming to a town near you.   [Permalink]- Aikido Sword


Feb 14,2009

Last Fall we went to World's End in Hingham for a hike.  The Lobster Pound was open and the weather was warm.  We went back this weekend to see what the place was like during the Winter

The grounds were quiet.  There were a few birds out chirping, but pretty much everything else was in hibernation.  Spring is clearly still a few months away

It felt like we had the entire preservation to ourselves.  The solitude and calm of the hike was very relaxing.  We did have to pay attention on the trails as some of the paths were quite icy. 

As it was a clear day, we could see all the way back to Boston.  We took these two shots (18mm, 200mm) with the Nikon D90 and the 18-200mm VR zoom. 

This place would be quite beautiful after a fresh storm.  We hope to be back the next time it snows.  We'll definitely visit in the Spring when things start to bloom.   [Permalink]- World's End


Feb 3,2009

It is the dead of Winter, and glare from the snow is just as plausable a reason to invest in a good pair of sunglasses as sunlight from the beach.  However, not all sunglasses are created equal.  A pair of $300 Oakleys are a bit different than a pair of $10 sunglasses from a pushcart. 

We have taken a look at other well made sunglasses in the past.  Both the 180s and the Julbos are really good, but they are not Oakleys.  Today, we are going to take a closer look at a pair of Oakley X-metal Juliet sunglasses to see why they stand above the pack. 

The frame of the Oakley Juliet is made out of a special alloy.  We have no idea what it is, but let us know if you do.  These Oakleys "float" on the nose because both sides are hinged together at the bridge.  The rubber pads at the nose and the temples are user replaceable.

The hinge for the arms incorporated the Oakley logo as part of its design.  One of the reason why these Oakley x-metal Juliet sunglasses cost more than an average pair of sunglasses is Oakley's attention these details of form and function.  Another is the many options available for customization and personalization.

Our first DIY project with this pair of Oakley x-metal sunglasses is to swap out the ice-blue polarized lenses with the mirrored gold ones.  There are nothing particularly wrong with the blue ones, we just like the yellow ones better.  Of course, if we can find a set of red lenses, we would make our own version of those as seen worn by Cyclops in the X-Men movies.  [Permalink]- Oakley Sunglasses

January 30,2009

[Permalink]- Winter Aikido Seminar


January 29,2009

Some of us have been training at Gleason sensei's dojo for close to seven years now.  Students have often asked Gleason sensei when he was going to write another book on Aikido.  About three years ago, Gleason sensei must have decided the time was right.

The long awaited release of Gleason sensei's second book, Aikido and Words of Power, is now available. This second book is an expansion of many of the ideas introduced in his first book.  Gleason sensei uses both sword and open hand techniques to illustrate his concepts. 

Aikido and Words of Power may be purchased directly from Shobu Aikido of Boston.  While both words and photos are instructive, for readers interested in seeing the movements, Gleason sensei's DVD, Aikido and Japanese Sword, is a "must have." 

For readers interested in a deeper understanding of Aikido, Gleason sensei first book, The Spiritual Foundation of Aikido, is a great place to start.  However, as Gleason sensei often stresses in class, Aikido cannot be learned by reading about it, Aikido can only be learned by experiencing it.  If you are intrigued and are in Boston, then drop by the Shobu dojo in Somerville and observe a class.  It will be the best way to get started!   [Permalink]- Aikido and Words of Power

January 1,2009 (HappyNewYear)

What better way to start the new year than with a rejuvenating yoga class?  How about a candle-lit one?  OK... what if it was free?

That was exactly what Jenn Pici offered on Jan 1.  The class was held at the Shobu Aikido of Boston dojo (34 Allen Street, Somerville).  Jenn Pici teaches Vinyasa yoga: gentle, restorative, and great for all levels... especially beginners.

If you missed this first class, no worries.  Jenn teaches at the Shobu dojo ever Monday and Friday night.  All you need is to wear something comfortable and bring a towel or a mat.  There is a nominal fee for each class and there are discounts available.  Start your new year off right.  Head on down for a class[Permalink]- Vinyasa Yoga





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