Sunday, February 22, 2009
After entering my room at the Hilton a few years ago while on vacation/business in Vero Beach, I became stuck on the perfect bedding choices for sleeping. It always seemed to be the best sleeping when I stayed at a Hilton or Hampton Inn that touted their fine beds. The problem is, what makes a bed so much more comfortable than anywhere else? My first item was a Goose Down Comforter. The solid white looks clean and inviting but also requires constant care. I typically prefer to be cold when sleeping and since the goose down comforter can get so warm, it requires constant adjustments during the night to maintain a comfortable temperature. When the temperature drops down during the winter though it makes for the perfect sleeping conditions. I’m thinking about a duvet cover to help keep the cleaning down. It’s always a battle with something white; it seems to attract anything that stains. The next order of business was to pick the perfect sheets. I was really impressed by the sheets at the Hilton. The high thread count and the numerous times they had been washed led to a silky soft finish. They aren’t cheap but offer the exact features I prefer in my sheets. I no longer use a fitted bottom sheet; instead I use oversized flat sheets for my bedding. The sheets are of course white and required many washes before they had the same finish as the hotel. I have four pillows, two where purchased at Sam’s and the other two I received as gifts from parents many years ago. The two pillows from Sam’s are Serta pillows and have characteristics of down and memory foam. They are very comfortable and are much better that the usual foam filled pillows found at motels. My other two pillows from my parents are goose down filled. I have a local cleaner that will empty, clean and add to feather pillows. They then put them in a new case/cover prior to pickup. This renovation is much less costly than trying to buy new quality feather pillows. I cover all the pillows with white cases that match the sheets.
The only thing left for bedding is the interest in a featherbed. I have looked at mattress toppers and haven’t decided on the best option. I always wondered how hot the goose down feather bed would make my bed. I don’t exactly live in a climate that promotes cold weather. If you’re interested in some quality bedding try looking at the Pacific Coast Feather Company. I also have had great experience with Woolrich Home Bedding from Target. One last recommendation for a great hotel sleeping experience, try to make window treatments as dark as possible. The hotel room always blocks out a ton of light when you’re there for the evening. Now go get some zzzzz’s…..
Thursday, February 19, 2009
I was buzzing through my Google Reader the other day, trying to shorten the load of close to 433 new posts from an assortment of blogs and other news sites that I like to follow. Autoblog had an article on the new Ford Ranger being offered in the European market. I instantly was interested in the article because we have been cursed with the same Ranger in this country for what seems like a century. Each year the little truck is given a minor face-lift as its competition continues to innovate and improve upon their venerable platforms. Surely we must be getting this beautiful new truck in our soils, since this is a Ford where talking about….apple pie, baseball, trucks….America....Right? To my surprise the completely redesigned truck is not on the slate to be offered in our country for at least another year. Why? Why would Ford in these economic times not want to bring a new version of what is considered an economical choice in a sea of gas guzzling full size trucks. Obviously they have their reasons and I am certainly not one to judge how a multi-billion dollar business is being navigated. As I started to read the article I stumbled onto the details of the new trucks engine. See in foreign markets the choice of utility engine is a diesel. The Europeans have been advancing the diesel engine for years, it happens to be a little passion of mine. I had a Land Rover and one of my biggest irritations was that I couldn’t have the diesel engines available in the UK. They offer killer reliability, off-road torque, never over-heat, and better fuel economy. Anyways the diesel topic for me is another blog post all together. The new Ranger was being offered with two engines, and they both where diesels. The details indicated a range of 100km on 8.63 liters of fuel. After using Google for a little conversion I calculated roughly 31mpg. Now switch over to the US website for the Ford Ranger, and check the engines offered. Nothing gets over 26mpg and it gets worse from there if you want something that can pull a load bigger than a sack of dog food. See gas engines take more horsepower to get more torque. They aren’t the torque monsters that their distant cousins are the diesel engine. So why is it Ford that we are bringing a new version of a great truck with some fantastic engine choices to an area on Earth other than our states? Doesn’t this economy and current petrol situation warrant such a vehicle? Couldn’t these new innovative choices entice people to buy your vehicles? You need the money, right? I know I would love to have the choice of a strong, reliable and economic engine. Couldn’t a car stand to have such an engine, something that could get even better fuel economy? Audi recently drove a group of new Q7 diesels from Long Beach to the Detroit Motor Show, a truck the size of a Tahoe that gets about 25mpg. Not bad for the first run in the states, plus it has 406 lbs of torque. (That’s a big deal for a truck) The current lineup on the GMC website for a Yukon is 21mpg and nowhere near the power. Hmmm how much money do you need General Motors? -Play smart
Monday, February 16, 2009
I can remember looking through the issues of my first Road and Track magazine at the wonderfully tempting ads of those sophisticated little boxes with lights and buzzers that would forever protect you from the dreaded speeding ticket. I could only imagine that anyone reading such a magazine obviously had some kind of cruise missile sitting in their perfectly organized garage. The kind of missile that would be painted in a high luster PPG, named “beluga caviar black”, sporting chromed logos with letters like P_O_R_S_C_H_E or intricate emblems with prancing horses. You clearly owned a car that was designed to be driven well past the limits posted on these highways. The only thing stopping you from exhausting every last bit of distance out of the gas pedal was the eventual overly expensive speeding ticket.
Car and Driver and many other publications started testing each of the most common detectors on the market. This was a supervised test to find which one really had the ability to find that officer before you came into contact with his radar gun. After the popularity started to rise with detectors, more and more manufacturers started showing up on the list of “best and worse”. There always seemed to be one manufacturer that ended up on the top of the list year after year. The prices also started to rise as new technologies where introduced and more sophisticated measures had to be implemented to prevent false alarms and detector-detectors. Then the advent of laser speed guns changed the way we felt about “safe speeding”. They required a new look at protecting yourself against an unwanted ticket. If you where shot with a laser gun, it was probably too late. Late means money….
Why do you want a radar detector? Are you promoting unsafe driving if you buy into the idea of owning such a device? Have you ever driven on I-75 in SW Florida? Have you crossed Alligator Alley? (possibly the best candidate road for no speed limit)
Escort has long been featured in the popular car magazines. I recently took a ride in a very fast car with the new Passport 9500ix and the abilities of today’s radar detectors are amazing. GPS now helps remember where false alarms are and helps log speed cameras. These pricey units can be the difference between a fun run to Key Largo or an expensive waste to St. Augustine. My Audi has the Passport 8500 and is considered by many to be one of the best radar detectors ever made. The red LED’s match my interior perfectly and it can sniff out a trooper from miles away. So I say, be safe but drive the way the car was intended, fast. ☺ I don’t believe in being unsafe so if you want to race go to a track. If you want to make good time buy an Escort. Cheers-
Sunday, January 11, 2009
I watched the keynote address from Macworld which was given by Phil Schiller. The excitement revolved around a new release of iLife, iWork software, the expected release on the uni-body 17" Macbook Pro, and long over due DRM free iTunes music. Everything was pretty, but nothing candy coated the fact that this would be the last Macworld that Apple would be directly involved with. Although this doesn't mean we won't be hearing from the good folks at Cupertino, in fact they probably will just shift there attention to another venue.
I am looking forward to testing the new face recognition on iPhoto with one of my Macs. The integration of Geotagging with digital pictures is still a nice idea in concept but I don't think I will adopt it until it arrives built into one of my DSLR bodies. I'm sure iWork is pretty but I still use Office as my defacto work center. Obviously the keynote can't release a game changing product every year(iphone). It is amazing when you see the people in the front row of the Moscone Center drop there jaws over a new way to move your mouse.
Without question the iTunes update is the most needed announcement. We need DRM free music on all of our purchase sites and with iTunes being the biggest retailer in the U.S. it only makes sense. I was personally excited to see the adoption of iTunes downloads through 3G network on my iPhone. I always wondered what the point was of fast data speeds if I can't even use it to download music.
Now for the aluminum. I was in Panera Bread the other day and noticed a fellow patron with an Aluminum Mac. The back casing had obviously been through a war with the floor. I have also been through several aluminum macs and all have had there fair share of dents and dings. I realize that aluminum is highly recyclable but isn't plastic a good "green" choice. I always feel like an old Mac looks like an old Mac. My Dell computers look pretty new regardless of there age. It seems silly but it doesn't make for good advertisement. I guess the aluminum is just to pretty to pass up, the Apple is officially the new sheik item to have at Starbucks.
Thursday, September 4, 2008
Books A Million "I tried to find out and know one knows, but...If you can then it works, if it can't then it doesn't"
Just wanted to update my blog with a quick post. Be on the lookout for new things around the corner. I wish I could update this thing more often. I am chilling at BAM tonight with my Sis. We decided to have a few nights out a week away from the Mom and Dad. We are doing the internet thing. We had a little snafu when we first arrived trying to get on the free Wi-Fi. After several phone calls to tech support the answer we received is the title of this post. Buenos Noches....
Monday, March 3, 2008
I have been a fan of taking pictures for quite some time. I have wanted to move past the typical point shoot models that I have used for many years. The hang when deciding on buying a DSLR is the cost of lenses. I have been using high-end point and shoots that are often referred to as hybrid or high zoom models. In order to duplicate the lens range of these cameras you would need to invest in several expensive lenses with the DLSR. Over time after you have made the investment in glass you can continue to upgrade with newer bodies, but your lenses last forever. I finally decided on a Canon Rebel XTi. I have purchased one lens so far and plan on renting a couple of lenses for an upcoming trip to experiment with my options. Its a great way to check lens choices before dropping down the scratch on a piece of glass. I'll keep you updated on my camera stuff as time goes by. Get out there and shoot!!
Monday, January 21, 2008
My girlfriend recently won an all expense paid vacation to stay at the Trade Winds Resort in St. Petersburg for 2 nights before the end of January. The hotel was fairly booked for the rest of this month. We had to settle on a Sunday and Monday night that we could work out between our two schedules. We arrived in St. Petersburg yesterday to be greeted by some incredible weather. The temp gauge in my car said 59 degrees and the wind gave a nip at your face. This isn't the usual beach weather that you hear about in Florida while on the sweet beach vacation. We did manage to get somethings done on the beach despite the cool weather. We walked up and down the coast as the temperature continued to lower into the 40's. We snuggled into our room to keep from the abnormal temperatures. We listened to the howling wind through the windows as we stayed in the comforts of our cocoons. What an evening in beautiful sunny Florida. Actually this weather made for a wonderful weekend getaway. We are very used to attending the beach during the hot humid summers. This was a refreshing change of pace. We also found the most incredible place in St. Petersburg to get smoked fish! So the next time your in the area look for Ted Peters Famous Smoked Fish Inc. They served me up a 1 lb piece of smoked mackerel that was to die for, and then they paired it up with German potato salad and the most unusual cole slaw that I have eaten in a while.