"We Entertain When It Rains"  
  Premier Subscription
RainyDayShopping HERE !




Web www.rainydaymagazine.com

RainyDayMagazine's content can now be licensed for your print magazine or web site. Please contact us directly here.  If you want to see something reviewed, then drop us a note with a link and we'll be happy to take a look.


Oct 31,2007(HalloweenWednesday)
Oct 30,2007(TechTuesday)

Is it possible to have a magnet with just one pole?  Monopoles are theoretical, but for readers who have heard about Halbach Arrays, then you know that it is possible to "assemble" one with permanent magnets.

Glenn Turner of Gyroscope.com has created just such a kit for interested readers who want to learn more about this fascinating phenomenon.  We'll assemble this kit to see if we can actually get it to do the "monopole" thing.

Readers may remember Gyroscope.com as the place where we got the beautiful stainless steel and brass gyroscope a few years ago.  We still play with this all the time. 

If you are looking for something out of the ordinary to entertain you during some of the less engaging conference calls, point your browser to Gyroscope.com.  They have what you're looking for :-) - Wan Chi Lau (permalink)


Oct 29,2007(MagicMonday)

Some of our readers took us seriously when we said we were not posting any more until after the World Series was over.  One reader was so eager to read about the FirstLook of the Wacom Intuos that she offered to... well, nevermind what she offered.  In any case, now that the series is over, we are back at work.  We will start things off with a FirstLook of the 6x11 Intuos Tablet from Wacom.

The complete package consisted of : a widescreen sized tablet, wireless pen/holder, wireless mouse, software CDs, and cables.  No AC adapter or charger is needed with the Wacom.  As with all of Wacom's wireless devices, a proprietary induction system powers the peripherals... eliminating the need for batteries.  This technology alone makes it worth buying Wacom products.

The software bundle which came with the Intuos is pretty rich: Adobe Photoshop Elements (Win/Mac), Corel Painter Essentials, Nik Color EFex Pro, and Wacom Brushes.

The mouse is the standard 2-button with a center scroll wheel.  There are buttons on the side.  The pen and holder are both of very high build quality.  The pen may be placed horizontally or vertically in the holder.  The base is weighted and very stable when used in either configuration.

We have not yet delved into the software options for either the mouse or the pen, but we are pretty sure the settings are extensive.  We'll have more details when we post the FirstLook review.

The Intuos 6x11 tablet is about the same dimension as the Genius tablet we had looked at a few weeks ago.  The difference is the Wacom Intuos active area matches better with the widescreen displays.  The 16:9 aspect ratio is becoming the standard for both TVs and computer displays.  Wacom is ahead of the curve in offering drawing tablets which follows this trend.

On the drawing surface are a few physical buttons and a "touch strip."  We have not had any experience with using these additional items and will definitely explore them further in our FirstUse report.  One interesting thought we had when we got things set up for use is... wouldn't it be great if the tablet can be put into a "virtual keyboard" mode? That way, we can eliminate the keyboard all together and reclaim some desktop! - Wan Chi Lau (permalink)


Oct 27-28,2007(WeekendEdition)

A few of the RainyDayMagazine folks were invited down to Provincetown for the weekend to hang out, eat/drink, and watch the third game of the World Series. 

We, of course, took this opportunity to bring with us a few gadgets to test: the Carson Spotting Scope, the Wicked Laser, and some yet to be reviewed items.  The weather was so nice that we spent all our time enjoying it rather than playing with the gear.

Provincetown this time of the year is very quiet during the day, but it was still lively at night due to the coming of Halloween.  Many of the galleries were closed for the season, but many of the boutiques were still opened.  We checked out quite a few of the shops looking for end-of-the season deals.  Unfortunately, we came away empty handed.

However, all was not lost since the Red Sox took the third game of the series 10-5!  We'll be back in Boston tonight to see if they can sweep.  If they do, then we'll be back posting gear reviews next week! - Wan Chi Lau (permalink)


Oct 26,2007(FineArtsFriday)

Through his graphic novel approach to story telling, Gareth Hinds has made some of the classic tales accessible to a new generation of readers.  This past June, we told you about New York Times coverage of Gareth's Beowulf.   Many of you have written to tell us how much you enjoyed the recommendation.

Well! If you live close to Boston, Gareth is having an official Launch Party for his latest creation, King Lear, TODAY (Where: Porter Square Books, When: 6:30 -9:00PM).

This King Lear graphic novel was five years in the making.  Finally, despite various delays and printer/press problems, Gareth now has it in hand.  We urge all who are interested to join us and help Gareth celebrate!  Come to the launch party, buy a copy, and get it signed by the author. There will also be a brief "the making-of" presentation around 7PM. - Wan Chi Lau (permalink)

Note: The hard cover version of this graphic novel will not be available anywhere anytime soon.   There MAY be some for sale at the launch party.  So if you want one, you have to show up early :-)


Oct 25,2007(GameTwoThursday)

We turned the media room into a sports bar last night, and it will remain so for the duration of the World Series.  Three strikeouts and a leadoff homerun got the folks cheering early.  Both the 90" and the 60" screens were on for the game.

We don't expect to be posting much on the site until the series is over.   Everyone is going to kick back and enjoy the a break from writing about gadgets and just cheer the Sox on!

We'll see you back here when the series is over.  Of course, things will change if something really cool shows up at the loading dock... - Wan Chi Lau (permalink)


Oct 24,2007(WickedWednesday)

We received a lot of recommedations and ideas for telescopes and Astronomy related gadgets.  One suggestion stood out from the rest and it was something we didn't even know was possible... using a laser to point at the stars in the night sky! 

Of couse, not just any laser pointer would work.  Most of the links we were sent "pointed" to lasers from Wicked Lasers.  The first thing these suggestions mentioned was that this is NOT your father's laser pointer, but more about that later.  We were intrigued to say the least.  We HAD to check these recommendations out.  We were not disappointed!

The laser we got is a green laser called the Phoenix.  We also got a set of Wicked Caps to increase the burning capacity of our unit.

Our experience with laser pointers has been mainly with PowerPoint presentations (if we could stay awake).  When we powered on the Phoenix, we understood why they named the company Wicked Lasers!

We know what you are thinking...these images had to have been "photoshopped."  Instead, somebody happend to have been grilling something in the RainyDayKitchen.  We just took advantage of the smoke to diffuse the laser beam enough to create these photos :-)

We also took some photos of the laser moving and with the two different lens attachments (focus, diffuse).  The beam with the diffuser was noticeably thicker.

We can't wait to try this outside on a clear night to see if we can really use this to point at the stars.  Of couse, one has to be responsible when using a laser this powerful outside.  We wouldn't want to get a visit from Homeland Security for pointing a laser at something we shouldn't. - Wan Chi Lau (permalink)


Oct 23,2007(TrackYourSleepTuesday)

A few years ago we posted our reviews (FirstLook, FirstUse) of the SleepTracker.   It was one of our more popular posts.  So much so that WHDH Channel 7 of Boston came by and interviewed us as part their piece on the watch.

Recently, the folks at SleepTracker released an updated version of this innovative device.  We got a unit yesterday and will be bumping a few scheduled items from our list to give you a FirstLook of the SleepTracker Pro.

The first thing we noticed was the SleepTracker Pro had been completely redesigned.  The colors (black, silver, orange) are the only ties to the first-gen SleepTracker. The shape of the watch is more rectangular, but the edges are still curved.  The body of the watch is thicker.  The band is a little thinner and more flexible then the previous version.

Owners of the first SleepTracker will immediately notice the addition of an interface cable with a USB connector.  When we wanted to track and analyze the data using the first-gen SleepTracker, we had to manually transcribe it to Excel.  The SleepTracker Pro's data can be downloaded to a PC for analysis.  This is a major new feature of the Pro version.  There are a few other additions, but we'll save those for the FirstUse report.  If you want to read about them, check out the official SleepTracker site.

To access stored data, the SleepTracker Pro interface cable uses a clip instead of the more standard plug/socket approach.  The matching port is on the back of the watch.  The SleepTracker Pro also comes with a CD of software to track and analyze the sleep data.  We'll put this SleepTracker Pro to the test for a month and gather some data for analysis. Look for the FirstUse report in November. - Wan Chi Lau (permalink)


Oct 22,2007(MountItMonday)

Yesterday we posted a FirstUse of the eVo and AutoLock screen from LumenLab.  A few readers asked us to post more details on the eVo and the telescoping mount and we realized we had not yet done a FirstLook yet...so here it is :-)

The projector was designed by LumenLab and manufactured in China.  The combination has resulted in a good overall design and an inexpensive unit.   This does come at some cost (plastic feel, imperfect fit), but we think LumenLab made the right calls where it counts (good optics, multi-resolution support, cheap replacement bulbs).

We also like the multi-input, keystone correction, and onboard controls.  The eVo comes with a remote, some spare fuses, and a lens cap. 

LumenLab offers an incredibly priced telescoping ceiling mount.  This is an all steel mount which will enable the projector to be securely mounted.  Adjusting it precisely may take a bit of patience as there are quite a few bolts to tighten.

There are four matching anchor points at the bottom of the eVo projector for the mount.  We don't have any plans at present to permanently mount this projector as we'll still need it for our multi-touch project.  However, we are at a point in the project where we may need a projector with a shorter throw.  If we do get another projector, we'll definitely permanently mount the eVo in our media room.  - Wan Chi Lau (permalink)


Oct 21,2007(WeekendEdition)

The LumenLab eVo projector has been in-house and in-use for many months now.  Most of this time we had been using it for our multi-touch project.  Since the Red Sox won last night, we decided to project tonight's game on the big screen so everyone can gather and watch. This meant it was finally time to mount the 90" screen we purchased along with the projector.

The LumenLab screen came well packed and pre-assembled.  All we had to do was mount it to the ceiling and attach it with some hooks.  We managed to get it set up in about 30 minutes.  The part that took the most time was finding the studs in the ceiling!

The project was going smoothly until we pulled down the screen.  No matter what we did, the screen would not stay deployed.  This is supposed to be an "auto-lock" screen.  Upon closer inspection, we noticed that the left end of the screen had a crack.  This may or may not be the cause, but still a problem either way.

Since there was no time to take things apart, we decided on a more "practical" solution. Two 8 lb dumbbells were employed to anchor the screen open until we have a chance to contact LumenLabs and see what can be done :-)

The final task was setting up the LumenLab eVo projector.   We might decide that projector would be better mounted on the ceiling at  later date.  For now, we'll just use a cart to hold it. The projector has a built-in keystone correction dial to compensate for the tilt.  Now that we have the 90" screen up, the 60" monitor does not seem so big any more!  We are now set for tonight's game. 

The image projected by the eVo is not bright enough for daytime use, but it is fine as a home theater projector in a darkened room.  The three images were take at three different times during the day (mid-afternoon, late afternoon, sun down). 

We did not have time to reconfigure the 7-channel surround sound, but it should be good enough for tonight's game.  Go Sox!!! - Wan Chi Lau (permalink)


Oct 20,2007(WeekendEdition)

The RainyDayKitchen crew attended the 12th annual Boston Vegetarian Food Festival today.  There were over a 100 different vendors showing many varieties of meat-free food options.

Maybe it was the FREE admission, perhaps it was the FREE food samples, but the place was PACKED.  Who knew there were so many vegetarians in Boston?

Vendors in all categories of vegetarian eating (meat-like substitutes, vegan, raw) gave out samples and answered questions.  Most were good, some were really tasty, and others were surprisingly delicious...even when compared to their meat counterparts!  

Groups advocating an animal-free lifestyle were also on hand.  Some spread their message via t-shirts and buttons.  Others were actual companies making products using all synthetic components.

We met a nice woman asking for signature to ban dog racing in MA.  While we are not opposed to the betting or racing of dogs, we are also not too keen on the way greyhounds are raised just to race and then "discarded" when they are no longer "profitable."

To find out more about this issue, check out the info on the Humane Society site.  We are not saying that dog racing is wrong, we just don't like what they do with them when they can't race anymore.  If only they treated these animal athletes the same way baseball and football players are treated when they are too old to play, like give them cushy front office jobs.... - Wan Chi Lau (permalink)


Oct 19,2007(FewWordsFriday)

Written words are so low bandwidth.  Today, we are going to experiment with a technique where we cram thousands of words in the space of a few hundred.

Wacom...way fun!  FirstUse report coming your way in November. - Wan Chi Lau (permalink)


Oct 18,2007(TelescopeTechThursday)

We were amazed to discover that so many of our readers are into Astronomy!  We thank you for all of the interesting pointers to cool gear and gadgets we should consider for our upcoming articles on telescopes and stargazing.

Quite a few of you have pointed us in Orion's direction, especially toward the Orion EZ Finder.  We acquired a unit last week and will be adding it to our Celestron C8 scope sometime this Winter. 

The basic unit comes with all the parts needed to attach it to most telescopes.  There are additional mounts for different types of types scopes such as the SCT.

The Orion EZ Finder is a sighting device which uses a red dot to help align the telescope.  There are a lot of advantages to this finder, our readers claim.  We'll see how it compares to a standard finder and the Telrad unit.

The two telescopes we'll mount our new finders on are the 8" Newtonian and the 8 " SCT.  The Telrad will be attached to the Newtonian and the Orion EZ Finder will go on the Celestron C8.

It appears we are pretty well set for "pointing" our telescopes once we get these red dot finders on them.  It'll be fun to see how they perform InTheWild.  We should have the Installation articles ready sometime this Winter and the FirstUse articles shortly after. - Wan Chi Lau (permalink)


Oct 17,2007(WowUsWednesday)

A little over a month ago we told you about John Kanzius and his water-burning invention.   To day we are going to share with you something just as potentially revolutionary...a micro turbine which will cost a few dollars to make and can change the way we generate electricity for powering all kinds of things.

This invention was inspired by a video which most of us have seen in our high school physics class.  The video is the Tacoma Narrows Bridge twisting itself to pieces from high winds.

Shawn Frayne, a MIT grad, saw the video and had an inspiration... could the vibrational energy be converted to something more useful?  The result of his work is the micro turbine pictured below.

The key to the conversion is the movement of a magnet passing through the two coils when the membrane vibrates, thus generating electricity.  Brilliantly simple in concept, parts, and ease of maintenance.  Check out this awesome video describing the device and showing it in action.  This is going to change things!

If the price of crude oil makes you depressed, take heart that people like John Kanzius and Shawn Frayne are counter-balancing some of the "brain trusts" we have running things (into the ground). - Wan Chi Lau (permalink)


Oct 16,2007(CleaningTechTuesday)

HEPA filtration and related technology is important around the RainyDayMagazine office.  Why?  It's because some of our interns have this annoying habit of shedding fur and dander when they "work."

There are two choices (bag or bagless) when it comes to choosing vacuum cleaners with HEPA filtration.  Each has their advantages and drawbacks.  We have both technologies in-house and will be comparing them side by side to see which we like better.

For the bagless approach, we just got in the new cyclonic Eureka Capture+ vacuum cleaner.  We'll be comparing the Eureka to the Oreck XL 21 paired with the new Arm & Hammer Odor Elimnating vacuum bags.

Arm & Hammer is leveraging the "odor elimination" association most people have with baking soda and applying it to vacuum bags.  It is a clever move as it is another "consumable" that helps Arm & Hammer extend their brand's reach.

We ran into a little snag when we tried installing the Arm & Hammer bags, we realized that the ones we got were not for the model of Oreck XL!  Bummer :-(  We'll get the right version and try again soon.  In the meantime, we'll take the Eureka unit out of the box and put it together.  You KNOW we'll have pictures of that :-) - Wan Chi Lau (permalink)


Oct 15,2007(MonocularMonday)

This past weekend we took the Carson Spotting Scope for a FirstUse outing.  Mass Audubon has a preserve close to the office. We have been there a few times and knew it would be a good location to test out the scope.

It was just the start of Fall but the colors were already showing.  We hiked in for a bit and set up at one of the boardwalks looking out at the wetland.

The setup we took with us on the outing was the Carson BackCountry Spotting Scope mounted on the TrekPod.  We have been using the TrekPod every chance we had.  A few sharp-eye viewers noticed that we used it to support the Jason telescope we had with us in Maine.

The Carson scopes performed wonderfully in this FirstUse outing.  The controls were easy to use, the focus knob and zoom controls were smooth to operate.  The image had high contrast and was razor sharp.  The integrated sunshield came in very handy on this bright day. 

The Carson scope/TrekPod combo is a winner both in the backcountry as well as in the city (we stopped by Jamaica Pond on the way back to check out the ducks).  The pair is light to carry and quick to set up.  Perfect for bird watching anywhere/anytime.

The only thing we wish was better on the Carson was the lens cap.  It is a rubber cap, but the fit was loose.  We did not take it with us on the hike because we knew we would lose it.  Some kind of hinged cap may have been a better choice for a field scope.  However, this is a nitpicking point in an otherwise excellent product.  We look forward to taking out in a more extensive outing soon.  - Wan Chi Lau (permalink)


Oct 14,2007(WeekendEdition)

Last July, we got one of our bird watching staff a pair of binoculars for her birthday.  We knew then it was the start of a never ending quest for sharper, more powerful optics to enable her to get ever closer (visually) to her feathery friends.

To temporarily satisfy this power lust, we will be equiping our bird watcher with a BackCountry Carson (SS-550) 15x-40x Zoom Spotting Scope. The Carson BackCountry Spotting Scope comes complete with the scope, eyepiece, tripod, and field bag. 

The scope has two position (45º and straight) for the eyepiece placement. The 45º placement is more comfortable for standing use while the straight through mode is more suitable for use in a prone position.  The zoom capability (14x-50x) is built into the eyepiece.

The scope collapses to 9" when not in use and is 11" when fully extended.  There is an integrated rubberized sunshade for glare control.

The metal tripod is sturdy, compact, and fits into a special compartment in the case.  For bird watching, though, a standing tripod is a more practical setup.

We have already taken this scope out for a field test.  How did it perform?   Interested readers will just have to keep an eye out for the FirstUse report coming later this month.  We are also working on some way to take some photos through the eyepiece of this scope.  If you have any idea, drop us a note.   - Wan Chi Lau (permalink)


Oct 13,2007(WeekendEdition)

Back in August, we got a larger tablet (the Genius PenSketch 9x12) to make our graphics work easier.  We have been getting a steady stream of emails asking when we are going to post the FirstLook review of the PenSketch.  If you have been one of those emailers, today is your luck day.

The active area of the PenSketch table is almost 4x bigger (9x12 vs 4x5) than the Graphire.  When it comes to tablets, bigger is better.  Bigger means more room to work, more room means higher resolution, and higher resolution means better details.

Since most buyers of larger tablets will most likely already have their favorite graphics software programs, we will not talk much about the trial ones included with the PenSketch.  We will mention that there are drivers for both Windos XP and Mac OS X.

The Genius PenSketch comes with a cordless mouse and a cordless pen.  Each are powered by a AAA battery.  From past experience, we know that we use the mouse about 85% of the time.  The PenSketch mouse has three buttons (left, right, scroll).  The bottom of the mouse hsd three "fuzzy" patches so it can slide noisely across the tablet's surface.  This technique works well, but does tend to trap crumbs and dust.

The pen is useful for fine retouching, tracing, or pressure sensitive brush work, but isn't all that ergonomic for normal menu and selection activities.  However, the Genius tablet has an interesting feature which we have not seen in other tablets...a programmable strip of "virtual buttons" along the top of the input area.

This strip of programmable buttons may finally make the pen just as quick to use for menu item selection as the mouse.  We'll have more to say about this unique feature in our FirstUse report. - Wan Chi Lau (permalink)


Oct 12,2007(FurryFriday)

Ever since Sarah (our Summer intern) left in August, we have been looking for a replacement.  A few days ago, the folks in HR said they found the "perfect" intern who would blend seemlessly into RainyDayMagazine's unique office culture.

Today, the new intern showed up for work.  HR assured us that this intern is fully qualified, is a team player, and is ready to hit the ground running.  We think we might need to make a few tweaks to the job description we give HR.

Nonetheless, Buffy and Eliot introduced themselves.  Our new team member politely declined their offer to go outside and sneak up on some finches.  Eliot, being a bit pushier than Buffy, kept insisting that it would be "fun."

By now you may be asking just what does our new intern do all day? Click on the video and find out.  If you think you qualify, drop us a note.  We are always looking for hard workers who are willing to work for nothing.   - Wan Chi Lau (permalink)


Oct 11,2007(SuccessTalesThursday)

What does a computer programming book, an investment advice strategy, and the memoir of a music mogol have in common?  A lot more than at first glance.  The first two books (Design Patternsand Beating the Street) are about recognizing patterns and successful strategies and using them to an advantage.  The third book (Young, Rich, and Dangerous) is by a music mogul who is willing to share his secrets of how he succeeded in a brutal industry. 

We came upon Jermaine Dupri's book at our friend Kathleen's a few weeks ago.  I started flipping through it because Kathleen thought I would find it interesting that Dupri liked to hang out at Magic City and Body Tap not for the strippers (well, not entirely for the strippers), but more to be in tune with and hear what/who's "next" in the music scene.  It brought to mind Peter Lynch's description of how he would go to the mall to gets ideas about what stocks to pick for his phenomenally successful Magellan Fund.  Different venue, same goal: to know what's next before the next guy. 

I found Dupri's book fascinating mainly because he describes a world radically different from Peter Lynch's, and yet is created from a blueprint which is fundamentally identical to that of many other successful people. 

For those interested in reading more about Dupri's "pattern", the   Young, Rich, and Dangerous will be available in stores on 10/16.  If you find you like Dupri's tale, you may want to check out an earlier book (also co-authored by Samantha Marshall) titled Make It Happen. - Wan Chi Lau (permalink)


Oct 10,2007(WowUsWednesday)

We go to sleep and the world is one way, we wake up and it is another.  Such is the case between last night and this morning.  We were still half asleep when we heard on NPR that Radiohead's new album In Rainbows had been released. 

What cut through our snoozeful haze was not the announcement that the entire album was done in a little more than a week, but that it would be available for download for WHATEVER you think it is worth!  WHAT?!?!

For diehard fans, a physical "bundle" is available for purchase.  This bundle includes quite a bit of goodies (CD, vinyl, extra music) not downloadable at any price.  If you are so inclined, go and check it out before their site crashes from the avalanche of clicks which will surely be hitting their servers today.

We may just have witnessed the next phase in musician-controlled content distribution.  There will be a few unscheduled meetings at the big music studios today!  Hands will be wringing while they await the impact of such a move. - Wan Chi Lau (permalink)


Oct 9,2007(TelescopeTechTuesday)

When we purchased our 10" Newtonian telescope it was missing the finder scope.  After a bit of research, it was determined that a red-dot finder would be a suitable replacement.  While bidding on the replacement finder, we also came across another interesting "finder."  We managed to acquire both on EBay.

The "red-dot" finder we purchased is the Telrad sight.  It was designed to enable users to quickly align telescopes with celestral objects by lining up a projected "red-dot" with what they see in the finder.

The other "finder" is the Stellarscope. This gadget is a tool designed to help user identify constellations and other celestrial objects in the night sky through out the year. 

We have not had much experience using either "finders" yet.  Look for a review of the Telrad and the Stellarscope once we've had a chance to learn how to use them properly. - Wan Chi Lau (permalink)


Oct 8,2007(ColumbusDay)

Every year we bring a few pieces of gear with us to Maine for some field testing.  This year was no exception.  We brought with us two GPS units (HK GPS-500, Navigon), a pair of binoculars, the Jason 3" portable telescope, a Stellarium, and two Kata camera bags (WS-604, W-92).  We picked the Kata bags because we had a lot of optical gear and we wanted to make sure they made the trip safely.  The adjustable internal compartments and padded pockets make it easy to adapt the bags to whatever we wanted to protect (telescope, cameras, binocular). 

On this trip, we used the Kata WS-604 for the Jason 3" Newtonian.  The internal compartment was large enough to handle the entire scope.  The various accessories (finder scope, legs, filters) were stowed in the side pockets.

The first night we were in Maine we tried using the telescope to look at the constellations.  Unfortunately, there was just too much light pollution to see anything well.  We thought we would have better luck look at the sun during the day.

Some people say "never to look at the sun with a telescope."  This, of course, is nonsense.  The proper warning is "never look at the sun with a telescope without the use of the proper FILTER."  Since we DO have the proper filter, we are going to look at the sun for a while before heading back to Boston.   - Wan Chi Lau (permalink)


Oct 7,2007(MaineWeekend)

A hearty breakfast (two kinds of scramble eggs, three flavors of sausages, fresh baked rolls, etc...) got everyone powered up for some serious relaxing. 

Some of us opted to hang around the house, others headed into Wells for the Sunday paper, and Carolyn and I decided to take a drive along Route 1 to Kennebunkport.  Because of the unseasonably warm weather, the town was packed.  Most of these small picturesque towns usually have just one road through the center.  The best strategy is to park at the edge of town and walk in. 

Window shopping was the main activity for the day.  There was plenty to see all over town.  The one store which stood out for us was Compliments in Dock Square.  Their focus is on high-end American crafts. 

If you find youself in that area of Maine, definitely stop by and check it out.  You will find wonderful creations you will not find anywhere else.  You may just might find something you can't live without :-)

After the vigorous window shopping, we were ready for some more serious lounging.  Apparently, others also had the same plan for the day...shopping, eating, and napping. 

We did manage to wake up to watched the Sox sweep the Angels, ate and drank some more, and then crashed around 8PM.  There is a rumor Jay and Lisa picked up a cheesecake for tonight's dessert.  Carolyn may wake up for THAT :-) - Wan Chi Lau (permalink)


Oct 6,2007(MaineWeekend)

All of us arrived in Wells, Maine last night, but we were too beat to do much of anything.  Today is a different story.  The day promises to be in the 80s and sunny...a rarity for Columbus Day Weekend in Maine!

While we were gathering for breakfast, we saw a crane and a fox in the marsh out back.  How cool is that?

After breakfast, we took a walk along the beach into Ogunquit.  The tide was out, revealing a large stretch of sand for strolling.  Most of the tourists have gone, but a few of those remaining took advantage of the temperature for some late season sun bathing.

We were not entirely sure where the day went, but after the walk, a nap, and some lounging around the house, it was time for dinner!

Irfan and Bill were the chefs tonight.  As usual, they cooked up a feast for the crew.  The meal was a huge hit, so much so that some of us needed a nap before the final dessert course. 

Tomorrow night, Lisa and Jay will be in control of the kitchen.  We'll do a lot of walking tomorrow to ensure we work up a healthy appetitie.  However, it is safe to say we'll not be hitting the town tonight :-) - Wan Chi Lau (permalink)


Oct 5,2007(FinallyItsFriday)

Just when we were about to post the FirstLook of the Genius tablet, three new tablets from Wacom showed up at the office.  We are going to hold the Genius piece a few more days to see if it makes sense to review them all together.

Two of the Wacom tablets are their new Bamboo line.  The other is from the professional line.  We know there have been frequent requests for a review of the top of the line Cintiq tablet and we are working on that.  In the meantime, we'll have FirstLook at the intuos3 6x11 tablet.   - Wan Chi Lau (permalink)


Oct 4,2007(TeamThursday)

Those lucky enough to obtain Red Sox tickets for the first game of the Red Sox divisional playoff were treated to a great time last night at Fenway Park.  Beckett pitched as strong (maybe even stronger) last night than any time this season as he whipped a 4-0 shutout past the Angels.  It was a great start to what we hope to be an exciting post season.

There are still quite a few more games before another 2004 ending.  We'll just have to enjoy the ride.  We also need to equip our RainyDaySports reporter with somthing better than a camera phone (we were hoping to get live coverage).   The one on the Motorola RAZR just was not cutting it.  - Wan Chi Lau (permalink)


Oct 3,2007(WowUsWednesday)

This week's WowUsWednesday submission is from Jeremy A. of MA.  We have never heard of "Seam Carving" and until we got this link we have never thought much about content-aware image resizing.

Now that we have watched Avidan and Shamir's Siggraph 2007 video on the technique, we are totally impressed with this elegant solution to a difficult problem. Check it out and be "wow-ed." - Wan Chi Lau (permalink)


Oct 2,2007(OvenTechTuesday)

Toaster ovens have been around for a long time.  Companies have added an astounding array of improvements and features to the original design over the years.  Cuisinart has taken the "toaster oven" concept quite a bit further with the Convection Brick Oven (BRK-300).

This oven has multiple cooking options for baking, broiling, and toasting.  It also has a rotisserie function for cooking chickens and things of up to 4 lbs.  A unique feature of this oven is the fan in the back of the unit.  The fan creates a convection flow of hot air to allow for faster and more efficient roasting/baking. 

This Cuisinart oven is small enough (15"x14"x11") that it will fit comfortably anywhere.  If you have a kitchen where size is important, this piece of high tech kitchen gear may allow you to have a versatile oven in a very small space. 

The skin of the BRK-300 is brushed stainless steel.  All of the accessories (drip pan, racks, rotisserie fork) are also made of heavy gauge stainless steel.  Cusinart has incorporated ceramic stones on the side and bottom to give this oven the ability to make great crusts for pies and pizza.

For the non-vegetarians in the RainyDayKitchen, the rotisserie function is a perfect excuse to cook another lemon chicken!  It also looks like we'll have to make some pies and pizzas as well :-) For more details on this unit, go check it out on the Cuisinart site. - Wan Chi Lau (permalink)


Oct 1,2007(MirrorMonday)

We found our last piece of astronomy gear for our upcoming RainyDayScience section.  Originally we were looking for a high quality scope with "goto" capability.  However, we didn't have much left in our budget for both a good scope and a "goto" mount. 

Fortunately for us, Len T of Woburn MA came to the rescue! Len had a mint condition Celestron C8 which he had purchased back over 20 years ago in storage.  He wanted to find it a good home and sold it to us for pennies on the dollar.

The Celestron C8 is a Schmidt-Cassegrain Telescope (SCT).  We'll cover the details of the various telescopes in our collection next year.  It will take a while for us to learn how to use this scope.  Fortunately for us, assembling it will be easy as Caltech has a tutorial on how to setup this exact scope.  How great is that?

We want to thank Len for helping us complete our telescope search.  Anyone out there with a GoTo unit capable of driving this beast?  If you do, you know where we live :-) - Wan Chi Lau (permalink)


....... 2007 .......

[Sep] [Aug] [Jul]

[Jun] [May] [Apr] [Mar] [Feb] [Jan]

....... 2006 .......

[Dec] [Nov] [Oct] [Sep] [Aug] [Jul]

[Jun] [May] [Apr] [Mar] [Feb] [Jan]

....... 2005 .......

[Dec] [Nov] [Oct] [Sep] [Aug] [Jul]

[Jun] [May] [Apr] [Mar] [Feb] [Jan]

....... 2004 .......

[Dec] [Nov] [Oct] [Sep]


September's Gear




Rainy Day Magazine is a Publication of Rainy Day Entertainment© 2007