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September 21,2008(WeekendEdition)

A very intriguing package showed up in our office mail yesterday.  It was a teaser ad from Porsche for a new vehicle called the Panamera.  The ad was done in the style of an artist's "sketch book."

The images on all of the pages were hand-drawn rendering of Porsche's current line (911, Boxster, Cayenne, Cayman).  They then asked the question " How will you build the first true sports car for four?"  Our answer would be to buy two Boxsters, but Porsche's answer is the Panamera.

We have not been paying much attention to Porsche's new vehicles (Cayenne, Cayman), and are a little bit confused by the whole concept of a "sports car for four."  It reminded us of the 928 back when gas was under a $1.

However, Porsche is an interesting company and we have no doubt that they know what they are doing.  So we will fill out the form and stay up to date on the progress of the Panamera.  If nothing else, we just love getting cool "info-tisments" from Porsche.  [Permalink] - Panamera


September 20,2008(WeekendEdition)

Somebody (we will not reveal whom... cough...Eliot), while learning how to ride the Vespa, managed to put a small indentation on the front panel

We were happy to just leave it be.  The dent, while somewhat unsightly, had no affect on the workings of the scooter itself.  This, of course, did not sit well with the RainyDayGarage guys.  After all, "fixing" the dent was the perfect excuse they needed to justify taking apart the Vespa.

After some discussion, it was agreed that they could take a look to see if accessing the dent from the inside was an easy task.  A quick examination revealed that the front storage compartment was held in place by three screws in the back and probably some from the front.  It seem like a fairly simple tear-down.

In order to get at the ones in the front, two items needed to be removed: the badge and the cover.  The badge was held in place by a tab on the right side.  The front cover was secured by a single screw under the badge.  Taking off the cover revealed two more screws which must be removed before the storage compartment can be freed.

With the cover to the storage compartment removed, the dent was now clearly visible from the inside and can be "worked" without marring the surface.  BTW, during the disassembly process, they dropped a screw which rolled into the floor board.  The guys took that as a "sign" that we should take off the floor board retrieve the screw, which of course they did :-)

They used a hammer with a slightly curved head and tapped out the indentation the best they could.  Working from the outside in, they managed to get it pretty smooth.  Even though the dent was now much less noticeable, we could still see some uneveness to the surface.

To completely hide those "ripples", we decided to round up some iconic decals and just cover them up.  The dent is now much less noticeable.  This repair project worked out a lot better than we had expected.  If your Vespa needs a little body work, don't be afraid to "go at it" as taking it apart was pretty easy.  As to putting it back together... that is left as an exercise for the reader.  [Permalink] - Vespa Dent Repair


September 19,2008(FoodFriday)

Judging by the turnout, A Taste of Roslindale last night was a hugh success.  We arrived a little after 6:30.  The place was already packed and the tasting was well underway.

It seemed like everyone in Roslindale was there.  We said "Hi" to friends at a few of our local favorite restaurants (Sophia's Grotto, Pleasant Cafe) before checking out the rest of the hall. 

The tasty treats from the participating vendors were all very tempting.  We decided we had to try EVERYTHING!  Our only plan was to save the dessert for last, but we deviated from the plan pretty quickly:-) 

One thing we noticed was the many shrimp dishes restaurants were serving (Masona Grill, Yucatan Mexican Grill, Corrib Pub).  As we LOVE shrimp, we were in heaven.

The shrimp ceviche from the Masona Grill reminded us of the ones we had fresh on the beach in Miami.  The offering from the Yucatan was a great follow up to the ceviche appetizer.  The surprise of the evening for us was the baked stuff shrimp from the Corrib Pub.  It was SO GOOD that we broke our "no seconds" rule and went back for more.

Mayor Menino worked the crowd and raised some additional funds with a few live auctions.  All the funds raised by the event will benefit a cause such as The Babes Making Strides Against Breast Cancer, a local group of women who walk to raise money for the American Cancer Society. 

The fundraiser also benefits the Jason Roberts Challenger League baseball, and will help purchase and install permanent holiday lighting in the Roslindale business district.  We were glad we had a chance to sample all of the great tastes available in this wonderful little village in Boston.  Even better that the money we spent will be going for a few good causes!  [Permalink] - Taste Of Roslindale Event


September 18,2008(TastyThursday)

Roslindale was just a nice place to live when we discovered it in 1989.  Like many of Boston's neighorhood, it has its shares of wonderful local dining establishments (Pleasant Cafe, Blue Star). 

With the opening of restaurants such as Delfino and Sophia's Grotto, Roslindale has developed into a dining destination!  Tonight, for just $40 per person, you can sample food from some of the best eateries in Roslindale!  The proceeds goes to benefit some wonderful charities. The event starts at 6:30.  Go early, it will be crowded.  [Permalink] - Taste Of Roslindale


September 17,2008(WowUsWednesday)

The Harvest Moon has been in the New England sky for the past few nights.  However it has been hidden by the cloudy weather.  Being the optimists that we are, we had the telescope set just in case the cloud movements cooperated.  Our patience was rewarded by a brief appearance around 10:40PM.

We took a series of photos of the full moon using our normal setup (Nikon D40, angle viewer, Meade 2045).  The angle viewer definitely made it easier to make fine focus adjustments of the telescope.  However, we noticed that some of our past shots were ruined by some vibrations from pressing the shutter button.

In an effort to eliminate that problem, we purchased a remote trigger to fire off the shot.  After shopping around, we purchased this one on EBay. The cost?  $5 ... and that included the shipping from China! 

Our earth-based astrophotography images may not be as cool as this one from the Hubble telescope, but we are slowly learning and having a lot of fun doing it.  If you are looking from some new photographic challenges, we urge you to give astrophotography a try.  It is surprisingly addictive!  [Permalink] - Harvest Moon


September 16,2008(TechExplodedTuesday)

We got one awesome book in the mail from DK Publishing yesterday.  It is "Cool Stuff Exploded" by Chris Woodford (ISBN: 978-0-7566-4028-6).  Everyone has heard the saying, "you can't judge a book by its cover."  Well, in this case, we think you can.

The "Cool Stuff" in the title refers to things like digital cameras, cell phones, and watches.  The "Exploded" part refers to how the insides of those things are represented in the book.

A taste of the 3-D exploded views inside the book is right on the cover.  Tilt the cover to one side, the Lego robot is in its normal form, move it a bit and it will start to come apart.  Hold it just right and you will see it in its "exploded" glory!  VERY, VERY, COOL!

Everyday things are not the only things "exploded" in the book.  Exotic items such as fuel cell cars, sonic washers, and Flexi phones are also on the list.

Some of you may be thinking...it would REALLY be cool if they would animate the "explosion."  Well, the author thought of that and included a CD with fifteen animated "energetic disassembly" of the items from the book.

The illustrations in the book are extremely well done.  They span both pages and are in great detail.  Accompaning the drawings are technical specs and interesting facts.

Each item is followed by a stunning "exploded view" showing the relationship of each piece relative to the whole.  The illustrations are both educational and just plain fun to look at.

When thumbing through the pages, we noticed that the ink-jet printer in the book was quite similar to the Canon iP4000 we have in the office.  We have always wanted to take it apart to see what it looked like inside.  Now we don't have to :-)

If you have someone who is constantly taking stuff apart to see how it works, get them this book.  They will LOVE it.  If you have someone who is constantly taking YOUR stuff apart, get them this book.  YOU will love it.  [Permalink] - Cool Stuff Exploded


September 15,2008 (MoneyMonday)

Lehman Brothers was founded over 150 years ago by Emanuel and Mayer Lehman.  Its purpose was to trade cotton commodities.  Over time, it has evolved to become one of Wall Street's investment powerhouses.  Today it filed for Chapter 11 protection, brought down by the subprime mess and the collapse of the housing market.

We believe the Fed is doing the right thing in letting Lehman Brothers fail.  No one takes joy in seeing a venerable institution fall into hard times, but the money game is not personal... it's business.  Isn't this how a free market is suppose to work?  [Permalink] - Free market


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