"We Entertain When It Rains"  
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.


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 for mainl for its 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...[More]-Yoga and Aikido


August 30,2009

Friday the interns installed Snow Leopard on top of OSX 10.5 on the Mac mini.  Yesterday they spent the day playing around with the various enhancements and new features of the upgrade.  If you are undecided about whether to install this upgrade, read the rest of today's post, but the short of it is, if you want a faster Mac, this upgrade is the best $30 you could spend.  However, if you have an older PowerPC-based Mac, this upgrade is not for you.

There is a lot of buzz about the fact that Snow Leopard (10.6) will install over Tiger (10.4) without first making Mac users upgrade to Leopard.  This is true.  For those who want to stiff Apple on a few bucks, they can do it without any "real" consequences.  However, we believe that this is actually a very clever move on Apple's part to get everyone to FINALLY...[More]- Snow Leopard FirstLook


August 29,2009

Snow Leopard was available at all of the Apple Stores yesterday.  We went to the Chestnut Hill store to pick up our copy because we knew the lines would be short there.  However, even at 8:30 on a Friday night, there was still a bit of a wait!

The Snow Leopard (OSX 10.6) upgrade assumes a working version of 10.5 Leopard.  There are some reports that it will install on top of Tiger (10.4).  We have Tiger installed on our older G4 unit.  We may try the upgrade on that machine as well if...[More]- Snow Leopard Installation


August 28,2009

Snow Leopard is officially available today.  The upgrade is only $29 at the Apple Store.  We are going to pick up a copy and do the installation this weekend. 

According to the marketing blurb, Snow Leopard is faster more reliable, and easier to use.  We'll see :-) We'll have full write-up on the Snow Leopard installation experience on the Mac mini and the MacBook Pro. 

Sometimes it is better to hold off upgrading for a few days after a new version has been released into the wild just to see if there are any "gotchas."  If you can wait a few days, you can pick up a copy even cheaper as Amazon has it for just $25 with free shipping!  [Permalink] - Snow Leopard


August 27,2009

Taking closeups, even of everyday things, can make for an interesting experience.  Looking "really close" can open up a whole new world.  The equipment needed for macro photography can be expensive, but it does not have to be.  We managed to put together a lens/bellows macro setup for our Nikon D90 for around $200. 

The 50mm Nikkor lens was obtained new from Amazon for $100.  We had to search a bit on Craigslist and EBay and was finally successful in getting a...[More]- Macro Bellows


August 26,2009

The interns decided to stay late, then worked through the night, and got the office completely back to full operational status by morning.  We were treated to a completely refactored workspace with more room, a better layout, and a lot less clutter.

They also took the opportunity to add a few pieces of equipment they found during the clean up into action.  Apparently they found an unused Mirra drive which was reviewed a few years ago, but had never actually been...[More]- Office Reorg Day3


August 25,2009

This was Day2 of the RainyDayMagazine Office Reorg. Some pockets of calm have started to emerge from the chaos. However, a well-cropped photo can be deceiving. Moving a bit further back, one gets a fuller picture of the amount of work still awaiting the interns.

Most of the computers, AV gear, and so forth have not been reconnected yet. We do have access on some of the equipment, so we are not totally dark, but our ability to function is still very much compromised.  The editors decided it was time for a...[More]- Office Reorg Day2


August 24,2009

The main office, where everybody congregates (and works) has gotten a bit out of hand. One day, the interns couldn't take it anymore and decided to do a major reorg of all of the computers, AV equipment, and funiture layout while the editors were away on business. They documented the whole effort just to prove that it was as big a job as they claimed it was.

There is always about three weeks of items in the "review pipeline."  A lot of them were spread out on various surfaces for testing, photo shoots, and other reasons.  In order to move any of the furniture, all the items had to be...[More]- Office Reorg Day1


August 22-23,2009

SausageFest 2009 had a large number of competition entries, and a great turnout of guests.  We knew this at the start because we used Evite to manage the invitations and RSVPs this year.  What a great tool!  If you are planning an event with more than a few guests, Evite is a great resource.  It really helped the crew prep properly this year...and prep they did!

The various grills (gas, charcoal) were cleaned and ready to go by mid-morning.  Last minute items (extra gas canisters, ice, entry forms, etc...) were all...[More]- SaudageFest 2009


August 21,2009

Hard to believe this is our sixth SausageFest!  This year's event is going to the biggest one yet.  We will have guests from Italy, some from Bermuda, and a big crowd of RainyDay friends from the New England area.

As in past years, our food sponsors have sent some goodies for the event.  The Buffalo Guys have sent a nice sampling of their buffalo sausages and hot dogs.  Their sausages have always been a crowd-pleaser!  The Soda Club folks sent a few of our favorite Summer flavors, extra bottles, and an additional CO2 canister.  They also sent a pack of flavors designed just for water.  Making our own flavored soda is both a money-saver and a planet-saver.  It is also a lot of fun!

To ensure that all the sausages will be grilled to the proper temperature, we have the latest in temperature probse from ThermoWorks.  This new one is faster, more accurate, and...[More]- SaudageFest 2009 Sponsors

August 20,2009

The front entrance to the RainyDayMagazine office was looking a bit weathered and we had BIG painting plans for it during the first two weeks of August. The paints were picked out. The gear (JawHorse, Wagner sprayer/roller, etc...) was assembled. The only thing we did not account for was the weather. The last couple of weeks had either been raining (hard) or hot (record-setting). None of which was an incentive for the interns to roll up their sleeves and go out to do the prep work.  Thus, we have decided to push the renovation schedule back to mid-September. Hopefully the drier, cooler Fall weather will give us more opportunities to get this painting project under way.

However, quite a few of you have been asking when we would be posting the FirstLook of the Wagner ProCoat Sprayer as many readers also have painting projects on their "honey-do" list, so we thought we would post a few...[More]- Wagner ProCoad Sprayer


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...[More]- Tricycle and such


August 18,2009
Summer has finally arrived in Boston.  The temperature has topped 90º for most of the week. The blooms in the RainyDayGarden have done pretty well despite the heat and the lack of rain (we don't like to water).

We are hoping that all the water we got in June and July is still deep in the ground and our plants have had enough sense to reach down and get it.  We'll see.  If nothing else, it will select for...[More]- RainyDayGarden in August


August 17,2009

As most readers are aware, we don't just take a quick look at the features for most of the items reviewed on RainyDayMagazine and call it a day. We like to see how they actually perform in the real world over time.  This is what makes us different from other "review" sites.  Based on the emails we get, you all seem to agree :-)  Since we are getting ready to add another SimpleHuman product to the shower in the company bathroom, we thought it would be a good opportunity to take a look at how the last item was faring.

It has been almost two years since we installed the SimpleHuman shower caddy and it has held up amazingly well.  Its design is very stable even when heavily loaded.  We love the...[More]- SimpleHuman Shower Caddy ITW


August 16,2009

We didn't have to do much to cover this story as it happened right across the street from the office this morning.  We were not sure exactly how the fire started, but we smelled something burning and a few seconds later the Boston Fire Department was everywhere.  We got a first-hand look at the Boston Fire Department at work.  Click on any of the images below for a larger version.

It was pretty impressive to see these BFD guys work.  We don't think about these guys much when there are no problems, but we are glad they are just around the corner.  [Permalink] - Roslindale Fire


August 15,2009

We refer to folks such as Ann Coulter, Bill O'Reilly, and Sarah Palin as the "Fright Right."  These demagogues of the far right offer nothing but falsehoods and fear in the guise of "dialog."  These non-politicians bring nothing to the table in terms of solutions.  Their tactic is to inject FUD (fear, uncertainty, and doubt), their ideology is simple-minded, and their agenda is no more than pure self-aggrandizement. 

However, to ignore them in the hope that their ideas will be seen for the follies that they are is a mistake.  As any good gardener knows, weeds must be pulled or they will choke out the fragile seedlings before they have a chance to establish their roots.  The process of weeding is constant, tedious, and sometimes difficult work, but it must be done.  Such is also true of the efforts necessary to counter the FUD from the Fright Right.  Just look at the nonsense about the made-up controversy of the "death panel" in the recent news regarding the debates of health care reforms.  Lightweights such as Palin would not be in the news if she was not the poster-child for this kind of lunacy.  However, those who are working seriously to make progress on healthcare issues must still take energy away from their efforts to address this kind of "moonlanding was a hoax" viral drivel.  We feel it is time we join the fight to help push back the darkness.

To put our money where our mouth is, we would like to take this opportunity to announce that starting in September, we will be adding a new section called RainyDayPolitics to RainyDayMagazine.  We plan to stand up, speak out, and be counted.  We urge our readers to engage, add to the dialog, and help weed out the crap...grass.   [Permalink] - Countering the "Fright Right"


August 14,2009

Companies that pay special attention to the design of their products (Apple, Sony, etc...) have always enjoyed a loyal following.  Their customers are happy to pay extra for products that perform well and look great doing it.  We have always tried to do our part in helping to promote companies which have this focus.  SimpleHuman is such a company.

We have reviewed many products from SimpleHuman (coffee maker, shower caddy, etc...) over the years.  They are great looking products which have stood up to the rigors of daily use around the office.  When these shampoo and soap dispenser showed up at the office, we were...[More]- SimpleHuman Liquid Dispensers


August 13,2009

When it gets really hot in Boston, many people head to the Cape. The Cape has become so popular that a two-hour drive can turn into a four-hour crawl. We hate sitting in traffic, which is why when we get the urge to take a mini-vacation, we head to "The Cape Cod of the South Shore"... Wollaston Beach in Quincy.

During the week, Wollaston Beach is pretty empty.  There is a lifeguard watching over the crowd, such as it is.  While we are not big on sitting in the sun...[More]- Wollaston Beach, Quincy


August 12,2009

It has been over a year since we reviewed the LapWorks Attache (renamed the Diplomat).  We used it on and off for a while, but mostly for its angling capabilities.  We didn't really appreciate the Attache's cooling feature until we got the MacBook Pro.

The underside of the MacBook Pro can get pretty hot after extended use, hot enough that it would not be advisable to have it on the lap!  The heat is bad for bare skin and is probably not too good for the electronics neither.  Remembering we had the Attache, we decided to see if ...[More]- LapWorks Attache InTheWild


August 11,2009

Graphics tablets are an important tool for anyone who deals with images.  We have reviewed a few of them (Intuos, Genius) in the past.  The usual rule of thumb for graphics tablets is the bigger the better.  That was true until we got a look at the Wacom Bamboo.

The Wacom Bamboo is a high-resolution tablet (active area: 6x4, 2540 lpi) with 512 level of pressure sensitivity.  Integrated into the tablet are four programmable buttons and a touch-sensitive circular area.  The pen has two customizable buttons.  As with all Wacom pens, no batteries are required.  This is actually a very significant feature, so much so that...[More]- Wacom Bamboo Tablet


August 10,2009

In tight economic times, everyone is looking for creative ways to stretch a dollar.  Many cut back on their purchases, others eat put less often, but a few people are tempted to increase their purchasing power by printing their own money.  Advances in computer technology has enable the "casual counterfeiter" to print fake money good enough to fool the unsuspecting.

Incorporated into the real $100 bill are a whole slew of anti-counterfeit measures and they make this bill almost impossible to fake.  Still, there is almost $3 billion dollars of fake currencies in circulation.  Some of it is almost as good as...[More]- Real or Fake?


August 8-9,2009

There are a lot of ways to keep up with what's new in astronomy.  A few astronomically-experienced readers recommended we check out a publication called Astronomy Technology Today

We took a look at a few back issues and the magazine is definitely perfect those who are into the gear.  They cover a wide range of astronomically related topics.  The focus of the articles is technical, but they cater to both the...[More] - Astronomy Technology Today


August 7,2009

A few years back we did a quick article about a young inventor by the name of Shawn Frayne who came up with a very cool wind-based micro turbine.  We caught up with him recently and thought readers would be interested to see what he has been doing with the idea.

Shawn and a few others have launched a company called Humdinger Wind Energy to bring the micro-turbine to market.  Expanding on his original concept, they have built a working prototype of a...[More] - Windbelt micro generator update


August 6,2009

Last September we got the Kryptonite lock and anchor when we got our Vespa.  We have been using the Evolution chain and lock daily and it has held up to the New England elements extremely well.  Both the lock and chain were outside all winter.  Even with the constant exposure to elements (sun, rain, and snow), the lock opens easily every time.  One thing we never got around to was installing the anchor.  Chaining the Vespa to the railing worked just fine, but it was a bit inconvenient.  Since today was such a nice day, we decided to get off our butts and install the Kryptonite Stronghold anchor.

The Stronghold anchor comprised of three pieces: hardened steel base, resin cover, anchor bolts.  The anchor is locked down by three expanding bolts.  The cover both protects the anchor and...[More] - Kryptonite Anchor Installation


August 5,2009

Our Intel-based Mac mini has always been a great computer.  About a year ago, the WiFi on it started acting up.  The signal was fine when the machine was first booted up, but would gradually degrade until it could not see any WiFi networks no matter what we did. We tried all kinds of things (software upgrade, reinstallation, relocation, etc...), but nothing helped. We eventually accepted the fact that the Mac mini would be a stand-alone machine...until today.

We thought the WiFi problem might be temperature related. It would explain why the connection worked when the machine first booted up, then petered out. It would also explain why ...[More] - Mac mini WiFi problem


August 4,2009

Yesterday we took a FirstLook at the HoTech "self-centering" adapter.  Today we will show the installation and discuss a bit more about why this 2" SCA T-adapter is an improvment over the traditional T-adapter.

The scope we used for this installaion was the Meade LX200 GPS.  Unlike the Celestron C8, the LX200 has a removable 2" threaded ring.  The ring is held in place by ...[More] - HoTech SCA T-adapter installation


August 3,2009

A few readers told us about this T-Adapter from HoTech.  We did not pay much attention to the emails at first because the t-adapter is just a simple connector between the camera body and the telescope.  There is no glass involved.  It is literally just a tube...or so we thought.

HoTech took a fresh look at this simple connector and made a clever design change which will have an impact on anyone trying to do astrophotography.  The amazing thing about this improvement is the elegance of ...[More] - HoTech SCA T-adapter


August 2,2009

You gotta love Craigslist.  We drove for an hour South to Attleboro yesterday to Harbor Freight Tools to check out a tool cabinet.  Unfortunately, it did not work out.  Today, we drove an hour and a half up North and found exactly what we were looking for and at almost 80% off!  Getting it back to the office  was an adventure, but that is a story for another time.

This Steel Glide tool cabinet was purchased new by the seller at Sam's Club.  The seller had purchased it, put some tools in it, and never opened it again.  He was doing some clean up and realized that he would rather have...[More] - Steel Glide Toolchest


August 1,2009

We have purchased many tools (jack, tap&die, caliper) from the folks at Harbor Freight, but all of the transactions were from their website.  When we learned they have a store in Attleboro MA, we knew we would have to take a drive and check it out.  Attleboro is about an hour outside of Boston, so we needed a good reason to make the drive.

Harbor Freight sends out a lot of fliers and we always see stuff which we "need" for the office.  One of the items is this 3-piece rolling tool cabinet.  We have been tempted to...[More] - Harbor Freight Tools


Last Month:

....... 2009 ......

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

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

....... 2008 ......

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

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

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

[Dec] [Nov] [Oct] [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]






Rainy Day Magazine is a Publication of Rainy Day Entertainment© 2009