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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...[More] - Shaolin Warriors


July 30,2009

Just wanted to remind folks that this Sunday is the HUGE (some say the largest) Italian Car celebration in the Northeast.  Join the RainyDayGarage guys and droll over 250+ exotic Italian cars and motorcycles at the annual Tutto Italiano lawn event at the Larz Anderson Auto Museum in Brookline MA.  See the New Ferrari California Spider and a host of other rare Italian exotics.  Again this year, the LAAM will be drawing the winning ticket for a new Ducati 1198 motorcycle!

Show car registration is only $35.00. Motorcycles $10.  Spectator admission is $10.00 for adults, $5.00 for seniors, students and children 6-12.  Under 6 are free.   There are plenty of free street parking near the Larz Anderson Auto Museum.  VIP parking inside the museum grounds is just $5 (RainyDayTip...use the VIP parking).  [Permalink] - LAAM Tutto Italiano Celebraion


July 29,2009

Last week we received the final few pieces of gear we need to tackle our Fall renovation projects.  Today we are going to take a closer look at one of them: the Wagner TurboRoll paint roller. 

The TurboRoll is a battery-powered paint roller. It makes painting easier by reducing the number of times the user has to refill the roller brush with paint.  It will also reduce the drips, the uneven application, and the general hassles of painting with rollers. 

The TurboRoll kit came complete with everything we needed: roller, paint reservoir, plunger/handle, accessories.  The directions were easy to follow and the assembly process was...[More] - Wagner TurboRoll Assembly


July 28,2009

Our Vespa has been chained up for most of Spring some of the Summer because of the (rainy) weather. We tried to ride it as often as we could, but neither June nor July was good for riding. There was a break from the rain this past Saturday, but when we tried to start it up, the battery died before we could get the scooter going.

The battery compartment is located under a cover beneath the seat.  When we opened the cover, we found some moisture and a fairly corroded...[More] - Vespa Battery Maintenance


July 27,2009

Painting projects can be fun (yes, they can), and a quick way to update the look of your place.  Depending on the tools used, painting projects can either be easy or laborious, tidy or messy.  This August we are going to paint the outside of our unit.  Come the Falll, we'll be painting some more of our interior spaces.  In the past, we did our painting projects with brushes, rollers, and a lot of labor.  This time around, we are hoping to save on the labor and the mess by turning to Wagner.

For our interior work, we will still be using brushes for the trim and the details.  However, we are hoping...[More] - Wagner Painting Gear


July 26,2009

Last Sunday we were at the Larz Anderson Auto Museum for the Ford Taurus event.  When we went upstairs to get a few shots of the crowd from above, Sheldon Steele, Education and Lecture Manager of the museum, asked if we wanted to something "really cool."  He didn't have to ask twice!

Sheldon led us to a non-descript door at the top of the stairs.  The door opened into a sun-drenched attic.  It took our eyes a moment to adjust to the brightness.  When they did...[More] - LAAM Attic


July 25,2009

The Larz Anderson Auto Museum (LAAM), known for it’s eighty-year long tradition of Lawn Events featuring rare, collector’s motorcars and motorcycles, is adding some horsepower to its summer fundraising by partnering with Eastern Cycle Ducati on the raffle of a brand-new 2009 Ducati 1198, with the proceeds to benefit the LAAM, the world’s oldest auto museum.

The 1198 DUCATI Superbike will be raffled at $25 per ticket or five tickets for $100. August 2nd is the day of the big drawing, at Tutto Italiano, Italian Car and Motorcycle Day at the LAAM. Motorcycle lovers, Museum supporters, and anyone feeling lucky can purchase tickets on line, or by calling 617 522-6547 x 19. Second prize is a ...[More] - LAAM Ducati Raffle


July 24,2009

This is the last part of the FirstLook series of the Rockwell Jawhorse.  We have already talked about how easy the Jawhorse was to setup, how well it is constructed, and some of the basics of the unit.  Today, we will look a little closer look at the details.

It seem like the folks who engineered this tool really thought about its design and how it needs to work in the field.  For better leverage and stability, the feet have stirrups, angled rubber pads, and even holes for stakes.

When opened, the unit is stable on its three legs.  The Jawhorse weighs about 43 lbs.  While it is possible to lift and carry the unit, it is easier to... [More]- Jawhorse FirstLook Part2


July 23,2009

We had been writing about the unpacking and setup of our Rockwell Jawhorse.  The more we examine this piece of equipment, the more we came to realize that the Jawhorse is one of those "I wish I had one when..." type of tools. 

The Jawhorse is cleverly designed, ruggedly built, and easy to operate.  Of the various emails we have received about this unit, the most asked question was about the quality of the construction.  In this FirstLook segment, we'll... [More]- Jawhorse FirstLook


July 22,2009

The big story today is the over six-and-a-half minute total solar eclipse which occurred on the other side of the world while we slept.  This eclipse is the longest of the 21st century.  It's path started in India, went to Nepal, and passed over the following Chinese cities : Chengdu, Suining, Chonging, Wuhan, Xiaogan, Hangzhou, and Shanghai.  The path continues into the south of Japan and ending at the Marshall islands.

There are a lot of technical info of the eclipse on NASA's siteVideo and photos of the eclipse from... [More]- Total Solar Eclipse


July 21,2009

The purple coneflowers in the RainyDayGarden typically bloom in July. Just in time, too, as the day lilies have started to fade.  This year's crop of coneflowers appears to be quite happy in spite of all the rain.  Their colors did seem a bit pale this season, but it may just be our imagination.

Coneflowers do spread a bit on their own, but they are by no means invasive.  They are resistent to pests, fun to look at, and require zero maintenance.  They also attract all kinds of... [More]- RainyDayGarden in July


July 20,2009

We remember watching the live TV broadcast of the moon landing 40 years ago today.  We watched it on a 10-inch, black and white Zenith TV.  The video was grainy and the sound static-y, but it was the coolest thing ever.  Recently, NASA announced they were able to partially restore and enhance some of that historic video footage. Go explore the landing site here.

Forty years later, the moon is no longer NASA's focus.  There are lot of projects vying for the same "space dollars."  Many of them have yielded greater understanding of our planet and outer space, but none of them have been as... [More]- Apollo 11, 40 years ago


July 19,2009

Today was a perfect day for the 1st Annual Great American Car Show at the Larz Anderson Auto Museum.  The event was made possible by the FORD MOTOR COMPANY in collaboration with the Greater Boston YMCA.  Judging by the turnout, it was an enormous success.

Everything American was welcome to today's event, including Pre-War Classics, Post-War Classics, Muscle Cars, Pony Cars, Modern Exotics, Street Machines, Customs, Hot-Rods, and Motorcycles.  A lot of folks brought their "babies" to the event.

We got there around 10AM and the place was already hopping.  It was going to take the better half of the day if we wanted to check out all the cars.  We didn't have that much time, so... [More]- Great American Car Show


July 18,2009

There is so much history in the New England area that one can spend years walking by a major historic site without actually "seeing" it.  This was the case for (some of) us with the Longfellow House on Brattle Street in Cambridge.

The Longfellow house predates the Revolutionary War.  It was first owned by a loyalist named Vassall, but the family abandoned the house when the situation for the loyalist faction became too grave.  Washington took over the dwelling during the... [More]- Longfellow National Historical Site


July 17,2009

It has been a few years since we last went to the Jamaica Plain Lantern Festival.  This was the 11th year for the event and the crowd has gotten much larger.  The Lantern Festival is held every year at the Forest Hills Cemetary in Jamaica Pond.  The admission was free.  There were taiko drummers, Kendo demonstrations, and lantern painting. 

We got there around 7:30 and had a nice picnic dinner with some friends.  We also took the occassion to celebrate Bill, Irfan, and Carolyn's birthdays with a yummy cake, which we finished around dusk.  The timing was perfect as it was... [More]- Jamaica Plain Lantern Festival


July 16,2009

It has been a while since we went to an 11PM showing of anything, let alone a 159-minute long movie on a "school night."  However, yesterday was the opening day for the sixth in the Harry Potter series, The Half Blood Prince, and it was understood that we would see this movie during its first day of release.

As most frequent readers know, we are big fans of the Harry Potter series.  We were in line at midnight when the last book came out.  We have listened to the ENTIRE audio book series (117 hours) multiple times.  We have also had Harry Potter marathon movie weekends where we watch the current 5-DVD collection all in one go.  So it wasn't surprising that when the 7:30 showing of HP6 was sold out, nobody blinked when... [More]- Half Blood Prince


July 15,2009

Pizza is something we love.  We make it fresh, we buy frozen ones from Trader Joes, and we go out and try any and all pizza restaurants whenever we happen upon them.  Our favorite kind of pizza is the thin crust style made with fresh ingredients.  A few months ago, our favorite Chinese restaurant burnt down.  We got very sad :-(  A few weeks ago, we heard that a new pizza restaurant had sprung up in the ashes.  We became very excited :-)

Some of the folks here had heard of a local chain called The Upper Crust.  None of us had ever... [More]- The Upper Crust


July 14,2009

A typical sawhorse is used for tasks such as painting or cutting.  It usually comes in two pieces, is made of wood or plastic, and is used for support.  Rockwell Tools looked at the sawhorse's A-frame construction and asked how can its basic design be improved to be something more useful and versatile.  The result is the 3-legged steel JawHorse clamp.

The interns unpacked the Rockwell JawHorse yesterday, but was temporarily stymied as to how to unfold and set up the tool.  Yes, they could have read the directions, but... [More]- Rockwell JawHorse setup


July 13,2009

Everyone gets excited when the UPS man drops off large boxes in the front office, no one more so than the interns.  We have asked the them not to start tearing into things in the front entry way as it is a high traffic area.  They don't always heed our requests.  I suppose if we were actually paying them, our "suggestions" would have a lot more leverage :-)  In any case, we like their enthusiasm.

Today's delivery was a fairly large box from Rockwell containing a piece of equipment called the JawHorse.  True to the claim on the outside of the box, the unit came fully assembled.  There were no loose pieces or accessories.  All that was required was for us to take it out of the box.  The JawHorse looks to be a... [More]- Rockwell JawHorse Unpacking


July 12,2009

Getting up at 3AM on a Sunday to drive out to Provincetown to meet friends for brunch may not be everyone's idea of a relaxing weekend, but this was not a typical weekend.  It was one of our contributing editor's b'day weekend.  In fact, half of our "gang of six" have birthdays with in days of each other!

Four of the gang were already out at Provincetown for various reasons.  We thought we would get going early to avoid the traffic.  One thing lead to another and our plans morphed to "let's go watch the sun rise over the Mayflower in Plymouth!"  There was a moment of hesitation when the alarm went off at 3:15AM, but we were in the car and... [More]- Morning Drive to Provincetown


July 11,2009

The internal light of our GE Advantium oven went out a few weeks ago.  It seem like is should be a simple enough task to replace a bulb.   However, upon closer inspection, there did not appeared to be a way to get at the burnt out bulb from the inside of the oven.  We figured we would give GE tech support a call to see if we were missing something obvious.  The person at the GE service desk was very nice, but they got confused and thought we were asking about the lights under the unit.  Once we made it clear that we were inquiring about the light which should come on when the door opens, they "explained" that it was not a "user-serviceable" part.  If we would like to schedule an appointment, they would be happy to send a techician out to change the bulb ...for $200. 

The obvious question to ask was..."just how many GE technicians does it take to change a light bulb?"  They apparently did not see the humor in that question and the conversation soon ended.  We thought there was no way we were going to pay someone to come and change a light bulb even if it was free, let alone for $200!  If a technician can do it "in the field", then there must be... [More]- Advantium Bulb Replacement


July 10,2009

A hammer is a very ancient tool.  We would guess that it would be right up there with the knife as one of the first tools invented.  There have been updates to the basic hammer design in the past (offset heads, angled handle,etc...), but Craftsman has now taken it to the next level with the introduction of the Hammerhead auto-hammer.

The Hammerhead is a portable, electrically operated, nail pounder that is designed for the novice but suitable for the pros.  Unlike most professional nailers, there is no need for a... [More]- Craftsman Hammerhead FirstLook


July 9,2009

We understand that re-reading old college physics and calculus texts may not be everyone's idea of fun reading, but we sometimes like to refresh ourselves on some of the things we have forgotten...or never really learned.  Maybe the reason why we find reading these subjects enjoyable now is because we are not trying to memorize everything we are reading.  Maybe it's because we don't have a test in an hour and haven't not done any of the reading until now.   Whatever the reason, it's actually an enjoyable way to chew up some of RainyDay leisure time.

A few months ago, we discovered the Manga Series from No Starch Press.  The series is a collection of books on tech-y topics (electricity, physics, etc...) written in the style of Japanese comics.  These are fascinating subjects when... [More]- High Tech Comics


July 8,2009

Maybe it's all this rain.  Maybe it's the crappy economy.  Maybe it was all of the high profile obituaries in the news.  Around the office we have been talking a lot about what kind of future we want for ourselves.  We know things have tough for a lot of folks this past year.  The conventional wisdom is the global economic situation may not improve much for a few more years.  For some, it's time to hunker down and ride it out.  For others, it may be the time to make a move, to venture out, and to try to make a dream happen.  Any readers out there with the "itch?"

We see the Chinese proverb above everyday.  The translation is roughly: "An inch of daylight is worth an inch of gold, but sometimes it's difficult to buy an inch of daylight with an inch of gold"

We think about the meaning of this proverb a lot.  Are we just biding time?  Are we wasting time?  When do YOU believe the rain will eventually stop?  What will YOU be doing when the sun finally does come back out?  [Permalink] - What are we doing with our time?


July 7,2009

The ideal headphones should be as small and as light as possible.  Its sound reproduction should be true, crisp, and airy.  These are competing requirements from a physics perspective.  However, the folks at JayBird have managed to satisfy both sets of requirements AND kept the headphones affordable.  We think they did it with magic.

jayBird has always focused their gear toward those who like to listen to music while being active.   Their latest headphone offerings, Tiger Eyes and Endorphin Rush, are true to that focus.  Unlike the JB-200, these new offerings are... [More]- JayBird Headphones


July 6,2009

Last Thursday we completed the assembly of the ProClip mount for the Navigon GPS.  We took advantage of the nice weather these past few days and completed the installation of the ProClip mount in the Boxster. 

The project was a lot quicker than we had expected as no tools were required. All we had to do was to remove a few panels, position the mount, and put everything back into place.  We've documented all the steps for completeness, but... [More]- ProClip Installation


July 5,2009

Every year we brave the crowds and head down to Castle Island to watch the USS Constitution fire its guns, turn around in the harbor, and dock back in the Charlestown Navy Yard.  This year we decided at the last minute to head down to the waterfront near the ICA to see if we could watch the event away from the 10-15,000 "locals" who pack themselves into South Boston.

We got to the waterfront around 11:45AM.  The USS Constitution should have already turned around at Castle Island and be making its way back to the Charlestown Navy Yard.  We had no trouble parking.  The walkway was empty of people.  Our thought was that we were too late and had missed... [More]- No Crowds


July 4,2009

We fly the US Flag at the entrance to the office every chance we get.  Due to the constant sun exposure (even in Boston), every few years we have to replace the flag due to fading.

We found a really nice one at Home Depot a few weeks ago.  Home Depot had a pretty large selection.  The prices ranged from a few dollars for nylon ones to quite a bit more for... [More]- US Flag


July 3,2009

Tomorrow is Independence Day.  The weather forecast is for occasional showers.  Still we will make our way to Castle Island to watch the annual turning of USS Constitution.  Another ritual we have on the 4th is to take out our collection of Great Historical Documents of America and look at two of the most important: Declaration of Independence and the Constitution.

These are not full-size reproductions, but they were made from the actual ones in the National Archives.  We like reading the actual text because there are not many historical documents of this magnitude which are... [More]- National Treasure


July 2,2009

When we wanted a better way to mount our Navigon 7200T GPS in the Boxster, we looked around and found the ProClip mounting system.  We chose the ProClip because the system allows the user to pick the pieces based on how, what, and where one wants the gear mounted.  

As the ProClip mounting system is made up of separate combinable components, each piece comes with its own set of directions.  While this could be a little daunting at first, the assembly of the separate units is actually very simple.  We will give a condensed version of the process to give a sense of just how easy it is to... [More]- ProClip assembly


July 1,2009

A RainyDayMagazine reader in West Roxbury, Patrick Coughlin, sent us an email about an artist named Heather Jansch.  Ms. Jansch is a sculptor whose medium is driftwood and her favorite subject is horses.

We took a look and was mesmerized by her work and thought some of you may also find it interesting.  Ms. Jansch's path as an artist was by no means assured, but... [More]- Driftwood Horses


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