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October 30,2009

Astronomy Technology Today magazine is having an offer so amazing that we felt compelled to give them a shout-out here. In one easy move, readers can have the entire collection of ATTM for just $30!

We have already sung the praises of ATTM back in August. We were happy to be able to obtain a complete collection of...[More]- ATTM Back Issues


October 29,2009

We have some experience with coffee brewers. There are a lot of different ways to make good coffee.  Over the years, folks in the RainyDayKitchen have tested, used, and dissected their share of coffee makers. However, they, like many people, did not realize it was possible to brew coffee without using heat. When they were asked to take a look at the Hourglass Coffee Maker, they did some research on the cold-brewing method. What they learned surprised them and got them excited about the task!

It appears that cold-brewing has quite a few advantages over the more typical heated process. The biggest benefit is the much lower acid content in the coffee. A lower acid level should translate to better tasting coffee and less...[More]- Hourglass Coffee Maker


October 28,2009

The gadget on our desk is not a model of some intergalactic space ship. It is, in fact, the latest in clothes-ironing technology. The iron is the 360 Quick from Panasonic.

Like most readers, ironing clothes is not on the top of our intern's list of favorite things to do. However, they just suck it up and do it. To make the task faster and less troublesome, Panasonic has put some fresh eyes on this...[More]- Panasonic 360 Quick


October 27,2009

Boston is not a very scary place now, but it has not always been so. Like many old cities, Boston has its share of smugglers, pirates, shipwrecks, and ghost stories. The Boston Ghost Cruise brings those stories to life every year around Halloween. RainyDayMagazine joined them on one such trip around Boston Harbor this past Saturday.

It WAS as dark and stormy night when the RainyDay crew boarded the Ghost Cruise for a two-hour tour. Long Wharf pier was crowded but there was a hint of anticipation in the air. The adults were quietly talking. The children were staying close to their parents, leary of wandering off too far. After all, things such as sea monsters have been reported in the...[More]- Boston Ghost Cruise


October 26,2009

Digital FOCI's PhotoBook is a modern version of the venerable photo album. However, because it is digital, it can do so much more!  Like a non-digital version, the PhotoBook can display photos. Unlike its non-digital counterpart, it can play music during the slideshow and play video.

The digital PhotoBook can also zoom into any portion of an image. This is an especially handy feature as most cameras can take photos at a much higher resolution than most displays can show. The ability to "dynamically crop" a photo is definitely cool. Of course, it would be nice if there was some way to...[More]- Digital FOCI: PhotoBook FirstUse


October 23,2009

RainyDayMagazine readers know we are huge Harry Potter fans. We have been at most of the HP events in Boston. So when we got an invitation to the preview of the new Harry Potter exhibit at the Boston Museum of Science, we cleared our calendar and got our brooms ready.

The preview was last evening. We got there early, registered, and waited patiently for the show to begin. In the main entrance of the MOS, props (wizard's chess piece, flying car) from the various HP movies were on display. Food, drink, and celebrity appearances help set quite the...[More]- Harry Potter: The Exhibition


October 22,2009

It snowed in Boston last weekend. Luckily for us, the snow tires were already on the Boxster last Tuesday. The RainyDayGarage guys had the foresight to anticipate the early storm!  It would not have been a fun drive on Route 6 with Summer tires. Today, the temperature is in the 70ºs, and we don't have to worry about the Boxster we thought we had better start thinking about the Winter preparations/maintenance for the Vespa. 

Last year, we left the Vespa outside all Winter. We didn't ride it at all, but the scooter started up with no problems in the Spring. This practice was probably not the best for the...[More]- Clore SOLAR gear


October 21,2009

Yesterday we gave a photo rundown of the Jura Impressa Z5 disassembly process. Today we will go into detail about the cleaning and relubrication of the brewing unit. 

While the mechanical aspects of the cleaning procedure were not complicated, we had to make sure we did not force any of the gears. An inspection revealed that coffee grounds were caked in the crevices, but nothing much which would gum up the works to the extent that the machine would...[More]- Jura Z5 Brew Unit Lubrication


October 20,2009

The Jura Impressa Z5 has been a work-horse around here for years. A few months ago, it started to throw an "Error 8" after making one cup of espresso. We would let it rest for a few hours, then make ourselves another cup. Clearly this was not a optimal situation.

We decided to see what we could do about the problem. What should have been a one-day project turned into something quite a bit longer. The first problem was the two oval "security" screws used in securing the side panel. We could have tried to locate the proper tool, but decided to...[More]- Jura Z5 Brew Unit Cleaning


October 19,2009

The RainyDayMagazine team spent the past few days relaxing on the Cape. We love going to Provincetown around this time of the year because the tourists are gone, things are quiet, and we can totally unwind. OK...maybe not totally as we had seven laptops amongst the six of us :-)

A few of us went down on Friday. Others left Boston on Saturday and got there in time for breakfast. One advantage of driving down early in the morning is the...[More]- Sigma 80-400mm Zoom FirstUse


October 16,2009

Digital photo frames are popular gifts for the holiday season. The quality of these frames have improved tremedously from a few years ago. We reviewed an excellent digital frame from Parrot in 2007. The Parrot frame was high resolution and used Bluetooth for data transfer. Those features eliminated two of the problems with digital frames: resolution and ease of image updates. 

Recently, we learned that Digital FOCI has released a product which addressed the last objection some have with digital photo displays... the power cord. When we took a closer look, we realized that Digital FOCI has not only cut the power cord, but has...[More]- Digital FOCI PhotoBook


October 15,2009

This past Tuesday, RainyDayMagazine got a first-hand look at MFA's soon-to-be-open exhibition, The Secrets of Tomb 10A: Egypt 2000 BC. The artifacts of this exhibit were discoverd by a joint Harvard/MFA expedition in 1915, but it took almost another century before all the pieces were brought back together and reassembled for display. We won't spoil the story, but the exhibit (secret spells, mysterious mummies, etc...) is as exciting as any Indiana Jones movie.

Like many other the Egyptian tombs, this find (Tomb 10A) had been raided by robbers looking for gold and other valuables. When the Harvard-MFA team uncovered the site, they found...[More]- Secrets of Tomb 10A


October 14,2009

We finished up the IR conversion project over Columbus Day weekend. As we had discovered during the first time we took one of these cameras apart, the best way to get at the filter was not from the front, but from the back

This approach eliminated the need to mess with the lens assembly. The CCD is held in place by...[More]- Canon S100 IR Conversion


October 13,2009

The RainyDayKitchen folks have been busy testing the new Cuisinart food processor. Vegetables were being sliced, diced, and minced all week long. By Friday, they had accumulated an impressive assortment of nicely "processed" vegetables. They realized the best thing to do with a big pile of veggie bits was to make vegetable soup :-) 

As it turns out, making soup was also a great excuse for folks to try out the new...[More]- Waring Quik Stik Immersion Blender


October 12,2009

Once in a while, we come across a product that far exceeds our expectations. When we do, we like to show it off :-)  The Weiman Stainless Steel Wipes is such a product. It is relatively inexpensive, and it works amazingly well.

While stainless steel surfaces are "stain" resistant, they are actually fingerprint magnets. The oils from the fingers are quite difficult to wipe off and a clean surface will become covered with them quite quickly. No one here can be accused of being a "neat-freak," but we do clean up every once in a while. When we do go on a cleaning bender, we like to...[More]- Weiman Stainless Cleaner FirstUse


October 9,2009

Next Friday the Shoalin Warriors will be performing at Boston's Orpheum Theatre at 8PM. We gave them a mention back in September. They don't come to town too often, so if you have not seen these amazing martial artists in action, you need to go now and reserve yourself some tickets. 

To make sure at least two of our local RainyDayMagazine readers get a chance to see the show, we are giving away 2 tickets for next Friday's performance. There is NOTHING to buy, but...[More]- Preview


October 8,2009

A staff member's car got nicked by a lady driving badly the other day. The driver-side directional light was damaged during the accident, but everybody was fine. The RainyDayGarage guys (and gals) found a replacement light online for $27 and replaced the broken one with no problems. But it made us notice the significant difference in clarity between the old headlight cover and the newly installed side light. Can you say RainyDayProject???

We did a few online searches for headlight-cleaning kits but one of our editors, Carolyn, mused thoughtfully, "I bet it will come clean with some...[More]- Headlight Cleaning


October 7,2009

We got some emails asking about our trip to Ayer to check out the Sigma lens. The photo below should give readers a clue on how things went :-) 

We drove up and met Jim M at an Irish pub (which is how all Craigslist business should be conducted) in Ayers on Saturday. Jim is retired and was letting the lens go because, due to arthrititis, it was getting too heavy for him to use. We checked out the lens, took some test shots, and...[More]- Sigma 80-400mm zoom


October 6,2009

The Cuisinart Elite Collection 12-cup food processor was unpacked as soon as it arrived at the RainyDayKitchen. We had to scramble to get the FirstLook photoshoot finished as folks were eager to give it a try. We haven't see such fuss over a piece of kitchen gear since the UPS guy dropped off the Jura Z5.

As we noted in the previous article, this Cuisinart food process has a few innovative features. One of them is the bowl-within-a-bowl design. We'll focus on the...[More]- Cuisinart Elite Food Processor: Bowl FirstLook


October 5,2009

A flashlight is an invaluable tool. We often need, however, both hands to do something else while using one. We sometimes solve the problem by: holding the flashlight with our teeth; sticking the flashlight under an arm; or trying to prop up the flashlight with whatever is close at hand. The above "solutions" often mean that the light is not pointed exactly where we would like or need.

And then we came across the BlackFire Clamplight. The Clamplight has a few ingenious features which make it a lot easier to direct the light to exactly where it is...[More]- BlackFire Clamplight


October 2,2009

Last month Dan Brown's Lost Symbol arrived and productivity at the office ground to a halt. Fortunately for us, the audio book was only 17 hours long. Most of us have finished with the Lost Symbol and things were starting to get back to normal...right up to moment we got this shipment of CDs from Recorded Books.

Recorded Books' Tolkien collection (LOTR, Hobbit) is a FIFTY-SIX compact disk set of a word-for-word reading by Rob Inglis. This is the only unabrided audio version of the...[More]- Tolkien


October 1,2009

The food processor is an incredible invention. It's a tool which streamlined home cooking by making quick work of slicing, dicing, and shredding. It has the abilities of a blender, mixer, and a slicer.   Cuisinart introduced the first food processor to the US in 1973. The design and features has not changed much...until now.

Cuisinart took everything they have learned in the past 35 years, distilled it down to the essentials, and created the Elite Collection. The new units have features such as nested bowls, no-leak design, and super powerful motor. This new line comes in...[More]- Cusinart Elite Collection


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