Showing posts from October, 2011

Stuff That Works - Firstgear Navigator Gloves

I had never spent much over $40 for a pair of motorcycle gloves, but a couple of years ago Andy from Grand Rapids BMW talked to me about the Navigators from Firstgear. (I think they were $89.00 - they are now $99.00.)
I live in Michigan and try to ride pretty much all year around - I like to get out during the snowy season for a variety of reasons - but I certainly ride in a) rain and b) temps below 40 and sometimes 30 degrees and c) sometime both conditions at the same time. Andy was aware of this and recommended the Navigators as a great glove to use a lot of the time.
As you can see they have a nice tall gauntlet, so they go up over the sleeve of my jacket or riding suit. They have a drawstring to close the end and a hook and loop (aka Velcro) strap just past the wrist so you can adjust them to be as snug as you like. I have big hands and went with XXL. They were a little snug off the rack, but have since stretched out a little for a very comfortable fit.
Boy am I glad I listened …

Stuff That Works: A review of Clear Care solution.

I have to admit the folks at Advanced Eyecare in Lowell were right. They told me about 2 years ago that Clear Care was the best contact lens cleaning solution on the market. I thought they were just trying to sell me some cleaner they had in stock.

My wife and I have a little jewelry store,
please click here to take a look.
I have been wearing contacts for decades and I have tried pretty much every cleaning/storing solution on the market - from the most expensive to the in-store house brands. Usually I would purchase what was on sale or buy something I had a coupon for. No more - I have been using Clear Care for over a year and it is far and away the best cleaning and storing solution I have found for my situation. (I wear Accuvue lenses from Oasys - I have Astigmatism in addition to my nearsightedness.)

WARNING: Do not put Clear Care directly in your eyes. It has hydrogen peroxide and some other ingredients in it that burn like hell. Don't ask me how I know - (mumbles something about…

Stuff That Works - a review of the Zildjian Zil-Bel. I have both sizes.

This was exactly what I wanted as an addition to my kit. I bought it without actually hearing one, but I was not disappointed. Zildjian said this about the Zil-Bel, which they have as part of their EFX Sound Effects line: "Bright, singing musical tone ideal for special accents and effects."
It sure is bright and the clear tone lingers for a long time after you strike it. I mounted it on top of my 16" ZBT Splash using a Gibraltar SC-MCSA6 - which is a 6 inch extender that screws right into the top of the Splash. (BTW - Gibraltar makes a dozen different ways to attach something like the Zil-Bel to your existing cymbals. Really - they sent me a little brochure with my extender.)

Anyway, the Zil-Bel performs as promised. I like mine mounted upside down because it seems to me that the tone is louder and has a longer sustain by having the bell curve up to the ceiling. The folks at Zildjian put the decals on both top and bottom of the Zil-Bel so it looks good either way. The sou…

Stuff That Works - Anderson & Girls Orchard Review

Julie and I have been enjoying cider from Anderson & Girls for the last two seasons, so we decided a visit was in order last Sunday. We wanted to get out and enjoy the beautiful fall colors and the trip to Anderson Orchards, just 3 miles north of Stanton on M-66 seemed to be just the ticket.

It was a great decision - we had a very enjoyable time and we really enjoyed ourselves. Everyone who we came in contact with was very friendly. The grounds were welcoming - there was a great vibe (if you can handle that kind of hippie speak). It was big enough to have lots to see and do, but not so big that a lot of time was spent in line or walking to and fro.
We were really impressed with the animals - they were in great shape, very clean and healthy looking. In addition to the animals one might expect on a farm, there were a good number of exotics. The two zebras were some of the most beautiful we have seen anywhere. The lemurs fur fairly glistened and Julie reported that the little Sicilian…

Stuff That Works - a review of the Roland SPD-S.

After owning a Roland SPD-S for almost 2 years I have to give it a 9.8, two thumbs up rating. I don't know how I would improve it, but I didn't want to rate it a 10 because nothing is perfect!

After owning it for a couple months, I bought the KD-8 kick pad to go with it. It was well worth the extra money to have the added ability to kick when playing.

They work great together. I am a hobbyist who does some recording (see my review of the Tascam DP 02 here: Tascam-dp-02) and I have an acoustic set of drums. The SPD-S comes in handy for everything from laying down a rock solid consistent beat to build from using it and/or a combination of it and live drums to having some real fun with the sampling part of it. I recently did a custom birthday song for our son and used the pads to spell out his name by sampling (i.e. recording) my voice saying the letters to the different pads - this allowed me to record a pattern and riff on the pattern. It was a big hit.

I would guess that I have…

What Would Jesus Do?

Remember how popular WWJD bracelets were? Thousands of Christians wore them. I thought it might be fun to ask the question "What would Jesus do"? in relation to some of the social issues that plague our politicians these days. To answer these questions we will look to the words and/or deeds of Jesus according to the Bible (New King James edition).

Social welfare is a big concern - especially the cost of social programs, many of which have been cut. Some of them are very fundamental and involve feeding people who are hungry (school kids from homes below the poverty level, single parent families, etc).

What would Jesus do with the hungry? Would He tell them to get a job and fend for themselves?
Not according to the Book:

John 6:11

"And Jesus took the loaves, and when He had given thanks He distributed them to the disciples, and the disciples to those sitting down; and likewise of the fish, as much as they wanted."

Matthew 15:32-39
"Now Jesus called His disciple…