Posted on: March 30th, 2015 by Stag
Now that it is getting a bit colder – or at least as cold as it can get here in California; it is time for some much needed star gazing. A while ago, a few friends and I had all pitched in to purchase a rather large amateur telescope. With the weather cooling down, that means that there is less atmospheric distortion in the telescope and much clearer images, which is always a good thing! Now it just comes down to driving up to the low-lying mountains around Los Angeles in order to get a better view with much less light than the city.
As much of this happens out in the middle of nowhere and the telescope is only three or so feet from the ground; we usually bring a vinyl mat of some sort with us so that we have something comfortable to kneel and sit on. It definitely takes the joy out of looking out into the universe if you knees are being pinned by sharp rocks, so the gymnastics mats certainly do come in handy.
Perhaps this weekend the tribe and I will head up to the mountains for a night and see what we can see. We have had a lot of success in the mountains and I would certainly love to see Andromeda (our nearest Galaxy) again; as that is quite a sight. So I think we will be packing up all the science gear mumbo-jumbo and our folding exercise mat and head out early tonight. ‘Second star to the right and straight on till morning’.
Posted on: March 6th, 2015 by Stag
It is a New Year and time for the 2015 Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in good ‘ol Las Vegas. If you have never been, or if you have somehow never heard of the CES; you’re in for a treat. Every year the CES showcases the newest in digital, computer, television, and even vehicle technologies. You can find everything from the new 90 inch 4K television to a fully automated self-driving car. This year the show was one of the largest they have had. It took place in the gigantic Las Vegas Convention Center as well as three additional hotel convention centers.
That is a lot of tech in one town, and certainly a lot of trade show flooring being set up. To add it up it would be literally miles and miles of foam tiles and carpet tiles lining these gargantuan convention floors. From booth to booth, from new PC gaming platforms to the newest and thinnest cell phones; it is a variable plethora of tradeshow flooring spanning the whole of the show. I mean, there was s0 much of the interlocking foam mats in use that the CES could have easily been a trade show for the trade show flooring at the same time.
So the next time that you’re at a trade show of any kind; while you’re taking a look at the latest items, take a moment and look down. Because you’ll also see all flooring on display as well.
Posted on: February 5th, 2015 by Stag
“ Rock & Roll – ed Rubber “
In my seemingly never-ending tomfoolery, tinkering, and hobby seeking; I am mulling over the idea of learning guitar. As the grand majority of my friends are all musicians, you would think that I would have done this many years ago. Yet alas, in typical me-style; I am bringing up the rear with the gear. Though it may be for the best; now in my thirties I do not have the dreams of rocker stardom. I just want to be able to occupy some of my more dormant free time. You know make noise like a cave-man while I watch TV. In this best case scenario, I would be able to do this without annoying my roommate or neighbors, especially since I am just learning.
So in order to pad against this, I have armed myself with some rubber rolls to make a bit of a sound break in my bed-room. This decoupled barrier with fiber-glass and rubber mats lining will serve to reduce the volume of the guitar amplifier that my neighbors and roommate can hear from their rooms. The rubber lines the break with a dense, yet porous material that will break-up the sound. When combined with the fiber-glass lining on the inside it will certainly damper the noise level. Anything to keep my land-lord from knocking on my door is a good thing in my book. Now I just need a guitar to actually play, and of course learn to play it.
Posted on: October 22nd, 2014 by Stag
“ An ‘Axe’ to Grind “
After fifteen plus years of wanting to learn a musical instrument; I have finally really began to practice. I recently purchased an electric guitar second hand online. I have had this little beauty for about three weeks and I have actually practiced on it at least 2 hours a night almost five nights a week. This is a big increase when compared to my previous efforts. When I was 16 years old, I bought a bass guitar rather than a six string guitar. My reasoning behind this was that almost everyone I knew already played guitar, but no one was playing bass. So I figured I would fill that void. However I always tried to play the bass as a six string and it just never worked for me.
So many years later I ended up giving away my bass to a friend of mine, and thankfully he has put it to very good use. After that, I got into working out and even got attached to my favorite exercise mat. Well, now in my dare I say “older” age that I give it another go. However this time I wanted a guitar, “guitar”. Well it seems that I made the right choice and now only wish I had done so fifteen years ago. Now that I am practicing so much with this new axe of mine, I have found that I do need a bit of a back support cushion of some nature however. Sitting up on the couch of in a kitchen chair for hours definitely has its draw backs.
I decided to use a reading pillow to use a back support, as it is more ridged and I can prop it up in the couch, floor or a normal chair and still be able to clear my guitar so I can use it and so it doesn’t hit the furniture. So I call that a Win, Win in my book. Now that my back is set and rested with this nifty little support pillow, the real shredding can begin!
Posted on: August 26th, 2014 by Stag
I have recently been inspired to purchase a motorcycle. Call it a quarter-lift crisis if you will. In order to save some cash and to learn more about my new bike in general; I have purchased an older model that needs some work done to it. So begins the arduous tasks of fixing and building this bike back up to it’s former glory. If you have taken a motorcycle apart before then you know that there is a great deal of oil and oil spills involved in this process. Oil is bad in many regards. Not just in the fact that it makes a big mess but it can also destroy your bike’s tires.
In order to avoid this, I have started using the Performa Grease Proof mats. This way I can work on the bike and have a clean oil-free area, and not have to worry about degrading my tires in the process. Also the grease proof rubber mats give a very nice area to work, especially if you have to be on the ground to work on the bike. Now all I need is a bit more know-how or a few more instructions manuals and this little project should be ready to hit the road.
This not-so-little bike should be ready to purr soon and with this cleaver use of our grease mats, luckily I won’t have to buy new tires once it is ready to ride. So wish me luck and see you on the road.
Posted on: August 8th, 2014 by Stag
“ Shake, No-Rattle and Roll “
For all of your audiophiles (a person enthusiastic about high-fidelity sound reproduction) out there; did you know that there is a cost effect way to reduce that troublesome speaker vibrations, rattles and low-end noise? Anti-Fatigue Mats can certainly have multiple purposes and one of those would definitely be absorbing speaker vibrations. Something like the ergo-flex fatigue mats would work very well under a studio monitor or home theater speaker. Doing so would tighten up the low-end sounds and reduce any of the rumble noise from the speakers at high volume.
You commonly see this in high-end home or professional studios. But buy not in your home as well? I not only have padded all my speakers in my home with fatigue mats, but have also used a similar technique with rubber for my turntable. Simply put a thin layer under the turntable in order to reduce any inconsistencies and vibrations from the turntable. This subtle little addition greatly improves the sound quality of any home sound system; especially if you are using a turntable of any kind.
I am certainly not an audiophile; at least in no official sense. But this little addition to my home sound system has definitely made my personal listening experience much better, and turned it into an experience indeed. If you are looking for a little extra kick and clarity to your music, definitely look into anti-fatigue mats and rubber mats for your equipment. Your ears will thank you!
Posted on: June 24th, 2014 by Stag
Have you ever had a moment in adult-hood that you just completely revert to the mentality of a child? Not in capacity or your actual facilities, but simply as in wanting to play or play with some item that has somehow sparked a vivid memory of your child-hood? To me there are a few things that will have that effect. In no particular order they are: Teddy Rubskin, My Pet Monster, Mighty Max and Match-Box Cars. Now a little back story on this particular case; my roommate was a child care specialist for many years. He worked with children of all ages, and he is not exactly the tidiest of people, not dirty; just cluttered. So he was empting out a backpack one day and out comes a Match-Box Car. My pupils dilate, my pulse quickens and I almost immediately become fixated on this little piece of metal and plastic.
I started to see how far across the living room I could “drive” this little yellow car. I began creating little obstacle courses out of books and anything else lying around that I could find. For hours my roommate and I would 7 years old again and actually have a great time with that doing that. However one thing was definitely missing. We needed those city mats that they used to have when you were in grade school. If we only had one of these carpet play mats for cars then our little nostalgia filled Match-Box Car would seemingly come to life. Something like the City Life kids play rug would have been fantastic.
With all this my roommate and I decided that we needed to procure one of these play rugs possibly a racetrack mat for these cars. Now we are not going to keep it; we are going to gift this to his nephew in order to share this little – apparently tradition to continue the era.
Posted on: May 30th, 2014 by Stag
I have been a bit of a PC Video Game enthusiast for years now. Of course taking the inevitable breaks here and there and for varying amounts of time but I always find myself coming back to it. I don’t think that I will ever be too old – at least mentally; to play a video game now and again. Now anyone that has played on a PC knows that your set up is very important. Unlike your console games where you can play from your couch with a controller, you need to be sitting in your office chair and using your keyboard and mouse. Now I am not as young and resilient as I once was. So having a good set up is very important. Back problems are no laughing matter.
I used to use your standard office chair. That proved to be very uncomfortable and so I upgrade to a quite expensive full support high-end chair. Even that did not help with those binge weekends; sitting for hours on end. Though eventually I came across something that did; an exercise ball. Surprisingly it was very comfy to sit on and was great for my back. Gave me full range in motion and I would like to think – made me better at the game.
Wreaking havoc in an online game while sitting on an exercise ball is more satisfying than it should be. And definitely works far better than I ever imagined. I certainly recommend it!
Posted on: May 22nd, 2014 by Stag
My roommate is a bit of a MacGyver, and with that comes the hazards and sometimes benefits of his madness. Though seeing as though we have a lease and my name is on it; I decided to take some precautionary measures and get some non-flammable fatigue mats for the house. Trust me! This is a definite necessity with my roommate. He is not the most…shall we say, observant person on the planet. I know that he will be doing welding at some point or at the very least working with fire in some fashion to construct one of his (sometimes) useful mad-cap inventions.
To combat this I picked up weldmaster anti-fatigue mats and some rubber flooring to cover the surrounding area of his madman’s work area. This way he thinks that it’s for his benefit; and in a way it is. But at the same time it will serve to keep him from burning down the domicile that we have a lease for. So if you have a maverick roommate or loved-one at home, I heavily recommend a rubber fatigue mat and rubber rolls for your little invention or repair areas. Trust me, they will thank you, and so will your home-owner’s insurance agent.
Posted on: April 23rd, 2014 by Stag
I will be moving into a new apartment in the next week or so and now I am trying to figure out all the items and accessories that I’ll be needing to make my new space a functional one. Of courses you have your priorities; things like a refrigerator, utensils and general seating arrangements. No one wants to sit on the floor against the wall to watch their unnecessarily large flat-screen television, now do they? That would just be ridiculous. So it would seem that I have some very cost effective shopping in my very near future.
With that in mind, I will also need a few things that will make my home life, shall we say…more conducive. I will be moving in with my friend; of whom I have known him for 25 plus years. Now in that time I have found out many things about this guy and I do know that doing dishes, is absolutely not something that he is capable of. Not physically mind you, no. Contextually, he just simply does not do them.
So with that inevitable detail being considered it leads me to another purchase that I will inevitably be stocking up on and that is a kitchen mat. Ideally a gel mat or anti-fatigue kitchen mats of some sort. As I foresee long hours spent over my new sink dealing with the unavoidable mountain of dishes and utensils. So wish me luck on the move, and in my dish riddled adventures before me.