Tech Ready Winter Gloves

Given that we've had 3 snow storms in the span of one week up in the Boston area, I figured it was a great time to talk winter gloves.  Since I am a tech nerd it is important to have gloves that allow me to use my camera and touch screen devices in the bitter cold.  

This past year I've settled on two pair that are perfect for my needs depending on the conditions.  My current favorites and most used are GliderGloves.  These are nice and lightweight so you can easily move your fingers around.  These are perfect all purpose gloves that allow me to use my camera without getting in the way.  And they work great on touch screens.  If it is wet out I would avoid these though as they aren't water resistant at all.

If you're looking for something when old man winter gets really tough I've found The North Face's TNF Apex are the best.  They give extra protection from the cold and wetness.  Their touch screen coverage only includes the pointer finger and thumb, but that is no big deal at all when you need extra protection from the elements.    

Are there different winter gloves that you prefer?  If so I'm all ears.  I'm always looking for the best.  

Dollar Dollar (Shave Club) Ya'll

If you spend any decent amount of time on the internet or social sites, chances are you've at least heard about Dollar Shave Club.  They've been around a while and came on the scene strong last year with a funny video:

The video is funny but is it all true?  Two months ago I decided to find out.  

They have their pros and cons but I think the biggest question is: can these blades save me the price gouging cost of Gillette Mach 3 razors that I've been buying for years?  Short answer, yes.

I'd say started losing my hair in middle school (not kidding), have been bald for a years, and therefore shaving my head for a while which I'd say gives me some experience in the shaving realm.  For years I had to use a Mach 3 razor from Gillette.  Nothing else was sharp enough to cover shaving my head and last longer than one session (I can usually get two head shaves per razor).  So to be honest I was skeptical about dollar shave club.  But I dove in and got a starter pack selecting "The Executive", a 4 bladed razor from their lineup.

Dollar Shave Club

The idea behind DSC isn't just saving money, but also convenience.  Each month you get an email reminding you that you're about to have another months supply of blades ship to you.  You can cancel this very easily without hassle as well as customize the interval of when you get new blades.  After using Dollar Shave Club for two months now and I'm sold.  It is super convenient for me and I am saving money each month.  Can't go wrong there. 

A few final pros and cons.  

Pros:

  • Cheap - From $1-$9 for 4-pack depending on the type of blade.  
  • Convenient - Auto re-ordering each month, or not.  It is up to you and it is easy.
  • Quality - These blades are the real deal.  Sharp and durable
  • Unisex - While the site seems geared more towards men, I am sure even the ladies could find a blade that suits them. 

 

Dollar Shave Club - Handles

Cons:

  • When rinsing your blade with water, not much drips off the blade and this makes the shave more wet than I am used to with a Mach 3.  Perhaps this is by design but it causes a lot of soapy water to drip down my face when shaving my head.  DSC calls this "flow through" and dubs it as a feature.  Maybe for when you're shaving your face but not so much the head.  
  • Odd handle design  - I assume the DSC handle is designed to help with shaving your face rather than your head (which is my primary use).  It took a while to get the hang of but I would prefer a straight handle.  
Dollar Shave Club - Blades

Reggae Feature: Eek-A-Mouse

As summer beach weather is finally upon on us, I begin to dust of a genre that just seems to fit summer best: reggae.  Sure I listen to reggae throughout the year but I really blast it when the weather is warm, when you can cruise around town with all your windows open, and of course at the beach.  It just feels right. 

eek-a-mouse-the-mouse-the-man.jpg

Loving music, I listen to a lot of reggae: Marley of course, Peter Tosh, Burning Spear, King Tubby, and more.  But one reggae artist that is up near the top of my favorites is Eek-A-Mouse.   

The reason you don't hear about him much is that his style is extremely polarizing, as in you're either really into him, or you want to stab the radio whenever you hear his voice.   

Eek-A-Mouse is one of the first musicians to be called a "sing-jay"; a particular style where the singer uses the most basic of sounds that don't necessarily mean anything to form the lyrical rhythm of the song.  "Dee dum dum ditty dum dum bitty bung bung bitty bay" is a line you might hear in his tracks, all with soothing dub vibes in the background.  While it might seem childish at times, there is a message in his songs.  

The people that hate him say "he's not doing anything though", and "it all sounds the same".  I have to disagree.  What Eek-A-Mouse does is more original than a lot that is out there today.  Maybe you need to listen in nice weather, maybe on the beach, or maybe you need so spark one up, but I could listen to Eek-A-Mouse at just about any time.  He is just so chill.  Give him a listen below and see if you agree.   

Eek-A-Mouse's entire catalogue (~14 albums) is on Spotify. 

Or if you feel like buying: 

Amazon  //  iTunes

Tone of Arc - The Time Was Right

I've said it a few times recently; I've felt a little overloaded by electronic music.  Don't get me wrong I am still very much into it, but sometimes I take a step back from things.  I've said before that for DJ's and electronic musicians to really impress me these days, they need to insert a live element into their tunes.  

Well this album does it, and is one of the least electronic sounding electronic albums I've heard in a while.   

There are so many genres bubbling out of this album.  You've got punk, 80's, a bit of rock, and electronic of course; all with a true live feeling.  It's been my favorite album in a few months and I highly recommend it.  A few favorite tracks:

Track 1 has been on repeat in my car since I got the album.


Chalk Hill is so punk. Love it. Get past the intro before you give up on this song!


Goodbye Horses has a great 80's vibe. Be warned the video is weird as hell.

Bronwyn in Union Square

If someone asked you what the best German restaurant in the Boston area was, what would you say?  

I think most would default to Jacob Wirth in the Chinatown area but to me that place is more of a pub than a place trying to serve up authentic German cuisine.  And I'm sorry to say, their food is mediocre at best.  If you want true German fare, complete with beer  steins and the Octoberfest atmosphere to boot, you need to stop in at Bronwyn in Union Square.  

20130430_bronwyn_560x375.jpg

I'm not one to give lengthy/wordy reviews so I'll just tell you what I liked and didn't like about Bronwyn.  

The Good:

  • Atmosphere - They really set the mood; I love the look, sound, and feeling of this place.  It almost feels like you've been transported to Central Europe. 

  • Communal seating - I LOVE this idea.  There are two large picnic style tables in the bar area were you can sit if you are by yourself or with a smaller group.  I saw some patrons taken aback by this when the hostess explained it to them. I guess some people just don't like sitting right next to other humans they don't know.

  • The food, good lord the food - I've only been here twice and each time I tried several different things.  Everything was perfect and I don't use that term lightly.  I can't wait to try more.

Untitled
  • Beverages - While I am not a beer man (allergies -> sad face) they had a great selection of wine and beer but also have a fully stocked bar with bartenders capable of whipping up any cocktail you might desire.

The "Bad":

  • Jam packed - Good for business, bad for you.  Both times I visited it was early evening maybe between 6 and 7pm and the place was full with a list of people in line for tables.  Since I was solo this was no problem but if you think you are walking in here at peak hours and sitting right down, think again.

  • Pricing - While I said the food I tried here was perfect, I don't think it warrants prices as high as they are when considering the portions.  Appetizers alone range from $8-$20 and a small dish of spätzle (enough to be just a small appetizer) while delicious, was $20.  This is why I can't recommend Bronwyn for a full course meal.  I'd recommend coming here for a quick bite and drink from time to time when you aren't starving but the portions are overpriced no matter how good they taste.  I don't think this will stop me from visiting again and trying other things on the menu.  
This is knödel. If you have anything at Bronwyn have this. Untitled

A few more things things to note:

  • They don't take reservations so either get their early or have a plan on what you want to do with your hour+ wait depending on what time you stop in.
  • Don't be intimidated by the menu.  Yes it is in German and you will miss-pronounce everything.  Guess what?  So will most other people that visit along with the servers and bartenders.  This is new to almost everyone.  
  • Please! If you have anything try the Knödel!  Do it; I'm serious.

Bronwyn is located at 255 Washington Street in Union Square Somerville.  It the best German restaurant in the Boston area until someone can show me one better.  

bronwynrestaurant.com

 

On Repeat: Django Django - Default

Add another album to the list of things that totally skipped me by in 2012.  The self titled album by this "psychadelic pop art" group out of London is pretty damn good.  I had only heard of these guys in passing but decided to give them a listen on Spotify recently and I have to say I am bummed I missed them when they played in Boston a few weeks ago.  

I haven't listened to a song on repeat (many times in a day) in a while until this one:



A couple of my other favorites:



Preview & Purchase

Amazon  // iTunes

AM & Shawn Lee - La Musique Numerique

Hadn't really heard of these guys but thanks to Spotify I came across their new album.  I've been listening to it a lot for the past week or so.  Definitely digging it and hope to see them live if they come around.  A few of my favorite tracks:

This one uses a classic dub riff you should know.




They also do a decent cover of Joe Jackson's "Steppin Out"

Preview & Purchase

Amazon //  iTunes