Archive for August, 2009

Euro Kicks: Onitsuka Tiger x Wood Wood

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If you like simple, classic kicks then these new Onitsuka Tigers will be right up your alley.  These classic Runner X-Calibers were originally released in 1982, but thanks to the Danish brand Wood Wood, you can now relive the 80s with these classic re-makes.  I’m a big fan of the subtle color palate, highlighted by blue touches and the little clover.  If you are thinking, wow these look just like Asics, well you are right.  Onitsuka was started in Japan in 1949, later merging with GTO and Jelenik to form Asics in 1977.  The Onitsuka brand remains today as their vintage shoe line…..

Ok enough with the history lesson, here is how you get them….They are being offered for $143.23 VAT included…..if you can get them shipped over from France via Colette

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It’s That Time Of Year Again……The Ski Buyer’s Guides Are Out!

If you are a skier like I am, then you probably start to feel “the turn” around this time of year……Although summer is great, you can’t help but think about the upcoming ski season as nights become cooler and the bears in town start fattening up for hibernation….

The ski magazines are in tune with these end of summer blues, so they publish their first editions in late August/early September. Most magazines start off their season with a gear buyer’s guide to show you whats new and exciting for the upcoming season. What better way to get pumped for skiing, than to drool over all the new equipment you wish you could afford.

After a couple seasons working in a ski shop paired with two 100+ day ski seasons, I have become a harsh critic on gear.

This year I give you my rundown of the 4 major ski buyer’s guides……and the winner is……

1. Freeskier Magazine

photo_17223_-1x630_0Although I don’t sag my goggles or wear super bright, baggy threads, I do love fat skis and the latest and greatest in ski technology. Freeskier is by far the best buyers guide on the newstands this season because it is in depth, gives actual reviews and includes a lot of info about rockered skis. This buyers guide is definitely aimed at the younger, more advanced ski crowd. Most all of the skis reviewed were over 90mm in the waist, including 43 skis tested over 110mm in the waist. That is my kind of test as I am an advocate of the bigger is better mantra (out west at least). Their stoke meter which is their review system is not always too accurate in my mind, but skis are very personal so its tough to review for the masses and hey, at least they have some type of rating system. On top of that, they feature the little guys – the boutique ski companies that are helping to progress the industry. Not only do they review all the fat skis that are out there, they take a look at clothing and accessories. Most of the clothing is a little too steezy for me but they do include my boys TREW (who also got a shout-out in an editor’s setup)! On top of all this, they even throw in a poster of this years Lange Girl for you. Two thumbs up from this guy.

2. Powder Magazine

First off I have to commend Powder on this issue, not because of their buyers guide but because of the the double cover and their tribute to Shane McConkey who is a legend and one of the reasons I became so obsessed with this sport. The ski world will not be the same without Shane but he left us with an amazing legacy. Hopefully Shane is smearing some pow turns in heaven as I write this.

Because of this great tribute, maybe they didn’t spend as much time on their buyers guide so i’m ok with that. Their rather slim guide doesn’t have actual reviews of any of the skis, only company blurbs about how they should ski. Kudos to them for featuring fatter, more advanced skis but they get major points off for their lack of descriptions, reviews and only showing a few models per company. They mention some boutiques like Freeskier did, just in a much more condensed fashion.

I do love Powder though and I love how they gave Shane his first cover. R.I.P Shane.

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Tied for Last…..Skiing Magazine and Ski Magazine

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Oh boy, this is where things get rather interesting. I’ve never been a fan of either of these magazine as they tend to appeal to the beginner/intermediate crowd who don’t know much about skiing, but every once in a while they surprise me. Not this time though. As usual, both of these buyers guides appeal to the average cruiser and mostly disregard the new technology and the fact that a 90mm waisted ski is no longer considered a powder ski. Its as if these buyers guides are stuck in 2002 when they refer to a freeride ski as being a 80-90mm waisted ski, and a “super-wide” ski being over 105 under foot. I’m sorry but this is 2009 and super-wide is more like 120+. For most of us 105 is more of an all-mountain/freeride ski. I know they are appealing to the masses and people on both coasts but please don’t call an 80mm waisted ski a freeride ski in 2009 because that is just silly. The only good thing about these guides is the fact that they use an actual rating system to pick their favorites. I disagree with many of them, but at least they are trying.

I Hope this helps all of you in your search for new gear this season but if you are like me, you will probably buy all 4 nonetheless. I never do get sick of looking at ski magazines or gear. If you are looking for new skis or gear this year, shoot me an email and I would be more than happy to give some suggestions.

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YouTube Clip Of The Week: European Indoor Cycling?

I don’t know what the Europeans are feeding their kids these days, but we need to get our little ones on the same program. While girls in the U.S. work on their balance beam skills, the girls over in Germany are not only practicing their balancing, but doing so while popping a wheelie on a bike. Although this sport seems very strange and rather circus-like, these girls have some serious skill. Will indoor cycling be the next big thing? Probably not but as a biker, i’m impressed. I don’t think some of those moves would turn out too well if a guy tried them though……might have to leave this sport to the ladies.

This video is from the 2009 European Junior Indoor Cycling

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Do You Own A Camaro? Do You Like Papa Johns Pizza? Today Is Your Lucky Day!

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Remember your first car?  Do you wish you could have it back years later to re-live your glory days?  Would you pay $275,000 to do so?  Yeah I wouldn’t either, but I also don’t own one of the largest Pizza companies in the world (and I still own my first car….)

John Schnatter who is the founder of Papa Johns Pizza, had to part ways with his 1971 1/2 Chevrolet Camaro Z28 way back in 1983 in order to keep his fathers pizza business afloat.  The $2,800 sale  turned out to be a very solid move.  25 years later with the help of that $2,800, Johns little family pizza joint has turned into an International chain which is worth a reported $3/4 Billion.  Despite all his success and the fact that he could buy as many Camaros as he wants today, he still hasn’t forgoten about his old Camaro.

In fact, for the past 20 years he has been looking for his Camaro.  First, he put out a reward for $25,000 through the FBI, but that led nowhere.  $25,000 then turned into $250,000 and a spot on a TV program.  The program was a success, leading John to his old car which as it turn out, had only been with 3 different owners since John sold it back in 1983.

The latest owner had turned the Camaro into a 825 horsepower dragster but after he was offered the $250,000, he gladly sold it back to John.  The people who tipped John about its whereabouts collected the $25,000 finders fee.

Although this is a great story, it has turned into much more for those lucky enough to be Camaro owners.  To celebrate his find, John is giving away a free Papa Johns Pizza to every Camaro owner for one day only – TODAY (August 26th)!  So if you are one of those lucky people, grab your keys and head on over to your local Papa Johns to grab some pizza on the house.

For more on the quest to find his Camaro check out: http://www.papasroadtrip.com/

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A Cheap & Easy Way To Send Packages To Our Troops Overseas

Thanks to The US Postal Service, sending packages to military personnel serving overseas has become a lot easier and cheaper. They are now offering priority mail flat rate boxes measuring 12” x 12” x 5-1/2” that can be sent to any APO/FPO for one low rate of $11.95. Since they are flat rate boxes, you can pack ‘em chock full of goodies and no matter how much it weighs its still just $11.95. The boxes are free as well, so if you have a friend serving our country overseas, now is your chance to send them a little something to make their lives over there a little easier.

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Last week I sent a package to my good friend 1st Lt. Edward J. Hubbard USMC, who is on his second tour, this time over in Afghanistan. This was his list of things that his men needed over there as an example of what to send:

Hygiene Gear: toothpaste, toothbrushes, hand sanitizer, foot powder, gold bond, chapstick, baby wipes, q-tips, disposable razors, shaving cream, sunscreen.
Food/Drink: Powerbars (anything that won’t melt too much), small packets of drink mixes (gatorade, propel etc.), dried fruit and nut mixes.

Entertainment: Magazines (think 18-25 year old military men and you can figure out what will work), books (same category), playing cards – He also mentioned tobacco products so I threw in some Marlboro Reds and some Dip….

If you don’t know anyone serving, but still want to send a package to some troops over there, check out AnySoldier.com. Here is a description of how their service works:

“We have volunteer Soldier “contacts” on the “Where To Send” page. Click through the names and select the one(s) you wish to support. They list what the folks they represent want and need. We even have a search capability so you can easily identify what the troops need most. All the Soldiers involved in this effort are military volunteers stationed in areas that are in harm’s way. You send your support(letters and/or packages) addressed to them and when they see the “Attn: Any Soldier” line in their address they put you letters and packages into the hands of Soldiers who don’t get much or any mail first. Everything is shared.”
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Over $50 Million Worth Of Cars Sold By Gooding & Company At Pebble Beach

One more highlight from Pebble Beach which I must mention, was the auction put on by Gooding & Company. To be expected, the lot of cars was nothing short of spectacular and at the end of the day some very high numbers were met. In total 169 cars were sold at the auction, bringing in a total of $50,759,350. That comes out to an average of over $300,000 per car…..not too shabby. The cars that helped pad these numbers included 9 cars that brought in over $1 million each. Following are the top 10 highest sales:

  • 1962 Ferrari 250 GT SWB California Spider at $5,115,000 (Sunday Lot 135)
  • 1933 Alfa Romeo 8C 2300 Drop Head Coupe at $4,180,000 (Sunday Lot 139)
  • 1935 Duesenberg Model SJ Roadster at $3,300,000 (Sunday Lot 130)
  • 1958 Ferrari 250 GT LWB California Spider at $2,750,000 (Saturday Lot 37)
  • 1953 Aston Martin DB 2/4 Drop Head Coupe at $1,650,000 (Saturday Lot 62)
  • 1954 Ferrari 500 Mondial Series I at $1,540,000 (Sunday Lot 117)
  • 1938 Bugatti Type 57C Special Coupe at $1,375,000 (Saturday Lot 31)
  • 1934 Mercedes-Benz 380 Sport Roadster at $1,078,000 (Sunday Lot 149)
  • 1954 Aston Martin DB2/4 Competition Spider at $1,045,000 (Sunday 126)
  • 1929 Rolls-Royce Phantom I York Roadster for $946,000 (Sunday Lot 116)

For a complete list of all 169 cars go to: http://www.goodingco.com/auctions/results/pebble09/

Here are a few pictures for you viewing pleasure – personally I would pick the red 1958 Ferrari 250 GT LWB California Spider.

1962 Ferrari 250 GT SWB California Spider - $5,115,000 (pic from AutoBlog)

1962 Ferrari 250 GT SWB California Spider - $5,115,000 (pic from AutoBlog)

1933 Alfa Romeo 8C 2300 Drop Head Coupe - $4,180,000 (Gooding & Co.)

1933 Alfa Romeo 8C 2300 Drop Head Coupe - $4,180,000 (AutoBlog)

1938 Bugatti Type 57C Special Coupe - $1,375,000 (Gooding & Co.)

1938 Bugatti Type 57C Special Coupe - $1,375,000 (Gooding & Co.)

1958 Ferrari 250 GT LWB California Spider - $2,750,000 (Gooding & Co.)

1958 Ferrari 250 GT LWB California Spider - $2,750,000 (Gooding & Co.)

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Groupon.com: Awesome Daily Deals In Your City

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Who doesn’t like coupons? With these slim economic times, people are trimming their budgets and looking for new ways to save. I recently saw a show on TV that highlighted a lady who doesn’t buy anything without a coupon. She would literally buy $100 worth of food at the supermarket and walk away paying only $20 after all her coupons were counted. This is an extreme example but it got me thinking about coupons.

Groupon.com is a relatively new site (founded November of 2008 in Chicago) which displays 1 coupon per day, per city. Its like Steepandcheap.com or woot.com, but for local deals in your city. The deals are only in 17 cities for now, but if you live in one of these cities it is definitely worth checking out.

It is not like a traditional coupon which you can print or cut out and use to get a discount. It is a structure that encourages group participation in order to buy in on the deal. From their website, here is the basic explanation as to how it works:

  1. Each day we feature something cool to do at an unbeatable price.
  2. You only get it if enough people join that day… so invite your friends!
  3. Check back the next day for another awesome Groupon!

The concept is great, allowing businesses to promote specials and attract new customers, while providing locals with killer deals. Because the deals are so good and varied, it keeps people coming back day after day. You can also receive email alerts every day so you don’t miss out on a deal.

Check it out at: http://www.groupon.com/

Here is a screen-shot of a restaurant example from the New York City edition today:

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Another screen-shot shows a really good fitness deal today in Chicago…..

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Following are the cities featured on Groupon:

Atlanta – Austin – Boston – Chicago – Dallas – Denver – Houston – Los Angeles – Miami – New York – Philadelphia – Phoenix – San Diego – San Francisco – Seattle – Tampa – Washington D.C.

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5 Highlights From Monterey 2009 & The 59th Annual Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance

If you consider yourself to be a car person then you have heard of the annual Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance. Whether you are a fan of the classics or looking to see what the future holds, you can find it in Monterey each year. Maybe next year I will make the trip, but for now I must rely on the coverage by various auto magazines and blogs. There were plenty of great stories and pictures to drool over from this years events which took place last weekend in Monterey, CA. Following are a few highlights which I found on AutoBlog.

1) The Classic Car Races

Porsche was named the marque brand for this years event so they managed to assemble an impressive list of 145 vintage Porsche race cars to race around the Laguna Seca track. I sure would be nervous driving one of these pieces of art around a track with so many others, but luckily this race was clean. A certain Ferrari driver in another race was not so lucky as you will see below….

Courtesy of AutoBlog

Courtesy of AutoBlog

2) The Classic Car Groups

The event brings thousands of cars from all different eras. Luckily, they organize many different groupings, bringing rare cars of the same breed together which multiplies their awesomeness. The grouping below consists of 10 Ferrari Barchettas (nick named “little boat” for good reason). What is so amazing about this grouping is the fact that only 25 Barchettas were produced in the late 40s and 10 of those are gathered in perfect condition some 60 years later at Pebble.

Courtesy of AutoBlog

Courtesy of AutoBlog

Courtesy of AutoBlog

Courtesy of AutoBlog

Pictured above is a rare grouping of Bentley race cars dating back to 1922. The gathering of these Bentleys was the largest grouping of historic Bentleys ever to be assembled.

3) The New Kids On The Block…

The concept lawn at Pebble this year showcased not only cars from the future but a few recently unveiled production cars as well. Leading the pack in this picture is the new Bugatti Veyron Sang Bleu edition followed by my personal favorite, the Audi R8 V10. The rest of the pack included the Infiniti Essence, Mercedes SLR McLaren Stirling Moss, Bertone Mantide, SMS Challenger 570, 2010 Lotus Evora, Fsker Karma Sunset, Spyker Aileron Spyder, Iconic rolling chassis, 2010 Jaguar XJ, Devon GTX, 2010 Morgan Aero SuperSports, Rolls-Royce 200EX, Lincoln Concept C and the Aston Martin One-77.

Courtesy of Autoblog

Courtesy of Autoblog

4) The $8 million Ferrari That Came In A Little Hot….

One of the biggest stories to come out of Pebble this weekend was this little Ferrari mishap. When you race vintage cars, you usually take it very easy but every once in a while, one gets loose and some damage occurs. When it happens to a very rare Ferrari that is reportedly worth $8 million, it is extra tough to watch. Well it was worth $8 million before the weekend that is……

This Ferrari is a famed 250 Testa Rossa which was only 1 of 34 built between 1956 and 1961, with only 2 race models having been produced. The only other existing 250 TR that is a better example of this one sold for $12.2 million this May making it the most expensive car ever sold.

With that being said, you can now imagine what is coming out of the drivers mouth as he goes airborne into a tire wall……

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Courtesy of AutoBlog

Courtesy of AutoBlog

Courtesy of AutoBlog

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Courtesy of AutoBlog

5) Last But Not Least……The Best Of Show

With over 200 immaculate cars for the judges to choose from, they chose a 1937 Horch 853 Voll & Ruhrbeck Sport Cabriolet as Best Of Show. Although I have never seen or heard of one of these before, I did recognize the badge that adorned its grill. Yup, it’s the same Audi badge that is still kicking today. According to AutoBlog, “August Horch had worked with Karl Benz back in the infancy of the automobile before leaving to form his own company, August Horch & Cie in 1899. Ten years later he bolted from his namesake firm to start up Audi.”

This winning car is owned by Robert M. Lee of Sparks, NV who is no stranger to the Concours or the Best of Show award. The restoration of this Horch took 5 years but as you can see it paid off.

Courtesy of AutoBlog

Courtesy of AutoBlog

Courtesy of AutoBlog

Courtesy of AutoBlog

For more coverage and pictures from these great events check out AutoBlog.

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Hotpads.com – A Visual Approach to Online Apartment Hunting

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We’ve all struggled with finding an apartment or house rental at some point. My first apartment hunt in New York City was brutal. Every time I would find a seemingly great place on Craigslist, I would go to look at it in person, only to find out that it was actually a closet in a horrible location. Although apartment hunting is still tough, there are new services and sites that aim at lessening the pain of your search.

As I am planning my next move, I have been starting to scour craigslist to search for apartments. Craigslist is great but once you click on an ad, you usually have to open up google maps in another window to figure out where the apartment is located. Hotpads.com, makes life a little easier. Hotpads.com lets you search for apartments by area, showing you available places on the map. Simply scroll over the available apartment, and a bubble pops up giving you information about price, # of bedrooms etc… You can then click on the bubble to get more details and pictures as well as how to contact the landlord. This visual approach to online apartment hunting takes the guesswork out of craigslist ads and allows you to pinpoint very specific neighborhoods or blocks that you want to look at. Not only is this a site for rentals, you can search “for sale” listings on the site as well. The website is clean and easy to use and the maps are straightforward and crisp.

To check it out for yourselves, go to http://www.hotpads.com

Thanks to Will for the tip!

A Screenshot of a my 3 Bedroom Apt Search in San Francisco

A Screenshot of a my 3 Bedroom Apt Search in San Francisco

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Bo Knows Kicks: Nike Air Max Light “Tecmo Bo”

Remember Bo Jackson and the clever 1989 /90 Nike campaign of “Bo Knows”? Even though I was 7 at the time, I remember. Bo was the first athlete in the modern era to play professional baseball and football in the same year which was, and still is quite an amazing feat.

What better way to commemorate Bo than with his own “Tecmo Bo” edition Nike Air Max Lights.

These kicks, although not quite as sweet as his original 1989 cross trainers, are classic with their white and blue Kansas City theme. The key feature of these kicks has to be the tongue, which has a Nintendo style 1980s Tecmo Bo(wl) logo of him playing baseball.

These are gonna be tough ones to find but you can get them at select stores including Kix-Files.

Thanks to the tip from Nice Kicks

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