Bento Box Bits of everything

31Jul/070

Look what I’ve turned into

I've turned into such a consumer whore. I admit it. Today I went to Bed Bath & Beyond just to use one of the myriad of coupons they sent. Came away with a cool pepper mill: Vic Firth Pump & Grind Pepper Mill [amazon].

Judging by my blog entries some would say I turned long ago - but this piece of gadgetry appealed to the design-lover in me. Simple, elegant one-handed action - who needs those huge two-handed pepper grinders? Olive Garden my home is not. Very small pepper capacity, but again, how much pepper does one really use?

I'm in love with my pepper mill.

30Jul/070

Capitol Hill Block Party 2007

Spent the afternoon and evening by the main stage - Day 2 of the Capitol Hill Block Party. This time I was prepared and brought earplugs. Prime spot near the speakers. I mainly came to see Mirah and Aesop Rock, but discovered another great band: The Cribs. Very rock n roll; Brits, love 'em.

I probably would have passed on Mirah without Anita's encouragement; and I'm glad I went. She is a beautiful person with a beautiful voice. Seems she lost a lot of weight - she looks nothing like her PR photos. I'm currently obsessed trying to find her song "Don't" off a 2003 compilation album "Ragazza Pop" Can't find anywhere to purchase this album - I've resorted to contacting an ebay seller and an ebay winner of the album to beg for a copy of it. I have some footage of the song thankfully:

I also have another Mirah video on my youtube.

The Cribs were great; lots of energy and catchiness.

John Vanderslice - Not to my liking, and not just because his songs didn't seem to have choruses.

I was awoken by Aesop Rock. Awesome performance - great beats and intelligible lyrics; most live hip-hop acts are so musically muddled that it's hard to hear what they say. Not so with Aesop. His labelmate Rob Sonic performed alongside - another great lyricist. Aesop did a few old cuts and some new songs, Rob did a couple songs, and the DJ did some turntablism. Look for Aesop's new album "None Shall Pass" coming out next month. Rob Sonic will have a new album as well - I heard some of his music on his myspace - good stuff.

I left after Against Me! - Spoon was next and I was pretty worn out from being on my feet for 6 hours. Against Me! really got the crowd moving/moshing - I felt the music uninspiring - I love the punk genre, but something about them just screams 'bland' to me. I was surprised there was a mother and her two young children there at the very front, no ear protection, and one looking like a prisoner. When the crowd almost pushed the fence down they were quickly ushered away by security.

As always, lots more pictures on my flickr.

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23Jul/070

Kitchen complete

The kitchen is finally done: granite sealed & polished, floors vacuumed and swiffer-wetted many times, cookware & utensils: check, cutlery & dish sets: check, and other misc kitchen must-haves picked up while mom was in town the other week. Kitchen nook is finally furnished - Costco Home in Kirkland has some great deals; even though most of their stuff is not my style, the kitchen table fits well. I still have a bare pantry and empty fridge - and if I wanted to make toast I'd still need to buy a toaster. But otherwise, I am set to make all the ramen I need to survive.

Many pictures, different angles, lots more on my flickr:

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22Jul/070

Sonos Rocks!

My brother and I bought a Sonos bundle and an extra controller and split it - since we only each need 1 zone for now. For a full review look here; here's my quick breakdown: If you are a music fanatic who doesn't want to be tied to the computer, Sonos is a must-have. If you're open to a music-subscription service, Sonos is 10000x better. Spend the cost of a cd a month and you have access to over 3 million songs at your fingertips.

The Sonos controller really kicks the llama's ass; it even has a light sensor and motion sensor in it - turns on when you pick it up and adjusts the LCD back light to the ambient lighting. Album art, genre-browsing, playlists - it's all there; I was amazed at how well the interface was designed and how easy it is to navigate. I inherited some B&W DM3000s from my brothers - I grew up with these speakers and they still sound awesome. I did some research and found that in 1985 they cost $1900 a pair; in today's dollars that's $3600! I think my brothers pooled their money together in the early 90s and bought these speakers for our family home theater. I have the screens taken off the speakers since I love that aggressive look with the distinctive B&W yellow cones. My brother also gave me a Yamaha RX-V992 receiver to power these bad boys.

Here's the set up so far:

Got the Xbox360, router (Linksys WRT54GL), Sonos ZP-80, and PS2 set up. Right now the speakers are straddling the television but I think I'm going to move them to each side of the fireplace since I plan to listen to more music than use the TV - plus I read that the prime listening spot should be equidistant to the distance between the speakers - forming an equilateral triangle. Here's some close ups of the controller and the depth of the music library

My only complaint is that the Rhapsody library currently can't be 'searched' - but instead artists have to be browsed for by genre, but navigating the huge lists of artists is easy with the power-scroll feature. Hopefully this will be alleviated by a future software upgrade. Another neat feature is that the Rhapsody account is linked to my profile which I can modify anywhere - all my saved playlists, favorite artists/songs are available when I'm on my work, home, or any computer and of course the Sonos. This type is convergence is truly the future.

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