Harman Kardon GO + PLAY II

I have always been looking for portable music solutions that sound amazing, and after years of searching this is the radio that I have determined makes the best sound for its size.  The Harman Kardon GO + PLAY II has the richest sound I have heard in a package that can easily be transported.  It is actually pretty amazing how much sound can come out of this unit.  Another good thing is that the price of this speaker system has dropped quite a bit in the last several months where it can now be purchased for close to half of what it was originally released at.  $200 or so will get you set up with this amazing piece of engineering.  The II version now holds batteries so it is truly portable.

Nest Thermostat

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I purchased a NEST thermostat a few weeks ago and for those of you who are looking for a forward leap in home thermostats, I think this one has a lot to offer.  Reasons why it works for me are:

  • Remote Temperature Adjustment - From any phone or computer that connects to the internet, you can change the temperature.  If you are out of town but forgot to turn the heat down, you can now do it saving yourself cash.  Cash that will offset the cost.  If you are coming home from vacation or out on a hot date and want the house warm and cozy when you arrive, you can do so easily.  It is also pretty cool to wake up in the morning and turn the heat up from your bed.

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  • Remote Programing - Most thermostats in modern homes have the ability to be programed, but the truth is, many do not ever get touched and are used strictly in manual mode.  With the nest, you can set and adjust the schedule from any laptop or phone, phone needs to be turned on its side in landscape mode.  The interaction is highly intuitive and carried out much easier than any wall mounted control unit.
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Nest on Computer

  • Energy Evaluation - Nest keeps track of the amount of time and when your heater runs each day allowing you to see where your energy dollars are going.  This is probably one of the geekier features, but I like graphs and data so it works well for me.
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  • Motion Sensor - Nest can tell when you are around and when you are not home.  If you don't want to take the time to set up the schedule, Nest will monitor when you are home and when you are away and adjust it for you.  It will learn what temperatures you like and make you comfortable.  If you are out of town, it will adjust the temperature to save you money.

  • Looks Cool - It is a very good looking thermostat.  Red when heating, blue when cooling.  When remodeling our house it was nice to ditch the old cheezy one bring us into the new century.
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Streaming Electronic Music

If you have found yourself looking for a good electronic music station to stream to your computer or house, here is one I found while working on the kitchen remodel.  Lots of good Electro House and Indie Dance throughout the day.  I also like that unlike some of the good Russian stations I listen to, this one is in English so I can at least be somewhat entertained when the DJ is talking.

Here is RAW FM out of Sydney:

Catholic School Girls Night Out

The Rowdy Rampage of the Randy Catholic School Girls is one of Boise's best parties of the year. It is a celebration created years ago by Nurse Jessica and Cindy and our crew gets after it for a night.  I was honored this year to be able to open up for the TekFreaks.  Here is my set from the night.  It was all done live while heavily intoxicated so please excuse any missteps in the mixing. The evening was all about pure fun.  I think the link below will be a right click and save.

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Dryer Heat

I have always been a fan of efficient systems and for years have thought about a way to capture the heat from our clothes dryer during winter months.  I found this item and installed it in our basement.  It does what it should and provides humidity to our otherwise dry house.  Just remember not to use it with a gas dryer as you will die a quick death when the CO fills your house.

USB Wall Outlets

I really like efficiency and I love these outlets with both 110 volt power and low voltage USB.  You no longer need wall adapters and charging your phone in your kitchen no longer uses up the outlet space.  They also charge with fairly high amperage meaning it takes much less time to get your phone or Ipad up to 100%.

Installation is pretty simple as you just turn off the breaker and move the wires from the old outlet to the new one.  If you don't know how to do that you really should invite a friend over who can teach you the basic fundamentals of electricity.  It is good knowledge to have in the back of your head.

The Roots of EDM

I came across this copy of America's Top 40 Countdown show done by Casey Kasem on 7/7/79.  It featured the top disco hits of the previous 5 years.  If you like electronic dance music, especially if you are into remixes, you can go through this whole show without hearing at least 10 bits of music that have been sampled for current tracks.  If you have got some time to kill it is a great listen and despite Casey's cheeze factor he was masterful at delivering top 40 music to the country.

Here is the file, I think it will be a right click, save as.

Outlet Covers

So I have a lot of little small ideas to share so instead of clogging up the pull down menus above, I am going to try this blog feature and see if it works.  I am going to share a little tip about outlet covers.  There are a lot of really crappy outlet covers in people's house, especially if your house is old and never been updated.  Home Depot sells a lot of styles but most of them are ugly and expensive.  Here is the solution, buy normal stainless steal ones.  They match anything and look pretty damn good.  Theses are the ones HD wants you to buy for $6 each:

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Don't buy those.  They look good but cost a ton.  Instead, go down the isle a bit to the industrial section of outlet covers and buy these:

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They cost about 20% as much and look really good.  Most likely you will save about $100 doing a couple of rooms and they will be very easy to match in the future.  They also look pretty sharp.  So buy me a beer if I saved you some fat cash.