Friday, September 26, 2008

The Ultimate Industrial Look

Recently I talked about "going industrial" with your home decor.  It is easy to get an industrial look in the home with accessories.   Some people go even further.   When there is a shortage of old warehouses to make loft apartments out of, some individuals buy their own land and turn to PreFab Buildings.  You can't get much more "industrial" than putting up your own steel buildings.  It may not give you a sweeping view of the city, but some of the funkiest "lofts" I have seen were not lofts at all.  They were big, open spaces on ground level.

Of course, you will have to check with your local zoning regulations.  There are some residential neighborhoods that you could not do this in.  Mixed use areas and rural land would probably be a better bet, though I am no legal authority on the matter.

Other ways to go industrial are to check out the Cool Roofing Options that steel offers.  It is a "green" material as well.  The steel that Norsteel uses is recycled, making it very sustainable.  When the day comes and you decide to renovate, the steel in your building can also move on and have a life somewhere else instead of a landfill.


Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Soup Up Your Hybrid?

Automobile culture has long influenced fashion and music, and today is no different.  I have talked before about various items modern day Danny Zucko's can soup up their rides with.    I have stumbled across something that really perplexed me.

There is a website that provides customization parts for the new Hybrid cars.   There are products used for battery performance. It makes complete and logical sense that someone owning a hybrid would want it to be as efficient as possible.

The idea that makes me scratch my head is the add ons meant to increase fuel economy Isn't a hybrid already covered in that department? It seems a bit redundant, doesn't it? Well, there is a school of thought that you can never get too much performance.

In the coming decades, we will see how hyrbids influence the culture. Or perhaps it is something that will never have the romantic past of other moments in automative history., does, however, have a number of eco friendly products to clean your car with. For the rest of us who do not have a hybrid, that can be something used to take baby steps with.

Friday, September 19, 2008

Be Thankful to Live in Modern Times

Lots of people want to go back to the "good old days." When people talk about pre WWII and how it would be great to live in the 1930s, I quietly remind them about polio. Roman times would be impressive...all the history and the great architecture. Of course, women were basically property so that isn't so great either.

It is amazing what they can now do for heart patients. Something as delicate as a mitral valve can now be tended to with a high survival rate. In decades past, there wasn't even such a thing as mitral valve surgery. You either died suddenly of mysterious causes, or had a heart condition. The only other alternative, when it was developed, was major and mostly unsuccessful surgery. They just didn't have the tools to pinpoint something to a mitral valve repair being the remedy.

Of course, the best thing to do is live a healthy lifestyle. Exercise, eat right, and avoid stress. Sometimes, no matter what you do, there are some people more genetically susceptible than others. Please take care of yourself, but also be thankful that you live in the here and now, and not in a decade with better fashion sense.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

A Little Too Close for Comfort

GPS systems are very useful when you aren't sure where you are going.  It has saved many people lots of time, and keeps them safe.  When you have an accurate GPS, you won't be driving down any deadend dark alleys.

What reminds me a little too much of "Big Brother" is the GPS tracking devices.   It is a fine idea to use them for buses or other vehicles in a group you are trying to keep tabs of and on time. What breeches etiquette, in my opinion, is when people use GPS tracking for private use.

It would be one thing if they wouldn't turn on unless the car was stolen, or unless it was an emergency situation.  Maybe it could turn on if it sensed a severe impact.  This way someone unconscious could be found.   However, what I don't like is the idea of people tracking other people without their consent, such as a spouse or a girlfriend/boyfriend.   

We should only be with someone who we can trust or learn to trust. Most of the time, our suspicions of a significant other cheating is unfounded. What results is a world of distrust that comes from knowing their every move.  People can easily feel smothered and it causes a relationship to break up needlessly.  The reaction when someone discovers a GPS Tracking device. is something that could easily give someone a nervous breakdown. It is not like in the movies.

While some technology is life saving, some of it is the idle plaything of people with way too much time on their hands.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Start a Fan Club

One iconic scene that always stuck in my mind is from Citizen Kane.  There is a point of view shot that shows the blades of the ceiling fan spinning around and around.  I just thought that film was very cutting edge for cinematography at the time.

Fanamation and Quorom have several historically styled ceiling fans that will really please someone who has the same image as I do in their heads.   Quorom more has m retro inspired styles, while Fanamation has some that look like they could be
historical reproductions.

This style on the left is called "Circa 1929" and is offered by Quorum. On the right is a retro almost aviation inspired model:

If you really want something that looks like a propeller, the Modern Fan Company offers a style called Altus.

From midcentury, to deco, to modern retro, there are so many choices today aside from plain jane no frills white or the popular white with gold curlicues on the paddles that are available in many rental homes throughout the nation.   These ceiling fans can really make your room look like a million bucks even if it is spare, or you can't afford to fill your home with authentic art deco era or midcentury modern furnishings. 

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Magnetic Bracelets are a Thing of the Past

When I think of magnetic therapy, I usually think about the bracelets that were very popular. Many golfers wore them. The design was usually cuff style, with a small ball on each end. Oddly enough, I remember seeing regular fashion bracelets that started to adopt this style. Maybe it was inpsired by the magnetics ones, or they were showing solidarity.

Now, magnetic therapy products are a little more discrete. You are not wearing them on your sleeve, or should I say cuff.

I was really surprised to see how much it has changed. There are now magnets that you place on the spot where you needed, as bracelets only address issues in the hands and wrists. They are called "energy wafers." Also, it is not necessary to wear the magnet for an extended period of time any longer. Findings have been that the semi-fashionable bracelets were not necessary for all day wear.

Magnet therapy is pretty idiot proof because the sides are color coded. You won't have to worry about using the wrong side of the energy wafer. Not only will the magnets and supportive supplements help you physically, if you find it is right for you, but it will also help people with their manners. You won't have someone using your medical condition as an ice breaker. There is nothing that you wear that will make them notice.

Tuesday, September 09, 2008

Cabo San Lucas - Dig Deeper than Tourist Spots!

May times the tourist destinations on cruises and other guided vacations leave me a little cold. You don't really get to see the history of the area aside from the hyped tourist traps. You get to relax for about a minute on the beach that they tell you can relax on, or are pretty much stuck on beach vacations, as there is only so much of one beach that you can take.

I was pleasantly surprised by what I saw when I was looking at the Cabo San Lucas villas. There is so much history to that area of Baja California. It wasn't really discovered as a tourist area until the 1970s, so the area is not completely bulldozed and invaded by every chain imaginable. There is, of course, some of that, like everywhere else.

What appeals to me is that you can go exploring off the beaten path, and there are sure to be many old buildings, forts, and family businesses that have been untouched. Apparently, the allure of its coquistador and Jesuit missionary past has made Cabo San lucas real estate really attractive to modern American adventurers, particularly those on the west coast.

Monday, September 01, 2008

Monogrammed Mailboxes for your Stately Manor

I recently stumbled across some Wall Mounted Whitehall Mailboxes that I have considered buying as a gift for my parent's home renovation. It is not a giant home, but the way they talk about it, you would think it was Stately Wayne Manor.

There was one of the personalized mailboxes that had a monogrammed letter on it. I have seen a lot of homes built in the 60s and 70s that had a big monogrammed letter on the garage door or somewhere in the screened door. I think that this is a little more stuble and says manor versus "tract home." Also, it is something that they could remove and take with them should they move. A garage door with someone else's monogram on it is not exactly a selling point, unless the Morris, Markerson, or Martinez family buys the house that was owned by the Mueller family.

The mailbox comes in black, bronze, or white with silver of goldtone letter. I am having a hard time deciding. They actually don't "need" it, because their home has a brass mail slot. However, the family dog tends to "attack" the mail as it drops down. Many magazines over the years have had teeth marks in it. The postal carrier will have to get used to having a little less entertainment.

My dad, if he had his druthers, would probably prefer to have some one of the really strange custom mailboxes that one wouldn't know was really a mailbox until it was explained. Curbside unusual mailboxes are a little more self explanatory, but you can't have a porch mailbox that is too mysterious. I think that he will prefer this one once he opens it up and sees that a monogrammed box will be much better than something shaped like a carp.