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..Equipment for Life.. since 2005.. Welcome to Equipian, our previews, views and reviews! enjoy!

Viva Columbia!

Saturday, April 09, 2005
There are coffeeshops and then there is COFFEE BEAN's (& tea leaves) Columbian Narino. The smell is coffee heaven. Nothing helps you wake up on the right side of the bed the way this brew can. The caffeine hit is just right, it won't knock me off my feet or turn me into a triathalon athelete, but it keeps a smile on my face and eyelids up where it should be in the mornings. It does not give me that bad aftertaste like some do and people wont be complaining they can smell fermented coffee coming from me from miles away. I have tried practically all the beans from this place and i keep turning back to my ol' faithful Columbian. Drinking it black in the mornings is also a good way to perk you right up. Remember, there is no such thing as strong coffee, just weak people! [equipmania]

my swing's getting Rusty

there are nice clubs and there are magiclubs. these are one. i've been using my Titleist 254.10 VOKEY designed wedges for years. i've tried all the other sand baggers, like wilson, maxfli, nike, mizuno, etc. even some of the funky aliens, but none feel, look and play like the vokey, FROM THE FAIRWAY (green side bunkers are a whole other story, that's where Cleveland comes into play). they hit well from the fairway, take just the right amount of sand in the fairway bunkers, and the slightly naturally rusted face of the "oil can" wedge really rips the skin off the ball, on top of which, it takes some of the glare from the bright sun. it puts that extra amount of spin into a 54 degree wedge so that even from 100 yards out you can have the peace of mind that the ball will stop and not roll into the backside bunker. i really enjoy burning this club and whenever i'm between my "go to 60 degree cleveland and my PW" this is the one i trust. the classical tear drop shape also promotes a sense of confidence, it's a tried and true club, you can't go wrong. [equipbug]

photo courtesy of www.pgatour.com

One Word

PEACE: is this equipment? well, in more ways than one, it is! this flag can represent everything you believe in and add life to everything. how? use it to decorate your room, use it to hang on the window sill, use it in photos when you travel abroad, use it to mark your luggage, use it to wipe your sweat and tears, give it as a gift to those you love, to those you meet and to those you greet, use it for a beach towel, use it for a back pack cover, use it for a cape, use it for visibility, basically, use it for your life! i know i have! they were used in the "peace from every balcony" rally in Itally. originally, it was PACE (meaning PEACE in Italian), with the rainbow background. at $15 dollars a pop, they are truly worth every penny. i've had many great memories with friends and this flag reminds me of each and every one. (right 원숭이?) be heard! PEACE out. [equipbug]

photo courtesy of www.tiedyes.com

Terminator 7

sony's newest thin camera is... well... thin. it's like the original T1, pressed into 9.8mm at the slimmest part. i'm not a big fan of the sliding cover, but overall it looks all right. with 5MP to burn,3x optical zoom, 5 area multi point auto focus, and the new anti reflective LCD (you can use it outdoors without the backlight) this baby is as good as it gets.
the camera is even thinner than the "older" T33, because that large 2.5 inch screen is now moved to the side, allowing room for the lens to be placed on the other side.
despite sounding all fine and dandy, is it really worth the upgrade? most likely not. it's pretty much the same as most 5mp cameras, with similiar spec, and despite being ultra thin, the price of $500.00 is a bit crazy for a 5MP camera. yes, it has a decent battery, up to 150 shots per charge, but that's nothing compared to the other stamina sony's of 550 shots per charge, like the DSC S60 or S90. check those out, great deal, 4MP and super battery life.
over all, i'd say this camera is just going to be a gimmick, and will not be a popular model. lose that stupid slider door and perhaps the equipians will start paying attention. [equipbug]

photo courtesy of www.sony.jp

Nuptse who?

this is little vest can do a lot more than meets the eye. with 700 fill power, wind resistant, water repellent, and ripstop material, it can still be packed down to the size of a softball. The left pocket inverts into itself, gobbling up the entire vest into a little zipped package. i've used this vest for over a year now, and it's taken me to the tops of mountains, edges of the oceans to the streets of hong kong. stylish and warm, i prefer this vest to many of my jackets since it won't heat me up too much especially when i get active and go hiking. it's also a super insulation layer, especially inside a wind breaker or on top another softshell. this is versatile, and performs whichever way you like. the other thing i have found useful is to pack up the jacket and use it as my pillow on camps. basically, the versitality of the vest will allow you to use it in any situation, making it an excellent investment. the good?. perfect size, multi use, light weight, very warm, packable. the bad? sometimes it's a little too bulky. the bottom line: don't know why TNF stopped making this, but it's out there if you look. [equipbug]

photo courtesy of www.mountainhardwear.com

life's a BLURR..

Friday, April 08, 2005
this is my other "go to pack" especially for day hikes. at 27L, it's not large enough for any long excursions, but this is one versatile sack. the double outer straps allow me to pack my boards, including the long board. inside, there is one main compartment, with a hydration pocket and external exits, as well as a "removable media bag" for things like my iPod or camera. the contour of the pack fits snugly to my back and even through long hikes, the pack feels snug and unobtrusive. one complaint is the fact that it only has ONE main compartment, i can't separate my do dads from my do wops. i've taken this on the plane, to hikes and climbs (up the Grouse Grind), to the beach, to work, it's an all rounder. the water resistant zippers, and the tough abrasion resistant, snow shedding, laminated, stiff walls lined with ballistic nylon also protect my inards quite well, such as me Apple Powerbook. if you don't skate, you can still strap your snow boards, your ropes, jacket, and anything you can think of, to the out straps. when they are not in use, they stow away into the flaps and the bag becomes quite streamline. the best thing about the Blurr "System Pack"? - it looks good. [equipbug]

photo courtesy of www.mec.ca

Underwater music

Wouldn't it be nice to listen to your favorite music underwater?
yeah, but what for?

I just read about the "ultimate ears" (www.ultimateears.com) phones usable underwater and custom molded to fit your ears. this sounds superb, and if you can afford it, why not? at $550 music does not come cheap. and now that you own it, how will you play it? You can always take a risk with the Apple iPod Shuffle packaged in the sports case, which is supposedly "water resistant"
Not sure how practical these phones are, but they sure "sound" good! [equipbug]

article and photo from Outside Online.

">Yet another Sim game:

Thursday, April 07, 2005
this upcoming PSP game looks promising as many people are into horse betting. this is a sim game where you get to buy the horse, train the horse and race the horse. how it plays will have to be seen later. there's a demo video of it, and it looks pretty exciting here: http://www.playstation.jp/ch/pv/asx/tgs2004/pv_psp_derbytime.asx
otherwise, the graphics look amazing and the with up to 9 players, i can see some replay value in it.
will i get it? no way. the other down fall, it's completely in Japanese, good luck playing if you can't read it.

photos courtesy of www.playstation.jp

Inova X1 - anymore bright ideas?

inova makes a few different LED flashlights, including the popular X5. the one i like best so far is the X1, because it is a spot light, uses AA batts, and small. all the inova flashes look good, especially in titanium. this little bright thing can be seen at 1mile range (1 less than the older brother X5), water "resistant", light up for 10 straight hours (i've used it for much more), and easy to operate. twist on, twist off, press the tail cap for momentary switch on. the light comes in black or titanium (color), but the light source comes in white, blue and green spots. well designed, comes with a belt pouch, has a hole for lanyard attachment and solid build, i recommend this for the adventurous type as well as the frequent travellers. the other models include the X5, X0 24/7, microlight, etc, which is a whole other review. my gripe? i wish i could unfocus the beam of light at times when i don't need a spot light, especially inside a tent. i've had it for a few years now, still going strong, lifetime warranty, can't go wrong.

photo courtesy of www.inova.com


man.. after the first few WiFi sessions i had in Osaka, i've been hooked. playing it in single player mode is fun, but i can't wait to get my skillz up to go head to head again. this game is addictive in its own right, reborn from the classic ぷよぷよ, this reincarnation adds all sorts of new dimensions, especially the "fever" mode. basically have to put 4 "blobs" of the same color together and they disappear, much like tetris. but this offers combos and chains because the whole system falls down as the ones below disappear and the next one is set up. once you get into it the learning curve is quite easy. but to master it, i think it would not be in my lifetime...

with great sounds, dozens of characters, nice visuals and great game play over WiFi, this is one game i keep coming back to. another great feature is the head to head on the SAME player, it becomes old school table top style where the two D pads control separate split screens.

all in all, this is a highly recommended game, especially for those who are old fans of ぷよぷよ.
look out yoshima! train well till we meet again.

all photos courtesy of www.playstation.jp

Arc'teryx don't Bora this from me

Arc' has been around for a while and this Canadian based company makes some of the best jackets around. i've heard of some zipper problems, but these are the Armani of outdoor gear - pricey, stylish, and performs. Little has been said of their backpacks though, and until their recent "Needle" the Bora series have been left in the dust. Especially the Bora 60 LT. Now, i would have to say this is my dream pack, all black, tough and rough, has a kangaroo pocket, great suspension system, single stay (of course it's internal frame), it's versatile, well designed with plenty of pockets, well balanced even when topped up (3290 cc), and quite light (LT). i've been using it for a few years now and it's taken me from my backyard to the top of Mt. Fuji, to Vancouver and back to the beaches of hong kong. i'm very happy with it but unlucky for you readers, it's highly unlikely you'll find one available as they have stopped manufacturing them since the introduction of the Needles. but anyway, just goes to show what a good sale seeking effort gets you. www.arcteryx.com, check them out. [equipbug]

photo courtesy of epinions.com

What fun is life if you can't Bomb Hills?

i just got the pintail down under in australia and these Sector 9 long boards are great fun, a nice contrast to the regular short boards. No ramps, no tricks (not much), no flips, no kicks, just good old cruisin'. These longboards are great for bombing down a hill or just cruising along the board walk. the large wheels can absorb most bumps which make riding a shortboard difficult. For pure cruising, i would recommend the Pintail. The construction of these are stiffer than most long boards but this makes commuting a lot more fun, with just the right amount of flex. For serious hill bombing, check out the Cosmic series.
The best thing about long boards? nose riding, if you can't nose ride a wave, then do it on the pavement.
The worst thing about Sector 9? the construction is mediocre. i broke the tail on my pintail on the first day, and the screws are all different lengths. best to try them all out before buying.


i don't care what people think if i'm driven around in this super machine, all i know is that i'd sleep, eat and live in it. the awesome leather and wood trimmed interior is so comfy, while the distinctive nose of the Continental says "Bentley" but the best part? it's that this "Flying Spur" has the looks of the GT, but the back seats for the comfort. install a 20 inch screen, my xbox, with that built in fridge and kick ass stereo system who needs to anything else. just sit back and relax... hmm, i'll need a chauffer for that. so perhaps i'll just stick to the Continental GT?

photo courtesy of www.caranddriver.com

yeah, i'm folded, and what?

Wednesday, April 06, 2005
the folding bikes are the real deal. after first seeing it hit the streets in japan, then again in hong kong, i knew that these things must either be trendy or truly ingenious. so either way, i thought i'd take a look - portable, versatile and they fit into small spaces (like the trunk of my Mini). you think mountain bikes are too large to fold up? you thought wrong. recently bought a folding city bike and everyone uses it to hit the town. afterwards, they just fold it up and tuck it under my sink, while the other bikes are left outdoors to rust. the best part is the super easy mechanisms which lock the unfolded bike into place. take a look at www.dahon.com, they make some great bikes, and for less than $100 dollars, i managed to get this one in Hong Kong. but the choices are limitless and so are the benefits. [equipbug]

photo courtesy of www.dahom.com

Marco, Polo.

Summer is rollin' up and you're still in your fleece? take it off, all off. time to slip into a comfy polo shirt. the brighter colors are in this summer, the stripes and the brands. forget the brands, but you can't go wrong with the style. match it with a pair of shorts, khakis, and sockless loafers. all nice and prepped up. don't forget drape the sweat shirt over your shoulders in case it gets cold when you go out sailing in the yacht. [equipbug]

photo courtesy of www.polo.com

350? XT? Rebel? Kiss? it's a Canon

This is something i've always been expecting and waiting for. the 8 mega pixel resolution, the faster start up time, the faster response, the smaller casing, the improved engine, and over all better camera. the new Canon 350D is the perfect SLR camera to date. my favorite part? the sub $1000 price tag. i would get an upgraded lens to compliment this kick ass camera. i've been using EOS for over a decade and just a big fan of Canon SLRs, but never really owned a digital SLR because of the insane price, slow speeds, clumsiness and over all bulk. Now, the 350D (or XT) has changed it all! for a super review, check out www.dpreview.com (http://www.dpreview.com/reviews/canoneos350d/). now, how will i save up for this camera before summer vacation begins? [equipbug]

Photo Courtesy of www.dpreview.com

All Souped up!

Pure genious at work here. sometimes when the pressure is on, for example your final module exam, and you just don't have the time to make soup but your stomach is growling loud enough to disturb your studies. what can you do? easy.. pop this baby in the microwave and keep on a study'in. from tomato to chicken to pizza to the classics creamy they've got it all! check out this little instructional video http://www.campbellsoup.com/soup_at_hand.asp#
i've been surviving on this all year! [equipbug]

Photo courtesy of www.campbellsoup.com

K Swiss, K Kicks!

These new Swiss are sweet.

my old kicks were torn up from the casual skateboarding and these new puppies are ready to roll. They feel like old shoes from the first day and the retro looks fit right in with "today". my shoes last anywhere from 1 to 5 years, so these are here to stay! awesome shoes, go check it out. sure beats the other company with 2 less stripes. no need for expensive super star ads for good equip! [equipbug]

MicroMachines, they're back!

Everyone talks about the new Jetta, or some even care about the new BMW 3, but the real deal is the VW microbus.

There's nothing micro about it, with built in TV's and room to kick back and relax. adventurers beware, this machine will get you fired from work. you can pretty much live out of this high tech road machine, with spacious interiors, automatic doors futuristic designs. take a look at it, www.vw.com. the microbus, makes bus driving cooler than ferrari's (almost). [equipbug]

the Aviator

take to the skies, or just the streets for most of us...

always been a die hard fan of Oakley (except for the ugly THUMP), i'm quite psyched about their own release of aviator styled sunnies. Tried them on and they look pretty slick. price is not "over the top" nor is the design. looks like a practical everyday set of shades with some subtle oomph. at $130 USD, they don't come easy but may be just the thing i'm looking for. [equipbug]

ps. PSP.

i've been playing around with my PSP since i bought it last year in Osaka. The stock was short, but luckily, so was the line up. The stores restock their toys for January 3rd, when kids get pocket money and spend it after the holidays. i was lucky enough to pop in and grab a PSP, along with some games.
my PSP started with a drab grey screen in Jan, changing to yellow in Feb, green in Mar. and now Pink Red in April. nice little touch. what's the next color? who cares...

anyway, all i can say is that the PSP out scores any other handheld. i'm not a fan of the PlayStation, never owned one never owned two. XBOX all the way. but this PSP just might change my mind. i've connected it up to my Apple Powerbook via USB cord and loaded photos, videos as well as music onto the memory stick duo. anyway, for a review of the PSP, there must be hundreds online. so basically, all i can say is that after 3 months with it, i would recommend everyone to just check it out, it will amaze you.
Games i have include, みな no Golf (awesome port), Puzzle Bobble Pocket (not so hot), Mobile Train simulator (for those really boring days when you want to look at the awesome scenery around tokyo, Puyo Pop Fever (brings me back to college days of Puyo Puyo), and ピポサル アカデミア (quit monkeying around, get this party game).
the Good: graphics top notch, battery is not too bad at 5 hours, sound is awesome, even without the crap headphones they include, functionalily and ease of use (i got online for updates within 5 minutes), portability (it's a little long but who cares i don't carry a purse), screen size is huge!, the list goes on.
the Bad: there are so few, but perhaps the limited number of games out (at the moment), no built in web browser (yet), and those Memory stick Duos are so damn expensive.

bottom line: just look it this.. can you resist? [equipbug]

Photo Courtesy of Sony Playstation online Japan.

Tea off!

I'm not usually a big fan of tea, but recently been drinking up the bottled milk tea for the mild caffiene hit.
Particularly brands like Kirin's "午後の紅茶" or "afternoon red tea" is very light (pictured). Another Japanese milk tea is the "Royal Milk Tea" although there's nothing royal about it, the amount of caffiene is just right for that late night study. A newer addition i have found is the Nestle "Silky Smooth Milk Tea" in a small can. good stuff, try it out for those late nights if coffee is not your cup of tea! [equipbug]

Photo courtesy of japanesesnacks.com

shuffled up.

i got my hands on the 1GB iPod Shuffle for about a month now and use it when i do anything active and worry about damaging my iPod's hard disk. that being said, the Shuffle has advantages in being a flash based music player and i don't worry about it during my cycling or skating romps. I also use it to "borrow" files off of other computers, as a USB key. the advantages end there, as i still prefer my iPod in terms of music sound quality, selection and ease of use. not having a screen is less of an annoyance as i expected as i don't look for particular songs while i exercise anyway. but that limits my use of the Shuffle to rigorous activities, on top of which the plastic scratches easily. i have no case for it, so i wrapped it in a chewing gum cover (P.K. by Wrigleys, fits perfectly). The battery life is decent and out paces my 3G iPod by a mile. Coupled with the in ear phones by Apple (www.apple.com), the Shuffle makes for a decent, action packed, music on the go player.
The good: small size, can be roughed up, not too pricey, good sound.
The bad: They should be even cheaper though, being made in China and of cheap white plastic, no screen, scratches very easily.

Oh well, i'm a sucker for gadgets. [equipbug]