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"Equipian"

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

My precious…

Saturday, April 16, 2005
Now if there is any reader out there who have not heard of lord of the rings, they should be ashamed of themselves (and whipped!). There is also no excuse for not seeing the movie until now. This is undoubtedly a must-have collectors item of this century. I have been waiting years for all the extended versions to come out but even then, it didn’t stop me from buying all the short versions too cause I cant wait to watch it over and over again (which I did for the zillionth time). For a long boring weekend, a LOTR movie marathon with your friends is a great opportunity get together, and if you ran out of things to chat about, the movie will probably still be going on long past your usual bedtime. And for all you tolkien fans out there who have read the book, the extended version is a welcome addition since a lot of people thought it would be impossible in the first place to transform the mammoth book into something that can capture its essence so well. Even though some things have been changed, like the almost nonexistence of Arwen in the book turned into the almost-heroin of the movie, but I like the little small surprises that was slipped in, like the gift from Galadriel which doesn’t mean much if you haven’t read the book. And if you are a tolkien fan, I don’t even have to discuss the movie and the book here since you probably already have it all. Even if you are just a regular person who enjoys a good movie.. this is a must see! [equipmania]





“Much that once was.. is lost.. for none now live to remember it”

Itsy bitsy teeny weeny

People usually don’t think much about owning a tripod, which is usually only associated with professional photographers. But who isn’t a photographer nowadays. With all the new digital cameras out there and the obsoleteness of films, we can all pretend to be photographers and take as many photos as we want until we are satisfied. I find it very handy to have a mini tripod with me all the times because if you start taking photos anywhere, it seems that everyone wants to be in the photo and we end up having no photographers. I also like to travel alone and sometimes you cant seem to find anyone passing by to take photos for you, especially if its on a mountain or in the middle of the jungle somewhere. No one is gonna believe you climbed the mountain if you cant produce a photo of you on it. This lightweight wonder weights less than a bag of M&Ms, and I usually just stuff it in my back pocket or permanently attach it to my camera for better grip and focus. Once you live with it, you cant live without it. [equipmania]



photo courtesy of www.wonderfulbuys.com

Buzz, Light Year 45


going to infinity and beyand? be sure to grab the Kelty Light Year 45 with you. this comfy 650 fill down sleeping bag will keep you warm at temperatures down to 45F. it's not the warmest bag out there, by a long way, but the tiny packing size (7''x11'') will allow a lot of flexibility. i have used it in the winters when it got to around 5F, by using this bag withing another warmer bag, i got double the warmth. it's also a good throw around bag for spring and summers because it can get chilly at night. it has a hip zipper only with another opening at the foot for ventilation. i've found that this combination works well and keeps you a lot warmer than a full zip. the next bag i would consider getting is the North Face Bee, because i'm used to the half zip these days. now for this bag, it has the usual ripstop nylon, draft tubes, and draw cords around the head. it can get a little tight near the foot area but otherwise it's a roomy little bag. sometimes i feel that the head space is too wide and allows the cold air to seep in. throw a few heat packs into the bag and you can get down to 10F without any problems. all in all, the great price of sub $100 dollars and the simple design makes this sleeping bag respectable and great bang for the buck. it sits on my bed and i dont hesitate to take it ourside on my hammock on cool days for a nice read.
for more information check out their website.

photo courtesy of www.kelty.com

Dolsa Wind by Yamaha

Friday, April 15, 2005

no, it's not a musical instrument and not an electric bike, but both. this concept bike is designed to provide comfort in ride as well as enjoyment in the ride. the dolsa wind is aesthetically appealing and gives off "natural" sounds depending on the speed and position of the bike, through 10 speakers in the handlebar and 2 under the seat. the bike is made of CF aluminum die cast frame, powered by a brushless DC motor, dual high frequency wind-speed sensors, 64-colour Real-time-control Hybrid Sound Source LSI and 4-channel Stereophonic Sound. all that in a super tight package that looks like a vehicle from a Miyazaki anime. i doubt it will ever come into production, and even when it does i won't be the first to get one, not till they make it more....practical? [equipbug]




photos courtesy of www.yamaha-motor.co.jp

She's Superfine!



if you know nothing about fly fishing, at least you must have seen the movie "a river runs through it" starring brad pitt. well, fly fishing is like hunting, but hunting for fish. without going into details, you basically lure the fish with false "flies" imitating various insects and fish food. there's a ton of skill in tying, choosing and presenting your fly. you can use floaters, sinkers or trailers, the lines can be tip sinking, sinking, floating, etc etc. the way you cast the line is also beautifully skillful. watch the movie if you haven't seen it... but casting a fly takes a lot of practice and skill. but when you land that first fish, it's a feeling you would never forget. the other difference is the different types of lines in a fly line. the tippet is the lightest, then the leader, then the line, then the backing. it's all serving a purpose, and i will go into that when we talk about the reels next time. but this rod. this rod... it's super fly (rod), because the two piece "Henry's Fork" has just the perfect touch, feel and bend to do all my favorite rolls and casts. it's hard to really explain why each rod is good, but the design and balance of the rods are very important. this one is 8'7'' and Orvis makes it 5 weight with full flex 5.0. perfect for the trouts and salmon in rivers and streams. with the gorgeous burled maple insert and flora grade reversed half wells grip, i would never think of changing rods until this one retires. once you get hooked on a fly, there's no turning back to any other form of fishing. [equipbug]


Henry's Fork

photos courtesy of www.orvis.com
[thanks for the reminder chrissy]

Comments?

Do you have any news for us? Is there something you want to see here? what do you like and dislike?. Since our team of writers are from different parts of the globe, we are able to cover a greater variety. Please make a comment under this post, Your every word counts!
Thank you for your support. [EQUIPIANS]

신 라 면: hot hot hot!

this is one of my favorite instant noodles from korea. actually, korea makes the best instant noodles anyway. i also like their dry noodles, but this soup based, super spicy noodle is top notch. it debuted in 1986, facts: 240 kcal, 12 g carbo, 44 mg sodium, 20g of fat, and 2 servings per pack). so, what makes one instant noodle better than another? well, the noodles, first of all, have to be springy and not doughy. they should involve chewing and not fall apart when you put it in your mouth. when cooked perfectly, the 신 라 면 are just that. now for the spicy bit, if you like kimchi, this is very similiar. it's spicy as hell and the best way to keep yourself awake for late nights. i'd suggest eating this with a raw egg cracked into the soup once you have mixed everything else. the egg will cook and the yolk improves the taste 100 fold. highly recommended, but don't say i didn't warn you first. it's hot hot hot! [equipbug]

[UPDATE] this supposedly also goes well with melted cheese! thanks 민경!


photo courtesy of eng.nongshim.com

What should be in your ipod this week? (vol.1)

Every Friday, I'll try and recommend something to put into your ipod for the weekend. [equipnote]

I'll start off this week with Mariah Carey's all new album "The Emancipation of Mimi". The word Emancipation, in case anybody who doesn't know what it means, means "to free from restraint, control, any controlling influence, to give equal rights to; of women and minorities etc." Mariah made sure that you know the meaning of this word before listening to the album by putting the dictionary definition on the inside cover. So what has this "Emancipation" done to Mariah? It has turned her into Beyonce! The first look at the attractive album cover will definitely remind you a lot about Beyonce. It tells you that this is not the same Mariah that released the last album :"Charmbracelet" which failed to revive her career.

Going through the tracks, you'll find that the sound of this album is quite heavy yet it has an attractive retro and chill-out ring to it. The songs all follow the same heavy mid tempo beat template with rappers featuring here and there. Mariah's vocal is a lot more tame than some of her past materials, with less unnecessary "over adlibs" which make it's a lot more comfortable to listen to.

This album is definitely NOT the best new release in town but it has a certain coolness to it and all your friends will want to listen to it. For those of you who are looking for another "Without You" or "Hero" can look elsewhere, but this is definitely modern R&B pop at it's best and it's for sure something to put in your ipod. [equipnote]



recommended tracks: Circles, Say Somethin', Stay the Night

Cut Muscle, Mizuno


mizuno's brand new MP-32 uses the so called "cut muscle" design where the traditional muscle back blade design has a dent in it. basically, it acts a lot like a cavity back, with greater sweet spot, lowered CG, and therefore easier to hit. the difference is that they say it won't lose any of the "feel" blades are known for and having the 2005 golf digest "editor's choice" award can't hurt. the head is shaped more round, and the muscle back is definitely smaller even when copmared to the MP 37 (see photos). they all have the same grain flow forging Mizuno clubs are famous for, and uses the same 1025 steel mild carbon for the solf feel. it is then double nickle chrome plated to protect the club from the elements and rusting. the MP 32 uses the same modified U grooves and from the top looks very similiar to the MP33. for those who play with blades will no doubt know the fame and prestige of the mizuno brand. players like TIGER woods grew up on them. like the MP 14, MP 33, MP 37, not MP 32. there were many sorts of reincarnation of this branded blade, but this is the most radical departure from the traditional design. the dent, i must say, looks terrible and sometimes the confidence you get from your club lies in the design. having said that, i swung the club a few times and it feels heavy like a blade and the head is definitely just as small as always. the standard irons, 3-PW comes equipped with the usual dynamic gold S300 (for stiff). i've been playing blades for many years and happy to see the trend continue, instead of the ever increasing size of drivers and cavity backs! [equipbug]


the MP 33

the MP 37

the new MP 32

photos courtesy of www.mizuno.com

Can't Doggy Paddle?

Thursday, April 14, 2005
no worries, with montbell's doggie vest, your canine friend can accompany you on those yacht trips despite not having the know-how of doggy paddle. those who enjoy a nice canoe trip or just for regular walks by the lake or beach this vest can assist your dog in swimming. the design does not impeded on limb movements and the extra floatation power can prolong swimming sessions. it comes in 2 colors, yellow (shown) and purple/blue. it is adjustable around the waist and neck area with 3 available sizes, S,M,L, and the medium floats 4.3kg. so for about 4000yen, your buddy will thank you for throwing him into the water. [equipbug]

photo courtesy of www.montbell.com

it's a D-snap!


Panasonic came out with the D snap several years ago and has been improving upon it ever since. the newest version (AS30) is an ultraslim (9.9mm) credit card sized gadget that can take photos with 3MP, built in flash, 4x digital zoom, and TV playback. it also shoots movies with audio at up to 320x240 30 frames per second until your SD card fills up. in the music department, it can play MP3s, WMA as well as AACs through the included remote headphones. the 'snap can also double as a voice recorder using its built in mic. you can also download TV and DVD clips onto it and watch them from a 1.5 inch screen. basically, this is a gadget you can take with you at all times, without even feeling the bulk of all the different components. for a 3D view of it, go to: http://panasonic.jp/d-snap/popup/360view/index.html
for a video with Ayumi Hamasaki promoting it: http://panasonic.jp/d-snap/gallery/cm/256k_frame.html
[equipbug]


photos courtesy of www.panasonic.jp

Panasonic's gem AE700

got to test this projector for around 5 months now and watched around 200 hours of movies on it so far. I must say that this being the first projector i've used, i'm pretty happy about it. tons of reviews are available, like on www.projectorcentral.com.

my take? the bulb literally "blew up" inside my projector after 70 hours of normal usage. the whole bulb split and cracked open, leaving me to finish HALO 2 on my television. yes, i know i'm not supposed to play video games on the projector, but it's difficult to avoid playing this first person shooter on a 100 inch screen! Panasonic was good and came right up with a brand new bulb, free of charge, and got my AE 700 up and running in no time. Aside from this "we've never seen it happen before" accident, i'm quite satisfied with the crisp image whether it's day or night, dark or light. the colors and contrast are awesome and since i play it from my laptop most of the time, it's been great for presentations as well. from the reviews i've read, this is one kick ass projector, and in my experience, i concur.
probably need to get a screen for it though, my white wall is just not cutting it. [equipbug]


photo courtesy of www.panasonic.com

Long live the MD!

Sony has released yet another interesting use of the MD (mini disc). perhaps the MD is not yet dead. i remember about 6 years ago when MDs were the next cassettes. many of my CD's were ripped into this format and with compression more music could be put onto one disc. then along came MP3's and music was now downloadable. i do not agree with this method of aquiring music and myself don't have any tracks which are downloaded illegally, but nevertheless people have nearly turned the cassette and MD obsolete in time. Now along come the Hi MD, where they store up to 1GB of files and plays straight from the USB connected player/writer. This is definitely handy as most CD writers are large and cumbersome, while flash media has limited storage. MD's are no larger than the current UMDs for PSP, in otherwords, they are about the size of a flat cookie, highly portable. With the normal MD's around 300MB could be stored on it. the player is (W)86.0×(H)22.9×(D)79.3[mm] and the Hi MD transfers at over 9.8Mps while the regualr MD's transfer at 4.37Mps. now, whether it will pick up as the next media for portable storage will remain to be seen, but it has potential and the idea is there. unfortunately most of the world does not have MD's while Japan and some of asia use it religiously. [equipbug]


for those who read Japanese, check it out: http://www.sony.jp/CorporateCruise/Press/200504/05-0413/
photo courtesy of www.sony.jp

Ripcurl: not just the boards

ripcurl, superb surf wear co. and equally famous for their wetskins. but lately, i've been seeing people with their sunnies over at the surfers paradise. sun glasses are accessories every person should own. working as shades, hairband, what not, they protect you from premature cataract as well. ripcurl has been moving fast and their designs are modern with a retro feel. my favorite sunnies are plastic frames because they are perfect for daily usage as well as the beach. metal frames are more costly and when sand damages them... it hurts more. not only that, the plastic frames cover more of your eyes when the wind blows and sand is in the air. anyone who surfs would know how hard the wind blows on a "nice" day. in anycase, sun glasses are essential, whether you're going to the mall or taking a fall on your board. check out the rips. [equipbug]


pacifica

cortes hero
photos courtesy of www.ripcurl.com

Fire, anyone?

For those of you who have seen the latest Hayao Miyazaki (Totoro creator) creation, Howl's Moving Castle , will recognize this. It's カルシファ(Calcifer). The cursed fire that keeps the castle warm and moving. This animated love story, adapted from a novel written by Diana Wynne Jones, is about an 18 years old girl ソフィ(Sofie) trapped in an old woman's body due to some magical mischief. The film is set in a fantasy world with elements of science and is actually a war drama. So I think the best thing to own for now is this soft toy of カルシファ. Something to keep your work station warm, and something to cheer you up when work becomes stressful. [equipnote]

Big Friendly Drums

BFD literally means Big Friendly Drum. FXxpansion is a company that specializes in professional audio software. This particular one lets you bring a set of drums into you home computer. It features 7 real drum kits recorded at a top studio with high quality mics. The total size of all the samples added up is a whooping 9 Gigbyte of data!! All that needs to be done is to hook the computer to a midi controller (either a midi drum kit or a keyboard) and you can jam away with your favorite tunes.

The sound quality and realism is amazing, since the mic positions can all be controlled. Each hit will trigger off a different sound according to the strength just like real drums! I know that nothing can replace a real drummer, but this is close enough. [equipnote]



image courtesy of fxpansion.com

Golden Godins


the godin guitars have not been around for as long as names like Gibson, Epiphone, Martin or even Paul Reed Smith, but it stands up there with the giants of guitar makers. when i first bought the LG 9 years ago, i knew i was getting a superb guitar. it felt smooth, the fret was perfectly sized and the handicraft on the board was perfect. the natural mahogany neck and rosewood fingerboard made playing it as fun as looking at it. neck sits deep within the mahogany body and transfer the sound in a unique way. my LG uses two original double humbuckers which are no longer used, as they are replaced by Seymour Duncan SP90 pick ups. the sound of this beautiful guitar is amazing, especially when used with a classic tube amp. my jazz guitar teacher picked up the guitar and was equally amazed by the quality of sound and build, despite owning all the jazz classics. the guitars now sell for a lot more than before, but still made in the USA and Canada. the other notable guitars in this series are SD, Radioatr, Soldiac, and the performance solids like LGX, montreal, the Jazz, etc. the list goes on and on. they also make semi acoustics, as well as electric acoustics. www.godinguitars.com. check them out. [equipbug]

the LG and the Montreal

the LGX's

the xtSA with 13-pin synth access.

Romeo, the answer always will be

Italians love good designs. They know how to appreicate and some of them knows how to create them. The latest incarnation of the Alfa ROMEO GTV, the Brera will make people on the streets turn their heads. The sound from the new 3.2 V6 engine will make you cry out for more. This disguised spy shot, courtesy of www.channel4.com , not only show the aggressive front end, but also the sturdy stance it has on the road. I can't wait to see, hear and feel one when it's launched at the end of the year. [equipnote]

Note on Nokia

I am no longer a fan of Nokia phones anymore since they have become the norm. Yes, the menu system is still way better than any other brands, but the interface has become dull. They try to make the designs funky yet they lack characteristics. Not this babe. I am sure everyone remembers the old 8100, the one with the brushed metal casing. Now Nokia is trying to remake this legendary phone with all the modern technologies (bluetooth, built in camera although not megapixel etc.) and called it the 8800. It has a steel case so it will be slightly heavier than usual, and I'm sure fingerprints will be all over it in less than 5 mins.

The numbering 8800 might be confusing, but just look at it. Well done Nokia. Let's just hope that they don't charge a huge premium for one of these "high end phones".


image courtesy of www.mobileburn.com

box n' sox"> box n' sox

uniqlo, a japanese way of saying unique clothes (i presume), is the GAP of japan. they have chain stores in every major japanese city as well as in the UK. as for the fashion and style, i'd have to say they are average, nothing to write home about. but when you need a low profile shirt or sweater this is the place to go. their materials are always top notch and the cotton is as soft as you can find. sometimes you will find seasonal items like Major League baseball official sweat shirts and pull overs for a very cheap price. you might also find Keith Haring T's and sweats (very cool). otherwise, i normally go there to get my socks and boxers. for about 1000 yen, you can get 2 pairs of boxers or 4 pairs of socks in any style or color you can imagine. check out their website @ www.uniqlo.com and you will find out what i mean. when you walk into a branch store, there is usually a wall dedicated to socks and undies. forget your calvin klein, uniqlo makes the best boxers out there! [equipbug]




photos courtesy of www.uniqlo.com (they are not my personal photos)

Fly, SLR, Fly

Wednesday, April 13, 2005
Rarely can we see SLRs in the air, and probably not quite at this kind of angle. OK, so maybe this isn't a real picture.



Gran Turismo from Sony has been around for several years now. I remember when I bought the first one for the Playstation, I just couldn't keep my hands off it. The graphics, the dynamics, the game-play were all so fantastically made. The latest incarnation, GT4, gives us more cars and tracks but more or less the same driving experience as previous ones. I must say by far the most fun I got out of the game this time wasn't the driving though, it was the photo taking. GT4 features a comprehensive photo engine that you can shoot your dream machine with. All you have to do is to drive the car round a circuit the way you want, then during the replay, hit the select button, and BINGO, you have just captured your car in time and you are given 62 different angles to choose from. You can zoom in, zoom out, turn the camera, manually focus etc etc. The best thing about this is, you can plug your PSP to the USB port of the PS2 and download the pics onto your memory stick right away! [Equipnote]

Romeo or Juliet? that is the question.

now you have an additional choice to the Oakley Romeo's or Oakley Juliet's, because Oakley has introduced the Romeo 2.0 recently. still using the same X metal material, the new frame is a half frame and in four different colors including polished, carbon, x metal and, plasma. Oakley describes the process of making these sunnies that "Comfort is maximized by ultra-lightweight titanium alloys, liquefied with half a million watts of plasma lightning then sculptured by five-axis Computer Numeric Control with 0.0005” precision." but without all the phoney jargon, it basically means they use a mold and melt metal into it to make these metal frames. Oakley is basically known for design, quality and the gorgeous lenses you can choose from. these new Romeo 2's are no exception and my fave are the Polished frame with titanium iridium lenses. one thing to note: Oakley shades fit particular faces only and it's important to try them on yourself before buying online. there is no universal rule for them, but if you're ugly, then these will make you look good. [equipbug]

photos courtesy of www.oakley.com

Feature: Creature 2.0

JBL is known for speakers and speakers alone. having used their Creature II for over 2 years i have no regrets in its purchase. after all this time, the design still brings conversation. "what is that strange looking module on your desk?" - it's the subwoofer, drives a 4 inch magnum transducer in fact, rated at 24 watts at 10%. all together, the two satellites make up this three piece system with frequency range of 50-20kHz. the satellites are rated at 8 watts @ 10%, but that's plenty for multimedia usage. there are two touch control buttons on the left satellite for volume and mute control, while the sub woofer has two knobs for High and Lows. there are times when i feel the bass over powers the speakers, but that can be easily adjusted through fidgeting the controls. i've even managed to use them with Apple's garageband and my electric guitar hooked up to it. the sound is thin, when compared to an amplifier, but for music these speakers are awesome. even when you pump it up the sound does not distort. most of your AAC or MP3 will come out as clear as they get and at 100 USD, there's no replacement. comes in "Apple" white, blue or silver and with the 3 blue LEDs below each of the satellites and subwoofer, it is a conversation piece even in the dark. i highly recommend these speaker to people who are on a budget for good sounding, versatile and good looking speakers. i've used these for movies with my projector (see AE700 article) and Lord of the Rings: Return of the King did not disappoint even when the battle for middle earth shook my desk. [equipbug]

Gerber baby! the Inferno

gerber, known for it's legendary knives now produces a lot of camping equipment. but in fact most of the gear they make are not specific to such purposes. the inferno is a multipurpose flashlight, capable of casting a spot light up to 50 feet, a diffuse light for close proximity, an emergency red and white beacon pattern as well as a task light. from the looks of it, the flashlight should have been named "spider" but the legs that come out are in fact individual LED lights, all 7 of them. powered by 3AAA batteries the light will give you a continuous spot for 40 hours or over 200 hours in emergency mode. i would love to get my hands on one of these, but having a flashlight addiction is not healthy and i don't want to know what the airport security officers will think when i have it in my pack. [equipbug]

photo courtesy of www.gerbergear.com

Sony tops Apple

the upcoming MP3 Player NW E507 or E405 betters the shuffle in EVERY way. sad to say. but the Sony has an OLED screen, shuffle has none. the Sony plays music for 50 straight hours, the shuffle... 12 hours max. the Sony has built in FM player, the shuffle has nothing. the Sony can charge in 3 MINUTES for 3 hours of play, the shuffle...sigh... the Shuffle can... well... shuffle songs, but so can the Sony. both play MP3s, the sony plays ATRAC and shuffle plays AAC. why didn't i just get the Sony instead of the shuffle? damn it i have to support Apple, but more importantly my music is coded in AAC. sigh sigh...[equipbug]
[UPDATE] comes in 512MB and 1G sizes.



and the final difference... the Sony has colors, many. the shuffle is white, period.
photos courtesy of www.sonystyle.com