Archive for the 'entertainment' Category

food: the North Carolina Historic Barbecue Trail

I stopped by a recommended BBQ restaurant recently (Hersey’s in Graham NC), and noticed a plaque on the wall. Part of the plaque reads:

NCBS (the North Carolina Barbecue Society) has designed a barbecue trail from Eastern North Carolina to Tennessee. The trail will meander across the state with stops at 24 NCBS Historic Barbecue Pits. These pits were carefully and selectively chosen by the NCBS board as representatives of the distinctive methods and barbecue cooking styles that have made North Carolina the Barbecue Capital of the World. Each NCBS Historic Barbecue Pit still cooks the old fashioned pit cooked method. And each NCBS Historic Barbecue Pit will proudly display a specially designed emblem depicting old style barbecue cooking that is part of the tradition, heritage and culture that NCBS seeks to preserve.

This is for real. And when I got home I looked it up. Yup, there is a map that meanders through the state, with a cluster of sites in the center of the state. Time for a road trip!

entertainment &life tips marcelk 26 Aug 2012 1 Comment

Fancy Fast Food

Wow, if it only looked like this when it came out of the paper bag. But, I don’t think the taste is changed.

entertainment marcelk 02 Jul 2009 No Comments

yelp

Another weird name for a well-done web site. Real reviews by real people. I’ve discovered Yelp.

I’ve found a few good leads that I didn’t know of, but I guess it’s a good outlet for me to write and share my list of favs with others. If you’re local, hopefully you’ll find something of value. I’ll keep adding to it. http://marcelk.yelp.com.

cool stuff that doesn't cost much &entertainment marcelk 29 Jun 2009 No Comments

fun: my favorite song

Out of all the songs I’ve heard in my life, this one is probably my favorite. It may give you some insight into my personality.

entertainment marcelk 28 May 2009 1 Comment

fun: classic Looney Tunes on iTunes for $2

I was recently lamenting that without cable or satellite, none of our local TV stations show the classic Looney Tunes cartoons with Bugs Bunny, Road Runner, and the like. I have kids that have never seen these. (When they get in high school I’ll show them Animaniacs.) On a whim, I did a search on iTunes for a favorite episode, “Rabbit of Seville”. It found a video that is part of a DVD-size collection from Warner Brothers. The good news is that you can buy singles at $1.99 each from the collection. Each single consist of two episodes, 15 minutes of cartoon. I picked up a couple of my favorites, especially from the Chuck Jones era. It means I have to watch them on a computer screen instead of a TV screen (I don’t have AppleTV), but that’s not so bad. Now I can re-live some memories of Saturday mornings as a kid.

cool stuff that doesn't cost much &entertainment marcelk 22 Jan 2009 No Comments

fun: birthday gift

Here’s what I’d like for my birthday: a trip to the Disneyland for dudes. Too bad it is only in Germany.

entertainment marcelk 28 Dec 2008 1 Comment

entertainment: HD Tivo

I just replaced my Tivo Series 2 (standard-def) with a Series 3 HD, and I am pleased on multiple fronts.

First, I paid $199 for the system, including a wireless adapter. There was no tax or shipping cost. This was a discount of around $170, which was offered to me directly from Tivo via email. I’m not sure what I did to become eligible for the discount, other than own a Series 2 for more than 3 years and poke through their web site upon receiving an earlier offer for a $50 discount. The price is great. And since I did a transfer-of-service from my Series 2, I don’t have a minimum commitment period. I’m still on the monthly plan. It’s the best of all worlds. I did have to call Tivo to get the discount and place the order (the discount wasn’t available in the online sotre), and they did check my Tivo service number for the offers/discounts that I was eligible for.

I am unusual in that I get my TV content via an antenna, I don’t have satellite or cable. Yes, my Tivo HD is connected to an antenna, and it does great at receiving digital content. And I’m using only a pair of “rabbit ears” on top of the cabinet, I’ll upgrade to a roof-mount antenna when I run some cable under the house. The Tivo HD has migrated me to terrestrial digital without an external converter box. And it can record two channels simultaneously, something my Series 2 couldn’t do. Even with my old standard-definition TV, the picture quality of all the channels (even the digital standard-def channels) is much improved versus the analog content which had static and ghosting. Even the non-techies in the family like it.

This is a great product at a great price. I wish I could tell you how to become eligible for the same discount I got.

cool stuff that doesn't cost much &entertainment &tech tips marcelk 07 Aug 2008 No Comments

entertainment: good earbuds at a great price

I just got a set of Sennheiser CX300 earbuds. When I originally got my iPod, I ditched the Apple earbuds for some better Sony earbuds. The Apple earbuds are disappointing. But those Sony earbuds recently died after a long life which predated my iPod. Being a bit picky about sound quality (yes, uncompressed cd’s would be ideal on an iPod if memory were unlimited) I decided to try these Sennheiser earbuds. I am pleased!

It appears that the list price is in transition from $89 to $49. But I found them on Amazon for $30, and there are other suppliers that carry them at various discounts.

They sound better and are more comfortable than my old pair of $30 Sony earbuds, and leave the Apple earbuds in the dust. These are a definite step up from the usual consumer earbuds, but are still at a consumer price. They have a sound that I would describe as full, detailed, clear, and pleasant. The box advertises “bass-driven sound” and I do find that the bass is almost too much. On my other earbuds I used to run the iPod EQ as “Bass Booster”, but with the Sennheisers I put the iPod EQ as “Bass Reducer” to keep it flat, or as “Off” if I want the bass to kick. The bass, lack of a tinny sound, and presence is very dependent on a sealing fit. The earbuds come with 3 different sizes of rings for the earbuds for your ear canal. Sometimes on a big yawn an earbud can come unsealed and the bass drops off dramatically. I haven’t tried any strenuous physical activity with them yet, but they fit me well. Because of the seal effect, they do offer good isolation from ambient sound. In fact, my family has taking up to sneaking up on me from behind while I’m listening at my desk because they like to see me jump. One good tip with the asymmetric cord is for the cord section from the split to the right ear to be worn behind your neck – it is less apt to get tangled on something near you. The cord is made of a strange rubber that never wants to get completely unkinked, but that is just a nit.

I definitely like these earbuds, especially at this price point. Read the comments below for some caveats.

cool stuff that doesn't cost much &entertainment &tech tips marcelk 07 Aug 2008 2 Comments

fun: home design

I don’t know why, but I’ve been contemplating home design lately. I like the idea of steel frame construction instead of wood frame. No termites, no fire, longevity. I also like the idea of structured data wiring and a nice patch panel. But if I really had money out the wazoo, here is something else I would consider: a secret passageway. Just look at the pictures.

entertainment marcelk 26 Mar 2008 No Comments

fun: Airbus A380 cockpit

Want to see the inside of the cockpit of the new A380, the largest passenger aircraft in the world? Take a look at this very nice panoramic view. You can zoom in and see all the controls. It looks a bit different than running Flight Simulator on my home PC.

entertainment marcelk 22 Feb 2008 No Comments

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