Category Archives: Reviews

Unimpressed By… Part I: Coffee

It takes something really special to get me excited about a cup of coffee.

It takes something really special to get me excited about a cup of coffee.

Intro to the “Unimpressed” Series of Posts

I’ve been loitering on this planet for over five decades and I’ve become a bit jaded. A lot of things that apparently impress a lot of people underwhelm me and what’s worse is that the situation has gone well beyond my being blasé, I’m beginning to get downright irritated at some modern trends.

It’s so frustrating to see people buying into stupid crazes like sheep. Because of this I sometimes find myself cranky and can imagine myself twenty years down the road as being one of those old guys who scream at the pigeons in the park —some might argue that’s pretty much where I am right now. So let’s take a look at some recent things that really get my goat and, if you’re lucky, I might even mention some solution you can personally implement or point you in the direction of some bastion where scum-sucking “progress” has not eroded a once good thing. Continue reading

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Shut Up and Sing

I love a good song. Who doesn’t? There’s something about music playing in the background that imparts upon the human voice greater beauty and increased credibility. The gestalt of the whole music/vocal experience is a magical thing.

But a few years ago I did a really stupid thing… I read the lyrics while not listening to a song and found the underlying meaning to be so humdrum it eroded the song’s beauty. So now while I still enjoy music, I understand that if I don’t scrutinize the actual meaning of a song’s lyrics, I just might be hypnotized into believing whatever drivel is being sung. The corollary to this is that if I really like a song, I don’t read the lyrics with the speakers turned off.
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Recumbent Review: The Plucky Apple iPad 2nd Generation

When I first booted up my new iPad I saw this logo and thought, “Hey! My apple has a crack in it!” Whatever happened to the old rainbow apple?

About the Recumbent Reviews

Welcome to the fifth Recumbent Review!

This series of articles normally examines photographic equipment and accessories from an ordinary user’s point of view but this time we’re doing something a little different… we here at the HoaiPhai Research Laboratories are going to take a look at one of Apple’s iconic tablet computers, the iPad 2nd Generation, from a real-life PC guy’s perspective. Hopefully you’ll enjoy yourself while learning a little something that might help you make an informed purchase (or make you feel all warm and tingly inside about a purchase you’ve already made).

By the way, I composed as much as I possibly could of this post using my iPad!

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Recumbent Review: Groundbreaking Apple iCamera Leaked

The Apple iCamera is to be announced today in a surprise unveiling.

About the Recumbent Reviews

Welcome to the fifth Recumbent Review!

This series of articles examines photographic equipment and accessories from an ordinary user’s point of view. You’ll find none of that snooty “I’m an expert so my opinion is the final word” guff you get from the professional reviewers you’ll find elsewhere on the interwebs. I’m too lazy and inept to go into a detailed technical analysis involving resolution tests, discussions on acutance, or anything else involving experimentation, exacting measurement, or a scholarly comparison with other equipment, but I’ll certainly not hold back on opinion and speculation. Ranting and raving are par for the course!

Hopefully you’ll enjoy yourself while learning all about stuff that will help you take better pictures and cost you money you should be putting toward your children’s college fund or something pink and frilly for your wife (or husband).

Continue reading


Your Guide to the Martial Arts

I was a teenager in the ’70s and one of the big crazes that caused a lot of craziness was the spike in interest in Asian martial arts. It seems like everyone was “Kung Fu fighting” (a terrible song, by the way). There was a lot of talk in the hallways of my high school over which particular discipline we should waste our parents’ money on by signing up for classes.

A lot of Kung Fu movies were hitting the cinemas, and the best fighter seemed to everyone to be Bruce Lee, but there weren’t many places to learn Kung Fu. So we’d sign up for whatever martial arts classes we could find and get into huge discussions about how whatever we were personally learning was better than whatever the other guy  was taking.

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Recumbent Review: The Seriously Versatile AF-S DX Nikkor 18-200mm 3.5-5.6G ED VR

After about 24 hours of being in transit, I took this photo from a moving car just after having been picked up at the airport. The camera and the 18-200 got a fairly good shot in spite of my exhaustion. That's the South Korean Parliament building with the domed roof under a Seoul sunset.

About the Recumbent Reviews

Welcome to the fourth Recumbent Review!

This series of articles examines photographic equipment and accessories from an ordinary user’s point of view. You’ll find none of that snooty “I’m an expert so my opinion is the final word” guff you get from the professional reviewers you’ll find elsewhere on the interwebs. I’m too lazy and inept to go into a detailed technical analysis involving resolution tests, discussions on acutance, or anything else involving experimentation, exacting measurement, or a scholarly comparison with other equipment, but I’ll certainly not hold back on opinion and speculation. Ranting and raving are par for the course!

Hopefully you’ll enjoy yourself while learning all about stuff that will help you take better pictures and cost you money you should be putting toward your children’s college fund or something pink and frilly for your wife (or husband).

Continue reading


Recumbent Review: The Mighty Reflex-Nikkor C 500mm f/8

WARNING! This post includes photos featuring annular bokeh, which may offend and nauseate some photographers. Viewer discretion is advised.

About the Recumbent Reviews

Welcome to the the third in the series of Recumbent Reviews!

This series of articles will examine photographic equipment and accessories from an ordinary user’s point of view. You’ll find none of that snooty “I’m an expert so my opinion is the final word” guff you get from the professional reviewers you’ll find elsewhere on the interwebs. Here we’ll break new ground by throwing out a lot of opinion seasoned with speculation with a side order of silliness and whimsy. Ranting and raving are all part of the local colour!

Hopefully you’ll enjoy yourself while learning all about stuff that will help you take better pictures while draining your bank account.

Continue reading