Archive for February, 2009

New Watch For Our Upcoming Trip To Australia

February 27th, 2009

Diz and I are going to go diving off the Great Barrier Reef, next month, and besides needing some new fins, I need a new watch, none of the ones I wear day-to-day are water proof to enough depth, and I wanted one that was readable at depth, since many of the nice “diver’s watches” are white hands on a white face and not luminescent.

Pzero Tempo Men's Swiss Automatic Diver Titanium Rubber Strap Watch

So while I was quickly looking for a pic of that studded purse I got Diz, I ordered  this Pzero Tempo watch.  The rubber strap is better than the metal link ones, as I have had to pick sea-weed out of more than a few watches, the face should be easy to read, and it is rated for 30 Atmospheres so I’ll be crushed to jelly before the watch dies. 

It also had a rotating crown for tracking dive time, which most of the divers watches don’t.

Yes I could get a watch with a depth gauge, and all sorts of digital stuff, but they are fugly.  And I refuse to have an ugly watch with dials I don’t understand, need, or trust.  That ranks up there with those guys who where a Ferrari hat, and have never even sat in one. 


Stud Wallet Women: Koobla Hand Bags Wallet

February 27th, 2009

I’m apparently a good judge of what women want.  I picked up for Diz this Bohemian Women’s Stud Wallet.  She has a leather jacket that she wear’s when we take out the Jeep, because she likes to look “Dangerous”.  I can’t convince her to get the stud collar to go with the

Kooba Handbags Stud Classic Wallet in Black ( Stud Wallet Women )

wallet, but it was a good make up gift after a recent fight.  I should have taken a picture before I gave it to her, maybe we’ll update after, but in the mean time, here it is.


It’s from Koobla.  Their is just something about Stud Wallet Women that makes them “Dangerous” on the inside.  I suspect Eliza Dushku has a Stud wallet.


Review of Sofitel Los Angeles: It Blows

February 24th, 2009

I booked Sofitel Los Angeles through, and I realize that maybe you get a lousier room than I would if I booked directly.  But the room I got was not worth even the $149 a night that I ended up paying.

Sofitel Room in LA

The Sofitel room was small.  Really small.  I guess if you are just sleeping there, it doesn’t matter, but it wasn’t a great place to sleep.  It was noisy because it is not set back from the road, or the neighborhood. My room was across from a school, so on Monday at 8am I was woken by the screams of kids.

I had a great view of the Trashy Lingerie Store, and the Star Strip Club.


If you are on the other side of the building you get a view of Macy’s.  So I had the better of the views.

The Bathroom looked nice enough, but the Vanity lights didn’t work so it was dark.


So overlooking the accommodations the service blew.  I checked in ahead of JJ.  (Diz didn’t join us) And while I told the front desk that is was me plus JJ, they didn’t put her name on the room so when she showed up to use the room to prep for our Oscar Party at the Beverly Hills Hotel, they wouldn’t let her in the room.

This combined with the Valet leaving the lights on, on my car so the battery was dead in the morning. Then because I only drove 2 miles to the Beverly Hills Hotel and back, the car was dead again in the morning.  Rather than listening to me that this was going to be an issue the next morning they pulled the car off to the side an blocked two other cars which then had to wait while my car was jumped.

The Club located at the Sofitel was a total joke.  The supposedly exclusive club let anyone in. The Crowd was made up of mostly gold digging girls, and guys pretending to be gold.  Joy, June, Nadia, and I had a few drinks, but getting an appetizer was all but impossible.  The DJ had no sense of continuity in music.  Which was obvious to the crowd as there was no one dancing, and the volume was such that there was also no one really talking or mingling the way you’d get at any other club/lounge worth going to.

I won’t likely be going back, I’m much happier at the Holiday Inn Express. Which doesn’t charge me for parking, Internet, or screw up my letting other people in to the room.


Review of the Hotel Bel-Air in Los Angeles

February 17th, 2009

With the Oscar’s coming up this weekend, I wanted to be closer to where the action is, and while the Bel-Air isn’t exactly near the venue, it is where the A-List Celebs are at.

Diz is fond of this place because of the iconic Marilyn Monroe by the pool picture which, at some point we need to do a pic of her in the same pose.

Marilyn Monroe Hotel Bel-Air

For the most part the grounds of the Hotel Bel-Air haven’t changed since Marilyn Monroe’s days.

Monroe Hotel Bel-Air Pool

The Rooms however have been updated since, and they are stunning.

Monroe Hotel Bel-Air Bed Room

The decor is not so “pink” that I feel like a princess, but are warm and romantic which suits Diz who felt a bit more celebrity, than royalty.

The grounds and the various dining locations through out the hotel are impressive too.  The Veranda where we had breakfast was beautiful, if a bit unseasonably cold, because we got there too early for the staff to have the heaters set up, but they were quick to accommodate and set up two near our table.

Monroe Hotel Bel-Air Veranda

Diz insisted that I post this pic she took with her iPhone of the toilet paper, which had that lovely fold which we can’t get my maid to do.

Monroe Hotel Bel-Air Bathroom

Here is a bit better picture of the bathroom, rather than just the toilet paper roll,

Monroe Hotel Bel-Air bathroom

Yes those are fresh flowers on the sink, the maid service replaced them each day.

The Hotel Bel-Air is an amazing 5 star hotel, and unlike many of the cheap hotels, or the hotels in Vegas, the Bel-Air requires a bit of an advanced booking, we couldn’t book the Herb Garden Suite which is where I really wanted to stay.

While the Swan Lake Suite was very nice, I was really just looking for a Garden suite.

The nearly 800 square feet was more than we need for our stay, and the private patio is being wasted on our short trip.


Monster Beats by Dr. Dre

February 17th, 2009

I got hooked up with a set of Beats by Dr. Dre from Monster Cable while I was in Vegas for CES / AVN. 

Noel Lee, Dr Dre, Jimmy Lovine, and Beats by Dr Dre Earbuds

These ear buds pack a lot more wallop than the iPod’s stock ear buds, and rock pretty hard, and sound amazing.  Unlike most earbuds these have some solid bass.

Jimmy Lovine and Dr. Dre. signed off on the sound of these head phones, and they are sweet as a result.

beats by dr dre

The thing I actually like most about these ear buds is not how great they sound, or how nicely they fit in my ears (and they do), but rather how the material they are made from is very tangle resistant.  I am constantly destroying ear buds that get knotted in my pocket.  These seem to be all but indestructible, and they stay in even when I’m running with the top down at high way speed.

Personal Electronics

The New Ferrari Vertu Phone

February 17th, 2009

I have had my as my friends call it “Ugly” Ferrari Vertu Phone for a while now.  I do have to admit it was a purchase on a whim, and while Diz gives me grief that it has a cute little “My Little Pony” on the bottom, the phone has been great most of the time, and the 4 band GSM worked absolutely everywhere flawlessly, something which can not be said for her iPhone.

Old Ferrari Vertu Phone

So the new version is much more Ferrari like.  With Red and Black Leather and brushed metal, and this time no “My Little Pony” instead the prancing horse is embossed rather than just printed.

ferrari vertu phone back ferrari vertu phone front

The camera on this Phone is phenomenal. and with QIK installed for doing video, I can stream live video to the web, which the iPhone can’t.

I do have to admit that the Pocket Dyno for the iPhone is slick, but since I carry an iPod Touch, I can calculate my “Prancing Horse” power with that instead.  The Vertu is also much easier to carry in my suits breast pocket, and the Cell Pocket in my Leather Jacket, which the iPhone doesn’t.

Cell Phones

Test Drive of the Yet to be Released Tesla

February 17th, 2009

I was in the neighborhood, and am looking to possibly burn some money, so I decided to check out the Tesla dealer on Santa Monica Blvd.  Having owned Lotus Elise, I expected that I was not going to be impressed.  I was however pleasantly surprised.  The Tesla is a bigger car, I didn’t feel squeezed into it.  I’m not saying I’d want to try getting in and out in a tux, and there is no way Diz or JJ would be able to get out of it in their Red Carpet gowns.  Kyrstin however knew how to make it look graceful.  She clearly had practiced a move by which she pulled her foot close to the seat, placed her hand on the door, and stood up with an almost balerina-esque movement.


The Tesla has a suspension that doesn’t shake you near as much as the Lotus, and the position of my head was such that I was in the car, rather than in my lotus where my head was above the roll bar.  The Tesla’s styling is less aggressive than the Lotus, but also less kiddie.  The lotus looks like a hot wheels car.  The Tesla looks like it was designed by someone with refinement.

Tesla Electric Car

For as many high points as the vehicle has it does lack some refinements I would expect in such a “high end” car.  The JVC audio system looks stuck in.  Like if you replaced the beautifully integrated sound system and computer from my Mini with one from Walmart, and did the install yourself.  There is also the lack luster suede seats.  They just look and feel Mazda Rx7, not Porsche or BMW.  Interestingly some features which are not on a Lotus because they add to the weight, like power windows and air conditioning are included on the Tesla.

Tesla Motors

The “fast” 0-60 in 4.7 seconds is faster than my Mini (5.6), but the 125 mph top speed is well short of the 146 which I have been clocked at in My R53 Mini JCW.  The price of fuel per mile on the Tesla works out to a 70 mpg equivalent versus the 32mpg that the Mini gets.  But I would have to put 500k miles on the car to recoup the difference between the sticker price and the price of gas.

Tesla Sports Car Zero Emissions Vehicle

I asked about track days, something that I really think justifies the extra money of a sports car.  Taking the Tesla to the track is discouraged.  While the Tesla is fast, and sporty, it just isn’t designed to run all out for long periods of time.  The motors, the power cells, and the cooling just aren’t adequate to running 30 laps at Laguna Seca, something my Mini does several times a year, and which any of my other cars can do when I’m not worried about the rice rockets putting scratches in my paint.