California Pt.8: Driving with Patrick

IMG 3921

California has some of the best roads I have ever driven.

DSC 0375

They’re winding, scenic and go for miles.

DSC 0377

Highway 1 has to be one of the best roads in the US.

DSC 0389

Patrick showed us some of his favorite rides, and it was driving nirvana.

IMG 3916

The best part was trying to keep up with his crotch rocket in his S2000.

New Speakers: Bowers & Wilkins CM5

BWCM5HGBK 1

After looking for the last year, I finally pulled the trigger with Annie’s help. There’s nothing wrong with my current setup—for my condo, it’s perfectly fine for movies… but recently, I’ve found myself listening to more music via Spotify.

Luchsahya polochnaja akustika

After listening to my dad’s speakers (old Boston Acoustic bookshelves and a velodyne sub), I started to understand what makes a really good system. I didn’t realize it, but my dad is a big time audiophile. Here are the tips I’ve picked up from him over the years:

1) Good speakers can last you a lifetime. The heavier, the better.

2) Two bookshelves (with a 6.5″ woofers) and a subwoofer is typically better than having two giant towers or dozens of speakers.

3) Bi-amping speakers and driving as much power to them is the secret to better sound. Use individual amplifiers to power the L/R speakers.

4) Positioning your speakers in a room will change the sound. This includes setting up the height of the speakers—tweeters should be at ear level. The distance between the speakers and viewing position should look like an equilateral triangle.

5) And lastly, the room should have as much soft materials as possible, like rugs, curtains, pillows, etc. You want to reduce the amount of sound bouncing against the walls.

BWCM5HGBK 3

I test drove to dozens of speakers, but the CM5s were my favorite. There are certainly more obscure speakers out there that perform better for the price, but probably won’t hold their value like a B&W. There’s just something elegant about the yellow kevlar cone.

The model below, 675, were half the price… but lacked mid-tones. The model above, 805, sounded awesome, but were twice the price. I decided that I’d rather buy higher quality amplifiers for the CM5 instead of dropping everything into the bookshelves.

Anyway, I’m really happy with these speakers. I’ll post a photo of my setup as soon as I pick some stands out.

Here’s my old post about the 805s vs Diamonds vs CM5s.

Rustico in Ballston

IMG 4511

So Annie and I metro’d out to Balston to try out a restaurant called Rustico, recommended by 2 of my friends.

IMG 4513

For starters, we ordered some lamb meat balls. The tomato sauce was actually really good. As a dish, it was pretty good… but then again, it’s just a fancy meat ball. For something that small, I think they should have gone with stronger flavors.

IMG 4514

We saw everyone order pizza, so we tried out one as well. The one we ordered was really salty and lacked sauce. We also ordered scallops—they were good, but lacked acidity. It needed a touch of lemon—nonetheless, they were good.

For the price, it’s a little high. It was fun to go out and try new things, but it’s probably not worth the additional cost of metro admission. If I were to go there again, I’d order their plain $15 cheese/basil pizza and split it between two people. That seems like a good value, and seems to be their sweet spot on the menu. I bet their do a good lunch as well, based on their photos from Yelp.

IMG 4518

To finish things off, we tried out FroZenYo. ^_^

Watches: Jaeger-LeCoultre vs. Rolex vs. Omega

IMG 4391

I tried on a couple of watches with Annie for fun. The Rolex is pretty much the over-the-top, overpriced watch… but boy, it looks clean. No wonder the Submariner has been copied so many times.

IMG 4388

Omega’s version, the Sea Master, is a nice diver watch. It pretty much has the same look as the Submariner, except there’s an additional dial. It’s half the price and does the same thing.

IMG 4393

Okay, this isn’t a diver watch, but I personally like the Jaeger-LeCoulre. It just looks sharp, and is so thin. I’m amazed by how well they hold their value.

Too rich for my blood right now… but it’s cool to test drive. ^_^

35th Birthday

IMG 4434

Thanks everyone for a great 35th birthday. My parents came up to visit and brought a nice home made cheese cake.

IMG 4427

And the guys at the office decorated my desk with Hello Kitty.

IMG 4398

Here’s a pic of Sol. Just because.

IMG 4396

And Dave, aka “The Butterfly Killah”.

IMG 4430

Thanks for making memorable guys!

IMG 4428

McLaren

IMG 4495

Krishna and I walked by the McLaren dealership this weekend.

IMG 4496

Yeh, they’re bad ass.

IMG 4497

I guess that’s why they cost over $300k.

IMG 4498

I’m not even sure if I could drive one of these things properly. Check out the specs.

IMG 4499

Would you rather have a McLaren or Ferarri?

Tysons Corner Silver Line

IMG 4484

I took the new Silver Line this weekend. The new metro definitely makes travelling to DC much easier.

IMG 4485

So now I have no excuses to get out there any hang out… and vice versa.

IMG 4486

You guys will have to make some recommendations of places to visit in DC.

IMG 4490

I tried out a peruvian chicken place with Krishna in China Town.

IMG 4491

Who else wants to go?

IMG 4492