2017 Honda CR-V, one year impressions

By Jeffrey the Barak. Usually when you read a car review it talks about specifications, quality, practicality and reliability. It helps you decide whether you should buy the same car. This is not one of those reviews. It uses my one year old car as an example to discuss how car design might have strayed…

Stop Damping Your Drums

By Jeffrey the Barak. When finally realizing that each part of the drum kit is a musical instrument, the common practice of damping becomes unadvisable. How many drummers take thousands of dollars worth of craftsman made drums and detune them, put on double-ply heads, slap yards of duct tape on them, shove pillows into the…

Ojo Commuter Scooter Review

By Jeffrey the Barak. If Dr. Seuss were to illustrate a motor scooter, it might get skinnier and taller, and the wheels might get smaller, and it would probably look a lot like this OJO. For some strange reason, for a few days in January 2018, on the Best Buy website, the Ojo Commuter Scooter,…

Falling out of love with electronic drums

By Jeffrey the Barak. They were so good for while. What could be better? You make a tiny little sound in your apartment, and your headphones deliver a drum sound, as big as you like. any size drum, any amount of reverb, any tuning. A dream, yes? Well yes, but I have decided that they…

Mad about M.A.D.

  By Jeffrey the Barak. M.A.D. mandible advancement device. I have to admit that I was, and possibly still am, a bit of a snorer. When you get older, or fatter, the tendency to snore increases. It is not only inconsiderate to the person who sleeps next to you, and possibly also your neighbors, but…

The Bialetti Moka Pot and Cafe Bustelo

By Jeffrey the Barak. The Bialetti Moka Pot and Cafe Bustelo, an Italian and Cuban-American collaboration resulting in beautiful coffee. There are many ways to buy a cup of coffee, and also many ways to make a cup of coffee at home. One device that you will probably find in any Italian kitchen is an old,…

NAMM 2016 – A quest for a compact multipad drum kit

By Jeffrey the Barak. Having the opportunity this year to attend NAMM, that is the National Association of Music Merchants Incorporated, show, in Anaheim, California, I decided to take a very selective approach and set off on a quest for a professional-quality, tiny, electronic drum set, that can be played with sticks. The Show Briefly,…

Sweetened Condensed Milk, Goodbye Old Friend

By Jeffrey the Barak. For the last thirty years or so, I have been slightly unwell. A constant pressure, bloating, inflammation. The ever present acid inside. I have taken pills and put up with it, and even become used to it except when it really flared up. I gave up wheat ten years ago and…

The Four Acceptable Man Bags

By Jeffrey the Barak. In today’s world, men carry as much stuff around as women. This is primarily due to electronics that did not previously exist, but modern men need more personal items as well. The days of stuffing money, identification and keys into trouser pockets and going out the door for a full day,…

Why does my Cappuccino keep changing?

By Jeffrey the Barak. The Cappuccino, the favorite morning pick me up for Italians that evolved into any any time of day drink for the rest of the world, was originally a single shot of espresso, with about the same volume of steamed milk, and about the same volume of milk foam on top. It…

The Hardwood Flooring Fake Warranty

By Jeffrey the Barak. When you buy a hardwood flooring, or engineered hardwood flooring system for your home, the flooring retailer will tell you with the tone of a stern and dire warning that in order for the warranty to be valid and effective on your floor, you have to glue it to the concrete…

Sebago and Sperry, Breaking-In, Boating and Loafing

By Jeffrey the Barak. An American classic, the boat shoe is a fashion staple around the world. It is a shoe that a man or woman can wear in hot climates and is an alternative to the flip fop, and yet it is still very functional in it’s intended use, which is walking sure-footedly around…

My Afternoon with Andy

By Sigmund Shonholtz. Andy Warhol once suggested that we all get 15 minutes of fame. What happens if you have your 15 minutes with Andy Warhol himself? Well, that is exactly what happened to me in 1984. I was an advertiser in his Interview magazine. One day, I received a call from Page Powell, Andy’s…

Man Bags

By Jeffrey the Barak. Most men need a man bag despite some negative reactions from others. Until recently, it was difficult for men to be able to comfortably walk around in public with a nice bag for all of their stuff. But just like women, who need purses and handbags of various sizes to bring along…

Yes, cats do smell terrible.

By Jeffrey the Barak. Despite what you think, your cat stinks and so does your home. Any cat owner reading this will immediately dive into a state of denial. They will say, cats do not smell, they are very clean animals. but they are basing such assumptions on their own senses, and these are not…

Are we building the wrong way?

By Jeffrey the Barak. Most Westerners live in one of two types of house. Either it is masonry, solid, strong, but not much good in an earthquake, or they are in a wood-frame cage with the gaps filled in with drywall and stucco. High rise dwellers may instead be in a steel cage with concrete…

Washing the insides of leather shoes

By Sunny Trailbringer. Men and women with a foot odor problem may find that one day their leather shoes have become smelly. Well shoes themselves don’t smell, but the bacteria in the shoes does. It is the bacteria from your body, reproducing and dying in the millions that produce the gas we may call stink…

Don’t buy jeans online, try on many pairs instead

By Jeffrey the Barak. Online shopping is amazing. It is so convenient and usually a great bargain too as sellers don’t have the enormous cost of providing a glass and granite palace to show you their goods. But some things do not fit in with the online shopping model. The most striking example is denim…

KickPed and Know-Ped Family Reunion

By Jeffrey the Barak. A search for the word scooter on the-vu.com will reveal my passion and obsession for this type of vehicle. I much prefer scooters to bicycles, even though I have to admit I won’t be tackling a hundred mile charity ride on one. I have this year reviewed the KickPed, an amazing…

One-Piece Electronic Drums

By Jeffrey the Barak. March 2012. I have been a drummer since the mid 1960s, and now it is 2012. So not quite half a century, but a heck of a long time. I have had quite a few drum sets over the years, originally acoustic and recently electronic. I play mostly in a jazz…

KickPed versus Xootr, a scooter review

By Jeffrey the Barak. The KickPed is a custom Know-Ped, manufactured in the same factory in California, Patmont Motor Werks, but made to a lean and mean customized set of specifications, exclusively for one retail store, NYCeWheels in New York City. In some ways it is less of a scooter than the Know-Ped but the…

Wash, don’t wipe, your butt.

By Sparklee A Hole. If you can read this, you are a human, and you poop. A subject that may delight a few, and disgust many more. but opinions don’t count, because we all have to go and poop. It is what happens afterwards that is rarely discussed. People from different cultures have different ideas about…

The Saddleback Briefcase Odyssey

By Jeffrey the Barak. I am a man-bag flipper. I like my personal luggage, be it a briefcase, messenger, pouch or satchel. I was never one for going around with no stuff, or stuffing my pockets, so a bag just makes sense for me. I always regret leaving the house without one, and I’ve carried…

A 70’s dinosaur falls into eDrums.

By Jeffrey the Barak. Before I ever had electronic drums, I spent a couple of decades carrying around large, heavy drum sets and cymbals, which could only ever be played in rented rehearsal rooms, because they naturally made very loud sounds that would never be appropriate in a normal domestic setting. As loud as real…

Watching Time

By Andrew Lim. Like most people I’ve gone through a number of hobbies, photography now being the greatest one. However the fascination with watches is one of the oldest. In general, I’ve always liked anything small and complicated, anything with tiny clicking bits. My very first watch was probably a yellow plastic Garfield watch that…

Shaving – The Old Fashioned Way

By Jeffrey the Barak New things are better than old things and new gadgets are better than old gadgets, right? Wrong! Sometimes the impetus for tools and gadgets to evolve is not to make them better, it’s to change the marketplace to receive more expensive goods. There is no better example of this than the…

Collecting Portable Time

By Sigmund Shonholtz The History of Collecting Collecting antiques is not a new idea. Historical records indicate that 3,000 years ago, there were collectors and dealers of coins and artifacts in Egypt. Today, collecting antiques is different than it was in Egyptian times. For one, now it is a matter of semantics. According to Merriam-Webster’s,…

Hair-B-Gone!

By Margarita Dominguez, In Los Angeles They don’t teach you about hair removal in school. What works best in each area of the human body? For the sake of all women and men, we attempt to find out. From the tops of our heads to the tops of our toes, we are literally covered with…