From the category archives:

New Products

Summer Travel Gear, Part 2

by Alan Rider

In the first installment of this two-part series, I profiled some cool new high-tech travel products.  Now let’s take a look at some of the low-tech items I’ve been testing that I think will make your summer adventures easier and more enjoyable:
Spire USA Bags
Okay, I admit I’m a bag freak.  From day-bags (“man purses,” my wife calls them) to suitcases, my office is littered with product samples.  But the two carry-on bags from Spire USA that I’ve been testing for the past several months have become my new favorites.  Both the sleek messenger-style Endo and the Torq backpack combine rugged construction and top-quality materials with roomy, laptop-friendly interiors and well [...]

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Summer Travel Gear, Part 1

by Alan Rider

I know the summer travel season is still a couple of weeks away.  But I’ve been thinking ahead, and have spent the last few months looking at a wide array of interesting new products designed to help you make the most out of your upcoming adventures.
In this installment, I’ll focus on some of my favorite new high-tech toys, all of which probably offer significant advantages over what you’re using now at  surprisingly affordable prices:
Olympus 1030SW Digital Camera:
Here’s an immutable law of nature you’ll do well to remember this summer:  Water and digital cameras do not mix.  Unless of course we’re talking about the Olympus 1030SW.  I’ve taken this easily pocketable [...]

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Boredom Busters

by Alan Rider

Just got back from another one of my frequent roadtrips to southern California.  And, let me just say, you don’t know boredom until you’ve been motoring down Interstate 5 through California’s flat and featureless Central Valley for five straight hours.
Luckily on this trip I decided to bring along a trio of new compact discs I just got from my friends at National Public Radio.  The series, just coincidentally titled NPR Road Trips, is made up of three new CDs including “Roadside Attractions,” “National Park Adventures,” and “Postcards from Around The Globe.” Each features more than a dozen stories from NPR’s crack correspondents that run the gamut from silly (everything you [...]

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The Future’s So Bright (I Gotta Wear Shades!)

by Alan Rider

When I had Lasik eye surgery a couple of years ago, one of the side benefits was that I discovered the wide world of non-prescription sunglasses.  Not surprisingly, I quickly became overwhelmed with the number of choices out there (read about my current favorite set of shades here).
Enter my good friend Robert Earle Howells.  His new website SunglassesBuyersGuide.com is designed to provide answers to all those questions you may have had about frame materials and lens tints but didn’t know who to ask.
With warmer weather just around the corner (c’mon people, think positive here!), I asked Bob to share some tips that can help us all make sense out of [...]

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Spray-On Testosterone?

by Alan Rider

Maybe you’re a classy guy who likes the idea of having your own signature scent, but you’re not sure you wanna drop big bucks to create your own custom fragrance.  Or maybe you’re a more rough-and-tumble type who’s bummed because your favorite biker bar has gone smoke-free, making it just that much tougher to soak up that rugged “Wild Thing” aroma that’s become your trademark.
Either way, my friends at Rider Warehouse (alas, no relation) have you covered with what they’re calling Manly Man Cologne.  This quasi-mystical concoction is said to contain actual smells of whiskey and cigars to give you that “get-outta-my-way-wimp” aura without the pesky drawbacks that come with [...]

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Camping On The Concourse?

by Alan Rider

Like it or not, ‘tis the season when countless travelers are likely to be stranded in airports when their flights are delayed or canceled because of severe weather.  Now, however, there’s an alternative to trying to stretch out on one of those oh-so-uncomfortable benches to catch some shut-eye.
The Mini Motel combines a bivouac bag-style indoor tent and inflatable air mattress/pillow with ear plugs, an eye shade, and a reading light.   There’s even a portable alarm clock to make sure you don’t miss your flight. 
As someone who’s experienced his share of delayed and canceled flights, I’m torn between fascination with this product and my desire (obsession is more like it) [...]

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