Thursday, March 31, 2011

Environmental cleaning tips

I've been sick all week, and I won't outrule that the lousy shit on daytime tv has made it worse, but suddenly there was an interesting program! About cleaning! Who would have guessed... Anyway, the show was How clean is your house and it was exactly like any of these shows where you visit some people and gaze at the filth/bad economy/over-weight or whatever it is. But the nice thing is they had all kinds of tricks for environmental, efficient, healthy and cheap detergents!

This is a good introduction and this page has loads of more specific tricks & tips.

Like the classic soda/vinegar combo for cleaning the bathroom! Works wonderfully. A bit of toothpaste does wonders for the taps!

Treadmills are bad

I started running in my early teens, preferably in the woods and as varying as possible. Becoming one with the forrest and the track I followed. So, not much of a wonder I hated the treadmill from the very start! It's like running slightly downhill, with nothing changing at all. And the feeling of it is crap too.

The modern, idioticly shortsighted man, tough, seems to love going to a gym and "run" on treadmills. Nobody who loves free running does that, but still, I'm surprised there is so little talk about the bad aspects of artificial training. Then again, considering that most stuff in a gym is just that - artificial training equipment - it's not a big surprise.

But finally I found some backup! In the swedish fitness magazine iForm, number 5/2011, there is a small article stating the following:

- On the ground the behind and the hamstrings pull the foot backwards, which is compensated by the treadmill.
- You take more and shorter steps on the treadmill, which leads to stiff muscles of the hip, a bad posture and a weak behind.

There are new theories on free running, where you run on the front of your feet, take shorter steps and sort of constantly fall forwards. This is how you run spontaneously in really tough terrain, if you think about it. This style of running should be done barefoot or at least with a very thin sole of the shoes. I believe in this style of running, and the next pair of running shoes will be adapted to this. I just mention this to point out that shorter steps in itself, is not a bad thing, but treadmills are.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

The valsalva maneuver

This is a totally new term for me - the valsalva maneuver. It's what you do when you are about to lift something really heavy - you breath in, hold your breath and tense up your whole body.

So, this action is perfectly normal but according to iForm, due to a misunderstanding in the 90:s people have learnt to not hold their breath. Apparently physio therapists taught people with back problems to exhale when they did sit-ups. This has then spread to healthy people, thinking they were clever... It's true that the blood pressure rises, but that is not in any way unhealthy for a healthy person. So, forget about it. :)

But what does this mean to martial arts? You never hear a boxer holding his breath. Could it be you should hold your breath in the very instant you hit, and then right afterwards breath out, in order not to stop breathing?

Hifi dreams

I have my beloved Sennheiser HD 650 (before the HD 800 came they were the reference headphone of Hifi & Musik). I have a Musical Fidelity X-CAN V3, that goes perfectly with the Sennheiser headphones. And since the successful buy of the lovely Bose headphones the other day, I have RCA connectors to the headphone amplifier as well. CD is so 90:s, and tape recorder so 80:s and huge ass amplifiers and loudspeakers are just so uncoath, so let's skip that and look into the future. :)

Since most of the music these days is stored digitally, but still enjoyed analog, a good DAC is a must. The Lead LA-100 was haled by Hifi & Musik and many agree that for the relatively small price tag, this is hard to beat. Then again, there are a lot more DAC:s, like the Style Audio Carat-Saphire, but it's quite ugly and might have some technical issues. A more tempting option is the Furutech GT-40, a very price-efficient solution with its built-in RIAA stage and headphone amplifier. This is probably the best solution for ripping LP:s, but then again... I don't like having many functions in one box, it limit's you. So, for now the Lead is the shit, and if I ever can afford the Rega P3 (or an LP12!) then I will deal with the RIAA at that stage.

Another thing I saw in Hifi & Musik was the DLS Flatbox Large loudspeakers. Again, much appreciated by Hifi & Musik, a really good option in my future surround sound system, for the back loudspeakers. But for the moment they would replace my shitty front speakers. Well, actually my only loudspeakers. I did say future surround sound system... ;)

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Mobile headphones - Bose MIE2

When it comes to hifi I have a favourite magazine, the swedish Hifi & Musik. Whatever they say, I trust it. With good reason! The bad thing is they haven't understood that their articles should be accessible on Internet, instead you can order articles, for money, which is totally retarded. But anyway...

I read Hifi & Musik in the library and in issue 10 of 2010 there was an article about headphones where they gave 10 and 10 out of 10 to the Bose MIE2 headphones. As I just had gotten a new phone, that I had loaded with 14GB of mp3:s, I wanted good headphones. So I looked around on the Internet and realised that I could get a pair from Amazon for $125 while the list price in Sweden was SEK 1495, almost twice as much! Wtf? Anyway, I went to Tele-Hå and tried them on. They sounded great and they felt great! (The innovative way of wearing them works perfectly.) When I asked them about the insane price policy of Bose (fucking inbred US companies!) we started discussing the price... I asked about chords, and we threw in some CrimsonPlus RCA cables. We finally settled with a price that almost made me feel guilty... ;) I will buy my new DAC there, as a thank you.

Happy with my purchase I went to get a cappuccino and try them. And it turns out my Sony-Ericsson Xperia X8 is complete and utter crap. I kind of knew that already - it's amazingly slow and the user interface is made as bad as humanly possible (even though it's an Android phone!) - but still. Complying to a simple headphone plug standard is too complicated, apparently, so I can't get any sound (ok, if I don't stick it all the way in, there will be sound in the left ear), the button doesn't work and the sound is total shit. I mean it, total shit. Fuck Sony-Ericsson.

Hmm, that got a bit of a negative touch... Sorry about that. There is too much shit in this world. But the MIE2 are awesome! :)

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Heja Affärsvärlden!

När oljepriset går upp och alla gnällspikar skriker i kör var det minsann en fröjd att läsa Olof Manners krönika i Affärsvärlden. Äntligen en ekonomiskt väl insatt person som öppet går ut och säger att det är ju bara bra med ett högt oljepris! För ju högre priset är desto mer idiotiskt ter det sig att hålla sig fast vid gammal 1800-talsteknik.