Big Dan's Ramblings

Ramblings from a Boston Boy stuck in New York

Monthly Archives: October 2010

Product Review: 60″ Sharp Aquos LED HDTV

Sharp Aquos 60-inch 1080p 204Hz LCD HDTV

Purchase a Sharp Aquos 60-inch 1080p 240Hz LCD HDTV from

So, a funny thing happened during my last business trip.  I got a phone call from my wife.  She was a little upset because she turned on our television – a Mitsubishi 55″ Rear Projection TV – and everything was pink.  No matter what channel she turned it to, the entire set was pink.  Now, this particular television was about seven years old.  Not ancient, by any means, but it had been moved once or twice and had lived ‘at the beach’ (we rented an apartment four blocks from the ocean for four years), so it had been exposed to some harsh environments.  I figured my trusty stand-by had finally kicked the bucket.

When I finally got home about three days later, we headed out to a local electronics store and zeroed in on a Sharp Aquos 60-inch 1080p 240Hz LCD HDTV. Read more of this post

Movie Review: Book of Eli

Book of EliBook of Eli – DVD | Book of Eli – BluRay

To me, this story was a mix between Mad Max, Robin Hood, and an American Western. describes this movie as “A post-apocalyptic tale, in which a lone man fights his way across America in order to protect a sacred book that holds the secrets to saving humankind.” I would agree with that description.  It centers around a nomadic wanderer named Eli (played by Denzel Washington) roaming the post-apocalyptic country side while working his way West.  He stumbles upon a small town – or at least what serves as a town in this desolate world – that is run by the evil but somehow likeable Carnegie (played by Gary Oldman).  Carnegie is in search of a book – a special book that he thinks will allow him to rule the world – and is constantly sending road crews out to find it. Read more of this post

Product Review: 15ft HDMI Cable

15ft HDMI CablesPurchase these 15ft HDMI Cables from

I recently purchased a new Sharp Aquos 60-inch 1080p 240Hz LCD HDTV a few weeks ago after my Mitsubishi 55″ Rear Projection TV supposedly dumped out on me – it’s a long story that culminates in me not checking the cable box and that being the culprit. Anyway, I had been running three-wire HD component video for years on the old Mitsubishi and decided that I wanted to upgrade to HDMI cables. There were many reasons for this decision: A) they take up less room, B) when I buy a receiver, it will be easier to integrate everything and C) everything I read said I would get a better picture if I changed from component to HDMI cables.

So, I was in.  Changes things up and see where we go.  When I was buying my TV, I looked around the store (name withheld to protect the guilty) and was appalled at the prices I was seeing.  They were honestly asking $100 or more for a 8′ cable.  Are you serious?  Highway robbery at the best.  Let me just say that, as an engineer working with electronic communication equipment in defense contracting, I deal with cables on a regular basis and have a good idea how much they cost.  The cable I deal with – and these are ruggedized, We-can’t-afford-failure-in-the-sandbox cables, not your rinky dink home theater cables – cost about that to manufacture.  And most of that cost is the heavy-duty MIL-SPEC connectors on each end.  I can’t believe that a home theater cable could cost so much. Read more of this post

Knock! Knock! Is This Thing On?

So, way back at the beginning of September, I posted about how busy I was and how I had a ton of stuff going on in my life.  Not much has changed.  My family is still nuts – I swear my girls get faster by the day – and work is still a bear.  But, it’s all good.  My girls are SUPER fun!  My wife and I are planning a week long vacation, something we haven’t done in about four years, and work is always interesting.

But, all that excitement means that I’ve been neglecting this place.  Not to fear though.  While I haven’t been posting, I’ve been thinking about this blog a lot and where I want to go with it.  The food part of it is great and I expect to continue on with some recipes as well as chronicling my adventures in the kitchen and on the grill / smoker.  I’ve also identified a few things I want to write about in the future.  Here’s just a little insight into what’s coming this way in the next few months:

  1. A multi-part series on how I’ve implemented a GTD-ish approach to life
  2. 3-Part series on travel guidance based upon everything I’ve learned in the last few months
  3. Product reviews for some cooking equipment
  4. Outline some potential modifications I plan on doing to my smoker
  5. Contemplations over my next smoker
  6. Discussions about some software I’m using and how they are best suited to my needs
  7. PS3 or Xbox – what should I buy?
  8. Any relevant sports discussions that come up

I hope you all stick around for the ride.  It’s sure to be fun!