Best Stuff for Men http://beststuffformen.com Making acquisition and success easier for those who want the best in life Sun, 14 Aug 2016 17:23:06 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=4.6.6 Two of the Best Places to Photograph the Northern Lights http://beststuffformen.com/2016/01/30/two-of-the-best-places-to-photograph-the-northern-lights/ http://beststuffformen.com/2016/01/30/two-of-the-best-places-to-photograph-the-northern-lights/#respond Sun, 31 Jan 2016 05:12:00 +0000 http://beststuffformen.com/?p=17552 Related posts:
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This is the year you’ve decided to not only see the northern lights but to photograph them.  When you’re standing out there in the arctic night watching those coruscating sheets of colored light, of course you’re going to want to preserve the moment — and of course later you’re going to want to post your photos on Facebook and all your other social media sites.

So, where are the best places to see the aurora borealis?  (And here is an accessory factoid you can use to impress your fellow aurora-viewers:  the term “aurora borealis” was actually coined by Galileo.  “Aurora” is the name of the Greek goddess of the dawn and Boreas was the god of the north wind.  Thus the name of a phenomenon observed in the northern latitudes:  a waving band of “dawn light.”)

Answering the question of the “best place” to see the northern lights is kind of like answering the question of where is the best place to see lightning.  Obviously, the answer is:  it depends.  However, just as with lightning, we know that there are places where you can maximize your chances of encountering this atmospheric event.

Places

First of all, you have to go north.  In general, the closer you are to the Arctic Circle, the more likely you are to see the northern lights.  The northern lights occur when the solar wind enters the earth’s atmosphere and interacts with atmospheric gases, throwing off photons.  The earth’s magnetic field repels most solar particles, but the magnetic fields are weakest at the poles and hence these regions are likeliest to permit charged solar particles to enter the atmosphere and interact with molecules of oxygen, nitrogen, and so on.

The northern lights shine red and green as charged solar particles interact with different atoms in the atmosphere.

Winter is the best time of year to observe the northern lights, since the nights are longer and the skies tend to be clearer (clouds obviously being the bane of aurora observers).  To see them at their brightest, you also want to be far away from light pollution — so, not too near big cities or towns.  On the other hand, you also want to be in a place that is not too physically difficult to get to, especially if you’re going to be lugging camera equipment along.

Now, you could do all kinds of research to find the regions of the northern hemisphere that meet the above criteria.  But I’ve done the research for you, so all you have to do is note the two places I recommend, then make your plans to go there.  I figure it’s a good idea to recommend two places so you’ll have some options.  More than two, and you might have trouble deciding which to choose.

Okay, so the first of the top two places I’m suggesting to see the northern lights is Alta, Norway.  The town of Alta is located in the far north of Norway, where the Altafjord meets the Altaelva River.  It’s a two-hour flight from Oslo.

The second of the two top places to see the aurora borealis is, well, the whole country of Iceland.  Just get to Iceland, then take your pick of places to go.  I’d recommend an area away from Reykjavik where there is an expanse of open, calm water to reflect the northern lights — an excellent composition for a photo.

Alta is recommended by a number of northern lights experts, as is Iceland.  For example, the guys at “Aurora Service Europe” (see their website here), chose Alta as the number one destination for viewing the northern lights.  Alta is also recommended by Fodor’s.  And Iceland is recommended by everybody.

Now, as to getting there, you also want that to be as easy, convenient, efficient, and economical as possible.  Is there a Web resource that can help you accomplish that?  Of course.  And that is TripAdvisor.  Travelers are employing TripAdvisor more and more as not only their go-to source for reviews of places to stay and things to see and do around the world, but as a one-stop staging area for booking flights, rooms, tours, vacation rentals, and cruises.  If you’re looking for deals, availability, and quality-control info, TripAdvisor pretty much has it all.

For example, click here to go to the TripAdvisor page for hotel deals and reservations for Alta, Norway.  You can also use TripAdvisor to search for flights from wherever you are to Alta, which will give you a variety of prices and airline options.  Just go to the “Flights” tab at the top of the TripAdvisor site.

Once you’re in Alta, how will you know where to go to not only see the northern lights, but to photograph them?  Again, use TripAdvisor.  You can do a search on “northern lights tours in Alta, Norway.”  Oh, wait — I already did it for you!  If you’d like to see companies in Alta that can guide you to the best northern lights viewing opportunities, just click here.  You’ll see not only the local businesses, but reviews of those businesses by travelers.  Pretty convenient…  For example, there is GLØD Explorer AS, which, if you read the reviews and click through the links, you’ll notice has received a “Certificate of Excellence” from TripAdvisor.  And then there’s Northern Lights Husky Day Tours where you can hunt for the northern lights by dog sled.  How cool is that?

You can do the same on TripAdvisor for everything relating to Iceland and the northern lights.  Use the TripAdvisor search engine to find whatever you need.  Click the banner below to get started.

How to Photograph the Northern Lights — Gear and Settings

Okay, so the above info takes care of getting you to one of the best places in the world to view the northern lights.  Imagine: now you’re there.  You’re out at night and the aurora borealis has made its appearance.  You’re gazing upward, entranced.  Then you remember you want to photograph them!  How to go about doing that?

Well, first of all, let’s talk about your camera equipment.  If you’re going to go to all the trouble to try to photograph the northern lights, don’t use your cell phone.  Make sure you have a good camera with a top-of-the-line lens.  A number of cameras will get the job done, but if you want the best quality for aurora boralis photography, I would recommend the Sony A7S II.  This is currently the best low-light, full-frame camera on the market.  Not only will it take excellent stills in dim light, it will also capture excellent video.  And why not video the northern lights while you’re at it?  Pair it with a fairly wide-angle lens, say in the area of 35 mm.  And the faster the lens, the better.  To go with the A7S II, I’d recommend one of Sony’s A-mount G lenses or Zeiss lenses.  For example, the Zeiss Vario-Sonnar T* 24-70 mm F2.8 zoom lens.

If you want the best all-purpose camera for the job — a camera that will not only give you great northern lights shots but will also work well for everything else you want to photograph on your trip — then I’d recommend either the Nikon D810 or the Sony A7R II.  These are the best landscape and general-purpose full-frame cameras currently made.  Both have excellent sensors (both sensors are made by Sony, actually).  Both will not only give you high-quality night shots at higher ISOs, but will also serve you well during the daytime.  You can’t go wrong with either, though the Sony A7R II is a lighter, more compact camera and therefore easier to lug around, if that makes  a difference to you.

Next, you must have a tripod.  It won’t work well to try to photograph the northern lights by hand-holding your camera.  Don’t even attempt it.  Invest in a rock-steady tripod.  Gitzo, Manfrotto, Slik… there are a number of good tripod manufacturers.

You can get all of the above camera gear at Adorama — an excellent online source for just about every type of camera equipment known to man.  They have good prices (check their special deals) and good service.  Of course, you can find all three of the cameras mentioned above at Adorama — the Sony A7S II, Sony A7R II, and Nikon D810 — along with a full selection of lenses.  If you’d like a less-expensive camera to photograph the northern lights, then make sure you get one that offers full manual control.  And speaking of that…

Settings

To photograph the northern lights, you will obviously be photographing at night and you’ll be photographing stuff in the dark sky.  This is a challenge for most cameras — and photographers — to handle.  Therefore, before your trip, you should acquaint yourself with using your camera at night.  At the least, go out and take some shots of stars, the moon, or distant city lights.  Try it first on whatever programmed mode your camera offers and check the best, most well-exposed images to see what the settings were.  Then, experiment with different manual settings and check the results each time you make a change.  The settings you’ll be changing are ISO, aperture, shutter speed, focus, and white balance.  When you photograph the northern lights, put the camera in manual mode and try the following suggested settings.

ISO determines sensitivity to light, the higher the number, the more sensitive.  With the Sony A7S II, it almost doesn’t matter what ISO you set — even values of 25,600 and higher can yield good results with acceptable noise.  For the best results with all these recommended cameras, however, try to stay around ISO 1600 or lower.

For aperture, you’ll want to use the wider settings that your lens offers.  Try to keep it at F4 or wider.

Next, shutter speed will vary with the brightness of the aurora and your aperture.  In general, you’ll be making exposures in the range of 4 seconds to 30 seconds, which depends also on ambient light and whether there is a moon or not.  Experiment with different exposure lengths.  Also, watch the histogram on your camera to try to keep the values in the middle of the graph.  Obviously, such long exposures are why you’ll need a tripod.  In addition, use a cable release to initiate the exposure.  Or, alternatively, cameras like those from Sony have Wi-Fi and offer an app for your smartphone that can be used to trigger exposures.  If you don’t have a cable release or a smartphone app, then set your camera’s self-timer to 2 seconds and trigger the exposure by pressing the shutter button.  This is all done to minimize camera shake.

When it comes to focusing, it’s most likely that your camera’s auto-focus will fail miserably at focusing on the northern lights.  So set your camera to manual focus.  If the northern lights are dim and you’re having trouble focusing on them using the viewfinder, try focusing on stars instead.  Focus will most likely be around infinity anyway.  If you still can’t focus, try focusing on a far-away terrestrial object — a mountain, tree, or rock.  If there isn’t enough ambient light to focus on far-away physical objects, use a flashlight to illuminate something that’s far away, focus on that, then leave your focus set where it is and point your camera at the northern lights.  Remember to turn off your flashlight!

For white balance, you best setting will probably be somewhere between 3,700K and 5,500K.  Experiment and check your results in live view.  If your camera doesn’t offer numerical white balance settings, first try “Daylight” setting and then try “Incandescent” setting.  See which results you like.  In any event, don’t leave you camera set on “Auto” white balance.

Also, don’t put a filter on your lens.

Remember that batteries discharge faster in the cold, so bring along a spare battery or two.

Okay, so now you know where to go to photograph the aurora borealis, along with how to get there, and how to photograph the northern lights once you find them.  If your timing is good and you’ve maximized your chances by going to one of the top two locations mentioned here, then it’s very likely you’ll have an unforgettable, inspiring, once-in-a-liftetime experience.  Good luck!

And to whet your appetite, here’s a video of the northern lights…

In The Land Of The Northern Lights from Ole C. Salomonsen on Vimeo.

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The Most Versatile Vehicle You Can Get http://beststuffformen.com/2013/11/09/the-most-versatile-vehicle-you-can-get/ http://beststuffformen.com/2013/11/09/the-most-versatile-vehicle-you-can-get/#respond Sun, 10 Nov 2013 02:20:26 +0000 http://beststuffformen.com/?p=17138 Related posts:
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Versatility is a prized quality.  This is epitomized in the world of sports, where the man who wins the decathlon is termed the “World’s Greatest Athlete.”  That title is not given to the winner of the marathon, nor to the strongest power-lifter, nor to the best all-around gymnast.  It is given to the athlete who performs the best in 10 different events.  He is not the best in the world at any one of them, but his combined performance demonstrates impressive versatility.

Versatile tools and technology are also highly valued.  If you want to equip yourself efficiently and effectively, you’ll often reach for a multitasking tool.   Why buy just a pocket knife when you can get a Leatherman?

When it comes to cars, trucks, and SUVs, there are those looking for a vehicle that can “do it all.”  So what is the vehicle that is the best at doing it all?  If you are searching for a vehicle that will successfully handle just about any task you want it to — perform well on the road, be competent off-road, carry cargo and passengers, be safe, look good, be comfortable and reliable — what is the most versatile vehicle you can get?

The choice is clear:  it is the Jeep Grand Cherokee SRT.  Among the hundreds of models of cars, SUVs, and trucks currently available in the automotive marketplace, the Jeep has the highest capabilities both on-road and off-road and it satisfies the other criteria listed above.  The Jeep Grand Cherokee SRT will do just about anything you ask of it and do it well.

If you're looking for a versatile car that will reliably perform in a wide variety of conditions and will outperform any normal sedan on the track, check out the Jeep Grand Cherokee SRT.

The most versatile vehicle in the world? The 2014 Jeep Grand Cherokee SRT.

Are there cars that perform better in discrete categories than the Jeep Grand Cherokee SRT?  Of course.  The Audi R8 is a versatile high-performance car that is a lot faster than the Jeep on the road — but try taking the Audi on a 4WD road to a remote fly-fishing location in the Rockies.  The Jeep will kick its butt there.  Are there vehicles that perform better off-road?  Certainly — the Jeep Wrangler Rubicon being one of them.  But on the road, the Grand Cherokee leaves the Wrangler in the dust and does it in comfort and style.

The “SRT” in Grand Cherokee SRT stands for “Street & Racing Technology,” which is a high-performance division within the Chrysler Corporation.  The Grand Cherokee SRT is basically a supercar that will also go off-road and carry 5 passengers comfortably while doing so.

Here are a few revealing numbers for the 2014 Jeep Grand Cherokee SRT:

  • Engine:  6.4-liter 8-cylinder Hemi, 470 horsepower
  • 0 – 60 mph:  4.6 seconds
  • Top speed:  160 mph
  • Selec-Track 4WD system:  5 modes (Auto, Sport, Track, Tow, Snow)
  • Towing capacity:  7,200 pounds
  • Skidpad peformance:  .90g
  • Fuel economy:  about 15 mpg average
  • Transmission:  8-speed automatic with manual shifting option
  • Cargo capacity:  67.5 cubic feet

And don’t forget those comfortable, heated leather seats, both front and second-row.  It’ll keep the kids warm when you’re taking them snowboarding (the type of daily and/or recreational driving task which the Grand Cherokee handles with aplomb).

In doing this evaluation, what vehicles were considered to be the closest competitors of the Jeep Grand Cherokee SRT?  The Porsche Cayenne and Range Rover Sport are obvious choices; both are fast and versatile.  However, the Grand Cherokee SRT performs better than the Range Rover on the track and better than the Cayenne off-road.  The Range Rover also easily ratchets up to $90,000 in price with desirable options versus the Jeep Grand Cherokee SRT’s well-equipped price of around $64,000.  And the Porsche Cayenne Turbo S (which somewhat outdoes the Jeep in on-road performance) goes for $146,000.  The Porsche also has 7 cubic feet less of cargo capacity than the Jeep.  Just sayin’.

The Nissan Xterra and Honda Ridgeline are versatile performers and haulers — the Xterra is excellent off-road while the Ridgeline can handle some off-road duties — while being quite competent on-road (much more refined than, say, the Jeep Wrangler).  However, the Grand Cherokee SRT destroys both of them on the track without giving up much in off-road capability to the Xterra, and it’s obviously better off-road than the Ridgeline.  And when it comes to everyday utility, the Jeep is second to none.

You just can’t find a more versatile — and, it must be emphasized, fun — vehicle than the 2014 Jeep Grand Cherokee SRT.  It’ll put a grin on your face.  While simultaneously being reliable and practical family transportation.  When considering performance and price, the Jeep Grand Cherokee SRT is the most versatile car, SUV, or truck you can get.

A versatile car, truck, or SUV need not be spartan.  This is proven by the level of luxury appointments and technology of the 2014 Jeep Grand Cherokee SRT.

The sophisticated, luxurious, high-tech interior of the Jeep Grand Cherokee SRT

And hey, if you want to spend a lot less and still get really good everyday performance coupled with impressive off-road chops, simply go for the Jeep Grand Cherokee Limited with the EcoDiesel engine.  It’s around $47,000 and will do just about everything the Grand Cherokee SRT will do — except 160 mph on the Circuit of the Americas race track.  See the following video where Motor Trend put the 2014 Jeep Grand Cherokee SRT through its paces…

 

If you want to configure and buy a Jeep Grand Cherokee SRT for yourself, start at CarsDirect.  Get the options you want and find competitive pricing.  To get the best deal on a Jeep or any other car in which you’re interested, check out Autos.com.

 

CarsDirect.com

 

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Friday Pic to Make You Smile (42) http://beststuffformen.com/2013/10/18/friday-pic-to-make-you-smile-42/ http://beststuffformen.com/2013/10/18/friday-pic-to-make-you-smile-42/#respond Fri, 18 Oct 2013 21:30:07 +0000 http://beststuffformen.com/?p=17120 Related posts:
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It’s now the latter half of October.  You know what happens at the end of this month, don’t you?  That’s right — you get to use your imagination to become anything you want to be.  Superman.  A package of Ramen noodles.  Priscilla, queen of the desert.  A mutant katydid.

Of course, you can use your imagination to become anything you want to be during the rest of the year, too.  Sadly, too many of us indulge such creativity only on Halloween.  If we all became what we wanted to be, the world would be a better place.

Which brings me to today’s pic to make you smile…

 

Tariq illustration

 

Maybe this drawing will not only inspire you to pretend to be the character you’ve always wanted to be on Halloween, it might inspire you to follow your inner dreams and become the guy that actually lives the life of adventure, intrigue, romance, and passion you’ve longed for.

What would it be like to actually meet this radioactive girl who roams out of the imagination of a deranged west?

If you need additional practical inspiration for Halloween, you can check here.  And you can find more how-to info here.

Set it up how you want it to be.  Nothing wrong with being that guy, dude.

 

 

Photo disclaimer

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Leather Jackets from Ferrari http://beststuffformen.com/2013/10/18/leather-jackets-from-ferrari/ http://beststuffformen.com/2013/10/18/leather-jackets-from-ferrari/#respond Fri, 18 Oct 2013 16:00:15 +0000 http://beststuffformen.com/?p=17107 Related posts:
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As fall weather turns brisk, your thoughts inexorably turn to one of the best options for keeping warm — a leather jacket.

There’s just something about wearing a leather jacket in the fall.  Suddenly life seems more expansive, you begin to suspect that the word “intrepid” might apply to you, and new and attractive possibilities turn up.

And it’s just October.

Not only is a leather jacket a classic garment for fending off cold, wind, and damp, it also holds its style.  As we get into the more serious part of the social calendar, such considerations come to the forefront.  So:  functionality and style.  A leather jacket you get today will still be serving you 15 years from now.

Here is a source for leather jackets you may not have considered:  Ferrari.

As you’re probably aware, when it comes to jackets, Italian leather and craftsmanship is some of the best in the world.  Add to that the cachet of being associated with an iconic company whose car designs have become international standards of passion-inspiring performance, and you have a garment that not only works well, it adds a touch of raciness to your wardrobe.

Of course, if you already drive a Ferrari, you’re aware of the above.  But the same pretty much goes for being a fan of the company.  There’s nothing wrong with wearing one of the best-made leather jackets designed by the guys in Maranello, whether you own one of their cars or not.

Case in point:  the Ferrari Men’s Vintage Look Leather Jacket.

Some of the best leather jackets for men are made in Italy.  A very stylish leather jacket made of high-quality materials is the Ferrari Vintage Look Leather Jacket for Men.  Click here to shop at the Ferrari store online and get this jacket.

Ferrari Vintage Look Leather Jacket. $950. (Get it for half off using coupon code below.)

The Vintage Look Leather Jacket (pictured at left) is one of the more subtle leather jacket designs from Ferrari.  Its style harks back to the days when Ferrari was on its way to establishing its nearly-unparalleled success, both on the street and the racetrack.  There’s a prancing horse logo embossed on the left side and a metal Ferrari logo on the left sleeve.  The jacket is made from soft, high-quality leather and has rib-knit collar, cuffs, and waistband.  It is made in Italy.

This is by no means the only leather jacket available from Ferrari.  At their international online store, you can find the Ferrari Heritage Jacket in black buffalo leather, the Cavallino Rampante Jacket of goatskin suede leather, and the Ferrari Openwork Sheepskin Jacket.  All are stylishly designed and superbly constructed.

If you’ve seen the excellent movie Rush, maybe Ferrari has been more in the forefront of your imagination lately.  You might be ready to acquire a top-quality leather jacket from the car maker that helped turn drivers like Niki Lauda, Phil Hill, Juan Manuel Fangio, and Michael Shumacher into racing legends (and vice versa).  If your interest runs in that direction, you can also find jackets, clothing, and accessories styled after those worn by Ferrari’s Scuderia racing teams.

Ferrari has recently improved its online store so guys in the United States can shop their more conveniently.  You can see all the Ferrari products priced in US dollars, get free shipping and returns, and won’t have to pay duty charges.  The clothing, watches, luggage, racing accessories, gifts for men, women, kids, and much more are shipped direct to USA customers from a warehouse in the states.  Click here to visit the Ferrari homepage.

Now get 50% off your order at the Ferrari Store online

Even better, all customers at the Ferrari online store can now get up to 50% off their entire order using coupon code “T4TBJBAB6JS3SP1322CXQP4HHR”.  Just insert that code (it’s a long code, so it’s easiest to cut and paste it) in the “Promotional Code” box on the Ferrari site during the checkout process.  Fifty percent off is a great discount, especially on their top-quality clothing.  This deal is available for a limited time.

Fall is a good time to upgrade your leather jacket options.  Some of the best leather jackets in the world are made in Italy.  And in Italy, you won’t find a better — and, in many ways, more interesting — leather jacket than one made by Ferrari.   Give them a look.

Spring_Summer 2014

 

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Friday Pic to Make You Smile (41) http://beststuffformen.com/2013/10/11/friday-pic-to-make-you-smile-41/ http://beststuffformen.com/2013/10/11/friday-pic-to-make-you-smile-41/#respond Sat, 12 Oct 2013 01:24:37 +0000 http://beststuffformen.com/?p=17093 Related posts:
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  2. Friday Pic to Make You Smile (6)
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You know one thing I like about fall?  It’s when women start wearing boots again.  Women look good in boots.

Such as…

 

Women begin wearing boots in the fall.  Guys can follow suit.  But where can a man shop for the best boots?  You'll find good sources here.

 

Can’t think of many better uses for black leather than that.  It’s the kind of thing you start seeing in October.  So it’s today’s Friday pic.  You’re welcome.

Of course, guys can wear boots year round.  Because, you know, we have to do stuff, like hike the Appalachian Trail.  But men also start thinking about boots for new uses in the fall.  You can’t wear flip-flops when it’s sleeting or there’s 5 inches of snow on the ground (well, you could, but it would be cold; therefore dumb).

So men start to think about boots they can wear every day — boots that look good, that will keep your tootsies warm, that are appropriate for the office and some evening socializing.

Where can you get boots like that?

There are a number of good places, but here are 4 top sites to shop for boots that will not let you down…

1.  Timberland.  Good boots made of eco-friendly materials (in many cases) with classic designs and everyday practicality.  Something for every day of the year and every activity.

2.  5.11 Tactical.  Because the need for a rugged pair of boots that can kick the city’s ass does not end when cold weather starts.  In fact, you need ’em more.

3.  Rockport.  Just say the name:  “Rockport.”  You can accomplish just about anything if you’re wearing Rockport boots.  But that’s up to you.  What you will definitely accomplish is walking in comfort.  Rockport was the first company to incorporate athletic shoe technology into boots.

4.  Wolverine.  Every guy should own at least one pair of Wolverine boots.  Be worthy of fall.  Or any other season.

Those are some of the best places to get boots.  Now you have something to look forward to this weekend — upgrading your footwear.

Wolverine

 

Photo disclaimer

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The Best Value in a Mid-Sized LED LCD TV: the Panasonic TC-L42E60 http://beststuffformen.com/2013/10/11/the-best-value-in-a-mid-sized-led-lcd-tv-the-panasonic-tc-l42e60/ http://beststuffformen.com/2013/10/11/the-best-value-in-a-mid-sized-led-lcd-tv-the-panasonic-tc-l42e60/#respond Fri, 11 Oct 2013 23:15:45 +0000 http://beststuffformen.com/?p=17083 Related posts:
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If you’re shopping for a good HDTV in the size range of 40 – 42 inches (diagonal), the Panasonic Viera TC-L42E60 is the best choice.  Featuring outstanding picture quality for the price, the TC-L42E60 has all the features you need in an entry-level Smart TV (and nothing you don’t).  And at a price of $599 direct from Panasonic ($100 off the original price), it’s now an even better value than when it first came on the market.

The Panasonic TC-LE60 series of LED LCD televisions were rated “Very Good” by the testers at CNET.  They particularly commended the picture quality, superb performance in bright rooms (better than most plasma TVs), the TV’s true 120Hz image processing, attractive styling, and extensive Smart TV content.  They called it the “best Panasonic LCD TV in years.”

The Panasonic Viera TC-L42E60 LED LCD TV is one of the best values in a mid-sized HDTV.  The picture quality is outstanding and the price is under $600.

Click to see full spec’s of the Panasonic Viera TC-L42E60 Smart TV. It is one of the best values in a mid-sized Smart TV. You can get it direct from Panasonic with free shipping.

The Home Theater reviewers at About.com gave the TC-L42E60 4 out of 5 stars and called it a “very good performer.”  They complimented the color saturation and detail of the picture, especially with high-definition video sources, and liked the motion response provided by the 120Hz refresh rate and backlight scanning.

Professional reviewers have emphasized the value of this TV when considering the combination of performance and price.  CNET noted:  “The E60 is one of the best LED LCD values of the year.”  There is no other LED LCD TV in this size range that got a better review this year than the E60.

This 42-inch model is a strong choice for a television for a smaller room — a bedroom or the living room of a smaller apartment.  It is especially suitable for brightly-lit rooms.  At this size and price, you will be hard-pressed to find better picture quality in an LED LCD TV.  And it received high marks for its energy efficiency.  It is not only Energy Star Certified — it was designated as “Energy Star Most Efficient” for 2013.  From the standpoint of energy use, it is an “eco-friendly” TV.

In addition to the bedroom-friendly 42-inch size, the Panasonic TC-LE60 series also comes in sizes of 50, 58, and 65 inches.

The only drawback mentioned by professional reviewers is the somewhat weak audio performance.  However, customer reviews were more positive when it came to the sound quality.  You’ll have to decide for yourself.  Your best bet would be to use a sound bar or a home theater sound system for top-of-the-line sound quality with this TV.

If you want a good-performing mid-size TV (42″) with excellent picture quality at a price that makes it more attractive than the competition, get the Panasonic TC-L42E60.  Click here to order it from Panasonic and you’ll not only get the best price online, you’ll get free shipping.

Notable Features of the Panasonic TC-L42E60 LCD TV

  • 1080p Full HD Resolution
  • Inputs:  3 HDMI, analog video input, 2 USB ports, and an SD card slot
  • Ethernet Port
  • VR Audio Surround Sound Stereo Speakers
  • My Home Screen:  customized initial home screen for each viewer
  • Viera Connect enables access to content via the Internet:  Netflix, HuluPlus, Pandora, YouTube, etc.
  • Built-in Web browser
  • Skype on TV
  • Smart TV
  • Your smartphone can be used as a remote control for this TV
  • Swipe and Share capability with compatible mobile devices
  • Voice Guidance:  the TV will talk to you to guide your through basic functions
  • Gaming Mode
  • Wireless LAN

There are many other functions available with this TV.  Read the “Overview” on the Panasonic site for more details.

Panasonic TC-L42E60 - back view showing inputs.  Click here to shop for this recommended Smart TV.

Back view of the Panasonic TC-L42E60 Smart TV showing inputs. The ultra-slim design and narrow bezel look cool.

 

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You Can Still Get Tickets to the Great American Beer Festival http://beststuffformen.com/2013/10/06/you-can-still-get-tickets-to-the-great-american-beer-festival/ http://beststuffformen.com/2013/10/06/you-can-still-get-tickets-to-the-great-american-beer-festival/#respond Sun, 06 Oct 2013 22:03:26 +0000 http://beststuffformen.com/?p=17038 Related posts:
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Interested in craft brewing?  You’re probably aware that tickets to the Great American Beer Festival in Denver have been sold out for months.  However, that’s just through the festival’s nominal ticket vendor, Ticketmaster.  There are still tickets available to the Great American Beer Festival through other good ticket networks.

The Great American Beer Festival — happening this year from October 10 – 12 at the Colorado Convention Center in Denver — is the grandaddy of beer festivals in the United States.  It’s both a chance for the public to sample the wares of some of the nation’s best craft brewers and a head-to-head competition among those brewers to win “medals for excellence” in 84 categories of brewing.

The biggest beer festival in the United States is the Great American Beer Festival, held each year in Denver, Colorado.  Tickets are still available from ticket networks such as Vivid Seats. Glass of beer - calflier001

The Great American Beer Festival is happening soon. Click to search for available tickets at Vivid Seats.

Each evening at the festival (plus Saturday afternoon), you have the chance to wander among the booths and taste up to 3,000 different brews from U.S.-based breweries.  You can talk to representatives of the breweries and score many kinds of beer-related accessories from retailers.  For a beer fan, it doesn’t get much better than this huge event.

Tickets for the Great American Beer Festival initially went on sale to the public in July and sold out in minutes.  Though 40,000 tickets to the festival are available, the popularity of discovering tasty small-batch brews from across America has been exploding in recent years.  Beer fans from around the world attend this festival.  That makes getting tickets a challenge.

Where can you still get tickets to the GABF?

If you really want to go, the good news is that you can still attend.  You can find tickets to the Great American Beer Festival at ticket network companies that offer an avenue between buyers and sellers of tickets.  My two recommendations for ticket networks to use are Vivid Seats and Ticket Liquidator.  Tickets to all three evenings of the festival are still available from those vendors.

Click here to get tickets to the Great American Beer Festival from Vivid Seats, one of my favorite sources for tickets to events that are “sold out.”  (On the Vivid Seats site, simply search for “Great American Beer Festival.”)

Or click here to check availability of tickets to the GABF from Ticket Liquidator (again, search “Great American Beer Festival”).

Both of these ticket aggregators offer good customer service along with safeguards to protect your ticket purchase.  Some of their tickets to the beer festival are also available for instant download.

Yes, you’ll generally pay more than face value for these tickets, but that’s the American way, after all.  We are devoted to the free market and supply and demand dictates prices for really popular things.  For example, why is the iPhone among the most expensive smartphones when it’s not any better than its top Android competitors?  (And in some cases loses to them.)  It’s because there are enthusiastic fans of everything Apple does and they’re willing to pay a premium for a product that inspires them.  The same goes for beer.  If the Great American Beer Festival wasn’t a huge success, it would be easy to get tickets.

It’s kind of like the Super Bowl of beer.

When it comes to the best brews, you know what I’m talking about, right?  That’s why you’re still looking for tickets.  So just go ahead and pay a few dollars more and enjoy yourself.  Even better, buy a ticket for your buddy who has already resigned himself to not being able to go.  It could be the best gift of the year.

Besides, once you’re there, enjoying lagers and IPAs from the most creative brewers in America and hanging out with fellow beer guys, you won’t even think about the cost.

If you score tickets from Vivid Seats or Ticket Liquidator and will be coming to the GABF from out of town, a good place to make your travel arrangements — whether for a flight, hotel room, rental car, or all three — is Expedia.  Check their package deals and you might save some green.

If you’re a beer geek and miss this year’s Great American Beer Festival, all is not lost.  Join the Craft Beer Club and try carefully-selected craft beers from different micro-breweries each month.  You can join here.

Have fun at GABF!

CraftBeerClub.com-The Finest Craft Beers from America’s Best Micro Breweries- 300x250 banner

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Friday Pic to Make You Smile (40) http://beststuffformen.com/2013/10/04/friday-pic-to-make-you-smile-40/ http://beststuffformen.com/2013/10/04/friday-pic-to-make-you-smile-40/#respond Fri, 04 Oct 2013 23:52:32 +0000 http://beststuffformen.com/?p=17010 Related posts:
  1. Friday Pic to Make You Smile (5)
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It’s Friday.  Snow has fallen today.  It’s officially sweater season.  So, in keeping with that, here’s today’s Friday pic…

 

Fall is sweater weather and this babe is showing off her cardigan to best effect. You should have a cardigan, too, just in case.

 

Of course, this picture touches on other important things, too.  Such as the fact that it’s not only sweaters that keep us warm.

However, when you do want a good sweater — especially a sweater whose style will actually attract the attention of someone like the lady above — then you should go to Inhabit NY.

Inhabit is a store that dwells in the intersection between fashion and practicality.  There’s nothing more traditional — and therefore functional — than wearing a sweater when fall weather turns chilly.  And you want something that looks good when red and yellow autumn leaves blow through the air and land on your shoulders. 

Knitwear fits the bill, man.  That is, sweaters.  And the best of them can be found at Inhabit NY.  Especially cashmere.

Cashmere is the closest thing to a yarn-based aphrodisiac that money can buy.

And it will keep you warm. 

That’s not all Inhabit offers, however.  They also have some of the best cotton and linen sweaters known to man.

Get yourself a sweater at Inhabit.  Or get one for her — that special lady in your life.  Help keep each other warm.

Shop here…

Shop Cashmere at InhabitNY.com!

When it looks like this…

This is my photo of the snow that fell today on the Flatirons in Colorado.  Fall colors indicate that sweater-weather has arrived.

 

Photo disclaimer

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An Outdoor Gear Brand You Can Count On: Arc’teryx http://beststuffformen.com/2013/10/04/an-outdoor-gear-brand-you-can-count-on-arcteryx/ http://beststuffformen.com/2013/10/04/an-outdoor-gear-brand-you-can-count-on-arcteryx/#respond Fri, 04 Oct 2013 20:40:24 +0000 http://beststuffformen.com/?p=16996 Related posts:
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When it comes to the best brands of outdoor gear and clothing, Arcteryx is at the top.  You can count on their products to perform reliably and to last over the long haul.

“The aim is to create something that increases the user’s enjoyment of the activity.” – Carol Moriarty, Arc’teryx Designer

 

Some brands build a track record of performance and high quality over time.  They inspire fanatical customer loyalty.  They become known for doing things the right way.

When you find one of these companies — a company whose products exceed expectations and often surprise you with their effectiveness — you tend to appreciate just about everything they make.  These are brands you can count on.  Rolex is a brand like this.  So is Stanley (thermoses).  And Carhartt.

Brands that meet these standards are uncommon in today’s world.

Among makers of outdoor gear and clothing, Arc’teryx has become a brand you can rely on.

In business since 1989, Arc’teryx first began by making a harness that became popular with climbers (the Vapor).  You can’t have more solid outdoor gear cred than by getting started making a climbing harness on which people depend for their lives.  Since then, Arc’teryx has branched out into making gear for just about every outdoor activity, including skiing and snowboarding, hiking, backpacking, cycling, running, and all forms of adventure travel.  They even make a line of gear for law enforcement.

Basically, if you can do it in the outdoors, Arc’teryx will help you do it better, longer, more comfortably, and safely.

The name “Arc’teryx” derives from the Latin name for the first bird to appear on Earth:  Archaeopteryx lithographica.  The fossil record indicates that Archaeopteryx was the reptile that first developed feathers.  Archaeopteryx is thus symbolic of innovation, breaking bounds, freedom, creativity, and mastery of not only earth but air.

The mission of Arc’teryx has been to build the finest products available for anyone who puts their life on the line in the wilderness, whether for fun and adventure or to get a job done.  And they have succeeded.

Here’s a video made by Will Gadd, a user of Arc’teryx equipment.  This begins to get at the philosophy that the company embodies in its products:

 

As a brand, I doubt that any other manufacturer of outdoor gear has received more awards and recognition than Arc’teryx.  Every year, professional gear testers at publications both in print and online generally choose at least one Arc’teryx product (and often multiple products) for “best in category” status.  Arc’teryx has built a proven, three-decade track record of success when it comes to the quality and performance of its outdoor gear.

So Best Stuff for Men has chosen Arc’teryx as its first “Brand You Can Count On.”  We’re all about the adventure of living and succeeding, after all.  If you’re going to take the risk of creating an enjoyable life for yourself, you want the best tools to help you do that.  Arc’teryx makes such tools.   You can find out more about what they do in their online journal, Lithographica.

There will be other reliable brands highlighted here over time.  Brands that get the job done.  Brands that have stood the test of time.  It’s not an easy thing to accomplish.  Most companies never manage it.  Some companies make one good product then try to branch out and end up falling flat. 

Building things that not only perform well but set the standard in an industry is what we mean by a brand you can count on.

So, your next question is probably:  where are some good places to shop for Arc’teryx gear?  Use the links below to shop for Arc’teryx clothing, packs, gloves, climbing gear, and accessories.  The retailers linked to have been vetted for quality.  They all have a reputation for reliability.  They feature good customer service, competitive pricing, wide selection, and frequent special deals.  You can’t go wrong shopping with any of them.

Just like you can’t go wrong using equipment and clothing made by Arc’teryx, a brand of outdoor gear you can definitely count on.

 

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Friday Pic to Make You Smile (39) http://beststuffformen.com/2013/09/27/friday-pic-to-make-you-smile-39/ http://beststuffformen.com/2013/09/27/friday-pic-to-make-you-smile-39/#respond Fri, 27 Sep 2013 22:24:18 +0000 http://beststuffformen.com/?p=16989 Related posts:
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Today’s Friday pic to make you smile is an action shot…

 

When you want to take a really sharp photo of a difficult subject, it helps a lot to use a tripod.

 

Well, sort of an action shot.  Capturing a photo can be a lot of work.  Especially if you’re following a cute college girl around trying to take a good photo of her while she’s taking a photo of something else.  Courtesy of College Humor, this pic not only shows a dedicated photographer in action, it shows…other things, too.

Anyway, I’d say the guy got the shot.  So I’m sharing it with you.  Because it’s Friday and you deserve a reward for all the challenging things you accomplished this week.

You know what makes capturing an outstanding photo less challenging?  Using a high-quality tripod.  I’ll bet the photographer who photographed the girl photographer used a tripod (or a monopod).  I mean, look at the sharpness of her…shoes.

If you want to take excellent photos, use a tripod.  That said, you’re probably wondering which tripod to use.  There are a number of good brands out there.  But you know who makes tripods better than just about anybody else?  Gitzo.

Get yourself a Gitzo tripod.  You can’t go wrong using a Gitzo.  You’ll be much more likely to capture the shot.

And capturing things is what guys are all about. 

You can even capture a good deal on Gitzo tripods and other photographic gear now by clicking the banner below.  Use code SAVE10 at checkout.

Gitzo tripods, monopods, heads and accessories set the industry's standards for excellence! Click Here! Gitzo.us - Now save 10%! Use Code: Save10!

 

Photo disclaimer

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