Sunday, January 19, 2014

New Year Gifts

It’s already been 3 weeks since the New Year and we still haven’t made a short “gifts” post that we wanted to make. As always there was a ton of gifts. Here are just some of the ones that we got.

Wusthof Classic knives.For Alena we finally got a really nice yet small set of knives to replace some “As seen on TV” mega set that we had. Instead of getting a ton of cheap useless knives we got a set of 4 with the main knife being Wusthof Classic Chef’s Knife. The difference between what we had and this knife is immense. It becomes very obvious by just holding it — the weight, the balance. Alena is very happy with them. Now we need to master the art of sharpening.

Swords.For Arosha we got a spinning top and a sword. He keeps playing with “swimming noodles” made out of foam and uses them as swords. So we thought he would like an actual toy sword. And he did. It’s a very nicely made foam sword. Later on we got another one in the mail that we ordered for New Year, but it didn’t come in time. We also didn’t think it was good enough. But he likes this foamy thing too, so we kept it. He also got a ton of games and toys from grandparents.

Japanese winter socks.And I got a set of AMG pedal covers that I posted about before and expanded my collection of designer, Japan made, winter socks. The pair with Elk I had since last winter, the rest are new. I love them. Worm, cozy and spices up your look nicely. J.Crew has a really nice selection, but the good ones are often out of stock.

And the last, but not least is a tear-off calendar made by Social Print Studio from our Instagram photographs taken during 2013. I printed one of these as a gift for Alena last year and Arosha, Alena and I enjoyed it a lot. The first thing Arosha would do every morning would go and tear a page off to see what the next one is. Calendar prints out in a random order, so you never know what kind of memory it’s going to bring up the next day.

Tear-off calendar from Social Prints Studio.This year however they added a feature where they would come out in sorted order and a person could rearrange them any way they wanted. However “Randomize” function was gone. Doing 365 random shifts would not be a small task and without random order it would take out half the fun. So I sent a good number of requests via Twitter to them and they kept saying that it was going to be back.

Time was running out and I started considering writing a Chrome plug-in to just do it myself, but it seemed like a big waste of time since it was a much easier thing to do on the backend. And when I was about to give up hope I got a Twitter message that “Randomize” was back! I ordered the calendar the same day and I received in on December 31st, right on time. It came out great — just like last year. So we’re shooting Instagram as much as we can to have a new set of 365 pictures for the next year. What an awesome product from SPS.

Arosha with his new sword.I slightly regret not doing this for the last couple of years. Maybe we need to do some catch up on the ones that stand out and we still use daily from previous New Years.
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Friday, August 16, 2013

Imaginarium Railroad

Wooden trains.When we were considering what to buy for Arosha for his 3rd birthday we were thinking of a bicycle. However after trying some at Toys “R” Us we understood that it probably was not right for us this year. The fact that Arosha can’t really handle it yet is normal — he needs a bicycle to learn to ride a bicycle. The problem was that they were all quite heavy and it will be hard for Alena to manage Arosha, bicycle and a brand new baby during their walks. We put it off until the next spring.

Wooden railroad sets.Instead we decided to get him a pair of railroad sets. He really likes building stuff out of his LEGO bricks, so we figured this would be a different type of sets that he could build. We spent quite a bit of time trying to pick out the brand that we wanted to go with and then after we did that we tried to pick 2 sets out of 3 available. In a funny coincidence Ignat, Vika and Alisa presented Arosha with the 3rd set on his birthday. Instead of setting them up as separate sets we re-imagined it and connected all of them into a big massive system.

I decided to take a couple of pictures before we dismantle it to get the carpet vacuumed to commemorate our grand construction. Not sure what it’s going to look like when we build it the next time.
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Thursday, November 25, 2010

Kindle

KindleOne of the things I wanted for my birthday was Kindle. We were planning to order it as a gift from Danya after my birthday party celebration with the family and friends. Well, it turned out that Maruks thought that I’d enjoy having a book reader, the only difference was that they picked a competing product — Nook. Since they are very close friends (and I really had my mind set on Kindle) ) I felt comfortable asking them if they can return Nook and get me a Kindle instead. They were very kind to do just this (well, they actually gave me enough money to buy a Kindle, a nice high-end case for it and a few books). Thank you, Maruks!

Book in KindleI’ve got everything in the mail yesterday. So far I love the product! The thing which makes it especially great is a built in dictionary — all you need is just to put a cursor on a word, and the explanation will pop out either on top or at the bottom of the screen. Isn’t it awesome — especially for us, ESL people? I also love the case, which is made from quality pumpkin colored leather and has a little flash light which is powered by Kindle itself and does not require a battery of its own (so I don’t need to have any additional light to read when it is dark).

KindleKindle itself is very light-weight and I can easily hold in with one hand (while the other one is occupied — for example when I am feeding Arosha), and not having to turn actual pages also makes it so convenient to handle. I think that I’ll be able to read much more than I currently do. Good job, Amazon! )
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Saturday, December 20, 2008

The Hunt For The Watch

Casio watch box.This year it was decided that I was going to get a certain Casio watch for New Year as a present from Alena. Since she claims she doesn’t really understand much about watches the choice was left to me. After days and days of research and deliberations I set my mind on one particular model.

We soon discovered that the model is nowhere to be found online except for one store. Alena placed an order, but to our disappointment got an email within an hour saying that there was a mistake on the site and they didn’t not have the watch in stock. I should mention that the list price for this item is $400, but a lot of online places have it for $299, when they do have it in stock that is. Continue Reading
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Sunday, July 27, 2008

New Dell for Parents

New Dell Inspiron 530 for my parents.A week ago we were thinking of what to get my mom for her birthday and she said that a new computer would be a good idea. Indeed, their old Dell felt like an ancient animal at this point and was extremely sluggish. The total size of HD space on the poor thing was 27 GB!

We decided that we’re going to put in some money for the new machine and that my dad was going to give the rest. I went to Dell and put together a decently specced computer — Continue Reading
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