Drew Pinsky was interviewed by KPCC’s Pat Morrison today as he discussed his new book The Mirror Effect: How Celebrity Narcissism Is Seducing America. At one point he argued that today’s narcissistic culture confuses happiness with pleasure. In fact, Pinsky argued, quoting Aristotle, happiness is not pleasure at all, but flourishing. By flourishing, I have to assume Pinsky meant finding a sense of belonging with one’s family and community and finding meaningful work that utilizes one’s talents and passions.
If you're trying to decide between the BAH Duo, about $130, and the Solo, about $85, you should consider the following:
One.The Solo has a preset toggle button that allows you to scroll through any combo of AM and FM you want for 20 presets. You don't have to press a band selector button like you do with the Solo on the radio or itself or the Duo's remote (the Solo does not have a remote). This one-button toggle feature makes the Solo great as a bedtime radio.
Two. The remote and dual speakers on the Duo make it a better radio for the kitchen or living room where you would be more likely to utilize the remote and the bigger speaker sound.
Three. Both radios have wire FM antennas and have sensitive tuners, but the stereo sound on the Duo, in contrast to the mono sound on the Solo, makes the Duo more susceptible to hiss and static noise on weak FM station. In my case, strange weather sometimes gives me a little hiss on the Duo whereas the Solo is static-free during the same time. This is usually not a big deal, but I should point this out if you're deciding between the two.
Four. The smaller footprint of the Solo makes it an easier bedside radio companion for two reasons: One the small size more easily fits on a bedside table. Two, the smaller size is easier to rotate for AM reception.
Conclusion: I really like both radios. Neither is perfect, but I use both of them more than my other radios and I do have a lot. Another radio I use a lot in my computer office is my Sangean WR-2 with its remote (I keep my radios a good 6 feet from my computer to avoid interference). Like the Solo, the WR-2 seems less prone to hiss and static in bad weather. But the WR-2 costs $50 more than the Solo and loses in the price-performance ratio. I'd say for a bedside radio, get the Solo and for a kitchen or living room radio, get the Duo.
The now discontinued Grundig G4000, which is available refurbished for $89, is in my opinion a better radio to own than its close competitor the same-priced Kaito 1103. I've owned the 1103 for about 4 years and the G4000 for about 2 years and here are some similarities and differences:
1. Both are small digital AM/FM/SW radios with superior FM reception. Perhaps the 1103 is, to be subjective, about 2% better on FM than the G4000, but really this difference is insignificant. 2. Both feature more presets than the average listener will ever need. 3. Both radios, like most radios I've tried, suffer serious compromise when they're placed too close to a computer. You'll get interference noises from both of them.
1. Toggling stations, that is, moving from one preset to another, is far easier on the G4000. 2. The volume dial on the G4000 is easy to use while inexplicably the 1103 forces you to press 3 buttons to change volume. You first must press the Volume button, then the number "1" followed by another number since "15" or so is the medium volume setting. This really strips the 1103 of its marketability as far as I'm concerned though I know its beloved by radio lovers because of its superior FM reception. 3. AM reception is better on the G4000. More specifically, the AM sound is not muffled the way it sounds on the 1103. To be blunt, I hate listening to AM on the 1103. 4. The speaker on the G4000 is significantly fuller than the 1103's.
Bottomline: Whatever advantages the Kaito 1103 may have are slight when it comes to listening experience. Moreover, its slight advantages can't come close to making up for its terrible ergonomics.
Update: Last I heard, Universal Radio was selling refurbished G4000s, the YB400 version, for $80. I think these refurbished units are well worth the price as the G4000/YB400 is my favorite portable.
The best clock radio I've tested--and the one I use--the Boston Acoustics Horizon Solo is selling for an excellent price today on Amazon. Good luck finding a better sounding clock radio--or any radio for that matter. Also the tuner sensitivity is excellent.
Angelo has apprised us of one of the most appealing radios I've seen in a long while: a Telefunken Survival Radio. The price seems reasonable. If I wasn't on a vintage radio hiatus (too many in the house, wife doesn't like the clutter understandably, etc.,), I'd snatch this one.
Don’t get me wrong, I love
walkie-talkies as much as the next guy. But I’ll be damned if I’ll let my wife
make us use them together on our trips to Costco. She hates it when we get
separated and can’t find each other, so she bought these plastic purple
walkie-talkies in order to tell the other our whereabouts. I can’t help but
feel my wife is tightening the leash on me when we go shopping. Am I being
oversensitive? Or by capitulating to my wife’s demands, am I indeed suffering
the loss of Man Points?
Fret not, my friend. Using
walkie-talkies with your wife at Costco doesn’t have to be an exercise in
humiliation, resulting in the loss of Man Points—that is, if your wife is
willing to relinquish the plastic purple ones she has that look like girl toys.
Tell your wife you’re on board with walkie-talkies just so long as she’s
willing to use military-grade ones, preferably in khaki or camouflage,
featuring 40-inch inductively-loaded antennas and belt clips. And be sure to
teach her how to use Man Speak when talking on the walkie-talkie. Don’t address
each other by your real names. Instead, use ham operator call signs like “Eye
of the Tiger” and “Bravado Daddy.” The Costco shoppers won’t look at you as a
whupped husband so much as a SWAT team operative. Of course, this will earn you
Taking my wife to The Melting Potfor her birthday proved to be one of the biggest Man Points mistakes of my life. Until recently, I had never even heard of this restaurant even though there are close to 150 of them scattered throughout this great country. Taking your wife to a chain restaurant is not manly to begin with, but taking her to this particular chain is especially egregious.
In fact, The Melting Pot is a fondue chain restaurant that represents the Emasculation of America. Its power to shrivel a man’s masculine core is rooted in its celebration of fondue, its reliance on cheap gimmickry to razzle-dazzle its presumably dumb customers, and its “interactive dining experience,” which is a fancy way of saying the diners skewer their own raw meat and then hold the skewers over a pot of boiling vegetable broth before dipping the meats into one of a dozen over-sweetened sauces. The “interactive” format allows The Melting Pot to skip having chefs in the kitchen. All the staff needs to do is prep the raw meats, fish, and vegetables, and cut up the bread (rather cheap bread at that, suitable for feeding to ducks and pigeons) for the fondue. The friendly, baby-faced waiter, who told me he trained for ten days and had to take daily written exams, put on a lame show, adding packets of seasoning and cups of sauces to the silver heating bowl on our table with the flair of a cheap magician. As he added a packet of bouillon spices to the boiling pot on our table, I was wondering if he was going to pull a rabbit out of my coat pocket or pluck a silver dollar from my wife’s ear.
If all this isn’t emasculating enough, you then must suffer the indignity of knowing you’re getting punked by the menu’s outlandishly high prices. The menu’s “Big Night Out,” which includes three set choices—“ Fondue Feast” for $88, “Fondue Fusion” for $94, and “Lobster Indulgence” for $98—is a blatant form of armed robbery disguised by the restaurant’s dark high-end atmosphere, its waiter’s fancy shuffling of sauces on your table, and the swanky cocktail music playing in the background.
So let’s get this straight. I took my wife to a fondue restaurant. I bought cheese, a few skewers of raw meat, and cherries covered in what looked like Hershey’s chocolate syrup and had to fork out over $100 plus tip and I committed yet an even more horrific Man Points Mistake: I called in advance and asked what the restaurant’sFahrenheit room temperature was so that I could dress appropriately. I don’t like being too cold, or too hot, in restaurants.
I tried to make the call on the sly, but my wife came out of her shower early and heard me talking to the person at the front desk who had put me on hold to find out what the restaurant’s temperature was. Before I could get an answer, my wife hung up the phone and said. “What the hell? They’re going to think we’re freaks. Just layer your clothes.”
So for my wife’s birthday I got robbed by an unctuous restaurant chain, I ate fondue, and I got reprimanded by my wife for calling to get a temperature reading.
So I ask you, who in the hell am I to be taking on the role of Mr. Man Points?