Category Archives: Uncategorized

on the finer things in life

I had a nice surprise tonight when it came to running some errands – I wouldn’t be driving my normal car.  Instead, I would be piloting my father’s car, something I enjoy quite a bit when I get the chance.  About halfway through the trip, I began thinking about something quite powerful that happens when you get a small dose of luxury – inspiration and motivation.

Driving around I couldn’t help but think that having a car with all these amenities really is worth the price tag.  While I’m used to a car that has for example, 3 settings for AC, it’s nice to have 10 settings.  Or a V8 with close to 400 horsepower instead of a 4 cylinder and less than half that.  Reading about luxury sedans in a magazine is one thing, but driving one of them is a different experience.

When some of my peers were playing video games in college, or too tired to go to class, or skipping class for no reason, I went to class and paid attention.  I wanted to get good grades to secure a job out of school and have a successful career.  There were plenty of days when I didn’t feel like going, but thinking about the doses of luxury I’ve experienced convinced me to go.

I can’t help but think that a lot of my peers might have had a different outlook if they had experienced some doses of luxury.  Restaurants, clothing, hotels, liquor – any one of them can be a powerful motivator.  Eating at a Michelin-star restaurant, wearing a cashmere sweater, staying at a boutique hotel or sipping on a nice whiskey or wine all work.  All those triggers (when experienced in small, infrequent doses) motivate you to make them a regular occurrence.

In my case, I’ll go back to 4 cylinders and a cloth interior tomorrow and it will be slightly depressing.  I’ll say goodbye to 400 horsepower, but I’ll be left better off.  Again, I will be motivated to work hard so that I can enjoy those luxuries in the future.  Until then, little doses will just have to do.

Note: Although not mentioned in the post, I think that a private flight is a luxury that most people can be motivated through.  This is a luxury that I have personally experienced, and it is quite the event.  No baggage check, no TSA, no liquid limits – flying any other way has been quite difficult since then.

on to the next one

Was a little sad to be reminded I haven’t posted on my blog for an entire year.  It’s been a busy year to say the least, but the end of an era has finally come.  Out with the old, in with the new.

In short, HNIRZ is back.  Sort of.

When I started, I was excited to put my spin and opinion on a number of different things.  Over time, I think that opinion was eroded to strictly facts or a “Check this out”, which isn’t quite beneficial.  In the future, there won’t be a formula, a strict purpose for this blog, other than for me to provide the internets with something it doesn’t already have – my opinion.

If you’re looking for the newest in art or fashion or cars or politics or design, this shouldn’t be your first stop.  There are a number of other fantastic websites that have full time staff to deliver this coverage.  Frankly, that’s not something I can or want to do.  I’d like to impart through this blog my outlook on different things – whether it be products, trends, outlooks on life, really anything I see fit.

Welcome to HNIRZ 2.0.

on the house

As the school year winds down, many people may be out celebrating.  And with a lot of friends, a lot of these celebrations result in a variety of alcoholic shots.  I’d like to recommend a shot that my buddy turned me onto that needs more recognition.

Relax, I am a college student, and yes I am in a fraternity.  So many people think I’m referring to this:

You don’t really read HNIRZ thinking I’m going to be recommending jager bombs, do you?  No, I’m referring to the delicious shot known as Applesauce.  Any decent bartender should know what you’re referring to, but in case they don’t or you want to make one for the pregame/afterparty, here’s the recipe:

2/3 oz. Apple Pucker

1/3 oz. Goldschlager

Splash of pineapple juice

Shake over ice

Definitely recommended for all – it does the job, but doesn’t have any nasty aftertaste.  You really can’t help but remark afterward on how much it tasted like Mott’s.

This shot reminds me of this awesome Goldschlager triple-fluted shot glass I had that was shattered after only an hour.  Need to source another one of these ASAP for the permanent collection.

precious metals

I’ve had quite the affinity towards interesting and unique office supplies this past semester.  From my first Lamy Safari, to a Kuru Toga and a whole bunch of other Japanese exclusive leads and erasers, it’s a new hobby.  Discovering JetPens didn’t help, and I’ve still got my eye on the big dog Zebra Sharbo X:

I read a blog post a few weeks ago about a particular item I couldn’t believe I missed out on – a stainless steel Sharpie.  Everyone’s favorite permanent marker got an upgrade!

How does it hold up though?  The idea is a refreshing upgrade to the classic shape, and it features replaceable ink cartridges.  Did I mention this is a stainless steel Sharpie?

However, there are some downsides, starting with the weight.  I was surprised by how light the entire thing was.  I was hoping it would feel indestructible, and it didn’t give me that impression at all.

Another gripe is the fact that due to the replaceable ink cartridge, the bottom barrel screws off (where the black meets the stainless steel barrel).  Every time you try to pull off the cap, the lower portion gets a little loose.  You find yourself tightening the lower portion constantly.  Not a major problem, but why is it this easy to unscrew?  I don’t plan on refilling the ink after every use.

Overall, it’s a cool idea and concept, but lacks in execution.  The laser etching is a nice touch, but not something that redeems its other lacking qualities.  Still, at around $7, not a bad deal for the toughest Sharpie out there.

and the collection grows

I wrote up a post about the Lamy mechanical pencil nearly two months ago, and I’ve used it long enough in order to give an honest review.

Screen shot 2009-11-04 at 9.22.24 PMThe ever important question, is any mechanical pencil worth $22.00?  I guess in the long run, it depends on how well you can hold onto your items.  But in my case, I’ve found that yes, it was worth it, and I defintely would recommend it to others.

I was having a conversation with my brother about it and I said something to the effect of if you’re a race car driver, you have a R&D team and a manufacturer and pit crew all so that you can go and go faster around the track than other drivers.  And if you’re a musician, chances are you are going to have top of the line instruments in order to ensure that your vision is accurately transferred to audio.  In my case, I’m a student, and my relevant tool right now is my pencil.  Transferring my thoughts and knowledge to the paper should be as seamless as possible, augmented through the help of a writing utensil that isn’t obtrusive but seemingly non-existent.

Style-wise, the Lamy Safari fits my personality perfectly.  Just as with my Visvims, it’s understated excellence.  Most people wouldn’t notice it, and that’s the way I prefer it.  It’s not necessarily something you’d want to see an executive or politician using, but for a 20-something college student, I think it’s perfect.  And in fact, I enjoy the design of the mechanical pencil so much, the collection has grown a little larger:

IMG_0704(from front to back: yellow Safari mechanical pencil, matte charcoal Safari fountain pen, orange Safari fountain pen)

If you’re tired of going through multiple packs of Bic pencils each semester, grab a Lamy Safari and hold onto it.  And if you’re environmentally conscious, you can enjoy the fact that a.) you won’t be throwing out tons of mechanical pencils and b.) if your Lamy does break, it is covered under a lifetime warranty and can be repaired.

product review: marvis mint toothpaste

Part of my nature is to hunt and research for the absolute best.  I think my mindset is always thinking that with the limited time we have on Earth, it’s not worth it to just “get by”.  And if I have to brush my teeth twice a day, I might as well see what a premium toothpaste can do, right?

After reading about Marvis toothpaste in a variety of men’s magazines, I decided to give it a shot (or rather, a brush).  Unless you have a high-end apothecary in your area, you’ll probably have to buy it online (and unfortunately pay s/h fees).  I was fortunate enough to have a C.O. Bigelow apothecary in the area.

Imported from Italy, you’ll definitely feel the sticker shock ($10.50 for a 75ml tube) but it features some of the best toothpaste packaging I’ve ever seen:

I really wanted to try the whitening type ($12) but unfortunately they were out of stock.  I ended up going with the classic mint.  Here are the pros/cons I’ve run across after using it for about 2 weeks:

+

  • Very strong flavor.  Breath afterward is just like if you had an Altoid.
  • Beautiful packaging.  Not something you want to hide.
  • Imported from Italy.  Helps explain the high cost.

  • Expensive.  2-3 times what a normal tube costs.
  • The travel size is even worse – $6 for a tiny tube.
  • Hard to find in retail locations.

Overall, the Marvis mint toothpaste is a nice product, but may not be worth the $10.50.  It is definitely a nice luxury and something I could get used to having, but it’s not something I’d die without.  If you’re interested in it but want something a little different, they have a few other flavors including Jasmine Mint and Aquatic Mint.  I’ve heard the Jasmine Mint is very nice but never tried it.

My suggestion: Pick up a tube of Marvis and use it in the morning, while continuing to use your old toothpaste at night.  You’ll have the characteristic Marvis breath in the morning (when it matters) and you can see for yourself whether it’s worth it.

Amazon

12:34:56 07-08-09

Tomorrow is a very special day that happens only once a century.  At 12:34:56, the date will officially read:

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What will you be doing to celebrate?