BPA Free Bottles - Philip Aventis, Nalgene, Camelbak

BPA - Bisphenol A, a compound in hard, clear polycarbonate plastics molecular structure is similar to estrogen, the hormone responsible for sexual development gained public awareness with the billion dollar class action lawsuit has been filed at the Los Angeles Superior Court against six leading manufacturers of baby bottles: Avent America, Evenflo, Gerber, Playtex, Dr. Brown's and Nalgene. All six manufacturers use BPA in the production of many of their plastic baby bottles and toddler sippy cups. Since the late 1990s, studies have indicated that exposure to BPA, even in low doses, could cause adverse side effects.

Philips Avent, a major manufacturer of baby bottles, feeders and products now offers BPA Free and PP (plastics with BPA) products. Directly quoted from their web site this is the following answers to commonly asked questions:

Q: Do Philips Avent baby bottles contain BPA?
The Philips AVENT Airflex reusable bottle is made from polycarbonate and therefore contains BPA. This product is no longer sold in the United States and Canada. Philips offers two BPA-free reusable bottles in its Infant Feeding line.  Philips AVENT offers two BPA-free bottles as part of its Infant Feeding line and are made from Polyethersulphone – commonly called PES and Polypropylene – commonly referred to as PP. (Please note, these two bottles are NOT sold in countries outside the US or Canada where Avent baby products are sold).

Camel Bak has a whole line of  BPA free bottles for water and liquids. They offer them through resellers such as who carry their whole line. You can search for the term, "CamelBak BPA-Free Better Bottle with Bite Valve" for the bottle seen to the right or just click on the text here in this blog.  Whether for hiking, for an activity or just needing a water bottle, it seems they are well worth getting the newer BPA free bottles.

Nalgene, one of the companies in the class action lawsuit for their baby bottles and sippys introduced their Everyday line of BPA free products. Offering up various sizes, shapes and models which are supposed to be safer for children and adults alike. Again for the sake of your health and your children's health, it's highly recommended using BPA free baby bottles and water bottles.

Shoes for Winter - Snow, Ice and Waterproof

The New Balance 921 Cold Weather All Terrain Running Shoes. Excellent winter running technologies merge with superior comfort for the trails, has removable spikes for additional traction where you need it the most. The 921 also features a TS2® Transitional Support System to help create a smooth transition from heel strike to toe-off for those who moderately overpronate. NB also claims to use an anti-freeze foam.

The new Kayland Vertigo Light takes the concept of light-weight hiking performance to a new level. Based on the same last as Kaylan's award-winning Vertigo High, the Vertigo Light weighs in at a mere 1080 grams per pair in a US Men's 9. The upper is constructed of a breathable, abrasion resistant textile, with an Action Leather rand for added durability and support. The boot features and eVent® Cocona® lining and a Vibram®Mars outsole. Waterproof and all purpose. Waterproof and light, claimed to be good for all purpose use. (

With the Merrell Snowmotion 8 Waterproof boot, there’s no reason to curb your outdoor adventures when the weather turns wet and cold. This men's outdoor boot offers a waterproof leather upper with a waterproof shell to keep you dry, while 400 grams of Primaloft™ insulation, an antimicrobial Polartec® lining, and an ActiveHeat™ insole keep you warm. An Air Cushion® midsole works with a compression molded EVA footframe for long-lasting support and comfort. The rubber sole of the Merrell Snowmotion 8 Waterproof boot features deep lugs for traction on difficult surfaces. (

The Keen® Growler men's winter boot is crafted to ensure warmth and exceptional comfort during the colder months. Keen.dry® waterproof technology keeps your foot dry, and a compression-molded EVA midsole creates a snug, secure fit. The non-marking rubber outsole delivers outstanding traction on slippery surfaces.(


Apertura (Los Angeles) - Wedding Photos Extraordinaire

Apertura is included in this year's Top 10 Wedding Photographers In The World by Wedding photography has crossed into commercial photography with highly crafted prints and crafted bindings that make wedding albums individual pieces of art. "Great stories are made of a series of real moments and emotions," says co-founder Ray Soemarsono.(Ray Soemarsono or Erwin Darmali are photographers of Apertura)

This blogger is an avid student of photography and couldn't pass up their advice for newcomers: "Know your cameras—let them be an extension of your senses," Soemarsono says. "Sense, anticipate, and capture. It is a privilege to witness two families come together as one." This blogger appreciates the passion, craft and thought behind it all, Apertura impresses. Thanks guys.


Best All Terrain Athletic Shoes - Asics vs New Balance vs Nike + Quality

The shoes I picked for comparison were released in January 2009 and I picked them namely because they are all available for $50 and all have very good quality control compared some of their lower priced siblings. You can see the quality in the feel, the cuts of fabric and the stitching jobs. I had a pair of New Balance for 6 years and they were still solid construction. They never gave me blisters nor ever felt uncomfortable. It was hard to get rid of them when they had been worn through and through.  Below are comparisons and examples of a few shoes I tried when looking for new ones.

In search of a replacement and I found the Asics Enduro 5. They have great grip but are too soft and offer no stability. The gel soles are very comfortable and the 3M reflectors work like a charm but they are barely good trail runners. The flexion point is too far back and they are better for walking and standing. The gel is surprising comfortable. The stitching was good and no fabric looked oddly cut or out of the norm. The fit is nice for a little wider feet than New Balance and Nike footware of the similar design. Asics is based in Kobe, Japan and has been producing athletic shoes since 1949.
  • Compression Molded EVA Midsole
  • Trusstic System
  • AHAR Heel Plug
  • Slip Lasted
  • GEL Cushioning System in Rearfoot
  • 3M Reflectivity

I like most New Balance and I loved my MT840. They have Abzorb foam soles, which also make them light weight and never felt a rock poke me in the feet. They offer decent stability, solid all-terrain runners before they reach the end of their cushioning life. The fabric cuts on these were precise, good stitching and are better quality than their lower cost siblings. There is nice ankle support that starts right around where the whole heel is located and a little wider towards the toes. New Balance is based out of Boston and has been making shoes since the 1970s but been making arch supports since 1900.
  • Synthetic/mesh upper
  • Solid sticky rubber outstole
  • Seamless phantom liner
  • N-LOCK external support system
  • N-Grip outsole
  • N-Durance outsole
  • Gusseted tongue fully attached to shoe
  • C-CAP midsole
  • Abzorb heel and forefoot

Nike makes nice all-terrain runners like the Air Pegasus+ 25 (now a 26 available). These shoes have shown to be average trail runners in the $50 price range. For those with narrow feet as they provide a good level of heel support, these remain a narrow from the heel to toes and fit snugly. However, they flexion point is in the middle of the shoe, which could eventually lead to foot, ankle and calf injury like the Asics above. Nike is based out of Niketown - Portland, Oregon.
  • Running Shoes
  • Breathable Mesh
  • 360-Degree Supportive Overlays
  • Air-Sole Unit
  • Stoneshield
  • Waggle Lugs/Blades/Ripples
  • Built for Nike+ Sportsband
In conclusion, all three shoes have meshed uppers, are light and provide soles. This is a light and breathable mesh material on the top fabric that keeps air moving through drying sweat and heat release.

These basic features - Quality, Comfort and Fit can apply to all shoes from hiking, fashion and sneakers. BUT the best shoes for running, hiking and activities are the ones that provide the correct level of support and stability. The only one to come close is the New Balance MT840 and it's even difficult to recommend those but in regards to stability it offered the most out of the 3 sub par shoes. With little to no stability in the plantar fascitis area reflected by their flexion points, they'd almost become a liability rather than a saving piece of technology. Once you find a shoe that has a two piece tread with a hard plastic/technology for arch/flexion support, look into 3rd party soles for pronation, suppination and arch support as needed to compliment your feet, gait and running style.

All Terrain=pavement, grass, dirt, trail


VW TDI, Diesel Jeans, Levi's Quality, Limited Express Mens Jeans, Toyota Prius

Diesel or not to diesel, that is the question.  From the Volkswagon Jetta Sportswagon TDI  and Diesel Jean, to the Toyota Prius and Levi's Jeans. Which do you fall behind?


First off the 2009 Volkswagon Sportswagon TDI. Powered by a 2.0-liter four-banger that produces 140 hp and 236 lb.-ft. of torque, it will be the first automobile to meet the world’s most stringent emission control standards, California’s Tier II, Bin 5. Gas mileage is between 30-city and 50-highway (depending on driving style). 50 state legal and environmentally safe, it emits only nitrogen and h2o. A sporty feeling drive, it beats the Prius off the line and in getting a real car feeling. (2009 Volkswagon Sportwagon pictured on left)

Diesel Jeans are high priced but the designer jeans are as popular as ever. There's just something about the feel, quality and look of them. Girlfriends and wives buy them for their men when budget is not a concern. Designed in Italy but currently being manufactured in various countries including Italy, they have a high quality control regiment and is one of the reasons they are a favorite. They offer from very casual distressed and destroyed looks to conservative but stylish looks. Particular models are nice enough to wear to the office then casually on the weekend. Other premium brand jeans are 7 For All Mankind, True Religion, Rock&Republic and others.  (2009 ad pictured on right)

The Anti-Diesel?

The Toyota Prius and Levi's Jeans are what are I consider the anti-diesel. Its almost like preferring crayons over markers. They are affordable and consistent quality. If you just need jeans, Levi's are great at their price range of around $30 to $50. The quality of Levis jeans are good but not premium. The basic Levi's are not up to par with even Guess Jeans until you get into Levi's premium models. The typical classic 501s, 505s and 517s are of the traditional style cotton jeans while the higher numbered models are closer to the lighter and thicker Limited Jeans style cotton jeans. Check out the 512s if you can find them. With any pair of stylized jeans, the right shoes can compliment the look. If a stickler for quality, check the seams inside the jeans between an expensive pair and a typical pair and compare. You will see the difference and decide what is really worth it. You can find special edition Levi's for much more at premium stores..(Levi's 527 Raw Cut pictured)

As for the 2010 Toyota Prius. Is the TDI a Prius-killer? I personally think so but if you want an engine that you can sneak quietly back into the house with get the Prius. If you don't have the need for a driver's car with really good gas mileage, then it's a valid contender. The question becomes, "Is it the diesel or the hybrid?" Using a very small gas engine in conjunction with a battery array, the Prius is quiet as a mouse off the line and uses it gas engine for higher speeds (2010 Toyota Prius on the right)


Carly Comando - Take One (New Album) + Everyday Sheet Music

Carly Comando, is a pianist who became an Internet sensation with her composition of Everyday for Noah Kalina who posted a video which shows him taking a photo of himself  everyday for six years. The song was then used during the NBA Finals in 2008 for the commercial "When Amazing Happens".

Carly Comando has also released an independent release of Take One. The CD is well made and has a full track list, including the popular Everyday. The sheet music for Everyday is also available for purchase from her web page.

Carly Comando can also be heard on a media marketing commercial for

UPDATE: 11/05/09 - Received the CD today. The CD case made of all environmentally friendly materials and ink, very nicely done. The CD pressed professionally and the fidelity is good compared to the lower quality online downloads of Everyday. Carly left me a nice note explaining that she's been busy on tour with her band and was slow to get the CD shipped. Awfully nice to take the time to write. Thanks Carly and Tom!