Archive for the 'United States of America' Category

Product Review: Synapse 25 Backpack by Tom Bihn

Back in January I bought a new backpack and it was a long overdue purchase because my old backpack was literally falling apart after about 10 years of hard use. My old backpack was an Oakley model that I bought in San Diego and it served me well over the years, but it wasn’t exactly state of the art. After a lot of research, looking at backpacks from a variety of different companies I finally settled on buying a Synapse 25 from the Seattle based Tom Bihn company.

Last year I purchased a Ristretto Laptop bag from Tom Bihn and I was really impressed by how sturdy and well designed the bag was. That made me lean toward buying another Tom Bihn product, but I did seriously consider a number of other high end backpacks before pulling the trigger on the Synapse 25. After having used the Synapse 25 on a nearly daily basis since I received it in late January I can unequivocally say that I am very happy wish my decision. Once you use it for a few weeks you really appreciate how well designed the Synapse 25 is. The pack has 5 external pockets and those are extremely useful. The main compartment is spacious and the overall capacity of the backpack is 25 Liters.

TB Syn25 topTB Syn25 SS viewTB Syn25 Open Pockets

 

You can’t go to a store and buy Tom Bihn products have to order Tom Bihn products straight from the factory via the company website. This backpack does not have a bombproof laptop compartment and some might consider that a drawback. No big deal to me. I store my MacBook Air in a sleeve anyway. Tom Bihn also sells sleeves for laptops and a variety of other accessories right on the website. You can also select from a wide variety of exterior and interior colors for the backpack. The model I purchased is Black Halcyon/Iberian

I highly recommend this backpack. At $200.00, it is at the upper end of the price scale for a backpack of this size, but I think it well worth it because it is so well made that I anticipate that I will get many years of use out of it. I also love the fact that it is an American made product.

Here are the Spec’s:

Dimensions: 20″ x 13.4″ x 9″ / 508 x 340 x 230 mm
Weight:
400d Halcyon®/420d nylon ripstop: 1 lb 11 oz / 770 grams
1000 denier Cordura®: 1 lb 13 oz / 820 grams
Volume: 1526 cubic inches / 25 liters (ASTM Standard Measure)
Removable 1″ / 25 mm waist strap included
.375″ / 10 mm padded and contoured backpack straps with .75″ / 20 mm removable sternum strap
Total O-rings: 9 (2 in the main compartment; 1 in the top center pocket, 1 in the small center pocket, 3 in the bottom front pocket; 1 in the left side pocket; 1 in the right side pocket)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Abraham Lincoln statue at Prospect Park, Brooklyn

Prospect Park Lincoln HDR

I loved this statue of Abraham Lincoln when I came across it few years while walking through Prospect Park.

I recently edited this shot with Tonality, using the app’s HDR filter.

Trip to Boston

I made a trip up to Boston last weekend. It was my first trip to Boston in over 5 years. I don’t remember the exact time I was up there last, but I know it was at least 5 or 6 years ago. I went up there by train from NY early Saturday morning and came back Sunday on the Acela, which was my first time on the fastest train in the U.S.  As a train buff I really enjoyed my ride on the Acela. I would definitely like to see more trains like the Acela put in to service in different parts of the USA, where it makes sense.

I really enjoyed seeing seeing some my favorite spots in and around the city. I stayed at a small hotel in Back Bay and I was able get around pretty easily on the T (Boston’s Light Rail & Subway). One of the highlights of the trip was go to see the Boston Bruins play the NJ Devils at TD Garden with a few relatives. That was my first visit to the “new” Boston Garden and I was very impressed by the building.It is a great venue. I would love to see a Celtics game up there one of these days, especially since the C’s are good again. I’m sure the atmosphere at a Celtics game would be electric.

It was very cold (sub 20 degree temp’s)  and windy last weekend in Boston (real winter weather, finally!) so I did not spend as much time walking around the city as I might have in a little bit warmer temp’s. But I did have an opportunity to walk around Back Bay and Boston Common. I also took the T out to Brighton, where I lived for a few years. I always find trips back to places where I have previously lived interesting just to see what has changed. I did notice a few new buildings in downtown Boston, but no radical change, unlike, say, New York City, where the skyline seems to be changing about every 6 months.

Here are a few pictures I took during my 24 hrs in Boston…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Changing Seasons on the KSAT

I took these four pictures on the Karl Stirner Arts Trail in Easton, PA between October, 2016 and January, 2017, one each month, capturing the change in seasons. All pictures were taken with my iPad Pro 9.7.

img_2978

Manhattan in December

I made a trip into Manhattan this past Sunday to do a little Christmas shopping and just see New York during the Holiday Season. It was an overcast, cold and rainy day, but I still throughly enjoyed my visit. I arrived in the city before noon, so I was pretty much able to spend a full day in the city and was able to make stops at all the stores I planned to visit. First I went down to the West Village, then walked over to the Union Square area and finally  headed up to the Midtown area.

While I was in the West Village I was able to pay my first visit to the new Whitney Museum of Art at 99 Gansevoort St, which has been on my to-do list since the museum opened on May 1st, 2015. I had to go to a few stores on West 14th St. and while I was in the neighborhood I figured I finally go to the Whitney. I must say that really enjoyed my visit to the “new” Whitney. I had visited the Whitney back at it’s old home on the Upper Eastside several times, but it was a real treat to see the new Renzo Piano designed building, which I must say is a dramatic improvement over the old building. More on the Whitney later, I’m going publish a separate post on my first impressions of the museum.

I really enjoyed seeing the Christmas tree at Rockefeller Center and visiting St. Patrick’s Cathedral, which I visited while mass was in progress. It was inspiring to see so many of the faithful at the historic Cathedral.

 

 

Here are a few of the pictures I took as I made my way around the city…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A Walk Along the La Jolla Coast Trail

This weekend the Wall St. Journal published a good article about San Diego and highlighted many places that visitors would enjoy. The article made me consider some of my favorite spots in “America’s Finest City”, a place that I know well as a result of living there from 2003 to 2014. There are so many beautiful, scenic places in San Diego that it is very challenging to choose one spot as the best, but certainly one of my favorite places is the Coastal Trail just north of La Jolla Village where the views over the California Coast and the Pacific Ocean are truly stunning. I have walked along that trail many, many times and took several videos that I think capture the beauty of the area. I took the video posted below on a quiet Monday back in March of 2011.

la-jolla-coastal-trail

 

Freight Train Crosses the Delaware River

Train Delaware Drama SSI took this picture around 6:30 pm, last Friday (08/21/15).

I took this picture from the Easton, PA, at the point where the Lehigh River pours into the Delaware river. The photo was modified on my iPad by applying the Drama Filter from the Google Snapseed App.


George M. Fattell.

The gmf journal is a general subject blog that reflects my thoughts and opinions on a variety of topics that are of interest to me. Current home base is Easton, Pennsylvania, USA. Retweets do not equal an endorsement.

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