Ford Raptor: Stubby Antenna Install

I’ve been trying to balance out Truck purchases and projects more evenly with the car’s. I picked up “TheStubby” antenna a couple of days ago based on the much lower profile appearance. Installation was super simple- just wrench the old one off, make sure you have the right one (compare threads), then screw the new one in and enjoy!

The Stubby isn’t going to hit that drive-in sign, the car wash sprayer thing, or drag across the bottom of a garage entrances. Given it’s diminutive size it’s mush less imposing. I’m still considering whether I like the actual look better. Don’t get me wrong- it certainly looks just fine. As far as performance- I drove around to a couple low-signal areas and it performed like a champ. No reception issues!

Overall: 9/10 (because I’m not totally sold on the look).
But I’d easily recommend this as an upgrade to anyone with a Raptor.

I’m trying to decide if a stubby installation video would be worth the effort.  It might be a good opportunity to bust out the new camera. Hmm .

10 Years of Blogging!!

I have been blogging since Oct of 2007. I’ve officially made it 10 years (with some interruptions here and there). Feel free to send me your Paypal thanks for the countless hours of entertainment I have no doubt provided over the years (whether on purpose or by accident, “Haha, this guy thinks people care about thermostats!”). Don’t worry though- I plan to continue blogging no matter what. Rest easy, everyone.

Fun Blog Facts:

Total posts written: Over 530

Most post written in one month: 16 (June, 2017). Other months may show more than this but that’s because I merged 5 blogs together sometime in 2010.

Spam Comments: 6,889

Average “Active Visitors” per month: 400-500 per Google analytics (2017)

Is my blog monitized? No.

Why do I do it? I am a compulsive chronicling addict.

 

Thai Drift Swift – Lehi, UT (Review)

I’ll start off by saying that I just found my new favorite Thai restaurant (subject to change per the whims of my discerning pallet)!

My experience is related strictly to the green curry- that’s all I’ve eaten so far (well, I did nibble some excellent tamarind chicken). Great flavor- very strong with a good spice level (I have had some very bad green curry experiences). The best part is that you can mix our curry choice with whatever meat and vegetables you’d like. In effect you can make unlimited combinations. Although the meats and extras aren’t cooked in the actual curry you’d never know as everything tastes full and rich (they are probably cook/ steam the extras in curry broth- is that a thing?). I really liked the rice too- long grain, cooked properly and it seemed to hold the curry juice really well.

Another major benefit for me is that you get your food much quicker than at a sit down restaurant. Some of the servers move in slow motion but it’s never taken more than 10 minutes to my meal.

Info: Curry types include Masaman, Green, Yellow or Red. Meats offered are chicken, beef, pork and shrimp. Select from vegetables like broccoli, bell peppers, snap peas, potatoes, pumpkin, etc.

Prices: You can select from a half or full size curry meal. Prices are lower than / in line with other Thai restaurants (around $9)

Location: They have three locations but I have only been to the one in Lehi (in between 7-eleven and Subway by the Thanksgiving Point area). Not an easy spot to get to during the lunch rush (go around from the back). Sort of a hole-in-wall feel. Around peak hours things get crowded but the tables seem to rotate out quickly.

Final verdict: 8/10
Website: https://www.thaidrift.com/

10/31/2017 – Totally sad news. They closed Thai Drift Swift today. We were the last people to eat there. We will miss you… 

Raptor – Bushwacker Pocket Style Fender Flares

I’m always searching for ways to make my vehicles looks a little more aggressive. A Facebook friend in Texas has the same truck I do and installed Bushwacker’s pocket style fender flares onto his truck. They looked fantastic:

In addition to looking better, Bushwacker’s flares are a bit wider. With my wheel offset the tires stick out past the stock flares so this seemed like a practical upgrade as well as a cosmetic win.  I took the plunge and added them to my truck:

The install wasn’t as smooth as I had hoped (due to some fitment issues), but it all worked out in the end. My installation video:

Overall a solid addition to any Raptor!

Zunsport Front Grills

I can’t say I’ve spent a ton of time worrying about things hitting my radiators. It was obvious when I periodically cleaned them that they were getting dinged now and then by debris. My local dealer had offered me a solution that resembled something that looking like chicken wire (at least that’s how I remember it). Pass. And then one day some people on a forum were talking about their ZunSport Grills and how happy they were with the product.

I had a peek and they looked good! Great price (a substantial discount is offered with a forum code) including free shipping. “Easy install” (no bumper removal). I went ahead and ordered a set from Zunsport and had them just three days later! The box was a little crushed, but everything was still in fairly good order.

Here’s my installation video:

Install: I actually found a couple parts fairly difficult to install. However, I was able to work my way through the issues with only minimal drama.

Fit: With the possible exception of the top right grill everything fit pretty well. The aforementioned grill doesn’t seem to hold in place well but I think it may have something to do with a clip that got bent during shipping (I’ll be able to sort it out). I have been for a couple of drives so far and they have remained in place just fine.

Look: I really like them. I think the grills enhance the front of the car. It adds a bit of additional black makes her (him? Still can’t figure this out) look a little meaner.

Functionality: I think the grills will do a pretty good job of deflecting a rock or road debris. I’ll have to pay attention to see how chipped up they get over time. Incidentally, that’s another reason I really like them- very simple to replace and / or remove for cleaning. Some have worried they will affect air flow the car. Time will tell.

Overall, based on my three days of owning them I would give them a thumbs up!

 

Fit Bit Ionic – Overview

First I want to have a moment of silence for my old fit bit. It served me well for about a year and then slowly but surly began to fall apart. Using various adhesives I was able to hold it together for a few weeks until my new ionic arrived. Thanks little fit bit buddy- you did good.

The new fitbit ionic is such a tremendous step up I’m not even sure where to start. First impressions were really positive (and impression have remained positive). Here’s anunboxing and a wrist shot:

Setup took a long time but it was pretty painless; the watch updated and was configured within an hour and there were no unexpected issues.

Here are some quick thoughts on the ionic:

Comfort: Wow. New band is exceptional- love the way the updated clasp works. Light and unobtrusive.

Appearance: Very classy. Nice large face (I don’t like small watches). A bit boxy in appearance. Beautiful color screen (my pictures don’t really do it much justice).

Functions: Typical stuff like timers, steps heart rate, etc. Meditation app, coach and the ability to load your music on are nice extras. Built in GPS is exciting. Also, the ability to swim in the ionic could come in very handy. Nice to read texts / notification on my watch (although the vibrating is tinny and annoying).

One other annyance: You can set the ionic to show you messages receive on your phone. Texts are fine but when there’s a reminder alarm the ionic let’s you know… over and over and over. You can to disable it on the phone side.

Accuracy: The GPS matches my Runkeeper app quite well. Gets walks / runs without GPS incorrect (and the editing feature is not working). Auto logging cuts off a significant amount of, foe example, a walk. Hear rate monitor accuracy seems to be better.

A very solid offering from fitbit! I’m quite happy with the watch so far and I’m excitied to see how it works and wears as time goes on. The fitbit app remains the same and I find it to be one of the most comprehensive heath apps available.

Score: 8/10

10/15/2017 Update: I just realized the other day that I was sent the wrong color watch. I’d ordered the black / grey but I was sent a blue / grey. However I think that ended up being a good mistake; I really like the color of my watch.

Also, one thing about this ionic really bugs me. If you have the “Notifications: Receive notifications from phone” set to “on” you can see text messages displayed on the watch’s screen which is great. You also get notifications from alerts (i.e. calendar events) sent to you phone… and they keep coming. The watch will continue to vibrate until you actually look at the notification on your phone. I don’t know if that’s the way it’s designed but it’s very irritating.

DuckTales Art (Mike Peraza) and Cartoon Series Reboot!

If you know me then you might know I like to bring back “art” when I travel (just to be clear I don’t travel a lot). In California Adventure’s Off the Page I found this little beauty by Mike Peraza (I collect Disney art). It’s a cool clash of old and new as characters from the original Ducktales series run into their contemporary counterparts. I definitely wanted the picture but decided I’d come back for it the next day. In the meantime I looked online to see if I could get it there (and possibly save a few minutes by having it shipped to me). Curse me Kilts! Someone was selling it on eBay but the price was $699. They had cleverly cut off the bottom of the price tag, however I had taken a picture of it earlier: $195.

Left: My picture. Center: eBay listing. Right Top: eBay picture of the tag. Right Bottom: My picture of the tag.

Yes, some dude with a season pass was taking pictures of Disney merchandise, listing them on eBay and making a tidy profit! Clever. I gave the guy some begrudging respect and then went back to Off the Page to make my purchase (well, rushed back is more like it). The girl helping me mentioned that she had sold another just a few hours before and that the one I was buying was their last one. Disney knows how to make suckers buying their loot feel sooo good (although it took her 20 minutes to ring me up and pack up the art). This is a limited run of 95 canvas prints. 

Also a plug for the new Ducktales: you can watch the first episode on Youtube. The voices take some getting used to but I thought it was an excellent reboot!