Razer Blade Pro Issues & Solutions : Review Follow-up

Despite all the hassle and quirks I have become very attached to my Razer Blade Pro. Even though I was able to obtain an RMA from Razer I have decided to keep the computer, abandon the notion it will be perfect and work through whatever issues pop up.

The biggest issue I had was the RAID 0 failure. Having the computer crash randomly and boot into BIOS is not okay. After going though the F9 recovery option (a reinstallation of Windows) and repairing Intel’s Rapid Storage Technology controller, I was still experiencing crashing. I decided to nuke my RAID, set the drives up separately and do a fresh install of Windows 10. Here’s my weekly video on the topic:

The computer has been very stable since I removed the RAID. No crashes to BIOS (or any crashes at all, for that matter). I have spent a good amount of time in Premier Pro and various 4K games like DOOM and Battlefront with no issues either. The current theory is that one of the drives isn’t as quick as the other (perhaps because of thermal throttling) and the RAID controller doesn’t know how to compensate, the computer hangs and then crashes. Regardless, with no RAID present it seems to eliminate that issue.

One thing I really like about having two separate drives is how easy it is to reinstall the OS. I was messing around in the registry the other day and I deleted a few CLSIDs that I thought were causing problems. Bad idea. Embarrassing. I had exported the entries but adding them back in wasn’t doing the trick. “No sweat,” I thought. “All my stuff is on my D drive.” I had Windows 10 reinstalled in 30 mins. #nuketheraid

People have commented about heat issues with the Razer Blade Pro and I have certainly seen some high heat levels in my computer. When doing rendering in Premier Pro, for example, I have seen the CPU temperature climb to 96°C. I think at that point the CPU gets throttled a bit. I’m not too concerned though- rendering is particularly CPU intensive and I don’t see the core temperatures climb past the 80s during gaming (the GPU stays in the 70s). I’m actually pretty impressed with the thermals in this laptop given its dimensions. My only heat-related beef would be that the fans are audible even when the computer is resting. Since I usually have music playing that’s just me looking for something to complain about.

Aside from fan noise I’m not completely happy with the screen. Although it’s world’s better than the first go around, my current screen still exhibits “dirty” patches (columns) that are visible in lightly colored backgrounds. To be fair the only time this is an issue is while watching videos with light backgrounds (grays and blues, specifically) where there appear to be points on the screen that don’t move. While this type of issue is common on LCD displays I hate to see it on this laptop.

raer-blade-pro-screen-grey-test

Here’s a list of some other issues I’ve had and their solutions (if I’ve found one)

1) My screen had vertical columns of discoloration. Solution: I sent the computer back and got another one. Screen issues (discoloration, dead pixels, etc) is not something that can be repaired.

2) My SD card reader didn’t work. Solution: Uninstalled / Reinstalled all USB drivers. Making sure you have the latest drivers never hurts either.

4) My mouses settings (i.e. speed) would get messed up every time the computer came out of sleep or got restarted (using a Razer Mamba). Solution: I tried EVERYTHING to fix this and nothing made a difference. But! The problem went away after I reinstalled Windows 10.

5) Sometimes my computer doesn’t go to sleep properly (it will stay awake even though it’s configured to sleep after 15 mins on non-use) or it wakes up when I don’t want it to.  Solution: If you type “powercfg -requests” into an elevated command prompt you can see what’s preventing the computer from sleeping. In my case it’s the Realtek Audio Driver. The computer think there is an audio stream playing. The issue is intermittent but easily traced to Chrome. Unfortunately a “”powercfg -requestsoverride” of the Realtek driver doesn’t work. My options seem limited to closing the Chrome browser or putting the computer to sleep myself. Additionally, something is waking the computer back up. In the device manager I recently configured every device so it’s not allowed to wake the computer up. It seems like this has helped.

6) Sometimes the computer’s battery will show as 99% with a “plugged in, not charging” status. It did this when I got it and after the new Windows 10 install. Solution: I think I have this figured out. It looks like the computer won’t charge unless the battery is below 95%. Over time the battery drains even when it’s not being used it will drain a bit and not fully recharge. As far as I can tell this is a feature to maintain battery integrity. It’s just not a feature anyone ever mentions or talks about…which seems bizarre.

7) Keyboard doesn’t always go to sleep with screen, defaults to wrong setting on start up & the lid logo sometimes doesn’t turn off. Solution: I think Razer’s Synapse gets confused regarding what colors to show on the keyboard. It’s just something we Razer users must live with.

8) There are many errors in the Event Viewer system logs. Solution: I have learned not to try and “fix” them. Most of these errors are not relevant to user experience and do not negatively impact Windows functionality.

Wow, right? Throw that thing in the trash! Well, hold on a second. Most computers have something screwy about them but people just restart them and call it a day. Not me- I’m what they refer to as slightly OCD (clinically insane). For some reason- possibly the outrageous price of this laptop or aforementioned insanity- I feel like everything should be perfect. Maybe it should be, but it’s not, so be it (ahhhhhhh!). There’s so much technology packed into this computer that it’s hard not to be impressed and a little bit tolerant of bugs.

 

Movies Watched in 2016!

I have dedicated this page to movies that I have watched in 2016 (these have to be fairly current movies from this year or late last year to make the list). Older years will show up as blog posts (there is a link section at the bottom of this page). Newest movies are at the top. My goal this year was (as always) 50 movies, half in a theater. I ended up with 64 movies total & 25 in theaters. Not too shabby!! 

Sing, 7.5/10 – Better than I expected. I always like a good underdog story and this is a about several of them all mixed together. Sidenote: I think paper tickets are slowly fading away…
sing-movie-dec-2016

Star Wars: Rogue One, 7.5/10 – Very high production values. CG Tarkin & Lehi were a little uncanny-valley to me but it was the best human CG I’ve seen. Maybe it was because I already knew everyone was going to die but I didn’t feel any strong emotions when they did. It made me feel the movie was sort of soulless. A great action flick nevertheless.
rogue-one-movie-dec-2016

Jason Bourne 7/10 – As an action movie it was great. Honestly I didn’t understand some of the character motivations which made it hard to get invested.

Dr. Strange, 7/10 – I feel like Mr. Grumpy Pants giving this a 7 but I don’t get Dr. Strange as a hero. When you find out there’s a whole school of people being taught these same cosmic secrets it takes away from his special-ness.
dr-strange-movie-2016

Moana 7.5/10 – Meaningful and fun to watch. Good songs too!
moana-nov-2016

Hacksaw Ridge, 9/10 – Exceptional. There’s just not another word for this movie. Wow. Okay, I found another one.
hacksaw-ridge-2016-movie

Hell or HighWater, 7.5/10 – There’s not really anything here to dislike. I’m not sure why I’m giving it a 7.5. I think it’s because of the ending- the movie leaves you with both eyebrows raised.

War Dogs, 7/10 – Interesting action thriller. I don’t feel like Jonah Hill pulls off his role very well.

Mechanic: Resurrection, 5.5/10 – I’m going to be hard on this one because it’s got to be one of the stupidest movies I’ve ever seen. No part of this movie makes sense to me. Fun to watch, but hard to watch.

Don’t Breathe, 7/10 – If you’re into thriller’s this one isn’t too bad. It’s got some weird twists but I feel like it achieves its goal of being intense.

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows, 6.5/10 – I actually appreciated that the movie tried to stay true to the cartoon’s roots- sort of a wild throwback! That doesn’t make it good, but it’s definitely not bad.

Bad Moms, 6/10 – Probably not for dads? There were some really great exasperated parent moments, but the movie as a whole was a bit of a stretch.

Sausage Party, 6.5/10 – I watched this edited so I probably missed a bit of the movie’s desire to shock. Animation is so-so, the movie is preachy in an “everybody be friends” kind of way. Love the concept, execution was okay.

Race, 6.5/10 – The inspiring story of Jesee Owens and his 1936 Olympic triumph. I kept waiting for Jason Sudeikis to say something funny but he didn’t. Few people can transition between comedy and drama well (Robin Williams set an impossibly high bar).

Nerve 6/10 – I like the idea of a social game that required more and more interesting dares in exchange for money. The execution in Nerve wasn’t bad, per say but it doesn’t really teach the lesson it wants to. (I really need to get into my theater swing).

Warcraft, 7/10 – Some bad GC and acting, but also some good CG and acting!

X-Men: Apocalypse, 8/10 – I fully admit that I don’t understand how or even if the new movies form a single continuity anymore. But I know I love watching the X-men kick butt and fight a super mutant bent on world extermination.

Pop Star: Never Stop Never Stopping, 7/10 – Some genuinely funny and insightful stuff. A surprising amount of heart.

The Purge: Election Year, 6.5/10 – I wasn’t all there when I watched this movie but I get that the Purge is a crazy night.

Central Intelligence, 6.5/10 – Some good humor, but I don’t like seeing the Rock play a naive dumb-guy character.

Now You See Me 2, 6.7/10 – Less of a heist-type movie than the original. You can see the major plot twist about 2/3 of the way in. You hope they don’t try and sucker punch you like that but they do. Still a fun romp.

Star Trek: Beyond, 8/10 – This movie goes from 0-60 in no time which I like. It’s not perfect, but good action makes up for it.
star-trek-beyond-movie

The Legend of Tarzan, 8/10 – This got blasted by critics but I’m not sure why. The ending is a little over the top but the movie is a total blast.
ledgend-of-tarzan-movie

Angry Birds, 6.5/10 – I kept wondering what kind of plot they’d come up with to turn the game into a movie. The movie starts off pretty well but by the end it’s sort of like watching cut scenes from the game. Solid effort in many ways.

Kubo and the Two Strings, 8/10 – There is so much to like here. Great story, visuals, humor and adventure.
kubo-and-the-two-strings-movie

Hail Caesar!, 6.5/10 Sort of bizarre. It’s like a bunch of celebrities got together and decided they wanted to make an old fashioned movie. But you can’t make old fashioned movies now so they made a movie about old fashioned movies. A semi-enjoyable mess.

Miracles from Heaven, 7/10 – This is a sweet faith promoting movie. Acting was pretty solid. The it drags a bit the story is interesting (although it’s given away completely in the trailer).

Criminal, 6.8/10 – And once again Ryan Reynolds’ memory has to be transferred. This guy! Kevin Costner was fantastic.

The Secret Life of Pets, 6.5/10 – Unfortunately the trailer was the best part of this movie. Too many characters I disliked, doing too many things I didn’t care about.
secret-life-of-pets-movie-2016

The Visit, 7/10 – M. Night shows us he’s still got (some of) it. The twist is great- didn’t see it coming at all. But it was revealed prematurely and the ending lacked oomph.

Ghostbusters, 7/10 – Silly. A okay update. Loved the effects.
ghostbusters-movie

Free State of Jones, 7/10 – While excellent on many levels (it’s portrayal of racism is deeply disturbing) it started to drag on toward the middle.
free-state-of-jones-movie-july-2016
Self/Less, 7/10 – Not bad. I don’t understand how Ryan Reynolds ends up in this role over and over though. It’s bizarre.

Eddie the Eagle, 7.5/10 – Fairly inspiring. Although the “celebrate mediocrity” undertones the movie champions are less so.

The Hateful 8, 7/10 – It feels like it should have been a good murder mystery. But the “mystery” is revealed too soon, it’s messy and the ending is unfulfilling.

The Shallows 7.5/10 – Jaws for 2016!
the-shallows-movie-july-2016

Independence Day: Resurgence 6.5/10 – This mess hurt me. There are so many bizarre plot holes that my mouth fell open. “Let’s remake the first movie. But let’s make it really bad this time.”
independence-day-resurgence--june-2016

Finding Dory 8/10 – Cute and mildly moving. It was nice to see a Disney movie with a happy ending.
finding-dory-movie-june-2016

Secret In Their Eyes 6.5/10 – Wasn’t really feeling it. Julia Roberts was solid. Nicole Kidman – what the hell?

Gods of Egypt 8/10 – I was ready be offended by poor acting, storytelling, visual effect and cast white washing, I imagine the critics must have watched a different movie. This was exciting, fun and the visual effects were awesome. Great action / adventure flick.

Risen – 8/10 – The fictional account of the conversion (?) of a centurion tasked with disproving the resurrection of Christ (on a “find the body” mission). Firs class film making all the way. Touching and thoughtful.

The Jungle Book – 8.5/10 – Lots here to like. CG animals have come a long way. Truly menacing at times. I wish they hadn’t worked in King Louie’s song (it didn’t fit in this non-musical) but that’s a minor grip and my only one.
jungle-book-movie-may-2016

The Finest Hours – 7/10 – A slightly above average overly embellished sea-rescue-action-drama. Some truly thrilling moments mixed with some less than interesting exposition.

The Abolitionists – 7/10 – The subject matter is deeply disturbing but I feel like this documentary brings needed awareness to a very serious problem. I hope the film’s motivations are altruistic.
the-abolitionist-movie-may-2016

Jobs – 8/10 – I’m a little late to the party on this one. I thought it was very well done and in a twisted way, I really related to Steve Jobs as an adopted child, wary parent and perfection-driven businessman. Myabe he wasn’t the nicest guy, but sure got a lot done.

5.5/10 The 5th Wave – I know this wasn’t a big budget movie but… man. I didn’t read the novel this was based off of so I’m probably not invested enough either. This movie made my head spin with it’s nonsensical plot and painful acting. Can’t win them all.

Captain America – 8/10. Just because it was awesome to watch super heroes fight each other. Way more interesting to see good vs. good.
captain-america-movie-2016

Sisters- 6/10 – Had it’s moment, but as a whole not very funny.

The Big Short- 8/10 – People should have gone to jail.

Victor Frankenstein- 6.5/10 – Not a terrible effort, actually.

Point Break- 6/10 – This should have been a 30 minute documentary on extreme sports. Instead they tried to make a movie. Stick with the original.

Trumbo- 7.5/10 – Great story, historically interesting. Prior to the movie I had no idea who Dalton Trombo was but I am reminded that in a world of seven billion people each person had a fascinating story.

Allegiant- 6.5/10 – Sort of plodding stretched. Not as good as the first two. Peter’s character makes zero sense to me.
allegiant-movie-2016

Batman vs. Superman: Dawn of Justice- 7/10 – Pretty dark and humorless. Everything is driven by rage, fear and lust for power. I like the casting here, but is not a movie that’s going to launch an empire.
batman-vs-superman-movie

10 Cloverfield Lane- 8.5/10 – This is an intense movie that will keep you on the edge of your seat. In a word: disturbing. Also, VIP luxury seats are only $5 on Tuesdays!
10-clover-field-lane-movie

Zootopia – 9/10 – And adorable movie with a poignant message. Zootopia delivers on so many levels – superb acting, enthralling visuals & plenty of laughs.
zootopia-movie-march-2016

Deadpool – 7.5/10 This movie definitely tries a little too hard. It has some hilarious moments and plenty of great action but it just goes too far. Which may be the point.
deadpool-movie-feb-2016

Bridge of Spies – 8.5/10 A strong thriller. I love the story and the pacing was excellent.

Hotel Transylvania 2 – 6 /10 A few funny moments, but in general the characters come across as helpless morons.

Cinderella – 7.5/10 Great version of the Disney classic. Strong performances all around and a lot of fun.

Age of Adeline – 7/10 Far fetched but a moving story nevertheless.

Kung Fu Panda- 7/10 – Felt predictable. Some of the characters seemed to be bored (is that even possible w/ CGI?). Still, uplifting, visually excellent and Po finds his Dad and he’s not a total looser. BTW: $5 Tuesday at the Megaplex includes 3D!
kung-fu-panda-movie-2016

Goosebumps 7/10 – I didn’t read the Goosebumps series much (if at all) but I was familiar enough with them that the movie felt familiar. Overall this was a fun movie.

Concussion- 8/10 – Some people stand for something. Others die for it. Will Smith and the supporting case deliver a gripping performance.
concussion-movie-2016

Everest- 7/10 – Engaging and compelling, but ultimately a bit depressing. Why do people feel compelled to climb it? We got to watch this with someone who had just gotten back from Everest and it was fascinating to hear a first hand account.

The Walk- 8/10 – What a rush! Even the second hand vertigo is intense.

The Revenant – 8.5/10 – brutal and one dimensional, yet viscerally enthralling. I’d swear Tom Hardy is a real-life nut job.
revenant-movie-2016


2015 Movies
2014 Movies
2013 Movies
2012 Movies
2011 Movies
2010 Movies

2016 Razer Blade Pro Review

The New 2016 Razer Blade Pro

I love laptop computers. I have never cared that their are disproportionately more expensive than their desktop counterparts and, in some cases, they aren’t even the best choice for a job (i.e. in a work environment). Technology intrigues me and I’m enamored with the idea of stuffing as much as possible into a tiny folding box. After lusting for years I bought my first laptop in 1998 (I still have it) and since then I have owned dozens of different models. While the simple folding laptop design has remained very much the same it’s been thrilling to watch the technological evolution that’s occurred within over the last 18 years. As 2016 draws to a close I am blown away by just how far we’ve come and the Razer Blade Pro is shining example of that journey.

After purchasing the 2014 Razer Blade I wrote, “I think Razer is really getting close. I would like to see the next Blade with the addition of an SSD reader, a network jack, customizable keyboard colors, 16GB ram, TB SSD and a 15″ screen in same chassis. Because… why not?” Wow, right? Sure, it’s not a 15″ screen in the same package but I wasn’t even considering the possability of a 4K 17″ monitor like the one I’m looking at right now. I admit I’m gushing a bit… but that’s only because I’ve gotten over some initial disappointment and have been really enjoying myself.

In November I purchased a Razer Blade Pro. It arrived quickly enough and I proceeded to do an unboxing review and discovered that the screen had an issue. A deal breaking issue as you can see in my video below:

[Video Summary: Box is opened. I like it! As I start the setup process I notice that the screen has some discolored columns present. I open paint to demonstrate how visible the discoloration is on grey backgrounds. I think with a computer this expensive the screen is unacceptable and I prepare to return the unit to Razor]

I was eventually able to sort the problem out with Razor and I was sent another Laptop. After unboxing the new Blade Pro it was clear that the screen was much better than the previous computer. Below is a quick review, discussion of some issues and Razor’s customer service:

[Video summary: The screen on the this Blade Pro is much better. Still some mild areas of discoloration but I’m happy with it. MS Paint shows the color consistency is much better. The screen’s color is very red / warm with the standard color profile- I made a new profile with less red. After watching a few 4K nature videos I decided the screen is excellent. The overall build quality of the Razer is exceptional and the laptop is remarkably thin. I like the keyboard (the clickity clacks are great) but don’t understand why the shift & function symbols aren’t backlit. The trackpad is nice but seems to have trouble with small precise movements. I like the chroma backlighting on the keyboard and trackpad. The speakers are okay- a little more volume than the Razer Blade. The computer’s 3D Mark Fire Strike score is 14018 which seems acceptable. The fan is very loud under heavy load. A couple new issues 1) The SD card reader didn’t work. I called tech support and they sent me a document showing how to reformat my hard drive and install Windows 7 (not helpful). Resolved by reinstalling USB drivers. 2) Blade Pro crashed while using Premier Pro and restarted booting to the Aptio setup utility (bios). Restarted a couple of times and everything seemed to work okay. A fluke? Razer’s customer service is quirky. They try hard but don’t rely on them for much technical help. Despite the hiccups I really like this computer and, assuming it keeps working, intend to keep it.]

Maybe it’s silly to summarize the content of videos I’ve made but there ya go. I’m that nice. Or I’m nuts. Probaby nuts. I stand by what I said in the video but want to emphasis that the more I use the Razor Blade Pro the more I like it. It’s not perfect- there are still a few things I’d like to see improved but this is, unequivocally, the best laptop I’ve ever used / had so far. There are a lot of really nice touches on this laptop that show Razor is trying to be user-centric and provide practical hardware that people want. This laptop isn’t like previous high resolution offerings- the Pro has the power it needs to utilize the hardware inside. Playing DOOM at 4K with ultra settings enabled on a laptop is something special.

TECH SPECS

razer-specs

Other Links:

Review: Pulse 17

Review: 2014 Razer Blade

Reazer.com: The New 2016 Razer Blade Pro

Other Images & Informationfire-strike-3dmark

crystal-disk

razer-blade-pro-front

razer-blade-pro-exterior

razer-blade-pro-keyboard-thin

Notes for a future video about some of the things I like / dislike (I will add to this section periodically):
Likes:
1) The power cord is braided and seems to be high quality.
2) The AC adapter is pretty compact.
3) The power cable running into the computer is reversible.
4) The scroll wheel over the trackpad is a great feature.
5) Backlighting around trackpad makes it easy to find

Dislikes:
1) System gets hot and loud
2) The “?” button isn’t were its supposed to be relative to the shift key causing typing problems .
3) Booting up into Bios isn’t a great thing.
4) Battery charging issue? Power management is finnicky.
5) No backlighting on shift & function keys

Neutral Observations:
5) After listening to lots of music through the Pro speakers I maintain that they are so-so with fair volume.
6) The bezel area on the computer seems overly large, but justified given keyboard / trackpad / speaker layout

 

 

RaceLogic VBOX Sport – Mini Review

The Racelogic VBOX Sport is a must have for any driving / racing enthusiast. If you’re like me you want to know your 0-60 and you need your quarter mile time and trap speed to compare with your friends (okay, not really). Sometimes it’s hard to get out to a track and the VBOX is the next best thing. Using GPS signals it logs your acceleration, braking and speed data for predefined and user designated parameters.

The construction quality is excellent and the unit feels solid and is well designed. The Sport is water resistant so it’s possible to take it on a boat or jetski and it would fare well off road (in a dusty environment). I purchased the optional suction cut windshield mount and it is similarly well constructed and has worked flawlessly. Although the VBOX sport doesn’t have an integrated screen it connects to an iPhone or iPod via Bluetooth where the information is displayed.

vbox-image-july-2016

The unit’s operation is pretty straightforward: Once the Sport is turned on it acquires the necessary GPS signals. From there you simply pair it with your phone allowing you to start tests and review results. I’ve only had one pairing issue and it was easily resolved.

Accuracy should be quite good given the technology employed by the VBOX Sport. Users report that times and speed are fairly close to what is run on actual tracks (less than a 1% margin of error). I’ve posted the best results I’ve gotten in the Turbo S (so far) below:

10.88-quarter-mile-91-octane

10.88 at 126mph! I know the times shown by the VBOX are in the right ballpark since I have actually recorded a few of my quarter mile runs (prior to having the Sport) but I’d be really curious to see what the car would run at out local track. I have also tried the VBOX Sport out in my truck and the results seem spot on.

As I said, this is a great unit. It’s not cheap but I think it’s absolutely worth the price and is a valuable tool that any modder, tuner or racer will appreciate (check it out at Racelogic’s website). If anyone in Utah wants to use my VBOX please – especially if you’re planning to go to the track- please hit me up!

Overall Rating: 9/10

DJI Phantom 4 – Mini Review

Since I have a little more free time I decided to fill it by acquiring a drone. I picked the DJI Phantom 4 to try out. Obviously I’m not going to be “droning”  professionally, but I wanted something I could take some “good” video with (the P4 does 4K @ 30FPS… with some caveats…)

dji-phantom-4

Initial impressions are favorable. Setup is pretty simple if you’ve got a advanced engineering degree (I would plan on a couple of hours to upgrade firmware, get software installed and configured and get your actual hardware charged and ready for flight).

Flight is remarkably easy. The P4 uses GPS to help with flight which made me more confident and definitely makes controlling the drone much easier (it hovers in place when not moving). When starting off you start out you can use a “beginner” mode which keeps the Phantom within a 30m radius (of whatever you designate). Once you get more comfortable DJI claims you have up to 3 miles of control. The POV on the remote is excellent and makes flying intuitive. The P4 has some anti-collision technology to make sure you don’t crash but I found it incredibly annoying and restrictive (however, that was while flying inside my house). In sports mode the drone can travel up to 45 MPH but flyer beware.

Video quality is not quite what I expected. There are a lot of video artifacts and a distinct moire effect on detailed surfaces like grass. I think this has something to do with transmission transmission throughput. I’m trying out different settings and I’m hoping I’ll find a way to clean things up a bit (maybe encoding stuff through software like Adobe Premier will help- I’m not sure yet).

You can record video in any resolution up to 4K and / or take hi-res photos from the air. I don’t know why, but (as I have mentioned in previous posts) I am enamored with aerial photography.

sky-view-home-june-2016

Overall construction quality is good. A lot of work has clearly gone into the design and implementation of this product and it’s a blast to fly. I love the fact that the blades can be removed and installed in a matter of seconds. Transport in a backpack should be no sweat as the unit is compact and fairly light.  It will be fun to get some aerial shots of upcoming adventures.

While the P4 is obviously not a professional quality drone I did expect better video quality (I watched a lot of videos from the P3 and this seems to be a step bbackwards).  Knowing what I know now I would probably buy it again. Remember to register your Phantom drone with the FAA and avoid restricted airspace. Happy flying!

Overall Rating : 7/10

Goodbye World!

When you set up a new blog using WordPress you are greeted with a sample post which says:

Hello world! Welcome to WordPress.com. This is your first post. Edit or delete it and start blogging!

I suppose when you post your last entry it seems only fitting to write something such as:

Goodbye world! Thank you WordPress.com. This is my last post. I won’t edit or delete it but I’m done blogging!

Periodically I’ve mentioned something about how “busy” I am (okay, okay- I allude to it in every post). There’s no satisfactory way to delineate everything that’s going on in my life but I’ve achieved a level of mental preoccupation that necessitates some changes. Sadly I find myself with so little free time that I am choosing to say goodbye to some things that I really enjoy. Most of what occupies my time I have not chosen and so I feel saddened by this decision but I don’t see another choice.

We’ve had some bad times, we’ve had some good times but what’s important is that we have had some times. All the best to the Internet! I hope that one day I’ll be back.

Cam

Marble Run Fun

The other day Gabe made me an awesome little cardboard house (below, left). He told me it was for marbles and proceeded to roll one inside. I asked him if we could build an even bigger marble run around the house and he eagerly agreed.

marbles-paper-run-fun-1

We created the runs using regular 8 x 11 sheets of paper. It’s pretty simple. Just cut the  paper into fourths (long ways). Fold a section in half (you can use tape to keep the edges together) and then fold the edges up on both sides (make sure your run is wide enough to accommodate your marble).

marbles-paper-run-fun-2jpg

Decide where you need turns and cut out triangles in your run. When the cut out sections are folded and taped together they will create the angles (adjust as needed by cutting out more or less triangles). Add runs as desired and tape your new run under your old runs. You can use the same sections of paper to create structural supports. Always make sure your marble runs angle down enough to maintain momentum.

Here’s what we ended up with:

Not too bad! Maybe one day we’ll build something a little more aggressive.

A Sushi Burrito!?

When a coworker showed me his coupon for Chiba Sushi Burrito we laughed. I love sushi, but a “sushi burrito” seemed like a questionable idea. It seemed so odd that we agreed we’d have to go check it out (we’re adventurous like that). We rounded up several “victims” and headed over to Chiba.

chiba-sushi-burrito-jan-2015

The restaurant is fairly nondescript and I couldn’t get a good sense of what kind of experience to expect. They offer a dozen or so burritos and I ordered one called the 49er. When it came out the amount of tuna was alarming but I’m the kind of guy who follows though (plus other people were making satisfied grunts). After my first bite I was a fan. It was delicious!  It’s a little awkward to eat but that’s a price I’m willing to pay. The the amount of “sushi”” you get works out to be a great deal. I think everyone in our group enjoyed their burrito. I will absolutely go back and I can recommend Chiba if you’re in the mood for something a little different.