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.

 

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!

SNES Classic Acquired!

I missed out on the NES Classic but I wasn’t about to make the same mistake with the SNES classic. My friend, Jesse, did some expert-level reconnaissance and we selected the Ceder Hill Walmart as our aquisition target. We set up shop around 6 pm, knowing that the units wouldn’t be released until 12:01am. It was a wait we were willing to endure.

And it wasn’t bad at all. For starters, they let us “camp” in the back of the store by the electronics section (so much better than waiting outside). Also, have you been to the Ceder Hills Walmart? Wow. Game changing. It’s like someone cared. Also, friends! Hanging out with friends (even in a line) is just fine with me.

This story has a happy ending. We all got our SNES Classic systems. Afterward, I even drove by Best Buy where I found people camped out for these little beauties. Poor saps.

The SNES Classic includes exactly what you’d expect: A tiny replica of the original SNES unit, two controllers, a power and HDMI cable.

The menu options are well configured and the games played exactly like I remember. I hate to be the bearer of bad (good?) news but the games also look exactly like I remember (minus the scan lines- an option you can add in setup if you’d like). The controllers seemed a little stiff (possibly edging into unresponsive territory) so hopefully they will break in a bit. I don’t think I’ll spend a ton of time playing on the SNES Classic but it’s definitely a cool little toy.

Porsche Turbo S Exclusive Series – 1/18 Model

I was pretty excited when they released the Turbo S Exclusive Series. Realistically there was no way I was getting one (that didn’t stop me from being outraged that, once again, only people who bought a 918 were eligible). So I settled for the next best thing- a 1/18 scale die cast model from Spark Models:

This is normally more than I’d spend on a model, but I have a certain affinity for white Turbo S cars. The detail level and over all quality on this car is outstanding. I wish the doors opened, but, as in real life, I guess I’ll just have to be satisfied with peeking through the windows (the interior is also well executed). Production on this piece is limited to 1,911.

Tag Cloud Added

I realize I’m about 10 years late to the party but I added a tag cloud to my blog (it shows up in the sidebar). My next big project is going through all the posts and adding tags. I don’t know how the cloud will work with entries that are marked as private but if you suspect you can’t see something then you’re probably right.

Thermostat Confusion? I Have the (a) Solution!

One thing I like about our home is that each level has its own thermostat and can be independently regulated (makes for more efficient cooling and heating and it actually cuts electrical costs). Thermostat technology has come a long way, however if your thermostat is in the wrong location it can cost you money and cause perpetual discomfort.

Situation: Our upstairs thermostat is in the hallway. With no hallway air vents the temperature around that thermostat is mostly dictated by whatever makes its way up from the main floor.

The old thermostat location was not ideal. Air from downstairs would heat and cool the hallway where the thermostat was located. When in use the downstairs fireplace caused a huge temperature discrepancy.

Summer Situation: In summer the upstairs AC will run and run until the hallway cools to whatever temperature the thermostat has been set to. Since the air has to spill out of the bedrooms and into the hallway to reach the thermostat by that time all the bedrooms are too cold.

Winter Situation; In winter the warm air from downstairs keeps the upstairs hallways warn as well. The net effect is that the bedrooms are left unheated if the thermostat is set to a normal heating range. If we compensate by making our heating threshold higher than normal the upstairs AC will run and run until the hallway warms to this temperature. Since the air has to spill out of the bedrooms and into the hallway to reach the thermostat by that time all the bedrooms are too warm.

Solution: My wife pointed out that if we moved the thermostat into the bedroom that would solve all our problems. Since we use an automated system to control our temperature having it in our bedroom isn’t a big deal because others rarely need to adjust it. And thus was the thermostat moved. And there was there peace in the land.

That was all a long-winded way of saying this: If you have a two story home and separate thermostats (main and upstairs) make sure your upstairs thermostat is placed correctly. One alternative option to relocating the thermostat is to use one with a remote sensor.

Bounce House Trampoline Birthday Invite 6 x 4 Template

It seems that more and more kids are doing “bounce house” trampoline birthday parties. My son just had one and my wife recruited me to make the invite. I’ve posted a blank copy below and it’s high enough resolution that it prints out nicely at 4 x 6. We had ours printed at Costco and then we just mailed them out (you can put address info & stamp n the other side). If you feel lazy and don’t want to make a card feel free to use mine. I’ve left the text section of the card blank so you can enter your own text, put a sticker on the card with the info or even hand write the invite.