It’s a couple of days late but I’ve been busy. Better late than never, right? Wishing everyone a wonderful and productive 2019!
One of my car / truck “upgrades” is usually a set of floor mats. It’s become like a tradition. I really like the mats from Lloyd. Good fit, nice quality, no problems- ever.
The floor mats included with the Z06 were undersized, low-pile and kind of sad. I ordered a set of branded front mats from yatesperformance (eBay) and had them within a week.
What a difference! The fit and color match on these mats is great (they are “Jet Black”). I decided to order the cargo mat as well as I’m hoping it will diminish the road noise from the back a little (just a little). I used the “best offer” feature on eBay and saved about $20 off the seller’s regular price on each purchase If you’re looking for floor mats Lloyd Mats makes some of the best.
Update 2/6/2015: I put int he rear cargo mat. It’s not compatible with the front cargo shade. Slits would have to be cut into the mat which I will do at some point. It does help a little with the cabin noise, but it’s not a significant reduction.
I’m not sure when I’ll get around to posting a “July” update (or even an “August” update for that matter). July was the busiest month yet and I’m still in the process of recovering from everything (although the recovery is going poorly since August is giving July a run for its money…). How can there be so much freaking stuff?
I did want to make a quick post about one thing though:
Fran took the the kids and went to visit her family for a few weeks and that was an ideal opportunity to get the house in shape and put it up for sale. After being listed it was sold in less than two weeks!
Over the course of the ten days following the sale we moved into a rental in Traverse Mountain. We’ll be in that location until the end of September. Hopefully our new house will be done by then… if not I don’t know what we’ll do. Move again? You think I’m grumpy now…
Things on Ivory’s end are progressing more slowly than I’d hoped (albeit at the rate I expected). One of the big hang-ups is the cabinetry. Ivory is using a new company and the latest update we got is that closing has been pushed back three weeks because the cabinets won’t be ready on time (we have been very unimpressed with this new cabinet company). Overall the building experience with Ivory Homes has been okay. I’ll do a write-up at some point in the future.
I will miss our old house- it was in a great spot, we had great neighbors, and the home never gave us any trouble (outside the “normal” scope). I expect I have already idealized things in my memory.
Side note: Originally we were considering selling the home ourselves but a friend who’s a real estate agent convinced us to let him sell the home. I’d definitely recommend an agent for the additional exposure (i.e. an MLS listing) and convenience (you don’t have to deal with the hassle of scheduling showings, paperwork or negotiating the actual deal). If you need someone to sell your home contact Darin Southam.
As I said my last Blade post, my initial experience with Razer was…perplexing. After navigating through an impossible checkout system I was informed that I’d actually failed to place an order. Nevertheless, and without further action, the Blade arrived and, being the inquisitive kind of guy that I am, I tried it out. Amidst falling in love with the quality, design and power I realized that the computer screen had a few dead pixels. Razer customer service was very responsive and the computer was quickly sent back to them via a 2-Day FedEx label they provided,
Turn around was quick. Monday was a holiday so my computer shipped from Razer on Tuesday and I had it back in my hands Thursday. They ended up shipping me a brand new laptop. In some ways it was too bad- I’d customized a lot of settings and had installed quite a few applications on my original unit. However, the new laptop they sent seems superior in a number of ways and there were zero dead pixels!
Quickly I’ll go though the pros and cons of the 2014 Razer Blade:
• The QHD+ touchscreen is gorgeous! I love not being able to actually see the pixels. I was a little worried about the glossy finish but I’m sold at this point. Not to mention gloss is much better suited to a touch screen. I don’t know that I’ll use the touchscreen but it’s nice to have it just in case.
• Amazing build quality and aesthetics. The laptop just feels… right.
• The keyboard is second to none- no sponginess and the illumination doesn’t really bleed out from between the keys. The trackpad is super responsive and also feels nice.
• The sound is excellent. The speaker placement is ideal and the quality and volume levels exceeded my expectations.
• No bloatware on board. That’s always a wonderful treat.
• The Razer is whisper quiet. Sure you can hear the fans when you play something demanding, but even at their top speed they aren’t bothersome.
• A little surprised that there isn’t a network jack. And the omission of an SSD card reader is also perplexing. Yes, you can buy USB adapter for the missing items but I feel like they should have been integrated to begin with.
• Expensive. A lot of what you’re paying for is the compact design. For the same price you could get a much more powerful, albeit much larger, laptop.
Not good but not really bad…
• The black aluminum case retains finger prints / smudges. I’m sure there’s a simple way to clear things, but I haven’t found it yet.
• The trackpad buttons are a little spongey. This is surprising given the quality of the actual trackpad. Interestingly I much prefer the buttons on my replacement Blade- they seem to have a much better feel and lack the “boink” noise of the others.
• You can’t change color on keyboard. It could be nice to alter the colors, but the green does look great.
• Some programs (i.e. Chrome) really don’t really support the higher resolution screen. That’s not a Blade issue, per se, but it is a consequence of the higher res screen.
• With the only vents on the bottom and using the case act as a heatsink the Blade can get hot when doing serious gaming. Under normal use the unit temp is comfortable. I was surprised at how much cooler my replacement Blade runs. The returned model got extremely hot to the touch under fairly light loads, but my new Blade has remained comfortable thus far no matter what I’m doing (excluding intensive benchmarking / gaming).
Performance on my games seems excellent. The Cloudgate 3D Mark results for the Razor Blade was about 15,600. For the sake of comparison the Cloudgate score on my Pulse 17 was in the 12,600. And if you’re interested: Maingear Pulse 17 laptop review.
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? But all things considered the 2014 Blade is a phenomenal computer with nearly everything going for it. I would definitely recommend it to anyone looking for a compact gaming computer.
UPDATE: I purchased a 2015 Razer Blade (same model but with an upgraded graphics chip), Here are a few 3DMARK test scores from the newer version of the Blade.
I’ve decided to start blogging once a month about family stuff. Somehow the pressure to do even two posts per month started getting to me last year. January was a pretty low-key month and there wasn’t a ton going on (I confess it’s nice to have a break).
And with a mighty “thud” the year was over. Cam congratulated himself on surviving 2013 and promised everyone that he would “accomplish miracles” in the coming year. He smirked as he said it knowing his only real goal was to read four book and exercise twice. The books were a good bet.
Mike is about done with football for the year. He’s spent most of his time as a lineman (usually offensive tackle). His coach says he’s come a long way and he’s doing a great job. Here’s a video from one of his last games (he’s number 50):
Arches opened back up while we were in Moab. It would have been fun to do take a quick drive though the park, but the kids weren’t up for it. All in all I think we came away with a lot of good memories of trip that didn’t go quite right. Next time will be better.
Oh man- these past few weeks have intense. Personally intense, that is to say. I’ve been handling a lot of stuff. I am tired…
I’ve spent a few evenings hanging out w/ the guys too – The Jorgensens are back in town for August so we have gotten together with Andrew a couple of times. Just like the good old days. Somehow we ended up watching Catwoman the other night. It hurt us all pretty badly, but the bond between survivors of events like these is strong.