Book Update: Thrawn

I’m only a few chapters into Thrawn (Star Wars) and REALLY enjoying this book so far.  It just came out today so I’m not very far in, but even from the first chapter, I was encouraged to walk a little extra during my lunch hour…

A couple characters have been mentioned / brought in from other parts of the universe, and I am eager to see how they fit into the puzzle. Even a planet prominently featured in Star Wars Rebels has shown up, and also some wonderful synergy with how the Aftermath Trilogy ended.

Book Report: Master of Formalities

I enjoyed the humor in this book.  It was filled with a constant barrage of unfortunate situations capitalizing on all the comedic opportunities.  The story itself didn’t grab me as strongly as the Magic 2.0 books did, but I slogged through it.  There wasn’t anything that I would say was wrong with the book, but I think I found the unfortunate situations to be somewhat frustrating and I empathetically shared in the disappointment the characters experienced rather than laughing at their misfortunes.

The audio performance was fantastic though.  Some of the more egregiously offensive characters were made lovable through stellar vocal work.

I worked through the book pretty quickly, which is usually a sign of how much I am enjoying it.  Though, it’s possible that I was just trying to get through it so that I could fit another novel in before Thrawn comes out later this month.

Review: Powerbeats 3 headphones with Apple w1 chip

Review

Overall, I am a huge fan of these headphones.  The only issues I’ve run into are fairly minor and probably won’t impact most people.  They sync to my iDevices quite quickly in all cases but one.  I’ve only had issues when switching from one iPhone to the other (personal vs work) where I’ve been forced to turn the headphones off and back on again before they will pair successfully.  This usually fixes it.  I’ve run into similar issues when trying to switch from iPhone to laptop, which tends to be a bit more of a challenge to resolve.  It took me a few tries to actually understand that the most efficient way to pair them is to have them in a “powered down” state and then hold the ‘button’ down and stare at my iOS device until the pairing window pops up on my phone.   In my experience, it works just as well if the iOS device is locked or in an app.

Let me also say that I am constantly losing headphones… the same applies for sunglasses. Anything that doesn’t have a nice neat-and-pocket-friendly container will quickly disappear or be left behind somewhere.  In the case of these headphones, I decided I’d attach a Tile tracker. This works really well, however, whenever I’ve got the headphones resting on my shoulders (instead of in my ears) I am inevitably stopped by a helpful friend to tell me I’ve got a tag sticking out of my shirt. (I may end up spray painting the tile black to address this because I don’t want to give the impression that friends shouldn’t tell me when I do actually have a tag sticking out.)  This only becomes a frequent thing because the headphones rest so naturally on your shoulders when you take them out, that you forget you’ve got them there.

The headphones are quite comfortable for many hours of use, and with the ear grabby things, they are unlikely to ever come off accidentally.   These grabby things Grappling Hook Clip Artdo mean they tend to anchor themselves to every other cable in your backpack like a grappling hook.  They come with a soft rubbery carrying case which wouldn’t protect them from the kind of roughness that happens to things once they get stuffed into my pockets, so I don’t use the case.

It would be nice if they used the lightning adapter instead of micro-USB, but I have plenty of both types of cables plugged in at various charging locations, so it’s more about the USB cables always being oriented the wrong way than anything else.

These headphones are quite good at noise cancelling, so when I’m wearing them at work, I am able to isolate out the conversations and noise around me.  I have to be a little careful though when I’m out and about in the neighborhood because it means I’m not going to hear cars, bikes, or other pedestrians around me.  This is both handy for people who would otherwise interrupt me mid-thought and dangerous for faster moving (and more massive) vehicles.

I also use these frequently for calls, and I’ve found that when I have the cable which connects each end located behind my head, it is often difficult for the other person to hear me if I speak at a normal volume.  Relocating the inline mic to the front (so that it dangles under my chin like a paper birthday hat) seems to reliably fix this.

Pros

  • Great sound
  • Trivial to connect to a device
  • Comfortable in your ears or around your neck
  • Good for making calls (as long as the mic is in front)
  • Easy to attach a Tile so you don’t lose them
  • Good isolation from environment noise
  • MicroUSB instead of Lightning
    • Both a pro and a con because you probably have other devices that use microUSB already

Cons

  • Challenging to un-pair and repair in a hurry depending on the device
    • Still much easier than normal bluetooth devices though
  • Carrying case isn’t going to protect them
  • MicroUSB instead of lightning

Verdict?

 Yep, I’m happy with my purchase

Lego Dimensions

Well, now that Disney Infinity is no longer a thing, I decided to take the plunge into the Lego equivalent.  I’m hopeful that Disney IP may end up coming to Dimensions as it is no longer a direct competitor to Disney Infinity.

And at $45, that was a pretty easy decision.

And considering how much I’ve enjoyed both of the two Lego movies that were put out for wide release over the last couple years, I think these games will be both fun and well written.

And of course I couldn’t resist the Doctor Who and Back to the Future add on sets.

 

April Fools Fun 2017

Petlexa

For added effect, ask Alexa “Alexa, what is Petlexa?

Epic Skeletor

This one might actually be real…I think.

 

Dr. Ruth Readies for Blast Off!

 

Book Report: Magic 2.0 – Book Series

I’ve just finished listening to the Audible books for the three Magic 2.0 books by Scott Meyer.   After mentioning I was a huge fan of Ready Player One, this series was recommended to me.  I really enjoyed the story and the humor in these books!  And Luke Daniels has quickly become one of my favorite narrators.  While I liked the first two books the best, the third book had the scenes with the greatest humor.

Yahoo mail password reject loop on OSX Apple Mail fix

If you use Apple Mail (or a similar desktop app for handling email) and you’ve seen the following error message in connection doctor, or you run into the constant cycle of the app telling you to reenter your password, this might fix it.  

“Trying to log into this SMTP account failed. Verify that the username and password are correct.”

It is possible that you’re experiencing a sign in verification issue with apps that don’t support Yahoo!’s multi-step authentication system.

  1. Log into Yahoo’s website.
  2. Click on the gear thing in the top right.
  3. Choose “Account Info”
  4. Sign in (again)
  5. In the section titled “Sign-In and Security” click on “Manage your app passwords”
  6. Give it a name like “MacBook Air Laptop Mail”  and then let it generate a unique app password.
  7. Use this password in your app, and only in this app — create other passwords unique to each app you use.  You don’t need to remember the password, the point is you just generate a “one-app” password for each app that needs to authenticate. 

Full details: http://help.yahoo.com/kb/index?page=content&y=PROD_ACCT&locale=en_US&id=SLN15241