March 13, 2016
These are Polaroids my grandparents took in Clearwater. I’ve had these for a little while, they likely were discovered when cleaning out the trailer. I think they are from 1979 based on some detective work. The first overlap was Pete Rose (I assumed his son would only be there when he was on the team) and Greg Luzinski. That narrowed it down to 79 to 81. The most obscure name was Hebner which I figure to be Richie Hebner, who played for the Phillies in 77 and 78, however he was traded to the Mets late in March of 79. So I’m going with 1979.
Greg? I assume Luzinski.
Pete Rose Jr. I think I saw him play in the minors.
Tony Taylor. He thew me off for a minute because his last year was 1976. Then I figured he must have become a coach, which is correct, he was the First Base Coach from 77 to 79.
Hebner and McCarver. Again.
Greg Luzinski and my grandmom. Very curious about this one. Did they track him down in the parking lot? How did they capture this since he is walking by but my grandparents were prepared to take the picture?
Mike Schmidt being interviewed.
February 20, 2016
With all the turnover in late night over the past year, I’m still adjusting. While the new shows are all pretty good, I still miss Dave, Craig, Jon, and faux Colbert. I heard Craig Ferguson would have a new history focused chat show and had no idea what that might be like. It premiered this week with two episodes – political blunders and bad medical advice. Each episode starts with six topics in the category. The panel discusses and eliminates before a winner is chosen at the end.
Some thoughts after watching the first night …
Obviously I give this a 10/6.
iTunes – Premiere is Free
April 3, 2015
Trying to get the most of out my Sonos setup with a decent streaming radio option. I’m been using Spotify for quite a while now, and only really listening to the music in my playlist there. I’m completely out of the loop on any new popular music. I’m looking for suggestions. You can share your opinion right away in the comments, or read on if you want to know my thinking so far.
Some basics of what I’m looking for:
Slacker – Slacker starts out ahead because I used it for a whole summer a few years ago. It checks the pre-defined station mark. I’ve only used it a little this week but so far I sill like it. There aren’t many ads on the free version, and the paid version is only $4/month.
Pandora – I’ve never been a Pandora person. I know people love it, but I never got hooked. It looks like it has pre-defined stations, but they don’t show up in Sonos. Bonus Points: Each time I’ve gone to the site this week, it auto-plays my Mitch Hedberg station.
Songza – This was new to me, but seemed to have solid reviews. I tried it out and loved it instantly. They have tons of different stations with typical and completely random themes. You can navigate by genre, decade, mood, or activity. They will even suggest categories based on the time of day and ask what you are doing. They have an Angsty mood, which is exactly my favorite kind of music, so that got me hooked quickly. I haven’t heard a single ad and can’t find anything about a paid service. It looks like they had one but then were bought by Google, I can only assume they stopped offering the paid version. The biggest con so far is that on some of the stations I’ve tried this week, the songs repeat way too often. It might win just because it is free and there are so many stations to jump between.
Let me know of other options. iTunes Radio isn’t on Sonos. I’ve heard good things about Beats radio options, but they are more of a Spotify replacement and even though I want out of Spotify, Beats doesn’t offer the features I want. I used to have Sirius and loved it but I don’t drive as much any more and its very expensive. Their newer streaming stuff where you can customize your station looks perfect, but only the basic non-custom stations are supported by Sonos.
October 12, 2014
I thought this was something I did more often, but it turns out, I’ve only shared my iPhone Home Screen once, and it was 3.5 years ago. Look how shiny all the icons used to be. I missed sharing the extra row with the iPhone 5, so now with the iPhone 6, I have 2 more rows than that last post.
Most of these are pretty common. Some of the new additions to this screen thanks to the new row on the iPhone 6: Dropbox, Afterlight, Audible, and I’m not sure what the 4th choice was.
A rundown of the not completely common. (I think you are familiar with Facebook, Instagram, Spotify, etc.)
Screens – VNC to my Macs. Handy if I need to do something on a computer via the phone (it’s a bit easier on the iPad).
Afterlight – I just recently got this, seems like a great, easy to use photo editor that has a few more options than the Photos app. It comes in handy for photos that need a border to fit into Instagram.
Reeder – For RSS feeds. Looks like I was using Reader in the last post. Back then it had a different icon and it was still using Google Reader. The Reader app still exists, but now you have a choice of services. I pick Feedbin for my main service.
Tweetbot – I held onto Echofon as long as I could. It did such a solid job of syncing my last read tweet. However, they gave up on the Mac version, which made the phone version useless to me (they wound up releasing an update when the API changed, but it just wasn’t very good). I searched and searched for a new option but nothing worked all that well. Tweetbot was appealing, but the Mac version was $20. I finally decided all my searching was more painful than spending that much, so I went with Tweetbot across the board and it has been solid ever since. If only they would update the iPad app.
Hangouts – iMessage is so easy to use that it comes first. I used Hangouts for something nice I could use with my friends on Android, although many of those friends are moving to iPhone as it comes time for their 2nd smartphone.
Instacast – I always had a terrible time syncing podcasts between my computer and phone. Instacast was one of the first options that would let me do that outside of iTunes. It still seems flaky at times where I’ll listen on one device and it will still appear on another. Every time it seems to work well, an update is released with some new features that breaks the basic syncing. Overall it gets the job done. I’ve tried to see if the Apple Podcasts app has improved, but that app has just gotten confusing. I think this version of Instacast is free now with the next version coming out soon.
Folders – At some point there were too many things I wanted access to and I had no other choice than to add some folders. Apps includes common stuff that I need a lot (Contacts, Calendar, App Store, Settings, Clock, 1Password, Delivery Status, and some others). Sports should be obvious (league apps, SportsCenter, Yahoo! Fantasy). Videos are common as well (Netflix, Videos, HBO Go, YouTube).
November 4, 2013
Which iPad did I go with?
iPad Air 64gb T-Mobile, Silver/White
Each part of that product model was a decision, except for the Silver/White model, Iâ€™ve been going with the white model on all my iOS devices since theyâ€™ve been available.
This is mostly about how I use it. Iâ€™ve never found my regular sized iPad to be too large for my uses. That is usually on the couch or on my desk playing a video while Iâ€™m working on my iMac.
I have a Nexus 7 around the house, it is slightly smaller than the iPad Mini. I found it to be too small for what I want out of a tablet.
I can see why someone might want a Mini. It can much more easily fit in one hand, itâ€™s lighter, and can be tossed in a bag more easily. It also has the same screen as the regular iPad, which must look really great.
When I got the iPad 1, I got the 32gb. I was always close to filing my 16gb iPhone whatever-version-i-had-at-the-time and I knew Iâ€™d want a few movies on the iPad. 32gb was just fine but recently as Iâ€™ve been buying movies on iTunes, the file sizes are in the 3-4gb range. Just a few were filling up the 32gb. Really, the question was if going 128gb was worth the extra $100. It actually probably would be worth it, $100 for another 64gb. However, when I realized that I only have 128gb in my MacBook Air and the price would be just below what I paid for the Air, it seemed like a bit much.
The argument against larger sizes that Iâ€™ve heard most is that everything is in the cloud. Thatâ€™s true, but I tried that method a few weeks ago when traveling. When I went to load a movie from iCloud, the download time was about 10 hours, and it never survived for longer than 30 minutes, restarting each time. The cloud only works if you have a network that will let you grab a few gbs.
For the iPad 3, for some reason I decided to go with an AT&T version. It was the sort of thing that Iâ€™d rather have and not use than really wish I had later on. I never used it.
So obviously this time around I went with T-Mobile. Crazy, right? I was all set for the WiFi version and saving a few bucks. I have tethering on AT&T, so Iâ€™d just use that. Then T-Mobile offered 200mb free every month for life. Iâ€™m not sure how far 200mb will go on an iPad, I almost never go over 250mb on my phone. Iâ€™ll just use it occasionally, and for times that I know Iâ€™ll be on for a little while, I can turn tethering on for my phone.
There was all sorts of discussion Friday morning about T-Mobile charging $10/month for the free data. Their web site is pretty poor on the clarity front. It seems to be even worse for account management. Their account page has been telling me it is down since I set up my account on Friday.
I had no trouble setting up and getting my free data. The most difficult part was having to choose a password with a symbol.
A Weekend In
Thatâ€™s how I decided, in my few days with the device, Iâ€™m a huge fan. If I really thought about it, my iPad 3 was surviving just fine. iOS 7 didnâ€™t make it unusable and I donâ€™t even know which features didnâ€™t make it to the iPad 3, so they canâ€™t be that important. Still, there are a few reasons Iâ€™m really happy I made the upgrade.
I ordered online at 3am for in-store pickup. I went over during lunch and was about 5th in the pre-order line. There were 2 or 3 people in the didnâ€™t pre-order line. There were plenty available for everyone, but I wasnâ€™t taking any chances, especially since I wasnâ€™t sure how many T-Mobile versions theyâ€™d be stocking. Once I was up, I was taken to the first table, gave my order number, waited a minute for someone to bring the iPad up, signed, and left. Super simple.
The biggest problem is that the size bezel is so small that my iPad stand is a little too large.
The stand I use is the Twelve South BookArc, which I have two of because I like it so much.
August 31, 2013
I always think August is a 30 day month, so it’s always a bit of a surprise when August 31st rolls around. It leads to a lot of confusion when trying to figure out what day of the week things in early September fall. Even when August 31st gets here, the date just doesn’t seem right. There could be better uses than a 31st day in August. I have a though.
February 29th stays. It’s a pretty cool date, I think we should have it every year rather than every 4 years.
What month gets the leap day? February 30th would just make February like all the others. So let’s go crazy. Pick one of the months with 31 days and give it a 32nd. But which? January doesn’t need to be any longer. New Years Eve on December 32nd wouldn’t work. That leaves March, July, and October. You know what, I feel the same way about March 31st as I do August 31st. But peeling that one off too makes things complicated.
July 32nd or October 32nd? Easy. October 32nd would screw with Halloween. July 32nd means an extra day of summer every 4 years. (shh that I just eliminated one in August). Solved.
I’ll give you until 2015 in case you’ve already got your calendars.
August 29, 2013
Wrapping up my recaps of my trip to Wisconsin with the main reason I went: Reds @ Brewers, Sunday, August 18th.
I think this may have been my first tailgate for a non-Penn State game, certainly my first baseball tailgate. Brewers tailgating seemed different than what I saw at a Phillies game a few years ago. This is something they’ve always done, not just when they got good, because, well, the Brewers haven’t had much of a run.
For the tailgate, we had some brats along with the previously mentioned Bavarian mustard. The nice family next to us even came over to chat. They were very Wisconsin (the accent) and I guess noticed that we weren’t very Wisconsin.
When it came time to go in, I had only half finished my Gatorade, we also had some brats left. My friend said to just take it in. What? My bottle was already open, and it’s not water. Sealed bottles are the only type of beverage I’ve heard are sometimes allowed in stadiums. I was assured it would be no problem. And it wasn’t. Nobody questioned me on my way in.
I had posted previously that during August home games, the Brewers were giving $10 vouchers to everyone and they could be used on food or merchandise. With the tickets being $15 on StubHub, that is altogether a pretty good deal.
The first reaction, even from the outside is how large it is with that retractable roof. Inside, you get the feeling that they didn’t go cheap on putting this thing together. I believe the only other retractable roof stadium I’ve been to is in Seattle, where they spent a fortune since they had to secure it against earthquakes.
Everything else is standard fare for the new stadiums. The seats are all great and there is plenty of space to walk around on the concourses.
Another thought, and this applies to many newer stadiums, is the open views in the outfield when there isn’t much to be seen. The other similar one is Kansas City. I guess having seats out there doesn’t make a lot of sense, smaller cities have trouble filling what they have. Still, I like the upper levels to connect via walkway.
Bernie’s Slide – I did get to see a Brewers home run and I did get to see Bernie go down the slide. Hats off to Bernie. He’s always standing out there, ready to go as soon as a ball clears the fence.
Sausage Race – It was a relay the day I was there. Kids as mini-sausages were ready for the hand-off. I think the excitement level would have been amped up if I had a favorite in the race.
Ice Cream Helmet
Here’s where it all fell apart. My friend already has a Brewers Ice Cream Helmet. So I didn’t consider it being a problem. In line, I didn’t see any helmets. Then I started seeing people getting ice cream in dishes. I saw someone at a closed register and went up to ask. He was very knowledgeable and said that they don’t have them any more. My only option was a huge helmet filled with nachos. Don’t have them any more? Were people not happy with them? Did they cost too much? This should be a ballpark staple. If you are cutting costs that much, just keep some around and charge an extra dollar.
I went around the whole stadium to see if maybe there was a stand left. I came across one stand that was ice cream only, but they didn’t have them. I was tricked by old Dippin’ Dots stands that are now used to sell popcorn or nuts. So much for the future, eh, Dippin’ Dots?
The current list of helmet fails: San Francisco, Oakland, LA (although that may have been a ticket issue), and now Milwaukee.
Can I call a meeting of stadium owners so they can start to make an effort on lines at these stadiums? The only excuse to not have enough concession lines that it never gets more than two or three people deep, is a lack of space. Miller Park is not suffering from this issue. More lines means more revenue. The markup on these concessions makes the expense of paying someone next to nothing. There has to be solution. I’d like to see more attempts at trying different approaches. One item per stand? Try it. Separate lines for cash or exact change? Pre-purchase vouchers for items, or have machines to buy the vouchers so credit cards don’t take too much time? Just try something.
Overall, I liked the stadium. I’m not sure there is a bad stadium left in the majors. The Twins and Mets have newer stadiums (I didn’t like the old ones) and I didn’t mind Tampa Bay. It is hard to differentiate yourself at this point. You can only do so much with the in-game experience if your team has been out of the playoff race most of the season.