Thursday, October 8, 2015

A Modern Marvel of Technology - The Apple iPhone

I'll start off by saying I am not really into phones or gadgets nor am I obsessed with apple products, but recently I had the opportunity to upgrade from an older phone to the iPhone 6 and I must say, I am very impressed. It is amazing how much can be done with such a small device these days.

If you would have told someone just 20 years ago, that in 2015, we would have these thin rectangular devices that can make calls, take pictures, stream video, have a touch sensitive screen, and can access a world of information instantly, they would have probably thought you were crazy. But it turns out the new phones theses days can do all of this and so much more.

I have only been using it for a few days and I'm still studying it to learn all the features, but already it is incredible how much technology they have packed into such a thin device. At this point it is not about what it can do, but trying to find something it can't do!

Now as wonderful as it is, it is not perfect. I have already found a few settings and features that I would like to be different. Also from someone who values privacy, it does seem like you are really putting your information out there just by having the phone. Many of the features want to know all your information and have access to things like your location and phone usage habits. This is ok, but you really have to make sure you read the fine print as they say so you know what you are getting into.

One thing that surprises me is how many people, especially kids, have these phones. It seems like every teen out there has a phone like this and they are by no means not cheap. The iPhones retail for hundreds of dollars yet they are something that can be easily lost, stolen, or damaged. I think many of the kid's these days take these phones for granted and don't really understand how amazing it is that we have these devices that can do so much.

I still have a lot to learn about the phone in order to take advantage of its full potential, but overall I am very pleased with it so far and would recommend it to anyone looking to upgrade from an older phone.

Saturday, October 3, 2015

The Funny Come Back Story

I must have been about 12 at the time and my friends and I were playing basketball as we did every day. This day however would turn out a little different as it provided one of the funniest moments I can remember. We were in the middle of a game when one of the older kids who did not usually hang out with us had a friend over. This friend saw we were playing basketball so they came over to join our game.

Now we were very competitive and followed the rules of the game very closely. This kid who we did not know did not really play as much so his skills were not quite up to par. He would dribble, pick up the ball, and then start dribbling again, which would be traveling, but since it was obvious he did not play much, we let it slide. This kid had a quick wit about him and was continuously saying funny things, mostly commentary type riffs and trash talk style jabs.

Now we had one kid in our group who was a little bit of a jerk at times. We hung out with him, but let's just say he was not the most well liked kid. After about 10 minutes of playing and seeing the new kid repeatedly commit traveling violations, this friend of ours finally calls him out on it by saying, "You travel a lot!"

Then without missing a beat, this kid comes back with, "So did your mom when she had you!" We busted out laughing! It wasn't quite clear why it was so funny, but it just worked, and the more you thought about it, the funnier it became. It was a perfect come back and there was no one who deserved it more than this kid so it made it that much better. We laughed for about 5 minutes straight all while trying to continue playing the game. The kid had some more good lines that day, but this is the one that really stuck.

To this day, I consider it to be one of the best come back lines that can be applied to almost any situation. Even if it seems like it would not make sense, the line is always funny and pretty much always works if you think about it enough. We never saw that kid again, but he certainly made a lasting impression with his jokes and come backs that day.

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

New Favorite Youtube Channel - Kyde and Eric

One of my favorite activities each day is watching new Youtube videos from my subscribed channels. I follow a lot of channels, but recently I have found a new channel that has quickly become one of my favorites! It is called Kyde and Eric (pronounced Katie and Eric). They are an American couple who now live in Japan and their channel is a vlog style format following their adventures in Japan as well as different countries they visit from time to time.

Kyde and Eric have very likable personalities and it is very interesting to see the culture and environment in Japan. They have been making videos for years so the quality is very good and they have developed a nice following without getting too popular yet. If you like vlog style channels or travel style videos, I highly recommend checking it out! Here are a few videos to get started. Enjoy!

Living in Japan (Part 1 of 4)

Hiking in Tokyo

Fukuoka, Japan

Monday, September 21, 2015

Shoe Collection - adidas Mirra II and III, Puma Cellerator Inhale, DC Centre

Over the years I have collected a fair amount of shoes and while I am not a huge sneaker fanatic, I still have some rare collectible shoes from the late 90's early 2000's. Since they are hard to find these days, I figured I would snap a few pics and upload them here to share. Here are some of my favorites:

adidas Mirra II - This is a signature shoe from BMX freestyle rider Dave Mirra. It is his 2nd signature shoe and features a black and white color with silver stripes. These were from 1998 and have a unique style with the forward slanted stripes and wavy outsole design. They also feature adiprene cushioning and Dave Mirra details on the heel tabs.

adidas Mirra III - I was a BMX rider back in the day and since I liked the Mirra II's, of course I had to get the Mirra III's.  They have a more traditional black color with silver/white stripes. They also feature a similar outsole design but have a Kevlar toe for extra durability. These came out after the Mirra II which would have been around 99-2000. 

Puma Cellerator Inhale - I was also into running around this time and one of the shoes that caught my eye was the Puma Cellerator Inhale. It has a unique jute colored upper material, faded red logo on the sides, and claw like pattern on the sole. They also feature the Cell cushioning technology. Unlike the other shoes, I didn't wear these ones as much so they are actually still in very good condition!

DC Centre - Rounding out the collection is a skate shoe, the DC Centre. It is from around 2002 and has a very futuristic look with a smooth black material with grey accents and patent details. Also different about this shoe is the construction is very wide and the tongue is extremely padded. It feels like you are wearing pillows on your feet! These are definitely one of my favorites and I have never seen another one quite like it even from the same company.

All of these were worn so they don't have too much resale value, but they do have a lot of sentimental value. Did you own one of these shoes back in the day or have another shoe that is one of your all time favorites? Feel free to share in the comments below.

Sunday, September 13, 2015

Jelly Belly Ice Pop Mold Review

Recently, I got the idea to make my own ice pops using juice and frozen fruit after having success with the frozen fruit beverage idea.  I had looked online for ice pop molds at online stores like Amazon, but put off getting them until I just happened to see one of them on clearance at Target. They had one by Jelly Belly called "Lickety Sip Ice Pops". I'm not sure how Jelly Belly is involved with ice pops but it was only $2 so I decided to get it.

I got it home and started making the first batch. I decided to try a few different combinations with different juices and different frozen fruits in each one just to make them a little more fancy. I was surprised at how much fun it was to actually make them. It felt like a science project or something. Once they were made, I put them in the freezer to freeze.

The next day I tried them out. It was a little hard to get the ice pops out of the mold. They recommend putting it in warm water, but I just tried to wiggle it out by hand. It took about a minute to get it out of the mold. Overall the pop turned out well. It had a good shape and texture with the juice and frozen fruit. The only down side I would say is you have to be careful not to spill while eating them because juice can drip into the bottom and can spill out of you tip it sideways.

Overall I would probably make them again, but I find just having the juice with frozen fruit mixed in is easier and tastes just as good if not better. It is more fun to make the pops but for convenience and neatness, I would probably stick with the juice vs the ice pops. If you are looking to make your own ice pops, I would recommend the Jelly Belly ice pop mold.

Monday, September 7, 2015

The Problem with Weekends and Holiday Breaks

Many people who work full time jobs have time off for the weekends and holidays such as Labor Day. It is good to have breaks from work like this but the problem is that so many people are on the same schedule taking these breaks at the same time.

When many workers take the same days off, it makes it so regular everyday things cannot get done and must be delayed until the weekend or holiday break is over. The thing is, the world does not stop for these days, so by having so many people off of work, it causes an inconvenience for things that need to get done.

I have already had 3 examples of this situation in this weekend alone. The first is when I was making some changes on my car insurance. I had a question on something so I went to contact the company for assistance, but of course no one was available because it was a weekend.

Next, I noticed there was in issue effecting one of my websites. It was on the hosting end so there was nothing I could do to fix it. I tried contacting them because it was a pretty significant issue making my website not work. Again, since it was a weekend followed by a holiday, I still have not even heard back or gotten any help on this issue.

The 3rd example took place in my building where there was some repair work that needed to be addressed with the plumbing. Usually there is on site staff to address issues like this, but because of the weekend and holiday, it will not be fixed for several days.

I have no problem with people taking time off but the fact that we are in the habit of so many people taking the same days off is causing a problem. It would be better if everyone took the same amount of days off but spaced them out on different days throughout the year. For example instead of taking Saturday and Sunday off, you could take Monday and Tuesday off. It might make it a little more difficult to arrange events with other people but at least this way there would always be coverage for any issues that arise each day.

I personally work most days, weekends and holidays included if possible. This may be why I find it annoying when there are days when it seems like everything is closed or people are away when there are still important things that need to be done every day. I doubt something like this will change any time soon, but it could be a big improvement over the current system where we are taking days off in a world that does not stop.

Thursday, September 3, 2015

Forearm Muscle Twitch

Recently I began to get a twitch in my left forearm just below the elbow. I'm not sure what caused it but it lasted for a couple days before finally going away. I tried stretching it and maneuvering it in different positions as well as massaging it but nothing seemed to have any effect. It seemed to be most noticeable with the elbow bent at 90 degrees.

After it went away on its own, I figured it was gone for good, but a couple days later I was lifting weights and it started twitching again. It lasted for a few hours and then went away. A couple days later, I noticed it started twitching again, this time after I was carrying some heavy groceries. So it seems to be connected to muscle use or overuse.

An internet search shows there are many others who have muscle twitches and have trouble getting rid of them. Some of the suggestions to limit muscle twitches including eating a balanced diet, avoiding caffeine and nicotine, reducing stress, and getting plenty of sleep.

Overall the muscle twitches are not painful, but can be pretty annoying especially if you are not doing anything which makes it more noticeable. Anyone else getting muscle twitches or have any tips for how to treat this condition? Feel free to leave a comment below.