Sunday Papers 8-17-2014

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This is pretty much the busiest time of the year for me, so bear with me as we crawl towards fall. One good thing about the PNW is that there are not a lot of annoying insects here — I have no idea why that is, but I don’t question a good thing. However, it’s never a bad idea to keep up to date with the latest bug killing gear. Just in case.

Speaking of bug hunting, here are some weekend ephemera about xenomorphs, because you know you want to know about this.

I think the TV show The Walking Dead is a terribly mixed bag of zombie action (good!) and straight-up soap opera dramarama with zombies in the background (bad.) and while I gather that the comics are different they are way out of my price range at this point. But I do keep my eyes out for sales and stuff and The Walking Dead game was on sale on Steam for $5 a while back and I was curious about it. One the one hand I think it’s a bit too scripted for my taste with looong, not skip-able scenes just to get up and down a ladder, but the characters are for the most part great, the dialogues are great, and DAMN YOU DIFFICULT MORAL CHOICES!

There are some other things in the works, maybe a second podcast in addition to the other one, new episodes, all kinds of things. Sometimes things move slower than you’d want them to (humans!! Grrr!), but things are moving, so there’s that.

And as a bonus, there’s a review article on Wirecutter concerning dish soap which will answer ALL questions you didn’t know you’ve had about cleaning dishes.

Sunday Papers 8-10-2014

We’re looking more seriously into buying a car, which is a pain in the ass and I hate it and I wish it would just fall into my lap…like that’s going to happen. Anyway, here are your Sunday papers!

I’ve never been particularly afraid of clowns and I might even venture that this fear is something very American, because I don’t remember clowns being a scary trope in Germany, although I can see how they can be. That is exactly one of the problems clowns talk about when they are at their clown convention. And one of my favorite short stories that was published in the New Yorker years ago probably doesn’t help.

While re-enacting and LARPing and all these things escape me a bit, those ferocious collectors can, if they are serious, collect a bunch of neat stuff and if you line it up next to each other, like, for example, soldier’s gear through the ages, you get something pretty neat.

Some linguists are studying the development of super-dialects on Twitter, but hey, if you want to read an ESL grumpy German tweet about stuff you can also just follow me, hehe. And if you want to hear me, download the inaugural episode of my podcast about stuff and things (iTunes : Soundcloud).

Sunday Papers 8-3-2014

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This one’s late, because we were in another state for family bidness and I finally got a pedicure! But better late than never, so here are your Sunday papers!

You might or might not know that I’m suffering from a bulging (or even prolapsed/slipped) disc in my neck. Sometimes it’s better, sometimes it’s worse, but it’s never really away. So information about how the spine works is always welcome, especially in connection with good posture and BJJ.

Just when you think you’ve know everything, guess what — there is a surprising amount of marching band fan fiction. But hey, whatever floats your boat, as they say.

This week has been busy work-wise, so instead of picking one particular soundtrack, I’ll just direct you to The Sound of Cobra and let you suffer through making the choices and explore some new music! And if this is not chill enough for ya, download Warren Ellis‘ ambient podcast Spektrmodule and coast towards next Friday evening. Oh, and speaking of podcasts, a friend of mine and I recorded the first episode of our podcast, It’s Unclear (iTunes : Soundcloud), and it’s amazing, so download and listen to it RIGHT NOW!

Whoops, here it is!

So, after a long long time and a lot of back and forth a friend of mine and I recorded a podcast! It’s called It’s Unclear and we’re going to try to record it pretty regularly, I hope. But thanks to technology you don’t have to check anything, but can simply subscribe to it here on iTunes and the new episodes will show up on your computer as soon as they are out.

So if you want to hear my amazing ESL-laced voice, tune in for talk about fake sugar, humans with tails, and idiot princes.

And let me know what you think, either here in the comments or tweet your thoughts at @hateworm.

Sunday Papers 7-27-2014 — kinda…

Whoa whoa whoa this has been a busy week and I have no idea where it went and it’s Sunday already and what do I have? Nothing! But you know what, here’s what you can do instead — Rickson Gracie was on the InsideBJJ podcast and the Joe Rogan Experience this week and if that name means anything to you then you should download these immediately, if you haven’t done so already.

Speaking of podcasts, the reason why I was so busy this week is that me and a buddy of mine finally got our shit together and recorded and edited and finished the first episode of our podcast! So that ate up a lot of my time this week where I’ve usually had futzed around on the internet, but I think it was worth it. I’ll post more details when it’s all done and available, so watch this space.

Finally, I’ve lived with that UP Jawbone thingy for about two weeks now and one thing I noticed about passive life tracking is that, well, it’s passive. Not much to do for me. But I can still tell you what I think!

PROS

  • The sleep tracking and vibrating alarm is pretty sweet. The sleep tracking is one of the main reasons I got this wristband and it’s actually doing what it’s supposed to do.
  • Tracking steps is working well too, as far as I can see. In a way, this is a tricked out pedometer and that is just what it does. I’ve read some haters on the internet complaining about it not being 100% precise, but as long as it’s in the ballpark I don’t give a shit.
  • Tracking your food intake, as every time I do it, leaves me depressed because it shows me that I don’t eat by far as healthy as I think I do. And the app gives you challenges, like eating a specific amount of fiber a day, which is kinda neat, but leads me to the cons…

CONS

  • The app sucks. Not only does it drain the battery like crazy, it’s really difficult to see your stats over time and there is no web interface where you can get the big picture over longer stretches of time. I kinda solved that issue by feeding the data into a Google spreadsheet using IFTTT, but come on…really?
  • Tracking food sucks as well. It takes a long time to enter your own food, the food database isn’t that great, and there’s a but that doesn’t save the calorie count the first time you enter it and guess what…you can’t edit items in your personal library once you hit ‘done’.
  • The app gives you daily challenges, like eating a recommended amount of fiber, but it doesn’t give you any real ideas what you’re supposed to eat in order to get there. I know that I can do that research myself, but this seems like something that could’ve easily be fixed.

So, yeah, I guess the big selling point for the Jawbone UP is the price, which with the introduction of the UP24 dropped to ca. $60, but if they were the same price, I’d probably go for the Fitbit (which sells for about $100) instead of the Jawbone. Don’t get me wrong, it’s tracking sleep and waling, etc. just fine, but the presentation of the data is disappointing.