October 14, 2018

A Trip To Candytopia

The Trip 🏡 🛴 🚂 🚇 🌉
Home >> Bird >> Caltrain >> BART >> San Francisco

We had no idea what to expect, but our friends invited us to an art exhibit called Candytopia in San Francisco. It was a mix of art created from candy, interactive photo stops, and music. Oh, and a lot of confetti! 🎉

It was a self paced tour through several different themed sections. Although you couldn’t eat the art, there was a different kind of candy being handed out in each room. 🍬

Check out some photos! 📸

Candytopia photo

Candytopia photo

Candytopia photo

🖼 More photos on SmugMug

Adventure Candytopia
September 23, 2018

Trying The Apple GiveBack Program

After enough bad experiences selling stuff through Craigslist, OfferUp, and similar services, I decided to try out the Apple GiveBack program. You can generally get more money for your item by selling it on one of those other services, but the idea of not having to worry about scammers and flakey buyers made this approach entirely worth getting back a little less money in the end.

The process couldn’t be more straightforward! You can complete the process through the website or the Apple Store app. If you are purchasing a new product, you can even complete the process as part of that buy flow and the money for your old device will be given to you in the form of refund toward your new purchase.

Once you have selected the item you want to GiveBack, they ask three simple questions:

  1. Does it turn on?
  2. Are the screen and enclosure in good shape?
  3. Do all the buttons work?

You then get your quote immediately based on your answers.

Based on what you’ve told us, you’ve got $XXX in trade-in value.

If you accept the amount, you move on the entering your usual information and shipping address. A few days later a small box shows up at your doorstep. Inside the box are the following items:

  • Device Shipping Tips Guide
  • UPS Shipping Label
  • Apple GiveBack Program Letter
  • Box Insert To Hold Your Old Device

After wiping my old Apple Watch, I placed it in the insert, sealed up the box, and put the new shipping label on the box. That’s it! Once they receive the device and verify the condition, I will receive an Apple gift card for the amount. Overall this was a very streamlined process, and I can see doing this again in the future.

GiveBack Shipping Box Empty

GiveBack Shipping Box Letter

GiveBack Shipping Box with Watch

UPDATE 2018-10-02
They have received my watch and cleared it. Gift card is on the way!
Screen Shot 2018 10 02 at 8 56 04 AM

Apple Apple Watch GiveBack
September 2, 2018

Sync Your DuckDuckGo Settings

If you use DuckDuckGo, you may or may not have also gone through the settings and got things tweaked to your liking. Did you know you can also sync those settings across all your devices (desktop & mobile). And, it does this anonymously.

The process is very easy

  1. Go to settings within DuckDuckGo.
  2. Select other settings”.
  3. Get everything all setup the way you like.
  4. Select save settings” and create a passphrase.
  5. You can now select load settings” on any other device and use that passphrase to load your settings.

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Browser DuckDuckGo
August 18, 2018

In Case Of Emergency, Wear Sport Loop

When I decided to take on a running challenge this year, I also upgraded my Watch to the Series 3, so I could use it a tracking tool, but also a safety mechanism for when I was out running alone. Chances are good that nothing bad will happen when I am out on a run, but being prepared is a good thing. Having the cellular connection in my watch allows you to remain connected while on the go without the need for a bulky phone. If anything were ever to happen (providing I am conscious) I merely hold the side button, and Emergency SOS mode is activated. Pretty impressive feature if you ask me.

I generally run with a Sport Band since they are comfortable and immune to sweat and gross. It has occurred to me recently however that this might not be the best band to have on if an emergency were to happen. The Sport Band can be pulled off quite easily whether that be by a person, or due to an impact. This has led me to switch to wearing one of the newer Sport Loop bands. The Sport Loop band is far more secure and is not coming off without a great deal of force.

Of course, I hope I never need to find out how well this works, but I do feel better knowing that should I ever need to activate the SOS mode, I can be very sure it will be there within reach.


Apple Watch
August 10, 2018

Micro.blog Responses”

@alcedine and I were talking about how favorites work on micro.blog (it really should have been a podcast episode!) and we were throwing around some of the following ideas regarding likes, favorites, etc” and how they could work on micro.blog that would allow them to be effective communication tools and not fall into the zombie popularity issue that they are on other platforms.

What if it worked something like this?

You have two options:

  1. Active public participation through text reply.
  2. Active private participation through microsponse” (micro response). _*groan at that name, right!?_ You can select a mood/feeling for a given post you are reading. Each post you interact with can be seen by you in your timeline. [See Diagram 1 Below]

Given the two options above:

  1. You receive a notification in your mentions” tab that a specific person has replied to one of your posts with a text response.
  2. In a side feed under your mentions, you see a running list of all microsponses” you have received. [See Diagram 2 Below]

This type of setup allows for rich interactive discussions on micro.blog posts when wanted or necessary, but also allows for positive feedback to users when posting may not specifically require a full-text response.

The system allows for a 1-to-1 relationship with the microsponse” so there are no popularity contests. Only the user leaving a microsponse” knows what they have responded to, and every poster only knows that a post has received a response but doesn’t necessarily know who sent it, or how many each post has (there is no running dashboard). Each user can see the running list of microsponses” they have received for an arbitrary amount of time, say 10 days. To the casual observer scrolling through their timeline, all posts appear to be void of any responses (except for public text responses of course).

For the reader it gives another way to provide feedback to users, and also allows the poster to have another avenue of response to the content they are creating.

It’s 10% of a fully realized idea, but it’s making sense to me so far. What do you think? Would you like something like this? Would this be good for the Micro.blog community as a whole? Leave a text reply or microsponse! 😉

_*Note: All Microsponse emoji are negotiable of course! These are just placeholder examples._

Diagram 1

Micro blog microsponses

Diagram 2

Micro blog microsponses

August 7, 2018

Camping Trip To Mammoth

Drive To Mammoth
We set out for Mammoth Lakes on Thursday to go camping and check out the Bluesapalooza festival. The drive out there was initially going to take ~5.0 hours, but due to the fires, the main route was closed down, so we have to detour a bit, making it ~6.6 hours. On the way up we stopped for a break and some lunch in Jamestown. The smoke in the air was substantial as we got around the north side of Yosemite.
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Camping was a lot of fun! We stayed at Camp High Sierra for all four days. We don’t get out camping very often, but every time we do I thoroughly enjoy myself and find it to be a great way to unwind from the chaos of the city. We also went on some great hikes! Really the only downside was the sheer amount of smoke that was in the air continuously.
IMG 0764 Festival
The main reason we went up there was to hang out with family and attend the Bluesapalooza Beer Festival. Blues isn’t what I would think of first when it comes to music I listen to, but the music was great, and the festival was a fun time with everyone there. The festival also has a beer tasting component with around 40 different brewers represented.
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Drive To Home
The drive back home got a lot longer with the first detour we took on the way up now being closed as well due to fire. This meant an even more extended detour on the way back home. Fortunately, we left in the first half of the day, so we were able to make it back home by a reasonable hour.

Camping, Bluesapalooza, and hanging out with family was great! I am definitely also looking forward to our next camping trip, maybe we can squeeze one more in this year.

More Photos from the trip

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Camping Mammoth
July 27, 2018

Micro.blog Archives

With the recent addition of the Archives” feature, there is now a simple way to see a chronological flow of all posts made to your timeline. The archive section is automatically created at your.domain/archive. There is no pagination within the Archive section, giving you the ability to see the entire timeline of your entries on a single screen. I have a mix of ~900 short and long posts in my timeline, and it scrolls and flows nicely (keeping in mind that it only displays Titles and clickable date links), so there shouldn’t be any performance issues for the vast majority of users it seems. @Manton has a considerably more substantial amount of posts, so I am sure you torture tested the feature before releasing it since he hosts his own content on Micro.blog now!

Ideas for future iterations of the Archive feature

  • Ability to see thumbnails inline for photo only posts.
  • A mechanism for curating special’ posts and bubbling to a highlighted section. https://burk.io/posts
  • Option for changing the location & name of the link in the navigation.
  • Foldable/Collapsible lists by Year, Month.
  • Add / Edit page title.
  • A link in Footer.
  • Toggle to hide/show Archive in Nav and/or Footer.

_*some of this stuff is doable by the end user with some code modifications/additions/deletions, but the goal here is to make it as user-friendly as possible for the whole m.b community_

July 19, 2018

No contact names in Messages on watchOS or macOS?

I was having this issue on both. BUT, I have now fixed them both! Here is what I did in case it’s happening to you.

Apple Watch App > General > Reset Sync Data


System Preferences > iCloud > Contacts (uncheck, and re-check box)

iMessage watchOS macOS

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