October 16, 2018
No one likes when “Check Engine” type lights show up on our dashboard. Fortunately as cars advance, so does the way in which they communicate. This error was spelled out in plain english. “LOW COOLANT”
I took the car in to the dealer to check it out and to reset the “Service Required” message.
The “Low Coolant” light was diagnosed as a leak from a crack in the radiator unit. 😱
The crack was caused by what I would classify as a design flaw.
Cost of Parts + Labor to replace radiator: $1298.32
Cost of component added that prevents original failure: $5.37 😲
This kind of engineering problem always intrigues me.
Test, Test, Test.
Our final bill was $0.00 as it was all covered under our warranty.
October 16, 2018
The Road To 250
January first of this year I set a goal for myself to run 250 miles in 2018. As of today, October 14, 2018, I have competed this goal! 🎉 Below is an infographic of some of the info that I tracked along the way. I am very happy to have all the data, and plan on going through even more of the gathered data for an end of year recap!
October 15, 2018
My Blog Blinded Me!
I have been doing a lot of visual work to get my blog looking the way I want it to, and so far I am quite happy with it! Most of this work was done during daylight hours, and the overall design is on the lighter side. Last night I went looking at something on my blog and was stabbed in the eyeballs with blinding white light! After regaining vision, it got me thinking about what it would be like to have a “night mode” toggle for the blog?
Well, after some work, I now have the beginnings of a night mode on my blog! It’s working great so far! It looks pretty cool too. It still has some significant functionality I need to add, but it’s a neat little feature so far.
Take a look in the upper right corner to try it out. ☝️ 😃
Some of the things I need to work on still
- Save user settings, so it’s useful
- Add a function to auto switch during nighttime hours
- Tweak the colors in night mode
Here is some of the basic early code, if you are curious about something like this.
Huge shout out to @alcedine for her help and support on this project! 🙌 😃
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! 📸
🖼 More photos on SmugMug
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:
- Does it turn on?
- Are the screen and enclosure in good shape?
- 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.
They have received my watch and cleared it. Gift card is on the way!
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
- Go to settings within DuckDuckGo.
- Select “other settings”.
- Get everything all setup the way you like.
- Select “save settings” and create a passphrase.
- You can now select “load settings” on any other device and use that passphrase to load your settings.
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.
August 10, 2018
@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?
AS THE USER READING CONTENT
You have two options:
- Active public participation through text reply.
- 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]
AS THE USER POSTING CONTENT
Given the two options above:
- You receive a notification in your “mentions” tab that a specific person has replied to one of your posts with a text response.
- 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._
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