Virtually There

February 3, 2016

Well, I just got my Samsung GearVR headset at the end of 2015 and I’m totally loving it!  There was an inconvenience when viewing Google Cardboard content that involved having to slip my new Galaxy Note 5 into the viewer without plugging it into the MicroUSB socket and that was a little difficult with how slippery the Note5 was.  However, I found an app to suppress the automatic launching of the Oculus software as soon as the phone is plugged into the headset (Package Disabler on the Google Play Store – Check the GearVR Service box and the firmware does not engage when plugged into the headset ).  I had credit on the Google Play store due to running Google surveys from time-to-time so the app was essentially free and worthwhile.  Overall, I’m very impressed with the Gear VR.  There’s a screendoor effect that’s inevitable given that we’re magnifying a smartphone screen with lenses; however when 4K displays become common on smartphones, VR will defeat the screendoor issue.  I also added a Moga Pro bluetooth game controller and Temple Run VR was very immersive.  There’s a ton of ground to cover in VR but so far, I’m extremely impressed and inspired.  Apple would be very wise to not let this market slip away from them.  I believe there is going to be a Meetup group here in Arizona to tease out VR.  I’m planning on taking a roadtrip to Utah to see The Void when it opens this summer.

Soylent Debuts Its Ready-To-Drink Meal Replacement Shake, Soylent 2.0

August 4, 2015

I’m ready to try this. Pre-made bottles would get rid of some of the powdery feel of the 1.4 stuff. And the price seems reasonable.

Making Peace with Darwin

April 15, 2015

I grew up in a Fundamentalist Christian household.  We took the Bible literally and assumed that those that didn’t were at best misled and at worst unsaved.  As a literalist, I was taught that the events in the first few chapters in Genesis were literally true (i.e. there was a real talking serpent and two real original humans, a man named Adam and woman named Eve whose eating of a real fruit caused all of mankind to suffer).  We were taught that this singular rebellious act was responsible for the fate of mankind and that it singularly necessitated a sacrifice to balance the scales of justice; therefore any watering down or questioning of this story was a fundamental attack on the need for salvation and was an affront to our beliefs.  Many people continue to feel this way; however, I have abandoned the need to defend a literal creation event in the same way as most people abandoned the geocentric model of the universe when Copernicus proved that the sun, not the earth, was the center of our solar system.  This has had some affect on my outlook on life and the world.  First, it means that Dinosaurs, Homo Erectus, and Evolution are no longer offensive words in my vocabulary and when I read a report about how studying apes give us insights into humans, I don’t need to  qualify that in my own head.  Next, I have adopted a more “universalist” position with regards to those who grew up in a non-Christian tradition seeing “God” as someone who is looking for righteous people all over the planet rather than just the ones that conform to the faith I was given as a child.  For my non-theist friends, I don’t need to see them as morally different than me simply because they see no reason for a “God” when life can emerge through natural processes.  I choose to believe in purpose but I no longer need to rely on cosmology to prove it: It is a matter of faith and belief that are independent of how the universe came to be.  It may be that we are the product of mechanical processes with no direction and no purpose and I have accepted this as a possibility; I choose to believe that there is purpose in the process but that is not something that can be (or needs to be) “proven.”  This puts me at odds with my fundamentalist upbringing but I’m at peace with that (at some point, I may blog on the “Apologetics Trap” :).  I’m sure I will offend some (Both Theists and non-Theists) with my position, but like Martin Luther I can say “Here I Stand” and I’m willing to live with the consequences.  I can only wish blessings on my friends and peace upon their lives and let them know that I will advocate on their behalf irrespective of their views on origins.  Namaste!

Off to England

April 14, 2015

So I’m on my way to England on Thursday.  This should be a lot of fun.  It may be a challenge to remain focused on fitness while not crimping my wife and daughter’s time so I’ll try to be good while not letting myself go.  Challenge accepted! There is one dish called a Scotch Egg that I’d like to try (High protein) so that will be good.  Also, I hear the best Indian food in the world can be found in London so we’ll see about that 🙂  I’ll try to maintain the 10,000 steps/day but that will be subject to how everyone’s feeling as well.  So much to see!  Bought an international converter and will have the laptop too so wired for bear 🙂

Wow! Where to begin

December 1, 2014

There have been a substantial number of changes in my life since the last time I posted anything.  The biggest item is that as of this morning, I have lost over 84 lbs (and I’m sitting at about 223 lbs and still losing.)  This has been done with a combination of diet and exercise.  First, I’m drinking two green smoothies per day.  Next, I’ve given up Gluten, High Fructose Corn Syrup, Soda and artificial sweeteners.  Next, I’m clocking in 10,000 steps/day although most days it’s about 15,000+.  The results have been tremendous (averaging 0.6 lbs lost per day).  I’ve also enjoyed the comments and support I’m getting from everyone (Thanks to everyone!)  I actually used my Google Glass to record a typical walk and I’ll assemble that in some fashion to post here and/or Facebook.  My pedometers are getting quite the workout and I’ve already worn through two pairs of shoes (Though the first set was pretty worn already 🙂

Another change is that my brother and I are attending the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas during the week of January 6th 2015.  This will be a gadgeteer’s dream!  We’re both looking forward to all of the new electronics being debuted.

Another new device I got recently on somewhat of an impulse buy is the Amazon Fire TV Stick.  Might try this out on my Sister’s TV or my parent’s TV when we visit them again.

Life is good!

Gadgets gone wild

May 15, 2014

Well for my birthday this year I purchased a galaxy gear smart watch.


Having a lot of fun with it especially since I rooted it. Then last week I was informed that I had won a Google glass device. After last year’s melodrama now glass is back. Next mission: start writing apps. 🙂 what a month in the gadgetsphere!

End of an era

January 21, 2014

Okay, that’s a bit melodramatic.  I finally finished my 2 year contract on my first Android phone, the Droid Bionic.  In general, I really like the Android.  Was able to do all kinds of interesting things and was happily unrestrained.  By the end, I had rooted the Bionic and loaded Cyanogen on it.  This has long-term benefits in that it makes the device more appealing for resale on Craigslist.  Similar devices have fetched around $200.00 and it’s in good shape so I’m hopeful to recover some of the costs.  Its replacement is a Samsung Galaxy S4 system that simply blows the Bionic away.  Thanks in no small part to my wife’s patience, we were able to secure 5 S4 phones for $0.01 with the activation waived and because there was a hiccup in the ordering process, we also snagged $100.00 for our pain and suffering <Thanks-Amazon/>  I’m very happy with the new phone so far and it is simply beautiful to behold.  Wish me luck on the resale of the Bionic 🙂

Goodbye Glass

August 2, 2013

It was a short 25 days since I first got Google Glass.  In that time I got a lot of looks and did a countless demos.  I was able to engineer sideloading applications (APKs) onto Glass and got several of them working.  The only thing I didn’t do was to build a from-scratch glassware application; however I did deconstruct one of the demo applications.  At this point, the device is on its way back to Google.  Maybe I’ll try to use the emulator [] and continue trying to develop a glassware app but for now, this chapter is, unfortunately, closed 😦

Kickstarter is about to begin

July 28, 2013

The link to my kickstarter campaign to fund Google Glass is going to be:

Go ahead and give it a shot and leave me some feedback!

Day 3 with google glass

July 9, 2013

Well the hits just keep on coming!  Today I was able to visit the Choice Hotels mobile website via glass.  It wasn’t easy to navigate but I was able to get there and click on a few links.  Next I discovered how to view the Mobile YouTube website and to view some online video.  Finally, I was able to use the onscreen navigation app (while my wife was driving) to give directions.  This was very very cool.  Of course I also shared a video I captured yesterday to YouTube and that is in the previous post.  I arrived home late on Monday so tomorrow…it’s time for show-and-tell at Choice!