Yup haven’t blogged in a month now, its been a hella long time. Been pretty busy around the clock in work and parenting but nothing crazy or out of the ordinary.
Recent embarkment to the science center at Telus- watched a video on stars, particularly about the sun in this gnarly dome theater. Pretty neat. Missed out on the giant laser show because they were renovating. Reminded me of my undergrad astrophysics classes.
Went out for all you can eat Indian at Dawaat with S- pretty solid food overall for a not too bad price. I think there is only so much you can really eat though- just two plates for me. Caught up with S and felt mostly really old talking about birthdays.
Went to McDonalds after a really great chest day with W and M. It has been a while since we have done any resistance training- we have been doing more circuit training in the last little while, so that was a nice break. My gigantic amounts of fish filet, chicken nuggets and angus burger felt amazing. The Montreal steak spice sauce was too strong though.
Chilling with my Thursday gym crew- these nights make me feel so recharged.
Went to Salt and Pepper Korean restaurant and it was quite good- really really great service, good food quality, and great ambiance in the restaurant. The portion sizes could be bigger, but its fairly typical I guess for Korean anyways.
The decor inside was really nice. Quite cozy and fine for a date night- surprised this is just tucked away in the corner by a bus stop.
Feeling outraged at the lack of coffee in my cool foam expresso something spring drink at Starbucks. That foam was what that empty space is. The drink wasn’t even that good. RUGHRHSDAFD/
Checking out the Google Pixelbook for the first time even though its quite old. I have to say, I was not impressed. For a flagship product, its mostly forgettable. The design is just meh, and not something that really stood out like the Surfacebook. I also felt that it was SUPER pricey for what it is- I don’t really see what it provides beyond most Chromebooks. A victim of their own success I guess. They made Chromebooks so viable and cheap, they could not make baller editions. I have tried to install Chrome OS on two more computers and both have failed. Its a shame, because I think it would be a great OS for my VAIO K Pentium 4 computer.
My beloved Banana Republic gym bag I will later blog about- I can’t believe BR is a premium brand – if this is supposed to compete with bigger names in fashion, they have completely murdered their product line by having frequent sales that have diminished the brand to the point that I don’t know why you would pay more for BR over GAP unless the style was visibly different. I also happen to love GAP a lot and have slowly been making that my preferred brand now over J.Crew, which is good because I don’t know when J.Crew Outlet will pull out of Canada, like their mainstore. I picked up a leather Fossil backpack and that has been swell. Its been nice to have full support through dual straps.It has worked really well as my daily driver bag and carries everything I want quite easily. I do wonder if I would have liked the yellow Coach backpack I was also eyeing, but with its much more garish coloring and price, I probably am better off with this subdued bag. I am also really comfortable with the Fossil brand, as its my usual man purse brand. I quite like its design because I can wear it with my work dress clothes and my causal weekend clothes. Another bag note- I switched from my Nike gym bag that has been my standard for like 12 years, to an old Banana Republic bag that is smaller, but sleeker and quite stylish in a dark army green. It fits better with my work attire when I workout at work and its nice to find a use for it again. It was a weird duffel style bag that was a bit too stylish for the DC shoes I use to wear, and a bit too gym like for an everyday man purse bag. It fits my needs right now perfect.
I read this middle school girl’s book in Chapter’s the other day and I absolutely loved it! It does such a good job illustrating the social intricacies of growing up in junior high, and it really resonated with me in my Grade 7-8 years in particular. Solid read.
We had Peking duck at Tasty Noodle to celebrate birthdays- generally it was really good overall, but probably was better for a smaller crowd – we had a number of adults so the portions were more tasters- we ordered other dishes, but I would have liked to spend more time with the pastry wraps- didn’t realize that cantaloupe would go so well with the hoisin sauce/duck skin/pastry/scallions.
One of the many many many wintery nights this year. Its supposed to be spring right now and its looking alright to be honest. I really am looking forward to the greenery though. I have been doing more runs outside and its been so so exciting/satisfying. Can’t wait to take H to the playgrounds again and chill out with cool drinks in the shade. I have figured out a workout schedule that keeps my somewhat more motivated. I usually find my workouts on weekdays more stressful because they are time limited- I have less hours to choose a workout time due to work, so I either cram it in the morning, jam it out between patients, or do it late at night when the kid is sleeping. For shorter workouts like a run, this is fine, but longer ones like chest day or lower back day, I would rather concentrate on focusing on the lift, rather than eyeing the clock. So far, I have been saving the weekends for my big compound lifts and that has been kind of exciting. Its like when I had regular lift days like chest on Wednesday when I used to workout with P and our schedules fit there. I also mixed it up last weekend when the sun started coming out and went for an outdoors run which was also really bomb- the stairs really made a fun yet terrifying challenge. However the trails were still really slick and the ice was not welcoming or forgiving at all. I can’t wait for spring. I also picked up a new pair of Nike Air Max 2017s at the outlet and was disappointed to see that Nike changed the formula for their shoes- the tongue now bunches up at the bottom and cuts into my tendon, and it is no longer like running on clouds. I think I can fix this by stitching the tongue so it can’t move, but it is pretty annoying. I have also been pretty disappointed with my weight- I am at 203 right now, which is quite a bit more heavy/fat than I would like to be. I think ideally with strength goals intact, I would be mid 180s, so this is pretty annoying. Not sure what that means for where I go next with fitness stuff. Today after I did upper back I went back on my protein shakes. I think its time to start taking my diet seriously again. I feel like a real slob these days, even though I am working like a worker ant in the gym.
Rearranging some shelves and making my Sony collection into a bit of a museum. Found some really awesome blue LEDs from the dollar store to bring a little ambience to the shelves and highlight even the dark corners.
Installing Windows 10 again on my new VAIO UX- it would later be redone as a Chrome OS device because 10 absolutely bombed on this device. I managed to snag the Sony UX390 VAIO UMPC for a ridiculously low price (about a third of the cost it typically goes for on eBay) and I am now content about not having snagged the mint condition new in box UX280 for 70 bucks (!!!!) in kijiji Ottawa years ago. This UX390 is a massive upgrade in specs with the maximum 1GB ram and 32GB SSD and 1.33 Ghz core solo. While these specs are not the greatest, and are probably slower than the majority of entry level smartphones now (maybe even feature phones), they were the max specs on the UX series before they were discontinued. So far, the UX is every bit of a design dream as I have seen it for years (and its still in mint condition!), but its also just as useless as the reviews stated they were. I can completely see why UMPC failed to take off. The worst attrocity is the keyboard. It is absolutely unusable. For a machine that is ridiculously larger than a Blackberry, it has about 1/20th the usability. It is totally useless. The keyboard is completely flat, and has no feedback- you cannot tell what the keys you are pressing, and if you pressed them. You also hit like eight keys at once because they have no separation and are totally flat. I seriously cannot believe this made several generations. The other unfortunate part is that there are no drivers for modern OSes (it came with Vista originally), and it barely runs Windows 10. I installed Chrome OS through Neverware on it and it works much better, but the touchscreen is really bad and I cannot figure out how to calibrate it (it might not be possible), so the terrible resistive touch screen isn’t that great. Not too sure what use I will be able to make out of it to be honest, but it is definitely cool as hell.
I’ve been able to buy a couple gems lately on the used sites. First off was the Sony MDR-XB80BS that I just finished a run with. Since my MDR-AS700BT headphones broke, I have been absolutely dying to get a proper running headphone. While using a bluetooth remote through my SBH50 and Sennheisser Adidas PMX680 has been ok, I really liked the tangle free portion of my AS700BT, excellent sound/seal on my ears, and the stable fitting that no hard run could break. The XB50BS thankfully was at tow, but they honestly are good for lifting, but not running- the hangar free design really isn’t that great- they don’t fall out your ears, but they barely stay on, and the loose feeling is really distracting/annoying, on top of the sound changing because of the loose seal. The XB80BS so far has been excellent, with a great seal on the ears, stable design, and good sound. I managed to snag them with a 20% off eBay coupon that I have never ever seen in my life (and unlikely to see again anytime soon, given the last one was like 2005) for a price about a third the MSRP (not bad) and now that I am using them, I wish I got them earlier. I had spent time going through the other brands, and did not find anything that really caught my eye, and I am supremely pleased with the staibility in particular with these headphones. I actually was really choked a month ago because I found a mint AS700BT in UK but missed the auction out by mere pennies. So now I am happy I have found a replacement. Given that there is no equivalent in the 2018 lineup from Sony, I might stock up on the XB80BS.
I picked up the Sony SRS-D7 headphones that were ridic vintage old, well past what I am used to. They ar eprobably 1970s or so. The cable unfortunately is not in good shape so theres a lot of connection static, and generally the sound is not that great anyways. But super cool design! Ha. And its the headphone that was in the Sony Join Together commercial where they combine the artist and the engineer (swoon!).
W and M picked up a Kijiji find in Red Deer in a surprising find- the Sony CMT-C5 Minidisc bookshelf system. I was really excited about this one because I loved looking at these systems in my Japanese magazines- they never sold well in North America and so were mostly an Asian market exclusive. I was always enamored with the systems wondering what sort of magic trickery they had. This was super cheap- 20 bucks! Unfortunately its vintage vibes also mean vintage wear and tear- the MD deck doesn’t read and gives an error. It does work fine amplifying the speakers which I am much more interested in- they are 20W speakers that are nearly as well designed as the LA500ED Sony speakers that are my faves. I believe the cabinets are made of aluminum or metal, and they have the same really cool bubbly design as the ED Sony line up. Also really cool is the yellow tweeter cones, and the woofers are backlit with a blue LED. Cheesy with the blue LEDs on the main unit, but the kind of stuff that I fell in love with in high school. LEDs everywhere. They sound quite good actually, not ED level, but much much better than Sony’s other speaker offerings that I have in my arsenal. Really pleased with the finding.
I have been checking out the Apple watch lately- I am supremely disappointed with Android Wear and its total lack of functionality beyond being a notification screen- if it wasn’t for the excellent Polar Wear software/hardware for my workouts, I would have switched to Apple Watch already. The M600 seems like its bottlenecked by Google’s total lack of support/effort to bring back the functionality I had with Android Wear 1.0 vs. 2.0 right now. The Apple Watch was pretty fantastic when I checked it out in Best Buy today, and I think I have found a way to more easily integrate counting reps in strength training so it can be used as equally as it would be with my runs (I find strength training tracking usually lacking in fitness apps/wearables). We will see. I most likely will get one with GPS so at least Series 2.
I picked up a Sony NW-HD1 Network Walkman the other day and I was blown away about how small and light the device was- it was mind blowing when it came out in 2004 and just killed the dimensions and battery life of the iPod 4th gen. Unfortunately it seems to have an HD issue and I cannot get my computer to recognize it. It seems to function fine otherwise. Its an incredible piece of design though. I just can’t believe the functional impairment Sony made with it- you need the cradle to do any charging/syncing (terrible for traveling), and it needs both the charger and the mini USB to sync. On top of the MP3 fiasco it had with needing everything to be converted to Atrac3plus until Sony did the MP3 update (which apparently was an equipment upgrade and not just a software flash!). Not sure if I will get around to fixing this or requesting a refund.
Also cool, I have picked up two Sony mice recently- one BNIB (!) the WMS50A and a used BMS77. The former is a wireless presentation optical mouse that mostly works terribly because the presenter nub that replaces the scroll wheel is WAY too sensitive/undersensitive. It was also made for Windows XP so drivers are lacking (alhtough it doesn’t look like it had any drivers really before, so it might just be a terrible mouse). The optical part is hilarious too- I forgot how much tech has changed, and have took for granted the ability of laser technology to work even on glass surfaces – this optical mouse barely works on anything that is not a dedicated mouse pad- haven’t had to use that in awhile, but here I am. Its actually my regular travel mouse right now, because I quite enjoy using a Sony mouse- its very rare and very much not in production. The BMS77 is another interesting one- it is a laser mouse (yay! back to the present) that uses wireless induction technology to charge without physical electrical contacts….like all the wireless phones on the market today. Except this was like 2008- way before the iPhone finally took in wireless charging with the X (?). It also has a replaceable proprietary battery that apparently was never sold separately- I will have to get replacements at some point through a third party. Its a BT desktop mouse, and it was meant to be a premium mouse to pair with the VAIO AW- especially the camera special edition. Unfortunately its quite a let down and feels quite chintzy even if the tech is good. There is a big design story on the mouse on Sony’s Japan website, so that’s cool. I wish it felt more premium though. Anyways I am quite proud to have two Sony mice.