In 2019 the Honda Civic Still Reigns

We still wish Apple CarPlay were offered on the base Civic and better headlights were available on more trims. Take a big-picture look at this classic matchup, though, and it's a knockout. The Civic provides a more rewarding driving experience, important even if you don't care about driving. It's also more spacious, has a bigger trunk, looks better, feels more upscale inside, and is a car we'd consider buying for ourselves. Although it's not without faults, the Honda Civic remains the compact car to beat.

I mean seriously Toyota, you’ve had over 3-4 years to fully digest and breakdown the Civic Sedan and Hatchback, and still no answer. I still can’t believe that these two beast spec’d out are just right around $30,000! As Cleantechnica has clearly put it, you can own a Tesla Model 3, which is a far superior automotive, vehicle for less! Don’t forget to use my referral code “elijah2489” for 1000 free supercharging miles!

Rivet and Other Cool Children Apps

I'm always looking for new, child friendly apps for the iPad / iPhone or even maybe Amazon's newly updated Amazon Kindle Fire 7 Kids Edition Tablet specifically when it comes to reading or math. Granted, I'm pretty sure that my children do not spend more than 20 minutes on any device per week when I'm home as I have a strict no screen time during the week and only VERY limited time on the weekend. Anyways, that's a whole different batttle these days as the Wall Street Journal points out.

Out today is Google's new Rivet app from their incubator team Area 120 called Rivet on Apple App Store or Google Play. It's a speech processing app that has over 200 books availble for children to read and learn. I played with it yesterday with my son for just over 3 minutes and it was awesome. I've also done the Apple Coding App for children called Swift Playground on the iPad but of course, Google has their own app as well, by the same group called Grasshopper. I encourage you to check them all out. Pretty intuitive and interactive stuff!

Time to Switch to Powerbeats Pro

They are the most sincerely and comprehensively new Beats product since the Apple takeover, and they are a triumph. The Doctor’s headphone elves have been quietly busy, and the first true wireless Beats earphones happen to also be the best Beats headphones of any size or kind. At $250, they don’t come cheap. However, the Powerbeats Pro deliver numerous advantages over Apple’s cheaper and simpler AirPods, and those upgrades totally validate the Beats price premium.

I love my AirPods, which by the way has been updated with a newer faster chip and wireless charging, but I love the idea that these won’t fall off when I sprint on the treadmill. There goes $250 I wasn’t budgeting for :)

Breakfast Waffles

Lately, I’ve been fortunate to stay home and am able to prepare my children breakfast. Usually it’s a batch of waffles or pancakes but lately, I’m into the eggs and no carb kick. Here’s a shot of my little one Arden enjoying her waffles which were cut up into tiny tiny pieces.

I might have mentioned before but I love carrying my camera or having it readily available to capture these moments. I did have my iPhone X in my back pocket at this moment but the Sony A7RII was also nearby and I was able to grab it within seconds and take this snap.

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Walking Around UTC

So, I didn’t have the time to try “hard” enough and find “Symmetry” for the Dogwood 2019 52 Week 5 Challenge and I know that we are probably in Week 7 or 8, but hey, here are a few pictures that I captured on my Sony A7RII + Sony Zeiss 55mm F1.8 Sonnar T FE ZA. Have a great week! Oh, and I think I finally narrowed it down to the Sony FE 16-35mm F2.8 GM Wide-angle Zoom Lens as my next lens which would enable me to do more video and landscape shots. Thoughts? I wanted the Batis 24 or even the new Sony Wide GM but, we’ll see. There’s only a “few” more lens that I really want apart from the Leica route.

The water fountain / reflection balls outside of Nordstrom. See if you can find the entire family.  

The water fountain / reflection balls outside of Nordstrom. See if you can find the entire family.  

Inside of Warby Parker while my wife and I juggle our third child while trying on and fitting new frames. You need a distraction and they rarely get this treat. 

Inside of Warby Parker while my wife and I juggle our third child while trying on and fitting new frames. You need a distraction and they rarely get this treat. 

Dogwood 52 2019 Week 4

Besides making all the silly excuses about not having the time or such to post Week 4 of the Dogwood Challenge, finding “Warmth” proved to be rather difficult for me. I wanted to use a shot of our children and capture the right moment and to be honest, that didn’t happen until last night. I’ll post both pictures down below and you tell me which is “warm” but my official “entry” is the solo coffee cup. This is a from a little shop in Bankers Hill called James Coffee. Make sure to hit it up before Extraorindary Desserts opens up next door as it’ll still be easy to find parking and grab a seat. I wished that I took a better photo of the cup itself (apparently you can buy them for $64.95 a pop!) but alas, it was the latte art that proved to be more eye catching during that specific moment. I chose to edit it in the stock iPhoto App on my iPad Pro 9.7” (still no new iPad Pro or MacBook Pro) and used a Vivid Warm Filter along with some other tweaks in color and brightness.

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📷: Week 4 Story Telling: Warmth // Tell a story that makes us feel warm inside. 

Because my wife and I mistakenly thought it was BBQ Day at our daughter’s school, we found ourselves with an open time slot for lunch and decided to stay in the area. We called up our awesome friend on our way an amazing sushi restaurant in Bankers Hill called Hane Sushi (restaurant / yelp). After a few delectable dishes and specials, I’m sorry but I don’t have the names but here are some photos below, we strolled around and found James Coffee (restaurantyelp). There aren’t too many days that I bring the camera along, but I’m getting use to carrying it and love it so much. Check out the awesome sushi we had and oh yea, that other warm photo. 

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So maybe the piano shot isn’t as “warm” but it’s still an easy favorite. Girls are indeed precious.

40 Push-Ups in a Minute

Data suggest that, at least for Data suggest that, at least for men, the ability to do push-ups in large quantities is correlated with good cardiovascular health, according to a new study led by researchers from the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health and published in JAMA Network Open, a journal of the American Medical Association.

Men in the study who could complete more than 40 push-ups had 96 percent fewer issues related to cardiovascular disease, compared with those who finished fewer than 10.

There’s also an awesome app on iOS called Hundred Push-ups but that one is no longer available so, just search “100 push-ups” and there are many to try out.

The Kona is the Answer to Going 100% Electric

Let me see how I can wrap up the Hyundai Kona EV in one sentence: Why would anyone buy a gasoline daily driver when you can get a fun and roomy electric vehicle with 258 miles of range at a fairly affordable price?

The Hyundai Kona EV is fun to drive, has 201 hp (150 kW) of power, and has a copious 291 lbf⋅ft of torque. This EV should replace just about any daily gasoline commuter. Hyundai does a great job packaging the Kona EV very well. It includes standard wireless phone charging and great driving features. Starting at $36,450 before incentives, there are the base SEL, Limited, and Ultimate trim — all have a 64 kWh pack. This EV can come down to about $30,000 after the $7,500 US federal tax credit for EVs, depending on your taxable income.

I’ll admit, the only hold back I have with any vehicle outside of Tesla is the charging infrastructure. But if you’re going to charge at home every night, this is it!

Klarman on Our State of the Economy

Klarman’s critiques of Washington and of irresponsible business practices share a common target: the selfish disregard for the future. “If we think of free enterprise and democracy as games, a lot of people are breaking the rules and disrespecting the other players and even the game itself. Mitch McConnell is disrespecting the game. Donald Trump doesn’t even know what the rules are. Free enterprise has been good for me and for the world. It has been good for my two-hundred and eighty employees. It has been good for my clients. Let’s honor the system. Let’s make sure that we leave and improve it for the next generation to benefit just as much as we did and with as much respect as we showed.” Otherwise, he said, “What kind of scorched-earth cost might we have to pay for that?”

I wish I had the whole paper from the Davos summit or even Seth Klarman’s out of print book, “Margin of Safety,” that goes for $1000 or so. We must evolve.

Mariano Rivera Insane Stat

I heard a stat the other day and it blew my mind:

In human history, more people have walked on the moon than have scored an earned run off of Mariano Rivera in the postseason.

Sounds crazy, right? But it’s true.

According to NASA, 12 people have had the privilege of walking on the moon.

According to Baseball Reference, 11 people have scored an earned run off of Playoff Mo.

Amazing. Simply amazing. And to be nominated into the baseball Hall of Fame unanimously. What a career and to be the first player ever unanimously voted into the Baseball Hall of Fame; what an achievement!

Dogwood 52 2019 Week 3

Going strong into the third week of the Dogwood 52 2019, well at least I’m sticking to it. For the first time since our first born graced us, my wife and I had a chance to spend a “working” weekend away from the kiddos. Any previous time away was limited to just a date night. This is uncharacteristic and a first in six years sans children and we couldn’t have done it without our wonderful mothers and my sister helping out in 24 hours shifts. Thanks so much! I will admit that there were more than a few instances where we thought of heading home early or even just having my going alone, but we did it!

For this challenge, I brought my Sony A7Rii camera with us to Reno, Nevada and Tahoe but found myself trying really hard to capture what I would think would look good in black and white. That ended up with a kind of photography’s block so I barely shot anything at all! Quite disappointing really. With so much nature and wilderness, I could only think of industrial like settings (of course I could have easily just though of the amazing Ansel Adams but hindsight is indeed 20/20) so here we have it; our Southwest plane blurred in the background with rain sprinkling on the window. For the last 14 years, my life has been about riding standby and this trip was successful thanks in part to the awesome friends at Southwest.

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📷: Week 3Inspiration: Black and White // Your inspiration this week is to simply take an amazing Black and White photograph of any subject you want.

Here is the original color photo (which was just edited in Photoshop Express on my iPad Pro) and also an awesome photo of Turbo the airport companion dog. Check out those freaking paws! I really wish that I had the new Sony FE 16-35mm F2.8 GM Wife-angle Zoom Lens (SEL1635GM) with me for some awesome landscape shots, but then again, I hardly pulled out my Sony A7Rii. =(