2016 – Top Posts

2016 was a nearly non-existent year for RFdc, as I just didn’t post much. Combine that with this being a little personal blog with few subscribers, and the site as a whole didn’t receive much traffic at all. I hope to rectify that moving forward.

Below are the top 10 most visited pages for the year.

Replacing the Low-Beam Headlight on a 2009 BMW R1200GS (2012)
Review: The Dune Series by Frank Herbert (2007)
Updated Motorcycle Packing List (2012)
Trip Routing: Harley Davidson’s Ride Planner (2011)
Trip Routing: MapQuest (2010)
Gear Review: “Big Ear” Ear Plugs (2011)
Snapshot: Wolf Pond Rd. – Adirondack State Park (2011)
Short Story Club – “The Ones Who Walk Away From Omelas” (2010)
Parallel Structure: Coordinating Conjunctions (2012)
The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao – by Junot Díaz (2012)

Exploring Google Photos

Playing around with Google Photos. So far I’m impressed enough to keep playing around with it. Some of the more impressive features…

Automatically stitches together pictures taken in a single location to form a panorama picture. For landscapes, it seems to work really well, although there can often be humorous results if there are people in the picture (floating heads, disembodied legs, duplication of certain objects/people that are in multiple pictures). Not sure how useful this will be, however, as most cameras and phones these days have a panorama mode built in.

If shooting in burst mode, GP can automagically create a GIF for you, such as:

IMG_1513-ANIMATION

I’ll keep exploring and show off some of the capabilities as I discover them.

No… really… I don’t care (or How to Totally Buy Into the Media Frenzy and Contrived Controversy and Generally Annoy the Crap out of Everyone Within Earshot In Less than 10 Days)

I’ve received 8 or 9 queries in the past few days that all go something like this…

“You’re a a Mac guy… Have you got the iPhone 6 yet?”
“omg you didn’t pre-order? It’s the best thing ever! So much better than that other phone that’s just like it!”
“You’re not getting the new iPhone, are you? It’s just like that other phone that’s so much better”
“Which should I get, phone A or phone B?”

I don’t know why folks give a crap about what phone I have, or why they think my opinion on such things actually matters, but allow me to address all the inquiries in one snarky post.

Yes, I have Apple products, but I’m not a “Mac Guy.” For what I wanted to do on a day-to-day basis, Apple products made the most sense for me. I also, however, have a PC on a desk behind me that I built myself for gaming, because Apple doesn’t meet that particular need of mine very well.

No, I didn’t pre-order the iPhone 6. I’m not even going to get the iPhone 6.

Because my iPhone 5 works just fine, that’s why. Why would I spend that kind of money to replace a phone that does everything I need it to do? I’m a teacher. I have better things to do with the little bit of surplus cash I have, thank you very much. Like buy beer. And pizza. And bacon. Well, hell… now I’m hungry.

Will you please stop bashing iPhone. And you over there… stop bashing those Android phones. Holy crap, you drive me crazy. It’s just a phone. You make this far more complicated and controversial than it really is.

I have no idea which you should get. My phone works great, so I haven’t done any research on any phone in the last two years. And I don’t plan on doing any research on any phone until the phone I have no longer does what I need and/or want it to do.

No, I don’t have time to do your research for you. Do your own damn research.

Holy moley you are persistent. Fine. Here’s some general advice. On individual slips of paper, write down the make and model of every phone that is causing you to lose sleep. Now, put those 2 slips of paper into a shoebox (because you’re just making a choice between Samsung and Apple, aren’t you? Can you even name another phone? No? How very telling). Put the lid on the shoebox. Shake the crap out of the shoebox. Close your eyes. Take the lid off the shoebox. Reach in and pull out one of the 2 slips of paper. There. You just decided which phone to buy.

Yes, really. Because when you’re talking about the top-of-the-line models from Samsung, Apple, LG, HTC, etc., they all do the same damn thing and you’ll never use whatever phone you get to its full capacity, anyway. You’ll text, and you’ll post to Facebook, and you’ll take pictures, and you’ll check email, and you’ll listen to music, and you’ll play videos, and you’ll play games. And you can do all of that on any of the big-name phones out there. At the end of the day, the basis of your decision is not going to be which phone performs which function best. Your biggest consideration is going to be which phone do you want your friends to see you with, and perhaps whatever media-contrived pseudo-political statement you imagine you are making. And that’s fine. But you don’t need my advice, or anyone else’s advice for that matter, to figure that out. Pick one at random. For the first 6 months you’ll love whichever one you pick, and then you’ll spend the next 6 months bitching about it because you’ve heard about what “the next big thing” is going to be able to do.

And in 12 months, you’re going to ask me the same silly questions and I’ll be able to point to this post because the only things that will have changed are the model numbers.

Sometimes, you don’t even know when a dream is coming true

Growing up, I think I had 2 “heroes” whom I admired more than anyone else. These “hereos” were the stuff of legend for me. They were men I wanted to “be”.

In the construction area behind the high school, I would tear along the dirt roads on my Huffy Apollo Racer. In my head I heard the announcer telling of my courage as I jumped over barrels, and I heard the chant of the crowd – “Evil! Evil! Evil!”

In my backyard, it was 4th and 20. I dropped back, wearing the #12 blue home jersey, and let one fly to my dad (who was really Ahmad Rashad). Or I handed off to my friend Sean or Sandy or John (who were all really OJ Simpson) and watched as they ran around the dogwood bush and scored the winning touchdown against those damnable Dolphins. And I chose the number 12 when I started my own quarterback career in 3rd grade with the Pittsford Lions – not for Terry or Roger who were the more famous of the number 12 wearers, but for Joe.

What I never dared do, though, was actually dream to ever meet one of these men.

Today, what was never a dream actually came true. I sat down in Rogers, Arkansas and had brunch with one of my childhood heroes – Joe Ferguson (QB of the Buffalo Bills from ’73 to ’84). It was awesome.

20140608-181633-65793131.jpg

So yeah… I’ve been smiling for the last 6 hours. I don’t see that changing for the next week or so.

Thanks to Nick and Erin for making a dream that I didn’t even know was a dream come true!

It’s Tunesday on Steroids…

Into the Wild - The Movie (Amazon)

Into the Wild – The Movie (Amazon)

So last night I watched the movie Into the Wild. It’s based on a book of the same title by John Krakauer. Both the book and the film have been on my “To Read/Watch” list for a while now, but I’ve been putting it off. In fact, the film has been in my Netflix queue for the last 6 months or so, but since it’s 2 hours and 28 minutes long I never got around to watching it. But then I noticed that Netflix was pulling it as of May 1, so I decided to make the time (It is also available on Amazon Instant Video).

And I am so glad I did.

I knew the story going in, but, still… never has a movie both inspired me and left me so completely devastated. It’s like Sean Penn, who both wrote and directed the film, reached in and tore my heart out through my tear ducts.

Ho.
Lee.
Crap.

Into the Wild - The Book (Amazon)

Into the Wild – The Book (Amazon)

I can’t recommend the film highly enough. It’s rare that I’ll watch a film before reading the book it’s based on. It’s rarer still that I’ll run out and buy the book after watching the film. In this case, I logged into Amazon on the iPad and bought the book while I was watching the film. The story is that compelling.

But how does this relate to Tunesday? Simple.

Into the Wild is the first solo album from Eddie Vedder who was hand-picked by Sean Penn to provide music for the film.

So, yeah. Eddie friggin’ Vedder.

The entire soundtrack is terrific, but “Society” I found both lovely and haunting. It also is a wonderful representation of the state of mind of Christopher McCandless, whom the story is based upon: