No more Instagram posts

Moving forward, I’ve decided to no longer to link my Instagram posts to my blog.  I think it’s redundant. Not sure why but anyone who wants to see them can just follow me on Instagram.

Also it’s been a while since I really had an official blog post. I have a few in the pipeline, so stay tuned.

Southern Watch Straps

In my last post I reviewed the new Pebble Time smartwatch. What I didn’t get a chance to mention was the various straps that I used for the Pebble Time.  Since getting the Pebble Time I wore 5 different types of straps (OEM Pebble, Hirsch Performance, Bonetto Cinturini, Zulu Heavy Duty, and Southern Straps). But the straps that I used the most and consider to be the best nylon (Nato style) strap you can buy for the Pebble Time or any watch that use 22mm straps is Southern Straps.

First and foremost what makes Southern the best nylon base straps is its construction and build quality. Their straps are 2-piece nylons that attaches to the top and bottom of your watch lugs using quick release spring bars. Each of the piece is made of a long durable nylon that is folded over, stitched, and heat-sealed ends. This gives it twice the durability of typical Nato or Zulu straps that you can by today.  Don’t believe me? Southern Straps offers a lifetime warranty on their straps. I checked around and I don’t know any other company that offers that type of guarantee.

As of today I’ve ran over 150 miles with my Pebble Time and Southern straps. That’s hours of my nasty salty sweat and hours of heat and direct sunlight that the straps have endured. And it still looks brand new. In addition, while doing arts and crafts with my son I spilled some paint on my watch strap. I spent 20 minutes with some dish soap and a brillo pad to scrub the paint off. For any other nylon straps there would have been tons of frayed threads, but for my Southern strap it looks untouched. Check out the pictures below.


Rating for Southern Straps –
Rating: ★★★★★★★★★½


Extremely Durable
Lifetime Warranty
Utilize quick-release pins for easy strap swaps


Floating keeper could be shorter by 1 or 2mm (Floats a bit too much)
Needs more color/pattern options
Needs to have more size options (18, 20, 24mm)


Pebble Time


The current state of smartwatches relies heavily on the smartphone you carry with you. For the most part smartwatches acts mainly as a second screen on your wrist giving you notifications of messages, emails, incoming calls, and pertinent information from apps that are installed on your phone. The reasons I chose to get a smartwatch was that I needed a watch that could display the stats of my workout runs, and the ability to notify me of message/calls when I don’t have my phone on me but it is still nearby on my desk or in another room.

Prior to making my decision to go with the Pebble Time I tested 2 other watches; Moto 360 and LG Urbane

The Moto 360 and LG Urbane runs on the Android Wear OS by Google which evidently works with only Android phones. These watches offer the features and functionality that the Pebble Time also provides plus other features such as heart rate monitoring, Google Now voice activation, and among a few others. But unfortunately the battery life for Android Wear lasts at most a day and a half. Just as disappointing is its screen for outdoor visibility. It’s fantastic when indoors, but when I use it with my running app it can be difficult to see when the sun is directly overhead.

The Pebble Time is a watch that takes a different path. It works with both Android and iOS devices and the battery life lasts up to 7 days, but from personal usage 5 days seems to be the norm even with hundreds of notifications alerting throughout the day.  The long battery life is due mainly for its choice of the display technology. It uses a color e-paper technology which is very similar to the Amazon Kindles e-readers. The downsides of using e-paper display is that it has poor visibility indoors, but luckily it has a backlight that can be turned on with a flick of the wrist or a press of a button. Another big factor going for the Pebble Time is it has a large active developer community. There are hundreds, if not thousands, of watchfaces and apps available to install on the watch and all of them are backwards compatible with the previous generation of Pebble watches.

Ultimately, I choose the Pebble Time for two main reasons:

1. The battery life – It’s nice to know that I can still use my watch if I forget to charge it the night before or the last few nights. Even if I drain the battery I can fully charge it within an hour and it’ll last me for another week.

2. Water resistance (up to 30m) – I workout with my watch and I sweat a whole lot. I’ve also showered, wash dishes, and given my children a bath with it. It’s nice to know that it can handle being wet. Unlike the Android Wear watch which can be submerged under 1m of (still) water for 30 minutes which doesn’t provide much confidence in getting wet compared to the Pebble Time.

If you’re looking for a smartwatch I definitely recommend the Pebble Time. But if you’re looking for an Android Wear device I recommend the LG Urbane. It has one of the longest battery life for an Android Wear device and it looks great. There are other options such as the Apple Watch, but my experience with it has been very limited. The smartwatch era is just beginning and it’s only going to get better and more exciting. If you’re the still on the fence on whether to get one I completely understand. As of right now the only justification in getting a smartwatch is if you’re specifically looking for notification device on your wrist or a companion to your workouts.

Rating for Pebble Time
Rating: ★★★★★★★★½☆

Long battery life (up to 7 days)
30m Water Resistance
Great outdoor visibility
Works on iOS and Android
Tons of apps and watchfaces

Poor indoor visibility (without backlight)
Low resolution screen
Not aesthetically nice as other smartwatches

Unintended consequences of having long hair

Last week the drain in the bath tub began to slowly back up as I showered. The water was ankle deep by the time I was done. I know, gross.  I used Drano to try to unclog the drain, but that didn’t do any good. So I went to Lowe’s and got one of those plastic snake tools with tiny little hooks. I jammed it down the drain and pulled up a glob of hair the size of a small mouse. After some dry heaving due to the grossness of hair and pieces of soap globs the drain was finally clear.

10 years

This month marks 10 years of this website. I never imagined that this blog would still be around. There was a time back in 2008 where I was contemplating to just let the site die off when my domain renewal came.

Over the past 10 years the post topics ranged from random ramblings of nothing to sports to movie and tech reviews that interests me, but the frequency of posts waned in the past few of years due to a big change in my life; becoming a husband then a dad and a dad again all of which couldn’t be more exciting and fulfilling except for maybe being a dad again a few more times.

Anyhow, here’s to another decade of blogging and to the handful of people who stumble upon this site. Thanks for reading.

Nice day for a run

It’s been a while since I did a full track workout on my own. It feels good and exhausting. 

And It’s been an even longer time since I skipped coaching a track season. I miss it a bit, but it also gives me time to rest an be with my family, and this is a much better trade off.

Beware of fake tax emails

Today I received an email from my bank stating that my tax papers are ready for me to download.

I know that my bank physically mails me those papers, so I looked a little closer and it turns out that it’s a fake email that is disguised to steal my bank log in information. If you’re savvy with your email check out the email header info to see where the email is really from. That email looked very legit. It contained lots of official looking images and verbiage that financial institutions would use.  So be careful out there. Those bad people know tax season is near so they’re out there to steal information from you.

If you’re unsure whether your bank email message is legit go directly to your bank website by manually opening up your web browser and typing in your username and password on a home computer. Keep in mind that the web address to any bank log in will start with HTTPS in addition to an image of a padlock.



If it doesn’t then close your browser and make sure you typed in the correct address. Most bank web access accounts should have an inbox that contains official emails from the banks itself. If you’re still paranoid go directly to your bank branch and request any tax papers you need.

Happy New Year

It’s a day late, but Happy New Year anyways.  It’s been almost a whole year since I posted anything on my blog. Sorry to the three people that actually visit this site.

Anyhow, 2014 was a great year. I started a new job, I finished grad school, my son turned two, and I finally installed AC for my house. I don’t how we survived the hot summers the previous years. 2015 will be just as exciting as my family life will be even more busy with a new addition coming this spring.

And YES, I do keep up with UFC my MMA interest hasn’t waned. And just for the record I’m picking Jon Jones by TKO in the championship rounds against Daniel Cormier.



This film is a remake of the iconic and classic 1987 movie of the same name. This remake carries a different message and meaning which separates it from the Paul Verhoven’s version. In this Robocop, it blurs the line between man and machine rather than social commentary of commercialism. Overall it’s a great action movie that stands on it’s own merits, and I can only hope a sequel is in the works soon.

Rating: ★★★★★★★★☆☆




Nexus 5



The Nexus line of phones have been Google’s attempt to show Android OEMs how they should build their phones.  But companies like Samsung, LG, and HTC all have built their own Android devices that differs greatly from Google’s Nexus phones. It’s not to say that those devices aren’t as good. In some cases they are better.

The past iteration of the Nexus phones they have been lackluster. The Nexus 4 lacked LTE and it had a below par camera. But nonetheless the Nexus brand is very popular among Android die hard fans. With the release of the Nexus 5 Google also released their latest version of Android version 4.4 dubbed “Kit Kat”.  This new version has refined many areas of the mobile OS. Coupled with a 5″ screen, blazing fast processor, and a solid build construction the phone seems destined to be one of the best Android devices of the year.

I’m not going to go deep in depth about the Nexus 5. You can view the hundreds of reviews already on the internet that covers every details of the phone. Here, I’ll be covering my opinion of this phone and whether or not you should buy it.

The Nexus 5 as a whole is a fantastic device. It’s thin, light, and it feels great in the hand. With Kit Kat this new OS focuses a lot on the UI experience. The voice activated Google Now search is fantastic and I find myself using it more and more. The phone is amazingly fast and opening apps and swiping through menus is instantaneous.  If you’re coming from an other Android device then you’ll feel right at home. There are some GUI changes but it shouldn’t be too difficult to get use to. But if you’re coming from another OS then there is a little bit of a learning curve, but it shouldn’t be any more difficult than switching to any other OS. Those who already entrenched themselves in the Google ecosystem will get the most benefits. Gmail, Google Drive, Google+, and Google voice are tightly integrated into Android, and if you rely heavily in anyone of those services its difficult to use any other OS.

Where the Nexus 5 dropped the ball is with it’s camera.  The camera is slow to focus and the options and modes for the camera are lacking compared to what the Galaxy S4 or HTC One offers.  Some research on the web has indicated that Google may release an update that improves the camera, but until then the Nexus 5 camera is almost useless when capturing a dynamic scene with lots of movement. I have a 14 month old son, so capturing photos of him playing almost always produces blurry photos. If there is one positive aspect of the camera it is the HDR+.  Pictures taken with this mode produces great photos assuming you’re taking pictures of a static object.

At the end of the day the Nexus 5 is a fantastic phone and the fact that Google is selling the 16GB model at $350 off contract makes it the value in the smartphone market today. If Google manages to push out an update to improve the camera it can really make the Nexus 5 one of the top phones on the market. So should you buy this phone?   Yes. Buy it or at least consider it when you’re looking to get a new phone.  Keep in mind there are other things to consider. For example, if you’re coming from an iPhone you’ll be losing the apps you purchased from the app store. And if you’re all about taking great photos with your cellphone then you might want to wait and see if Google updates their camera.

Rating: ★★★★★★★★½☆

Incredibly Fast
Uses latest version of Android
Inexpensive ($350/$400 for 16GB/32GB)
Great build quality

Extremely slow camera focus speed
Average battery life