Labor Day Weekend 2019 at Disney: Star Wars and Dorian

With Hurricane Dorian threatening to cut across the state of Florida, we weren’t sure our annual Labor Day vacation to Walt Disney World was going to happen. But as it turned out the storm curved away, up the eastern coast of the state and stayed away from Orlando. As a result, we had a really nice weekend trip without a lot of crowds.

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Another week in NYC

I was last in New York City back in 2015: in May when I helped move the office to 1 Rockefeller Plaza, and then again in July when I went up for a two day meeting (but had time to see Penn & Teller on Broadway at the Marquis Theater).

This time I was back for … another office move. Yes, after just four years the corporate office was moving 13 blocks uptown from Rockefeller Plaza to a new location on Madison Avenue.

Monday was a long day. I had a 6:30am flight out of Tampa to Newark Liberty International Airport which meant I was up at 3:30am to drive to the airport, park, check in, and catch my plane. I was in the office at 1 Rock by 10:00am, and then it was a whirlwind of moving activity until I got to my hotel near the new office at 3:00am on Tuesday morning (who moves on a Monday night?). The rest of the week involved similar long-hour days as we finished setting up the new office and continued addressing the copious amount of end-user issues (as there will be with any major office move, despite the best laid plans).

The 1 Rock office was cool, with its view of the Today Show plaza and the Rockefeller Christmas Tree, but the Madison Avenue area seems quieter and less touristy. I didn’t get to do any sight-seeing (or any relaxing at all) but did have some good meals with colleagues at places like Tao, LAVO, and Sean’s Bar. And on Monday night while we were packing the office we had pizza (I don’t know where it was from, though) so I had some obligatory NYC slices too.

I flew home, exhausted, yesterday afternoon … quite the whirlwind trip. Then today there was the massive blackout in Manhattan, which included Rockefeller Center. Whew, glad I just missed that!

Canon PowerShot SX740 HS

During our recent cruise to Hawaii, my three and a half year-old Canon PowerShot SX710 HS started having lens issues. Just what I needed in the middle of a 10-day trip to the most exotic location in the United States: a super-zoom camera that wouldn’t zoom. The lens would make a clicking noise as it extended and retracted, and sometimes just lock up, open, with a “lens error” displayed on screen. Luckily I had my iPhone 7 Plus and Olympus Stylus Tough TG-4 with me, but those aren’t super-zoom cameras.

I survived the rest of the trip (sometimes the camera worked, sometimes it didn’t) but the writing was on the wall: the SX710 needed to be replaced. Being a long-time Canon customer (since my first A70 back in 2003) and having liked the SX710, I selected the newer version Canon PowerShot SX740 HS as my new daily-use super-zoom camera.

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2019 Hawaii vacation (pre-cruise)

To celebrate my daughter’s high school graduation (and also visit our 50th state … yep, we’ve been to them all now!) we went to Hawaii for a 7-day Hawaiian cruise on the Norwegian Pride of America! What an incredible and amazing trip. We wanted to spend as much time in The Aloha State so we flew out a few days early for a pre-cruise vacation …

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Tile Pro

Tile ProFor the past few years I’ve been using my Trackr devices, like the Bravo and Pixel, to keep tabs of my keys, my wife’s keys, and my daughter’s keys and purse. Well, I should say I’ve been attempting to use them to track my keys. Lately it seemed like every time I actually tried to actually use the Trackrs, the battery was dead (and hadn’t alerted me) or had lost its pairing for some reason. And when/if they did work, I couldn’t hear the tiny little speaker.

Late last year, Trackr re-branded itself as Adero and is now producing “smart tags” so I decided to try Tile instead.

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Dancing with the Disco Dingo

Didn’t have to reach too far for that title! 🙂

Time for the spring sports update! After a record-setting season (winning 62 games and the President’s Trophy for the first time in franchise history), the Lightning imploded and got swept out of the first round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs in embarrassing fashion by the Columbus Blue Jackets. Ugh. No Cavs (or even Lebron!) in the NBA playoffs this year, so I’m not watching any basketball. That leaves just baseball: at 14-5, the Rays have the best record in baseball three weeks into the season while the Indians were off to a slow start but are still above .500 at 11-7.

What else? Oh right, it’s mid-April which means it’s time for the latest Ubuntu release, 19.04 Disco Dingo.

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Is it Edge? or Chrome?

It’s both.

This week Microsoft released the first preview build of their Chromium-based Edge browser as part of the Edge Insider Program. Can you see a difference between Edge and Chrome?

Edge (top) and Chrome (bottom)

Edge (top) and Chrome (bottom)

Visually similar, you can currently tell, based on the iconography, that the new Edge is on top and current Chrome is on the bottom. I can say this is the best Edge browser I’ve every used … because right now it’s basically Chrome. I was able to install all of my extensions from the Chrome Store, import all my bookmarks, settings, etc. and have it work exactly like Chrome. The only difference is I logged in with my Microsoft account instead of my Google account.

It’s worth checking out …

Spring Training 2019: Home and Recap

It was barely Sunday morning (3:00am) when we left the hotel and drove back to the rental car facility at Sky Harbor Airport. By 3:30am we had returned the car and were waiting for the airport shuttle to the terminal. People were lined up (as they should have) for the various shuttles to specific terminals (1-4) but it turned out there were only a few shuttles running and they were servicing all terminals. This caused some problems as people patiently waiting in the line for terminal 4 realized the bus kept stopping at the terminal 1 line and filling up quickly. We finally got onto a bus with other exasperated passengers.

At the Terminal 2 stop, my sister and I bid farewell to my brother (who was going on to the much nicer Terminal 4). The one benefit of the smaller (crappier) terminal, however, was the lack of lines. There were no lines to check our bags (Alaska for her, United for me) and we were the only two in the TSA PreCheck line (which amazingly was open at 4:00am). Unfortunately, once through security, nothing was open yet. I waited with my sister until she boarded her flight at 4:45am and then sat around for another minutes before boarding my own flight to Houston. I landed in Houston around 11:00am and had a normal length layover before my connection home to Tampa. By 3:45pm I was back in my car and then home unpacking half an hour later. Another Arizona Spring Training trip in the books!

Final trip notes:

  • my favorite Indians player this spring was catcher Kevin Plawecki (who I kept calling “chrusciki“)
  • the home team of every game we saw was the winner; that made our trip record 3-1 (or 4-1 if you count the Cubs winning the day game on Friday)
  • opening day is this Thursday, March 28, a little earlier than usual
  • like last year, the Indians don’t come to Tampa until late in the season (Labor Day Weekend)

Spring Training 2019: Day 4

Saturday morning of the Spring Training trip has certain traditions and we continued them this year.

First we woke up (relatively) early, drove over to Goodyear, and had breakfast at the Black Bear Diner. Then it was over to the Indians’ Player Development Complex to watch the morning warm-ups and practice at 9:00am. We were a little too early, as the inner gate didn’t open until 9:30am. This year, Rick Danberg seemed to be missing … there was no one talking to the crowd, giving out the day’s schedule, telling stories, etc. Everyone was just milling around waiting so I really missed his talks. We caught the occasional glimpse of a player in the weight room and also saw Terry Francona walk out to his car. The players didn’t actually come out to practice until around 10:40am, which seemed a lot later than in past years. We watched the warm-ups and then tried to shag some fly balls during batting practice (my brother and I came up empty, my sister got one though).

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