Excellent article about fountain pens from Art of Manliness.
Check it out!
Excellent article about fountain pens from Art of Manliness.
Check it out!
The pen—do you give much thought to it? You might want to if you haven’t already, because it is mightier than the sword, and that’s saying a lot!
I switched from the standard ball-points, gels, and the like about 6 years ago when I bought my fountain pen.
To go with it, I picked up some résumé paper and a red flexible-for-mailing sealing wax and a seal stamp. For these latter materials, I purchased them from Nostalgic Impressions, whom I would highly recommend.
I love this pen. It is smooth. Writing with it is easy on the hand. It is tough. It’s 6 years old and still kicking.
I just used up the blank ink above, and I decided to jump into different colors. My favorite color is blue, but more precisely it is turquoise. So, I picked up a Sheaffer Skrip bottle from Goulet Pens in this color.
I love this new ink. It is vibrant. It is bright. It reflects me and my tastes.
I tried a new sealing wax to match it in color, and I do not like it. If you ask me, avoid any sealing wax that does not have its own wick for the occasional seal. You don’t want to burn through your butane lighters trying to melt the wax to seal your letters. If it has a wick, simply light it and then let it melt away like a candle—but faster—and then blow it out when you have enough melted wax. I think I’ll switch to this one from Nostalgic Impressions.
I tried a new paper as well. It’s really thin and remarkably smooth but it rips easily with the wax seal as it bonds so well that you can’t open the letter without a massive and destructive tear without a letter opener. If you don’t plan your margins correctly, words will be lost when opening it up.
So, I am in the market for some paper solutions. I’m entertaining the idea of getting custom pressed prints but maybe some 100% cotton 36lb weight paper will do (the résumé paper was decent but it left me wanting more). I may go with this small note stationary and envelope set from Crane or this 100% cotton paper from Original Crown Mill.
In any case, put some thought into your pen. Write a letter to someone. They’ll enjoy opening and reading it it almost as much as you did writing and sealing it.
To put it bluntly, 2016 has been prolific in the metal genre of my liking, metal core, Swedish metal, prog metal, thrash metal, and more.
Here’s a playlist that I put together in Apple Music to capture my favorites. (As 2016 is not yet over, this list will be updated over the next 2 months as additional albums release.)
If you find that you are in need of creating your own subwoofer cable, you can do it through Home Depot with a few items.
First, you need a compression tool. Check out this one from Klein.
Second, you need a RCA male connector. Home Depot only has one option, and here it is.
Third, you need wire. Here’s in-wall rated 14-gage in case you are routing the wire through your walls.
I found that I needed a solution when I had surround sound installed because the receiver end of the wire was not capped or terminated and I had no way to attach the wire to my receiver to utilize the subwoofer. The above tool and connector worked perfectly. Best Buy did not have any option for me, and the people at Home Depot did not know what to do. I had to figure it out on my own. Now, I hope you have an easy solution. Knowledge is power. Good luck!
Yamaha AVENTAGE RX-A750 from Amazon.
I highly recommend this receiver.
I touched base on using a 7.2 system in the past (How to control iTunes volume completely independently from the system’s volume).
I also touched on the full listening spectrum (All about that treble no bass: Upgrading computer audio to get that boom, boom, boom).
I recently installed a in-ceiling surround sound system and opted for this 7.2 Yamaha receiver because it has AirPlay built-in and is multi-zone.
One nice advantage of this receiver that I did not know it had is that it plays music through all 5 speakers in my 5.1 setup rather than from the front 3 plus the subwoofer. By playing through all 5 speakers in the ceiling, the room has an even sound throughout.
I love how it handles AirPlay. The receiver may be off, but if I tell my iPhone to start playing to it over AirPlay, the receiver turns on automatically and then music comes through the speakers. So convenient!
The point of the AVENTAGE system is for music, too. I love the sound quality.
If you are in the market for a high quality receiver that is 7.2, AirPlay, multi-zone capable, then I would highly recommend this unit.
I got mine open-box through Amazon to save cost. It was well worth it.
Into the west
I made another metal playlist on Apple Music.
While my last playlist was a bit of a magnum opus, this one is isolated to metal contributions from the year 2015.
I created a Metal playlist on Apple Music.
Here’s the playlist description:
A collection of some of the best Artists’ songs in metalcore, nu metal, prog metal, Swedish metal, and more
Here’s the list itself:
Listen to this playlist in Apple Music by clicking on the link below:
The Xbox One Kinect is cool. It offers hands-free voice controlled operations within the home to go to games, apps, or TV channels. For example, it’s actually kind of satisfying when you say, “Xbox, record that”, and it auto records the last 30 seconds of gameplay without having to double-tap the home button and then press X (or whatever button it is).
Well, a better statement is that it is cool except for when it isn’t. The Kinect sensor doesn’t perform well in noisy-kid environments. It seems that any amount of ambient noise from someone doing the dishes to a kid laughing, coughing, whining, or screaming (of course) prevents the sensor from picking up your voice commands. There is nothing more frustrating when you are trying to mute the Xbox so that you can hear someone in the other room talking to you, but it can’t register your mute command because of the someone in the other room who is talking.
My thoughts on the Kinect aside, I wanted to share some troubleshooting that I have done recently to figure out why Xbox would take me to VH1 when I was trying to go to beINSport USA, which I referenced in passing in a former post.
When I experienced the issue, I first turned to self-help resources. I went to Settings > Kinect > I moved my Kinect sensor. I re-calibrated but to no avail. I then went to Troubleshoot Voice Commands. These steps did not resolve it. I Tweeted Xbox support, but the steps they provided did not resolve the issue, so they referred me to their phone support. I spent an hour on the phone with their support staff, and they concluded that I needed a new sensor.
They were wrong.
I tested my sensor on my Day One Edition console after taking it off of my Elite one, and it worked perfectly to take me to beINSport USA.
I bought a new Kinect to have it with my Elite console, and–at first–it had the same issue. I thought it was environmental initially, but that didn’t make sense because the Day One console and Kinect worked perfectly fine in the same exact spot as the Elite console and new Kinect.
Then I realized it could be my satellite box. I power-cycled it. Issue persisted.
Then I realized it could be my pronunciation. I realized that I could say, “Xbox, select”, and it would pull up the existing channel and show the voice command on the top right to get to it. So, I manually selected the channel in the full guide and then used the aforementioned voice command. It showed me, “Watch beIN Sport”. I was not slightly pausing between beIN and Sport! So, I went to NBC and then invoked this watch command–and it worked!
The troubleshooting step here is to ensure you are following the appropriate voice command with exact pronunciation and pauses.
For example, “Xbox, go to Minecraft” will not work. Instead, use, “Xbox, go to Minecraft Xbox One Edition”.
In my specific case, “Watch beINSport” is not the same as “Watch beIN Sport”. The space must be followed.
However, colons should be ignored. “Xbox, go to Halo: The Master Chief Collection” is simply stated, “Xbox, go to Halo The Master Chief Collection”.
So, for troubleshooting voice commands, remember to be exact and follow commas and spaces but ignore colons. When you are not sure what the command is, think literally and entirely. For games and apps, you must say the name exactly how it is listed in your Games & Apps. For TV channels, manually go to the desired channel and then say, “Xbox, select”, and take note of the voice command listed to the top right as it will be the exact one needed to get the Kinect to that specific channel in the future.
With these tips in mind, I bid you success in using and troubleshooting your Xbox One Kinect!
In my recent Xbox One Elite debacle, I had to go to Best Buy to swap out my bundle. I figured I would pick up an external drive while I was there.
I found a G-Drive 1TB 7200 RPM USB 3 & Thunderbolt portable drive for $65.99.
When I was checking out, it rang up as $179.
I immediately coughed up a chicken bone and said that I thought the drive was like $70 or $80.
The customer service representative asked me to show him. We walked over to the drives and we found the same unit sitting there under the $65.99 price tag. He said that he would take care of the difference.
I love Best Buy. They have good policies and, in my experience, they do right by the customer. I’ll be their customer for life!