What's Your New Shiny?


Dropped Verizon, got new phones and signed onto Project fi

Nice to have an up-to-date phone, with some added features. Nicer to know it’s not locked into Verizon’s schedule (or no schedule) and bloatware.

So far service has been fine. I’m not used to leaving WiFi on 24x7, but the battery in my new G6 seems to be carrying it just fine.


Phillips Hue: I bought a starter kit, a light strip, and 2 floodlights. I’m playing around with the settings.


I stop at this. It’s bad enough that Big G is controlling my mail, contacts and everything on my phone (Pixel XL) but I have to draw the line and letting it actually ‘be’ my carrier. People I know who are on it love it. But the the lack of bloatware is one of the reasons I buy G-phones. My Pixel is soon to stop receiving security updates so I’ll have to get a new phone again. Actually not looking forward to that but from what I do now I can say update your security. On everything. Don’t forget firmware updates. Go do it now.


I <3 my Hue lights. Still haven’t plugged in the SmartThings hub yet but I have started printing an arc for the Hue RGB strip. It’s supposed to be awesome.

My new shiny is my pi-hole (that sounds dirty). It’s nothing more than a custom DNS server but it was a snap to install. I have at least 3 unused Pi’s somewhere but when I want to actually use one, I can’t find one. Luckily, Gratch bought me a WD Labs PiDrive so I just used one of my project slots. I got the whole thing set up in about an hour including messing with the router settings. Now everything in the house that gets DHCP also gets ad blocking. I’ve switched over a few of the servers as well. Once I find a Pi, I’ll just transfer the image to an SD card and boot and go.


I know it’s a drain on your battery some, but I rarely turn it off. I have a pretty good data plan that I just can’t seem to use enough of, but I always use the WiFi at home and at any bar or strip club we happen to be at. It just seems wasteful not to.


Not really, but Canada has been pushing back hard at illegal immigration from the US. Trudeau made a trip to Florida to warn people not to try to go to Canada. Seems kind of ironic, on one hand bitches at the US for wanting to build a wall, on the other tells them they better not come to Canada.

Also, holy crap.

The country has been increasing the total number of immigrants it admits each year. It’s on pace to accept 310,000 permanent residents this year, with a goal of increasing the annual total to 340,000 by 2020.

OK, so at what point is it not Canada anymore? Can you culturally assimilate 1% of the population a year, every year?


Welcoming immigrants to our land is part of what makes Canada Canada. So we will always be Canada. BTW, I am the daughter of an immigrant.


I have long wanted to live in Canada, mostly because of the people I’ve met there and the feeling while being in communities. I completely agree that sentiment is inherent to Canada. If it were simpler to move there, I probably would have by now. Canada accepts differences as natural. There are always going to be @$$hats in any country, but the general vibe is that those people are outliers, not primo PM material.


My lovely girlfriend made me 3 new t-shirts from the Alabama Chanin patterns she bought, and they fit amazingly well. I love the look of the exposed stitching, the unfinished sleeve hems (which don’t fray!) and the colours she dyed them.


A car rooftop carrier. Makes it a little nicer to pack for camping since I don’t have to stuff everything in the car any more.


Got one of those about 2 weeks after we bought our Subaru 9 years ago (replacing a minivan). It’s probably the most useful car accessory I’ve ever bought.


I like our Thule… but I try to do without it whenever possible, 'cause it eats into the mileage.

We took it to the tip of Michigan’s mitten a couple of years back because the vacation home we rented had no linens and I needed the extra space for sheets/ blankets/ towels/ etc. I dismounted it once we got there so the week of day trips was better on the gas, then remounted it before heading home.


That’s exactly what we do with our Thule. The Prius does not enjoy having it mounted up there - if we get better than 40 MPG we’re doing well. The Subaru didn’t fare particularly well with it either but proportionally the Prius takes the bigger hit.

I do leave the roof rack on the Prius for the full duration of the trip, as it’s a PITA to R&R it, what with the measuring and all. At least with the Subaru, all I have to do is fold the crossbars back into the rails.


I sold a ton of old RPG books I hadn’t looked at in a decade and used some of the cash to buy a new AppleTV since our older (2nd generation?) one is getting cranky with some services. Hopefully setting it up this evening!


How do you sue some cash? :confused:

Edit : was some of those books Lone Wolf books?


I always make the used/sued type…
Nah, it was a crate and a half of an old favorite, the Deadlands RPG (which was a mix of ‘Wild West’ and ‘Horror’ tropes with a certain laid-back humorous nature). Found someone local that only wanted about a dozen, and convinced him to take them all off my hands for slightly more: I kept a few ‘exotics’ but, well: They were not currently bringing me joy and had been locked in a bedroom for 10+ years. These were mostly from the late 90s.

Plus should I be in the mood for a wild west/horror RPG, I’d probably go for the Savage Worlds version which is much ‘lighter.’ I even have some of the PDFs for it in my my ‘never read’ file.

I have many things I intent to hold on to… But these were doing nothing for me but taking up space. I hope the new owner enjoys them as I did.

Next up is to try and unload the never-opened SJ Games Ogre kickstarter special edition box. It’s a ridiculously huge board game:


(Not me. That’s Steve Jackson (The US one, not the UK one) who created the original Ogre game which I believe shipped in a small plastic baggy.)

Mine’s actually in the even bigger unopened shipping box, which is a specially-printed brown cardboard box.


Huh. Just from reading the Wikipedia article, it looks like the map layout for Ogre is kinda similar to Battletech. Interesting.


It’s a hex-based wargame. I think it predates Battletech slightly, and could be considered a precursor of sorts.

The big issue with moving it is the box is seriously like 50 pounds! I need to haul it out of storage to photograph it so I can try to sell it…


I’m in exactly the same boat. Mine has been up on eBay for quite a while.


The car carrier’s made by Yakima. Good feature set and not too expensive. I’m keeping it on for about a month and then I’ll store it for the winter.