A beautiful urban sunset

A few days ago, I was returning from my Beer and Bike group and came over the Sabo bridge in Minneapolis. As I did I saw a gentleman walking around with a camera. I looked off to my left, and saw what he was looking at. When cities shine in evening light, they are tremendously beautiful. I couldn’t resist stopping and pulling out my phone for the best shot I could get.


Some good customer service from Hydro Flask

As I’ve documented before, I’m trying to cut down on the number of reusable coffee cups that I throw away all the time. I had been using a Starbucks mug I picked up, but decided I wanted something with a lid that slipped over the opening instead of fitting inside of it. I decided to give the Hydro Flask 16oz coffee mug a try. It’s shorter than the Starbucks one that I’ve been using, but it still fits in my cup holders. I’ve used Hydro Flask for other things, so I knew that it would do just fine keeping my coffee hot all morning.

I really enjoyed it, and was using it regularly until one morning I left the coffee shop, and as I got into my car it started leaking out the edge of the cap. Not just a little leak, but almost pouring out. I got to work and did some investigation and sure enough I couldn’t get it to seal at all. At this point I was a bit miffed that I had purchased something that might turn out to be a lemon. I went to Hydro Flask’s site and found that many other people had complained about leaks in their coffee lids.

However, they have a full warranty on their products, so I filled out the request form, and within a week I had a brand new lid in the mail. It was at this point that I did a quick comparison and discovered that my old lid was completely missing it’s inner seal entirely. I then remembered that on the morning that I discovered the leak I had dropped the lid. Unbeknownst to me the seal must have popped out, and I completely missed it when I picked up the lid. So after all of that, the issue was the fact that I had lost the seal.

The wonderful thing is that Hydro Flask didn’t ask why or ask for the lid back. I told them I had an issue with their product, and they took care of it. It’s that type of customer service that makes me want to continue to look at their products for other uses. Brand loyalty is a big deal for me, and they way you get it is with solid products, and excellent customer service. Good job Hydro Flask.

Trying catch up on DC Rebirth

As a DC comic fan, I’ve been enjoying the latest reboot called Rebirth. The story lines are fun, and I’m enjoying that the primary books that I follow are not currently caught up in some multi-verse crossover event (Green Lantern and Green Arrow titles). However, there is one story line thread that I’m missing out on because of this, the integration of the Watchmen universe.

It was hinted at the very beginning of the Rebirth cycle that Dr. Manhatten was going to play some type of part in the missing time that all of the heroes have been experiencing. I knew it would be a long time coming, so I didn’t bother to follow the main arcs where this is happening (Superman, Batman, and Flash). However, as it’s getting closer to coming to a conclusion I feel like I want to start catching up. That’s where this gets a bit complicated.

Thankfully, Comixology has collected works available, which bundle 6-7 different issues into one volume. There have always been collections in the past in print, but often they would come out months and months after the issues released, and were sometimes hard to find. Now, they seem to appear much quicker (being digital) and the pricing discount makes them worth picking up.

The main question I need to figure out now, is which of the various series I want to grab some collections from. Both Superman and Batman have multiple titles, and I’ve been hearing amazing things about Wonder Woman as well. I know that Flash ties into the main story as well, so that one will probably be added as well.

I’ve got a weekend of camping coming up, and catching up on these seems to be a great way to spend the time. Hanging out in the woods, drinking beer, and reading comic books. Not sure it can get much better than that.

Wither the iPod Nano

Word came down on Thursday this week that the iPod Nano is no more. The Verge did a great retrospective of the history of the Nano, and reading it brought me down memory lane. I remember even blogging about wanting a Nano, and then getting a Nano back in 2007. I vividly remember getting a Product RED version to help support the global fight against AIDS.

As time wore on I eventually moved on to different devices, like the iPod Touch, but others in my immediate family still used the Nano for many, many years. I remember my kids had a silver nano that they used to listen to their music long before they got cell phones with that capability in them. I think I might even still have one of them sitting around in a box somewhere.

Needless to say, it was a great and simple device for listening to any type of audio. The screen was big enough to deal with menus and lists, and the click-wheel is still one of the most incredible UI innovations. We’ve obviously grown beyond the simple click wheel, but I firmly believe it was the harbinger of our eventual full touch interfaces. I used to be very adept of spinning the wheel just far enough to get where I needed, without going past my choice.

Things move on and technology changes. I’ll always remember how cool the iPod Nano was though, and how it was one of the most revolutionary devices of it’s time. A simple music player, for a much simpler media era.

Revisiting great music

Many times when at the office I like to put on instrumental music while I work. Today I pulled out an old album from 2011 by my good friend Michael. His instrumental work is amazing, and the album I chose for today, Six By Six, is an amazing piece of work. It was the perfect soundtrack for getting some stuff done today, without the distraction of lyrics.

If you’ve never heard Michael’s stuff I highly encourage you to check it out. Supporting independent artists is important in this age of overproduced and over-hyped commercial music.

If you’re in the mood for something calm and soothing, check out his album Tranquility, one of my all time favorite improv instrumental albums. I’ve mentioned his stuff before, but it’s great stuff, so I’m telling everyone about it again.