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Wayne Moyer
Attended Center for Arts and Technology Pickering Campus
Lived in Mennonite lands Pennsylvania
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It’s time for an update on the Pebble. As well as a small discussion on the Pebble Steel now that I've given that more thought.
I've been living with my Pebble for a couple months and it has taught me far more about living with a smartwatch then the Sony ever did. Yet the Sony is the one I would tell you to get if you wanted to see what it was like to have this device. Mostly because the price of admission is so low. The Sony Smartwatch 1 is $80 on Amazon and the Pebble is $150. 
Going back to 2005 and 2006 when I used my old MSN Direct Watches http://atomictoasters.com/2012/11/msn-direct-hey-watch-this/ the thing that made them special was that you could glance at them and get the information at them without any effort. They were instant gratification devices. This is the Pebble in a nutshell. It’s always on sitting there in black and white showing me the time and weather as well as missed calls and messages. Now with the new apps coming out this week (already out for iOS) it will also let me log into Yelp, Foursquare, see sports scores and more, putting it far more in line with other smartwatches. In the end the Pebble still shines as an instant gratification device. It tells me when I have emails, text messages, phone calls, or just what time it is. The biggest problem is that it looks like a toy. Which make it seem expensive to some or cheap to other. Which has been addressed in two ways.
So let’s go back to the Sony Smartwatch 1 and really to all the others outside of the Omate. They are tablets that sit on your arm in various ways. Where the Pebble will continue to tell the time if it loses its bluetooth connect the others will not. They are codependent devices and need that next bit of data from their mother device. They also need their chargers nearby. The Pebble has a five day battery thanks to its boring screen. The Sony has this nice OLED screen that only lights up when you press the button or touch the screen but boy when it’s on it sure is nice looking. This is a Sony product after all. Outside of, maybe, the Dash they don’t under develop things. It’s well thought out and does what it is supposed to. Thanks to all the firmware updates the battery will go almost two days of decent use and there is pretty decent list of apps available for it.  So as a geek device the Sony wins hands down.
One of the downsides to the Pebble and Sony is that they look like toys. Pebble addressed this with the Steel. Which raised the price by $100 to $250. Samsung also addressed this with the Galaxy Note Watch which is $350.  The Pebble Steel, pictured, has the same guts as my plastic Pebble but has a gorilla glass face, high quality materials around the edges, steel buttons, and the bands are available in higher quality materials as well. Basically a smart watch you can wear with a suit and not be embarrassed. Which is something Tissot did back in 2006 with the High-T and we are seeing again now.  At first it was written off as a case of why would you pay that much when the Samsung wasn't much more expensive for higher tech. Well because it’s a lot nicer looking. People who buy watches typically go for tech and not toys and the Steel makes a lot of sense for them. 
TL:DR: Want a watch first that does smart things: get a Pebble
             Want an Android device for your wrist: get the others, specifically the Sony Smartwatch 1 at $80
Note - That is not my photo below. Giving credit where it is due. I just pulled it from Google images. I believe it is from Engadget. I just wanted to show the difference between the base $150 Pebble and $250 Steel.
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I like them both. The red one is more striking though...More my taste.
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Look it's right there on your teeth.  If you just ... no not there... look just go look in a mirror and... not not there either... would you just go look in a mirror it's making me nuts.
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Thanks, guys. Sometimes I do okay. :)
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More coverage from Kamil about how to take a $500 car racing. This is for those who think its an inexpensive way to spend a weekend. As with anything else Kamil has posted over at Hooniverse it's worth the read.
 
24 Hours of Lemons update #2
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I've got to do something after telling you what the meaning of that number is.
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It's been awhile since I did a post on Atomic Toasters. So today after a break of several months I cover one of the last flying boats to be designed. A most unusual one that did everything it was designed for and would fly at 600mph at sea level all day long. It just appeared at a time when the world was moving to ICBM's. Head on over to AtomicToasters.com and read up on the Martin P6M SeaMaster.
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Easy there, big fella... We don't need you just slappin' any ol' dreck together, we expect the standard, high quality dreck that the Toaster is famous for!
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For the last week or two I've been picking an aircraft of the day for us to post pictures of. Today is the first day at work after the last gasp of summer at the shore. So we are going to do this in style.

I would be hard pressed to find a single person who does not agree that the Lockheed Constellation is the most attractive airliner, and possible aircraft, ever manufactured. The last of the great piston airliners actually got her start pre-war but didn't come into her own until the war was over. Produced in many variants it would end up sitting in the flight line with the jets that would replace her. Regal is the best word I can think of to describe the look of the Connie.
She spent time serving the US Military as a cargo aircraft and VIP transport. Briefly it was even considered to make a bomber variant known as the B-30. 
If I sound like I am a little infatuated with the aircraft that's because I am. Growing up, when i was very young, there was used as a bar above a restaurant in Langhorne Pennsylvania. So go hit up Wiki or your personal albums and find some pictures of this Great Plane.
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It was the computers in the cockpit, +Edward Longshanks - systems management instead of straight piloting
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Just like life there are no saves in this version of the old text game. So sit back and go back and replay the original Infogam Hitchhikers text game.
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The images small, the qualities bad and +Daniel Swensen this would be another scooter who ruined another cartoon but come on this image needs to be shared. To this one I add a simple caption.

"First one's free kid"
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"We hate the Bagginses. We hate them."
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Oh that picture desperately needs to be ripped from that article and placed here.
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"I don't get it. Dungeon Master said this mirror would reflect our innermost ugliest selves, but all I see is- Oh, that asshole."
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+Kamil K just posted an update to the LeMon's racer he's helping to put together. The park bench spoiler turned out a bit different then I expected.
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That's exactly it Ann, there will be teams selling seats every race.
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Caravan’s not involving camels

Last night I went back to the Kia dealer to look at a used Grand Caravan instead of the more expensive Sedona. Even before the salesman called me I knew which model he was going to offer to me. So I had my mind set on this red 2012 Grand Caravan with a grey interior.  I scooped up my brood and headed down to the dealer to see the van and I was staring at a black on black Grand Caravan.  I couldn’t tell you why but anything with a Dodge label whether it’s a car or truck is supposed to be red. I blame the ‘94 Ram and the Viper for making me feel this way. So my initial impression seeing the Caravan was a bit of a let down. I asked this frumpy but pretty enough girl out to the dance and she showed up in capris and pumps.

So the salesman goes to show me the features of this rather base, yet SXT, Grand Caravan. It didn’t have the DVD player or the U-Connect. There are no radio controls on the steering wheel either. It was decontented. Now my date smiled and showed me her nice set of braces. I was about to call two strikes but it wasn’t the fault of the van. So we won’t over the power doors and lift gate. Both are pretty cool. The power doors are much faster than those on the Sedona. The keyfob is downright strange. There is no actual metal key on the Caravan. The remote has the buttons for all the various power doors. When you get into drivers seat you plug it into the dash. It’s odd to say the least. I wonder how effective it is at deterring thieves. So the kids are being good in their seats and clearly have more room then in the 5. As I sit in the drivers seat a few things start to attract my attention but one more than the others. The gear shift is on the dash next to the steering wheel. It reminds me of the placement of the automatic in the old CR-V’s except actually higher up. Because of this there is no place to rest your arm when you are driving. It adds to the whole feeling that I am abandoning a stick shift as well. Which isn’t helping that pit in my stomach.

Let me take a second and mention the “Super” stow and go as Chrysler calls it. It’s one of the greatest additions to a van I have ever seen. It’s easy to use as the operator but if you watch what happens it would make Rube Goldberg proud. It really does make the van stick out in usefulness. It comes at a cost though. To make it all work they have to make the seats lower to the floor. Take note of this when you get into a Chrysler van the next time. A couple more points in favor of the Dodge are a telescoping steering wheel and power retractable pedals. Although I was a bit disappointed in the lack of how far back the drivers seat goes (another concession to stow and go) it really doesn’t matter because the steering wheel and pedals move to make up for it.

So one big advantage of the Sedona is that the sight lines are great. There really aren’t any blind spots in that van. The Mazda 5 has a rather large blind spot due to the C pillar. The Dodge has some sizable c pillar created blind spots as well.

Time to release the e-brake on the floor in its traditional (read old) place of being on the left of the brake. Yet another sign, like the transmission, that this isn’t a toy but is a family conveyance. Oh and the green button marked “ECO” adds to this. So we are off on our second short test drive in two days.

There are things the Mazda5 does well. Being a Mazda it is designed with the driver in mind. It’s a track day car that seats six. When you are alone on the right road you feel this need to attack them. It wants to show you its zoom zoom roots. Even as you feel the extra length of the third row of what is basically a stretched three you get a stupid grin as you are winding up to the red line using the GPS as your co-driver so that you don’t miss the sudden left turn over that hill ahead of you. The driver is in control of the 5. This is even more amplified by the manual transmission and the low rev limit. You are in direct control of your fate. You are the driver. Grab some glasses and a scarf. It’s time to go play.  If it wasn’t for the bad luck I’ve had with my particular one I’d recommend them to a normal (read as 2 kids) family in a heartbeat. Especially with the stick shift.

Driving the Grand Caravan is an exercise in being a passenger. It’s not even like driving our Sorento. Which feels more like driving a truck from above the cab. It’s an odd feeling I’ll get into at some other point. In the Dodge you are telling the van where to go. Its not that the controls lag because they don’t. It’s just that there is no driver involvement. The Saturn Relay was an automatic minivan as well but forced you to drive it, you were in control of your fate. You were the driver not the passenger. The Ford Freestar treated you more like a bus driver. You were in control of a wallowing whale and mostly existed to be in the way of other people.

The Dodge has a thousand places to hide stuff. It has thoughtful features that only can come from a company who has been improving upon a design for over thirty years. It’s like how the Corvette and 911 are more refined and are more driver focused because their respective companies have been doing incremental updates for literally decades. The Dodge has that as well. For a family vehicle this thing is nearly perfect. Sure the Toyota would feel more refined. The Honda would feel higher tech. The Nissan would give you a love it or hate it look. The Dodge is just the complete package.  It defines what a true minivan is. Not the MPV that my Mazda5 is. Therein lies the problem. My lovely bride asked me if I would be okay with an automatic and driving a boring vehicle. It’s a very tough question to answer. When I got out of the Sedona my reaction was “meh” at best. When I got out of the Dodge the feeling was much different. It’s the ultimate family truckster. I want to load the kids and dogs and go on epic trips. I want to run the wheels off the thing traveling the US. I know this doesn’t make sense but after being buttoned up inside the 5 and trying to make the most out of a compact car it was freeing to be in a vehicle that was like this.

So I sit here trying to make a decision. The Dodge is the same year and has same mileage as my Mazda. It offers me a lot more in utility and usefulness at the same monthly payment (well $14 more a month actually). It wouldn’t be so much of a lateral move as a move up. New this was probably $26,000 or $27000. It’s just a matter of being willing to give up on a part of myself to do it. The 5 has the weirdness factor although there are a million of them on the road. When they appraised it I was told that one hadn’t gone through the Manheim Auto Auction in three years with a stick shift. Understand that this is how they value cars around here. That auction is where a very large amount of the dealerships trades go for central and south central PA. It is a huge place. So I am at a bit of an impasse.

TL;DR: Look I took a lot of time to edit this and write it out. It will take you three minutes to scan through it. Thanks.
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The trim level and fit and finish of the newer explorer is better than the flex. The flex however comes with a optional engine with higher horse power..
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  • Center for Arts and Technology Pickering Campus
    Data Processing, 89 - 91
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