Upgraded to Pixel 3 … I Just Had to Do It

I’ve had a Pixel Android phone for a couple of years.  However, I started noticing that my battery was not lasting that long on a charge.  It wouldn’t last a whole day at the office, on a full charge.  I would have to do a charge at around 3 pm.  Now I probably could have taken it into a cell phone repair place, buy a new battery, and have them install it, but I heard a lot of good things about the camera.  Then, Black Friday came around, along with all the discounts, so I decided to buy myself an early Christmas present.

I was contemplating, when I had to replace my phone, I might go with an iPhone.  One of my requirements, was I didn’t want a huge phone. The current iPhones were a bit large, and oddly enough, the one that would fit more comfortably in my hand, and not too bulky, would be the Pixel 3.

I have to hand it to Google and GoogleFi … they make the transition so easy.  The Pixel 3 also features an eSIM, which meant I didn’t have to transfer my SIM card over.  All I had to do was log in to GoogleFi, do some USB to USB transfer, and voila.

Probably the most difficult part of this transition was for work related apps.  In order to access email, and other resources on my phone, I had to import some certificates, which took more of an ordeal than it really had to.  It basically meant a couple of visits to IT, with them pushing down a certificate to me.

Now on with the phone .. It’s clean, very responsive, and thankfully, wireless charging is back.  The Pixel stand, the wireless charging stand, is so cool.  The only gripe I have, is that you can’t say “OK Google”, and have Google Assistant work.  I have to actually unlock the phone, touch the Google Assistant icon, and then bark my orders.

I’m sure you have seen the annoying commercials on TV, for the camera on Pixel 3.  The “flash” commercial, or the night vision camera, which allows you to take pictures in low light, without the flash.  I’ve gotta say, it does take excellent pictures.  Here are some samples I took at night, or at dusk.

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Not a bad camera, eh?

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I Knew I Should Have Packed a Second Spare

Lately, I have gotten into the habit of carrying a second spare tube. Who knows what could happen out there, especially if I’m climbing Angeles Crest Highway.

I was actually going at a pretty good clip, considering I hadn’t been on my bike in a week. Then, suddenly I hear a leak coming directly from my front wheel. This is odd, because this may have been the first time I’ve got a flat, while doing a climb. Maybe it’s due to the amount of glass and rocks on ACH? So off goes the wheel, and the typical search for any thorns or glass. After finding no glass or thorns, or sharp objects, I then proceed to replace it with my spare. After many strokes, I’m not getting any air into the tube. I blow into the tube, and I get something through.

Luckily I was about 15 minutes of walking back to the Ranger’s station (keeping in mind, there are some sections of ACH with no shoulder room, to even walk). Luckily, by the time I got to the Ranger’s station, there was a guy who had an extra tube, and he graciously gave it to me. I was then able to safely descent down, and eventually back to my car.

Then I decided to do a pre-christmas dinner ride. I did local hills west of the Rose Bowl. As I descent, I feel something squishy. My rear tire is soft (aka has a slow leak). Damn, I’m not having much luck.

I guess it’s time to change my tire.

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Cycling with Smokey Air from the California Wildfires

The air here in California has been pretty bad, as a result of the 3 major fires (1 in the Bay Area, 2 in Southern California). If gotten really acquainted with Purpleair

Screen Shot 2018-11-11 at 11.11.53 AM

This was at 11 am

It was kinda odd, that Sunday morning, when I woke up, it had a reading of 110 (150 is considered unhealthy). So I took a quick ride out. Climbed up Montebello Road, and seeing the view from up top, looking down on the valley was depressing.


There were many who had the same mindset as me … get out while the air is bearable.  I guess we were lucky, that we had this small window of bearable air.

This morning when I woke up, it got a lot worse.

Screen Shot 2018-11-12 at 6.15.41 AM

6:15 am on 11/12/2018

I also hear on the news that the air today (11/12/2018) will be the worse day for air quality. I guess I’m driving again.

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Have You Lost Weight?

I’ve been hearing that question a lot lately … Have you lost weight? In fact I have … I was at 170, and lately I’ve been hovering between 158-160. But it’s even more significant, when someone takes a glance at me, notices something different, and says “Have you lost weight?”

I’ve gotta admit, that gives me a big head. Can’t help but get a real big boost with this. I just hope I can keep it up.

As far as I can tell, the only thing I’ve really done is reduce the amount of starch … no pasta, limit amount of rice, more greens. I thought it would be a minor but I guess it is making a difference.

I’m still snacking too much, and I know it. That’s the next thing I’ve gotta cut out.

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Turning off Auto-Play of Videos on Twitter and Facebook from your Smartphone

It’s the most annoying thing … you scroll through your feed or timeline, and one of the feeds has a video.  It plays as soon as you scroll to it.  While it is a neat feature, not everyone wants it on by default.  First, it’s annoying, if you are scrolling through it, wasting time, in a doctor’s office.  If you have your phone on half volume, then everyone will hear the video.  Second, it chews up your bandwidth.

So when you read articles from Facebook, it tells you about the obvious disadvantage of it using up bandwidth on your phone.  So why the hell do you have it enabled by default?  You would expect that it would be off by default, and you would opt in, if you happen to be in high bandwidth wi-fi regions.  Not only that, they make it extremely difficult to find the options to disable it.  I guess I should be fortunate that they give you an option to turn it off … but there is no reason why it should be enabled by default, on your mobile phone!

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No $749 is not an affordable phone

Apple is so smug. Here they are, advertising they have these new phones and at an affordable price, $749. What the hell? That is not affordable. A Chromebook is half that price.

Why can’t someone make an affordable phone, less than $500? Is that too hard to ask? All I want is the following

  • Decent camera
  • NFC
  • Bluetooth
  • Headphone jack
  • Removable battery
  • WiFi
  • Run social media apps

Is that too hard to ask for?

A fingerprint scanner would be nice, but why can’t we have this less than $500? While we’re at it, how about something smaller than 5 inches? Something I can fit in my pocket?

If you want a big screen, get an iPad.

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Where Can You Get a $6.75 Ticket to See a Movie?

I didn’t bring my bike with me this weekend, so I had to spend some time away, so I thought I’d duck in to see a movie. Crazy Rich Asians was showing in West Covina, and the web site advertised $6.75. I thought, this must be a typo.

I go there, and yes, the admission is $6.75. Wow, that is amazing. And this is not some second quality flick, this is the best selling movie for the past three weekends. Damn, and the place looks really good too. They have a large courtyard with room for a band. They don’t have anything like this in the Bay Area … unless of course, they close off the entire downtown area.

I hardly ever go see movies, and this prompted me to see movie on consecutive days. Crazy Rich Asians, and Black Klansman. All in all, a great movie seeing weekend.

Oh the movies? Both were excellent. Crazy Rich Asians is pretty important, as it is the first all asian cast movie in about 25 years … last one was Joy Luck Club, which I totally enjoyed. This one was up there too, although it was more of a chick flick, screwball comedy. I could relate to all the weird characters in the wedding (as some of my 1st and 2nd cousins are like that). The backstory behind the mother, and not knowing who the true father is … although that didn’t happen with my family, the story certainly has parallels to mine.

The second move, Black Klansman, is great. It is a bit political, and even though it takes place in the 70s, they do have a bit of it at the end, that reminds us of what happened in Charlottesville, SC in 2017 … basically stating that the same problem is occurring today, so that story is relevant even today.

So that’s my quick review of the two movies. Have a great Labor Day everyone!

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