#4

I forgot to post yesterday, this is still new to me so you get two posts today. I have been thinking a lot here lately about being a father. My wife and I’s first kid will be here anyday now and it’s kind of intimidating. Am I fit to be a father? I still feel like a kid myself sometimes. I’m sure this stuff goes through every first time father’s mind.

When I was little, I thought my dad knew everything and had all of the answers. He was and still is an amazing dad but him and mom didn’t have all the answers and make every right decision. They were just making it up as they went along, doing the absolute best that they knew how. That’s what my wife and I have to do. Follow the example of our parents where they excelled, try to be better where they struggled, work together as a team, and be willing to admit it when we make a mistake.
To sum it up, yeah I’m scared about being a parent. How could I not be? At the same time I’m looking forward to it. My life will probably never be the same but I think it will be for the better in almost every way.

I’ll miss the sleep though.

#3

I’m looking forward to tonight. I’m meeting my cousins at my parents house tonight to play some Nintendo games & eat pizza. My parents recently moved and their new house has this legit home theater room. I was fortunate to be allowed to put everything together up there, hooking up the 7.1 surround, hooking up the consoles, running the Internet, etc. It’s an awesome room, complete with comfy couch, mini fridge, & a microwave for popcorn. I’m so glad my nieces and nephews have an awesome room to play in but let’s be honest, I also love being up there myself as well! We usually end up playing Smash Bros, 3 stock no items because we are professionals haha. My absolute favorite character in the game is the Animal Crossing Villager. Videogames look incredible on the giant screen up there. So yeah, I’m super looking forward to that. Hanging out with cousins & playing Nintendo is something I enjoyed as a kid, still enjoy today, and hopefully will enjoy even as I get older.

#2

Had a great day today. Monday’s usually suck because after all, they’re Mondays, but today’s Monday just so happened to be pretty dope. Here are the top 5 reasons why today was great.

  • We got a lot of rain which really helped cool down this Texas heat.
  • I had a great day at work today. The rain slows things down in the field so I was able to have some relatively distraction free work today. I love it when that happens!
  •  I was able to secure 2 preorders for the NES Classic from Target.com today (Score!) This item was just made for me and now I know I will for sure get a couple when Nintendo inevitably doesn’t make enough of these for everybody who wants one for Christmas.
  • The boss bought lunch today and that is always awesome.
  • I am just about to go out on a date with my beautiful wife.

Not bad Monday, not bad at all.

#1

Today was a good day. I was able to sleep in as well as get in a nap between church services. I was very behind on sleep as I helped out at a church camp for the youth of our church last weekend. It was a ton of fun and I really enjoyed getting closer to some of the kids. At the same time it was very hot and tiring but the positives far outweighed the negatives. Tonight after church and eating with friends, the wife and I went to Target and bought a bunch of household items like toilet paper, paper towels, & trash bags. I like to just get a massive amount of this stuff every few months rather than buy small amounts of it all of the time. I also bought some Pokemon cards while there because even after all of these years I still gotta catch em’ all! After that we went to Baskin Robins and got ice cream for dessert. It was awesome. I think the moral of this story for the kids is just enjoy being a kid. Someday you will turn around and be 30 years old and have adult responsibilities like a house mortgage and having to buy toilet paper. At the same time, you can still buy Pokemon cards and ice cream to make yourself feel like a kid again and I wouldn’t have it any other way.

A new challenge

So I have been wanting to write more lately. After all, I own this domain and hardly ever post anything here anymore. I am going to try to write something everyday, which will definitely be a huge challenge for me. It will sometimes if not all of the times be very short but at least it will be something. I hope you will enjoy.

The iPad Pro

IMG_1696

I purchased an iPad Pro 12.9″ (the big one) a few weeks ago and wanted to give my opinions on it now that I have had it for a while. I got the silver 128gb cellular iPad Pro. I also purchased the Smart Keyboard and the Apple Pencil (more on the accessories later). I was not sure how I was going to like it, at first it seems comically large, but after spending some time with it I absolutely love it.
The Hardware – There’s no denying that the 12.9″ iPad Pro is huge. It is also pretty heavy when compared to the standard 9.7″, 1.57 pounds vs .96 pounds, but it is about as light as it can be given the size of the device. The Retina display is a joy to look at & I just love how big the display is. In fact, it has quite a bit more screen space then my laptop for the last several years, the 11″ MacBook Air. The speakers are a huge improvement over the previous iPads. There are now four speakers as opposed to two and they are on each corner of the iPad Pro. They get really loud if you crank them, so much so that I have not found the need to connect it to a bluetooth speaker. The battery life has been really good as well. I’m getting 12+ hours even when watching a ton of video. And the standby time has been great as well. I love that there is just zero battery anxiety with this device, if you have it fully charged in the morning you will not run it down in the course of a day.

img_0010

The battery life on the iPad Pro is legit.

Another new hardware addition on the iPad Pro is the new smart connector on the bottom of the iPad when it is in landscape. This 3 pin connector allows it to attach to various 1st and 3rd party accessories wirelessly and with no power required from the accessory. This is a really cool new feature, one that I use nearly constantly with my Smart Keyboard.

Smart Connector

The Smart Connector

Lastly, the A9x chip and 4gb of ram make the iPad Pro 12.9″ super fast. Everything just flies on this thing.

IMG_0016

Test results from the Geekbench app on my iPad Pro 12.9″

Overall, I really like the hardware of the iPad Pro. However there are a few nitpicks that I have with the hardware:

  1. Apple ships the iPad Pro with a dinky 12w charger that takes a very long time to charge the iPad. The 12.9″ iPad Pro supports fast charging via USB-C, but you have to pay about $75 for the necessary charger and cable. This is ridiculous on a device at this price point. They should ship it with the proper adaptor and cable.
  2. The iPad Pro is really not a one handed device, unlike the mini or regular size iPad. It is pretty unwieldy in portrait orientation. If you want something to read books on or slip into your purse, this is probably not the right device for you.

The Software – The new multitasking features introduced in iOS9 for the iPad were just made for the 12.9″ iPad Pro. Multitasking truly feels at home on this big screen. It gives you almost 2 full size iPad apps side by side. Check out the multitasking view in the picture below.

Narwhal (Reddit client) on the left, Safari on the right, and a picture in picture baseball game on top.

 

I have found myself using the multitasking view so much more with the Pro than I did with my iPad Air 2. There are a few other new software features that the 12.9 Pro gets, namely a full size software keyboard with a number row & a two column today view. These are still the early days for the 12.9″ iPad so while I feel like things will get better on the software front, not everything is rosy right now. A few of my gripes are –

  1. You can only have the same amount of icons on the home screen as all of the other iPads. There is so much wasted space!
  2. Some of the apps are still not optimized for split screen (Pocket), picture in picture (YouTube), or even the new screen size 😡 (Facebook).
  3. The multitasking app picker is just awful at trying to find the app you want. There needs to be a complete redesign as well as a search bar.

The Accessories – When Apple announced the iPad Pro, it also announced two brand new accessories that only work with the Pro – The Smart Keyboard & the Apple Pencil. I own both and would like to tell you my thoughts on each.

48E6CE98-2A65-45DB-B857-5DBE996B0E39

The smart keyboard is awesome, it has a full sized keyboard & doubles as a cover for the front of the iPad Pro.

The Smart Keyboard – Before I purchased my iPad Pro, I did a lot of research on various cases & keyboards. I narrowed my choices down to two options – the Smart Keyboard & the Logitech Create. Both keyboards have their pros & cons & both support the new smart connector on the iPad Pro. I decided on the Smart Keyboard due to it’s lighter weight, more minimal design, & the ability to pull it off as easily as a smart cover when I just want to use it as an iPad. That second part ended up not mattering much because I absolutely love the Smart Keyboard and would estimate it is connected to my iPad Pro 95% of the time that I use it. Some combination of it being a full size keyboard, it instantly responding to you pressing a key with no need to wait for a bluetooth connection, never needing to be charged, and all of the keyboard shortcuts available for the iPad in iOS 9, have just endeared me to this accessory in a way I had not imagined it would. I use it setting on a table, my desk, on my lap, as a stand for watching streaming content, etc. This is the accessory for the iPad Pro in my opinion. It also completely takes away one of my gripes with the 12.9″ Pro, namely it being a little hard to hold comfortably for extended periods. With the Smart Keyboard, my iPad simply rests on my desk or on my lap with no strain on my hands at all. Would it be better with backlit keys and a shortcut row of keys? Absolutely, and I hope that a future version does all of that but for what it is, I absolutely love it.

IMG_1686

😍

The Apple Pencil – Oh, the Apple pencil. It’s so beautiful and I love it so much, but I am not quite as bullish on it as I am on my Smart Keyboard. On one hand it is the best stylus I have ever used hands down. I’ve tried out a bunch of iPad styluses as well as the styluses for the Surface Pro 4 and the Surface Book, and the Apple Pencil is just better. It has the least amount of latency I have seen and it is a joy to use. It is really fun to use in an adult coloring book app called Pigment. It is also really cool to take handwritten notes in Notability and Apple Notes. It’s useful for editing photos as well. But the main thing it is awesome for is for artists. If you like to draw, this is the stylus for doing that with. Unfortunately, I am not even close to being an artist so using the Apple Pencil for drawing is not something I can really take advantage of. This leads to me not using it that often and for what it cost, it’s hard to justify recommending it if you are not an artist or a big handwritten notes taker. I got it solely because I was excited about trying it out and because it looks so beautiful. I am trying to figure out ways that I can use it but right now it is not used as much as my Smart Keyboard.

So those are my thoughts on the iPad Pro. I love it and use it every day. I go for days without turning on my Mac since I got it. The fact that I can have a 12.9″ Retina display with tons of storage & power, LTE connectivity, all day battery life, and the huge app selection of iOS in a device that weighs what the original iPad weighed is just mind blowing to me.  At the same time, I know that the iPad Pro is not for everybody, especially the big one. It’s not a cheap device & some people are still more comfortable with a laptop or a desktop. That’s perfectly fine, use the device that is right for you but I firmly believe that the 12.9″ iPad Pro is the right device for me.

 

My Favorite Things of 2015

Hey guys, as we enter into another year I wanted to take minute to look back on 2015 and see what some of my favorite things of 2015 were. These are all things I acquired or enjoyed last year. Here’s to an even better year in 2016!applewatch1

Apple Watch – I love my Apple Watch for many reasons. I love how it looks, I love getting notifications on my wrist, I love how many times it saves me from pulling my phone out of my pocket, but most of all I love the fitness tracking and activity goals it provides. I have been more active this year than in the past 6 or 7 years and trying to fill those little activity rings every day was a big part of it. I even joined a gym for the first time in my life when it got too cold for me to exercise outside. Yes, this product is not for the masses yet but I couldn’t imagine going without it. Link

 

IMG_0976

It’s so beautiful.

S’well Water Bottle – I ran across these in a store downtown and instantly fell in love with the design of this water bottle. If Jony Ive designed a water bottle, I believe it would look something like this. It also keeps my drink cold for 24 hours plus which is awesome. It is expensive but I have loved using it all year. Link

maxresdefault

4th Generation Apple TV – I’ve had every version of the Apple TV but the 4th generation is far and away Apple’s best set-top box they have ever released. From the powerful processor that makes everything run so smooth, to the new app store with a ton of apps to download, it is a pleasure to use. Siri voice control works extremely well & the screen-savers (yes, screen-savers) Apple included are absolutely breathtaking. This is the box we use to watch everything now. The only time the PS4 get’s turned on anymore is for gaming. Link

DSC00936

 

Joby Mini Gorillapod & Square Jellyfish Spring Tripod Mount – I have fallen in love with shooting time lapses with my iPhone 6 Plus this year and these two items work together to help me shoot them. I love how compact this whole setup is. It is amazing what you can capture with an iPhone and a few simple tools these days! Link1 Link2

IMG_1373

Oakley Method 360 Backpack – I have a huge weakness for bags and picked up this one down in Austin this year. It has been my everyday bag from that day on. It has all the right pockets and can hold a ton of stuff if needed. Link

Star_Wars_The_Force_Awakens

Star Wars: The Force Awakens – Even with all the hype this movie blew me away. I’ve seen it twice and would see it again in a heartbeat. A true cinematic masterpiece.

IMG_0817

My first two boxes. Sniff.

Fiery Chicken Fries – Burger King – Burger King’s Chicken Fries are one of my all-time favorite foods & when Burger King brought them back permanently in early 2015 I didn’t think that it could get any better than that. I was wrong. In the summer for one month only Burger King released Fiery Chicken Fries and they were glorious! I ate so many of them that I got sick. As soon as I felt better I got some more. I have ate a lot of fast food in my days and I do believe that the Fiery Chicken Fries are the greatest fast food item of all time! Honorable mentions go to Wendy’s Home Style Chicken Strips & Jack In The Box’s Spicy Chicken Bites, may they both rest in peace.

Thanks for reading! Feel free to follow me on Instagram, Twitter, Snapchat, or Facebook. I am ibmacin on everything.