The Amazing Smart Alec

July 15

Smart Alec Front

Of all the bags I’ve bought from Tom Bihn over the last few years, no bag has gotten as much use as the Smart Alec. The Smart Alec holds 26 liters of stuff and is my everyday workhorse for schlepping stuff from home to work and back. While it’s not a massive bag, I hardly ever find myself unable to fit what I need into it. This is due to the cavernous main compartment. It’s really big. I usually carry a 13" Macbook Air in a Brain Cell, a Freudian Slip and two Size 3 Stuff Sacks that hold my...

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Dyneema vs. Ballistic Nylon

July 8

When I first started buying bags from Tom Bihn, I thought Dyneema seemed like a silly option. It was seemingly a less sturdy option compared to the ballistic nylon. I bought all my bags in ballistic nylon. After using these bags for a few years, and loving them, I started to wish they were a little lighter. I started to wish they had a little more “give” to them. I picked up a side effect in Steel Dyneema for these reasons, and I loved it. I started to think about how I might be better off buying...

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Tom Bihn Buying Tips

July 1

If you’re a veteran Tom Bihn buyer, you might already know this, but if a particular bag comes out and you’re in need of a particular fabric or color, it would behoove you to buy that bag in that fabric and color as soon as possible. I’ve been bitten a few times by sell outs. Tom Bihn does a lot of limited runs and more often that not, unless you want black or steel ballistic nylon bags, you’re not going to be able to get what you want if you wait very long after the bag comes out. And in the...

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Bioshock: Infinite

April 24

As part of the Games with Gold program, Microsoft recently gave away free copies of Bioshock: Infinite. I actually own the original Bioshock for PS3 but I’ve never played it. It’s been sitting in my pile of shame since 2008 probably. This isn’t because I don’t believe it to be a good game, but due to me not enjoying shooters with a DualShock controller. I greatly prefer an Xbox controller and its superior triggers for shooters. I remembered Bioshock: Infinite getting rave reviews back in 2013...

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Two Inboxes

January 22

Most GTDers will tell you that you should have one inbox and no more. I do agree that you should have only one inbox, but I would argue that the concept of an inbox is a two-step process. The first step, or the “reception desk” of your inbox is in your head. Before you fire up Omnifocus and tap the quick entry shortcut, you need to make that decision in your head of whether or not you need to be capturing the task into your trusted source. The first rule of GTD is: if you can do it in two minutes...

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What I Learned in 2014

January 1

Well, it’s 2015, and it’s time to share all the things I learned in 2014. I recorded all these things using my Ruby gem nikki. It lets you record one thing you learned everyday.

2014-01-01
Not even a year of doing something guarantees habit-building.
2014-01-02
Ben Franklin was the 15th of 17th children.
2014-01-03
Ben Franklin invented that swivel-top desk you used in college.
2014-01-04
Surfing in Taiwan came about because GIs stationed there during the Vietnam War left their surfboards when they...

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Workflow for iOS is Amazing

December 12

Workflow

I’ve been a long time fan of Drafts and Launch Center Pro for iOS. I saw Workflow pop up the other day in my RSS feeds and I figured it must be a Launch Center Pro clone, but much to my surprise, it’s a whole new animal. Whereas Launch Center Pro does a great job of launching actions, its ability to craft actions (while great up to now) was a bit lacking. As a programmer, I’m used to controlling flow with ifs, elses and else ifs. I’m also used to manipulating variables. Launch Center Pro has...

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Reflecting on Silence

December 8

So, I did a week of tracking “Silence”. This is a hard one for me because your ability to avoid trivial conversation is constantly bombarded by others. In order to be a social person, you have to engage in smalltalk. Smalltalk is inherently trivial. You talk about things at work, you get to know people you’re dating and in my job as an English teacher, the topics are usually trivial things like “Where’s the chair?” and “Do you like bananas?”

Ben Franklin’s definition of silence as “Speak not...

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Reflecting on Temperance

December 1

So, I did my first week of Ben Franklin’s virtue journal. I tackled temperance first, and as I expected, I was able to stick to the plan during the week, but when the weekend rolled around, I found myself at the bar drinking too much and staying out too late. I actually went home at 10pm on Saturday, and I was really drunk, but I figured I still drank more than is healthy so I checked off last Saturday as a day that I didn’t remain temperate.

This week is silence. I’m to avoid trifling conversation...

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Grinding in Assassin's Creed Unity

November 21

Unity Cash

Grinding for cash in an Assassin’s Creed game has never been so important as it is in Unity. While buying weapons isn’t a huge need, upgrading your armor and purchasing consumables like ammunition is. If you’re interested in making cash in Unity, upgrade the cafe and buy social clubs around town. I spent a couple hours doing all the cafe missions (the last one is a huge pain in the ass) but I went from making 160 livre every 20 minutes to making around 11,000 livre in 20 minutes. It’s totally...

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