2015-07-14 16_22_42-Idol 3 Smartphone _ Alcatel ONETOUCH

Alcatel ended my long, stupid smartphone search with the Idol Onetouch 3

My recent relationship with my smartphones the past year have been interesting, to say the least.  Between ruining my Android installation to the point I couldn’t update my HTC One M7, to the Nexus 6 which liked to shut off randomly, on to a phone too slow for me to use, to the Alcatel One Touch Idol 3… all the way back to my HTC One M7 (not for lack of want on the Alcatel, there’s more of an explanation below).

I’m going to briefly go over my history leading up to the Idol below, but you can skip that section if you just want to read about my experience with the Idol Onetouch 3 (from here on out, Idol). Continue reading

Digging Through the Crates, Bandcamp Style – June 2015

This is something I’ve wanted to do for a while. Not only for my own personal running list of things I’ve found via Bandcamp (or Soundcloud) that I like, but for a chance that anyone who accidentally stumbles across this blog might find something they like, as well.

Since this is the first time I’ve ever done this, and it’s something I plan to do randomly as the mood hits me, I’m not putting a timeframe on when anything was released.  All I care about is when I find it.

Made In Heights – Without My Enemy What Would I Do

This is, pretty easily, my favorite release that I’ve listened to in the first half of 2015.  It’s hit me in a similar way that FKA Twigs did last year, because it feels both familiar and wildly different, all at the same time.

If I were forced to boil this down to a single genre descriptor, I’d have to say this is pop, but I’d be really sad that I’d have to boil it down to that and only that.  Made In Heights are a duo that bring beautiful female vocals melted over some very varied (alliteration!) production.  That variance in the production can fall under the wide umbrella that is electronic music (whatever that is anymore), melded with some hip-hop/R&B influence along with a pop sensibility that I alluded to earlier.

Cry is probably the track that most says “THIS IS MADE IN HEIGHTS!” to me.  It starts with a squealing pig that probably fits better into a horror movie than it does a song as beautiful as this, followed by a chopped-up sample of said pig that somehow turns from that horrid sound at the beginning into something that works as a piece of music.  Wrap that up with a water-in-the-bucket drip-drop sound and you have the description of a song that just shouldn’t be as good as it is.  Once the vocals drop in, everything comes together to make for what I can only describe via an oxymoron; melancholic bliss.

This is the mix that is Kelsey Bulkin (vocals) and Alexei Saba (a/k/a Sabzi; producer), a duo that can only be described in pairings of words which shouldn’t go next to each other.  They are a match… made in heights.

(I NAILED that cheesy ending… nailed it!)

Buy for $12

Recommended if you like – FKA Twigs, London Grammar, ASTR, Basecamp
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Fight to the Death: Jif battles Skippy for Salted Caramel Supremacy

The first time I moved away from home, I raged against the machine.

That machine was my mom and her being the choosy mom who chose Jif peanut butter.  For the better part of 20 years, I had Jif and that was all I had.  I didn’t even know what Skippy or Peter Pan tasted like.  I still don’t know what Peter Pan tastes like, because who eats that stuff, seriously?  My rage, in combination with moving out, took me to Skippy and that has been my peanut butter of choice the past 11 or 12 years.

For the most part, peanut butter is peanut butter.  Crunchy or creamy, maybe you get the option for honey as well.  Then there is natural vs…. unnatural?  I don’t know what to call the standard stuff, but it’s the stuff that doesn’t have “natural” on the label.  I’m not even going to get into the weird stuff with the oil on top of it.

The past few years there have been fancier flavors introduced (peanut butter/chocolate mixes, whipped peanut butter, etc.) but I’ve stuck to my natural creamy Skippy Peanut butter and haven’t stepped away from it for as long as I can remember.  I’m not even sure that I like Skippy better, but once I changed, I became my own machine and never gave any other peanut butter much of a thought.

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Dogsters is like ice cream for dogs, because every animal deserves ice cream

While walking down the frozen treat aisle in our local supermarket, my wife says to me “We should get some Ice Cream for Peach (our dog)”.  I laugh a little and say… Yeah, sure, let’s do that.  We were in the area for humans after all and while I can beleive ice cream for dogs exists (because what doesn’t exist for dogs?), it would be not where we were.

I was wrong.

There it was, a 4 pack of “ice cream” treats you can give to your dog, branded as Dogsters. Continue reading

Feedly Users, Beware of the Corgi (Lock Screen Replacement)

unnamedI am not a stupid person, but sometimes I do stupid things.  Well, at least I don’t think I’m stupid.

I also don’t want to drag a dev of a small (and potentially great) Android app down, but there needs to be a slight warning with this one.

First off, Feedly is my personal favorite RSS reader and has been since I had to replace Google Reader.  At this point it’s better than Google Reader ever was, so I’m not as bitter as I first was once Google announced the retirement of Reader.

Corgi for Feedly is a newer app for Android which looks to take your feeds from Feedly and put them onto your lock screen, even with the ability to have an unlock pattern for security.  The app looks nice and I loved the idea so I gave it a try.

Upon setting up Corgi, you need to log-in to one of their various options to link Feedly to Corgi.  The setup was simple enough and I was scrolling through my new lock screen to see how it worked.  I’m not sure on the order of the items it pulls from Feedly, I think it’s just the most recent articles.  Swipe left to see another article and right to unlock the screen.

The only setting you have, other than the lock screen pattern, is an option to see all your feeds and, if you like, click “Unsubscribe”.

So I went through and clicked unsubscribe on the stuff I didn’t want to show on the lock screen, common sense told me this was fine.  Then I went into my Feedly app and saw that… clicking unsubscribe in Corgi didn’t just remove feeds from Corgi.  IT REMOVES THEM FROM FEEDLY.

My last ditch effort to immediately uninstall Feedly from my phone, thinking I was at least saving my desktop version (and thus, my feeds) proved to be fruitless.  Damn you, Feedly!  Why must you sync so quickly?

Now, I’d have no problem with this if the app told me this is what would happen.  I’ve used other apps and widgets that plugged into Feedly and they don’t remove (or add) anything to your Feedly if you’re doing something through whatever the 3rd party (to Feedly) app is.

Sadly, Corgi doesn’t tell you this, it just lets you ruin your Feedly settings without a warning.  I rarely write a review for an Android app, but this one I did.  Props to the dev as they (He?) responded and said this issue was going to be cleared up.  Quote is below.

Having to replace 90% of my Feedly feeds was maybe a blessing in disguise.  I found a few new ones and got rid of some I was passing over.  So, thanks for that.

This could be fixed by tomorrow for all I know, rendering this post immediately useless, but just check their update log on the Play Store to make sure this has been fixed before you go unsubscribing.

Hi Curtis. We are very sorry, for putting you in this situation. We are fixing this issue as we speak. After the next update, Corgi will copy all of your Feedly subscriptions once, and then when you unsubscribe, it will only unsubscribe from Corgi. Once again sorry for the inconvenience. Our team is working hard to fix this.