Phil Olin

Dungeons and Dragons 5e

Dungeons and Dragons 5th edition has been finalized and announced, and the books are available for pre-order. List price is currently $50 per book, and with the 3 main books, you’re looking at a $150 start-up cost.

I’m not surprised at all, as this is Wizards we are talking about. Wizards seems to be getting greedier as time goes on. I’ll probably still purchase the Player’s Handbook, Monster Manual, and Dungeon Master’s Guide. Aside from those 3 books, I’ll be downloading any extra books.

The 5e changes look like a big improvement over 4e. I’m looking forward to playing the new edition.

5/5/14 Bike Ride

I took the 29er out for a trail ride tonight. After riding the Moonlander for so long, it was an entirely different experience. It was nice to have some suspension under my arms, but it was much more of a workout than with a fatbike.

The Moonlander has traction galore, and just goes. The 29er has to be carefully balanced to maintain traction. With trails still a bit wet from all the rain we’ve had over the past week, I found myself spinning out on a few of the hill climbs.

Turning with a fatbike is also a challenge, until you get used to the characteristics of a giant tire. You really have to push the bike over to turn, and the grip of the fat tire holds that corner. I found myself corning as if I was still on a fatbike, and then proceeding to shoot off in the direction I was turning because the skinnier tire corners easier.

Overall it was a great ride, but I’m sore now, and will probably be feeling it in the morning. Need to get out on the 29er more this year.


PIXELS by Patrick Jean from ONE MORE on Vimeo.

Apple Beta Program

Apple has announced that anyone can join download and install beta versions of OS X. You’ll no longer need a paid Apple Developer account. This means anyone can and will be able to download the beta OS X versions.

This means anyone will be able to download beta versions of OS X. This is bad. Every year, after WWDC and the new version of iOS is announced and the beta is released, people scour the internet looking for the beta iOS and will pay a few dollars to join someone’s developer account just the use the newly released beta on their iPhones. The beta that is loaded with bugs and broken features. These people then proceed to complain about their phone not working properly.

I can see why Apple wants to allow more people to test the software, but if the people using the program are just doing it to get the beta, and don’t treat it as such, Apple isn’t going to get any benefit.

Spring 2014 Bike Ride

I was finally able to get out and go for a bike ride. First time on the bike since January. Beautiful weather is finally arriving in central NY. I attempted to ride a few days ago but there was still too much snow on the seasonal roads for my skinny tired Mamba.

This time I brought the freshly cleaned and tuned up Moonlander, and was very glad I did. The snow that was left was very soft. I ended up airing the tires down to about 3 psi just to get some decent traction through the snow. Just for reference, I normally ride around 5-6psi with 4.8in wide tires on the Moonlander.


I ended up riding for 6-7 miles as best as I could tell. I don’t have a computer on my bike to tell me exactly what I did, and while I carry my iPhone, I don’t run a GPS app either. It felt good to be back out on the bike again, and surprisingly, my legs and ass aren’t killing me.

The upcoming forecast has rain and some snow in the beginning of the week, but should clear up. I’d like to be able to get a few rides in this week.

45Nrth Wolvhammer

My biggest complaint about winter biking is cold feet. Now that I converted to clipless pedals, I don’t like to trail ride with flat pedals. Wearing my regular snow boots on flats is even worse, as my feet were sliding all over the pedals.

If I wear my normal clipless shoes in the winter, my feet end up freezing, even with heavy wool socks. The steel plate in the bottom of the shoe, with an uninsulated shoe draws all the heat from your foot. Last time I rode in the winter with my clipless shoes, I nearly got frostbite on my toes.

Unfortunately, winter boots designed for clipless riding are expensive. They all start over $200, and some are even more. That’s a lot of money for a pair of shoes that a purpose built and only used part of the year. Well, I broke down and ordered a pair of 45nrth Wolvhammer boots.


The Wolvhammers are the best rated winter boots for clipless riding. Several of my friends have them, and have replaced other clipless boots with Wolvhammers. I’m eagerly awaiting for next winter when I’ll be able to ride with warm feet.

Cold Rolled, Fatbiking in Marquette Michigan

COLD ROLLED-Full Length Film from Clear & Cold Cinema on Vimeo.

Fantastic film about the origins of fatbiking and winter biking in Marquette, Michigan.

Radio Shack Is Slowly Dying

Radio Shack is planning on closing 1100 of their worst performing stores. I’m actually surprised they aren’t closing all the stores. I’d classify Radio Shack as equal to, if not worse than Walmart. It’s a last ditch option to visit Radio Shack.

Radio Shack used to be a useful store, back when they sold electronic components and had knowledgeable staff. Now they aren’t competing with anyone except themselves. They sell shitty electronic devices with higher prices and cell phones. The sales staff know nothing and are extremely pushy.

The last time I visited a Radio Shack, I went in to get a HDMI cable. (Yes, I know Radio Shack was a stupid place to go, but I was out of town setting up a entertainment center and it was the closest place that I figured would have it.) The pushy salesman asked if I wanted an extended warranty, for a fucking HDMI cable, which either works or doesn’t. After repeated failed attempts to get me to buy it, he switched to pushing batteries.

Fuck that and fuck Radio Shack. I hope you die soon.

Rdio, The Discovery of New Music

I’ve started to using Rdio at work so I have some music to listen to. I’ve been able to find lots of music that I love. But one of the best things I’ve found about Rdio is discovery.

Since I started using Rdio, I have found several new artists that I like. Every day I’m writing down a few albums to add to my iTunes library. I think since listening to Rdio, this has led to the largest growth of new artists my library has ever seen.

I hope Rdio continues to impress me and introduce me to new music.

Zenvo ST-1

Watch the Stig take the Zenvo ST-1 around the Top Gear Test Track. There isn’t much if any full throttle use on this lap. I know Zenvo wasn’t happy about Top Gear’s review, but their car did break twice, including catching fire one of those times.

I liked the car, but it seems to have a few issues to work out before it is publicly available.

Flash, Just Fucking Die Already

It has been a few years since Flash has been declared dead. Yet it still refuses to give up and disappear. Adobe continues to push this shitty, inferior, bug-ridden software. It causes nothing but problems.

I had Flash installed on my Mac Mini that I use as a media center. Ashley wanted to watch live streams of the Olympics and it required Flash. Of course the live streams didn’t work, and I forgot to uninstall Flash afterwards.

My Mini had a Flash update today, and because Flash is such an unsecure, bug-ridden piece of shit, I ran the update. Well, par for the course with Adobe software, it failed to install and froze up my computer. I had to force shutdown and restart it. I then proceeded to uninstall Flash.

I can’t figure out why Flash is still required for everything/anything. If I can watch something on my iPhone without any issues, then I don’t need fucking worthless Flash to watch it on my computer.

To Jailbreak Or Not To Jailbreak

I’ve jailbroken every past iOS and iPhone I’ve had. Except for my iPhone 5S and iOS 7. There are some awesome jailbreak tweaks, and new ones are created every day. But as tempted as I am to jeailbreak, I’m also not tempted.

I think my biggest issue isn’t doing the jailbreak, or dealing with the chance that I’ll have an unstable device. My issue is going through the setup of all the tweaks I’d want to install. I know of several that I know I want to install, but then there are the hundreds and thousands of other apps, tweaks, and mods to sift through.

Last time I used Cydia, it still wasn’t a user friendly store (this may have changed recently). There is no way to sort out the awesome useful tweaks and apps from the shitty ones that only matter to three people because it does something extremely obscure.

I’ll probably end up breaking down and jailbreaking my iPhone. I really do miss some of the better tweaks, especially BiteSMS.

iTunes Access

I’d love to be able to listen to my iTunes library at work. I have a decent collection of songs in iTunes. Unfortunately, there isn’t an easy way to share iTunes libraries to remote computers.

I don’t want to use iTunes Match. I used to use Simplify Media but it appears to have been discontinued. Maintaining identical libraries on two computers sounds like a complete pain, especially since I don’t always bring home my work computer.

Sure, I could use on of the many streaming options, Pandora, Rdio, or Spotify, but I don’t want to pay to listen to the radio. I already have my music collection.

I just wish there was an easy way to stream my iTunes library to work.



This is how much of a bum Muenster is. If he’s not curled up on me, he’s curled up on a blanket.

Board Game Burnout

Is board game burnout a thing? I love Small World. It is a fun, quiky board game. It gets played all the time though. We bring it every weekend when we visit Ashley’s parents.

It gets played almost every time we visit. We always enjoy it, but the last time we played Small World, I did not enjoy it. I played, but I really didn’t want to. I’m guessing it’s because we’ve been playing Small World too much recently. Ashley’s mom doesn’t like Settler’s of Catan, and I don’t really want to deal with explaining rules on another game. She isn’t the most willing person to learn new games.

I’d like to expand our board game library more and rotate through the games. I think if we play more games less, instead of a few games more often, it will help.


On November 10th, 2008, I adopted to world’s awesomest cat. I know he is the world’s awesomest cat because I’ve been living with him for the past 5 years. An orange and white long haired tom cat I named Muenster. Muenster like the cheese, not the TV show.


At the time, I worked at a veterinary clinic and one of our clients found hime with a litter of matching kittens behind a local gas station. She had already adopted out the kittens, but still needed a home for him. I brought him home that evening and he’s been happy ever since.


He acts like a dog trapped in a cat’s body. He knows when I get home and runs to the door to greet me. He waits for me to finish eating dinner, then climbs in my lap to sleep. When I pick him up, he puts his arms around my neck in a hug and nuzzles my face. He has to sleep on me at night. He really is the world’s awesomest cat. No one that has met him can say otherwise.

Future BMX/DH Biker

Jackson Run Bike to kindergarten. from Ron Goldstone on Vimeo.

This kid is amazing. His parents need to get him a BMX bike until he’s bigger, then send him to a downhill course.


Nintendo is an awesome company. They’ve produced numerous unique games and gaming systems over the years. While their more recent offerings haven’t really appealed to me, I’d love to be able to play the games I grew up playing on my iPhone.

Classic Zelda, Mario, or Pokemon would be awesome to play on my iPhone. I know there are apps that will play the roms if I jailbreak my iPhone, but I’d like offical apps. I think there are plenty of people like me that would pick up everything Nintendo released on iOS just because of the nostalgia.

I know this isn’t the best strategy for Nintendo. It would be fantastic though. I’d like to play Pokemon Blue again, but I don’t want to try to hunt down a gameboy and a game cartridge. I have a perfectly capable device in my pocket, I just need Nintendo to give me the goods.

I’d also welcome a new, modern console from Nintendo. I don’t want a gimmicky WiiU, I want a nice console, with excellent 1st and 3rd party games. Games like classic Mario, Zelda, etc, plus others like Goldeneye, Time Splitters, and Super Smash Bros. Nintendo, people want to give you money, you just have to get them what they desire.

Castles of Burgundy

I got my first true “euro” board game recently. Castles of Burgundy. It’s not a worker placement game. In Castles of Burgundy players take turns choosing from a central board and building their kingdoms.


There is so much strategy involved. You need to choose what to build, when to build it and where to build it. But you also need to carefully watch your opponents. You may need to change your plan to prevent them from achieving their goals.

We’ve played the game twice now. Both times I’ve only concentrated on building some parts of my kingdom, while everyone else seems to go for everything. I prefer to finish the castles, science and village sections first, then I’ll go for the farms and boats. Everyone else builds whatever is most convenient at the time. I’m not sure if I have a good strategy yet, or if I’m just getting lucky.

Grand Theft Auto 5

I finished the main story line of GTA V last night. WOW!! It is a fantastic game. Probably the best sandbox world game I’ve played in a while. This GTA was different though, because you are able to play as three seperate characters. Franklin, the inner city gang member that wants a better life, Traver, the perpetually drunk redneck asshole, and Micheal, the “successful” middle-aged “businessman”.

I found myself playing each character differently, each get played to best match their personalities. Trevor is probably the most fun to play as, because I’ll go out of my way to act out when playing as him. Random shootings, running people over, just acting as a drunk asshole.

Spoiler Alert

Devon Weston. I’m glad I kill him at the end. The first encounter with him left a bad taste in my mouth. I wanted to kill him the first time we met. What a complete piece of shit.

Now that the main story is over, it’s time to explore the few remaining parts of San Andreas, and finish up a few remaining missions. I still have spaceship parts to find and the love/murder notes. Lester’s assassination missions were also saved to maximize profits later.

I’ll probably play through again, this time changing up my heist decisions. It really is a spectacular game!