{ Phil Olin }

Musings of a geek.

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The Riddle of Strider

All that is gold does not glitter,
Not all those who wander are lost;
The old that is strong does not wither,
Deep roots are not reached by the frost.

From the ashes a fire shall be woken,
A light from the shadows shall spring;
Renewed shall be the blade that was broken,
The crownless again shall be king.

-Bilbo Baggins

Pilot Vanishing Point in Copper

Pilot has released a new Limited Edition Vanishing Point fountain pen. This year’s color is copper. I think copper is a beautiful color, and the Vanishing Point looks fantastic in copper.


While the pen looks fantastic, it is an expensive fountain pen, retailing around $200. As much as I’d love to have the pen, I can’t justify spending that kind of money on a pen. So for those of you that do pick it up, enjoy!

iOS 8

iOS 8 has been out for a few days now. Overall, I’d say it has been a pretty good release, but I wouldn’t call it a solid release. Most things have worked OK. Numerous apps are broken, but it seems that Apple is pushing out updates quickly, for the most part.

Some are getting special treatment from Apple though. I’ve seen multiple updates for Dropbox, and other big name companies have had multiple updates approved. Meanwhile, other apps are sitting in review limbo, and don’t work properly on iOS 8. I wish Apple wouldn’t play favorites with some developers.

I’m looking forward to the 8.0.1 update as Apple has a few bugs to fix in the 8.0 release. Hmm, reminds me of last year’s iOS 7 release. It seems to be doing OK on my iPhone 5S, iPad Mini and Ashley’s iPad 2.

Green Apple KoolAid™

I recently found a new to me flavor of Koolaid in the grocery store recently, Green Apple Koolaid. Green Apple is a hit or miss flavor. Sometimes it tastes great, like with Jolly Ranchers, but much of the time it doesn’t taste very well.

I like (love) Koolaid so I picked up two flavor packets so I could make a gallon of green apple. Now that I’ve finally gotten around to making it, I think I’d be fine with just one packet and making a half gallon. It isn’t horrible but I’d be ok with not drinking it again the rest of my life.

Dungeon Crush Farm®™

The future of video games has been described by Bill Amend in a recent Foxtrot comic.


Lake Jimmy

I’ve been up and down many of the numerous mountains in the Adirondack Mountains on New York. Being local to the Adirondacks, it was usually the first place we turned to when looking for a place to take a hike or backpacking trip. One of the best hikes I’ve done was the Mount Adams hike.

One of my best friends and I drove up late the night before and snagged a camping spot on the side of the road to sleep. Early the next morning, we got up early to go climb a mountain. It turns out that driving up the night before was one of the best ideas we had.

The climb up Mount Adams involves crossing Lake Jimmy on an old 4×4 log bridge. We crossed that bridge around 7 AM, which left the sun low in the sky, resulting in an amazing photo.


Goodbye Facebook

I’ve been putting it off for a while now, but finally went in and deactivated my Facebook account. Why? Because FUCK Facebook.


No, I don’t plan on coming back soon. In fact, I never plan on coming back. Facebook’s sole purpose in life is to mine your data. If you decide not to delete your account, just remember you could be part of a psychological experiment.


We finally got around to watching The Lego Movie. It may be one of the best movies I’ve ever seen. Ashley and I both loved it. I also like how the Lego™ Group is creating and releasing all the “master builder” models as sets.


I picked up the most important one of the “master builder” sets this weekend. Set 70816. Benny’s Spaceship, Spaceship, SPACESHIP! Why is this set the most important? Because nostalgia. Growing up in the late ’80s and early ’90s, I spent a lot of time staring at classic Lego spaceship sets.


The Space Police, M-Tron, and BlackTron sets don’t compare to the more modern space sets. Benny’s Spaceship is the closest modern take on the classic space sets of my youth. I finally have a suitable option to all the sets I stared at as a kid but couldn’t afford. I’d still love to pick up those classic sets, but probably won’t find them affordably unless I strike it lucky at a garage sale.


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.

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© 2017 Phil Olin

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