Covid-19 and Me

Hello My Imaginary Friends,

I’ve been pretty silent about the state of the world the past few weeks. Part of that was being overwhelmed and part of that was being busy.

Ottawa called for people to start self-isolating and working from home starting March 16th. My first day of work after just over eight months of parental leave was the 18th of March. I work for the government in a communications area so I’m considered essential.

I’ve been dealing with going back to work (although I do enjoy working from home), a baby that is teething (AKA not sleeping well), the pandemic, and everything that entails.

My family is in a good place. We have a house, I have a job that will continue to pay me (barring some sort of pheonix crap), and we’re all pretty used to being at home. Our house is filled with movies, games, books, and comfy furniture.

The kids are still too young for school and like I said, I just finished ~8 months of parental leave so we’re all kind of used to being at home. I do miss having people over for D&D, movies, and to chat. I miss going to the cinema, and going for walks with the kids to Walmart or the park. My daughter and wife miss church and we all miss our conventions.

Those are minor inconveniences and I know we are extremely lucky.

My wife asked me to cut her hair. This was right before.

It’s still been hard. I’ve felt like I was on high alert for the past three weeks. I’ve felt terrified while shopping and I’m scared for my friends and family.

I’m starting to calm down but I’m still teary and worried.

This will become normal and when things get better we’ll have hopefully spared much death and heartache.

The implications of what this will change in our world are staggering and a little scary. But that’s another post all together.

Stay home and wash your hands!

Éric

Is Your Coffee Dumb?

Hello My Imaginary Friends,

It seems that smart devices are everywhere. Everything from your fridge to your toilet. (Must fight urge to sing circle of life…)

Why should your coffee be any different?

There are a lot of options they range in price. I’ve done a lot of research and here are my top three recommendations for smart coffee makers.

Behmor Brewer ($373.00 at Amazon Canada)

This is the best possible drip coffee maker on the market.

Pros

  • Temperature control
  • Soak timing
  • Pre-soak
  • App
  • Schedule
  • Smart home integration

Cons

  • Price
  • Only 8 cups

Read more from Kwikey Locksmith Services, INC. about that.

Overall

If you want complete control on your coffee and you want it at a specific time, this is your coffee maker. It’s versatile and from one of the best names in coffee. Unfortunately the price is high.

Gina ($230 USD from Goat Story)

This is truly for the hipster coffee scientist. It combines a Bluetooth-enabled scale and app with the tried and true pour over method of coffee brewing.

Pros

  • Hipster Cred
  • Absolute control
  • Brew coffee like a European Barista
  • Makes spectacular coffee
  • App
  • Easy to clean and maintenance

Cons

  • Price
  • Not really all that smart
  • Use your own hot water
  • Only 25 oz of coffee
  • No smart home integration or schedule

Overall

This is for those that want to take the time to experiment and brew the perfect cup of coffee. It’s simple but time consuming. It’s a lot of work but will make amazing coffee.

Create your own (~$40)

I’ve mentioned before that the best coffee maker is the simplest. The less bells and whistles on the darned thing, the more power there is for the water heater and pump.

What you do is you buy yourself a simple coffee maker. For a 12 cup machine, it’ll cost you around $20; less if you want smaller or get a sale. The only feature that is important is a physical switch, on or off, not a digital button.

The second part is to buy yourself a smart plug. They range from 20 to 100. Make sure it works with your phone/tablet/computer or the smart speaker/hub of your choice.

So now you have them connected, and when the smart switch is on, the coffee maker is on.

Pros

  • Price
  • Any size of machine you like
  • Makes surprisingly good coffee
  • Schedule (Using IFTT or Stringify)
  • Smart home integration

Cons

  • Not fancy
  • No temperature control
  • No pre-soak
  • Simple settings
  • Not as impressive

Overall

This is the option I’ve gone for. It works extremely well. I tell my Google Home in the morning to start the coffee and then hop in the shower.

I could schedule it to wake me with delicious coffee smells if I wanted, but I like the snooze button too much.

This is cheap and easy and will make good coffee.

 

Good Brewing!

Éric

2015 Movie Ranking

Happy Christmas Eve or December 24th,

As I’ve mentioned in the past, I love stories. I love writing them, telling them, dissecting them, and watching them.

Movies can be amazing or absolutely horrible. Below is the list of movies that came out this year that I saw and how I rank them. There are a lot more that I want to see.

My ranking is about how much fun I had and how willing I’d be to re-watch them.

  1. Inside Out
  2. The Man from U.N.C.L.E.
  3. Star Wars: The Force Awakens
  4. The Peanuts Movie
  5. Kingsman: The Secret Service
  6. Jurassic World
  7. San Andreas
  8. Jupiter Ascending (It was a fun, don’t think too hard, space soap-opera.)
  9. Hotel Transylvania 2
  10. The Good Dinosaur
  11. Tomorrowland (It had its issues but it was fun and hopeful.)
  12. Spectre
  13. Ant-Man (Not enough of the Heist aspect)
  14. Avengers: Age of Ultron (Tried to do too much in too little time)
  15. Home
  16. The Intern (Should be in the top 10 but the ending was too abrupt and didn’t resolve enough.)
  17. The Duff
  18. Cinderella
  19. American Ultra
  20. Minions
  21. The Transporter Refueled (It was fun but awkward and forgettable.)
  22. Fantastic Four (A complete mess. The only movie I regret seeing on this list.)

Have yourself some Happy Holidays.

Éric