Birchbox Tortoise Folding Sunglasses

I loved the idea of these sunglasses. I was hovering over the “Buy” button on a pair of Ray Ban folding tortoise sunglasses when I saw these were going to be in my June shipment from Birchbox. So imagine my excitement that I was just about to save around $150!

Update: Birchbox contacted me and are fixing me up! More at the end of this post.

Birchbox Folding SunglassesAnd then they came, in a neat green box and they looked every bit as good in real life as I’d expected. Bigger lenses than the Ray Bans, not my typical style, but considering the price difference it seemed like a worthy replacement.

I should say that these Birchbox sunglasses are also not polarized, have plastic, not glass, lenses and aren’t quite the quality of an Italian sunglass. But for $30 (their retail price), it’s hard to argue against affordable, stylish summer shades. Sadly it wasn’t long before I realized these shades were a bit too shady, and in the worst of ways. Continue reading

Tokyo in Beautiful Slow Motion

I’m a total sucker for videos like this. Using some sort of high speed video camera, Alex Lee shot more or less ordinary shots of Tokyo. Then, he slowed down the playback from high speed to a standard 24 or 30 frames per second. Some of these cameras can shoot over a million frames per second! The recently release RED Epic camera shoots at 120fps.

Most people think that to shoot a video like that, you shoot in slow motion but you actually do the opposite. It’s part of why people are so intrigued with what they are seeing. You hear “I shot this bullet at 30,000fps,” and you think you’re going to see a speeding bullet. Well you are, only you’re going to see it at 1/1000th the speed it actually traveled. Super cool.

The video is beautiful and yet really simple. The mixing of the different video speeds with the music is spot on. I am not sure what I think about the video effects just yet, whether they add or subtract from the already good video. If you wanted to know what GenArts Sapphire Edge can do, those effects above could easily be accomplished with that plugin.

Netflix’s apology uncovers something much worse

This morning I, along with 23 million others, received an email from Reed Hastings apologizing for keeping everyone in the dark about the changes afoot at Netflix. These changes weren’t simply the price increase for DVD + Streaming use, it also includes a total rebranding and restructuring of the company.

Now Netflix, as far as physical media goes, will be called Qwikster. Yes you will be able to get games as well as DVDs in the mail now but it will be a totally different site which does not connect to Netflix at all. Netflix will become solely the streaming service. The names are explained as follows.

Netflix because they are Internet flicks aka interNET FLIcksX versus Qwikster because its QuWIcKSTER. Not only is the name stupid, but breaking this once great company into two for nearly any reason is stupid. Seriously though, Qwikster is a horrible name. It sounds like a Napster clone.

Qwikster is a Netflix company

You will now receive two bills each month, one for Netflix and one for Qwikster. We still don’t know for sure of stock owners’ situation. They originally held stock in a DVD mailing fulfillment company. Then they owned stock in a DVD mail fulfillment and video streaming company. Now they own stock in a DVD and games mail fulfillment company and a separate video streaming company.

Finally, why this change is truly horrible? Check out the new process for renting a DVD.

Netflix Restructuring Usage FlowchartIt can now take up to twice as many steps to rent a DVD in the mail if streaming is not an option. Instead of it all being under one roof, Netflix.com, you will have to first search Netflix and then search Qwikster. You will also have to have the two completely separate memberships and will have to manage two distinctly different movie queues.

This is the most insane part. Netflix, what were you thinking? Reed Hastings, how did you create such an amazing and innovative company only to pull a HPCompaq-Palm, AOL-Time Warner and drown it with obstacles, barriers and complications?

In a modern world where everyone else is scrambling to catch up to Netflix in both subscribers, available content, streamlining and awareness; Netflix just gave everyone else in the game a massive boost.

Oh and let’s not forget the ten years of branding and name recognition we have with Netflix. Qwikster has now become yet another company and service that will have to be re-explained to the masses.

“Qwikster, it’s like the old Netflix only now it’s really like the new Netflix but you have to wait a few days to enjoy your movie.”

What were you thinking? Am I alone in this? Is this not just a horrible mistake? 

The Mold Remediation Continues

After months of living in hotels, friend’s places and vacation rentals, we still don’t have our apartment. For the last few weeks, I’m not even sure anyone has entered our bedroom to do any work.

Quick recap:

  • In April we had to move out of our apartment because it had extremely high levels of toxic mold.
  • Cause was discovered to be faulty flashing installation on the second floor patio.
  • Lack of flashing was made worse by neighbors who’s plant watering habits caused water to flow down our bedroom wall.
  • We discovered the mold when we pulled back a pillow on our bed covered with the black.
  • We’re told we will have to to move out while it was getting fixed, should be done within a week.

Toxic Mold or Jackson Pollock Painting

So, after four months or so of construction, you are all probably betting that we have one hell of a new bedroom. Marble floors, Persian rugs, gargoyles… Yeah pretty damn fancy huh. I didn’t even get to the babbling brook!

Sadly, you would be quite mistaken. This is what four months of remodeling gets you:

What’s even worse is this is the most work I have seen done in here since April. Today they came in and started installing the insulation and did a little drywall work. Correction, “they” didn’t do anything, one guy did it all.

Did I mention that the supposed final date of this construction is July 31st? As in, by August 1st this bedroom is supposed to be insulated, dry wall installed, painted, carpet installed and ready for furniture to be brought back in. Meanwhile we still have to get new linens, pillows, mattress…

Anyone want to wager a bet on when this will all actually be finished? Anyone have any hope that it will happen before my mom gets in town for my birthday, August 2nd?

I sure do.

Klipsch Image One Review

I cannot believe it has taken me this long to write a review of the Klipsch Image One headphones. It was last November that I first posted about these over ear headphones, the first on-ear headphones made by Klipsch. And yes, one of these days, I will write a review that doesn’t take an hour to read. Brevity is not my strength.

I’ve decided to edit the introduction to this review with a summary of my thoughts. The full review is posted below, but if you’re in a rush, digest the following. Continue reading

A Four Barrel Coffee Revolution

It was only a matter of time before someone took my Four Barrel Coffee cherry (pun intended). No one could be more worth than @KaylaGettys as proxy to @MattnWells. I had honest only ever seen a free-pour brewing of coffee once in my life, at Picasso in St. Louis with @SamuelAveryHunt.

For being a coffee lover it is pretty lame that I had never had a pour-over.

“What is a pour-over cup of coffee?” asks the general public. It’s glorious, that’s what it is. Instead of really hot water flooding grounds at high temperatures and inconsistent times, pour-over coffee is treated like a work of art. Continue reading