40000 Mile Marker

Some time ago, July 8th 2015 to be exact, I wrote a little piece about my motorcycle hitting 30,000 miles.  You can read about that here.  Well, to continue in that tradition, it just hit 40,000 miles today.  So I captured a short video of the odometer rolling over.


As with the 30,000 mile marker video, most people will not care that I put another 10,000 miles on my motorcycle.  Even still, you can view the video on YouTube here.

Last time I used a very dangerous method of recording the video.  I rode slowly up a narrow side street in the middle of Murfreesboro, Tennessee one handed while holding the phone to record the video with the other, all while trying not to run over pedestrians, pets, small children or squirrels.  It was precarious and a miracle that I did not harm myself or anyone else.  This time, I employed a much safer method to capture the video.  With much attention paid to safety, I slowly rode the bike up the carefully controlled environment of a four-lane highway’a shoulder, one handed, while cars passed at interstate speeds all while carefully holding the phone with the other hand to record this video.  Kids, do not attempt this at home.  I am a trained professional, I think.


Project Fi

Some time ago I switched my cell phone service to Google’s Project Fi.  My first impressions, not surprisingly, were unrealistically positive.  Being that I am a fan of Google, and believing that Google can do no wrong, I knew that I could not write about them objectively without waiting until the newness and novelty wore off.  I think I have reached that time.

You may be wondering, “What is Project Fi?”  Rather than try to describe it, I recommend you Google it and read the plethora of descriptions already available all over the Internet.  I’m just going to get right into my impressions of it.

The primary reason for my switch was to reduce my phone bill.  I was with Verizon before, and I was not unhappy with their service.  I just do not like paying in excess of $70 every month.  In my opinion, that is a large phone bill.  I wasn’t really looking for an alternative.  I literally stumbled across a story about Project Fi by accident and loved the concept.  But how does their pricing work in real life?  They claim that their service is $20 per month for unlimited talk and text, and exactly $10 per gigabyte of data used, charged for just the amount you use.  If you only use 250 megabytes of data, they only charge you about $2.50 for it.  Well, it’s true.  My first bill with them was $34.59, paying for the first month’s 1 gigabyte of data up front.  My second bill, having only used .452 GB of data, the bill was $29.11 after they refunded the unused data cost.  My third bill was $28.73 (.413 GB used).  My bill has been cut to less than half what it was before.

Here’s the thing, I also use much less data than before.  I was on an account with 12 GB shared three ways, so there was no reason to conserve data.  My share was 4 GB, so I used it.  I was paying for it, so why not use it?  But with Project Fi, if I don’t use the data, I’m not charged for it.  There is an incentive to conserve.  An unintended side effect is a change in my behavior around my use of data.  If I don’t really need to use the data, I don’t because it directly costs me money.  A lot of the reasons I used data before I now wait until I get home, or on Wi-Fi somewhere.

Coverage is a huge factor in cell phone service.  The best pricing in the world doesn’t matter with poor coverage.  In this regard, Project Fi is inferior to Verizon.  Even though they use three cell services (Sprint, T-Mobile, and US Cellular) and Wi-Fi, I often find myself in areas where mobile data is not available.  This includes at my house.  However, I have Wi-Fi at the house, so that fills in that hole.  Actually, I don’t get any cell signal at my house at all.  Verizon is the only cell carrier that provides service where I live.  But with the Wi-Fi, that is not an issue.  The downside, if the power at the house goes out, the Internet will no longer work, so my cell phone will also stop working.  None of these issues cause the service to not work for my needs, but they are issues that have to be acknowledged.  If you live in a city, these issues will likely not apply.  I do live in the boonies.  As for areas where mobile data is not available, they are primarily in rural areas, and voice calls are still clear.  The only downside is it negatively affects being able to start navigation assistance with Google Maps.

One oddity with Project Fi is its limitations on handsets.  You have to use one of three Google Nexus phones.  That is not a con for me, as I wanted the Nexus 6P anyway.  This was just a really good excuse to buy one.  My experience with the 6P has been nothing short of amazing.  Everything about the phone is awesome.  It is a flagship phone with great system specs and no manufacturer bloatware.  It’s the plain Android OS with no fluff.  The phone is just fast.  I’ll never go back to a non-Google phone again.  The Samsung Galaxy 5 that I switched from is a good phone, but it was held back by a lot of Samsung and Verizon crap installed on top of the OS that could not be removed without voiding the warranty.  The Nexus line may be ending, but Google is replacing them with phones branded the Pixel and Pixel XL.  Time will tell if they are worthy successors to the Nexus lineup.  I hope they are.

Overall I am pleased with Project Fi.  It has its quirks, but it excels a few key points that truly matter.  The phones are the best of Android, the coverage is just passable, but the price is unmatched.  Where else can I get a sub $30 cell phone bill?  Nuf said.

New Bucket List Page

I may be a little late to the party, but they say late is better than never, or something like that.  For a long time I have known there are some things I wanted to do before I kick the bucket.  I’ve had a sort of mental bucket list for a few years, but there is something about writing it down that makes it more real.  So, here it is.  Or rather, HERE it is.

Maybe I shouldn’t make it public, but I figure, what’s the harm.  It’s really only here for me, so feel free to disregard.  See you later.

30,000 Mile Marker

So, I looked down at the odometer on my motorcycle and noticed I was getting pretty close to 30,000 miles today. Okay, I was very close.


So, I decided to capture the moment of going over the 30,000 mile mark, and I posted it to YouTube here.

I am aware, as I said on the YouTube post, likely nobody will care, but I still think it’s a pretty cool mile stone.  Here’s to many more safe miles.  Don’t ask how I shot that video.  I was totally not riding down the road one handed with my phone in the other hand totally not paying attention to where I was going.  That would be unsafe and irresponsible.  What kind of person do you take me for?  Geesh.  You’re so judgmental.


Hooky at Center Hill

I had an interesting time today.  And it all started when I was simply trying to go to work, of all things.  I mean, how irresponsible of me.  I’m a terrible person.

So, I get to the turn off for the highway that the shop is on, and there is a police officer blocking the road.  He tells me that the road is blocked all the way from the four lane to the county line.  Well, the shop I work at is a good mile before the county line, so I ask, and he said to try the back way around.

I go around the back way, and another officer has the road blocked, but not all the way to the county line as I was previously told.  However, he was past the shop by a good bit.  I explained to him that I work right there (pointing at the building just within their little quarantine zone).  He apologizes and explains that he cannot let me through.  But this time he does explain why.  And it directly pertains to this news story.

Some guy, who was not at all happy with his neighbor, had a gun and decided, as any reasonable person would, that the best way to solve all of his problems would be to shoot his troublesome neighbor.  I’m sure we can all relate.  I mean, who hasn’t wanted to at one point or another shoot your neighbor.

Since I could not go to work, I decided to spend the beautiful day riding the motorcycle that I purchased just a couple of weeks ago.  I ended up riding around out by Center Hill Lake on the other side of Smithville.  Here are the pictures I took while I was there.

Hooky at Center Hill (13)

Hooky at Center Hill (14) Hooky at Center Hill (12) Hooky at Center Hill (15)  Hooky at Center Hill (11) Hooky at Center Hill (10) Hooky at Center Hill (9) Hooky at Center Hill (8) Hooky at Center Hill (7) Hooky at Center Hill (6) Hooky at Center Hill (5) Hooky at Center Hill (4) Hooky at Center Hill (3) Hooky at Center Hill (2) Hooky at Center Hill (1)