Monday, December 16, 2013

Farewell to the Sky

I've had my Droid Maxx for 4 months and it continues to impress me, especially its battery life. I'm on my phone a fair amount in a typical day, playing games, surfing and editing photos. In the 4 months I've had the phone, I've yet to need to recharge it during the day. I typically put it in its dock at night with more than 50% power still remaining. It's impressive how much better this phone is than my previous Droid. With my last Droid, after a system update, the phone would be noticeably more sluggish. I've had one upgrade so far with my Maxx and I haven't noticed anything diminished about its performance. Also, I'd gotten in the habit of rebooting my Droid Bionic every day to help it run smoother. I find that I'm going weeks without restarting my Maxx. Like I said, impressive!

Speaking of editing photos with my phone: I've installed and uninstalled several free photo editing apps in the last couple of weeks and kept a few. They do an okay job but none of them can really make my photos pop. I took a $5 chance on HDR FX Pro from Lyrebird Studio and was pleasantly surprised. For a phone app, this has so much ability and control. It's great for enhancing uploads to Facebook, Instagram or just about any other place you upload a photo to. If you've got an Android platform I highly recommend it. I can't find a companion app on Apple. There's one with a similar name but a friend downloaded it and it was clear that it's not the same.

Here are some examples:

Example 1: before and after
Example 2: before and after
Example 3: before and after
Example 4: before and after

True, the HDR renderings are sometimes a little overcooked but I wanted the result I got. The amount of enhancement is all up to the person doing the editing. I'm mostly trying to show how much the photos can pop off the monitor after a few manipulations that take just seconds to apply.

We had our annual neighborhood house-hop last weekend. Our numbers were down a little from previous years but we all still had a fun time. Karen did a nice job of organizing everything and we're thankful that she took the lead. This is the time of year where we have so little contact with our neighbors so it's nice to have this chance to get together. We have some awesome neighbors!

My 2001 Nissan Frontier truck has 130,000 miles (or 209,200 kilometers) on it. Its transmission started making a disturbing noise last week when in 4WD so I brought it into L&M Auto in Burnsville and had Scott take a look at it. He heard the clunk I was hearing but couldn't find anything wrong with it. It all checked out. I'm taking it 4 hours north later this week up to Babbitt and I was concerned about it leaving me stranded. Scott doesn't think I have anything to worry about. Good.

The amount of miles it has isn't all that many by today's standards and I'd like to get a couple more years of use out of it as long as I'm not continually making expensive repairs. I was telling Tammy that when I sell it I'd like to get something more economical to drive; maybe a car, but as I was leaving work last night it dawned on me that it's so handy to have a truck for throwing my Mukluk in the back of and heading down to the river for some fun. Hmmm.

And that's how I'll end this blog piece; with a little footage from a recent ride down along the Minnesota River in southern Bloomington. Enjoy the ride and thanks to my friend Eugene for providing the soundtrack!

The fall you'll see was nothing :-)


Rachel said...

You know there are some pretty easy to use bike racks that you can mount on the back of any car. That way you can get a Prius :)

Kevin Gilmore said...

Yeah, that thought had occurred to me as well and I may go that route. A prius? Hmmm...

Jackie said...

Nice ride! Loved the soundtrack. I just wish I was as ambitious!

Kevin Gilmore said...

It's so fun out there though...if you did it once you may find you'd have the bug for doing it too! :-)

No Longer a Factor said...

Hi Kevin - On the eventual replacement of your truck; might I recommend the Subaru Forester? We bought our first one in 2002 and recently purchased our third, the 2014 model. Always reliable, durable, great in snow and now more economical than ever. I'm always carrying stuff in the Forester. Tools, lumber, gardening supplies, lawn mower, you name it. Lots of room for your bike. The nice thing is that we can also carry two or three friends when we want. My biased input.

Merry Christmas to you and your family!


Kevin Gilmore said...

Hi Factor...your advice is very timely as you'll see in a post I make here a little later today. :-)

Merry Christmas to you and your family as well my friend!