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MoviePass, First Impression

About three weeks after signing up for MoviePass, I received my MoviePass card in the mail last week. MoviePass enables the subscriber to attend one standard movie per day for just under $10 per month. In other words as a MoviePass subscriber, I can go to a theatre and see a non-3D movie everyday. If I see one movie per month, my MoviePass subscription seems like a nearly break-even financial decision.


Last Friday night with my recently received MoviePass card in hand, I decided to go see Lego Ninjango with my son. I briefly skimmed the packet that came with my card, but I didn't download the MoviePass app or take any special action. I just went to a self-service kiosk to purchase my ticket and my MoviePass card was declined. Without much additional consideration, I went to the ticket window and tried again. The transaction failed but the theatre employee asked, "did you check-in on the app?" She then added, "but if it doesn't work that's a MoviePass problem…

Nest Thermostat Installation Tips (2nd Generation)

I've been looking to add a Nest Thermostat to the house for years.  I'm probably the only person in our house that enjoys voice commands, but being able to voice control the thermostat is something I want to do. This weekend an awesome neighbor that had a spare Nest, let us borrow one to see if we like it. 

The unit I'm borrowing, pictured above, is a 2nd generation device. 3rd generation Nest thermostats are currently in stores with rumors of a new version around the corner.

Of course the industrial design is really good, but I want to briefly share my installation experience in bullet form:
Installation isn't physically hard. Nest includes a screwdriver that will help you remove your old unit and install your Nest thermostat. The white plate in the picture above is included in the box. This plate eliminates the need to patch holes or paint when removing larger thermostats.Getting the wiring correct is another more difficult story that required trial and error. For ex…

31 Days of July

A few days before July started I had a realization that I was destined to be in an unhealthy state well into the future unless I tried something different. An idea came to mind to try and really push myself for 31 consecutive days to be healthier. For the month of July (including a week of vacation at the beach), I was going to focus on three tactics to improve my health.


My idea was pretty simple. One, I wanted to track my caloric intake with a goal of less than 2,000 net calories per day. Net calories for me was caloric intake minus exercise. My second goal was to drink 100 ounces of water daily. The third and final goal was to walk more than 10,000 steps every day. Let me say that I'm relatively healthy. I didn't consult a doctor before I started this program, and I'm not providing any health advice. Before you start any program you should consult your primary care physician.

In addition to the three goals above, I also decided to go to battle against sugar. I started r…

Passed the FAA Part 107 aka Drone Test

Last summer my brother-in-law showed me some video he captured with a drone over a small river in central South Carolina. The video was a slow moving shot about 30 feet above the water going upstream. I was immediately mesmerized. The video was peaceful. Aerial video is something us humans can't naturally do and I could watch aerial video for hours.

After seeing Rob's video, I got the bug to learn more about small unmanned aircraft systems (sUAS).



After about ten months of looking at drones and considering what I would do with one, I made the leap and purchased a DJI Phantom 4. This is a very popular quadcopter with built-in safety features such as forward-facing collision avoidance. The Phantom 4 also has a 4K video camera that is capable of capturing the high-resolution video that attracted me to the idea of one day piloting my own sUAS.

Because I was planning to upload what I hope will be a mesmerizing collection of videos to YouTube which can be monetized, I decided it was…

When My Simple Tweet Went Viral

The August heat was nearly unbearable. I arrive at West Orange High School with our three younger kids expecting to find a parking spot painted. We would then pack up and head over to First Watch which is our Saturday morning nosh spot of choice.

Tuns out that seniors at West Orange High School spend almost the entire day in the heat to paint their parking spots. This is tradition. Every year the current seniors paint over the art work from those that graduated the year before.

On this particular Saturday morning with the heat beating down us and kids complaining, I jump in line at the Kona Ice Truck to give the kids some relief. With sweat on the brow and kids clamoring around, I pull out my phone and take a picture of the scene. A minute later, I thumb type two lines of text in the Twitter client to remember the moment. I push the Tweet button at 11:40 AM on August 20th.
My oldest daughter's senior year at West Orange High School. All the seniors paint their assigned parking spo…