Apple Watch

I’ve had a strange affinity for all things Apple lately. Most recently, against my better fiscal judgement I decided to pre-order the famous Apple Watch. It wasn’t an easy decision, I went back and forth with myself for months after it was first announced last September. I even hesitated for a couple of days after the pre-orders started on April 10th but even when I finally convinced myself it was ok to click the buy button I was left with a feeling of uncertainty.

After much anticipation with a dash of frustration (I opted for pick-up which meant navigating the perplexity that is the light-industrial area), it finally arrived at its new home on my wrist yesterday.

My first thoughts about the new gadget are probably similar to what others have said. It’s lovely — heavier than I imagined but then again I’ve never had a real watch before, (anything more than $50 has always been out of my price range). It’s shiny and black and fun to swipe and explore. Honestly, it doesn’t do a lot relative to the amazing iPhone 6 with which it’s paired, it’s just a lot of fun to take phone calls on my wrist, to see messages as they arrive, and to know the time again (all without resorting to the savagery of pulling my phone). I love it.

As others have talked about, Siri seems smarter than ever — though after the last update there seemed an improvement on her phone version too.

Probably most important, though not the most fun, I know for a fact I have missed at least one less phone call than I would have without it. Considering my living depends on catching such phone calls, perhaps the Apple Watch will pay for itself.

In case you’re wondering, I’m no longer uncertain if the watch is right for me. I would buy it again in a second.

The Bad Review Revue

Hot Pursuit: “It’s actually, actively worse than you think it’s going to be.” — Christy Lemire, christylemire.com

Paul Blart: Mall Cop 2: “If you find yourself in front of a screen where Paul Blart: Mall Cop 2 is playing you only have yourself to blame.” — Greg Wakeman, cinemablend.com

The Longest Ride: “You probably think The Longest Ride is about some mixture of young love and bull riding. If you think that, you are about half right.” — Mike Ryan, Uproxx

Get Hard: “The oft-repeated gags about prison rape and the frequent racial stereotypes become such a drag that solitary confinement might be a welcome break.” — Travis Hopson, Examiner.com

Little Boy: “A confused mess of Christian morality parading as entertainment, and one that no benevolent God would wish upon the world.” — Collin Brennan, Consequence of Sound

Our Trip to Kauai

We’ve been doing a lot of travelling these last couple months. Most recently, we returned from a lovely week long adventure in Hawaii. It started out with a conversation between my sister, my mom, and me about how fun it would be to spend some time in Maui. Andrea and I had never been there — in fact this would be Andrea’s first time on any of the Hawaiian islands so we were both really excited about the prospect.

After buying tickets, some sorting out the dates and — believe it or not — which island we were going to, our whirlwind trip would be to the island of Kauai.

Selfie of Andrea and Jeff at the Vancouver Airport
Waiting at the Vancouver airport
Maui Airport Scenery
Layover in Maui
A view looking out into a blue sky, a few clouds, deep blue ocean with a couple of white waves, and green foliage in the foreground.
The view from our resort grounds
Jeff looking surprised while Andrea kisses him on cheek. They are on a beach in Hawaii.
Our first beach walk together in Hawaii
Gorgeous green foliage covers steep and tall green mountains which jut up from the sea. The sky is blue with clouds.
On the way to Hanakapiai beach
A 360 degree panarama showing the falls, people in bathing suits, and lots of rocks.
At Hanakapiai Falls
Andrea and Jeff in a selfie with the falls and green covered walls behind them.
Waterfall Selfie
Selfie of Jeff and Andrea with ocean and palm trees in the background.
The return trip
A yellow flower
Flower
A low angle shot of a pretty rooster. A woman's legs can be seen in the background.
One of the many roosters on Kauai.
Jeff and Andrea in kayaks along a river in Kauai
River kayaking
A closeup of Jeff standing on a beach in Hawaii
On Secret Beach
Jeff and Andrea inside an airborne helicopter
Helicopter Ride
Aerial shot of the mountains and coastline
The Hanakapiai Beach
Selfie of Andrea and Jeff in front of a beach
Beach Hopping

That’s just a brief look at our trip. Perhaps I’ll come back and add more later.

One Second Everyday — 2014

Once again I have completed a year of “One Second Everyday” videos. I travelled quite a bit in 2014 and despite the occasional rocky week or four, it’s been a fantastic year.

Some highlights include:

  • teaching shop in Vulcan
  • playing chess against a grandmaster
  • travelling to Palm Springs and Disneyland
  • travelling to Salt Spring and Vancouver Island
  • enjoying music and friends at South Country Fair
  • trip to BC interior
  • getting an iPhone 6
  • back to Palm Springs / Palm Desert
  • visiting with family and friends at Christmas time
  • I hope you have as much fun watching my year as I had living it.

The Bad Review Revue

Unbroken: “Somehow, in searching for the most photogenic, dramatically harrowing and heroic scenes from Zamperini’s life, the movie ‘Unbroken’ gives short shrift to the most interesting parts.” — Sean Means, Salt Lake Tribune

Annie: “Leapin’ lizards! The evergreen Broadway musical ‘Annie’ strays far from its Depression-era roots with truly dismaying results in this crass, charmless, tineared and lead-footed update.” — Lou Lumenick, New York Post

Night at the Museum: “Let the dust finally settle on these museum pieces.” — Peter Howell, Toronto Star

Exodus: God and Men: “Now obviously the Voice of God is a tough role for any performer, let alone one who has not yet hit puberty. But where Scott detected innocence and purity, I confess I saw mostly an irritable petulance. (Moses: “Where have you been?” God/boy: “Watching you fail.”) This is the first portrayal of God I’ve ever encountered who looked like he could use a good spanking.” — Christopher Orr, The Atlantic

Horrible Bosses 2: “The new, decidedly inferior sequel has its share of chuckles, but it’s got none of that edge or anger. In fact, I’m not even sure why it’s called Horrible Bosses 2. It’s not really about bosses or office politics. Its only allegiance seems to be to the law of the sequel: It puts the same characters into a vaguely familiar situation, with diminishing, tepid returns. They should have just called it 2.” — Bilge Ebiri, vulture.com

Palm Springs!

We just spent two weeks in sunny California! Still excited about my new iPhone, I shot a 3 hour timelapse of our flight from Calgary to Palm Springs.

Here’s a collection of random photos  from our trip.

Selfie of Jeff and Andrea on a palm tree lined street in downtown Palm Springs.
The first place we go after landing is Las Casuelas in downtown Palm Springs
Playing pickleball on a tennis court in Palm Springs, California.
We discovered the great game of pickleball.
clouds and palm trees
A rare cloud over Palm Desert.
A closeup of Andrea and Jeff riding a tandem bike.
A bicycle built for two
Jeff sits crouched under an orange tree.
Hot tubbing under the orange tree.
Three of the hot springs pools are visible from a high angle looking down. The slack line across the creek is also visible.
We hiked down to Deep Creek Hot Springs!
A collage of 5 photos showing our trip along the coast -- bike riding, standing on the beach, and some boats in the harbour.
Our bike trip along the coast
A selfie of Jeff and Andrea on top of a mountain in Joshua Tree National Park
Mountain climbing in Joshua Tree National Park
A Joshua tree in the foreground, desert and brush in the midground, an outcropping of rocks in the background, all under a deep blue sky.
Typical Scenery in Joshua Tree
Jeff, Andrea, and her parents enjoy dinner in down-town Palm Springs.
Happy Hour!
A windy path, bright green grass, and palm tree trunks near an empty but wide road.
Bike riding through Palm Desert.

And here is the autoawesome movie that Google+ put together of our bike trip along the coast.

A Little Adversity Goes a Long Way

I’m happy to say that today, I approached a Phil Connors level of perfection in everything that I did. The day didn’t start out very promising with only a half day of work scheduled (out of town) and not the slightest inkling of a plan for the afternoon or evening.

As it turned out, the half day of teaching was extended to the full day, the afternoon was perfect weather for both raking and mowing the lawn, then I had time to make myself an upgraded frozen pizza (one must add red peppers, spinach, and onions in order to bring plain pepperoni freezer pizza to acceptable levels) to jam out on my new guitar, watch the daily show and even eating some chips and salsa. After cleaning up supper like someone with OCD, I roused my roommate Justin from his long afternoon nap and we went to the university climbing wall and pool. Now that I’m back and laying comfortably in my nice, warm bed, my arms are quite tired and my eyelids dropping but I feel great. Aside from the arduous trouncing by the elephant in the room, it’s amazing all the positives that can come from a little adversity.

A Glimpse

Student 1: Hey Mr. Milner are you still together with your girlfriend?

Me: Nope. Thanks for bringing that up though.

Student 1: Ohhhhhhh! I’m so sorry.

Student 2: Oh, that’s so sad, you were so cute.

Student 1: I thought you were going to get married.

Me: You’re not the only one.

At which point I can feel my face turning bright red.

Forrest Gump

Without getting into it, I’ve reluctantly found myself with a lot more free time than I know what to do with, (a break-up if you must know). I’ve been walking in the coulees to get exercise and on occasion listening to audiobooks and podcasts.

Yesterday I took a trip into The States to pick up a package for my brother-in-law and listened to almost all of Forrest Gump, by Winston Groom. It’s the book that inspired the movie, and I use the word inspired loosely because while there are some similarities there are also a lot of unexpected differences.

In the book, Forrest is a lot bigger — huge actually, which makes more sense for him as a football star, he’s a savant at math, and many of his adventures are nothing like the movie. For instance, after throwing his medal of honour away and injuring a high level government employee, Forrest finds himself on a low earth orbit crashing toward earth, attacked by cannibals and head-hunters, later becoming a stampede wrestler, a chess champion, and during which time he adopts an escaped NASA orangutang as a drinking buddy. While the differences from the big screen adaptation make it an interesting read, I found the novel to be so outlandish and crazy that I just couldn’t suspend my disbelief. This is one of those rare exceptions that the movie outshines the book.

While on my walk yesterday, I was finishing up the book. Forrest inadvertently gets into some trouble and as a result Jenny breaks up with him. Although treated poorly for being mentally challenged his whole life, he says that losing Jenny was the first time he really knew what it was like to feel like an idiot. Losing Andrea, I feel like an idiot too.

iPhone 6

This week the world was introduced to iPhone 6. Last week I had my credit card number compromised which meant I wouldn’t have to stay up all night to order a phone that won’t even ship to me until October. I did, however, get a new card in the mail yesterday and the phone which I have been anxiously holding off through three generations of iPhones (four if you count the 5c) will finally be on it’s way in just another week. The photos I’m going to take are going to be amazing… I can’t wait.

Some might argue that spending so much money on a new Apple device would actually be much better spent on buying Apple stock. The $500USD that was spent on my first ipod (the iPod Photo 40gb) would have been a better investment in Apple stock considering that same $500 would now be worth $12470. While I really loved my iPod, it wasn’t worth $12.5K.

So this time around, I decided to have my cake and eat it too. I invested in the spring and so far I’ve made enough to pay for my iPhone just out of earnings. The tough part is deciding to pull my money out now or to let it ride for the long haul. This little chart, What if I had bought Apple stock instead? would suggest I should let it ride.

Update: it has arrived!