Dino’s Journal

A peek into the mind of a sleep deprived software developer, husband, dad and gamer.

Similar to my previous music log entry, the two songs I have lined up today are punk rock covers of popular hit songs.

Let's start off with “Hello” by Dayseeker. As you can probably tell by the title, this is another cover of a famous song from Adele. I've heard a number of covers for this song, including one from Lukas Rossi and another from Coheed and Cambria. As far as rock covers go though, this might be the best one.

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11/20/2019 – Wednesday

Why doesn't Jesus just cure everyone? I think that blindly doing so, (forgive the pun), would not bring people back to God. I also think that at times it is not Jesus doing the healing, but a person's faith that determines if they get healed or not. This is not to say that Jesus or God does not have the power to heal, but that He lets people choose to believe, so that they can be healed.

Instead of keeping a pinned Bookmarks page, maybe I should just use bookmarks hashtags instead. – Yes, I made that change eventually.

Instead of playing Stars Wars Jedi: Fallen Order last night, I ended up playing XCOM 2 and Pro Evolution Soccer 2019. – This highlights the need I had for planning my leisure activities back then.

Davin has taken to calling me Mufasa lately. He calls my wife Nala. And he calls my brother Scar LOL!

I'm trying to use the Ate app as a food diary, but lately I keep forgetting to use it before eating. It is especially problematic at home because I leave my phone in the room; I don't carry it around the house. To make it work at home, I would have to bring my phone with me to the dinner table, but that kinda goes against my practice of digital minimalism.

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While trying to take a nap last Sunday afternoon, my mind wandered off to a scene in Cars 1 where Lightning McQueen was struggling to pull Bessie. I mean sure, Bessie is a huge, heavy, road paving machine. But isn't Lightning McQueen supposed to be a high powered race car? If so, why was he struggling to pull Bessie? Where did all his horsepower go? The answer I came up with (if true) helped me better understand the differences between horsepower and torque.

Lightning McQueen pulling Bessie

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I had never driven anything powered by a Wankel, and the contrast of the RX-7 compared to everything with wheels I had experienced was stark, and noticeable immediately. The feedback normally received from a piston engine is not felt, due to the fact that there is no more conversion from vertical to rotational motion, a rotary engine (as implied by the name) involves no vertical momentum. It's not that the engine refuses to communicate with you, it's just speaking an entirely different language. The whiny exhaust note has an odd property to it that can be heard from no other source. It conjures up images of the mysterious, angry pair of triangles whirling about in their cage. Purely imaginary, of course.

Because the Wankel is so smooth, I found myself wondering why I should shift up. A piston engine makes you anxious when you push it close to the redline. Most send the driver a variety of auditory and tactile messages indicating that they must either shift up, or face a molten tie rod to the head. The RX-7, however, gives no such indication. When close to the redline, one hears only an excited whir. The result (forgive the upcoming Disney analogy) is an almost magic carpet-like experience. It's as though the power simply materializes before you with no apparent source or sacrifice.

What a good read! I found myself hopping over to Autotrader looking for used RX-8s around my area after reading this piece. Then, reality set in and I realized that I am in no position to be owning a second car. I say second car because I'm not sure I would replace my Mazdaspeed3 with an RX-8. Hard to give up the hatch, the passing power and better gas mileage from the Speed3.

Link: Reunited with a Quaint, Wankel-Powered Friend

Tags: #Cars #Mazda

I knew Kobe Bryant only as a basketball player. I remember owning a pair of his first shoes from Adidas, the Crazy 8. He was a spectacular basketball player. The only other player that came close to being considered another Michael Jordan. This article though, talks about a different side of him that I never knew existed.

Link: Kobe Bryant and the Three-Point Lesson of His Life

Failure and even scandal are a part of Kobe’s life too. Suffering is a quick litmus test of what lies underneath all of the talent. In another interview, Kobe spoke about how he found his faith after dealing with some serious allegations of sexual misconduct. He said, “You can know [that God is great] all you want, but until you have to pick up that cross that you can’t carry, and he picks it up for you, and carries you and the cross . . . then you know.”

Man that's deep. Something that you'll only hear from someone who was weighed down with a heavy burden. A heavy cross as he says.

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11/16/2019 – Saturday

Was at the dealership to get the rear spoiler on the wife's CX-5 tightened down. – If you have a CX-5 that's been plagued with chirping, squealing noises from the rear, get your rear spoiler checked. In our case, it was loose. In fact, one of the bolts fell off and was rolling inside the interior hatch panel.

Took awhile for the work on tightening the rear spoiler to finish, but our service advisor was making sure the job was done right. Also, he did not ask me to pay for anything. – That's notable because it wasn't simply just tightening down bolts. The service tech had to open up the interior hatch panel and had to fish for the loose bolt that was rolling around somewhere. That was easily a 1-2 hour job that would have cost at least $100 in labor. And the service advisor didn't ask me to pay for it. That is one of the benefits of keeping a good relationship with service advisors. Unlike car salesmen, their livelihood depends on keeping their customers happy. So, service advisors have an incentive to deliver the best possible experience for their customers. If you treat them well, they will treat you well.

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It's Friday, so it's time for another music log. I have two songs for today that were from a “punk goes pop” playlist somewhere in Spotify.

First one is “Torn” by Hands Like Houses. This is a great cover of Natalie Imbruglia's hit song from the 90s. The way they did this cover gives it a little more weight. It sounds angrier. A more serious take on the original.

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11/11/2019 – Monday

A problem with posting to the Read.Write.As feed is that sometimes I feel like I'm forcing my opinion on others.

I think taking my acid reflux meds at night is better than taking it in the morning. Taking it at night seems to reduce the prevalence of acidic taste on my throat when I wake up in the morning.

We've got a strong cold front coming in (to Texas) and it looks horrible outside. Wind is super strong and temps are going to be below freezing.

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The Rockets did not play a traditional center in their victories over the Dallas Mavericks and New Orleans Pelicans over the weekend despite having 7-foot reserves Tyson Chandler and Isaiah Hartenstein available. Houston became the first team to go an entire game without using a player taller than 6-foot-6 since the New York Knicks in a Jan. 31, 1963, win over the Chicago Zephyrs, according to research by the Elias Sports Bureau.

Link: Sources: Robert Covington, Clint Capela part of 4-team, 12-player deal

The link is for an article about a trade that sent Clint Capela to the Atlanta Hawks, but the quote above is the most interesting part of that article for me. I think that small ball lineups is a preview of the future of NBA basketball.

Centers playing with their back to the basket, backing down defenders is a rare sight in the NBA these days. Joel Embiid is probably the last dominant, back to the basket center the NBA has left. Most other tall centers/power forwards nowadays prefer to shoot perimeter shots anyway. Yet these same players can sometimes be too slow in defense, especially in “switch-all” defensive schemes.

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Avast, an antivirus program with more than 435 million users worldwide, said it will stop collecting and selling the private web browsing histories of its users following a joint investigation by Motherboard and PCMag into the sale of that data. In addition, Avast said it will completely shut down Jumpshot, the subsidiary company it used to sell this data.

They were collecting and selling browsing history data? What the hell man.

I think my old gaming PC is still running Avast antivirus. I thought they could be trusted, but I guess this is another case of, “If the service is free, you are the product” kind of thing. This is not cool. I'm going to have to go through our PCs at home to see what kind of antivirus they are running.

Link: Avast Antivirus Is Shutting Down Its Data Collection Arm, Effective Immediately

Tags: #Technology #Privacy

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