And a new printer acquired…

As I lamented earlier this afternoon, my Canon Pixma bit the proverbial big one and has now migrated to the decaying pile of electronics in my garage. Soon the man in the cart will come by crying “bring out your dead” and out it will go.

So, after a bit of research, I opted for an Epson XP-640.

With good reviews (4.5ish on both BestBuy & Amazon), decent print times and decent cartridge replacement prices, seemed the best best for our needs. Mostly what we do at home is print out the occasional homework assignment, Amazon return label…stuff like that. Don’t need anything grandiose.

I must say that the installation process was straightforward and remarkably uncomplicated. And connecting it to my wifi was easy as well.

Feeling good about the choice. My old Canon, and considerably more moolah, connected to our wifi network without too much aggravation. But after “a bit” (a couple of months…not too sure), it wouldn’t connect to the network. Sneakerneting it with my PC direct connected to it via USB worked tolerably well. It was something I “was going to get to”…and, well, you know…life.

Anyway, we’ll see how this plays out with the networked printing. I’ll probably explore printing from my phone on this. But now, as I’ve been fighting a cold and am feeling dreadful, I’m going to take a nap. If I don’t lay down, I’ll be napping at my desk.



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Oh, YouTube Red, so close, yet so far

I’ve been hoping for YouTube to make upgrading to Red family plans easier for a few months. Imagine my delight to read this, then:


So I scurried over and clicked the “Upgrade Now” button, and…well…nope:

I thought myself so clever, setting up my family on a Google Apps “Standard Edition” (ancient predecessor for G Suite) back in the stone age (they stopped supporting it in 2012). It’s been nice having the family email accounts all together and under my administration (“Dad…I forgot my password…again…”). So, no Red Family plan for us…for now, at least. I suppose I can use an independent gmail account to do this. I wonder if I can share with a G Suite account from a personal account? Hmmm…

Anyway, I’m annoyed. Not angry, not going to abandon the Googleverse just yet. But, well, “harumph”!


Watching the Flash with my son

My son and I have been watching the Flash on Netflix. It’s been a fun little bonding thing. 

I love the show. Watching Barry Allen, and the people surrounding him evolve really delights me. And the ensemble of cast and crew gel very well. 

We’ve made a pledge to not watch without the other, so that were in the same place in the continuum. Now I need to add that I grew up reading Flash comics. So there are times I see what’s coming since I now the new characters. But they’re done a good enough job tweaking their TV universe that you can’t assume a character’s comicbook identity will track. It’s a clever way to give homage to the DC legacy but not be terribly predictable. 

Now, at times they flirt with the edge of cheesy. Every one of their Christmas episodes makes me worry. Though I have a bias about the weird games screenwriters play with any sort of holiday, but they’ve done well so far. Yet, I still wonder about the need for holiday specials, but that’s just me. 

Now we’re about halfway through the second season. Netflix has through season three. It’ll be fun, especially if we get more seasons. If not, we’ll then move over to Arrow and keep the DC stream going. 

Eric Whitacre’s Virtual Choir Live “Cloudburst”

I love Eric Whitacre’s work. His music speaks deeply to me. His Virtual Choir pieces, though, achieves the highest levels of awesome.
This one, Cloudburst (where gets bonus points from me as he based on an Octavio Paz poem) is stunning. Inspired by a Midwestern thunderstorm, the song captures the audio essence of the storm. From a musical perspective, I adore his use of clapping and finger snapping to achieve the feel of heavy rain. And his interweaving of harmony and dissonance really strikes a chord (sorry, couldn’t resist the pun).

Regarding the virtual nature, in addition to the choirs in the auditorium we have 30 choristers in 30 countries, all Skyped in. Pushing the technical boundaries, too. I delighted at the way Eric dealt with the lag: the piece was written to use it. Turning a liability into an asset is genius.

So, please, enjoy Eric Whitacre’s virtual choir performing “Cloudburst” at a TED talk.