books

Zero Day by David Baldacci

Zero Day (2011) is the first of the John Puller series.

An Army detective, Puller has been compared to Jack Reacher (sometimes unfavourably). A large, tough man, whose peak physical fitness is matched only by his intellectual superiority.

Puller is now working for the US Army’s Criminal Investigations Division (CID).

He partners in this tale with police sergeant Samantha Cole. An appealing couple.

I’ve often criticized Baldacci for his dumb over-the-top plots — and this one is dumb. BUT I do recommend this book. It’s entertaining. And I really got to like Puller and Cole.

First half of the book is far better than the rest.

Click PLAY or watch it on YouTube.

books, food

A Wizard’s Guide to Defensive Baking by T. Kingfisher

An ideal gift book for a teen who likes Harry Potter — and baking. 😀

But I actually enjoyed it.

Fourteen-year-old Mona’s magic only works on bread. She has a comfortable life in her aunt’s bakery making gingerbread men dance.

THEN she’s called on to save the city.

Author T. Kingfisher (Ursula Vernon) has won the Hugo for past books. I’m not surprised.

Amazon

Apple, photos, product endorsements, things getting better

My 2022 Workflow = Notes & Notion

Cooped up in my unheated garage WORLD HEADQUARTERS, I’ve been experimenting with BETTER ways to create NOTES and TO DO lists.

When on the run with only my iPhone, I’ll use Siri or jot down a quick note from the Lock Screen.

Click PLAY or watch how to edit the Lock Screen function to your phone on YouTube.

Once in a while I’ll take a photo (or scan) with my phone and save it as a Quick Note.

Click PLAY or watch it on YouTube.

If I’m on my laptop and want to take a quick note, I’ll either use Siri — or move my cursor to the HOT CORNER of the display I’ve set up to launch the app. (That works even in full screen mode.)

OK … ALL those methods put my quick notes into a folder in the app called “Notes” via iCloud.

From there, I’ll file them into the best of the folders I’ve created. It looks like this right now.

Done. Notes will archive my brain farts.

Any of those whims that become ACTION PROJECTS I’ll move over to the NOTIONS app.

It’s much more complicated Project Management software.

Click PLAY or watch it on YouTube.

cycling, product endorsements

My Bike Helmet Mirror

I’d always been a skeptic of helmet mirrors: Easily breakable. And WHY would I be riding in traffic?

BUT so far I’m quite happy with the EVT Safe Zone Bicycle Helmet Mirror:

  • quickly removable
  • looks very durable
  • adjustable with one hand
  • more relaxed with assurance about what’s coming up behind
  • easier to decide when to cross the road
  • 100% made in the USA

The largish mirror makes it easier to see what’s coming. But it’s nowhere near as good as a car mirror.

AND it’s quite expensive. About CAD $90.

Click PLAY or watch it on YouTube.

music

Gregory Alan Isakov – Idaho

Click PLAY or listen on YouTube.

Down in the bardo
There was nothing to hold while we let it go
We were empty, we were hollow
Shined with everything we were living for
And you see your soul
Like some picture show
Across Idaho
We were running through the autumn leaves
A couple kids just wearing out their jeans, running
Mary she’s our autumn queen
Watch her smoking cigarettes in the street
And down she goes
Cold she blows
Across Idaho
And down she goes
Cold she blows
Across Idaho
And there’s lights up in the north
And I ain’t wondering where you are
Now it’s white as snow
Watch the evening glow
Across Idaho
And there’s lights up in the north
And I ain’t wondering where you are
There’s lights up in the north

Apple, video

My NEW MacBook Pro in 2022

While in Europe, my first generation SILICON MacBook Pro purchased November 2020 began to fail. Slowly the display started to go black. I ended up using just half the screen that was still visible. As I post it’s completely black and can only be used with an external monitor.

Just over a year old, the warranty was void. Happily, I’d purchased AppleCare extended warranty and will try to have the 2020 fixed.

In the meantime, on November 25th, I ordered the base model of the upgraded 2022 version.

Love it so far. Especially the RETURN of features that had been discontinued.

One of my online gurus, Serge M from Saskatoon, had his laptop screen crack after he dropped it. So purchased the same machine at about the same time. Base model 14‑inch MacBook Pro with 16GB RAM and only 512 GB internal memory. Both of us will store our large files on external SSD drives.

Kraig warned me that my old 2020 laptop might choke with only 8GB RAM. And he was right — though it didn’t happen very often. And only rarely with Final Cut Pro and once Pixelmator Pro.

Serge tested my new machine editing 4 simultaneous 4K streams. No problem. That’s far more processing power than I’ll need for years. 😇

iJustine tested even more extreme use cases, and was shocked how easily the base model handled video editing.

So … the cheapest base model of the 2022 MacBook Pro is powerful enough for anything I’d want to do over the next few years.

Click PLAY or watch it on YouTube.


For the first time ever Apple bungled my online purchase. I ended up having to cancel.

NEXT I tried to buy one in stock from an Apple store in Vancouver. They bungled that, as well.

FINALLY I was able to get one from BestBuy Canada with only 2 weeks delay in delivery over Christmas.

NOT CHEAP — I paid CAD $2500 AND $300 in taxes. I’ll be paying a few hundred more for an extended warranty.

books, TV

Savage Run by CJ Box

This is the second book in the Joe Pickett series. He’s a Wyoming game warden.

The plot is intriguing.

Someone hired hit men to kill a number of environmental protection activists across the States.

The lawyer who protected Grizzly Bears was made to look as if he was killed and eaten by those bears. They don’t want martyrs.

I recommend it.

A good insight into the pros and cons of environmentalism in Wyoming.

Amazon

A Joe Pickett TV series just launched. USA only, so far.

Click PLAY or watch it on YouTube.

TV

Doc Martin – seasons 2/3

I was charmed by the first season.

Finally got back to the British comedy.

Doc Martin is grouchy, direct, and lacks social skills. No doubt on the autistic spectrum. Perhaps Aspergic.

Even better is his love interest, Louisa Glasson (Caroline Catz), school headmistress at Portwenn Primary.

The 10th and final season should be released in 2022.

Other versions of the show have been launched in France, Germany, Spain and other nations.

Click PLAY or watch it on YouTube.