“nothing you idiots! Dr. Dre’s dead, he’s locked in my basement!” - Eminem in The Real Slim Shady
not true at all.. Of course Dr. Dre isn’t dead! Dr. Dre can’t be heard though. You know why? Because of my new awesome noise canceling Beats by Dr. Dre! Check out my awesome unboxing photos..
nice shrink wrapped box!
out slides another awesome red box..
inside you find some elaborate compartments..
all these nice accessories tucked in here.. It comes with a cell phone cable and an airplane adapter. What more could you want?
a nice rugged case to travel with..
and inside sits the nicest headphones ever (yup they are ranked a few notches above the BOSE ones..)
and transformers.. mordametreon.. (only my brother will get this!)
batteries to turn the noise canceling on..
threw some rechargeable batteries in but they were dead.. : (
the sweet red audio cable attached.
a little B.O.B. to test out… simply stunning these little, rather big, headphones.
and finally it all packed up and placed in the nice case..
I just realized I have a thing for red on black?? These headphones match my car spot on..
So why did I get these awesome bad@$$ headphones?? Well the truth is the little lady and I are doing some traveling. For the next month straight I will be on the road, rather in the air. I fly a lot, probably the most in my family. I probably fly at least once every two months sometimes up to three times in a month. So after thinking I am going to be doing over 100+ hours in the air in the next few weeks I thought I might give in and enjoy my flights a little bit more! I used to take my iPod on flights.. then my Droid.. and now my Netbook, but the problem with all of those is I have to peak out the volume and I still can’t hear the song or movie. The engine noise is just too loud! I feel flying is the best time to just relax, grab a few tunes, or see a movie you always wanted to watch or catch an in-flight movie that you normally wouldn’t see. So I thought it would be the time to try out some quality noise canceling headphones. So far I have to say I am super impressed.
Anyway, I am leaving on a jet plane to head back to the muthaland, followed by a stop at Topsail Island in North Carolina.. When all is said and done and I get back to California I get the pleasure to unpack and repack to go to Australia, my first international business trip. Although I am excited about all of this I am going to be a disaster when I finally get home and get a minute to breathe. The jet-lag coupled with all the work I need to catch up on will probably kill me, but for all of you who know me, you know that I shine in these moments. I really do thrive on a good challenge.
Anyway peeps it is true I have been very bad about blogging, but I will try to do better… well at least after I recover from my trip in the air.
So I guess I will leave you with how much I have grown in the past 6 years!
can you tell I am jet lagged??
how about now?
then on the beaches in India..
6 years later on the beaches of california…
Anyway, although I am super excited about this trip.. I don’t feel like it will really sink in till I get on that plane and fly off to the east side! Which reminds me.. I will add another 6 to 8 airports to my list of airports I have been too. I guess I will save that for another post.
so a little over a year ago the lady and I gave up cable/satellite service. In truth I thought it would be rather hard to do it at first, but as time went on you realize how trivial it is to have cable. You waste so much time on it. Now, not having cable does not mean I don’t have a steady set of shows that I constantly watch. With local channels and the internet I watch my few shows throughout the year.
Those of you that know me know that I have a rather geeky background so you probably won’t be surprised with this little list of shows I have watched to completion (or the fact that I own the complete series).
Star Trek: The Next Generation
Star Trek: Deep Space Nine
Star Trek: Voyager
The Big Bang Theory
The Chappelle Show
American Idol (Season 6-9)
24 (Season 1-4, starting 5 soon…)
Sex and the City (Own by association.. I know I know, but I have never seen more than 10 minutes at a time.. hehe)
Saved by the Bell
CHiPs (yup sure did!)
Matlock (yup sure did too!)
Mission Impossible (yup the original.. probably saw every episode, but don’t remember it all that well.)
Transformers (wow that was a long time ago.. even saw the cartoon movie!)
Battlestar Galactica (old and new!)
SNL (Season 33-35)
Get Smart (all 5 seasons!)
I Dream of Jeanie
Scrubs (season 1-8, none of this nonsensical season 9)
Step by Step
ER (the first few seasons before it got kinda crazy…)
It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia
I might have forgotten a few.. oh well.. There are definitely shows I want to see to completion as well..
Friends (lady’s favorite show..)
Anyway, since the lady and I canceled cable, I have had the pleasure of watching shows on DVD/Blu-ray without any commercial interruption. It is pretty nice to watch shows this way. You never realize how much of TV is advertisements. I bet if you add up all the shows and everything you watch and buy them on DVD/Blu-ray you would realize you actually spend less than you do on cable and save a bunch of time too! When it comes to news I can’t lie I miss out a bit not getting to watch it, but with an antenna you can get HD local news on local stations for free or you can do what I do and read/watch most of your news on the internet. Cable before I canceled it cost me about $50-80 a month. Now being conservative on the $50 end that equates to $600 a year. Is TV really worth $600+ a year to me.. a big fat NOPE. For $60 I was able to get Season 1-7 of 24 on Amazon brand new.. and a couple of movies for less than $60 used on amazon/ebay. Throw another 2 shows on there at the rate of $99 that brings you to $320 dollars. Okay now forget that option.. go the netflix route. Lets say you spend $17/month for unlimited rentals with 3 out at a time that is only a whopping $204. So all this brings me to my main point, is cable/satellite really worth the ridiculous price? Heck no, and I won’t give into buying cable again for a long time at least till they realize that what they are charging is way too much! To be honest with you I can’t wait till Google TV comes out because I can see them really revolutionizing the pricing of cable.
Anyway, so when you ask me how I do without cable.. really good actually. : ) Try it sometime.
Here is a little reminder of what went down one year ago..
I was able to surprise her by a nice trip to THE Catalina Wine Mixer! : D
Nope just playing.. but we did go to Catalina a nice little island off the coast of California. It was definitely a really nice relaxed trip and of course the lady was totally surprised!
Anyway, it was a really nice anniversary. The surprise was definitely fun, it reminds me of a few months back for the lady’s birthday I told her we were going to Frisco to celebrate. Of course on the way to Frisco.. we happened to make so many wrong turns we ended up on the Vegas strip. After, being confused for several minutes and calling our good friend bMak for directions she finally realized that we in fact were not going to San Fran and were really in Vegas for the weekend, where we saw several shows. Probably the most we have ever seen in Vegas – Blue Man Group, Zumanity, and the Lion King.
so yesterday I had the pleasure of having lunch with Casey and his dad, Don Schlitz.
Casey and Don at Javier’s in Newport Beach.
So when I first met Casey he told me who his dad was.. I was like.. wait your dad wrote THE “The Gambler”? No way!?!? Part of me was like how do you grow up with someone so famous in your life and I never quite understood it… until yesterday. What a beautiful thing to witness. The thing is Casey didn’t see his dad as some famous guy, but just his dad. Their interaction was no different than myself and my dad. There is something so wonderful seeing a father and son interact. A father’s love for a son is irreplaceable as is a son’s love for his father.
so for some reason the Sky came with a 20 ft antenna on it! When I was putting the top down the other day.. I accidentally hit it and it whacked me in the face!! OUCH!!! I don’t even listen to the radio. I mainly only listen to XM if there is a free preview or my cell phone (either mp3s or Pandora). So why should I get swatted in the face for never listening to the radio?? and why did GM put such a ridiculously long antenna on the sexiest roadster they ever made?!?! The world will never know as they no longer are in production and most of the GM peeps got the axe!
Anyway, here comes to play my little friend!
my little friend
ridiculously long GM antenna!
why so long??
nice complement to the two-tone car colors of black/red.
Simplest car mod ever! It definitely doesn’t have the signal strength that the original one did, but when I am out and about all the stations I would listen to work just fine and like I said it was mainly so I don’t get swatted in the face and for looks. : )
So I think I will finally end this stream of posts as I have finally finished my car. It now does everything I want it to do, with the exception of one thing. I will get into that..
So after waiting for forever iSimple started to finally ship out there BluStream, and it was available on March 5th for suppliers. I had emailed the iSimple website for information and when it finally came back they said it will be shipping this week. Silly me only went to their website to look for it. As you can tell from the website it still is “COMING SOON”. I finally google searched it and found it at Autotoys.com (not to pleased with them so far.. my order was missing items!). While waiting for my order to arrive I emailed the nice guys at AAMP of America again. Here is what I found out that made me anxiously wait for this order to come…
They had published there first youtube video on the way the device worked.
Pretty cool stuff.. keep in mind they only demoed the iPhone, which lacks AVRCP (allows for play/pause, track forward and track back)!
The BluStream does support AVRCP, and it sure does work. Here are a few things about the device:
with GM 11bit CAN BUS system, the steering wheel controls do not work
with GM 11bit CAN BUS system, everything is accessible via the headunit. Meaning any operation you want to execute track forward/back, iPod control, phone call answer/reject, etc can be controlled from the radio.
with GM 11bit CAN BUS system, if using the BluStream for hands-free profile as well as A2DP the headunit must be in XM mode (aka XM, iPod, BT, or AUX) to receive a call. If not, the bluetooth will be disconnected and the phone call will come through your phone.
with GM 29bit CAN BUS system, the steering wheel controls do work. Up arrow is track up and down arrow is track back/answer and reject call.
with GM 29bit CAN BUS system, everything is accessible via the headunit.
with GM 29bit CAN BUS system, the radio can be in any mode, not just XM mode and everything will work. Meaning if you are listening to the radio and a call comes in, it will connect and can be answered via steering wheel and or radio.
So that being said, the PXAMG and BluStream are amazing for GM 29bit CAN BUS systems. GM’s 29-bit system is in pretty much any SUV. Most sedans with the exception of maybe Cadillac use the 11-bit system. My Sky is 11bit and my Torrent is 29bit.
Anyway, I was able to install the BluStream in my car yesterday, it took 10 minutes. I had the glove compartment removed from when I connected the Droid dock. As always, here are the pictures:
This is all I needed to connect to my PXAMG unit. It came with a microphone, but I was not planning on using this for hands-free profile as the SKY comes standard with bluetooth.
I had to unplug the PXAMG unit for 5 minutes to get it to refresh as per the instructions.
It is stored away nicely behind the glove compartment.
Viola! The finished product. As you can see on the headunit it displays “DISCONNECTED”. This is because I turned my phone off to see what would happen. When streaming music it displays STREAMING and the music quality is no different than a CD, unlike that stupid FIPO which sounded worse than a FM transmitter!
The coolest part about all this is that when a phone call comes in it goes to my stock Sky bluetooth and when that call ends it goes back to streaming over the BluStream. No reconnection necessary!
All in all pretty cool. I really have to say a big shout out to the following peeps!
My big brother.. man what a great help in all the Sky/Torrent GM knowledge I needed.
My lady for giving me a hand in the “boring” stuff of tinkering with my cars! : )
Well folks that about wraps it all up! In less than 2 months, I was able to do everything I wanted to do with the exception of getting the steering wheel controls to track forward and back, but I can live without that. I still have a complete factory look and a2dp. I am happy.
I will soon make a nice post on the Pontiac Torrent with this running on the 29bit CAN BUS. =)
so this one is pretty self explanatory. I wanted the Droid dock to not have that annoying power cable be all over my dash. Here is a picture of how it would look without this new modification.
So here is the picture write-up on what I did. Enjoy!
As you can see there are a lot of little things to make this work. The dock, the Droid, the additional cigarette lighter socket, the add-a-circuit, the appropriate fuse, and 3M command strips.
I had to strip the cigarette lighter socket leads.
I had removed the piano black panel from the sky when I was adding the PXAMG unit and brought it into my place to have a more stable place to mount the dock. Of course before you mount anything make sure to wipe it down with alcohol wipes.
I attached the 3M command strips to the Droid dock so that the strips cannot be seen from the front, but if need be the removal tabs are accessible.
The dock is securely mounted to the panel. It is strong enough so that while I am in the car I can pull my phone out without having to hold the dock.
I needed to route the micro-usb cable through the dash.
This is where the usb cable came out from the dash. It will eventually go behind this lower panel to reach the fuse box.
All the parts I need for this to work, which includes some wire nuts, a 6ft piece of 12 gauge wire and the rest I mentioned above.
By using the existing cigarette lighter socket I determined which cable was ground and which was hot on the new socket. The hot wire was connected to the add-a-circuit.
To ground the new socket I needed to get to a ground underneath this center panel. It was held by 3 clips.
I popped the back two off and wanted to see where the third clip was. So I lifted the panel and snapped a picture. I found you sucker!
The belly of the panel.
With the panel removed, you can see how easy it is to connect the ground.
I routed my grounding wire up the side paneling.
The other end came out here. Stupid sand got into my car from the various rains we’ve had in Orange County. Today was a beautiful enough day for me to wash and detail my car. Of course after the install! : )
With the fuse box open I connected the new circuit with the socket attached. I am using a USB car charger to make sure it works.
Using a wire nut I connect the ground wire to the new socket.
TADA! The light came on! I connected the socket to a switched fuse, meaning only when the ignition is on will the socket get power. You don’t want to drain the battery of your car.
I connected the USB cable and tucked the wires into the fuse box.
I had originally just tested the ground wire, but now I have connected it.
I put the cover back on.. Nothing to see!
Time to install the panel with the dock connected.
Popped it in and as you can see this is all the wire that is exposed to power the dock. I had some concerns that this might eventually cause this cable damage, but I got this cable off ebay for $1.49. If it breaks for whatever reason, I can easily replace it.
It looks very nice! If you look carefully, you can see the green battery with the charging symbol.
You can’t see any cables, unless you go behind the unit and even then it is less than 2″ that you can actually see.
Yup it’s charging!
There you have it! Pretty easy stuff once you know what you are doing. I am still waiting on the BluStream which I placed an order last Monday. I ordered one for me and one for the Torrent. Once I get these in my hand, I can finally close up my car and complete what I set out to do two months ago.
went to see Tom Arnold for Celo’s bday.. I snagged this picture with him, but I realized he has an enormous head! He of course suckered me out $20 for an autographed shirt.. It went to charity, so I don’t feel bad about it.
It’s kinda cool.. I guess I can add him to all the other celebrities I have met.. the number is growing to a whopping 5!? I saw Jon Lovitz on my birthday 2 years ago and I have to say I enjoyed Jon a bit better than Tom (Still nothing compares to Wayne Brady). Yup, we are on first name basis now. They both were funny, but I just remember laughing harder at my friends talking to Tom Arnold and the opening acts then the actual show. Yup, we were that rowdy crowd in the front row that talks to the comedians and they feed off our awesomeness. =)
And as always you know I love to celebrate bdays to the extreme! So here are some chill pictures of the night.. Happy Birthday Celo!
Family picture.. (Garcia’s our adopted son.)
Giang and the birthday boy having some Patron.
After Chris and I bought Celo the double shot of 151 (aka Gasoline) comments like this came out, “Was I in the picture? I am dark so I can disappear sometimes!!” =D I wish I could disappear.
Coming soon the rap duo.. A flowin’ south african with an indian beat dropper.
so I thought I would start this post out but utterly creeping you out.. It will be a good lead-in to my post. So check-ta-check-ta-check-ta-check it out!
I hope you are thoroughly creeped out!
Anyway, I really do enjoy musicals/Broadway shows.. In the past few years I have seen Wicked, Phantom of the Opera, The Lion King, Jersey Boys, and just recently The Color Purple. For those of you who saw Wicked you would recognize the last song in the creepy pony movie was in fact from Wicked. It was the ballad sung by Elphaba and Glinda called Defying Gravity. This song/segment in the musical is by far the best out of any of the musicals I have seen and that leads me to my main point. When you see a bunch of musicals soon one will always be better then the other. It is not so cut and dry though.. For vocal performances I would have to say Wicked, Jersey Boys and even Phantom are amazing. For overall production I would say Lion King and Wicked took the trophy. So all though I did enjoy The Color Purple it was not my favorite, but it definitely was a fun night with the lady up in Hollywood. I don’t know why but Fantasia did not impress me at all. She played her role amazingly, but for vocals I didn’t care for it.
Anyway, still working to get as many musicals as I can under the belt.. Got 5… A gazillion more (j/k more like 75+)! I had to pass up Dreamgirls next week in Hollywood. I am sure I will catch it eventually along with Joseph, Rent, Les Miserables, etc.