My Top Albums of 2014

Best albums of 2014

It’s been an interesting year in music for me. So much great stuff tumbling out of Spotify, it’s been hard to keep up! (I did pull together mixes based on my favorite tracks from the spring, summer and fall.) With all of these great songs, there really haven’t been many albums that have kept my attention.

But the one that did were great! Here were my favorites:

Ex Hex – Rips

I love the meta description from their website: “Ex Hex is what your older brother’s friends listened to. It’s what your babysitters listened to.” My description (to my brother): the Ramones crossed with Sleater-Kinney. (His response, “isn’t that what Sleater-Kinney is?”)

St Vincent – St Vincent

As discussed before, it’s an electronic, rock, vocal mix of songs that really catch me.

Spoon – They Want My Soul

Great album from one of the all time great bands. If you haven’t read the New York Times Magazine article on them, I suggest you check it out.

Todd Terje – It’s Album Time

Loungy (loungey?), moody and strange. Caused my assistant to come into my office and say “what is that you’re playing.” But captivating at the same time.

Real Estate – Atlas

These ‘surf rock’ dudes fill an important ecological niche in my household: great sounding music that isn’t too ‘hard’ for the kids and Veronica. Managed to push Jack Johnson off the radio.

I took a quick gander at Metacritic and it seems that some top albums are represented on their Best of 2014 list: St Vincent was #2 and Ex Hex was #18. Well, at least I didn’t like A.K.A. by Jennifer Lopez, their lowest rated album of the year!

Flying the New Drone

Boston at Sunset via my DJI Phantom Vision Two Plus

Boston at Sunset via my DJI Phantom Vision Two Plus

After receiving my replacement drone from DJI, I was every excited to get it into the air and shake off any rust that had developed by not flying it for about six weeks.

The latest version of the Phantom Vision 2+ had a few nice features like a scroll wheel attached to the remote controller to adjust the angle of the camera. And I found this in the newly redesigned user manual:

Part of the DJI Phantom Vision Two Plus Maniual

That image would have been helpful back in October when the drone went into the San Francisco Bay.

Anyhow, here’s the video of this weekend’s flights:

First Waze Experience

Waze is really good.

Waze is really good.

File this under ‘yeah, duh’, like when I blogged that I thought Facebook might be something worth looking into, but I used Waze for the first time this morning to give me advice on how to drive to work, and it was awesome.

I’ve used Google and Apple maps for driving directions, even looked at the traffic features on them, but they don’t compare to Waze. Waze was like a seasoned Boston driver taking me down shortcuts that I knew where there but probably wouldn’t have though to use. It always took me down the hypotenuse, and avoided tangly Boston traffic zones like Harvard Ave in Brighton.

The graphics and the ‘gamification’ don’t do much for me, not to mention the ‘chat to other drivers’ feature! But as a kick ass personal driving assistant, it rules.

My Drone is in San Francisco Bay

Should I Expect To Lose A Drone Every 3 Months Or So?

Where I think my Drone is

At the end of the red arrow, under about 15 feet of water, is the new resting place for my drone. (From Apple Maps)

My drone is sitting at the bottom of San Francisco Bay. For reasons unknown to me or DJI, it entered “come home” mode while about 400 feet in the air, taking some great shots of San Francisco as the sun was coming up. As I wrote on Facebook: “Fuck!”

While flying the drone over Dreamforce a few days earlier, it entered “come home” mode unexpectedly, but I chalked that up to all the Wifi signals around the Moscone Center. Or maybe the fog. And then when I flew it over North Beach the day before it went into the Bay, all seemed good:

On this day, I got up extra early to catch the early morning sun and to fly the drone before starting work. I think the views were pretty good. I went down to the Ferry building, and flew out over the San Francisco Bay looking back at downtown, and should have been something like this:

Screen Shot 2014-10-20 at 12.38.27 PM

San Francisco from the Bay. (from Apple Maps)

What Am I Doing?

I’ve been back and forth with a diver about recovering the drone. It’s not too far out into the Bay, and because I watched it descend into the water as it was just a bit too far away… I think I know exactly where it is. I really want the SD card that shows the emergence into the water. Right? But I don’t have any hope for the drone to fly again.

Just got off the phone with DJI support, and I must say these guys rock. They need me to fill out a form describing exactly what happened, and the phone rep couldn’t tell me exactly what would happen next, but he said in these situations DJI takes care of it’s customers. He was very empathetic and reassuring.

Stay tuned for updates on the drone recovery and resolution of the issue with DJI.