My foray into Vinyl

My birthday is in a few weeks and my wife got me a Denon DP-300F turntable. I hooked it up in my bookcase, wired it to a new Insignia NS-STR514 Bluetooth 2-way receiver (which also supports FM radio), drilled some holes and ran some new Polk T15 bookshelf speakers. This setup is quite the upgrade from the basic wireless speaker we have been using. We were also playing music through the TV, but the sound bar doesn’t sound too great. I also intend to Bluetooth our Echo Dot to the receiver for Spotify playback.

I’ve bought a few records and intend to grow my collection. I’ve set up a wishlist on Discogs and hope to score some good deals on some wanted records. I’ve set up a subdomain with my collection and you can view it at vinyl.aeonn.net. I’ve also added a link to it in my sidebar. I really want to secure the John Mayer 180g records. I have Battle Studies thus far, but have to save up for the others. I intend to spend a lot of my “hobby money” on records, but some of them are so darn expensive. Continuum will likely be my next purchase.

Caribbean Beach Resort

Later this month, we’re flying into Orlando and driving down to Vero Beach where my parents bought a house last year. My dad lives down there full time. He is taking us to Crab Stop and the beach.

We’re then heading back to Orlando for a quick three night stay at Disney’s Caribbean Beach Resort. Check out the pool.

We’re only going to Magic Kingdom and EPCOT as we don’t think Paul, 19 months, will be able to tolerate a longer trip right now. We booked the trip last minute, so didn’t get any reservations for Be Our Guest. We really like the lunch there. We did get a reservation for Via Napoli for dinner at EPCOT and got FastPasses for rides. I am very excited to take the baby on rides like Peter Pan, Winnie the Pooh, and the Tomorrowland Transit Authority PeopleMover!

We also got MagicBand 2.0s. I nearly completed my collection of the 1.0s, but never did get or want a pink one.

We’re ready to go!

2016’s End

It was a busy year.

I spent the year doing this stuff:

Life:
My son had his first birthday and my daughter turned 14! We are definitely still budgeting. I placed 108 orders on Amazon in 2016. I baked a lot of bread and continue to do so; however, my house is so cold in winter that it takes a long time for my doughs to rise so I am looking forward to spring. We became members of the Saint Louis Zoo, got a yearly pass to Grant’s Farm, and became members of the Magic House. We’ve renewed all for 2017. I upgraded(?) from a Billet Box to a Reuleaux RX200S and am using a Smok TFV8. It lives up to its name as the cloud beast. I also have been using The Sauce LA‘s juice and like their Open Road, Caramel Waffle Cappuccino, and Get Your Kicks.

Travel:
My daughter and I went to Los Angeles and saw the sights. We visited Galcos (and got a slew of sodas), Disneyland, and Catalina Island where I let her illegally drive the golf cart. She wrecked it and I caught it on video!

My wife and I took our kids back to Port St Joe, FL. We rented a cabin ($100/nt!!) and spent a lot of time at the beach. We saw the Milky Way at night and caught both a sunrise and sunset. I bought binoculars, Nikon 8249s, and watched the ships out on the ocean. It was a fantastic trip and I look forward to booking the next and going back. I would love to buy a piece of property and potentially retire there. We tried to get into Indian Pass Raw Bar, but the place was packed so we ate at KrazyFish in downtown Port St Joe. It was great.

Tech, Software & Gaming:
My iMac crashed on Christmas Eve. Fortunately, I was able to completely restore all of my data with Arq. I have since configured it on all of my machines and my wife’s Mac. Data loss is not an option! My Amazon cloud drive is currently holding 1.2TB from all machines.

I am still playing The Long Dark. At 2015’s end, I had 253 hours logged. I am shocked to say that I ended the year with over 750 hours played. That’s approximately 1.36hrs played per day. I do not play it every day, and sometimes go weeks without playing. When I do play, it seems to be an all-day binge! As of now, I have 796 hrs on record.

I also spent the year playing The Flame in the Flood, FTL: Faster than Light, Sid Meier’s Civilization V, and Prison Architect.

We still have the dedicated HTPC running Plex, Sonarr, and CouchPotato. We upgraded our AppleTV to a gen 4 and tried DirecTV Now. I will likely cancel if they do not have Roku support soon.

TV:
Alone
American Crime Story: The People v. O.J. Simpson
Atlanta
Black Mirror
Divorce
Planet Earth II
Stranger Things
The Night Of
Westworld

Music:
Beyonce: LemonadeWiki
Chance the Rapper: Coloring BookWiki
Chris Stapleton: TravellerWiki
Frank Ocean: BlondeWiki
Kanye West: The Life of PabloWiki
Ray LaMontagne: OuroborosWiki

Books:
I’m still using my Kindle Voyage & Calibre to read. I started re-reading the Harry Potter series. Have you seen these covers by Olly Moss?