The #TIM07 Shipment from Quarterly

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I have talked about Quarterly and the Tim Ferriss shipment that I am subscribed to a few times here on the blog. Well for those who don’t know Quarterly is not your typical box and month service. You get a box each quarter and the box is made up by a curator that you subscribe to. Since I’ve heard of Quarterly I have been subscribed to the Tim Ferriss box. I’ve read his books and his blog all the time so I usually find the items in the box useful.

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Tim’s box is $100. Normally you get a lot for the $100 dollars with many of the products adding up to more than that. I did the math and the TIM07 shipments is worth $172.68. Here is a breakdown with Amazon Links.

What I Learned Losing A Million Dollars ($20.33)
Misfit Shine ($82.52)
Ciltep by Natural Stacks ($42.95)
Tumeric Ginger Tea from Rishi Tea ($16.95)
Grid-It Organizer ($10.13)

This box was great! I have a use for everything in the box. The product I started using immediately is the Misfit Shine activity and sleep tracker. It is interesting to see how much restful sleep I am actually getting and how active I am throughout the day. I have also used the CILTEP on days that I really need to get things done and it seems to work quite well.

What I learned loosing a million dollars I will be reading very soon. I love tea so getting the Tumeric Ginger tea was a treat. I have not used the GRID-IT yet, but as I travel more towards the end of the year I will definitely be using it.

This box was much better than TIM06, which I did not bother to blog about. I hope Tim keeps the good boxes coming! Check out Quarterly to see what they are all about!

A Weekend In DC

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A couple of weeks ago my friends and I decided to take a road trip down to Washington, DC. We all planned on going to see DVBBS at Echostage, but it was also a chance to see two of our friends who recently moved down there. DC is about a 4-4.5 hour drive from Pittsburgh. Since there was 5 of us going we rented a SUV, which was a Yukon XL. It was a beast and felt like you were driving a tank!

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One we got into DC and settled in we went to dinner before the show. We decided on Hill Country Barbecue and man was it good! The way they have it set up is that once you are seated you go into the “Market” and select the meat and sides you want. I opted for a combo that included beef rib, brisket and chicken plus a side.

 

This is my kind of place! #foodporn #bbq

A photo posted by Bob Buskirk (@bobtv) on

 

After dinner we went back to the hotel and got ready for the show. I have been to Echostage before and I really love it there. It is really made for shows, it is a real shame there is not a place like it in Pittsburgh. While I am not a huge fan on DVBBS I do enjoy many of their songs and all DJs are usually great live so I was pretty excited for the show. It was great to be in that atmosphere again, Pittsburgh events are just not like the events at Echostage. Here is one of the videos I took, you can check out the rest of the videos on my YouTube page.

 

 

The next day we ventured around and ended up in Georgetown where our friend Kara goes to school. The area is really nice and reminds me of Shadyside quite a bit. That night the guys and girls split up and we ended up going to Ultrabar and getting a table. If you haven’t been to Ultrabar before it has 5 different levels with different music on each floor. Let’s just say we had a great time!

 

Last night recap! #cirocboys #ragers #bottles #ultrabar

A video posted by Bob Buskirk (@bobtv) on

 

Our last day in DC we got brunch at a place called Bistro Cacao. Everything there is made from scratch and you could really tell! Brunch comes with a pastry basket. All of the pastries were amazing and I normally never eat things like that. I decided on the steak & eggs (of course!) for my main course and it was really good! I would definitely go to Bistro Cacao again!

 

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It was a great weekend with great music, food and of course great friends. Remember to follow me on Twitter to see what I am up to!

 

Panera Get Your Act Together…

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I am a pretty big fan of Panera Bread, their food is really good and somewhat healthy. Much better to eat there than go to a fast food place. I usually go there to spend the day working, mostly writing reviews for ThinkComuters or blog posts like this one. It is great to get out of the office and work from somewhere else, but the Panera that is closest to my house is just horrible. I think the only reason I still continue to go there is a good food, the fact that it is close to my house and the hope that they have fixed things. The location I am talking about is store #203499 located at 3401 Boulevard of the Allies in Pittsburgh.

So why is this location so bad? Well there are a few major factors that come into play that should be an easy fix for a company as large as Panera.

Available Power Outlets – This is huge. Many people like me go to Panera to work, whether its for a job or school (this location is very close to both Pitt and CMU campuses) and bring their laptop. Unfortunately not all laptops have super-long battery life. Even my Lenovo Yoga 2 Pro is about 5 hours if I have power saving mode on. This Panera location is quite large, by my estimation it can fit at least 100 people. In total there are four dual-socket power outlets for customers. One is in the private room, which usually rented out and another is sort of hidden by the bathrooms and you need a long power cable to be able to connect it to your laptop. So out of 100 possible customers you are only giving 8 the ability to charge their devices. Panera has to be the worst at this as every coffee shop and even bar that offers WiFi in Pittsburgh that I have been to has ample power outlets. Even the power outlets at this Panera are in rough shape. Here is a photo of the one that I am currently plugged into.

Panera Wall Outlet

As you can see the outside housing has been broken off and just the bare socket is there. You may think that Panera would be fixing this, but its been like this for months! On top of that the bare socket actually moves and gets pushed into the wall when you plug your power cable in. I always feel bad sitting at the table closest to the power outlet and using it as people walk over and see that the table / outlet is taken and they walk away, many of them actually leave, or eat their meal and then leave! I have done the same thing many times, I can only work as long as battery life I have on my device. I don’t see why Panera cannot add more outlets to this location, Crazy Mocha and Delanies have outlets for pretty much every seat in their stores.

Limited WiFi Time – Panera the year is 2014, sure you are offering free WiFi, but you are limiting it?! When you connect to the stores WiFi you’re a brought to this authentication page.

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It informs you that the WiFi is limited to 30 minutes between the hours of 11:30AM and 1:30PM. This pretty much guarantees that I will not visit this location between those hours. Sure I assume that this is their busy time and they do not want to overload their network, but why not do the customer a favor and have the hardware to support that many users. Many major retailers offer free unlimited WiFi in their stores, some of the majors include Starbucks, McDonalds, Subway and Dunkin Doughnuts. Even local places in Pittsburgh like Crazy Mocha, 21st Street Coffee & Tea and Delanies all offer free unlimited WiFi.

WiFi Coverage – As I mentioned this store is quite large and the WiFi coverage can actually be spotty and very weak at times. Where I am sitting now I am getting a very slow signal on both my Lenovo Yoga 2 Pro, iPhone and Amazon Fire HD tablet.

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I am in the main area of the restaurant too! I am not exactly sure where the access point is in this location, but this is pretty bad. This Panera location offers outside seating which is great in the summer, but of course there is no WiFi signal out there at all. I think today the WiFi connection has dropped over 10 times on all of my devices. Again Panera why don’t you do something for the customer and add another access point for better WiFi coverage?

It seems like Panera could easily make some changes to this location to keep me and other customers coming back on a more frequent basis. This would cost very little money and improve customer satisfaction. When I want to get out of the house and work remotely all day I rarely go to this location unless I know I have a full charge on my laptop, extra USB WiFi dongle and I always go after 1:30PM so I am not locked out of the WiFi. Now not everyone is tech-minded like me, so coming to this location can be very stressful.

Is a Panera location close to you like this? Let me know in the comments! Also if anyone from Panera is reading this you can contact me directly by emailing me or sending me a message on Twitter.

iPhone Apps I used the Most – 2014 Edition

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If you are like me your phone is with you at all times. I am using an iPhone 5s as my main phone and it actually keeps me pretty productive and able to keep updated with what is going on with all of my friends. I wanted to go through some of the apps I am using the most on my iPhone, so here we go!

1. Facebook – Yes I use Facebook daily, maybe too much at times. I not only use it to see what my friends are up to and to update you on my daily life I use it for business and networking as well.

2. Instagram – It is crazy to see how Instagram has grown over the past few years. If I am sharing photos it is normally done through Instagram.

3. Splashtop – This is a great remote desktop app I use for my systems at my house. I install the program on my systems at home and I can remotely access them anywhere I have service with my phone. It works great and is well worth the $2.99 price on the iTunes App store.

4. Lyft – Lyft has been in Pittsburgh since the beginning of this year and I happen to use it a lot. It is great for getting downtown so you don’t have to pay for parking or after a long night of drinking so you get home safe without getting a DUI.

5. Camera+ – This is a great app for editing photos. All of the filers and effects are really great, I’ve had this app for years!

6. Expensify – I use this to track all of my expenses for my business. It is extremely easy and keeps track of everything so I don’t have to save receipts.

7. Soundcloud – I have been using Soundcloud a lot lately to find new music. A lot of my favorite DJs are on there an upload unreleased tracks. You can follow me on Soundcloud if you want.

8. Twitter – Yes I still use Twitter! The iPhone app from Twitter works great and it is actually easy to manage multiple profiles. If you want to follow me on twitter you can!

9. Snapchat – While many people think Snachat is for sending certain “types” of photos to people, but it really has turned into a way to share your life in real time. I get snaps all day from my friends and the new “Live” section its just awesome! Add me on Snapchat: bobtv.

10. Timehop – One thing I always like to do is go back and read my old blog posts and look at old photos. Well Timehop is an awesome app for doing things like that. You connect it with your Twitter, Facebook and Instagram accounts and it shows you what you posted each day in history. I check this app daily!

So what iPhone apps are you using the most?

Lounge 5280 at the Denver Airport

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On my recent trip out to Silicon Valley I connected both ways at the Denver International Airport and had lengthy layovers both ways. The first time through I noticed a cool looking bar called Lounge 5280. Since it was early in the morning and I did not feel like I drink I did not stop in and check it out, but on my return flight I sure did!

Lounge 5280 is located on the B concourse, at the Mezzanine (upper) level. The thing that really caught my attention when walking by the bar the first time were the smaller tables that sit along the railing. They have very comfortable tables and power outlets, which if you travel often you know are hard to come by at airports. So I walked in to 5280, sat at one of these tables, pulled out my laptop and took a look at the drink menu.

Lounge 5280 Wine Bar

I was actually surprised at how many different options there were, especially wine! If you travel a lot you know most places in airports will only offer and handful of beers and wines. Well 5280 has 52 hand-selected wines to choose from and also a long list of spirits and other alcohol. One page that caught my eye on the menu was the Colorado inspired cocktails page, which featured Colorado made or owned products. I decided on the Blackberry Lemonade which was Woody Creek Potato vodka, Leopold Brothers Blackberry liqueur, fresh squeezed lemon juice and Rocky Mountain Loveland limeade.

Lounge 5280 Wine Bar

My drink was made very quickly and once it was brought over I was set. I relaxed with my drink and started on my work. For a second it did not even seem like I was in a busy airport. Lounge 5280 also offers appetizers and small plates, but I did not try any.

If you happen to be in the Denver Airport check out Lounge 5820, I’m sure they will have something you’ll like!

Lounge 5280 Wine Bar on Urbanspoon