Wednesday, March 15, 2017

The World Is Flat: Toronto, Canada

I want to give a big shout out to the Canadian Freestyle Organization, and the city of Toronto for putting on this event.

Full Disclosure #1: It seems flatland, and maybe the BMX scene itself, is moving away from the 90's grunge look, and back to what seems like a more retro 80's look. This is definitely something I'm looking forward to. I'm tired of seeing pro-riders with mismatched bike parts and sloppy mismatched paint schemes. If you're a pro rider, you're bike should look the part, like the black and yellow or the red and white bikes featured in the above video. Now before I start upsetting people, I get it if your a struggling rider with no money and have to make do with whats available. In the end its all about the riding, but if you're a pro rider and are doing competitions, or your making promo video's then put some effort into the BMX scene and have a bike that looks the part, please!

Full Disclosure #2: I love seeing full brake setups on BMX bikes. Maybe it's something nostalgic, maybe it's out of some primal safety concerns, but I honestly think BMX bikes look better with full brakes. Now I totally understand the skill level needed to do tricks without brakes, and I get that, but couldn't you still ride with brakes, just not use them for tricks. On the flip side, to riding with no brakes, what happened to the skill set of knowing how to feather brakes, it, in itself, was a challenging skill set to learn, which seems lost in today's BMX scene.

Awesome work, Steven Lapsley, on capturing this video, keep up the good work.

Monday, March 13, 2017

Link Exchange Is Now Open

I just added a link exchange menu to the Mass-IMO website. I will be adding links to it in the future, so reach out and let me know if you think you deserve to be on it.

Friday, March 03, 2017

New Media Center

It's been a few years that I've had to do without my beloved Yamaha surround sound home theater system. When Nadia and I moved in together I learned something new to me, that cats and speaker wire don't cohabitate well together. As a result of this new found knowledge, when we started renovating, I decided that not only are we going to run network wires throughout, but also surround sound speaker wires. This advanced renovation planning brought me one step closer to finally getting my home theater system back.

Besides stereo speakers being a great interactive knock down toy for cats, they are also really good at collecting dust. My solution to both these problems was to find a media center that would hide stereo speakers, and their wires. Now I looked at finding a media center at various home furnishing store, and high fidelity stereo stores, but I just couldn't justify paying the prices they were asking (yup, I'm a bit cheap).

Craigslist became my beacon of hope, as I decided it might be easier up cycling and old dresser into a more modern functional media center. I started my search looking for something made out of real wood, something strong, so as to support a large TV (my last dresser was made using some particle board material, and bowed under the TV's weight). I knew I wanted the top row to consist of three shallow drawers, as they would house my left, center, and right speakers. I also wanted a wide middle drawer to place my receiver and the whole dresser had to be less than 67.5 inches wide.

After months of searching on Craigslist, and many failed attempts to finalize a sale, I finally became the new owner of this.

The PRO's of this dresser is that it's 66 inches wide, it was made of some hardwood (I think it's cherry wood), and would house all my home theater components excellently and it only cost me $80. The only drawbacks is that it had some noticeable water damage to the finish (the wood was still in good shape) and it cost me $80. In hindsight, I should have brought Nadia with me to negotiate the price, she is so much better at haggling than I am.

My original plan, after getting this dresser home, was to sand it down and re-stain it. All the snow we got this year changed those plans. I was also going to simply remove the drawers and insert my stereo components, but I was growing rather fond of the beveled drawer faces, and I refocused my attention to keeping them. My solution was to order 2 inch speaker grills to allow for sound to come out while still maintaining the overall structure of the dresser. Once the grills arrived I cut 1 3/4 inch holes with a hole saw bit, and fastened the grills in place.

 I also used a dowel to fill in the drawer handle holes, lightly sanded the surfaces, and painted the dresser using a satin dark walnut paint.

Wood strips were used to braces the speakers in place. I also removed the middle drawer face and reattached it with t-hinges so as to be able to control the receiver when needed and hide it away when not. A hard drive magnet holds the middle drawer face closed when not being used.

 I think it turned out awesome, and above all its functional, with plenty of room to add game consoles and controllers. I still want to properly strip and re-finish this unit, but we'll have to wait for sunny weather.

Monday, February 20, 2017

The World Is Flat: Kumasi, Ghana

A big shout out to Anane Deco for this next flatland video!

Isn't this what flatland is all about? Cruising around, checking out new spots, having a good time, and just showing off your skills. Nicely done Anane Deco!

On a personal note, I just loved the scene (about 54 seconds in) where Anane Deco throws down a backyard between traffic, almost as if saying, this is my backyard no cars allowed.

Wednesday, February 08, 2017


Before we dive in on updating the firmware of the R-BOX Pro, I wanted to give a little review (or maybe it's an insight into why I'm upgrading the firmware of my R-BOX Pro).

I purchased the R-BOX Pro, thinking that a new Octo-core (8 Core cpu) would vastly improve my TV viewing experience over my aging Quad-core (4 core cpu) OUYA game console/TV set-top box. In fact on paper the R-BOX Pro outperforms almost all existing android TV Set-top boxes on the market, with the exception of the NVIDIA Shield. With a price of $74 U.S. dollars it's quite inexpensive, seeing as 4 years ago I paid $125 U.S. dollars for my OUYA.