Tag Archives: review

Review: Luxa2 Battery Pack

I received a Luxa2 P1 High Capacity Battery a few weeks back and in those weeks have had a chance to put it through the paces.

I should preface by describing my situation. I am working in Europe for a few months. Prior to going, I purchased an unlocked iPhone 4S (thanks for being all Draconian AT&T) to use while there. I decided once there to go with a prepaid data plan only, as I didn’t see a need for a voice line (could make calls on my work Blackberry or from the office).

3G coverage was decent. I was probably 60:40 3G:Wifi. Once I obtained my prepaid data micro sim, I plugged it into my phone and was happily on my way… except one huge thing.

With the data only sim installed, my battery life was atrocious. From a full charge at 6 AM, I would be under 50% by 11 AM or noon just listening to Spotify or very limited web usage (3G) If I was doing more, then it was worse. There are a few different reasons my battery life took a huge hit, but not really worth going into those.

So, while at the office, not the biggest deal since I could (usually) plug in my iPhone while there (if I remembered to bring my cable in my bag). But there were enough days where I forgot my cable and had to really manage my usage. And of those days, I had my fair share when I didn’t manage it well enough and my iPhone died mid-afternoon.

So I got my hands on a Luxa2 P1. First, the stats. The P1 is an external battery pack with 7000 mAh of power. It has 2 USB ports to charge your devices and a micro USB port for the battery charger cable. The unit has a button on the top and a small line of battery level indicator lights. The battery also comes with a micro USB cable, a 30 pin cable for iDevices (well not the newest ones), and a small bag to carry it all in. The battery itself is a hefty 178 g, but not out of line with external batteries.

I used the battery to charge my iPhone at the office, on several trips of lengths between half-day to full weekends, and occasionally my iPad (3rd generation). Use couldn’t be easier. Plug in your device(s) to the USB port(s) and press the indicator button.

Okay, I’ll start with the bad. The absolute worst thing I could say about the device isn’t about the unit itself. My carrying bag fell apart in a matter of days. The stitching along the pull strings (to close the bag) came apart. The next “bad” is it gets warm as it charges, which isn’t a real bad considering there’s not a single charging option where there is not some heat being emitted.

The good. What is there to say, it’s easy to use, it charges my devices (very quickly and sometimes multiple devices). I really like that it is jacket pocketable. The P1 definitely makes life easier and more worry-free while abroad.

iPhone Batteries

So being in Switzerland and on a data only SIM, my iPhone eats battery life for breakfast. I suppose I could mess with the APN settings or something (and I know it’s easy), but thinking external battery pack (no to battery cases, death to battery cases!).

(Oh and hell yeah back to blogging… old school, who needs twitter and tumblr? [okay, me, that’s right, brackets in my parenthetical]).

Thoughts on “Bill Cunningham New York”

Bill Cunningham New York

This was a pleasant documentary following the legendary Bill Cunningham. It gave a few details about his history and his personal life, but it mostly just showed Bill being Bill. What struck me about this movie was all of the dichotomies.

Bill Cunningham is the godfather of the street fashion photography. But it was clear in this movie that he’s still a man of the people. He’s still on the street every day. He does other things too, but his primary thing is taking pictures of clothes. He’s the ultimate recorder of the people, working for one of the biggest institutions. Meanwhile so many of the people he inspired started on free blogs taking pictures of the street and moved to a little fancy pictures of celebs and models, and writing books and only taking pictures of fancy people. Bill is the people’s street fashion photographer, even with the clout of the New York Times. Which stands in contrast to all of the street fashion photographers on the web, which use the people’s platform (i.e. internet) to be sort of elitist.

[Rambling, I had a point somewhere in there, but it fell apart pretty quickly.]

Movie review: Little Manhattan


This was a very entertaining movie. Cute even. The story of love and loss by a fifth grader (or something like that). I got this movie via recommendations from friends, and it was great. Don’t get me wrong, a bit on the cheeseball side, but you don’t really notice because you’re caught up in the movie. I don’t know if I cared about the characters in a traditional sense, but I definitely wanted to know what was going to happen to them.

I thought the acting was pretty good. The children actors I thought did a great job carrying the movie. I thought Bradley Whitmore did a great job as the dad, less so about Cynthia Nixon as the mom. Truthfully, they played an important subplot, but if it was removed from the movie, I don’t think it would’ve made the movie any worse. For all intents and purposes, parents in this movie could’ve been the “Wah-wah-wah-wah” Peanuts adults and it would’ve worked solely in the kids’ world.

I think this makes a great date movie. Works for the ladies, and while there aren’t any explosions, guns, car chases, I think guys could more relate to the main character in this movie, 11 years old or not, than most male characters in standard “chick flick”/rom-com fare.

Movie review: He’s Just Not That Into You

[Blu-ray | DVD]

So I don’t understand this movie. It’s based on a book right? I’m not even going to bother looking it up and Amazon linking it (BTW, buy from Amazon via me folks. Put some shekels in my pocket, haha.).

So you have a movie that plays up every kind of negative female stereotype, that actively has a character succeed by following rules that play again said stereotypes, only to “discover” stereotypes are the better life? Though what could’ve I expected, the movie really does play to the stereotypical rom-com formula for most all of the relationships in the movie.

I’m sure everyone can, on some level, relate to one character or another or multiple characters in the movie, but it seemed to be a pretty mediocre effort. I thought the acting was passable. I mean how hard is it to play kind of crazy? (By everyone, not just the women.) Also, I didn’t think the talking heads/”When Harry Met Sally” [DVD] interview bits were at all useful, entertaining, necessary.

Movie review: Crossing the Line


This movie was filmed by the same guy who did “State of Mind” [DVD]. Both documentaries on North Korea. “State of Mind” was about the Mass Games. I thought it was a really interesting view on North Korea. This movie is about U.S. soldiers, one in particular, who defected to North Korea and have lived there as part of that society since.

I have to say, I was extremely bored throughout this movie. The subject matter was interesting enough. And I’d certainly read a book about it, but in movie form, I just felt it was lacking any real compelling points. A lot of interesting, but nothing to grab you and pull you in. Which is a shame.

It’s not a bad watch. It’s an interesting glimpse into that part of the world. I’d say watch “State of Mind” over this.

Movie review: Synecdoche, New York

[Blu-ray | DVD]

This movie is confusing. I’m not going to pretend I can even come close to fully getting this movie. So here goes as good a review as I can write. This movie, while 100% centered on the great Philip Seymour Hoffman, feels as sprawling as the grand masterpiece his character is creating. Continually adding layers and layers of meta in the movie. It’s pretty amazing. That’s as much as my brain can muster right now.

Hoffman is powerful in this flick, but he always is. He’s so good at playing the sad sack. (By the way, this is why I enjoyed him so much in MI3. The Owen Davian character was no sad sack. In fact, the character seemed kind of like a grown up more evil version of his character in “Scent of a Woman” [DVD].) Everyone else, including Catherine Keener, is so peripheral that it doesn’t even really warrant much discussion. Keener is almost non-existent in the movie. Michelle Williams is okay. Samantha Morton is the only true supporting role. And she’s great.

It takes a lot of brain to watch this movie. Definitely not a bored on a weekend watch, but worthwhile if you’re invested in it.

Movie review: Bride Wars

[Blu-ray | DVD]

How to review this movie without coming off as some kind of chauvinist. It depicts women at their absolute worst. The movie itself is ridiculous beyond belief. Anne Hathaway >> Kate Hudson. Kate Hudson really looks like her mom. The last 10 or so minutes of this movie are so unbelievable I don’t even know how to talk about it. Not a good movie crestor 10 mg. Not at all.

Movie review: Star Trek

So this was a pretty good movie. I think JJ Abrams has to be fully thought of as one of the current better/best action directors now browse around here. However, this and MI3, I think he tends to make movies that are 15-20 minutes longer than needed. I’m all for 2 hour plus movies, but these feel like it.

A lot of the reviews have mentioned the lens flares in the movie. To which Abrams replied something that basically sounds like “my future’s so bright (i gotta wear shades)”. Okay, the actual quote:

I know there are certain shots where even I watch and think, “Oh that’s ridiculous, that was too many.” But I love the idea that the future was so bright it couldn’t be contained in the frame.

So moving along. Everyone says this is a movie for fans as well as newbies, I think fans get more out of it than newbies. The tiny characteristics of each character are put up front, but only meaningful to people familiar with them. JJ Abrams certainly also has a thing for time travel. To take a line from the movie, it kind of feels like a cheat. Some things have to happen, just not the same way or something crazy “Lost” like.

You know they have totally setup the franchise for a gazillion more movies because this reboot really worked. And I sort of hope they do. I definitely enjoyed the movie. Oh I didn’t see it on IMAX, but I bet it’d be awesome on IMAX. Or IMAX lite (or as Aziz Ansari calls it “Bullshit IMAX”).

Mild spoiler to follow:

Oh, but I 100% don’t buy Kirk finally being officially captain. You have a recent grad, saving earth/Federation certainly gets him a commendation and certainly pushes him through the ranks quickly, but the FLAGSHIP of the Federation? Pfft.

Movie review: Role Models

[Blu-ray | DVD]

So this movie wasn’t all that original, but I enjoyed it very much. The plot is pretty basic. One part relationship troubles, one part mentor-mentee stuff, one part friendship stuff, one part transformation plus some curse words and some nudity and you have role models. That said, I thought it was a good watch because it seemed kind of earnest. None of the situations in the movie was any kind of real, but I thought it did a good job of showing the progression of the characters in their relationships. Just an enjoyable flick.