27 November 2015

Product review: Coulax V4.1 bluetooth stereo headset

So... might be time to dust this thing off again (HOW many times has this been done?)

So anyway... was contacted about doing a review through the Android Forums. Good piece of gear to look into!


Coulax V4.1 Bluetooth Headset

I recently received one of these headsets for review, and have to admit that I'm impressed. For some background, I use my headset when riding, doing maintainence at a local hotel, working out. And I use one side for calls when driving. My previous setup was an LG HBS-700

Comparing the two, battery life is a horse apiece: I tend to charge my electronics every night out of habit, so I didn't notice too much of a difference there. Did manage to run the V4.1 for a couple days without charging, and never had a problem. Call quality was good throughout. On par for working out, as well, and working at the hotel.

Where the V4.1 pulled ahead was at the hotel and on the bike. Mowing lawns and riding have always been problematic for me, as it gets VERY hard to hear the LG when on the mower or at speed on the bike. The V4.1 had no such troubles: even on my Sportster at 70mph (running straight pipes and no windshield), I could still hear my tunes perfectly clearly, whereas the LG became nothing more than a poor set of ear plugs.

Also give a slight advantage to the V4.1 on design: the buds are connected by a wire, with just a small control box near the right side. The advantage here was in working out: the band connector of the LG would tend to slide around while at the gym, and the V4.1 simply didn't have the extra weight being thrown around (and pulling the buds out of my ears). This eliminated a LOT of frustration!

Controls, I give a slight (think “hair”) edge to the LG: since you have a much larger piece for controls, you have separate volume and track controls. A very minor difference, as getting used to the V4.1's controls wasn't difficult at all.

Priced currently at $30 on Amazon (I paid around $80 for the LG), the V4.1 is a deal that's hard to beat this Christmas season!

06 January 2015

Wait, what? Words fail me

OK... caught this over at APS

Basically, the premise of an essay given an award at Hebrew University is that Israeli soldiers are showing racism by not raping Palestinian women. Let me quote here:

Nitzan alleges that the "lack of military rape merely strengthens the ethnic boundaries and clarifies the inter-ethnic differences–just as organized military rape would have done."

Wait a second: not raping is racist. Raping is racist. Ye gawds... there really is no "win" here

Read the whole thing. Have Excedrine handy

21 December 2014

I better put my boots on...

... so I can start quaking in them, re: this announcement.

I mean, seriously: can the Norks even successfully hit South Korea, let alone project force across the Pacific?

And how many people across the US, if Kim actually managed to lob a missle across and hit the White House, would be upset? I know a bunch who would probably send the man a beer for that one.

18 December 2014

Ecigs, revisited

Ok... if you've been reading me for awhile (or actually went through and read everything I've posted), you may remember me experimenting with Blu ecigs.

That experiment failed: worked for a while, but I just couldn't stop smoking regular smokes. And, after a short time, I had given up on the gadgets. Then tried again, with a better set-up: couldn't make it work right. Even tried a third time, when a vape shop opened nearby: still no joy.

Recently, and in part to the promptings of a certain 12 year old, I decided to try again. This time, it seems to be working. And oh my gawds, the variety of gadgets available!

There is, almost literally, something available for any lifestyle or price range. There are the beginners' "eGo" system: a simple battery and tank, with an atomizer coil of some kind, all usually sold as a kit. There are "mods": devices that hold a removable battery, come in all shapes and sizes, with a variety of features (or, on the opposite end, are nothing more than a simple tube with some wires and a switch). There are pipes, boxes, tubes... you name it, someone makes it. There are even a fair number of folks building their own

So... given this new hobby, I'll be covering some vaping stuff on here. If you smoke, and would like to get away from it, I'm hoping what I convey here will help.


First things first: benefits. I basically stopped smoking in October (I still bum a few, but that's getting less frequent). My sense of smell has come back in a BIG way (as in "I can smell smokers right away). No more smokers' hack. No more smell. And SAVINGS

Did a quick bit of math. I was spending roughly $1500 a year on tobacco and papers (more if you count lighter fluid and such). Quite a bit of scratch!

My current set-up for vaping (Sigelei Legend II, eLeaf iStick, couple of tanks for different liquids) totaled $270. Then add liquid, batteries (figuring replace once a year), and atomizer coils (which I rebuild to save more): estimating $600/year recurring. Hell... even buying new gear every year, I'm coming in at around half the cost.

Cons? There's a bit more of a start-up cost: a basic starter kit is around $30 (maybe less on evilbay) plus juice (at least another $5-10), instead of $6 for a pack of smokes and a Bic. There's also a learning curve: lots of variables involved in vaping. And you will still be lumped in with the rest of the social lepers (although it is MUCH easier to get away with vaping in Sprawlmart than smoking).

So overall... I would call the switch a net benefit. Not to mention it makes a certain 12 year old happy that I'm not smoking anymore!


A couple good resources, if you want to learn more:

www.sweet-vapes.com (local vape shop, located in Sheboygan WI. VERY knowledgeable, with a friendly staff and good prices on gear and a great selection)

www.ecblendflavors.com (where I've been getting juice: selection and prices that are crazy good)

http://www.e-cigarette-forum.com (forum for vapers of all kinds. LOTS of info available)

17 December 2014

Bloody Hell

I'll admit up front: I don't really follow the news anymore. It's mostly depressing "if it bleeds it leads" garbage, and sports figures. Neither of which really interest me in the slightest.

So... I come across this. If you haven't heard: Greenpeace members, during the UN climate talks in Peru, decided to add to the Nazca Lines by setting out fabric strips to spell out "Time for change! The future is renewable Greenpeace" next to the Hummingbird.

Cue instant rage

Seriously: had someone at the local brew house walked up and started talking about Greenpeace after I read that, I would be sitting in jail right now. There are some lines that simply should NOT be crossed. And this didn't cross them, it pole-vaulted them. Here's hoping the guilty parties are imprisoned until the damage they caused is gone

Edit: forgot the damn link!

16 December 2014

Oh, hi

Been a LONG year. Not going into details: nobody's business. Figured I would try using this again.


Reading over at Larry's and saw this. Go, read, take it to heart. All it takes for evil to triumph, and all that...

10 May 2014

The International 100 Mile Ride

Hey folks!

So it's that time of year again: we'll soon be doing the 100 Mile Ride for BACA. I had a goal this year: $200. Unfortunately, I'm currently going to be a bit short of that. So I'm going to up the stakes a bit.

If friends on Face Book (and the couple readers I have here) donate enough to push me over the $200 line, I'll be listing all the "out there" colors of hair dye available at my local Sally Beauty Supply. Folks will have one week to vote: the winner is the color I'll dye my head (and post pics of the result, here and on FB)

Hit me up at baca.strings@gmail.com. I do have a paypal acct (under a different addy), if that works better than sending a check. And remember: all proceeds go towards helping abused kids!