THE GREATEST COMPUTER EVER BUILT!!!

 

c0b6425c-7b70-46fe-8bee-4461103d5962

Today I am checking out the new workstation I picked up from Tekboost. It might shock you to find out but this is better than the vulcan at Livermore!
They did NOT sponsor this video. I paid full price for this machine.

Follow Me Here For all our Updates!
Atticus James: http://Atticusjames.com
Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/AtticusReviews
Find us on Facebook: www.facebook.com/TheAtticusJamesBlog
Find us on Twitter: http://twitter.com/atticusjames
Follow on Instagram: @atticusJames

Emirates: Airbus A380-800 & Boeing 777-200 Review

These Business Class tickets were purchased through a travel agent and I received no compensation in any form for this review.

I have reviewed Southwest Airlines as a domestic airline and since I flew Emirates to India and Dubai I thought it was time to review an International Airline.

We flew business class, since my grandfather, who has flown all over the world, prefers to be comfortable on long flights. Since I have back problems this made for a very pleasant flight.

Emirates A380

The Car Service

We were picked up in a Lincoln MKT Town car and taken from my grandfather’s home in California to LAX and home again at the end.

It is a nice added feature to be picked up and dropped off when you travel with Emirates. They also took us to the hotel in Dubai and back again. Just one more detail that we didn’t have to worry about.

Limo from Emirates

Lounges

There is something peaceful about going through airport security and then heading straight for the business class lounge. Sitting there for an hour eating and drinking before a long flight really helps melt the stress. It is nice not having to deal with the crowds when in the international terminals. Emirates Lounge

You have to admit having comfortable chairs, great food, alcohol and free WiFi makes the wait for your flight more enjoyable.

The A380-800

The Airbus A380-800 was something I had been really looking forward to before this trip. Knowing that this plane is a double decker plane is just awesome to me. I love watching shows about planes and I have wanted to fly in one since they first came out!

I cannot talk about any other A380s from other airlines, but I can say this was the most comfortable plane I have even been on. I will be discussing the Boeing 777 in a minute. Emirates Business Class

We had the one, two, one seating configuration meaning one window, two middle and one window seat when you look across the plane from window to window. The four flights we had with Emirates we always had window seats.

The A380 had Wi-Fi 10mb for free which was enough to send a few tweets, FB posts, snapchats or texts from iMessage or WhatsApp.

They also offered 500mb for $1 USD, so you could watch YouTube or stream from your device. I just watched movies on the in-flight entertainment system.

Emirates Seat System

As you can see in the photo above, these are a few of the items that come with the business class seat

· Two USB ports

· One tablet that lets you control the [KB1] TV on the seat in front

· One remote that also acts as the game controller if you play any games on the TV

· Lay flat chair

· Two sodas and two different waters

· (Under the window) extra storage for takeoff and landing

· Free toiletry kit

· 2 meals with an offer of light snacks during the flight

· Alcoholic drinks and access to the in-flight bar

Emirates Tablet

Emirates out the window

Loading the A380, they have to use three jet ways. Two on the lower level and one for the top. As to how they are so efficient at loading a plane that can hold upwards over 600+ people in such a short amount of time baffles me!

I am not sure which version of the Emirates A380 we were on, but they have 3 sets of plane configurations. The first two planes offer the same number of business class and first class with 14 First class seats and 76 Business class. The Economy seats change from 399 seats to 472 seats all on the lower deck. The third plane offers 58 Business class seats and 557 economy seats with no first class. Part of the economy class seats are on the top deck. We never flew on this plane, so I don’t have any experience with this plane. I know our two flights had 27+ crew members working the flight, flight attendants as well as those in the cockpit.

The Lay Flat Beds

The lay flat beds were really nice. When the A380 goes into “night” time, the flight attendants bring out foam mattress and make your bed for you so you can sleep. I ended up staying awake most of my flights. I slept when I landed to help with jet lag. The beds were very comfortable and easy to fall asleep on, even for someone with back problems.

A380 Bar

Emirates Bar

Flying out to Dubai, no one used the bar. I was sitting in the seat just in front of the bar. I walked by the bar a few times to go to the bathrooms or to see what snacks they had laid out and no one was using the bar.

It was a different story on the flight from Dubai back to LAX. This bar always had at least a few people hanging out. The bar isn’t all that big and I had my back against a wall to take this photo. You can get quite a few people hanging and drinking together and have a nice little party.

Emirates Bar with party

Now I will say, Emirates, if you are going to call yourself a “bar” you should at least be able to make a whiskey sour! Since I couldn’t have a whiskey sour (and everyone in the bar agreed that it is a staple cocktail) I had to sip on my pretentious Glenfiddich Scotch, 18 Year.

On a side note: they do ask you, before takeoff, what drink you would like, then bring it to you shortly after takeoff.

The Emirates 777-200

We flew the 777 from Dubai to India and from India to Dubai. I have told this joke to a number of people but we rode in 4 Rolls Royce’s.

Emirates 777 engine

Okay so maybe we didn’t fly “in” a Rolls Royce, but they were the engines that flew us back and forth from India and Dubai.

The configurations for the two Boeing 777s seats were a Two, Three, Two set up. My grandfather and I sat next to each other. It wasn’t a bad set up, except when the flight attendant had to lean over to fix the stuck TV. It fixed itself and she almost got nailed in the chin as it popped up at the most inopportune time. SORRY!

The meals were the same as they were on the A380 since they are prepared in the same place. Delicious and tasty. They do offer bar service on the 777, but they do not have a lounge or bar in the plane. Boo hoo! This was only a four hour flight for us so, not really a “long” flight.

Emirates 777 seating

ICE: Information, Communication, Entertainment

On your TV, Emirates has access to their ICE: this is your access to your TV and gadgets. The selections you have are three on board cameras to watch while flying. You can see cameras from the tail, from under the cockpit and one under the plane aimed straight down. They also have world news and sports as well as info on the flight and location of the plane. Pretty cool to be able to track yourself across the globe.  We flew over the North Pole.

Communication wasn’t something I used or looked at. In hindsight that is something I should have looked at for the sake of the review. I know you can call from the plane and I see they have seat-to-seat messaging. Since my grandfather was next to me,behind me or in front of me by one seat I never messaged him.

Entertainment was something I enjoyed immensely! I got caught up on a few movies I had wanted to see and one movie I won’t admit to wanting to see. They have a few YouTube videos from Casey Neistat and a number of others who I didn’t know or care about. They also had some non-name-brand video games to play and TV shows.

Final Thoughts

Having car service to and from the hotel in LA and Dubai was very nice, the business class seats were comfortable, entertaining, offered great food and drinks. I loved it! I will not go as far to say they are my airline of choice just yet, as I would like to travel more on other airlines A380s.

Emirates is located out of Dubai, UAE. When you look down the line of terminals that Emirates uses, you will just see a long line of A380s and it is a beautiful sight to see.

The 777s we flew on didn’t have Wi-Fi and the TV screens and remotes weren’t clear or quick to respond.  It would have been nice to have seen an updated 777.

The flight attendants for both types of aircraft were AMAZING and always on top of everything. I am looking at you Lynn.

Emirates! You guys are awesome and I am looking forward to flying with you again soon. I plan to head back to India and plan on using Emirates to get there again!

 


From 5 to 11: The skinny on the 5.11 STRYKE™ PANTS

After spending a month traveling through India and Dubai I have found my all time favorite pants!

511_stryke_pants_charcoal_C_1

The Military Travels, Right?

I know these pants were designed with LE and Military in mind but honestly they are perfect for travel. I was given a pair in Vegas just before leaving for India. I traded a pair of jeans out of my suitcase for these. Result? I would love to trade all of my pants for different colors and style of 5.11 pants and shorts.

In a Mall Near Me??? Soon???

I have been around 5.11 tactical clothes and gear for most of my adult life. When you are part of the gun community it is impossible not to know the name 5.11. I am not sure how popular they are outside of the industry. This needs to change. As to why 5.11 isn’t in every mall in the states is beyond me. Okay I have gushed enough about them. Let’s get down to the review.

Every Day Carry

I was offered a free pair of the 5.11 pants of my choosing. I visited the 5.11 store in Vegas and found the Stryke pants to be what I wanted to try for my trip. My brain was in India travel mode so everything I looked at there was “how could I make this trip the most comfortable for me”? I thought about what I might carry on a daily bases.

· iPhone 6 in Magpul case

· AA battery powered flashlight

· 2 Canon T4i batteries for my camera

· Passports

· Money

Pockets Full of Goodies

While that doesn’t seem like a lot to keep in my pockets, it had to be kept in my front pockets. I wanted to avoid pickpockets as best as possible. I kept my phone in my left front mag pocket which kept my normal pockets free for batteries and other junk I might pick up during the day. My right mag pocket I kept my flashlight. I used my right main pocket for my passport because it is deep.

Mag Pocket

SPECIFICATIONS

· 6.76 oz. Flex-Tac® ripstop fabric

· Self-adjusting tunnel waistband

· Fully gusseted crotch

· Articulated knees (kneepad ready)

· Bartacking at major seams and stress points

· TEFLON® finish

· 12 pockets, including double-deep cargo pockets

· Rinse washed

· YKK® zippers

· Prym® snaps

Be Comfortable Above All Else

My goal is to get the full line of pants for my travels because they are comfortable. I lost about 20 pounds in India. So the other advantage of the pants were that they have stretch in them, so they were always fitting correctly.

They have a button and a snap for the top of the pants so you can secure your pants if the snap starts to give out on you.

My only problem is that they require them to be washed inside out. While I do my own laundry at home, I had to send out for laundry in India. I requested that they wash the correct way but I cannot be sure of that.

Water Repellent

While sitting on the Double Decker bus in Abu Dhabi I spilled a little water from my water bottle and it just beaded up and rolled off my pants without them getting wet.

Reviewing pants is a little harder than I imagined, but all I can tell you from my experience is this:

· They look nice,

· they are comfortable enough to wear for 16 hours on a flight,

· they are decked out with pockets for all of your pockety goodness and needs.

Comfortable, stylish, pockety (full of function)

What more do you really need?

The Compass Points Southwest

The Southwest Airlines Review

As someone who travels enough to have a go to Airline but doesn’t fly enough to rack up the 25,000 miles needed per year for the “elite status” American Airlines offers I can tell you this, if you fly less than 25,000 flying miles per year Southwest is the place to start!

Southwest AirlinesSouthwest Logo

I live 20 minutes either way from DFW International Airport and Dallas Love Field so I have all the options of airlines open to me without having to drive forever to get to the airport. Nothing to me is more stressful before a flight than having to drive two hours to get to the airport and still have to deal with TSA. 

Southwest is awesome for a lot of reasons

  • · No assigned seating
    · No first class
    · Two Free checked bags
    · $72 Flights
    · Peanuts!?!

I have flown first class a number of times and honestly it has always been on short flights. So the biggest upgrade was the bigger seats and warm cookies. If you fly a lot, yes this is a nice perk to have but if you aren’t willing to cough up the upgrade fee why be reminded of the warm cookies?

Southwest doesn’t fly everywhere as you can see from the map below. However they do fly to a lot of airports.

Southwest Airports

The bulk of my travels are to LA, Las Vegas and on the rare occasions Phoenix. When I make my way out west I have two options with LAX or John Wayne (Orange County). This is really helpful for me as I have business near both and family within 30 minutes of either. Southwest fly’s out of both always making my trips less stressful.

I avoid Sky Harbor Phoenix at all cost, just due to how many bad experiences I have had with layovers, TSA and the general overall lay out of the airport. I have family located there and so sometimes I have to man up and just go. It is comforting knowing once I deal with all of that, it is Southwest I am flying with in case I have I have to stay longer than expected or you have flat on the way to the airport or TSA holds you up etc…. Southwest allows you to call and cancel your flight. You can then rebook your flight and reuse the fare that you paid on your flight. You just have to do it before your flight leaves. This is a huge bonus and one that I keep in my back pocket in case of emergencies. I just don’t know of any other airline that offers this.

Rewards Programs and Casey Neistat

As I said I don’t fly enough to reach the base level rewards program with someone like American Airlines or any of the others who offer big perks to frequent flyers but I do want to talk about them for a minute. (Southwest does have a rewards programs where you can earn free flights)

I have been a follower of Casey Neistat for years and I have always enjoyed his work. He filmed this a few years back in regards to AAdvantage and how he has his Executive Platinum status. As of late in his daily vlogs he has been sharing a few more perks such as golf carts to take him from one terminal to the next, the airport lounges and some of the other benefits.

Emirates

I am excited to share that I will be visiting for the first time, my grandfathers’ homeland of India. The trip is coming up in February 2016 with a six day layover in Dubai. I will be going with my grandfather for three weeks. I will be joining up with him in LA for our flight to Dubai with Emirates on their A380. I am very excited about experiencing a plane this size and an airline that offers the amenities that they do.

My flight to LA will of course be with Southwest as they offer two free checked bags and I intend on flying out with some camera gear and my luggage.

Final Thoughts

If you know you are going to be flying enough to rack up the miles, loyalty to someone like American Airlines does put you into the elite status and give you awesome benefits. It seems to me that most airlines have just never returned to being about the passenger. They want to charge you an arm and a leg for a checked bag and they can’t even muster up the cost to give free peanuts with your drink. 

Southwest is one that truly stands above. They aren’t someone who is catering to just the elite and frequent flyers. They have a funny business model that people like Frontier Airlines just doesn’t get. Southwest makes money by making sure people want to fly with them again! WHAT?!?

Are they crazy?! They want you to come back by offering free checked bags every time, cutting out the ELITE and offering no bullsh*t $72 flights?! So they don’t fly everywhere and they don’t offer flights to overseas but they aren’t that type of airline. They want you to fly with them again by making your flight as easy as possible from what they can control.

The No Flat Discount Tire Review

I had a recent blow out on my dual axle trailer which sent me to Discount Tire. It made me think it was high time to write a review of years as a loyal customer. My family has been customers at Discount Tire for a long time. I called my local shop to see if they had the date we started shopping with them. Sadly, the only information Discount Tire had kept is from 2002 and on.

msgrfx_dscnt

While researching with my father, we realized that we have had at least 15 cars and trailers on the account dating back at least 25 years.

The Flat

While hauling my trailer a few weeks back I heard a noise. I looked to see if it had a blow out but my F250 didn’t react as if there was one so I had to pull over to check. I always have a spare so I mounted it and noticed I had belt separation (the metal bands inside of the tire had separated from themselves and started bulging the tires treads).

After work, I took the trailer and dropped it off with Discount Tire. Because I had purchased my tires through Discount Tire and I always buy the certificates. With the certificates, Discount Tire just replaced the bad tire and sent me on my way.

Certificates

Or “certs” as you might hear them called, are a way that Discount Tire warranties the tires you buy in addition to the manufacturer’s warranty. The price for the certs vary from tire to tire but in the end they will save you a good amount of money.  When you get a flat tire and the tread is still within safe driving tread they will fix the flat. If the flat is in an area of the tire like the side walls, where they cannot fix the tires, they replace them with a new tire.

Balanced and Rotated

Discount Tire also offers free balance and rotation for your tires and they always check air pressure. It is recommended to follow your vehicles maintenance schedule but for those of us who just are looking for a general rule of thumb it should line up with your oil changes, 7500 miles or 7 months whichever comes first.

Why I Have Been Loyal To Them For Years

They don’t do all kinds of car maintenance. They focus on what they are named for and they do it well… TIRES. This means they are never going to put the wrong brand of blinker fluid in your car. You are not going to be charged for consulting fees because you came in for a flat fix and they decided to rummage through your engine looking (or creating) a problem they can charge you to fix when the only thing wrong was your flat tire.

With loyalty, that does not mean I do not shop around for the best price. They have price matched a competitor’s price for me in the past.

Final Thoughts

When it comes to taking care of my vehicles I start at my tires. I am known by the manager at my local store. I am there enough getting my vehicles and trailers tires balanced and rotated that they know me. My father started me using them and I am glad I have. My truck is always taken care of. I am always in and out in a quick and timely manner.

One final comment, keep in mind this is a large company and there are always going to be a few bad eggs out there. If you have a bad experience, it pays to not hold on to the anger but to share your thoughts and opinions with their customer service. I talked with a few today and it was a very good experience.

Witherspoon Distillery 2015 Review

I recently had the opportunity to visit my friends at Witherspoon Distillery in Lewisville, TX and interview the owner Quentin Witherspoon. (we apologize for the quality of the audio, it was a hot Texas day and the a/c distorts the sound quality)

Some outstanding recipes to follow!

Witherspoon Distillery’s current line up.

1. Witherspoon’s Texas Straight Bourbon Whiskey

2. Witherspoon’s Single Malt

3. Witherspoon’s River Rum

4. Witherspoon’s River Rum Reserve

5. Witherspoon’s Bonfire Rum

Witherspoon’s Texas Straight Bourbon Whiskey

 

Witherspoon Maple Old Fashioned Recipe

1.5 oz Witherspoon Straight Bourbon Whiskey
Dash or Two Bitters
1/2 oz Maple Syrup
3 oz Apple Juice

Witherspoon’s Single Malt

When we first opened this bottle, the aroma was very strong and almost it almost tasted the same as it smelled. If you have ever been privileged to drink a fine aged whiskey, you will understand the aroma as you could make out the different key flavors that are characteristic of being aged in an oak barrel.

The single malt was not as smooth straight and I ended up cutting it with 2 parts single malt to 1 part water. This is how I drink it now. I do not like my whiskey on the rocks because this is a slow sipping drink and the ice changes the ratio of water to whiskey.

Cocktail:

This is not a cocktail liquor to me, so I will share how I drink mine.

2 Ounces Witherspoon’s Single Malt
1 ounce chilled purified water

Mix the two ingredients in an old fashioned glass and enjoy.

Witherspoon’s River Rum

Witherspoon Distillery Hemingway Cocktail Recipe

1.5 oz Witherspoon River Rum
3 oz Grapefruit Juice
3/4 oz Simple Syrup
1/4 oz Lime Juice
1/4 Maraschino Cherry Juice

 

Witherspoon’s River Rum Reserve

I will be honest when it comes to this rum I just enjoy it on the rocks. To me, this is just a nice sipping rum and does not need a mixer.

 

Witherspoon’s Bonfire Rum

 

Witherspoon Distillery Apple Pie Cocktail Recipe

1 oz Maple Syrup
1.5 oz Witherspoon Bonfire Cinnamon Infused Rum
4 oz Apple Juice

Witherspoon Distillery
Witherspoondistillery.com

Comfortaire Company Review

I am a 189 pound 5’ 7” gym rat. I am not a 6’ 5” 325 pound offensive tackle for a professional football team. My bed however seems to think I am. Let me rewind and start from the beginning.

2015-08-17 14.15.58

The Prelude

Short cute story, I broke my back which ended with me in constant pain in my back. My relief normally comes from sleep, which I need from a bed that can cradle my body and keep me from rolling around at night.

The Bed

About 3 years ago I needed to replace my mattress and I found an ad online offering a Comfortaire Celesta dual chamber queen side airbed. My folks had bought a used Sleep Number Bed about 5 years prior. They loved it and have had no problems with it. I figured for the price, I would go and check out this bed.

2015-08-17 14.15.16

The lady I purchased the bed from was an older woman who had keep the bed in her spare bed room for guest. Since they were moving she did not want to take it with them and she wanted to sell it.

I looked over all the parts and found the bed was in perfect shape so I bought it and brought it home. A year and a half later I started noticing the foam between the pillow top and the air chambers had started to tear in the middle of the bed where I sleep. I let this go until last year when I started developing small air leaks on only one air chamber.

At this point I decided to call Comfortaire and see if they would help me.

Comfortaire and ‘Debbie’

Last year I called Comfortaire to ask two questions.

1. Will they warranty the foam pad or the air chambers even though I am not the original owner,

2. What is the air chamber made out of? (so I could patch the air chamber in the meantime)

The first young lady I spoke with was of no help. She did not know what the chambers where made out of. She told me that I should just use camping air mattress patching kits that use rubber cement. My second question had her even more baffled when I asked do they warranty either part.

I was frustrated at this point so I asked the customer support girl if she could transfer me to her manager. I normally do not like to call someone out in a review but for the sake of how horrible she was I am willing to put aside my rule.

I have to say at this point that while I will admit to being frustrated, I make it a point to never be rude or belligerent on the phone. No one deserves that, even if they are that way to me. I normally find that being polite and nice gets me what I need.

I spoke with Manager ‘Debbie’ about my dilemma about the foam tearing and to keep this review short I will just say she told me flat out that they do not warranty the foam on their bed because they know they will wear out and need to be replaced. (really? It is inside a zippered case covered by a pillowtop!)

Debbie is the type of customer service help you want to have helping the people you really hate. Debbie left a really bad taste in my mouth and is the whole reason I wanted to write this review. She was never really interested in helping me and at one point she told me to just throw away the bed and go and buy a new bed from a different company.

The Foam

Since Comfortaire was in no real mood to even discuss replacement of their foam I went and found a foam mattress topper at my local bulk item club and I replaced the foam. $75 for something that should be warrantied. Tsk tsk, shame on you Comfortaire.

The Leak

To date I have dealt with 7 cases of one air chamber leaking air through the night and giving me a bad night.

2015-08-15 07.07.07

My air chambers as I found out are not made of rubber or nylon or any of the normal patchable air mattress material. No, that would have been too easy. They made the air chambers out of urethane.

This means that rubber cement patching kits are worthless. You need to use superglue. The problem is that you cannot just put a few drops, you have to create a large patch using the glue, which takes hours to dry.

I have found I can use a rubber patching kit if I superglue the rubber patch to the air chamber.

I have also learned that getting into and out of bed is how the leaks have started. These air chambers are extremely thin, and I can only guess that I am rubbing the top to the bottom getting in. Also, anytime someone sits on the bed while someone else is laying in the bed, a new leak starts to form. The longer two people are on the bed, the bigger the leak gets. (Remember, this is a QUEEN BED!)

How to find leaks

Do you have an air mattress that you think is leaking but you do not know where?

I use an old spray bottle filled with a little drop of soap and then fill the bottle with water and then I spray the whole mattress while it is inflating and you can see the soap bubbles start to appear.

2015-08-15 07.03.09

Conclusion

If you are in the market for a new mattress I can only share my experience with you and say that if I had known what I know now I would have spent a little more money and gone with the Sleep Number Bed.

Comfortaire was rude and not caring at all when I tried to get help and no one deserves to deal with that.