Feb 3, 2021

Baseus foldable aluminum laptop stand

This is a minimalistic folding stand that sticks directly to the back of your laptop. It's aluminum and blends very well with the silver aluminum on my HP Envy 13. It's super high quality and works exactly as expected. This is unique be user it isn't bulky and stays with your laptop so you have one less thing to carry around (and one less thing to forget).

I bought this item from China and it arrived within a week! Super fast for free shipping from China.

Here's the link to buy (from Ali Express).
Price: $9.57

Anyway, I thought I'd do a quick review as it's a nifty gadget that is very useful when you're doing any amount of work on your laptop.

Baseus is one of those Chinese companies that make products the way Apple makes products: cool, high quality, and with awesome industrial design. I bought a bunch of products from them already but this is the first time I felt compelled to do a review.
I wouldn't be surprised if Apple buys this company out one day. Until then, cheapskakes like me can continue buying awesome products like this without Apple's markup.

One minor wish: I wish the bottom part of the leg is rubberized so it doesn't slip on smooth surfaces. But I think I can fix that with a nice rubberband.

Here's a few pictures of the stand installed:

Jan 20, 2021

Strangers I will never forget

An India couple who look similar to the people I met

A recent reddit post on this topic reminded me of an elderly couple I saw in India. It was an experience I will never forget so I thought I'd share this story.

Nine years ago, I was on a tour bus in India. As people on our tour hurried to get on the bus, a bunch of local street vendors pushed towards the door to hawk their wares. I took my seat (towards the back) and looked through the glass window to see what they were offering. That's when I spotted an elderly couple standing by the sideline. The gentleman was blind while his wife tried to sell some trinkets. She doesn't have a chance to push through to the front--her efforts were drowned out by the crowd. She had this look of defeat & gentle sadness that I could never forget. They weren't begging...just trying to eek out an honest living. 
I immediately checked my wallet and pulled out a $100 bill (emergency money) to give to them. That money isn't much to me, but I know it would mean alot to them.

Sadly I couldn't fight my way back out the front of the bus. The bus was late and people were trying to get on, not to mention the throng of people selling their stuff.
After a few minutes of trying, I gave up. I thought I'll donate the money to other deserving people throughout the trip, which I did, but the opportunity to help this elderly couple is gone forever.

I don't have a habit of giving away money, but this is one missed opportunity I will never forget. Now, whenever I see someone deserving, I don't hesitate to help. Don't get me wrong, there's tons of people begging but are not deserving. We've all seen Internet videos and beggars on street corners who shouldn't be begging.

TLDR: Don't miss an opportunity to help others. You may regret it forever.

As I write this, I can recall their faces. I can't help but think about how much it would mean to them. The opportunity to help them is lost forever. 😢

In that moment, I did not think to take a picture but here are some photos from that trip.

Dec 12, 2020

Dmitry Glushkov - Forever End Ever

Beautiful new trance. Turn up the bass!

Oct 24, 2020

Down with the Sickness - Cover by Ai Mori & Violet Orlandi

I loved the original but man, this cover is crazy good. Ai Mori (girl with the harsh voice) is just awesome here. You can feel the rage through her.

Let's get down with the sickness!

Open Door - Ai Mori & Mike Shinoda

This is such an awesome cover and tribute to Linkin Park from one of its fans.

There is so much energy in this song. It carries you through the highs and the lows, the soft and the rough, and it does so so smoothly. What a journey.

Sep 30, 2020

Convoy S21B and S2+

I ordered these lights at the beginning of the month but they took forever to arrive.

The package came from China but actually landed in the US within 4 days. However, at that point, the carrier messed up and routed it to Utah, Nevada, back to CA, then bounce around in CA for a few days before arriving at my door. Sigh...
Anyway, what matters is they're finally here.

I originally wanted a Convoy S2+ with the high powered SST40 emitter (1800 lumens vs 1000 on a typical S2+) so I can add my brass 18350 battery tube to it. However, when it arrived, I found that the thread on the new S2+'s are different now so the brass tube doesn't fit. Doh!

I also wanted a 21700 version so I ordered the S21A (2300 lumens). However, just after I ordered, I learned about a new Convoy flashlight called the S21B. I contacted Simon (manufacturer of all Convoy lights) to switch to the new light. He did it and threw in 2 lighted tail cap switches to boot. 😍

Lowest emitter modes

I love the S21B but the S2+ (at 1800 lumens) is no slouch. Both are very bright.

Brightness comparison
Camera fixed to F1. 5, 1/60s, ISO 400, 5000k WB
*Note: the S2+ high and max mode are dimmer  because I was using a low battery (my bad). 
With fully charged battery, its high and max modes are close to the S21B's.

Beam on max brightness (camera auto-compensated)
Left is S21B vs S2+ on right
This is with 2x 5500 lumen LED shop lights in the background so the beams are much brighter than this picture.

On max, the head on both lights warm up within 40 seconds.
The S21B's black aluminum body feels like it's rubber coated but it's just matte anodized aluminum. Very different design from S2+. The stainless steel bezel is a nice touch although I wish it was a bit larger to create more of a contrast against the rest of the body.

Beautiful emitters & AR glass

Said emitters in lowest mode

Pretty close in size. S21B on top accepts 21700 battery (also 18650) while the S2+ takes 18650. 
That gap between tail cap and battery tube bothers me a bit, but that's my OCD talking 😂

Both are SST40 5000K so they look very similar. This emitter is a bit green on lower power but they're bright white on high or max.

The 2 new lights flanking my current favorite Convoy light: Sand S2+ with 18350 brass tube.

I modded the S2+' s tail switch to a blue lighted switch then changed it to orange. This is on 20% remaining battery so it's dim. 

Here's a pic of it on fresh battery vs S21B (which will get the blue button treatment soon)

Sep 26, 2020

Keep them poor!

Wow. This short speech is eye opening.

We all know we have to work but we've been doing it wrong. You're not supposed to receive a paycheck.

Here's another great video. It talks about many things but the one that stood out to me is the 3 types of income.