Hey, it's the rare and elusive Personal-type post! Yes, my Summer vacation has already come and gone; just got back from a two-week road trip with the family, and thought I'd share some product highlights I you might enjoy.
- We rented a fully-loaded Ford Taurus Limited rather than take one of our smaller family trucksters. Nice car! (keep in mind I'm used to driving a 17-year old Honda Civic). There were no instruction on the Ford Sync system, but I was able to get some of it running and it'd probably be nice to have full time :-) The multicolored ambient lighting was a big hit with the kids (and me), and the backup camera embedded in the mirror was a big help - it's a pretty big car, and one of the minor drawbacks was the small rear window. The only other thing I didn't like was the placement of the cruise control off switch, which I inadvertently hit a few times. I'd consider buying one if I had the money. Paul's score: A-
- The car came with SiriusXM satellite radio, and the best station I found by far was the 80's station on channel 8, satellite 1. Score: A+ \m/ :-)
- We were really winging this trip, with only a few actual appointments with family and an event along the way, so being able to make hotel reservations along the way was necessary, and Priceline.com was wonderful for this. At all but one spot I was able to save at least $50 per night, and actually was able to narrow my bid criteria enough to get the specific hotel I'd wanted (Priceline lets you specify rough location and number of stars, but not the specific hotel). Score: A
- I had upgraded to iOS4 on my iPhone shortly before leaving, and didn't realize until under way that my audio books hadn't synced, so I went looking for new podcasts to explore. Best find by far is the new CBC show, This is That. Damn funny stuff! Score: A
- Best iPhone / iPod Touch app for those down times: Slay. Score: A-
- While visiting family near Missoula we had to stop at The Book Exchange, and what should catch my eye on the discount rack but Lord of the Libraries! How could I pass up such a title, and for only $2? Turns out to be the third in a fantasy series by Mel Odom (I also got #2, The Destruction of the Books, which I'm about halfway through). Since I haven't finished reading any of them I can't really give a proper score, but as Young Adult fantasy literature It's looking like a B- so far.
- I saw my first DCI (Drum Corps International) event, and while the family and I enjoyed it, my recommendation would be to make sure there are plenty of World Class bands involved; the Open Classes really weren't any better than my High School marching band (of course we absolutely rocked back then (see point #2 above about the 80's). But do check it out if you get a chance - fun stuff.
Those are the highlights as far as you're concerned, hope there's something useful for you there. Back to laundry and unpacking for me!