dbrand Grip case for lPhone X

Sure it’s been almost 3 years, but here’s something I’m actually excited about. I’ve been looking for a case similar to the discontinued ZuGu Social cases for iPhone, they were silicone but not sticky and low profile. I loved them but for whatever reason ZuGu stopped making them after the 7/8. I looked and looked for a similar case for the X, but anything I found was either too bulky or the silicone was too sticky. I had been using Spigen Classic C1 but it was just a little too bulky for me. Enter the dbrand Grip, to me a worthy successor to the Social. It’s silicone but not sticky, and low profile too. Also they can be customized with Skins on the back. As a protective case it is proud of the front screen to protect the face from a fall on a flat surface (of course, one should use a screen protector as well, and dbrand sells the Prism which they claim can stop hammer blows, I put one on my X, but I’m not testing that), it also is proud of the rear camera lenses on the back. The sides of the case have a bit of texture on the sides but it’s not too ridged so I’d doesn’t seem like it will attract grime.
In all, my first impression is very favorable, it feels great and looks good. I hope to post an update after sometime with it.
The inside of the Grip case

The back of the Grip case with the white carbon Skin


Proline Pro-MT review

Last night I finished building my Proline Pro-MT 2WD 1/10th scale monster truck. I wanted to do a build video series, or at least have a series of pictures. However, I was too excited to get it built and I don't have the best video equipment available.

Thus I only have finished pictures, I don't even have a picture of the body before I painted it.

I am pleased with the result of my first kit build in over 12 years. Most Radio Control vehicles now a days are Ready to Run, or RTR.  this means they're already built, and at most you have to provide a battery. The Proline Pro2 and Pro-MT kits require building, but they are considered "partially assembled" because the shocks, transmission and steering rack are built and in the latter two cases installed on the chassis.

Having those fiddly bits already built is a very nice feature, especially as the build quality from Proline is top notch.

That doesn't mean there are no gotchas or things to look out for in the kit. I have always had trouble with turnbuckles, and I still do. I can never get the two sides exactly equal, they're always off by at least a few 10th of a millimeter. Maybe it doesn't matter, but i always feel like I'm letting the engineers down if I don't get it 100% correct.

Proline has adopted a no e-clip design philosophy that I whole-heartedly support. E-clips are evil and tend to fly off randomly. Granted the nuts used in place must weigh several times more than an individual e-clip, but the ease of assembly and maintenance make it worth while.

Let me layout the equipment I used:

Proline Pro-MT 2WD 1/10th scale monster truck of course.
Castle Creations Sidewinder SCT combo
Futaba 3PRKA Transmitter
Futaba R203GF receiver
Futaba S3152 Digital Servo
Robinson Racing 19T Pinion
Aluminum Lock Servo Arm 2h M3 Mount M3 25t Fut
That's the needed items to get the truck into stock trim.

I did add a full set of Proline Pre-mounted Primes, because I live next to a parking lot that is empty 90% of the time.

Here's a link to a Running Video at YouTube of the stock truck with the stock Trencher tires at an off-road track not too far from me. The track is very dusty, and not well maintained, but the Trenchers hooked up almost too well, doing wheelies if I punched the throttle too hard.

Here's a running video in the 'fore mentioned parking lot. Also a lot of grip for nearly slick Primes, more wheelies and some traction rolls. It is a fun setup, and I think the tires will lose some of their grip as they get used, so we should be able to slide it around a bit more.

All in all, this is a great kit, with terrific production values. The only caveat I would note is at least here in eastern PA, there isn't great support for parts in local shops. But the same can be said of anything not from Traxxas or Axial, there's not much HPI support or even Team Associated or Losi parts on walls, also it seems locally the crawler is king... which I don't find interesting at all.



Happy Holidays, or RPG.net seems to attract a bunch of whiners

Happy holidays to all, I don't think many people read this anymore, but what the hell?

Also, completely unrelated, RPG.net is as ever the home of the ineffectual "Screw you guys, I'm going home" farewell post. Every month or so, some user gets all bent out of shape over usually a fairly innocuous bit of moderation, or policy and leaves in a huff with a "parting shot" of a goodbye post. Sometimes it's the awesome "You can't handle the truth" justification of why some user should be allowed to say whatever they want. Other times, it's the time honored conspiracy theory that the administration is "silencing unpopular opinions that don't mesh with the hive mind" with the unstated supposition that the opinion is objectively correct and true. Another favorite, which honestly I haven't seen in years, the personal grudge against some member of the volunteer staff that bubbles up and leaves most of the population scratching our heads.

Always it just strikes me as odd, the rules of the forum are very clear, when there is a change in policy sometimes options of the users are solicited, often they are not. It seems like Greek tragedy levels of hubris are needed to believe that a community the size of RPG.net would benefit from one's goodbye letter.



Watch review

Christopher Bojarski asked for a review of the Watch, so here goes:
I've only been wearing it for a day and a half now, with recharging it last night around 19:00 for a little over an hour, to get to 93% or so, then I wore it to bed. I'm currently at 36% so I'd say 18 hours of mixed usage is definitely achievable.


My History with Electronic Cigarettes

First a little history:

I'm a heavy smoker, I don't really know why. As a kid, my parents didn't smoke in front of me, I had uncles that smoked, but it wasn't appealing to me. I never smoked in high school, but in college I started smoking.

After that I felt like I was born in the wrong decade. I wished I had come of age in the late 50s or early 60s when one could smoke anywhere. I love the old editions of Emily Post etiquette books when it was considered rude to not provide individual ashtrays at the dinner table for each guest.


Et Viola!!

 Just got it, so the white is still pink, from the trauma.
 And it's shiny because I just put some Ointment on it.
It's tender too, but I'm told that shouldn't last more than half a day.

Whatever could be under the Bandage?

The unveiling will be around 14:30 EDT to day
Duh duh Daaaaah!


About to get a bit more Evil

So I have an appointment to get my Evil Hat tattoo done on Saturday the 9th of February. Voila:
I intend to document this as much as possible.