Thursday, April 26, 2012

The Battery Sucking Siege That Is The iPhone 4s...

I am a member of an extraordinarily large club.

I have an iPhone:

My iPhone 4s, with a Mophie battery pack...

While I've not completely finished my glass of Apple Kool-Aid, I must admit to being a fan. I probably exploit only a fraction of what the iPhone is capable of, though. Hell, I don't even know how to download music into the iPod app. But that's okay.

I guess.

When I got my phone, of course, I had to get the latest and greatest. The iPhone 4, you see, simply would not do. I would need the iPhone 4s. After all, it had an "s", so it must be better.

Right?

Well, maybe.

My biggest issue with the iPhone 4s is the battery life. While the iPhone 4 I had would, seemingly, last forever, the battery on the iPhone 4s would start to drain if you looked at it funny. This one thing was a source of great distress, and one which I vowed to overcome.

Enter the Mophie Juice Pack Air.

Basically, it's an extended battery for the iPhone 4s, and it's all but solved my problem. As you can see in the photo above, the battery pack sits on the bottom, and the rest of the unit serves as a case for the phone.

The Mophie has its power indicators on the bottom. Simply press the button and up to four LED's will illuminate to let you know how much juice you've got:

Power indicator on the Mophie Juice Pack Air...

The operation is simple. Assuming you've got a full charge (which, clearly, I'm not enjoying in the photo above), your iPhone will operate off its own internal battery when the Mophie is in the standby mode:

The Mophie Juice Pack Air in standby mode...

In the standby mode, the battery indicator on your phone will appear like this:

The iPhone 4s power indicator when the Mophie is in standby mode...

Flip the switch, and your phone uses the, well, "juice" from the Juice Pack Air:

The Mophie Juice Pack Air in the "on" position...

The iPhone 4s battery indicator with the Mophie in the "on" position...

I'm not a big techno-geek, so I usually don't get excited about techno-geek things. While I'm not excited, per se, I do have to say that I'm a fan of the Mophie Juice Pack Air. It does what it claims to do. Without it, I was getting between three and four hours out of my iPhone, with what would be considered "normal" usage. With the Mophie, though, I'm seeing between six and nine hours.

This pleases me.

The cost? It was about $80.00, which was a lot less than I could've gotten it online with shipping. That actually kinda' shocked me. Usually you find stuff cheaper on the web. You don't expect the lowest price to be at the Apple Store, which is where I got this.

So, if you're struggling with battery life on your iPhone, check out the Mophie Juice Pack Air. It'll cure what ails ya'...

Monday, April 16, 2012

Mud Runs And Some People's Kids...

The "mud run" is a relatively recent phenomenon. While they've been around for years, they've recently picked up a bit in the popularity department. Personally, I dont' get it. Not only does it involves running (which I am loathe to do), but it also includes obstacles and, well, mud.

A lot of mud.
Such was certainly the case with the Gladiator Rock n' Run, which was held on Saturday, April 14, just outside San Diego in Lakeside, California.
 
 
 Do you remember the show American Gladiators? It ran back in the early 90's, and one of the featured gladiators was this guy who went by the name "Nitro". Nitro spent the better part of each episode kickin' the Hell out of contestants who foolishly allowed themselves to believe that they could beat a group of "gladiators" who had the luxury of spending every waking minute of every day perfecting any number of different ways, of varying degrees of violence, to keep contestants from beating them.

"Nitro" began his public life not as a gladiator, though, but as professional football player Dan Clark, who played for the Los Angeles Rams. It was after this, and a stint in the European Football League, that Dan took on the persona of "Nitro" for seven years on American television.

Dan Clark, aka "Nitro", at the Gladiator Rock n' Run...
Well, "Nitro" has gone back to his given name (seriously, how would "Nitro Clark" look on a driver's license?) and now puts his energies into the Gladiator Rock n' Run, which benefits TACA (Talk About Curing Autism).

There is very little that is not stupidly insane about a Gladiator Rock n' Run. Depending on where the course is being set up (it travels around the country), the course is three to four miles long. In the case of the recent even here in San Diego, the course was made up of 17 obstacles that participants had to navigate. The obstacles included everything from a castle, to a "polar bear plunge" to a 100 foot water slide.

There are those who take events like this very, very seriously. "Mudders" they're called, and they train hard to do well in these events. It's usually very easy to spot the serious runners from those who, let's say, try to have a bit more fun in the process. Take a look at these two pictures, and see if you can tell who's who:




The entire event really is a spectacle. Aside from the personal challenge and charity aspects, I'm not entirely sure why someone would do this. But do it they will, and they do it with gusto.

Enjoy:

The bottom of the water slide...

Approaching the obstacle "Storm The Castle"...

The top of the water slide...

Even the Ivory Tower crowd comes out for this event...

The bottom of the water slide...

Someone PLEASE get a brutha' a stick of Orbit gum...

Negotiating an obstacle in "Western Town". Because they had, you know, Chevy Suburbans in the old west...

Oh, and there were these guys shooting at the participants, too...

Phillip Rivers wept...

Yeah... Me neither...

A "wave" of starters; numerous waves started throughout the morning...

Storm The Castle... In your tutu...

The water slide...
 
Sarah, who helped keep the day running smoothly...
The Polar Bear Plunge was continuously fed a supply of wonderfully frigid ice...


These chicks are just psyched. And dirty. They dirty and they're psyched...

I've been trying to figure out what could go so wrong in someone's life that they would do this, but I got nothin'...

She has yet to hit the Polar Bear Plunge. She will be sad soon...

Physical fitness is a definite requirement for finishing well...

And this guy is actually clean by comparison...

They were a team. And they were miserable...

He probably didn't HAVE to jump that high, but it's cool that he did...

Hosing off some of the participants at the top of the water slide...

This isn't really the quarterback of the San Diego Chargers...

One of the many GoPro camera users...

Hulkamania... Representin'...

Team Marine...

This is Rosie, your friendly neighborhood beer garden volunteer. Thank you, Rosie. Thank you...

Another wave of starters...

The beer garden crew, compliments of Karl Strauss...

This is either a wig, or it's Claudio from Coheed & Cambria...

She should be okay after two more...

 If the Gladiator Rock n' Run (oh, they have bands, too) finds its way near you, go check it out. Even if you don't participate, you'll have an absolute blast just watching the insanity unfold...






Let's Talk Apps...

From time to time, I'll be talking about cell phone apps as I find good ones. Let's face it, it's almost impossible to get thro...