We went to see The Book of Mormon on a Tuesday night

Gotta love the randomness of life sometimes. Well, the good random events. Not the type where you fracture your arm on the way to work.

Nums has had some interesting luck this past year with playing these lotteries for tickets to NY Broadway shows. She won tickets to Hamilton twice last year. In February, she won two tickets for a Tuesday night performance of The Book of Mormon. I think they were $30 a piece and we’ve been interested in seeing it for a while. 

After work, I hurried on up to Midtown to meet my wife for a quick dinner before the show at Dos Caminos. I was happy that she was up and about. She fractured her arm back in Jan, had surgery, and has been slowly on the mend. To see her out in New York was a nice thing to see again.

We had dinner at Dos Caminos around the corner (about a block) from the theater, then hoofed it in the freezing cold. Our seats were up in the Statler and Waldorf section, and I sat in what was basically a high chair, but I can’t complain too much. It was good to be out with my girl. 

The show itself was very entertaining and inappropriate for children. I was pretty tired but I got a 2nd wind during the 2nd act, and I felt better.

We took a cab afterwards to Penn, and took the train home.

My wife has an interesting story about her boot falling apart and finding nice pair of Sketchers in a 7th Ave souvenir shop, but I’ll leave that for her to regale you with that strange tale.

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I finally got around to watching Incredibles 2 (2018) and it’s great!

Can you believe that I never saw Incredibles 2 in the theaters when it came out? The Ipes had planned to see it all together, but something came up, and I couldn’t make it at the time. It’s difficult to find free time these days, but I sat down over two days to watch the film on Netflix’s streaming service. 

The film features almost all of the original cast, despite the sequel coming out 14 years (?) later. And the film takes place immediately after the end of the first film with the Parr family fighting the Underminer. I thought it was a gorgeous film – it is clearly set in the early 1960’s, and I got a huge laugh catching scenes from Jonny Quest and Thunderbirds on the TV within the show.

For someone who didn’t particularly care for Finding Dory, I was pleasantly surprised to find this film just as good as the original. Good plot, great looking film, interesting characters. 

Incredibles 2 (2018)

Incredibles 2 (2018)

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Lily and the Spelling Bee

I mentioned that Lily was attending her 2nd spelling bee ever while we were standing in line at Immigration and Customs in Newark Airport. Last year, she made it far but not to 1st, 2nd, or 3rd. As we were traveling, my father-in-law agreed to take her to the spelling bee. This is the same spelling bee organized by the Greater Hightstown Juniorettes in our town every year, and Josh participated and won 1st and 3rd.

(Thanks for Cori and Sue for their work every year!) 

Anyway, there we all were, standing in line for 90+ minutes, with other people in attendance live-texting us all updates. The pressure was fierce, and we all looped around the line, updating each other. In the end, Lily came in 1st place. Pretty darn awesome.

She got her name in the local paper, and will be heading to the district competition on Feb 23rd, which will be held at the New Jersey State Federation of Women’s Clubs’ state headquarters in New Brunswick.

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Exciting home updating news – new TVs (and new devices) in interesting places

We had a $200 credit from Verizon / Samsung after upgrading our FiOS plan. It had sat around unused for many months because I didn’t know how to use it. We could use it towards a new TV, Chromebook, tablet, or some other Samsung product, but a new 65″ 4K TV was the only item that looked interesting. I decided on a Samsung 65″ n7100 series TV for the family room. It was fairly inexpensive compared to those $2000 or $3000 models, so I wasn’t sure if it was gonna be cheap looking. Old Joel would have turned his nose up and held out for the fancy shmancy model at quadruple the price. But we’ve had an inexpensive Vizio for 4 years now, and seriously, cheap can be good enough.

It took two weeks but it arrived mid January and I set it up in the Family Room. We moved the old 55″ Vizio to the Master Bedroom, where it will be wall mounted. The Samsung n7100 series is a decent low to mid range set. It has some apps (such as CBS All Access so I can watch Star Trek: Discovery) and overall setup was a breeze. UI interface was fine. We’re not using the built-in speakers so I was able to disable them. Josh was the only person to be incredulous about moving to a larger screen, but I think he likes it now.

While it’s a 4K TV, we’re not watching any 4K content yet. We are still using the Tivo Roamio Plus (because we can’t afford or make a strong case to upgrade to a brand new Tivo Bolt Vox at this time), and I don’t want to upgrade our Netflix plan to watch 4K content (would need the Bolt or some other additional streaming device as well.) For now, we will stick to regular HD, which looks good.

With the master bedroom all painted, we had the electricians come in price out installing new outlets, mounting the TV, running new Cat 6 network cables down to the basement, etc.  I also selected and picked up a Tivo Mini Vox (instead of adding another DVR or cable box), and a Samsung HW-MS650 3 channel soundbar. We went with a simple tilting wall mount.

The TV is up, and the network cables allow fast streaming between the main Tivo Roamio Plus in the family room, and streaming other content. We did install a floating shelf, but it doesn’t seem to fit the outlets, so we’re going to move the shelf up higher above the outlets. Unfortunately, while I measured the shelf, I didn’t know and account for the wooden board that the shelf would hang from, which limited the available space for the outlets.

I’ll post the shelf picture after we rehang shelf.

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A couples-only extended weekend in Punta Cana for a friend’s 40th birthday

Our friend Sofia turned 40 this year and her husband Teo arranged a surprise extended weekend getaway (couples only) for family and friends. As much as we love a sunny getaway, we have a lot of expensive home projects in progress or planned, plus the big India trip this summer, and the logistical headaches of arranging care for the kids while we are away at the end of January. It would be fun, but fairly impractical.

Then again, for Nums’ 40th birthday, Teo and Sofia were the only ones who not came out, but came to party. So come hell or high water, we were gonna be there for our friend to repay the favor!

Before the trip, we made mad preparations. We arranged for my in-laws to watch the kids (staying at our house, or staying at their house), provided a detailed itinerary, helped Lily make a Pinewood Derby car for a Girl Scout event, helped Lily prepare for a district spelling bee, made arrangements for Josh to get to and from various events, etc. It was busy.

We would be away from Friday morning to Tuesday night. No snow in the forecast, and good weather in Punta Cana. I ended up staying up all night Thurs night packing and finishing up work tasks. What’s an all nighter to me, you know? We said goodbye to the kids, and got picked up by another couple at 5:15 AM. We all got to the airport around 6 AM, and went through a long baggage drop-off and security check-in processes. We ended up all surprising Sofia while in the security check-in line. I’m glad no one blew the surprise.

The flight itself went well. We arrived at the resort in the mid-afternoon and met Sofia’s brother and wife. We had a nice 1st floor room, and after resting briefly, we went to check out the pool.

There isn’t a big need for a detailed day-by-day summary. We all spent the next few days enjoying the sun and sand and pool and drinks. The weather really cooperated. While the Excellence El Carmen facilities and staff were good, I thought the food was mediocre. Also, the drinks were often lower shelf unless you went to specific bars on the property. I also hit up the fitness center twice, and it was much nicer than I expected.

We all had a very good time, making jokes, playing games, and relaxing. We also played a few games of beach volleyball, tried our hands at some archery, and watched the evening shows. Here are some select photos, and I’ll try to add more.

Eventually Tuesday came around, and it was time to go home. Our flight was delayed due to mechanical issues and weather, so getting home was significantly delayed. Once we got to Newark, there were massive delays at Immigration due to non-working computers and being severely short-staffed. It took us over 90 mins to make it through Immigration. During the interminable wait, we got live updates on Lily’s status at the 2019 Hightstown Juniorettes Spelling Bee. We eventually got home around 11 PM.

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I’m trying something new – life with Google Assistant, the Google Home Hub, and Google Mini

We’ve been using the Amazon ‘Alexa’ AI assistant through their Echo Dot product since Oct 2017. After about a year of heavy usage, I still think it’s interesting. The family and I have various uses for it. I like that Amazon has various ‘skills’ to hook and connect into other products around the house for home automation. The kids like the timers and parlor games. Nums uses the timer and alarms only – mostly for the kids. What I don’t like is the AI often runs into challenges when attempting to answer more than a basic question. 

I’ve been keeping up on all of the popular or available AI assistants out there for about a year or two. There are plenty (Alexa, Google Assistant, Siri, Bixby, and Cortana) but there are really only three big players – Alexa, Google Assistant, and Siri. Sorry, but Bixby and Cortana are still works in progress. 

I really need a good alarm clock, as do the kids. I’ve been heavily considering the Google Home Hub for us to use in the master bedroom, and a Google Mini for Josh to help him set alarms. For some reason (he’s a teenager!), he doesn’t want to walk up in the morning. So here we are. 

It’s been almost two weeks, and the Home Hub is interesting. Google Assistant is definitely smarter than Alexa. I like having the screen to look at the weather, news briefings, and search results. I wouldn’t use the built-in speaker for listening to music, but it is sufficient for everything else.

Lily likes to see the picture slideshow (especially when she is the featured picture of the moment.)

While I’ve connected the thermostats, I don’t have anything else to integrate with it. I still have to connect the alarm system, and I read somewhere that the Iro Rachio sprinkler controller is compatible. However, I don’t have much else yet that is compatible, and that was one of my concerns going in. 

  • Integration with Sonos is coming in 2019 (fingers crossed).  When? No idea.
  • I am planning to replace all four exterior lights (driveway and front door) and I will use smart LED bulbs so I can set them on timers. This won’t happen until the Spring at the earliest.
  • We are planning on installing new blinds in the family room (some with automation.) If so, I’ll look for Google Assistant compatibility. 
  • Currently no integration with our Cozi family calendar and shopping lists.

So that’s it for Google and the Home Hub? For now, I guess. It’s promising, but I wish it did more now in the present.

As for Josh and the Google Mini, it seems to fit his needs. He use his regular alarm clock to look at the time, and uses the Mini to listen to music, set alarms, to ask for weather and the news. It’s a win-win for him. So that’s something. 

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My reflections on 2018 and what lies ahead for us in 2019

While it’s a bit exhausting to go back and review every post from the past year, and I’m always missing something monumental and unforgettable, this is still my favorite thing to do. I find it fascinating to look back at what we did (or did not) accomplish, and what we expected to do in the coming year.

Life, Love, and Family Update

Let’s talk about me:

  • I’m 42, and I think I’m veering dangerously into making “Dad jokes” on a regular basis. This is disconcerting. I have to up my game.
  • Work was very busy for me this year. More so, as I led my first audit here at my current employer. It was an interesting but rewarding experience. Stressful towards the end, but we got her done. I didn’t travel very much for work — virtually a one day trip to Boston that was over in a blink.
  • I’m still losing my hair, which is a little sad. Recently, I started having the hair stylist (Styling is a bit of a stretch for me) cut my hair with those buzzers at a 0.5 which is very short, but seems to keep my haircut tight. I think it makes my scalp and hairline blend together, and shampooing my hair is now every economical..
  • I was chubby again at the start of the year, so I went on a bit of a regimen on counting calories, running more at the gym, and biking more often with a group of guys in town.  I dropped a good 10+ lbs since Jan. Dieting and portion control was important. I’ve also been enjoying the group bike rides. The pace is slower than I prefer, but the camaraderie is nice.
  • I’ve also surprisingly been doing a lot more running this year. I’m not a naturally fast sprinter, but like the dwarves of Middle Earth, I’m dangerous over long distances. I’m currently averaging 3-4 miles per workout, but recently have been able to run 5-6 miles now at a time. That’s pretty good for a guy like me who doesn’t particularly like running.

My wife:

  • My wife is still vivacious, exiting, and gorgeous.
  • Nums started in a new role this year at a new place in NJ. It’s a big challenge to start a new gig after so many years at one employer, but she’s pretty amazing, and always impresses me. Mazel tov!

Joshua:

  • Josh is still Josh. Smart kid, and his wit is getting better.
  • He turned 13 this year so he’s officially a teenager. He’s in his last year in middle school, and will be in high school in 2019. He sleeps a lot more now, and has a tendency to eat a lot more now too. And, ssssh, he’s also a bit more moody these days. Definitely a teenager.
  • I may have mentioned that the transition from elementary to middle school was a little rough for him — faster pace, higher expectations, etc, but he’s been catching on and working improving his skills this year. He still doesn’t have his phone or Nintendo 3DS back yet, but his grades are almost at Asian-Parent-Approved levels.
  • Josh is still heavily invested in karate. He received his black belt in Tae Kenpo in June. Big day for him after all those months of practice. He’s still on the CMB Karate Demo Team, and the kids performed this year at Wells Fargo Center, Arm & Hammer Park, and at Rutgers.
  • Speaking of Arm & Hammer Park, Josh and his middle school 7th & 8th grade bands performed there in April, which I think is cool.
  • Joshua went on his first mission trip with our church. A few kids from our loosely-organized youth group spent a week in Harrisburg PA doing community work. I think he had a good time overall.
  • Josh is moving on up in Boy Scouts. He went away for a week at Camp Kiowa this summer. He’s earned a mess of new badges, and reached his Eagle requirement for 20 camping nights. He was the troop bugler for a few months, but is now a patrol leader in his Troop. He’s currently at Star class.

Lily

  • For this school year, the school district made drastic changes to accommodate all of the students. They moved all kids in 1-3 to certain schools, and grades 4-5 to two other schools. In the transition, most of her friends ended up in the other classroom, so she’s been doing her best to make new friends. It’s not been easy but I’m glad she’s doing what she can.
  • Lily earned her black belt in Tae Kenpo karate in October. She wanted to test for it back in June, but she wasn’t ready. It took a few more months, and then a very intense two week period before the test. She did it, and we’re certainly proud of her.
  • First time ever – Lily went camping for a whole week. Sort of camping. She had been asking to stay at Crossroads Bible Camp for a long while. And she finally got to do it.
  • Lily is still really into Girl Scouts. She completed her 3rd year and is now a Junior.
  • Lily moved on up to a more serious 20″ bicycle with handbrakes and gears this year. A big step up.
  • Lily is still an acolyte at church and  she seems to like the responsibility.

The Cats:

  • The cats are fine. We only had a few successful escape attempts this year, but we caught them quickly after.
  • Scamper is still fat and fluffy. Toasty is still grumpy and disappears for hours at a time. We’re not sure where he goes.

Trips

The Ipes are all about trips and vacations and going places. We didn’t disappoint this year either!

  • We went on a road trip to Charleston North Carolina and Orlando Florida in March/April. We drove in one day to Charleston, did a minor bit of sightseeing, celebrated Easter Sunday at a very nice Episcopal church there, and had brunch. We spent about six days at Universal Studios, the parks at Disney, and just plan old relaxing. We even met up with a few families while down there – some planned, and some not planned!
  • I went on a one day trip to Boston for work, but I barely saw anything.
  • The biggest news has to be our trip to London in August. This was our first family trip to Europe, and first international family trip outside of the Mexico – Caribbean area. It was an expensive trip to be sure, but it was a pretty fantastic trip. There was so much to see and do there, and we tried our best to experience it.
  • Our last trip of the year was a road trip to Pittsburgh and Michigan. One, we’ve been wanting to hang out and see Pittsburgh for a few years now. Two, we haven’t visited our friends in Michigan in a long while, and we were definitely overdue. Pittsburgh was a cool city.

The House

Oh man, we have been doing a lot of updates this year. We have more to do in 2019, but we need to stop and catch our breath for a bit. In chronological order of

  • New cooktop for the kitchen
  • Landscape lighting replacement (ripped out the old lights, installed working replacements / added all new lights)
  • Upgraded our home broadband speeds
  • Removed the legacy horseshoe pits
  • Added new pantry shelves for cans and stuff
  • First floor bathroom renovation
  • Replaced and installed brand new garage doors, openers, and all related hardware
  • Began our master bedroom renovation project

Other Stuff That Doesn’t Fit Anywhere Else

  • I left my beloved OrangeTheory Fitness in January after four years of being a hardcore member. I was very happy with the workouts and the trainers, but I couldn’t make the class schedule work with my own schedule. I was only able to attend either 5 AM or 7 PM classes (both tough for me to make it to), and weekend classes (which are mornings only, and extremely crowded.) I’ve been using Jersey Strong in Robbinsville, which I consider a budget gym, but it’s large and… “good enough.” I occasionally take a class, but often I’ve only got enough time for running for 30-60 minutes.
  • We completed a cool Lego project this year — Lego Voltron!
  • I’ve wanted a dedicated machine for hosting my Plex media server, and with enough storage and redundancy. I purchased and installed a new Synology Network Attached Storage, and it now stores all of our photos, music, home videos, digital movies and shows. I wish the processor was faster for streaming large films, so I am on the lookout for a small but fast PC with an Intel I5 or I7 CPU to act only as the Plex media server.

Favorite Moments

  • I loved getting all of these renovations done in the house, even though they cost us an arm and a leg.
  • I liked that we finally got more pictures on the walls. It’s almost like we live here.
  • I love that we finally made it to the UK. I’ve always wanted to make it to London, and it was worth the wait.
  • Seeing the kids achieving things, like new scout ranks, new levels in karate, etc. I’m proud and happy to see them improve and get smarter every week.

Worst Moments

  • My parents and I still have a tough family dynamic. Especially my mother. It’s been tough to have this situation go on, but I’ve been realizing that my parents have limitations. No matter how much I try to reason with them, it seems beyond their capability to understand or change their ways. And they’re aging and missing out on family experiences and it all sucks. I respect my parents for what they did for us, but I’m frustrated that I can’t help them. It’s a dark cloud that hangs over me every day.

And Finally…. Looking Ahead to 2019

  • Well, I’ve got a business trip to Germany potentially happening in February / March. I’ve got my fingers crossed that it happens. It’ll be tough to be away from my family, but I think it will be a good experience.
  • Our family is planning to make a trip to see Dubai and India this summer. I haven’t seen my family in India since 2004, and my 2nd cousins there have grown up, graduated college, gotten married, and had kids of their own. It’s crazy. I do miss them and would like to see them again. I also think the Ipes will have a good time traveling together on such a big trip. This will be the kids’ first time to Asia.
  • We plan to paint the interior of the house, and add some recessed lighting. We also want to add more landscape lighting to the front yard and side yard, and maybe string lights. Oh, and I do want to replace the backyard speakers if I can sneak it into the budget.
  • I also need to test out the existing network cables in the house, and redo some of them. I paid an electrician last year to do them right, and blargh, they aren’t right.
  • I want to redo the home office, and clean out the guest room, and at least one storage room.
  • I’d love to get more of the basement finished.
  • We’re scheduled to have the master bedroom walk-in closet painted, with new lighting, and a brand closet system installed in late February. Should be nice.
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Wrapping up the Christmas week with a day in New York

The Tree at Rockefeller Center 2018

The Tree at Rockefeller Center 2018

We’ve all been (mostly) off from work and school this week, and it has been pretty relaxing. Sure, Nums had some work to catch up on and I had all these online classes to take at the last minute to earn some much needed Continuing Professional Education credits, but it’s been a relaxing week overall. The kids slept in every day (teenage Josh especially), and I slept in on occasion as well. The kids and I also had a few Nerf battles in the house using some of our new toys.

We decided it would be nice to head to the city at the end of the week to see the tree at Rockefeller Center. We also considered other things we all wanted to do. For example,

  1. Lily wanted to visit Trinity church down in the FiDi and check out the gravesites for Alexander Hamilton and other American Revolutionary War notable figures.
  2. Nums wanted to grab dinner or dessert at Serendipity 3 up on the Upper East Side and see the tree at Rockefeller Center.
  3. Josh wanted to visit the Nintendo store (again.)
  4. I didn’t have any particular needs, but would not have minded finally visiting the One World Observatory.

We considered going to New York on Fri but it was cold and rainy. We pushed the trip back a day to Sat Dec 28 instead.

We were running late trying to find parking in Newark, and then there were train delays as well. The Trinity church cemetery supposedly closed at 4 PM and we were running a big risk of missing our window. Once we got to WTC, we hustled up and out and arrived at the church by 3:55 PM. Would they deny us entry? No, we were worried over nothing. We walked grounds for 45 minutes and no one said anything at all. By this time, I needed a coffee and we had a 5 PM time slot to visit the observatory.

Coffee and cheese danishes now in hand, we walked over to 1 WTC. Now I have some advice to share. When booking the tickets that morning, i was offered an opportunity to upgrade to Priority tickets. For around $4 extra per ticket, you get access to the ‘Priority’ lines when entering and exiting the building. I couldn’t find too much guidance online and while I didn’t want to waste $16 on a dumb upgrade, I remembered long lines attempting to exit Willis Tower in Chicago many years ago. I opted for the upgrade.

Best $16 I ever spent.

The regular line? A long line outside in the cold. Priority line? Much shorter! We soon went inside and downstairs to some Priority security checkpoint. We soon took the elevator upstairs to the 103rd floor, then the 101st. Nice views. We stayed for about an hour, then made our way to the exit. Huge line snaking around the entire floor. But aha! There was a priority exit line. Super short.

Best $16 I ever spent!

Dinner at Anassa Tavern

We took the train to 59th St to try for dinner at Serendipity but there was a 2 hour wait. We walked down the street instead to eat dinner at a Greek restaurant called Anassa Tavern. They had seats and a bar!

After dinner, we walked all the way to Rockefeller Center. Huge crowds. We saw the tree… and the crowds, and some audio/visual show at Saks. The kids checked out the Nintendo store for about 30 min and we took our seats along the window in Purgatory with the rest of the parents.

And that was it for the evening. We took the train back to 33rd St, walked to Penn, took a crowded train back to Newark, then drove home.

Big afternoon and evening and we got most everything done (75%). Nums made reservations for Feb at Serendipity so we’re gonna try again.

 

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Last movie of the Christmas Break – Mary Poppins Returns (2018)

[I’m still catching up on my Dec 2018 posts. 2nd to last one here.]

We went to see Mary Poppins Returns, the 2018 sequel to the original 1960s Disney film starring Julie Andrews. Emily Blunt portrays the fictional Mary Poppins (who doesn’t age – she’s a witch or something, right?), Lin-Manuel Miranda plays Jack, a lamp lighter (and former apprentice of Bert.)

Set in 1930s London, twenty-five years after the events of the original film, it sees Mary Poppins, the former nanny of Jane and Michael Banks, returning after a family tragedy. In the intervening years after the original story, Michael’s wife passed away. All of their savings have gone towards keeping afloat, and now they are in danger of losing the house.  His sister Jane is lives nearby, seems to be an civil rights activist, and currently single. In the midst of all this, Mary Poppins returns to help the family by lifting their spirits.

While the family liked the movie, I didn’t particularly feel that there really was much to the story. It’s basically a little bit of plot connecting one set piece and musical number after another. While I liked Emily Blunt in the role as Mary Poppins, she was certainly working hard. I mean, she is singing, dancing, making faces, cracking jokes. I felt exhausted on her behalf.

I heard the film is doing very well, and there are already plans for a sequel. That’s fine. If you’re a fan of Mary Poppins or musicals, by all means, see this film. It was a bit too fluffy for my tastes.

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New additions to my life – the Sonos Connect and Klipsch in-ear headphones

I’ve always loved music. I’m a visual person at heart, but music has always been important. I enjoyed my music classes in junior high school. I played string bass for 8 years before college. I keep an extensive local music library. Music fidelity is important to me as well.

Recently, my wife has taken to gently mocking me for the number of speakers I continue to add to the house. I think she supported me originally, but now it’s probably a little ridiculous. We’ve got a pair of Sonos Play:1 speakers in the Lounge. In the Family Room, I invested in large Klipsch floorstanding speakers, a large center channel speaker, and a powerful subwoofer. We used to be a Sonos Play:5 there, but I’ve temporarily moved it to the Master Bedroom. Last summer I got the old outdoor speakers hooked up, but I’m seriously considering yanking out the original wiring and cheapo Audiovox speakers, putting in wiring properly and installing a volume control box and nice Klipsch outdoor speakers. I probably won’t do the outdoor replacements until I hang up string lights.

In addition to music, I also really love light.

In December, I added two new components to this audiophile’s life:

My new Klipsch R6ii-II headphones

My new Klipsch R6ii-II headphones

I received a nice pair of Klipsch R6i-II in-ear headphones from my wishlist for Christmas. My previous Klipsch headphones were starting to show serious wear and tear, then finally disappeared. Don’t be suspicious. I didn’t lose them on purpose. The Universe took them away from me. 😉

With the recent Christmas parties and get-togethers all coming up at the time, I was troubled / annoyed that we couldn’t synchronize the music on the first floor. While we can do 95% of what we need independently between the Sonos speakers in the Lounge, and the Sony STR-DN1080 receiver in the Family Room, they wouldn’t be in sync. If you’re gonna have a party, you want the music to be the continuous as you walk from one room to another. 

Okay, maybe you don’t, but I did. 

To accomplish this last 5% task, we would have to invest $349 for a Sonos Connect. Plug that into the receiver, and that achieve the last mile. But for $349? Was it worth it? I went back and forth on this for days, but I had been thinking about it for months. Or at least the cats in my head had been batting it around for a while. My wife honestly couldn’t have cared less (because she’s a practical person), and nobody liked the price tag.

Sonos Connect

Sonos Connect

I had a conversation with my friend Paul about it, and his take was, “Well, YOU seem to care about it because you keep obsessing about it.” It was true. Maybe it wasn’t practical at all, but it obviously bothered me. So I went to Best Buy in Lawrenceville on the day of the 1st party, bought a Connect, set it up, and it works well.

Three parties later, and it’s a nice feature we have in the house. I’m still not happy with the price tag, but what can you do sometimes. If you truly want something, you have to try your best to make it happen. Of course, to make this worthwhile, we’ll need to have many more people over to make use of it.

So, please feel free to invite yourself over in 2019 and come jam with us!

[Now I need to figure out how and when we should budget for the new outdoor music setup, and a Sonos Beam for the master bedroom.]

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