Wednesday, September 19, 2018
Written by Timothy B. Smith

Colorado with The Prados

We went with some friends to Colorado to scope it out. We’ve been thinking of moving out of Minnesota, and Colorado was a possible destination. After seeing it for ourselves, that was definitely confirmed. It’s beautiful.

Camera: Sony α7 III
Lens: Sony 24-70mm ƒ/2.8 GM

Here are some of my favorite shots.

Thursday, May 24, 2018
Written by Timothy B. Smith

Focusing on Other Things

Hello peeps,

Just wanted to check in and let you know that I’ll no longer be writing on this site regularly, if at all. I’m sad to say this, but I feel like it’s the right decision. Writing here (and The Bold Report) has been a lot of fun and a lot of work, but this blog never took off the way I wanted it to.

And that’s ok. So this is the end. Thank you for all your support over the years, and for reading. I will be focusing more on my YouTube channel, trying to produce great content over on The Changelog, and audio journaling all about it on The Radio Column.

If you have thoughts, questions or concerns, feel free to send me an email at smith@ttimsmith.com.

Take care.

Wednesday, March 07, 2018
Written by Timothy B. Smith

Kevin Love and My Own Anxiety

Kevin Love’s recent article on his panic attacks helped me work through feelings I hadn’t been able to describe

Kevin Love wrote this wonderful piece on acknowledging his anxiety and getting help from a therapist. His story and recollection of events made me cry.

See, I also suffer of anxiety, and Kevin described feelings in a way I hadn’t been able to. I’ve had panic attacks for three years now. I remember the first one I had, right before getting on a flight to Los Angeles to visit family. My left arm felt numb, my heart was racing, and my brain kept telling me I was about to die. I was so scared. There’s something very sobering and terrifying about your brain being able to fake symptoms. That lack of control over your body can be difficult to come to terms with.

For the next few months, it felt like everything caused a panic attack. Too much coffee, a stressful situation, not sleeping well, needing to drive somewhere I’d never gone to, flying, and the list goes on. On top of that, I was unemployed and about to get married. When I look back, it was a perfect cocktail for panic.

At the time, I didn’t have health insurance, and had little to no money, so I never went to the doctor—much less visit a therapist. I really wish I had. Thankfully (and unfortunately), I learned that other members of my family suffered with anxiety and panic. Their stories, and how they’d dealt with it really helped.

The stigma of it all was difficult too. I was embarrassed to tell people I was dealing with this, especially when it was affecting other parts of my life. I’d have a panic attack and would feel exhausted the next day. I didn’t know how to tell people that I suddenly couldn’t do things that I’d committed to.

Three years later, and I haven’t had a panic attack in about eight months. I’ve learned that I can only have one cup of coffee with caffeine a day. I’ve learned that I need to make sure I get plenty of sleep. And I’ve learned that someone’s health isn’t made up of things you can see.

I’m happy Kevin Love spoke about this. In his piece, he says “Everyone is going through something that we can’t see.” Those words couldn’t be truer. Which makes talking about what you’re going through of utmost importance. The people that care about you, can’t show love and support on something they know nothing of.

I’ll let Kevin button this up:

So if you’re reading this and you’re having a hard time, no matter how big or small it seems to you, I want to remind you that you’re not weird or different for sharing what you’re going through.

Just the opposite. It could be the most important thing you do. It was for me.

Sunday, March 04, 2018
Written by Timothy B. Smith

Review: Jabra Move Wireless Headphones

The Jabra Move Wireless are a well-built and affordable pair of wireless headphones you shouldn’t ignore

The Jabra Move Wireless headphones.

Audio is important to me. If I’m going somewhere, working, cleaning, taking a shower, or just needing to relax, you’ll likely find me listening to something. Sometimes it’s music with a great beat, and other times it’s a riveting podcast.

Table of Contents Chevron Icon

  1. Criteria
  2. Quality
    1. Build Quality
    2. Sound Quality
  3. Fit
  4. Setup
  5. Price
  6. Final Thoughts

A while back, I was commuting on the train to a co-working space, and needed a good pair of wireless headphones. They needed to take some sweat from the walk, have great battery life, and handle being thrown into my backpack.

I decided to purchase the Jabra Move Wireless headphones. If you’re in the market for a great pair of wireless headphones, these may be the ones for you.

Criteria

  • Quality - You definitely want something well built, but when considering wireless headphones, the first question for many is how they sound.
  • Fit - Headphones need to fit comfortably, especially if you plan to wear them for extended periods of time.
  • Setup - The setup of wireless headphones has improved over the past few years, but it’s still an important consideration. Getting them from out of the box to playing audio shouldn’t take forever.
  • Price - Cost comes hand-in-hand with quality. You want high-quality headphones that don’t break the bank. (Well, maybe. Sometimes you do want to break the bank with cool tech stuff!)

Quality

Build Quality

The headphones are very well-built. The band combines a stainless steel frame with a soft material that cushions the top. The ear cups are plastic on the outside and soft pleather on the inside.

The stainless steel frame and the soft fabric of the headband, make for an aesthetically-pleasing look in addition to a quality build you can feel.

The Jabra Move Wireless headphones feel light but not cheap or easily breakable. They could definitely handle being thrown into your backpack or bag, and they can equally handle being dropped with minor (if any) evidence.

I haven’t tried showering while wearing the headphones, but they’ve withstood plenty of my sweat, and everything still works great. They’re easy to clean, but don’t look gross if you put it off for a while. The headphones have “move” in the name, so they’re designed for you to do just that.

Sound Quality

Bluetooth audio sucks. It just does. There is no comparison to wired audio. Bluetooth audio performed noticeably worse than wired audio when tested side-by-side. Which I should note is of no surprise. However, in many cases it’s not the headphone-makers fault. Wireless audio technology is not where it should be.

Still, Bluetooth audio is not created equal. Some headphones I’ve tested don’t sound good at all, even when not compared to a wired connection. Not the case with the Jabra Move Wireless headphones. The audio they produce is full and rich, and they handle a variety of musical styles excellently. Additionally, the headphones manage podcasts and talk radio very well.

Labeled earcups help you make sure you have the headphones on right.

I never felt like I was missing sounds I could’ve heard on other headphones. For me, it comes down to the fact that all Bluetooth audio is compressed—some headphones do a better job of hiding that fact.

Fit

I was nervous buying over-ear headphones. In the past I had bought a pair of Beats Solo headphones and was unhappy. Leaving the poor sound to the side for a moment, the fit was uncomfortable and my ears hurt after using them for short periods of time. I have big ears, so I’d sworn to never purchase a pair of over-ear headphones again.

These headphones changed my mind. Yes, they are over-ear headphones, but they’re comfortable. The ear cups are comfy and soft, and the headband is flexible enough to accommodate my large head. When I first got them, I tested the headphones for two hours straight and didn’t feel any ear pain or discomfort on the top of my head.

Jabra’s minimal branding helps these look great wherever you have them.

That being said, I do wish Jabra offered an around-ear option. Headphones like the Bose QC35 or the Sony MDR-1000X still beat these headphones in the comfort department because they don’t apply any pressure to the ears.

Setup

Here’s yet another area where Bluetooth fails. Pairing them with a device isn’t simple, and if you want to switch between devices, forget it! However, this isn’t a flaw of the headphones, it’s a flaw of the wireless technology being used.

Apple made a huge leap in this area when they came out with the W1 chip. This chip can be found in Apple-made headphones like the AirPods or Beats. If you own a pair of these, you’ll know how magical this chip makes the whole wireless experience. Pairing is a breeze, and switching between devices on your iCloud account is incredibly easy. Unfortunately, Apple doesn’t license this chip, and while I love my pair of AirPods, there’s no way I’m forking money over for the overrated and overpriced Beats.

The Jabra Move Wireless headphones unfortunately have the standard Bluetooth setup process. Nothing too terrible, yet nothing delightful either. If you, or the person you’re buying these for, is not somewhat tech savvy, you’ll need to follow the quick-start guide.

Price

As of this writing, the Jabra Move Wireless headphones are $69.99 on Amazon. You could spend more money, and get a lesser quality product. Essentially, this is a great price.

Final Thoughts

I’m very happy with my purchase. As I described, I do have some complaints here and there, but overall they’re a great product at a great price. If you’re in the market for a low-cost pair of wireless headphones, don’t overlook these.


Photography by Timothy B. Smith.

Tuesday, February 27, 2018

Rising Early | The Brooks Review 

Linked by Timothy B. Smith

Ben Brooks on The Brooks Review:

I really love ‘life hacking’ articles, specifically how they are based on sample sizes of one, often from people who have literally never tried anything else. (e.g. “I was born a vegan and that’s why I am amazing”, “Rich parents and how you can to”) And one of my favorite tropes is ‘rise early’. Why should you rise early? Because that person did it, started months ago actually, and shit has never been better?

I agree with Ben. This whole idea is pretty laughable. But humans love to give advice and their opinion. As my Dad says, opinions are like anuses, everyone’s got one.

If waking up at 5am works for you, great! I’m so happy for you. It doesn’t work for me. If I wake up earlier than 8:30am, I’m pretty useless. More importantly, I’m crabby. No one wants a crabby Tim.

As ends up being the case in a lot of situations, it comes down to what works for you. Honestly, I think the rising early idea becomes an excuse. It becomes the crutch that people use to excuse why they’re not putting out the work they want to, creating the successful business they want to, etc.

The great news is that you can do amazing things at whatever time of the day. Every single person on the planet has twenty-four hours, it’s how you use them that matters.

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