Last year I officially gave up on my Fitbit Charge 4. It was great until it wasn’t. Since I’m a glutton for punishment, I got yet another fitness watch. This time, the Amazfit GTR-3 on a recommendation from a co-worker.

The pros and cons? Pros: great battery life, customizable color screen, built-in GPS. My only real complaint is around the face automatically turning on/off. When I look at the face it won’t always automatically turn on, so I’ll go to press the button on the side and a split second before I press the button, the face will self-activate.

What happens is similar to “Layout Shift” on websites. Your finger or cursor is over a button, then bam! Something else loads and moves something (that you didn’t intent to tap) right where you were.

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My daughter really enjoyed exploring the lake at the cabin via paddle board last year, so I thought about getting her one:

I never like the idea of getting a kid summer stuff (bikes, skateboards, etc) for Christmas because in Minnesota you have to wait another 4 months before you can even think about using it. Getting her a stand-up paddle-board (SUP) for her birthday in May would be a better idea.

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I just got done with a fantastic first season with MBI Winds, a new independent hornline that competed in WGI’s Winds class. Our goal was to create an outlet for horn players of all instruments and all ages. We set out to show how hornline culture is cool 😎 And it was the hardest thing I’ve ever done.

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I wanted to buy a USB audio interface to use at home when working on the backing track for MBI Winds. Our winds group uses a multi-speaker setup (currently 3 channels) that I wanted to be able to easily replicate at home without pulling out 2x 100-pound speakers and a 32 channel mixer πŸ˜…

So many choices!

I started by looking at interfaces on Amazon, starting with the hugely popular Scarlett and the Behringer 4-channel units. I asked around at work because lots of folks like to use USB audio interfaces for podcast mics, or simply to get rid of headphone noise induced by their computer’s main board. After asking my list went from 2 to 6 units.

Then I found myself on Sweetwater looking at their expansive list of USB audio interfaces (over 200 😲).

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It’s now officially cheaper to subscribe to renewable energy through Northern States Power, a.k.a. Xcel Energy–Minnesota, North Dakota and South Dakota. It’s not by much – only $2 on a recent $200 bill, but it puts to bed the argument that renewables aren’t cheaper. Let’s take a closer look.

We have two electric vehicles and aren’t (yet) subscribed to a EV charging plan. This is mostly because Xcel wants you to buy or rent their hardware and I wanted a particular type of charger. So we use more electricity than our neighbors, which according to Xcel use around 600kWh/month. We’re also subscribed 100% to renewables (solar and wind).

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