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5 Random Things I Did This Weekend

Here’s the latest and greatest from the land of…well…me?

1) Reverse Unboxing

Sometimes, unboxing comes after product usage.  As strange as that may seem.  Occasionally I’ll get final products without boxes.  Either because the boxes weren’t ready yet, because I was borrowing a product someone else already unboxed, or because it was quicker/easier to ship without a box.

That was the case this weekend when I finally got around to unboxing the Garmin Index WiFi Weight Scale that came out a little while ago.  I’ve been using it on and off over the last few months, but just not a unit that was all boxed up pretty.

So I took some time to unbox and photograph it, and then re-run through the setup procedures to see what (if anything) had changed.

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Mid-way through my unboxing I noticed a group of photographers across the street.  Or rather, a photography class.  They appeared to be practicing taking action shots of cars/bikes/motos coming down the street.

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They did this for a surprisingly long time.

Anyway, random distraction complete… The scale setup process was cleaned up a bit from when I last tried, and worked without issue for me.  The ‘new’ scale otherwise seems just as  normal and content as the other unit.

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Of course, the primary reason for such an unboxing is to get a review out the door.  We’ll see how the week goes.

2) Breaking out the cookbooks

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We have a fairly healthy stash of cookbooks.  Which, shouldn’t be confused with having healthy cookbooks.  In fact, the vast majority of our collection is either for dessert items, or more foodie type cookbooks.  Plus a few staples of course, like The Joy of Cooking.

On Friday night we had friends over for an Italian themed dinner.  I probably have 15-20 Italian cookbooks, but settled on four specific ones to narrow down my options from:

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From there, I ultimately ended up pulling recipes from two specific ones, a ravioli recipe from Mozza, and a sauce from the ‘The Complete Book of: Pasta and Noodles’. Note that I cannot be held responsible by your partner for any cookbook purchases you may make (I’m currently serving a cookbook purchasing ban, by The Girl).

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For an appetizer we were fairly cheese focused, starting with a baked camembert, and then some fried zucchini blossoms (the ones we made and froze a few months ago).

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Then it was on to a two-course pasta menu.  First up were gigantic raviolis, with a ricotta-nutmeg filling (and an egg).  We then did a brown butter sauce with sage.

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Then after that we made some fresh pasta rags, along with a ragu sauce.  I like rags, it’s simple, just slice and dice the fresh pasta.

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We had leftovers of some of the filling, so we refrigerated it and then the next night The Girl and I made more raviolis.  It only takes about 10 minutes of work to make fresh pasta (well, at least assuming you have the Kitchenaid pasta roller attachment).  So I just whipped up a small batch and we made some fettuccini to go along with the raviolis.  The Girl made some mini raviolis too, just to use up the last of the filling.

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Mmm…

3) A Saturday Wander

Saturday we spent most of the day not working (a rarity around here).  We just walked up Boulevard Saint-Germain (one of the major shopping/etc boulevards here).  Our goal was to eventually get to a poster shop toward the far end of the boulevard, but we just sorta went from small shop to small shop along the way.

Or, perhaps just from chocolate shop…

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…to chocolate shop…

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…to shops that sold edible things that were (almost) as good as having chocolate in them.

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We did eventually get to the poster shop, though didn’t end up buying anything this time around.  However, the owner was incredibly friendly and had plenty of travel tips.

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Probably one of the friendliest store employees we’ve met yet in France.  We’ll definitely head back some time again.

4) Sunday Runaround

On Sunday I met up with one of the lead engineers from PowerTap that was in town following working with pro cycling teams elsewhere in Europe the last few weeks.  Though no riding for us, instead just a run around the city in the morning.

Somehow, I forgot my camera on the way out the door.  So, here’s an image of our route:

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And here’s an image of the watch afterwards.  Obviously, if you combine the above and the below, it’s just as good as a photo of the Eiffel Tower and the Louvre, right?

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Ok, maybe not as good. But it’ll have to work for now.

There wasn’t any secondary purpose for the meet-up, other than just him being in town and going for a run.  However, it sounds like they’re getting closer to releasing their first iteration of advanced pedaling metrics for the PowerTap P1 power meter pedals.  And the display of those metrics looked pretty interesting.  Of course, more on that later once they’re ready.

Now just as I’ve given Garmin a hard time for recently with their Cycling Dynamics – companies have to make these metrics useful to consumers, merely throwing numbers out there isn’t good enough.  There are some aspects that make this slightly different in the way they (PowerTap) presents those numbers however.  So hopefully they’ll be able to wrap more training and racing guidance based on that.

5) Off to ISPO!

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It’s rather early morning Monday, and I’m in the air for the short 1hr flight from Paris to Munich, for ISPO.  That’s the massive sports trade show held each year in Munich.  It’s not focused so much on any one sport (i.e. not just cycling like Eurobike), but rather sport in general.  So it’s got a bit of everything.

I don’t expect any sports technology announcements from any of the majors here.  That all happened at CES a few weeks ago.  And historically we haven’t seen much at ISPO either (the only items that come to mind is that Polar announced their V650 a couple of years back here, and I think Suunto may have timed one of their Ambit Run announcements in the past too). Neither have anything on tap this week.

There’s a lot of reasons ISPO is a bad place to make product announcements – starting with the fact the show opens on a Sunday.  From a media standpoint, that’s a huge killer.  Sunday is notoriously one of the least read days of the week (competing with Saturday for that privilege).  Not only that, but most publications only have a skeleton staff on-hand, so announcements are barely more than PR copy passes.  Further, many journalists might not even show up till Monday (just like I’m doing), and companies lose all of the ‘PR pop’ that’d have gotten on a Monday/Tues/Weds show opening announcement, because that Sunday announcement is now ‘old’.

So the main reason I’m here is mostly for side meetings, and talking with a few smaller companies that weren’t at CES.  I’m just spending the day though – 6AM flight over to Munich, and 6PM flight back.  It’s all about efficiency!

With that, thanks for reading!

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57 Comments

  1. Adam

    I’m looking forward to the Index review. Reading the Garmin Forums makes it seem like the usual apocalyptic Garmin product launch, but it’d be interesting to hear your thoughts!

    Is there any news on whether Garmin are actually working on syncing that data with other services e.g. pushing the weight data to Training Peaks?

    Reply
    • Regrettably I haven’t heard anything about other platform support yet. Everything really kinda comes down to whether or not you solely use Garmin Connect.

      Reply
    • Jin Briafield

      They don’t even seem able to send the data to their own devices for some reason. Don’t know why you have to manually tell Connect to send any updated weights to the watch, seems crazy!

      They really ought to sort this out. I bet the RHR doesn’t update automatically either in the new Fenix 3 HR…

      Reply
    • Actually, some of the more recent ones do now update weight. For example, I know the Vivosmart HR does. And I’m pretty sure the FR235 did too (which would mean the FR230/630 do). I’ll poke around.

      I’m not sure what you mean though on RHR not updating?

      Reply
    • Jon Briafield

      Just wondering whether the training zones are automatically adjusted based on RHR data should it vary at all. Thinking in principle rather than any great expectation of huge changes.

      I have a Fenix 3 which doesn’t update for weight variation, can’t see why it shouldn’t, my Ambit 2 used to do it.

      Reply
    • ian r.

      I just got my scale (finally in UK !!) and as Ray said out of the box, synced in fine within a minute or so and the readings received.

      Now I do wonder about the synching aspect and esp to Training Peaks as obviously rides do now and would be useful for my coach to see them (update manually of course). Training Peaks unlike other is not really a direct competition as aimed at a different market.

      Reply
  2. Undortok

    Ray, you are living in europe now, please be so kind and post all your workouts and info not in that stupid american miles/per hour, but km/ :) Thanks.

    Reply
    • Note that I didn’t actually post any miles/workout stats in text in the post.

      A pictured showed how far I ran on the watch itself. I think photoshopping the watch is going a wee bit too far.

      Reply
    • Tim Dolan

      Britain is in Europe and we use miles, which are originally an English measurement. 😉

      Reply
    • EB

      I am I’m Britain too. Other than for driving most people I know use km.

      I did use minutes per mile for running in the 80s and part of the 90s.

      Meters are also a standard SI unit and used world-wide.

      Other than old people I don’t think it is helpful to make out the British are so backward.

      That said I wouldn’t complain about Ray thinking in Miles, as that was what he grew up with. It’s not like he’s converting the money into Shillings and pence.

      Reply
    • Phil A

      You have to remember that inherently for most things people do not post they are happy they post when they are annoyed or having trouble with things, so forums will usually be the annoyed people not the happy people.

      Reply
    • Gareth Jones

      If you’re unhappy with differing units, then check this Strava thread link to strava.zendesk.com – which has been going for over 2 years – and Strava still won’t display units in a flexible manner (which should be a simple issues, as many posters point out) to suit the international community.

      The units you use are usually very personal. I’m in the UK, and drive in mph, but ride in km/h (a hangover from lots of cycling in France, watching list of cycling and many of the off road races here are measured in km) – though I can mentally convert between them reasonably quickly and accurately.

      Reply
  3. june

    as Ray said in one of his recent videoed presentations, Garmin product launches are normally pretty good. so i’m not sure why you think they are apocalyptic.

    Reply
    • Happy Runner

      I haven’t seen that video but am amazed to read that. Maybe it’s just that people with problems are the ones who take to the forums, but it seem like Garmin has problems with firmware from launch to product obsolence. Definitely agree with Adam that many early adopters of the scale had massive setup problems.

      Reply
    • I believe my comment was more about how a company launched products from a media standpoint, not so much a consumer perspective (since i believe your referring to my Symmposium season on ‘How to launch a product’).

      I’d agree some folks had early scale setup issues (including myself in beta). However in doing setup now it was one of the fastest setups I’ve ever done one a Garmin device.

      Reply
  4. Edoardo

    Hi Ray!
    I am happy to see that, even of you live in Paris, you are smart enough to refer to Italian books for fine cuisine! :-)

    Ciao!

    Reply
  5. My first thought looking at the Suunto pic was how much more readable and clear it is than my Fenix. Then I realised it’s because your arm isn’t bouncing around as you run – looking at it in the office my Fenix looks just as clear :)

    Reply
  6. Doogie

    I’m done waiting and it’s your fault! For a couple of years, I’ve been eyeballing a pasta roller at my local kitchen shop (Kafers for those US folks in Germany).

    I’ve always thought it an unnecessary cost…not any more. I’m rolling (no pun intended) out this week and getting my pasta making on!

    Reply
  7. m9inger

    I’m quite familiar with the boxing up process of the Garmin Index scale…I boxed mine up several times after giving up on getting it to sync with my wifi. I was excited about this smart scale and couldn’t wait to get one but the frustration of what should have been a simple setup made me return it. I’m looking forward to your full write up and the comments that follow.

    Reply
    • How long ago was that? I know things were ugly the first few weeks, but in looking through the forums, I’m only seeing a single setup complaint this month. I was impressed with how clean it was (using iOS device anyway), compared to when I first attempted setup just prior to launch.

      Reply
    • m9inger

      I just got the scale for Christmas. I was using iOS for the setup but the bluetooth connection seemed flaky, The phone would go into this random bluetooth icon blinking loop and the scale would get hung up with the wrench on the screen. Also the wifi icon on the scale had an “X” beside it and never would connect up. I read some blogs about it and most of the comments talked about having to change the security settings on my router, something I’m not willing to do especially because all my other Garmin devices have connected without issue.

      Reply
  8. Chris

    The idea of cooking sounds quite appealing when sitting here before my workday looking at your photos… but once it comes down to it I’m just too damn lazy to learn to cook like you!

    Reply
  9. Tim

    Slightly off topic, but you mentioned Powertap :)

    Any Powertap G3 Dual BLE/ANT cap update?

    Hoping for a few things:
    -it is not dead
    -they have decided the price is, at most $99, hopefully close to $50.

    I noticed the BLE cap on Clever is now $49, that’s a solid price if they can get the dual in that range.

    Reply
    • Not dead. In fact, it’s the only thing that’s alive now. 😉

      Back in Jan 1st, PT shifted to doing all dual ANT+/BLE caps for all PT hubs going out the door (and thus, all PT products in total).. I don’t see the dual ones showing as being available by themselves, I’ll ask why (I’m sure it’s just a listing thing).

      Fwiw – the beta/prototype unit I’ve been testing since last spring has rocked. Zero issues. So your post serves has a handy reminder for me to find out how to buy a dual one and send that test unit back…

      Reply
  10. Hi Ray – Great choice of cookbooks! My girlfriend actually works as a cook at Osteria Mozza – Nancy Silverton is her Chef and Hero! She has brought home that exact ravioli pasta before and I can tell you that your pasta looks just as good as the pasta at the restaurant! If you’re ever in LA she says she would totally welcome you at the restaurant!

    Reply
    • Lucky duck you are!

      I’ve still gotta get better at getting air out of the ravioli, as that would reduce the wrinkles a bit more. And I was too lazy to walk down the street the Studio, as somehow our ravioli cutter ended up down there. But, they still tasted great!

      (Now booking tickets to LA…)

      Reply
  11. about GARMIN BUG in PowerTap P1…. complicated relationship
    link to blog.zitasport.com
    News about this?

    Reply
    • Have you double-checked your P1 firmware? The Garmin/P1 power spike bug was fixed back in October. I haven’t heard of a single instance of it occurring since then.

      Reply
    • Garmin EDGE 520 version: 2.10
      PowerTap P1 version: 22.026

      Reply
  12. Lisa

    It seems like you had the most productive of weekends! And fun, too. I hope your meetings during the Sunday ISPO were as satisfying as the seemingly delicious dishes you made!

    Reply
  13. Jill

    I shouldn’t heave read this post this close to lunch.
    Your dinner looks awesome!

    Reply
  14. Gabe

    Ray – I’d be 20 lbs overweight being around all the delicious food youre always around :)

    Regarding the scale – the Myfitnesspal integration has been broken for weeks. Myfitnesspal team is aware and working on it.

    Any word from Garmin if they will update the firmware to allow for multiple weights per day?

    Also have you noticed how sensitive your scale is? It turns on when i enter the bathroom just from the floor movement.

    Reply
    • ian r.

      yep same here as well but boxed in and fine ha ha !

      Reply
  15. Ivan

    will joule gps display those cycling dynamics? or…
    thank for the info…

    Reply
  16. JG

    Can’t believe you made the egg/ricotta ravioli. Is it a culinary trend right now? I was planning to make a first attempt at it yesterday, but our two hour mountain bike ride turned into a four hour ride with multiple bonks.

    Yours looks really tasty!

    Reply
    • I’m not sure if it’s a general culinary trend to be adding egg yolks to things – but it’s certainly become very popular here in Paris. But that’s also a bit of a French (and Italian) thing too.

      Reply
  17. Jackson

    What watch is the Girl wearing above? Food Looks great BTW

    Reply
  18. Phil A

    I could supply you a template copy if you wanted, but I found One Note is awesome to use as a cookbook. Obviously if going for something new you would look through the real thing, but when you find something that you like or use regularly then it is a great place to store them to find quickly.

    Reply
  19. Mathieu D.

    Hi Ray,

    any recommendation for an athlete friendly cookbook?

    Reply
    • Anonymous Coward

      If VeloPress prints it, you’d probably want to buy it. Like The Feed Zone Cookbook. After that, it’s a matter of diet preference: paleo, vegan, …, and their respective “Diet X for Athletes” cookbooks. Amazon reviews probably have a broader sample base to gauge your interest against.

      Reply
    • Yup, I’d agree with that book. I’ve got it and found the recipes are pretty good. Book here: link to amazon.com

      Reply
    • Phil A

      It is not really a cookbook, but it does have a bunch of recipies. I have only tried a couple, but the book “Training Food” ISBN=9781848992665. I think the information it provides was pretty decent also.

      Reply
  20. Jim Toye

    Ray … Regarding the Index scale. I ordered and received mine a few weeks ago. There were no issues syncing and it was working fine, then I quickly realized that only the most current weight etc. could be permanently recorded in Garmin connect on any one day. Each previous reading gets overridden and lost.
    I contacted Garmin to check if there was a setting I was missing explaining that I’d like to record pre / post work out weights / water content etc (for same day) and they confirmed that the scale would only maintain the most recent data point. I sent it back the next day :(

    Reply
  21. Scott

    Back to the Powertap advanced metrics…

    Would I be correct in assuming that they would only be available if using the Joule to record? Guessing they would NOT be available via a Garmin Edge.

    …And any mention of releasing PowerTap Mobile for Android?

    Reply
    • It would definitely not be available on the Edge (that’s more of a Garmin restriction at this point, the rest of the industry would be happy to transmit in a standard, but Garmin has locked it down).

      Right now the focus is on the app via BT, though I’ve just sent a note asking for clarification on how it works with the Joule.

      As for PT Mobile for Android, they’re essentially going to split a bit. They know the lack of Android firmware updater sucks, so they’re going to stuff that functionality into the CycleOps Virtual Training App on Windows, so that you can get the update done (as rare as they are). No subscription will be required to use that functionality. From there they’ll figure out how the Android piece will work longer term. There really isn’t any useful functionality within the iOS app beyond the FW update, imho. Obviously, once it collects advanced metrics…that’s a different story.

      Reply
    • Scott

      Thanks Ray. Suspected as much about the Garmin. Don’t imagine there would be any way to fudge the new metrics via ConnectIQ.

      Holding out hope for a fully-featured Android app. Especially if PT is focusing on the functionality via Bluetooth.

      Reply
  22. Angus

    I see you have one of those rare John Grisham cookbooks 😉

    Reply
  23. John S.

    If I were in your shoes, I would ask to have my B sample tested before accepting the cookbook ban.

    Reply
  24. David

    I just noticed that your “re-unboxing” of the Garmin Index still didn’t include a picture of the box.

    Reply
  25. szyMarek

    Nice Pebble Girl :)

    Reply
  26. Gareth Jones

    The practising photographers made me grin. I used to run a training course for Nikon, and we used to do a similar exercise on the side of the road. The driver reactions were interesting, varying from waving through the windscreen (various gestures!), slowing down to the speed limit, and stopping and querying what was going on, and once or twice threatening that we couldn’t take pictures of their car/van/truck – which in the UK you can…

    Reply
  27. Edwin

    This video will show you gps-free gadgets to cut minutes off your ravioli-making race times:

    link to youtube.com

    Reply
    • I believe somewhere I actually have the Kitchenaid Ravioli maker (same as this, just fits on Kitchenaid). And I believe the last time I tried it years ago, a small kitchen almost died.

      Reply
  28. Daniel

    What are those pie looking things on the rack? It was the photo above the poster store.

    Reply
  29. Lindsay Mauldin

    Fail… I was in Munich the exact time you were. And, that would explain why there were pretty much no cars to rent in munich :)

    Reply