DC Rainmaker

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Oh hey there Newsletter peeps.

This is me crawling out of my jet-leg/ where did the sunshine go, sad, hidey-hole. To say I have been in a fog for the last week is an understatement. It feels like I have only gotten through the bare minimum of normal daily tasks like, feed, bathe, and account for children, occasionally get myself a snack, and refill the coffee pot. Fear not, I have actually done a lot of stuff, it’s just that when those tasks are more geared around 20+ loads of laundry and bringing kids to doctor’s appointments, and I am still left staring at a mountain of 5 weeks’ worth of mail I need to translate, and an un-godly piled of receipts to file…. Meh… motivation goes in the hole!

So I ignored the mail. I ignored the receipts. I did feed the children. And ultimately… I procrastinated a weeks’ worth of the newsletter! I’m sorry. Sorta. Anyone else in a head fog/funk? No? Okay then, here’s me pulling my shit together and getting on with it! Let’s all go see what productiveness Ray was up to while I was sleeping:

One of the last posts Ray uploaded to the interwebs while we were still in SA was the piece regarding Zwift and Esports, and the challenges that lay ahead. There were a lot a critical items tossed out there regarding how to pre-race verify different elements of the athletes: weight, trainer calibration, and trainer accuracy. In reality what we are talking about here is cheating and the long list of ways to gain unfair advantages as an e-racer.

Come on. WHY? What is it about cycling, and professional sports in general these days? The amount of cheating and the common occurrence of it is really a shame. I have found myself the least interested ever in watching professional sports and Olympic competitions in the last 5-6 years. You can say that I am disenchanted. There should be a zero tolerance policy for all athletes competing in any registered event. Period. I don’t care how fancy you think you are with all of your sponsors. You cheat. You’re out. And any organization/program that has had more than 1 athlete busted within a 5 year period… boom. You’re on the sidelines for X amount of time/competitions and publicly flogged for it. Send that message down the ranks to the grass roots programs, and maybe in a few decades we can have clean competition again.

So my thoughts on esports… meh, the levels of cheating and altering data is going to be a revolving minefield. Good luck to Ray and the rest of this online sporting world to continue to search and discover ways athletes can get ahead without earning it. End Rant.

Next up, was a big win for Garmin. The Vivoactive 3 Music devices saw the integration of the Spotify music app. I am sure that was super welcomed by consumers, as it is one of the more affordable wearables and now sporting the music feature is a wow moment. Please heed my previous advice, especially young ladies, practice safe music while out and about exercising. Be it on the trails or roads. If you’re alone, have some awareness of your surroundings, or maybe only wear one ear piece? Okay? End second rant.

And then, you have the last post from Ray in SA. Should have been titled “The Last 5 Random Things I did in SA” I just did a quick scan back through the pictures and somehow it already seems like months ago we were standing atop of Table Mountain?!?! Ray managed a great final ride with the group he met up with each weekend, and he and I had one of our favorite dinners to date, so if you’re in the mood for some general photography eye candy check out that post.

A fun post that Ray created was “How to Find your Lost GoPro”. Highlighting 3 different tricks/tools you can utilize to find your prized vacation or downhill footage. The post was inspired by Ray having actually lost his GoPro on a mountain biking escapade the week prior and finding it again by taking pictures remotely on his phone following the beeping coming out of the bush! SPOILER ALERT: Then, we went and filmed a quick how-to video for the post, and somehow the man managed to re-lose his GoPro in the process. Another way of putting it, he has too many things on his mind, and literally forgot the GoPro in the bushes where he was taking B-roll. We packed up the car and he didn’t realize until after we got back to the rental house. Doh.  

For an entertaining list of all of the things Ray found interesting on the interwebs, you should check out his Week in Review post. I am generally impressed by the goodness he rounds up… just it’s still a little eyebrow raising to understand where he finds the time.

For a second round of 5 Random Things, this time back in Amsterdam, have a read there. I died yesterday morning when I took a read of the post myself and saw a picture of our littlest Peanut with a look of dazed and confused on her face. Not unlike how I had been feeling the same day. The Girls were super-troopers on the way back from Cape Town and have seemed generally un-fazed by the commute home. Not the same can be said about their appreciation for having to wear winter coats and pants again, but all the same, they’re doing great.

And now, last but certainly not least, hot off the presses. Ray just posted the Power Tap P2 Power Meter Pedals In Depth Review. I was rushing to get this newsletter into your inboxes so I have not even cracked the web browser myself!

Oh - and there's a just dropped momenets ago new Fitbit product post!

And that’s all for last week’s tech talk. Next up we have the fabulous world of Audio-Visual.


Here’s the quick and dirty round up of all the videos posted last week:

·         Spotify on Garmin Vivoactive 3 Music

·         3 Ways To Find Your Lost GoPro

·         Friday Night Live Q&A

image PowerTap P2 Power Meter Pedals In-Depth Review
image 5 Random Things I Did This Weekend
image Week in Review–March 3rd, 2019
image Three Quick Ways to Find Your Lost GoPro
image 5 Random Things I Did This Weekend: Last Cape Town Edition

In-Depth Thoughts from The Girl

Okay okay, here we are for the cherry on top of the weekly newsletter. I’m officially a full coffee deep at this point and hopefully starting to sound a little more awake and cheery!

So what’s happening, how did the trip home go? Well, we packed up in true Maker fashion from Cape Town, and headed to the airport for a midnight flight. I will say, without any parental biases, that our kiddos did fantastic on the 12-ish hour flight from Cape Town to Vienna, Austria. Did the four of us get a full nights rest out of the flight? No. Absolutely not. But, did either child suffer from any screaming fits or melt downs? Nope. Did we disrupt any other passengers on board? Nope. The youngest peanut did in fact sleep about 8-9 hours pieced together, and the eldest… hmmmm 6? Errrr maybe 5?

See she discovered this new thing called “TV”. Once we installed her car seat on the plane and buckled her in, she now had that little extra arm reach needed to access the built in entertainment screen on the seat in front of her. Given that she has very limited screen time in her real life… one could say she binged. Like burned her eyes out watched all the family movies available and then some repeated. We figured this one wasn’t worth the fight, and to save those around us we let the cards fall as they may. She eventually fell asleep and we turned the entertainment system’s screen off.

Once we landed in Vienna we had a (enter forehead slap now) 6 hour layover. So we packed the kids into the double stroller and went into the city in search of a giant park and some fresh-non-airport-air. Due to said fresh air, both of the Peanuts slept for a solid amount of time, and the oldest one, arguably the entire time.


And lets take a moment to give the Vienna Airport a gigantic high five for installing the ultimate "Family Gate". They had a two story soft play gym for kiddos, it's awesome, and it's actaully really clean/well taken care of! #Winner

After all of that playing around, we took a quick hop back to Amsterdam. Where we were welcomed by our regular super awesome airport shuttle company that never blinks an eye at the amount of luggage, car seats, strollers, and bike bags, we manage to Tetris piece into their vans. 15 minutes later we are dropped at our door like we never left.

We all arrived home a little skinnier and a little tanner than when we left post Christmas. And that’s that. Somehow I’m still walking around like a bad of bones, but Ray is already up and off to NYC for the last two days and maybe gone again this weekend. We will see, you’ll have to stay tuned!

If I may indulge for a minute, I’m going to send out another massive thank you to my fam-jam who helped us in South Africa! They aren’t big on having their pictures on the internet, but I know they are reading! We couldn’t have done the trip without you!

As always, thanks for reading.

~The Girl

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