Dear Sony, please don’t make Ghostbusters 3

With the passing of Harold Ramis yesterday, naturally the next Ghostbusters movie is a topic of discussion amongst the movie sites today. Harold Ramis played the character “Egon Spengler” in the original Ghostbusters movies and my favorite Ghostbuster.

Ghostbusters 3 is in the works at Sony and was supposedly scheduled to shoot this year with director Ivan Reitman directing who directed the first two Ghostbuster movies. Apparently the script for Ghostbusters 3 is going to be “tweaked” due to the death of Ramis according to THR. The involvement of the original Ghostbusters has been said to be “minimal” – likely as cameos with the story focusing on a new group of younger Ghostbusters (Bill Murray has actually opted out to appear in Ghostbusters 3 all together). Here is what Dan Aykroyd says the plot of Ghostbusters 3 is:

“It’s based on new research that’s being done in particle physics by the young men and women at Columbia University… Basically, there’s research being done that I can say that the world or the dimension that we live in, our four planes of existence, length, height, width and time, become threatened by some of the research that’s being done. Ghostbusters — new Ghostbusters — have to come and solve the problem.”

Dear Sony, DO NOT make this Ghostbuster film. I’m begging you. This isn’t Ghostbusters. This is a completely different movie. Ghostbusters is about 3 crazy scientists (parapsychology professors in the original) who figure out a way to catch ghosts and then market themselves like pest control but for ghosts (which makes it all fun and entertaining). Not stopping threats to our existence from other dimensions and things like that.

There are critical things you must have for Ghostbusters that is part of the magic formula that captured people’s imagination back in the 80’s and early 90’s. Catching ghosts is one of those things. Then you’ve got the proton packs, PKE meters, Ecto-1, their firehouse headquarters, Janine, and Slimer. Not to mention the amazing dynamic all the characters. You’ve got the smartass ladies man Peter Venkman, Ray Stantz who is overly excited about ghosts and catching them, Egon Spengler who is super nerdy and brainy, and Winston Zeddemore who is there just because it’s a job.

Sony, if your intention is to expose a new generation to the Ghostbusters, you mind as well reboot and start over and take the best parts that made Ghostbusters what is was – the characters, the proton packs, the catching ghosts – and do it again with a modern twist. How would Ecto-1 look today in 2014. How would proton packs look in 2014? That would be interesting to see. But the movie you are supposedly planning to make as Ghostbusters 3 based on what Dan Aykroyd has said is not a Ghostbuster movie.

Thoughts on the Fitbit Force voluntary recall

One blog post I’ve been meaning to write over the last few months is on using Fitbit over the past year. A little over a year ago, I wrote a post about using the Nike+ FuelBand. A few months after I published that blog post, I was exposed to the awesomeness that is Fitbit and its service and gave up my Nike+ FuelBand and haven’t looked back. In the course of the last year, I’ve used the Fitbit One, the Fitbit Flex, purchased the Fitbit Aria scale, and now am using the Fitbit Force. As I’ve upgraded myself to the newest Fitbit tracker, I’ve given my old trackers to friends and family who are now all using Fitbit. Right now, my 57 year old dad is destroying me in steps and activity. Clearly, I have some work to do to beat him. But I really do like what Fitbit offers with their products and service. I plan to write more on using Fitbit soon.


As a Fitbit Force user, some important news came today from Fitbit about the product. Fitbit’s CEO James Park wrote a letter to the community regarding reported skin irritation from a small portion of Fitbit Force customers. Despite affecting only a small amount of customers, Fitbit took the matter seriously and did an investigation. They found that some people are having an allergic reaction to the nickel in surgical grade stainless steel they are using on the Fitbit Force. And others might be having a reaction to the materials used in the strap or the adhesives used to put the Fitbit Force together. Based on their investigation, Fitbit has decided to stop selling the Fitbit Force and is doing a voluntary recall where Fitbit Force customers can send in their Fitbit Force for a full refund, Fitbit’s CEO promises some news soon on their next-generation tracker, which I assume will be the replacement for the Fitbit Force.

I applaud what Fitbit is doing to take care of this issue and Fitbit Force customers and think its the right thing to do. The Fitbit Force was essentially their top-of-the-line tracker amongst their tracker products and to stop selling it altogether and to do a voluntary recall on such a high-profile product is one of those things no company wants to do. That’s not to say customers having skin irritation from using the product isn’t a big deal either. Despite this issue though, you will continue to find me recommending Fitbit to anyone who is looking for a activity tracker with an excellent service to help you be active, fit and healthy. I have no doubt that Fitbit will come out with something to replace the Fitbit Force that will be just as awesome, or more awesome. In the meantime, I highly recommend the Fitbit One or Fitbit Flex trackers as both are great.

I am still wearing my Fitbit Force. Fitbit is doing a voluntary recall so it’s up to me to send it in and get a refund. I love my Fitbit Force and wear it every single day. It hasn’t given me any of the symptoms of skin irritation some customers have reported. I don’t have any reason to send it in for a refund.

However, I am very interested in what Fitbit comes out with next to replace the Fitbit Force.

To Fitbit: It would be great that for customers like myself who don’t have any problems wearing the Fitbit Force today and don’t need to send it in now for a refund to be able to somehow trade it in eventually when you release your next-generation tracker and get some sort of credit.

Dell Venue 8 Pro and USB adapters

I spent some time today figuring out USB adapters for my Dell Venue 8 Pro so I thought I’d share what I learned with everyone else so they don’t have to go through the same thing. The Dell Venue 8 Pro comes with a Micro-USB port. In order to be able to plug in something that uses full USB, you need an adapter. There are various types of adapters out there but not all will work the way you want (or expect).


You will need a USB On-The-Go adapter to transfer data, music, photos, etc. from a device using full USB to your Dell Venue 8 Pro. If it is not a USB On-The-Go adapter then it won’t work and you won’t be able to transfer anything.

I’m on 500px

Seattle by Brandon LeBlanc on

I’m on the photo sharing services 500px. Come find me!

It has been a while since I was really “into” sharing my photography. It mostly came down finding myself not taking as much photos as I used to. However, I’ve decided to re-commit to photography. I recently have begun learning to try and take night shots with my Nikon D500 (any advice/pointers will be much appreciated!). And I’m using 500px to share the high-res photos I take with my Lumia 1020 Windows Phone – which has quickly become my camera of choice.

A question I am getting from folks is “why 500px?” and not just continue on using Flickr. especially with the biggest design in years shipping back in May. There is the part where I should be able to say “I’m on 500px because it’s better than Flickr” and give you a reason.

But I can’t really give a great answer.

The reason why I choose 500px was because I was fascinated by it and how it differed a bit from what I was used to with Flickr. 500px for example gives you a “pulse” on your photos – this is a measurement (out of 100) on the popularity of a photo. And the pulse of a photo can fluctuate over time. You also get this “story” concept as part of the service but I’ve not really played with this feature much yet.

And 500px is a small team focused strictly on making a service that is great for photographers. Sometimes I feel that Flickr has lost a bit of this as Yahoo! puts a bigger on priority of folding it into the rest of Yahoo!.

So far, I’ve been pleased with 500px. We’ll see how it goes here on out. If you’re on 500px – follow me.

I also blogged about the 500px app for Windows 8 on the Windows Experience Blog. If you’re not a photographer but like checking out neat photography I suggest downloading the app from the Windows Store. A lot of great photos from folks on 500px.

That one time when I saw Wil Wheaton at a Star Trek convention

I have no idea why I felt compelled to write about this tonight. I was reading my favorite blogs and winding down from an awesome day at work. And I read this post from Wil Wheaton about people who stake out at airports and other places to try and get him to sign something of theirs. Not that it matters because I’m not a famous person like Wil is but I agree with everything he said. Kind of messed up people do that to him and can totally see how he might be really uncomfortable.

Anyway, his blog post reminded me of when I first saw Wil in person at a Star Trek convention in Pasadena, CA I think back in either 2004 or 2005 – I can’t remember.

He was there signing copies of his book Just A Geek. He had a small table tucked away in the back. It was a few tables away from Rod Roddenberry’s booth/table setup of incredible Star Trek replicas (remind me to tell you my story about meeting Rod and doing some work for him sometime!).

It was super early so folks were just beginning to pile in. I was there helping out for something so I was in before they started letting everyone else in. This moment though was the perfect chance to go up to Wil and say hi before the chaos began. Ask him how he was doing, about this book, etc. And I didn’t. I stopped myself. He was clearly deep in thought, writing stuff down on a notepad he had. Wil was going to be meeting people like me for the rest of the day and the next two days. I convinced myself not to bother him.

And I kind of regret it now. Because in reality he is a geek like me and a cool guy (read his blog).

So my point is this: if you ever see Wil Wheaton out in public like at an airport or some other place and not at any sort of convention, don’t approach him. Just leave him be. But if you’re at a convention and have an opportunity to say hi to Wil Wheaton – do it. And don’t ask him stupid shit about Wesley Crusher. Ask him about being a geek.

WordPress is buggy while hosted on Windows Azure

UPDATE 1/1/2014: It has been four months since I wrote this blog post and I can say the majority (if not all) of the issues I was having with WordPress hosted on Windows Azure have been completely resolved. I am very impressed with WordPress on Azure and would recommend it as a solution for anyone looking to host their own WordPress blog.

I’m long overdo for writing a blog post about how I moved my blog to being hosted on Windows Azure. So there you have it – my blog is powered by WordPress AND hosted on Windows Azure. Cool, huh? Yeah I think it is.

Well sorta.

I am having all kinds of issues with WordPress running on Windows Azure. For starters, updating plugins automatically through the WordPress Dashboard will break my blog making it completely inaccessible – even the Dashboard. To resolve the issue, I have to FTP into the site and delete the plugin manually that I just attempted to update. In the case of today, I attempted to update the Jetpack plugin from WordPress. Once I did this, my blog starting handing out “HTTP 500 Internal Server” errors like candy.

Other issues range from when deleting comments, database errors occur to rendering issues in the Dashboard and issues composing blog posts (for example under “Visual”, I cannot add hyperlinks – I need to go to the “Text” tab).

I have no idea how to resolve these issues so if anyone out there has any tips or tricks for Windows Azure hosted WordPress blogs – I’m listening.

Any advice for an European train adventure (honeymoon)?

My fiancée and I are getting married next summer. And we’re tossing around the idea of going on an European adventure for our honeymoon.

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The basic premise of the idea is that we go for about 12 days and begin the adventure in London where we’ll take two days to explore Great Britain’s countryside (see the Jurassic Coast, Stonehenge, etc.). Then we’ll take the train to Paris where we’ll see the Louvre, Eiffel Tower, etc. We’re thinking we’ll spend a few days in Paris. Then we’ll take the train south to visit the Mediterranean coast of France, then head over to Italy and Rome.

My fiancée has a pretty solid plan for the trip. When she told me about it, it filled up about 12 days but as I write it all down here it seems I am missing some pieces and forgetting certain elements. But I’m also looking for any recommendations on a trip through Europe by train and any suggestions on what to see, what to do, and what not to do! My fiancée and I look forward to reading what you have to say!

On rebuilding my personal brand

Kelly Clay published an excellent blog post this evening on a topic that really hit home for me personally. She talks about how her personal brand lost its way and how she found it again. I need to find my personal brand again.

I’m going to try and do more blogging here again.

I’ve been meaning to do more writing anyway (I love to write). Maybe share some of my photography and stories around those photos. Talk a little tech too.

I also need to do something with my blog’s theme. I need something that reflects my personality. More bright colors! I’m open to suggestions on themes.

More to come!