I received positive feedback on IFODs that are sort of recommendations for things: A Few of My (Recent) Favorite Things, Five iPhone Apps I Can’t Live Without, and My Three Favorite Health and Fitness Devices. Here are some other things that I’m really digging right now:
1. Sony WF-1000XM4 Wireless Noise Cancelling Headphones
I left my Bose wireless earbuds in a rental car during a recent work trip. Total bummer. I had them about four years – which is a pretty nice run for a personal electronic device — but it still sucked to lose them. I can’t live without true wireless headphones, so I dove into researching new ones in earnest.
After reading review after review after review, I chose the new Sony earbuds and I’ve been blown away by them. They are a bit pricey, $280, but worth the money IMO. Why am I so happy with them? Here are my reasons:
- First and foremost, the sound is fantastic.
- Outstanding active noise cancelling: reviews I read consistently ranked these as having the best active noise cancelling of any earbuds.
- Equalizer settings The headphones are controlled by an app which allows you to choose between all sorts of options including a bunch of different equalizer settings including optimized for speech (like for a podcast or book) or for added bass.
- The headphones can detect what you are doing — staying still, walking, running — and adjusts the noise cancelling accordingly (it lets in more ambient sound when running, for example, for safety).
- I could go on and on, but instead here’s a review from CNET: Sony WF-1000XM4 review: These noise-canceling earbuds are really damn good
2. Formula One: Drive to Survive on Netflix
I’ve not been a fan of racing. I’ve been to two NASCAR events and I just didn’t get it — the cars just went in a circle. So, when a friend suggested I watch a Netflix show about Formula One racing I wasn’t interested. But, I respect her opinion and decided to give an episode a try and I was hooked.
The show is in a documentary format, but is more like a reality TV show. Each episode focuses on a driver or team (there are ten teams, each with 2 cars/drivers). The personalities, politics, technical challenges, etc. are riveting.
There are three seasons of the show — documenting the 2018, 2019 and 2020 seasons in Formula One. The 2021 season will be released in 2022. Here’s the official trailer for the show:
3. Project Hail Mary by Andy Weir
Did you like the book or movie The Martian? It was about an astronaut stranded on Mars who uses science to survive long enough to be rescued. Project Hail Mary is as good as The Martian in my opinion. The plot is about an astronaut who regains consciousness on an interstellar space flight with no memory of who he is or why he is where he is. He’s all alone and he is all that stands between humanity and extinction.
4. Microsoft To-Do App
There’s a lot of methods for keeping on top of things. I’ve tried many systems over the years including many to-do/organization apps, calendars, and good ole pen and paper. What I’ve been using in 2021 is the Microsoft To-Do app. I’ve found it to be exactly what I need. Here’s what I like about it:
- Seamless integration among PC, Phone, and Tablet. I have the app on my PC, iPhone and iPad. A task put on one device appears on all of them. To get the app on your PC just go to the Microsoft store app in Windows and download it for free. I have it pinned to my taskbar.
- Integration with Outlook. I use Outlook for email and calendar. Any emails I flag or tag automatically go into To-Do as a task needing follow up. Clicking on the to-do tab in Outlook also brings up all the tasks from the To-Do app.
- It’s easy to schedule tasks by day so that they pop-up later.
Here’s a link with more info: Microsoft To Do App
5. Flint and Tender 365 Pant
Our company has moved from business casual to sharp casual — meaning that nice jeans, dressy sneakers, and polo shirts are now acceptable. Dressing nice yet more casual has required some additions to my wardrobe, including dressy jeans. My faves are the Flint and Tender 365 Pant – I have bought two pairs and probably will purchase a few more.
I love these pants. They are a hybrid between jeans and chinos. They are very soft, a bit stretchy, a look sharp. Here’s a link to them in a “straight” cut: 365 Pant at Huckberry