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A settled nomad living on the edge of Appalachia. I love to listen to music, spend time with my family, and play sports. I'm lucky enough to write code for a living. I'm often accused of having no "filter" as I tend to overshare. I make beer on occasion and try to sample new beers whenever I can.$BillRawlinson

Chronicle of the US Covid Response according to President Trump

4 min read

  • January 22: "We have it totally under control. It's one person coming in from China. It's going to be just fine."
  • February 2: "We pretty much shut it down coming in from China."
  • Feburary 24 Dow Jones lost 1032 points
  • February 24: "The Coronavirus is very much under control in the USA… __Dow Jones starting to look very good to me!"
  • Feburary 25: Dow Jones lost 879 points
  • February 25: "CDC and my Administration are doing a GREAT job of handling Coronavirus."
  • February 25: "I think that's a problem that's going to go away… They have studied it. They know very much. In fact, we're very close to a vaccine."
  • February 26: "The 15 (cases in the US) within a couple of days is going to be down to close to zero."
  • February 26: "We're going very substantially down, not up."
  • Feburary 27: Dow Jones lost 1191 points
  • February 27: "One day it's like a miracle, it will disappear."
  • February 28: "We're ordering a lot of supplies. We're ordering a lot of, uh, elements that frankly we wouldn't be ordering unless it was something like this. But we're ordering a lot of different elements of medical."
  • February 28: "Now the Democrats are politicizing the coronavirus, you know that, right? Coronavirus, they're politicizing it. We did one of the great jobs. You say, ‘How's President Trump doing?' They go, ‘Oh, not good, not good.' They have no clue. They don't have any clue. They can't even count their votes in Iowa." "They tried the impeachment hoax. That was on a perfect conversation. They tried anything. They tried it over and over. They'd been doing it since you got in. It's all turning. They lost. It's all turning. Think of it. Think of it. And this is their new hoax."
  • March 2: "You take a solid flu vaccine, you don't think that could have an impact, or much of an impact, on corona?"
  • March 2: "A lot of things are happening, a lot of very exciting things are happening and they're happening very rapidly."
  • March 4: "If we have thousands or hundreds of thousands of people that get better just by, you know, sitting around and even going to work — some of them go to work, but they get better."
  • March 5: Dow Jones lost 970 points
  • March 5: "I NEVER said people that are feeling sick should go to work."
  • March 5: "The United States… has, as of now, only 129 cases… and 11 deaths. We are working very hard to keep these numbers as low as possible!"
  • March 6: "I think we're doing a really good job in this country at keeping it down… a tremendous job at keeping it down."
  • March 6: "Anybody right now, and yesterday, anybody that needs a test gets a test. They're there. And the tests are beautiful…. the tests are all perfect like the letter was perfect. The transcription was perfect. Right? This was not as perfect as that but pretty good."
  • March 6: "I like this stuff. I really get it. People are surprised that I understand it… Every one of these doctors said, ‘How do you know so much about this?' Maybe I have a natural ability. Maybe I should have done that instead of running for president."
  • March 6: "I don't need to have the numbers double because of one ship that wasn't our fault."
  • March 8: "We have a perfectly coordinated and fine tuned plan at the White House for our attack on CoronaVirus."
  • March 9: Dow Jones lost 2014 points
  • March 9: "This blindsided the world."
  • March 9: "The Fake News Media and their partner, the Democrat Party, is doing everything within its semi-considerable power (it used to be greater!) to inflame the CoronaVirus situation, far beyond what the facts would warrant."
  • March 10: "It will go away. Just stay calm. It will go away."
  • March 11: Dow Jones lost 1465 points
  • March 12: Dow Jones lost 2353 points
  • March 13: National Emergency Declaration
  • March 13: "I don't take responsibility at all"
  • March 16: Dow Jones lost 2997 points
  • March 16: "I give myself a 10 out of 10"
  • March 17: "I've always known this is a real—this is a pandemic. I felt it was a pandemic long before it was called a pandemic."
  • March 31: Dow Jones lost 1100 points
  • March 31: "I want every American to be prepared for the hard days that lie ahead ; It's going to be a tough two weeks."
  • April 1: Dow Jones lost 879 points

One Plus 6 - a phone that is a joy to use?

5 min read

It might seem like I'm being hyperbolic but, man, this phone is just a huge leap forward for me relative to any other phone I've owned. It's smooth, fast, and really is a joy to use.

Here are the key things that really make this phone stand out for me.

The Good

  1. It's so freaking smooth to use. Like, everything just "glides" as I move it around. The animation transitions are all not jittery. They just look perfect as they execute. It's as if I have suddenly found out how Android is supposed to behave. There is not a stutter in sight. It just works wonderfully and that interaction where everything does what it is supposed to without any hiccups really forced me to admit I actually like interacting with the phone.
  2. It's fast. This is partially related to the prior item dealing with smoothness becuase all of the transitions and animates are fast and flawless. But, beyond the visual UI experience the antennae for WIFI and LTE are so much better than what I've had in any phone before. In my office we have some big wifi dead spots - but I don't have any with this phone and downloads on the wifi or lte networks happen so much faster than they did on any of my previous phones. I couldn't believe how quickly I got all the apps I really wanted onto the phone. Just, bam! and they were downloaded.
  3. The screen feels huge even though the phone is only a little bigger than my prior phone, a (Sony Xperia XZ)[]. That's because there is almost no bezel on the top or bottom of the phone. So, while the phone is just a touch wider and taller than the Sony I have a ton more real-estate space.
  4. The 1+ 6 has a notch; it's a smallish notch and it's the first phone I've had with a notch. I have remained somewhat skeptical of the idea of a notch. But, now that I've interacted with one I have to give kudos to Apple for the idea. 1+ executed it well but Apple thought of it. Basically, it's like they've just moved the notification bar up and out of the way. The notification bar was already, basically, a waste of useful screen real-estate so having those icons and clock and whatnot in the top area with the notch frees up the good area of the screen while only using a bit of bezel for the camera and the rest is utilized for the notifications and such. It's really nice actually.
  5. The camera is pretty solid to me. I'm not photog but I do take a lot of photos and both the front and rear facing cameras seem to take really nice photos. The rear camera has it's own version of "dark vision" like the Pixel. I know it isn't as good as the Pixel's but it took a pretty good photo when I tried it. This photo was in a low-light situation and the area behind my friend was really dark but it picked up everything nicely. Maybe a bit too much sharpness but overall I'm impressed. Man in Dark Room Here is a selfie using the front facing camera as I show off my reddit secret santa loot xmas loot And, yeah, I need a shave.
  6. It came with a case. It's a "jelly" style case that covers the back and does nothing to protect the screen but it's a nice touch that in included a case.
  7. The face unlock works really well. I don't know if it is a good idea to use it - but it gets the phone into "lets do this mode" so fast I am reluctant to turn it off.

The Bad

  1. I don't like the finger print reader. It's probably fine but the small shape makes it awkward to use. It would be better if the area for it were round.


Yeah, that was it - one thing I don't like and it's a niggle of an issue. This phone rocks. Assuming 1+ does a good job of keeping the phone updated and their future phones are as well made as this one I don't forsee me switching to another manufacturer again. This phone is awesome.

Phones I've had before:

  1. Iphone 3S
  2. Samsung Galaxy 2
  3. Samsung Galaxy S5
  4. Samsung Galaxy S7 Active
  5. Sony Galaxy S8 (wife's but I've used it a lot)
  6. Sony Xperia XZ

This phone is hands down better than any of the others I've owned or used. I bought my kids 1+ 3T's for Christmas last year and thought I liked the look/feel of them when I set them up but I didn't realize the phones 1+ make were so good. I liked my Sony phone but I'm really glad I've moved onto this 1+ 6.

I didn't get the 6T because this one was much less expensive and the majority of the internals between the two were identical.

Disc Golf Marathon

Six Courses in Seven Hours

13 min read

To fully take advantage of having a day off of work I decided I would push myself a little and play six rounds of disc golf on six different courses in the area today. Each course was at least 18 holes long while two, I believe, were 19; making a total of 110 holes of disc golf. I also needed to be sure I'd be done by 5 so I could get home and shower before going back out for a social gathering in the evening. Time, I felt, was going to be precious so I decided to start at 7:30 and then do the courses in a slightly unorthodox order so I'd end up on the course closest to my house.

The weather was forecast to be hot but clear and sunny. The forecast was accurate. It was hot, humid, and sunny; with a high around the high 80's.

Armco Blue

The first course is in Ashland KY - [Armco Blue]( - it is the longer of the of the two courses in Ashland and, I've never played super well on it; my personal best is a 60 (+1) which I shot last month. Today's round went pretty well but it put me in a hole for the days event as I finished Armco Blue at +4. I really didn't screw up anything too horribly and I only had one birdie on the course so I wasn't really sure how the rest of the day was going to go. Overall the round took me 51 minutes which is pretty good pace. Total course length is apx 6174 feet. If you've not played there before it's a pretty tight course for the most part with plenty of trees. A nice mix of both forehand and backhand shots are needed and you spend most of your time going up and down hills throughout the course.

Armco White

At that point I needed some gatorade but fortunately there is a gas station right out side the park.

Then I was onto [Armco White]( The white course, much like the blue, is hilly and has plenty of trees but it's quite a bit shorter at 3,684 feet.. You need more forehands on this course and some of the fairways are very tight. The tee-pads are a little cock-eyed in some places but I still really like the course. I had more birdies on this course which was nice and I had some great saving throws after screwing things up - for instance, even though I bogied (4) 9; my second shot was perfect. I was super happy with it. Plus, a birdie on both 11 and 12 are pretty unheard of for me. I had a lot of puts, throughout the day, that were well over 30' that I _almost_ made. I was really feeling good about my putting today. I finished up on Armco White at -2 which brought my days total down to +2 and I was feeling a lot better as I headed for the longest drive of the day from Ashland Kentucky to Hurricane WV and their new course. Overall time on this course was 41 minutes. Probably the shortest round of the day.

Valley Park

I was sort of live blogging the marathon after each round on Facebook and one of the local players in Hurricane said he'd meet me to play that round so I met up with him. I've only played the Hurricane Course 3 times before today so I was glad to have company and to have someone who knows the course layout pretty well.

I really didn't shoot very well or badly on the course and my score, +1, reflected it. I had a few really on point drives and I scrambled pretty well - but I also made a bunch of dumb little mistakes and that course made me pay for them when it happened. Birdies were kind of hard for me to find but bogies were easy. This round took 56 minutes which was pretty good with 2 people playing. It's a short course and most of the holes feel extra short. I like the course quite a bit though and I think, when it has grown in fully, it's going to be very picturesque. At the mid way point on the day I was +3. I had some work ahead of me if I wanted to finish even or better.

Barboursville Park

Thankfully, the next course on the list, heading back toward Huntington WV, is the [Barboursville course]( It's only 4,100 feet or so and plays pretty easily so long as you don't force things. This was a speedy round at just 48 minutes. I've shot as well as -6 on the course before so I was hopeful to pick up some strokes. First I had to grab a spicy chicken sammy from Wendy's which, while tasty, did not sit well with me. I needed to stop and take a break half-way through the Barboursville round. I was not feeling good at all. Thankfully, the break helped and I ended up shooting -3. I nearly had an ace on hole 11 when my drive hit solidly on the front of the cage leaving me with an easy drop in birdie. I then turned around and played like a complete idiot on 12 and picked up my only bogey (a double!) on the course. I was pretty annoyed with myself but I was happy to recover and escape the course with no kind of meltdown and, best of all, I was at even par on the day!

## Indian Rock

After Barboursville I had to head into Huntington to play my home courses of "[The Rock](" and Rotary. I decided to play "The Rock" first. It's much harder and less well maintained so I was worried about timing at this point. I couldn't afford a 2 hour plus round but I know they can happen on "The Rock". On the bright side, I really really like the rock so I was pretty happy to be playing this course. However, I have never shot sub-par there so I was also really worried about what my score would do on the day.

I got off to a great start and threw, maybe my best drive on hole 1 ever, and had an easy lay in birdie. But, of course, I followed that up with a complete shit-show of a hole and picked up a five on hole 2. Hole 3 went well though I missed a pretty easy birdie putt but I was stoked to get to hole 4 at even. Hole 4 was non eventful and an easy par. Then I crapped the bed on five and six and I was pretty sure the wheels were about to come off on my round. I settled things down with a great second throw on 7 making an easy par. Then, things went kind of crazy for me.

I birdied 8. I've never come close to birdying that hole. I threw a g-star destroyer pretty far down the fairway and had it fade into a bush on the left side. I decided to do a soft flick with my putter to lay up and I over-did it but miraculously my disc hit solid chains for a birdie. I was so amped.

Hole 9 is tricky for me but I threw a hard fore-hand that somehow snaked through some very tiny gaps and left me with a drop in birdie. Then hole 10's drive ended up about 30 feet below the basket with an uphill putt. I made the birdie! The first time I've ever been underpar at that part of the course. But hole 11 is a nightmare. It's a par 3 that plays like a par 4. My drive.. was horrible. I hit a tree early on and felt like I was teeing off again. I don't have a great forehand but needed one on the next shot and somehow I found it. I threw a g-star shryke and it flew straight down the fairway before glancing off a tree and bouncing further up the path to land within 10' of the basket! I saved par. I could not believe that throw. I still can't.

Hole 12 is pretty easy but my drives there lately have sucked yet, today, nothing was stopping me and I put my drive about 15 feet to the left of the basket and sank the birdie. Hole 13 can be tough if you don't drive your line perfectly and I didn't. Yet, I got SUPER LUCKY and hit a tree keeping my disc from going way, way, way downhill. I ended up with an easy approach which I overthrew leaving me with a 30' uphill putt for par and, as things were going, I nailed it. I really wish I had a go-pro for these holes. I was stunned at how things were going.

Hole 14, is a narrow fairway with a bit of a cliff to the left. I typically throw a straight backhand but my throw on 11 was still on my mind so I decided to throw a buzz straight at the basket with a forehand. It slid by and left me with a 10' easy birdie putt putting me three down with 2 easy and 2 hard holes left.

I drove both easy holes well, had 20' putts for birdie, and choked on both of them but getting easy drop in pars. Hole 17 is a mess of a hole and I typically just try to not do anything crazy. I threw the buzz forehand again - it was nice, left me with an easy layup and a safe par. One hole left - 18. Typically I get a 3 or a 4 on the hole so I was feeling pretty good about myself at -3. So of course I threw a drive 10 feet into a tree which caromed into the thick brush on the left of the fairway. My second throw was a huge hyzer hoping to just get far around the trees and it did. Third throw had a good chance to get close to the basket so long as I didn't try anything too crazy and I over-threw the basket by about 30'. My putt slid off the right side of the chains and I dropped in a double bogey 5. Ha! I finished -1; 3 better than I had ever done on that course before. And, after the hardest course of the day (to me) I was -1 on the day going in to Rotary where I can typically shot even. I was feeling great.


I walked up the huge hill from 18 to the first tee pad of Rotary and my legs were jelly. I was out of gatorade/water and I debated teeing off or going to get a drink. Eventually, self-preservation kicked in and I walked back to my car and down to the gas-station just outside the park to restock on liquid and get a cliff bar. Refueled I headed back to the first tee of [Rotary Park]( a 4550 hole course that is a mix of open and very wooded holes. 19 holes with a par of 57.

I got super lucky on my drive on one and then saved an easy par. On two I noticed at the last second the basket had been moved so I tried that forehand buzz again and I was pretty happy with it. The second throw wasn't great but I saved par. Seriously, even par after the first two there is a small victory for me. The rest of the round, up until hole 9 was pretty non-eventful. At the tee for 9 I was -2; bogey free, and nine is easy. The basket was moved to my favorite spot and I was feeling good. So, of course I threw a horrible drive that ended up really short and up on the 10th fairway. My second throw was barricaded by a bush and a tree. I put a big anhyser on the putt, let it fly and somehow hit the birdie! Three down on the turn. Ten is long and I had a short drive but my second throw was close enough and I saved par. I had a super lucky drive on 11 that had NO BUSINESS being anywhere close to the basket and I played for a safe par so as not to push my luck.

Twelve was a bad drive, a pretty good recovery shot and then my brain was like "you haven't had a bogey yet" so of course I missed the 18' putt for par. Thirteen was a 30' uphill putt for birdie which I went six feet too far on. Throwing six feet, down an easy hill, I managed to not throw the disc far enough and took a bogey. Two in a row! Hole fourteen can be tricky - lots of chances to roll but I threw what looked like a perfect drive. It landed and rolled down the hill; I had a decent recovery shot, easy putt, and I clanged it for a third bogey and, just like that, I was even par. I was so disappointed in myself.

Fifteen can be trouble but I escaped with a safe par and the immediately drove out of bounds on 16 - fatigue was really kicking in for that to happen. I missed the par save and took another bogey and suddenly I was +1 on the round. Of cousre, I drove poorly on 17 to the island hole but fortunately the drive crossed the island before going out of bounds so I had a 17 footer for par and I made it. I was so happy to save that par because, while 18 and 19 are pretty easy holes I wasn't sure I'd birdie either one. I was still +1 on the round and even on the day. I really didn't want to screw it all up on the last two holes.

I've been killing 18 lately so I grabbed my destroyer, looked up, and saw the basket was moved. I switched to my shrkye, let loose, and parked it for an easy drop in birdie. YES! I went up to 19 happy to see the basket was still in the easiest spot, so I launched my Zombee out over the road and watched it curl back - I knew it was good throw as soon as I tossed it. It landed about 15' past the basket and I drained it to end the round at -1. -2 on the day! Tired, hot, a sweaty mess, but stoked to finish negative.

I started at 7:30 and ended the day at 2:42. Overall, a great success of a day off.

𝐸𝑣𝑒𝑛 𝑖𝑓 𝑦𝑜𝑢 𝑑𝑜𝑛'𝑡 𝑑𝑜𝑛𝑎𝑡𝑒; 𝑜𝑟 𝑦𝑜𝑢 𝑑𝑜𝑛'𝑡 𝑤𝑎𝑛𝑡 𝑡𝑜 𝑟𝑒𝑎𝑑 𝑡ℎ𝑖𝑠, 𝑠ℎ𝑎𝑟𝑒 𝑖𝑡 𝑝𝑢𝑏𝑙𝑖𝑐𝑙𝑦 𝑠𝑜 𝑎𝑠 𝑚𝑎𝑛𝑦 𝑝𝑒𝑜𝑝𝑙𝑒 𝑎𝑠 𝑝𝑜𝑠𝑠𝑖𝑏𝑙𝑒 ℎ𝑎𝑣𝑒 𝑎 𝑐ℎ𝑎𝑛𝑐𝑒 𝑡𝑜 𝑐𝑜𝑛𝑠𝑖𝑑𝑒𝑟 𝑖𝑡. 𝑇ℎ𝑎𝑛𝑘𝑠

Do you sometimes feel like "donating" really isn't the same as doing the work?

By donating to a cause you are directly translating your normal every day work into work being done for a cause. It is a tangible way to give your job more meaning - by sharing your hard earned money with a group doing something you care about. You are trading your time for someone else who is expertly positioned to do the most good for your cause. It's just as good as volunteering; so don't feel like you aren't doing enough by donating. Just donate to the groups you KNOW are doing the work you care about.

With that said, I hope you will donate to Dress For Success who help women who are in a bad place become self-sufficent and to overcome all sorts of obstacles. Dress For Success literally helps women pull up their bootstraps and helps them change their lives, for the better, for good.

I'm donating both my money and my pride by preparing to run around in high heels. I'm not asking for your pride but I am begging for your money. Please, consider donating today.

I wonder what kind of training people imagine teachers should get so that they can engage a hostile in a firefight while herding panicked and scared children.

Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade - Our Experience and Tips

5 min read

This past Thanksgiving (2017) we were fortunate enough to receive four free tickets for bleacher seating at THE PARADE. Like most American's we'd watched the parade on TV before but we'd never witnessed it in person so we were pretty excited to get to see it live in pseudo-VIP style.

Our Tickets were for seats right at the start of the Parade near Central Park. Our Hotel was in mid-town Manhattan right near the end of the Parade at Macy's. It turns out these to locations aren't particularly close to each other. Our plan was to take the subway from near our hotel up to the closest station we could find to our seats. This was easier said than done because many of the enterances to the subway near our hotel were closed for the parade and some of the stops along the way to our destination were closed due to the parade. We didn't know that in advance so we were scrambling a bit between subway lines in order to get close.

Somewhere, either on the tickets or on a info packet that came with them, we had read we needed to be at the enterance to our seating area at least an hour before the start of the parade. We just made it to the enterance - but not really because there was a HUGE line that wrapped all the way around two sides of a city block when we arrived so we queued up and hoped for the best. The line moved fairly quickly and once through there was no real congestion until we were almost at the bleachers. Then we were stopped in another line for some unknown delay. Eventually whatever the hold-up was disolved and the group we had become a part of in the line were escorted to our seats.

This may have been the coolest part of the parade for me. We actually had to walk a long ways down the main road of the parade past tons of people who were sitting in the bleachers already awaiting the start of the parade. "While in Rome..." they say so I pretended like I was in the Parade and waved at lots of of the people and enjoyed seeing them smile back and wave while enjoying my goofiness. I, of course, videotaped it.

Eventually we reached our seats. The bleachers are metal so, as you'd expect in late November, they were cold. Fortunately, Lisa brought a blanket we were able to put down first. As you can see from the aforementioned video the bleachers are not tall though the seating can be a little cramped. We had some really fun and kind people right around us which really made the experience even better. Seating is truly "first-come-first-serve" in the bleachers. If you have a ticket you get a seat (unless you get there after they are all full) but you don't have a specific seat. So, get there earlier for the best seating. We arrived late and thus our seat choices were pretty poor in terms of visability of the parade. We had a pretty large tree obstructing the view a bit so getting good photos of the various balloons was tricky.

Macys Parade and a Tree

It was still fun and cool to see in person - but if you wanted to just take cool photos you'd want to show up earlier. Thus, plan on having subway problems and having to wait in a really big line before you get to your seats. Plan on it and you'll avoid most of it and been set for great seats with a great view. We settled with great seats with great company and a decent view. Considering we showed up at the last possible minute I think we had phenomonal seats. Hell of a lot better than sitting out in the cold for four hours to hold better seats! Plus, I snuck down to the front to grab a few cool photos:

Ronald McDonald Balloon

When the parade ended leaving was pretty easy; especially since we were near the end of the bleachers. We walked into Central Park and hung out for a bit (and checked out Strawberry Fields for our young Beatles fan) before heading back to the train to get back near our hotel.

Here are the tips condensed into a list:

  1. Leave more time than you think you will need to get to the seats
  2. Bring extra blankets to sit on and cover yourself with if it's seasonably cold.
  3. Get coffee/tea before you enter.
  4. There are some food vendors inside; but they are busy.
  5. Get there earlier than you think you should for the best seats.
  6. If you're staying in mid-town you can bring folding chairs and set up with seats on the side of the road really close to the end of the parade. Just get out there early. Like, 3-4 hours early.
  7. The marching bands do play at this part of the parade.
  8. None of the broadway shows do a thing at this part; that just happens at Macy's I think.

Buying Ripple With Bitcoin

6 min read

Hey, so I assume you've heard of Bitcoin and you're interested in getting into the crypto-coin world. Maybe you've heard of "Ripple" (XRP) and you're curious about how to buy some. But, it seems overly complicated (as of this writing it is) but you'd still like to do it and want a simple(ish) guide to doing so. Well, I'm here to help.

If you want to just BUY Ripple with Cash (US Dollars) jump to the bottom (Buy Ripple with Cash). But if you have Bitcoin or want to buy Bitcoin to do the exchange continue on:

DISCLAIMER - if you signup for Coinbase using any of the links in this post and then spend $100 buying things there we will both receive a $10 bitcoin credit. Basically, the Coinbase links are referral links. If you don't want to use a referral link you can use this one: Non Referral Coinbase Link

Convert BitCoin to Ripple in Four Steps

Here are the quick steps (TL/DR):

  1. Buy Bitcoin (BTC) on Coinbase
  2. Transfer that digital asset to GDAX
  3. Transfer that digital asset from GDAX to Gatehub
  4. Exchange that digital asset for Ripple (XRP)

You want to transfer from Coinbase to GDAX first to help avoid some expensive fees.

Here are some more details on each of those steps.

Buy Bitcoin on Coinbase

Coinbase is easy to use though validating your identity can be tricky at times. I prefer to try to use my debit card/credit card to buy these things so I suggest you verify your identity so you don't have to attach your checking account to Coinbase.

Using your card makes the transaction happen A LOT faster too. If you use your bank account it takes about 7 days. If you use your bankcard you get "credit" right away but you don't actually get the coin until the transaction is verified. That could happen in 10 minutes or 24 hours depending on how busy the network is.

The final destination site, Gatehub, only supports a few digital currencies so you need to make sure you only buy one they support; of those Coinbase currently sells Bitcoin (BTC) and Ethereum (ETH) are the only two Gatehub supports; but the transfer to GDAX goes easier if you buy BTC.

Once you have the digital coin on CoinBase you have to send that to GDAX. For the rest of this article I'm going to assume you bought some BTC.

NOTE: It is actually cheaper to buy the BTC on gdax.. You would basically deposit cash to CoinBase then transfer it to GDAX instead of bitcoin.

Transfer to GDAX

If you're on the same computer and you're already signed into Coinbase then a GDAX account will be easy. Just click on sign-in (I think) and it will automatically create your account tied to your Coinbase account. You have to agree to something legal but then you can proceed.

Once you're in GDAX took to the top left of the page. There you'll see a "BALANCE" section and under it is a grey link for "DEPOSIT" click on that. A dialog pops up and on it you can click on the "Coinbase Account" tab. From there change the dropdown to make sure it says "BTC Wallet" and then set the amount to however much of the BTC you bought you want to transfer.

Once the money is on GDAX you're going to need to move it to Gatehub.

Transfer to Gatehub

This is maybe the trickiest part. Go to Gatehub. You'll have to create an account. You'll probably have to do some identify verification again. Sorry, but banking laws make these sites jump through a lot of hoops to help identify money laundering so you have to jump through hoops too.

Once you're identity is verified and your account is created fully you can click on the "wallet" icon on the left menu. From there You can click on 'Deposit/Receive" at the bottom. Then click on the "BTC" tab and then "Connect a Gateway". You'll have to enter your Gatehub password then agree to the Gateway it suggests.

You'll then get a list of "Gateways". Ignore those and go back to the bottom and click "Deposit/Receive" again. Then click on the "BTC" tab again and this time click on "Generate BTC Address"

NOTE: Make sure you only ever try to send BTC to a BTC Address. If you try to send Ethereum or some other currency to a BTC address you will almost certainly lose your digital coins. BE CAREFUL! It's your money.

Once you have the BTC address click the clipboard icon and it will copy that address (it will even tell you "copied!". Now go back to GDAX.

At GDAX click "Withdrawal" over in the "Balance" menu on the left again. Then click on the "BTC Address" tab in the dialog. Next put your BTC address from Gatehub in the BTC Address field. Pick the amount of BTC you want to send to Gatehub. Finally, enter your two factor authentication code (if it is required). And finally, click "Withdraw Funds"

Now, wait for your money to appear at Gatehub.

NOTE: You can also buy XRP at Binance if you prefer to use it over Gatehub (or if Gatehub is having problems)

Exchange your BTC to Ripple (XRP) on Gatehub

Go back to Gatehub and click on "Exchange" in the first dropdown pick "BTC" and in the second pick "XRP". Under the BTC dropdown specify how much you want to spend and it will auto-fill the XRP field. Then click the "Exchange BTC to XRP" button.

You're done!

Buy Ripple with Cash

If you don't have bitcoin or dont want to deal with other digital currencies you can go through the whole process on Gatehub to buy XRP with cash. You just have to add a USD gateway and then fully verify your account there.. Then deposit cash, then go to the "Trade" section and you can just straight up buy Ripple without doing any kind of exchanges. This may be more expensive as I have heard you can only "wire transfer" cash there which is expensive.

Another option is to buy XRP on Bitstamp which is relatively easy. You do have to verify your identity but then you can use your debit card to buy it. Your bank may flag it as a fraud transaction so you'll have to confirm it then try again if that happens. Your bank may also charge an international transaction fee because Bitstamp is based in the UK.


Congrats. You have Ripple.

Sony Xperia XZ - A Brief Review

4 min read

Xperia XZ

Last summer I aquired a brand new, top of the line, Samsung Galaxy S7 Active. However, a few months later the protective lens on the rear camera inexplicably shattered and neither Samsung or AT&T gave a damn. Slowly, of the next 11 months the camera lens itself was damaged thanks to the missing protective cover and the screen has started to exhibit pink lines down the length of the right side. Overall, I've been disappointed. The camera was excellent while it lasted but, for a $700 device it didn't last long enough.

The camera is probably the most used feature of my phones. I love taking photos of things I see and places I visit. But all of my photos started to be very fuzzy and to have four black blobs scattered around the center of the image. It was unacceptable. So, this past weekend I bought another flagship phone from 2016 - the Sony Xperia XZ.

I basically went on the hunt for another phone of the same period with an equivalently good camera but which wasn't made by Samsung and which would work on our companies cell plan with AT&T. The Sony was the winner and, at only $350 brand new, it seemed like a pretty good deal. I've now had it in my possession for one day and I'm currently satisfied with my purchase.

The Good:

  • It comes with an even newer version of Android (7.1.1 ) than my S7 had (7.0.1).
  • The rear camera is fast and takes really nice photos.
  • The front camera also seems to take nice photos
  • The screen feels really nice to interact with
  • It seems quite responsive
  • The Sony UI is basically vanilla Android.
  • It is really skinny
  • One handed operation is super easy. It's the perfect size for my hand.
  • Expandable memory
  • Headphone jack

The Bad:

  • The body is slick - my wife fears she would drop it almost instantly. She was afraid to even test the phone less she break it.
  • The screen and body both really show off finger prints. I've never really noticed finger prints on a phone so much before.
  • The buttons are so subtle that I have to physically inspect the phone to figure out where the power button is some times; it's hard to tell if I have the phone upside down or not just by touch. I suspect I'll get better at this.
  • I can't rearrange the notification panel shortcuts. Like I want the flashlight to be in the first row so I don't have to swipe down twice.

I'm Learning:

  • screenshots are taken a bit differently. You have to long press the powerbutton then select screenshot from the menu. Or, you can press power and volume down at the same time. This second way is a better option as it doesn't change the screen at all.
  • copy/paste - to select a word to copy you double click it. I'm used to having to long-press. I was pretty annoyed until I found the guide on editing text

Overall, so far, I'm happy. I might get a lightweight case to improve grip - just to be on the safe side. But, at least for now, I'm not thinking about rooting the phone and installing a custom rom on it. Though I did switch out the launcher for Nova - I just prefer a more customizable UI.

This is precisely why I don't like seeing the word terrorist used for, seemingly, everything.