Google Home Review

I thought I’d write about my opinion on the Google Home appliance.  First I have to say, these personal assistant devices are the device I never thought I needed.  After a night of use I can honestly say that cannot live without one (a bit of exaggeration but we use it all the time).  Just to be able to set a timer while cooking to remind you to flip something or that the washing machine is done is worth the cost.  Stick your head in the fridge to see that you have only a little bit of ketchup, “Ok Google, add ketchup to the shopping list”. Even my kids are adding things to the shopping list that they want for lunches 🙂  The integration with my Nest thermostat is seamless. I don’t have any smart lights at this time but I see that would be really cool to control via voice (they are still too expensive for me). I am also a subscriber of Google Play Music and we can use it to play any song that pops into our head.  Kids want to spell a word, Dad needs to convert ounces to milliliters, no problem.


  • Looks beautiful, very stylish design
  • Touch sensitive on the top for volume and pausing
  • Good sound, I like the bass better than my Amazon Echo (gen 1)
  • Personal voice recognition (knows the different family members)
  • If you are a part of the Google ecosystem this fits in nicely


  • Wake word is too many syllables, Ok Google or Hey Google is four and three syllables, where Alexa is just one
  • If you are a member of a different streaming service I don’t know how well it is integrated to that service
  • A refresh might be needed or coming in 2019

Top Scenic Running Videos

It’s that time of the year again.  Gets colder, the snowing starts and I move to the treadmill indoors (yeah, I’m a fair weather runner).  Running outside is a bit monotonous and running on a treadmill is even more.  When I had a gym membership the treadmills had videos of scenic locations when someone would run with a camera in front of them recording the run.  I loved them, I would just zone out, listen to a podcast and run virtually in New Zealand.

What makes a good video for me?

  • Quality of the video
  • Not too shakey
  • Just ambient sound, no music
  • Speed needs to be close to running, no walking
  • Length needs to be long enough to get a good run in

Wailae Beach Path by Strings and Wings 61

Fantastic, great duration, great quality, but this is the only running video from String and Wings 61! I wish he would make more.

Santa Monica Pier to Venice Beach Boardwalk Virtual Run by

Great video, the sun is behind the camera making a great visibility in to everything going on and there seems to be a lot happening on the boardwalk.  There is a previous video going the other way along the beach but it’s into the sun but still pretty fun.  It’s a bit short so maybe only for a 5k.

Virtual Active

Virtual Active ( is the company that supplies the videos for the treadmills for the gym I was at.  I found them and you can buy videos from them for personal use.  My current favorite is Kauai run ( Keep in mind these videos are the raw files, so you need to put them somewhere on your home network.  I use a Boxee box but I think you can also use Kodi.

Kodiak Island Alaska by Treadmill TV

Interesting dynamic terrain, sun behind the camera no music, run it multiple times.  Nice little 30 minute run.

That’s my current favorites.  I’m constantly searching for more videos and if anyone has any suggestions please let me know.  I’ll do another post when I have more.

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Dad Joke

Dad jokes, important tools in dad’s parenting arsenal.  I wish I had recorded my girls reaction to this one.  Took them a while to figure out the joke.