Aviously

Because, aviously…

It’s a once a month show, but despite being used to having David Letterman on every night, this feels like a great place for the newly retired late-night host.

Usually I don’t do reviews of individual episodes of a show, but Dave deserves this one. He has the ability to turn these short 50 minute specials into a sit-down autobiography that keeps you entertained throughout.

For his second episode, after the Barack Obama premiere, is George Clooney.

We couldn’t be more handsome.

From his time growing up in the house of television host Nick Clooney and trying out with the Cincinnati Reds, his past is delved into, leading up to his marriage with Amal and the birth of his twins.
And most importantly, how he got into the businesses that made him famous: Acting and tequila (Casamigos).

And just like the first episode, Dave goes on a journey, out of his safe zone of a studio and chairs, into the world that helped shape his guest, and his hometown of Augusta, Kentucky. Here he talks with George’s parents, and the Yazidi that the Clooney’s brought over from Iraq, to live his dreams in America.

Despite not liking Dave when he was on CBS (I was a Conan guy), this show has brought me a new respect for him, but now comes what I see as the weakest episode of Season 1, Malala Yousafzai.
I feel like Dave needs a little comic relief, and I just don’t see it coming in this episode.

I’m not gonna lie. Coming up with something to write about every day is not easy. Sometimes I end up with a really bad post…and sometimes I filibuster, like this post here.

But when I look back and realize that I’ve been writing one of these every single day since May 5th, 2014. That’s almost four years. And more than 900 posts.

And throughout it all, I’ve tried to keep close tabs on my reviews, in the menus above, and can you imagine if someone would actually read all those reviews? And there are a lot of them:

  • Books = 15+
  • Movies = 55+
  • Music = 15+
  • Tech = 15+
  • Travels = 40+
  • TV Shows = 110+
  • Video Games = 25+

Clearly, I favor TV shows, with over a hundred different shows and seasons covered, almost as many as books, movies, music, and video games combined.

I don’t really know why I take the time to write these…it’s not like anyone reads them…it’s more like I feel like I’ve committed myself to something, and I want to continue to see it thru.

Not like there’s anything else going on for me to do.

People are pretty particular about their coffee. Some people like Starbucks or Dunkin Donuts, some people like Nescafe or Sanka, and other people need that perfect pour over.

But making that cup of pour over coffee can be a hassle. You need to have the special cup to drip the coffee through, need a fresh filter to line your cup, and of course you need the fresh grounds on hand.

But what if you could have it all, in a disposable, easy to transport, little cardboard pouch. And that’s just what Dripkit is.

A perfect cup of coffee anytime, anywhere.

No grinding or measuring needed. Just rip off the seal tab, place the pouch over your cup, and add hot water.

Their website, Dripkit.coffee, went live yesterday, and you can order them now, in boxes of 10. This initial batch of coffee is from Guatemala, and then roasted and packaged in Brooklyn.

My co-workers, who are coffee snobs, devoured my initial 10-pack, and yup…I’ve already gone and ordered my second pack.

Everyone knows PayPal. Everyone knows Venmo. Apple Pay. Google Wallet. But does everyone know Zelle?

Transferring money digitally has become a way of life, especially for millennials, and why wouldn’t it be? It’s much easier to click a few buttons and send your friend $5, then to take the money out of your wallet, and then have to go to an ATM to refill the wallet.

But the banks aren’t such a fan of PayPal and Venmo. Why should PayPal be allowed to make money off your money transfer? Why should Venmo make 3% on all your Credit Card transactions? And if you want to quickly withdraw money from Venmo…you can have it in 1-3 days, for a fee of course.

A lot of banks have had internal transfers for years. Chase QuickPay. Citi PopMoney. But finally, the banks have all gotten on the same page and put up a front against the outsiders making money.

And that answer is Zelle. Zelle allows you immediate transfers of money within the network, with real-time cash transactions, at no fee to any of the users.

You just need to be part of the evergrowing network. And that network is pretty substantial, including Chase Bank, Bank of America, Capital One, TD Bank, and Wells Fargo, among others.

And transferring money is as simple as putting in the person’s email address or phone number, regardless their bank, and voila, your money will quickly disappear…or the request will go thru for that person to send you that long owed IOU.

The Step Up series launched Channing and Jenna Dewan Tatum’s careers, and the two of them are Executive Producers for Step Up: High Water, a brand new YouTube Red TV show.

Twins, Tal (Petrice Jones) and Janelle (Lauryn Alisa McClain) Baker are dancers back in Ohio, but when their mother gets arrested for drugs, they head to Atlanta to live with their hilarious Uncle Al (Faizon Love).

Atlanta is where they find High Water, a school for those who can’t afford more, but also one that specializes in arts. When Janelle goes for her audition, she meets Davis (Carlito Olivero) and Odalie (Jade Chynoweth). Meanwhile, Tal is trying super hard not to get mixed up with the Atlanta scene that can certainly lead to trouble. And no matter where they turn there is trouble and rivalries.

Ne-Yo and Naya Rivera are the big name stars that this show brings. Ne-Yo is Sage Odom, hip-hop Star and the creator of High Water, while Naya is Colette, the head of the school.

There are a lot of standouts but the biggest is Odalie. The dancing and moves of this show are outstanding, and her moments stand above the rest. Meanwhile, Naya Rivera has been fairly quiet since her Glee days, and this gives her a chance to show off her skills, in both acting and dancing.

Season 1 is now available on YouTube Red and while you will need a subscription to finish the season (or use a Free Trial?) the first four episodes are free.

Binge watch shows have a habit of trying too hard to make every episode count, as they try to meet an episode count, and if they cut one or two episodes they would be perfect. Step Up: High Water has no such struggle, as it feels like one giant Step Up movie, and full enjoyable from start to finish. So much so that I wanted to start watching it again the minute I finished…something that usually takes me a few weeks to do with really great shows (like Jessica Jones).
The music is great. The choreography is great. And the acting does enough for the great storyline.

Now let’s be clear, this show isn’t for everyone, as it’s certainly a small niche market. But for those who liked the Step Up movies, they are going to love this show, which gets a 9.5 out of 10.

For years I’ve been using the ESPN app to get notifications on all my teams. From top stories to score updates, the app was always there with the data I needed.

But it was during MLS Decision Day last season that I started to realize the app wasn’t cutting it anymore. As I waited for notifications on how the other teams were doing, the guy next to me kept getting the information minutes before I did. When I asked him what app he was using, he told me theScore.

But after that I didn’t think of it again, until the last few weeks, when the ESPN app stopped giving me all updates for the events. Games would go from 0-0 to 2-0, without any updates in between. So I decided it was time to cut ties with ESPN and move on over to theScore.

theScore was very simple to set up, and from Day 1 it is proving to be better than ESPN:

  • Updates very quickly after they happen in game
  • A live feed of news stories, pulled from Twitter and the likes, with videos. And unlike the ESPN app, there are no ads before the videos, since they are coming off social media
  • A cleaner interface for managing your notifications from each sport and event

theScore is available on Android and iOS.

The Big Sick is an Amazon exclusive movie, written by Kumail Nanjiani and his wife Emily Gordon, on the true story of their lives, starring Kumail and Zoe Kazan as Emily. The movie is directed by Judd Apatow.

Kumail is a Pakistani trying to make it in America. From a foreign land with customs like arranged marriages, and he is just trying to make it here as an Uber driver and comedian. But mostly he wants to be a comedian.

When he gets heckled by Emily, just a girl in the crowd, they start up a relationship…one that could never happen, because she is white and he can’t disappoint his parents by dating outside their culture.

But right after they break up Emily gets really sick, what will Kumail do to help her, and will he finally stand up for what he really wants?

You ever want to be in a relationship, so you can just finally relax?

The movie takes a few minutes too long to get into the good parts, and because of that I started this months ago, and never really had an urge to continue. But once I hit that catch, I couldn’t wait to finish the movie and regretted pushing it off as long as I did.

It is genre’d as a romantic comedy, and one of the funnier moments is when Ray Romano (playing Terry, Emily’s father) talks to Kumail about 9/11. Maybe I was overtired when watching it, but I was cracking up.
Holly Hunter plays Emily’s mother.

This movie gets a great 9.5 out of 10.

I can’t believe it’s been a year since the last #BellLetsTalk day, and despite being a Canadian initiative, I have a closer connection to the cause each year.

Bell Canada, the phone company of the Canadians, is donating 5 cents today for every Tweet using the #BellLetsTalk hashtag or watches their video (below). It’s the 8th year that they are doing this movement, and while I think it’s only a drop in the bucket in terms of awareness, every single way to reach out to people is important.
At the bottom of this post, I have all the ways you can get Bell to give money to the cause today.

Bell is working on the Canadian front, and they have donated over $86M to this point, since starting the campaign in 2010. They have four pillars that they focus on:

  • Anti-Stigma – Leading the charge to overcome the stigma attached to suffering from mental illnesses #EndTheSitgma
  • Care & Access – Money going to hospitals and universities that help provide support where needed
  • Research
  • Workplace Health – Adopting the voluntary Standard for Psychological Health and Safety in the Workplace

There is a multitude of ways that you can do simple tasks that lead to Bell donating more to the cause, and not costing you anything:

  • Text Messages — For every text by Bell Canada, Bell Alliant, and Bell MTS customers
  • Calls — Every call made by Bell Canada, Bell Alliant, and Bell MTS customers
  • Twitter — Watching the video above or using the #BellLetsTalk hashtag
  • Instagram — Watch the Bell Let’s Talk Day video
  • Facebook — Watch the video or use the Bell Facebook Frame
  • Snapchat — Use the Bell filter

As of this posting, there are already over 5 Million impressions.

Ingrid Goes West, starring Aubrey Plaza (Ingrid) and Elizabeth Olsen (Taylor) is a dark comedy, rooted in social media.

Social media can drive someone crazy. Post a picture on Instagram, wait for those likes and comments to flood in…or not. Meanwhile, one can see others posting about their “perfect world” or “best friends ever”, and not be included in any of it.

Well, it was enough to make Ingrid snap, after she led herself to believe that her social media friends were her real world friends. Charlotte, who once replied to a comment of Ingrid’s, gets married and doesn’t invite her. So in Wedding Crasher fashion Ingrid barges in, causes a scene, and has to be admitted into a mental hospital. Upon her release, she takes her mother’s inheritance money and heads over to California, to meet her “newest best friend” and mirror her every move.
From stalking her to dognapping, there is no length Ingrid won’t go through to get to know her unknowing Insta friend.

This movie is dark and funny, and following Ingrid’s dive into her made-up friendships can be a fun journey, as this movie gets an 8 out of 10.

#IAmIngrid

Some books stand out on their own, and others are good because of the series they are a part of. But the Jack Reacher series by Lee Child is one mold in which different cookies keep getting cut out of.

Midnight Line is the 22nd book in the series, and fits pefectly along the mold…let me explain the main parts of a Jack Reacher book: It’ll be in 1st or 3rd person, that doesn’t change it; Reacher will head into a new town, as he makes his lonely journey throughout America; He will stumble into some sort of murder, mystery, confusion, that will leave him wanting to know more, because he’s a curious guy; There will be a girl, who he will find cute and want to bed; And of course, Jack will bash some heads in, usually with his bare hands.

But despite everything being so clear cut, Lee Child still manages to make these books super enjoyable, wanting you to take the journey and find out exactly how Reacher will get things done this time.
This time Jack has stumbled upon a West Point ring in a pawn shop, and he knows that no one would willingly give theirs up. This leads him on a search of its owner and finds an investigator looking for her as well as her twin sister. And let’s not forget the laundromat owner who is just aching for a ride in the commercial sized dryer.

I always give ratings to my reviews…but it’s sometimes harder on books…but I’ll give this an 8 out of 10.

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