I honestly debated whether or not to even do this today. It was a hectic day at work today. I've been feeling off for a few days now. It's unusually cold for the area, then we've got rain on top of that. And so many other things. All that on top of Serenada's passing and our being informed of it. I am not at all ashamed to admit I cried at my desk at work when I read the post about her passing. She was beyond awesome and we'll all miss her.

That said, I mentioned in that post that I'm just not one for grief. I'm a runner, always have been and always will be. My fight or flight instinct always goes to flight. I deal with grief and the loss of anyone in my life the same way. I run away from it and hide myself in something else. I do the same for friends, I have friends offline I'm close to and they have trouble grieving just like I do. So when the worst happens in their lives I'll comfort them the only way I know how, by being my retarded and amusing self. Distractions help.

So I decided to write this post to help get on with some semblance of normalcy, even if it's hard to do so since things are always there in our minds.

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Also, this is a fair warning to all, there will likely not be a post next week or the week after. I'm fine before anyone ask. I'm going on my second vacation from work ever. I'll be off officially as of next Tuesday the moment I walk out until the following Tuesday morning when I punch in. If you're wondering where I'm going it's quite awesome actually. I'm taking a staycation. Not going anywhere, just gonna be a bum at home and catch up on books, games and TV shows and movies. Although there is a remote chance I'll end up in San Antonio. There's someone there I sorta miss and would love to go visit, even if it's literally for a few minutes. I likely won't though cause fuck the cold. I don't wanna leave my house. This weather sucks! Even if it is perfect sweater weather.

Onward and upward though.

Falcon Pro lives!

First and foremost, Falcon Pro is back! Officially known as Falcon Pro 3. This was the Twitter client that basically made Twitter happen on Android years ago. There was nothing better. Seriously. Not a single app that even came close to this one.

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Of course it's life was cut tragically short due to the 100,000 token limit imposed on third party clients by Twitter. A limit they refuse to change and one they are ruthless about enforcing, even if it involves lying. They claim they will allow exceptions, provided an app offers things that the official Twitter app doesn't. Bullshit. Falcon Pro offered far more than the official Twitter app did at the time and they said upon review it didn't. Anyone who has ever used the app knows how untrue that is.

Suffice it to say the developer did all he could to bring his baby back. Sadly it was all to no avail. Where there's a will there's a way though and the app was eventually removed from the Play Store and hosted on its own site, free for any to use. What about the token limit though? Didn't that prevent new users from using it? Yes, it did. Like I said though, where there's a will there's a way and the developer implemented a method to allow anyone to become a "developer" through Twitter and create their own API key for their "app" which they could then turn around and put into Falcon Pro. I say this as someone who ran a very sweet Twitter app not so coincidentally named "bangishotyou's app". : P Even if I still had a token for use with Falcon Pro. It was my way of having some fun while flipping Twitter the bird. "You can't stop the signal, Mal."

With the release of Lollipop and the new Material Design guidelines that go with it so to have come a resurgence of updates apps and that's where Falcon Pro's moment to shine came to happen. The dev decided to do a complete rewrite of the app from scratch in accordance with Material Design and as a new app entirely so there'd be a new 100,000 token limit. Sure enough, he made it happen. Within 19 days! Which is awesome in and of itself.

For the record, a lot of the Demo List items are also the demo items for Flyne (the offline reader). That's an app made by the same developer and I've written about it before. Basically an app that has Feedly and Twitter integration and lets you get the news you want all in one convenient place.

The app looks great and I like the way things are laid out on the bottom. It's very straight forward and easier to understand than the way things are setup in other Twitter third party apps that shall remain nameless.

This time around though some changes were made that are a bonus for all of us. The original Falcon Pro was plagued with piracy from Day 1. To the point that most of the used tokens for the app were taken by people who pirated it. The first attempt to defeat the pirates and give these back to paying users, myself included as a paying user, was simply resetting the tokens. At which point it became a mad scramble to get your token for authorized use of the app. Of course piracy was still an issue and the app being the first of its kind to hit that limit generated enormous publicity, so even more paying customers gave it a go and that token limit was quickly reached again. That's where the use your own API key came in and that's all she wrote.

Until recently with its new release and with those changes I mentioned a moment ago. Those changes include the necessity for an in-app purchase to tie an account to the app. This basically kills the piracy side of things. Pirate away, you still have to pay to tie your account to the app. On top of that though is the need to pay on top of that for any additional accounts you wish to add. This I feel is the truly brilliant move with the new version of Falcon Pro. Users have to decide just how worth it a second, third, fourth or even more account is to them before adding it to the app. It's $1.99 a pop for any secondary account to be added. That's ignoring the $3.99 cost of adding the first/primary account to the app. That means people can't use multiple tokens easily, something that also ate into the 100,000 token limit the first few go rounds. Pure win for everyone. You really want to add another account? It'll cost you. If you don't then that's fine too, more tokens free for others to use.

I for one am going to pick it up today and add my account to it. Yeah, you read that right. I, someone who bought the app originally, who used their own API key later for the heck of it too, am going to pay $3.99 to add my Twitter account to the app. Why? Because it's worth it! I could use the old app, if so inclined. Or even Talon for Twitter (Plus), which is made solely for use on Lollipop, since I bought that one too some time back. Heck, I could use Talon for Twitter (Classic) as well, since I also bought that when it first came out.

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And here's where you get a rant about all this. I paid for multiple Twitter apps in the past few years. I didn't have to. I chose to. As long as no one is literally holding a gun to your head you don't have to use any app, much less pay for one. You're free to pay for an app or not. Bitching about an app having cost though and demanding how unfair it is that the old app which you paid for and which still works though is what you do when you're being a baby and an idiot. Yeah, I said it. This is my post I'll say what I please. Did the old app stop working? No. Did you get continued updates even after it left the Play Store? Yes. Anyone who claims otherwise is a liar. Were those updates at minimum five total? Yes again. Anyone who says it was only updated one or two times is lying. And so on and so forth. My point is: If you paid for the app you have no right to complain that a new one has been released. It's an entirely new app, with new tokens for anyone to use. You're welcome to pass. You got 2 years minimum worth of use of the original app, all for the price of $1.99 originally. So don't you dare stand there bitching about this new app. Either pay for it, pass on it (while not bitching) or use something else entirely (including the original Falcon Pro app). Be an adult, not a child.

In other news...

Project Ara has sorta been unveiled in much more detail

The best look yet at Google's Ara smartphone and all I can say is WOW!

I want it! Give it to me now!!!

It's not likely we'll be seeing this at any point in the near future though.

For those unaware what this is, it's a smartphone you basically put together per your choosing. No, you don't need to know squat about smartphones beyond how to use one you buy in store to do that. The original idea was that you'd be able to order the basic "skeleton" online and then buy modules (those little bits you see in the pics) and slide them in and get a phone with as much memory, storage capacity, battery life and size, etc. as you want. Either ordering the modules online or purchasing them at kiosks available at your nearest mall or electronics retailer and having it put together for you then and there and sent your way. At which point you'd be free to swap any out as you saw fit and replace them with others.

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Overall it's an intriguing idea and it goes without saying I'll be picking one up as soon as Google shuts up and let's me give them my money.

Is it for everyone? Definitely not. So don't think my writing about it is in any way indicative of "you will all be using this soon" change in smartphones coming in the near future. This is just something that very much appeals to a small minority of people, who mostly like myself are tinkerers and early adopters and tech enthusiasts. Be honest though, looks neat doesn't it?

Beyond that, I got nothing.

Seriously, I got nothing. I did this post as a semblance of normalcy in what has been a really weird period for me lately. I hate feeling off. That said I do sort of have something worth sharing, although it's largely unrelated to the general nature of this post.

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When I was in high school I found a band whose music I connected with immensely. In point of fact, during a lot of seriously trying times during high school and ever since I've turned to my favorite album of theirs over and over again to help cope with things. The band? Alkaline Trio. Whose heart and skull symbol I have tattooed on my right shoulder. And here's proof!

The albm? Good Mourning, which you can hear in full here if you're a Google Play Music All Access subscriber. (From Here to Infirmary being my other favorite album of theirs and the one that preceded Good Mourning.)

One of my favorite songs off the album being "We've Had Enough". Although I'd be lying if I said I didn't love the entire album from beginning to end, ditto if I said I couldn't play pretty much every song on either acoustic or electric guitars by heart. I'm that big a fan.

If you want another dose of the Trio though covering their entire career then feel free to check out the playlist of theirs I made ages ago. It's my favorite songs off each album from their very first one to their most recent.

For the record though, "Private Eye" is absolutely hands down my favorite song by them or any band for that matter ever.

At the right place at the right time I'll be dead wrong and you'll be just fine

I won't have to quit doing fucked up shit for anyone but me

At the right place at the right time it'll be worth it to stand in line

You won't have to stop saying "I love cops" for anyone but me your private eye

The song was inspired by the novel Pulp by Charles Bukowski and if anyone is interested in a copy then all you gotta do is ask. It is a truly amazing novel and if you're a Trio fan you'll note all the references the song takes from as you read them.

And hopefully some of these tunes I've shared help some of you out given the news of yesterday or just in general in your life. At worst you all just discovered a new totally great band and you're welcome in advance for that.