Fitbit Aria

After weighing all the options, no pun intended, I finally gave in and bought a Fitbit Aria. Alright, I waited for a few months until the price went down from $169 to $129. I’m glad I did   🙂

My initial thoughts after 2 days  …

Setup is not as easy as Fitbit says

The documentation that was in the box and the sticker on the scale keeps pointing me to https://fitbit.com/start which has the screen to either download the mobile or PC/MAC client.

fitbitcom-start

Fitbit Start Page

So I did just that and wasted at least 1/2 hour trying to set up the Aria using the OSX client. Well, the OSX client only works with the trackers and not with Aria (thanks Google)!

Being a simpleton user, I didn’t bother scrolling down on the screen to reveal this …

fitbitcom-start-aria

There’s a separate link for Aria setup that is web-based only. I had to go thru different prompts on multiple pages.

IMPORTANT

You have to know how to connect/disconnect to WiFi networks. I understand that this is easier on mobile devices. On a PC or Mac, this is not as simple to most people.

Finally, I realized what the setup really do …

  • Update the configuration with my home WiFi SSID/password info
  • Link to the Fitbit my user account

Once these are done, Aria will sync itself directly to Fitbit site.
It even updated the firmware from v37 to v39 automatically!

However, there goes 1 hour just for setting up the darn thing!

Not compatible with iOS Health kit

One frustrating thing is that Fitbit does not play with iOS Health Kit at all. And it’s my fault for not researching this properly. Although, I find it silly that Apple & Fitbit can’t work together on making these work seamlessly together.

I found a 3rd-party application that helps me sync the information for now called SyncFitHealth

syncfithealth

The best thing about it, it’s FREE!

Syncfit-source

Health App Setup

The bad thing, I have to manually press a sync button on the App for Health Kit to update the information. Oh well, I did say it’s free.

Weigh, choose and sync

What else can I say, it actually works and measure my weight! I had set it for me and my wife. Fairly simple to use, really.

You step in, you step off, Aria thinks, Aria displays, Aria syncs!

I can now see all my weigh-ins on the website and on the iOS app.

rp_aria-measurement

A little fluctuations from last night due to calibrations (at least that’s what Fitbit says). My measurement this morning is a little bit closer to what I really weigh.

The BMI and Body Fat % are fun distractions, however, I don’t put much stock on it.

Conclusion

Time will tell if this was a worthy purchase or not. I do hope that next iteration will have closer integration with iOS Health Kit.

Oh, one more thing, I wish there’s an easier way to add the kids to either mine or my wife’s Fitbit profile without them having to to have an email address nor a Fitbit account.

My New Northface Terra 65L Backpack

I have recently upgraded my hiking pack to a Northface Terra 65L in TNF Black / Monument Grey.

terra_canvas

Here are some of the things I liked:

  • Great fit! With the Optifit technology, I have managed to adjust the pack to my torso length fairly quickly. Both the waist belt and the chest support are easily adjustable.
  • No shoulder/traps fatigue … well, at least I didn’t notice my traps are so sore until we got to our campsite.
  • Fairly light-weight. I have the S/M so it weighed in at 4 lbs 5.8 oz. Not really featherweight by any means. But for the size, it’s not really that heavy. Btw, the S/M is only 64L due to the shortened torso size.
  • Good back airflow. Even at 30-degree Celcius, I didn’t feel my back getting uncomfortably warmer. The back of the pack has a groove that lets air to flow through and I think it helped with the cooling effect.
  • Price is affordable … especially if you get a discount! Apparently, there are 2 versions of this pack. There’s not a lot of difference, at least from what I’ve read. You can find the older version for a much cheaper price.

 And some of the things I did not like:

  • No loops under the pack to hang my sleeping pad! Who doesn’t have that? Well, this one didn’t have that.
  • No rain cover! This is really very disappointing aspect of the pack for me. Really, Northface? You could not afford to give a free rain cover for this pack? Still shaking my head!
  • The liner that separates the bottom compartment for sleeping bag is so thin. Furthermore, it is only held together by a couple of loops instead of a zipper or something much sturdier.
  • External pockets could have been pleated for more space when packed. Once I have everything packed in, the pockets outside are a little tight. I managed to put in my 1L water bladder on the first one and my maps and smaller stuff on the second pocket.

My verdict:

I would definitely recommend this pack because of the comfort and the great fit.

This pack is good for 2-3 day hike, maybe even 4-5 days for ultra-lightweight hikers. I have managed to carry sleeping bag/pad, 2-person tent, stove, pots & pans, some food, utilities, 2L of water and my change of clothes.

You can get more information at the Northface website:
https://www.thenorthface.com/shop/terra-65-en-ca

27801815615_880cd786ca_o - Version 2

Me with the Terra 65L

Happy trails!

A Quick Triad Study

A simple progression based on these open triads that I use a lot.

WalkingUpToLove

Bm – A – G -D – A – Bm – A – D

 

Here’s the sample of the track straight from an acoustic recorded using Apple’s Music Memo program.

 

Hoping to finish this track using more triads and a more inspired progression for the rest of the piece. For now, this is what you get … even the guitar might have been a little out of tune 🙂