So, what have I been shopping for lately?

A box of random

This is going to be a quick rundown of some of the more interesting things I’ve purchased recently and why.

Ugly Christmas T-Shirt

For me, Christmas isn’t only the most wonderful time of the year, it’s the most comfortable time of the year. My day job is in IT. I wear jeans and polos or short sleeve button-ups most of the time. On a quick side not, did you know button down refers to the collar, not just that the shirt has buttons? I’m a fountain of useless trivia. Anyway, at my past job, shorts and t-shirts cut it. Now that i’m in management and gunning for higher (at least until I find my killer side-hustle), I have to be a little bit more respectable. That is, until my favorite excuse comes along, Christmas. I’m hot, always hot. If I’m comfortable, I know everyone else is freezing. Christmas sweaters aren’t for me. That’s why I have a collection of about 14 Ugly Christmas Sweater T-Shirts. These are t-shirts that have simple ASCII art on them to look like cross-stitch. Woot carries a lot of them, but this year I went to Amazon.


A heating pad for our pets

First off, you gotta love bad Photoshop compositions. On to the important part, our pets LOVE this heating pad. It’s only 28 bucks and it keeps our critters warm. We’ve got four cats, two of them senior and three dogs, one little and one now too old to jump on the couch. We have some spoiled pets. Washington isn’t the warmest climate in winter and I like it cold in the house. A year ago my wife bought our pets a heating pad and put it on a couch that is mostly dedicated to them. I scoffed at first, then I noticed how much the flocked to it. After a year or so it burned out, so I went looking for a new one. Christmas came early this year for our pets and they’ve been loving it. We leave it on 24×7 on our couch. Our Chihuahua-Dachshund mix (good luck spelling those breeds without help) dive-bombs it every morning. It makes me happy to see them enjoying it. Pets deserve to be comfortable too!

An Xbox Remote?

Overall, an Xbox remote seems pretty boring. That is, until you realize what it makes possible. I’ve posted about HDMI-CEC and how I love my Vizio sound bar,  I’ve also posted about watching Plex and my Roku. Well, I have another Plex client, my Xbox One S. I’m going to school so I don’t get to game as much as I’d like but I did pick up an Xbox One S as an early Christmas present. I wanted a 4K blue-ray player and I thought the up-scaling of some of the Xbox One games sounded nice. I wasn’t prepared for a hidden surprise. Well, I knew the Xbox One S didn’t support HDMI-CEC so it wouldn’t control my Soundbar in a super easy way. This remote was one of Amazon’s Black Friday deals. Since I had a second Xbox One now, I decided to order it. I did some reading about this remote after I bought it and found out that the Xbox One S may not have HDMI-CEC but it has something almost as good. The Xbox itself acts as some sort of omni-directional IR blaster.  Once I read that, I had to set it up. I did, and now my Xbox itself will control my TV and my soundbar. It’s not perfect, it’s not HDMI-CEC but it’s pretty darned useful and it’s a feature I didn;t know I had. I’ll take it!

So, what have you been up to lately? How did Amazon take your money? Solve any offbeat problems or solve any normal problems in an offbeat way? Drop a comment below and let me know what you’re up to!