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Neat Stuff Weekly – Feb 24th, 2020

Neat Stuff Weekly
Neat Stuff Weekly – Feb 24th, 2020
By Graham Barber • Issue #2 • View online
Hey, it’s good to see you!
For my previous subscribers, it’s nice to see you again—and for new subscribers, welcome! I probably didn’t pick the best time to revive this newsletter, as we’re heading into the last few weeks of the academic term—but I digress. That’s not what you’re here to read. Let’s get into what you really want to hear about: Stuff!

Allbirds Mizzle Runner-Ups
Men's Wool Runner-Up Mizzles in Tuke Jo (Cream Sole)
Men's Wool Runner-Up Mizzles in Tuke Jo (Cream Sole)
Allbirds’ shoes have become something of a meme in the software development community. They’re a shoe that VCs and techbros rave about for their comfort and simple, minimalistic look; a fashion piece that, combined with a Patagonia sweater, is a telltale sign that somebody has the words “thought leader” in their Twitter bio.
Well, I really hate to echo those folks, but Allbirds make for absolutely lovely shoes. They’re just as comfortable and stylish as they’re hyped up to be. But—the Mizzle shoes take those attributes and make them just the sort of thing an Oregonian wants in their everyday apparel: They’re waterproof!
“No way, Graham,” you say to me. “They’re wool! How could they be waterproof?” Well, I have no clue. They use some fancy marketing terms like Puddle Guard to vaguely justify this behavior. Regardless, I can personally confirm the weather resistance of these shoes. They’ve kept my feet dry and warm in many downpours throughout this past winter in the Pacific Northwest.
One thing I will warn you about, however, is that I find the toe of the shoe to be a bit low for my taste. While I have enough distance between my toe and the end of the shoe, my toe has been rubbing against the top of the shoe. That’s just one of the hazards of buying shoes online, but Allbirds has a good try-and-return policy so you can return them if you don’t enjoy them completely. Unless you’re lazy, like I am.
One last note: The Runner-Ups are mid-top shoes. If you prefer a lower ankle, there are also the Runner Mizzles, that are in a lower sneaker profile. I’ve linked to the collection pages for both the Men’s and Women’s Mizzles, for your convenience.
Holy smokes, I just wrote way more words about a single pair of shoes than I intended to. I’ll try to keep the rest of the newsletter a little shorter.
Men’s Mizzle Collection
Women’s Mizzle Collection
Google Stadia
A Stadia Controller and a Chromecast Ultra
A Stadia Controller and a Chromecast Ultra
Over the last three years, I’ve been trying my best to free myself from my gaming PC. It’s just a massive maintenance issue, and—while it’s fun to configure and design—it’s just way too big of a cost to keep up-to-date with the latest graphics requirements. Enter: game streaming platforms like Geforce Now, Playstation Now, and Microsoft’s Project xCloud. Or even Onlive, if you remember that hot pile of trash. These are hosted services that allow you to stream games live to almost any device with next-to-no requirements besides a web browser or dedicated client.
I’m not a console gamer anymore, so xCloud and PS Now aren’t particularly attractive to me. That leaves Geforce Now and Google Stadia, unless I wanted to configure my own machine to stream games—and let’s just say that Geforce Now is in some serious hot water now that it’s exited beta, with publishers like Bethesda and Activision Blizzard stripping the service of access to their games. So, we’re left with Stadia.
This isn’t to say that Stadia is the best streaming service by process of elimination. It has a rather tiny catalog, but it has by far the best streamed visual quality out of all the possible options, streaming in 4K with HDR colors at 60fps. The latency is also incredibly low, in my experience. If you have the internet connection to support it, it’s quite the sight to behold. Their business model of having consumers purchase their games again on Stadia is a bit of a headache—not to mention unaffordable for some—but the industry looks to be heading in this direction, if Geforce Now getting gutted of content is any indication. Publishers like Ubisoft are also planning on releasing their own all-you-can play subscriptions on Stadia, which is an incredible value (if it actually gets delivered).
Anyways, Stadia is launching a free 1080p streaming option in the next few months. I absolutely recommend giving it a try once it comes out.
Nintendo Switch – Animal Crossing: New Horizons Edition
Nintendo Switch – Animal Crossing: New Horizons Edition docked console w/ JoyCons
Nintendo Switch – Animal Crossing: New Horizons Edition docked console w/ JoyCons
Alright, that’s enough of that. Seriously though, it’s a gorgeous special edition. The JoyCons are also two-tone, with lavender back plates. If only I didn’t already own one of these consoles.
But wait! There’s actually hope for poor saps like me. Chris Kohler at Kotaku wrote up some helpful instructions on how to get the parts of the console separately by ordering them from Japan. I’ve linked it below the Best Buy page for the console, where you can preorder the complete kit if you’re enticed by it. Whichever method you decide to use (or, I guess if you pick neither of them), best of luck!
Nintendo Switch Animal Crossing: New Horizons Edition 32GB Console - Best Buy
How To Buy The Animal Crossing Switch Parts Separately, From Japan
Signing Off
Congrats! You made it to the end of the first revived issue of Neat Stuff Weekly. I really appreciate you coming this far and taking time out of your day to read my work.
I know I mentioned previously that I was going to try writing fewer words, but I’m not entirely sure I’ll stay true that. I think I’m just going to write words until I feel like I’ve said enough, or I start being conscious of myself rambling on.
Regardless, I hope you enjoyed your time reading this week’s issue. That’s all for now—I’ll talk to you next week!
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Graham Barber

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Graham Barber, 307 SW 7th St Apt 102, Corvallis, OR 97333