Siri Shortcuts

I love my apple gear and I love their software. I can’t help it, they make a really great experience for their users. But lets be honest here. They aren’t the only ones making great experiences and your experience is likely different from mine. That is perfectly fine.

I’m a tinkerer. I like to tinker. I like to press buttons and see what I can make the computer do. I guess that’s why I’m a Software Engineer. With all of this said, Apple has let us tinker a bit more with iOS/iPad OS 13.1. They added shortcuts. You probably have never opened this app or even know what it does.

Siri Shortcuts shortens workflows. These are the shortcuts that I have:

  1. Toggle Assistive touch, iPad OS now has mouse support and you can map extra mouse buttons like the forward and back buttons to perform different actions. I have my forward button triggering equal to the home button. But when you don’t have your mouse connected, the assistive touch circle always shows up. So that’s where the shortcut comes in to toggle that on or of.
  2. Automate launching podcasts when I connect my phone to an Alexa device. I can jump right into the podcast by tapping a notification that shows up.
  3. Automate “Plex Time” where i set my lights how I like them (I use the Phillips Hue system) and launch Plex on my iPad and on my tv so I can quickly get to watching. Plex can push content to other Plex players that you have without the need of airplay. This is nice because you don’t have to watch the show on your iPad or iPhone to push the content.
  4. Open Target Wallet (yep, you can make Siri open the target wallet app)
  5. Open Walmart Pay
  6. Log Water
  7. Log Weight
  8. Tip Calculator
  9. Find Keys (i have a tile on my keys)

I don’t really find myself using shortcuts a lot. I feel like this is a good start. It does seem to be lacking in several areas. Things I want:

  1. Allow more automations to actually be automated without need to tap on a notification.
  2. Make a way to toggle “Silence Unknown Callers” on the iPhone for the moments that I am expecting a call from someone not in my contacts.
  3. Be able to set multiple playback devices with airplay.

I can’t really think of much more that I want to do with shortcuts with its current state. There is a pretty good library of shortcuts that you can browse in their application. I just haven’t found anything in there that seems life changing. As a Software Engineer, I just want ALL THE THINGS UNLOCKED. But I know when you do that you make it more difficult for non-dev types because it can become more intimidating.

Dear Apple, please continue to expand the functionality of this application. I want to tinker more.

Christmas 2022 Ramblings

Time is moving so fast with my two little girls growing up so quickly. They are almost 3 years old now. It’s so hard to find the time to do some of the geeky things that I enjoy so much. I wouldn’t change it for the world.

Shortly before the hiatus in this blog, I was talking about the Sony/Marvel Spider-Man deal falling apart. And you know what really happened? They made a fantastic movie with all of the spider-men. Now we are just awaiting the next “Into the Spider-verse” movie and the “Spider-Man 2” video game.

I’ve been playing around with an Elgato Stream-deck to help automate some things I do at work. Like typing in todo comments into my code. It’s been super neat to play around with and have even figured out how to make it hook into Apple Shortcuts. I had to develop some apple scripts to do so. But I first developed a way to do keyboard shortcuts inside of a Microsoft Remote Desktop session from my Mac. Apparently the hotkey functionality built into the stream deck software won’t work for inside of the Remote Desktop session. In any case, with a little scripting, you can do anything with the stream deck.

I’ve been playing a little bit of the Gotham Knights video game, which I ironically received from my wife (for my birthday, but. It on my birthday) on the day that Kevin Conroy died. My wife and I have also been playing a bit through “The Quarry” horror game (also a birthday gift along with Elden Rings).

Geeks are saddened by both Batman and the Green/White Ranger dying recently.

What does this geek want for Christmas? I think some video games are nice and those nice surprises for things I didn’t even know I needed. But what I want for Christmas is for everyone else to have a great Christmas. I have what matters most to me already. And that’s my family.

Disney+ What IPs should they Resurrect?

If anyone can take business away from Netflix, it’s Disney with their Disney+ service that is slated to land on November 12.  They’ve already announced a ton of Marvel shows,  High School Musical: The Musical: The Series show, Lizzy McGuire, new episodes of The Clone Wars, an Obi Wan Kenobi show, and (my favorite thing they are bringing) The Mandalorian.

But what IPs should Disney resurrect that they didn’t announce?

  1. Dinosaurs? I mean nothing these days is ever a dead show or movie right?
  2. Tron. I loved Tron Legacy (and it may just be because of the awesome visuals and Daft Punk’s music or (O.O) Olivia Wilde. I want to know what happened. I’d take a show or a direct to streaming movie to round this out. 
  3. Girl Meets World (continuation). This revival was cancelled, but it might be better slated for Disney+.
  4. How about some new marvel cartoons like X-Men. Or license a Spider-man cartoon with Sony (too soon?).
  5. Deadpool Does the News Nope can’t do this because they are keeping the platform Rated R free (they should do this on Hulu though!)

What backlogged show or movie do you think Disney should bring to Disney+? Sound off in the comments!

PS, here’s a proper The Mandalorian Trailer:


August 2019 Geek Radar [Updated]

What a time to be a geek! Sometimes it’s important to step back and really get excited about all of the upcoming media. So let’s get into it!

    1. Ghostbusters: The Video Game Remastered
      • This was announced a month or so back, somehow I missed this. This game was amazing and I’m glad it is finally getting the remaster that it deserves!
    2. Luigi’s Mansion 3
      • Similar to Ghostbusters, and also coming out in October, we have Luigi’s Mansion 3.
    3. Rambo: Last Blood
    4. Terminator: Dark Fate
    5. Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker
      • Though I was not entirely happy with “The Last Jedi”, I’m excited to see how the final story of the Skywalker Saga is concluded. I’m hoping that it ties up the saga well. I know that will take an incredible effort on the writers’ part. But here’s to hoping!
    6. Apple TV+’s “For All Mankind” an alternate reality show about the Russians making it to the moon first.
    7. Disney+’s “The Mandalorian.
      • More Star Wars!
    8. CW’s “Crisis on Infinite Earths”
      • 90’s Flash, Brandon Routh’s Superman from “Superman Returns” that has become “Kingdom Come Superman” (which is essentially the classic movie superman), maybe Tom Welling reprising his role as Smallville’s Superman?, Kevin Conroy (the cartoon voice of Batman in most iterations) as “Batman”, and all of the CW’s TV properties. I can’t believe how much is being brought to the table on this. This is DC’s Infinity War, and I’m super excited!
    9. All of the Marvel Shows coming to Disney+.
      • Loki
      • Wanda Vision
      • The Falcon and the Winter Soldier
      • What If?
      • Hawkeye
    10. Far on the Radar is the PS5. I’m crossing my fingers for All Playstation Backwards Compatibility, but at least PS4 backwards compatibility has been announced.
    1. The Matrix 4 [Added] was announced!


Spider-Man leaving MCU

After the failure that was Spider-man 3 (aka finger guns and Topher Face), Sony brought us a movie that made Peter Parker a “skater dude” instead of “lovable nerd”. Andrew Garfield as Spider-Man and Emma Stone as Gwen Stacy we’re both good choices, but the writing suffered. Then after the total disaster that was “The Amazing Spider-turd 2”, Sony was even more desperate to make money on their prized cash cow. So then we got all the greatness that is the MCU Spider-Man.

Now that talks have broken down between Sony and Marvel for future films, where does that leave us? Sony can’t reference the MCU, and the MCU can’t reference Spider-man. Tom Holland has 2 more years left on his contract. Will Sony continue his story ignoring the established character’s major influences? Will they put Venom in the same universe as Spider-man? What would that mean to the viewer? Now Venom is in the same universe as the MCU but not really in the MCU? Disney should fight harder to keep Spider-Man. The 50/50 deal isn’t good enough to Sony and it causes all kinds of story problems. I don’t know if this version of Spider-Man can survive outside of the MCU. The real looser here is the fan. The house of mouse is rich enough and the MCU needs Spider-Man narratively. These juggernaut companies need to just get along! This is definitely a struggling time to be a geek.

End Game

There’s not much else to say about Marvel’s End Game that other people haven’t said already. It’s a masterpiece. It ties up a very great 10 year arc. It’s also available for digital download in 2 days. So if for whatever reason you were living under a rock and haven’t seen it, you can watch this masterpiece very shortly.

I’m looking forward to re-watching this and watching all of the fun extras.

Marvel has since released Spider-man Far From Home and have announced several new upcoming films and Disney+ shows. I think I’m most interested in the Black Widow and Doctor Strange films.

Which of these are you most interested in? Drop a comment and let’s have a fun discussion.



Geek Dad

I use to write on my blog as a form of self awareness and therapy for myself. I had almost no filter on my blog when I was younger. Somewhere along the way I started to filter myself.  I’m sure no-one wanted to hear my whiny immature rants about whatever it was I was angry or upset about. And that makes sense, I was growing as a person.

When I was in college I had some friends that had a radio show. It was at some pretty late hours so I’m sure no-one was listening. It was a show called Brutal Reality on Jacksonville State’s 92J. I was in love with the idea of podcasting. I was a long time fan of TechTV. I loved The Screen Savers and I really wanted to do something like that. I use to watch Diggnation and watch Alex Albrect and Kevin Rose drink beer and shoot the shit. They talked about top rated stories, and were able to just be themselves and enjoy each other’s company as brothers. I found myself going on Brutal Reality sometimes looking for callers to ask computer questions in a segment we did sometimes. I owned this domain, and so I was “Mr. Geeknotions”. We ended up getting friends that were hanging out in the lobby to call in with questions because, like I said before, I’m sure no one was listening.

So when I left college, I got a job here in Decatur, AL. I barely knew the people I was working with. I had a hard time adjusting. I’m sure I wrote some on my blog, but I also ended up finding a running group on It was a bunch of married ladies (minus a girl who wasn’t interested in guys) but hey at least I was getting exercise and branching out a little! I also got a great friend of mine from college to come to work with us and ended up making great friends with the people I work with.

At the end of all of this, I’m still this single guy living in an apartment literally on the edge of town. At this time I have social anxiety really bad. In the terms of going places to meet people I didn’t really have a wingman. I have some friends that tried, but I needed someone who knew other people in the area to be a social conduit for me. I didn’t have that.

I had the internet and social media to make me even more anxious about meeting ladies. It lead to some bad decisions like trying to date someone I went to college that I shouldn’t have that lived a couple of hours away. We made better friends and things just didn’t work out there. Also I learned that long distance doesn’t work for me.

So I started using dating apps. I’m pretty sure I tried all of the popular ones. Getting responses was tough. When I went on dates, sometimes I’d think things went well and then I was ghosted. Or sometimes things seemed good in theory then there’d be no chemistry. I did end up dating someone for a while, but ultimately we didn’t want the same things. A good relationship is hard to find. I’m glad I don’t need to bother with all of that anymore. It was exhausting.

Immediately after that relationship, I had the opportunity to go to California for a month for work. I did some pretty cool things. I got to see San Francisco and Alcatraz. I also drove down highway 1 along the coast to Monterey Bay. The cliff’s on the drive were beautiful. After I passed Half Moon bay, I stopped and walked down a path next to this beautiful field full of yellow wildflowers. I came to the end of the path and stopped and felt the power of the wind as it soared off the waves.  I then continued to Monterey Bay to the aquarium where some of Star Trek IV was shot (the one with the whales). It was a time for me to gather my thoughts and just be one with myself.


After I got home, life continued normally for a bit and I helped around on a couple of film projects with a group of people I had met through my previous relationship. I just wanted to be a part of something like I had dreamed of in earlier years. I wanted to be a part of something more and do some cool things with friends. The film thing was kinda disastrous, for a lot of different reasons that I will not get into. But I was clawing to find something to hold me up after my previous failed relationship.


Then one day something happened that would unexpectedly change my life forever. My apartment was burglarized. I had some good renter’s insurance, so I just had a bit of a deductible to get replacement items. I got this money back due to a court order against one of the criminals. The other criminal has been in and out of jail since the burglary and we still haven’t had the trial 4 years later.

But why was this good luck for me? It got me off of my rumpus and I went and found a house. I had some friend’s wives come house shop with me to get the female perspective. With their help, and the help of my realtor, I found my beautiful home.

I had been binging out on Little Caesar Pizza leading up to my move in day because everything was in boxes. Also I may have been a little depressed that I was going to have this nice size house and probably feel even more lonely.

After all of this, and wanting to nearly give up, I tried the online dating thing again. I got to talking to this great lady that I now call my wife. We hit it off immediately, and we met up at a Starbucks for the first time. A lot of times, when meeting someone in person they don’t look like their picture online. My wife was even more beautiful in person. We talked even more and had a nice long walk on a trail right down the road. I still think about that conversation that we had. I don’t remember much of what was said, but I remember the feeling that I still have today.

After our first official date, we saw something that was a sign of what was to come. We saw a rainbow in the distance, because you were meant for me and I for you.IMG_1790

Since we’ve been married, I have mostly ignored this blog. This blog was a coping mechanism of mine that I just haven’t needed. The film business and social media in general was the same thing for me. It was just a way for me to ignore what I really wanted.

And now we embark on a new journey: parenthood x2. I find myself asking what I can do to be a good husband and to be a good father. And hopefully asking these questions continually will make me be these things.


So what will this blog become? Maybe it’ll become a blog about cool geek things to do with your kids? Maybe it’ll be more. I have missed writing here and I hope to bring more to you. From here on out though, this blog is definitely not a coping mechanism. It’s filling a need to have a creative outlet.

Hoping to be the best geek dad.


Avengers: Infinity War – 10 Years in the Making

A movie 10 years in the making, Avengers: Infinity War brought some epic battles, great team ups, and death. The movie was satisfying, but yet the ending was a bit odd. Of course it’s because they are leading into the next Avengers movie.  I can’t wait to see how everything goes in the next movie. And I’m interested in seeing Captain Marvel. I don’t know much about her character, but Marvel keeps feeding me such great stories how could I not?

Since the inception of the MCU, Marvel has taught me a lot about characters I didn’t know existed.  From Netflix’s Defenders, to Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D (which I need to watch more of admittedly), to all of the MCU movies, there’s just a ton of connected Marvel material. All of this material has been great, well besides Iron ‘Crybaby’ Fist. Did you know he’s the protector of K’un Lun? 

I didn’t buy comics when I was a kid, and I don’t buy many now. It’s an expensive habit. But Marvel certainly has enriched my imagination as an adult. I don’t know what else to say besides go watch this movie. You won’t regret it.

Marvel, thank you for 10 years of excellence!

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