Review: Ducky x MK Creator Mecha Mini

I bought the “Ducky x MK Creator Mecha Mini RGB 60% Double Shot Pudding PBT Mechanical Keyboard” because I needed a 60% for FPS gaming and I loved the look of the pudding keycaps. As it says in the name, it’s a collab with mechanicalkeyboards.com and was available for a limited time. For the premium you get the aforementioned pudding keycaps, a custom purple base, and a custom creator spacebar. It also comes with the standard keycap puller and cable.

There should be more available soon; “late March 2021” they advertise. But it’s March 21st right now and it’s still not available. I didn’t find this product during the retail window so I had to get mine off ebay. After a bit of negotiating the seller and I settled for $200 with shipping, about $80 over the retail price.

This is going to be an FPS only keyboard so I went with black switches. The size is perfect, giving me the most room possible so that I don’t run into my keyboard on long flicks. I don’t like linear switches nor 60% keyboards for typing so I keep another keyboard on my desk when I need to do some work.

As with the normal one 2 mini, the base is a high quality metal and the entire keyboard has a surprising weight. Opening and closing the feet gives the most satisfying sound, like flipping a switch on a piece of heavy machinery.  I’ve been using this keyboard for three months now and I’ve seen no signs of wear, the finish on every part is just as solid as when I bought it.

This is all consistent with the standard Ducky one 2 mini. The things that make this keyboard unique, I’m not impressed by. I dislike the texture of the keycaps. The plastic is semi-rough and it dirties easily.  You can also feel / see bit of plastic where the mold was injected near the top of all the keycaps (I think it’s called a sprue?). That part faces away from you when you’re typing so you’d never feel or look at it with regular use but upon closer inspection it’s easily visible. The custom space bar design is a low resolution. The lines in the design are imperfect and its noticeable even when just looking down at the keyboard. They include the pudding space bar in the box but I’m likely just going to replace this with an artisan. Lastly being a custom collab for mechanical keyboard enthusiasts, I feel like it’s missing an essential item we all purchase anyways, a custom cable. I would have loved a custom purple coiled cable even if we had to pay more for it.

So would I recommend the keyboard? For a $20 premium on the regular ducky one 2 mini? Yeah, sure. The keycaps look cool and you get a purple base. For a $100 premium, like you’d get trying to buy one new off ebay right now? Nah.

Shopping for a Ready to Wear Savile Row Suit

Perhaps one of the greatest aspirations for a fashion hobbyist is owning a bespoke suit from Savile Row in London. Nowhere else is quite as famous for making suits. This is perhaps because in other countries, the sartorial heritage is more spread out throughout multiple cities instead of located all on one street. The brand names that come to mind when I think of a Savile Row suit include Huntsman, Henry Poole, and Anderson & Sheppard.

All of these brands make amazing bespoke suits. Now we get to the sort of “work around” that I always love to talk about: Of these three famous brands, one makes ready to wear suits, Huntsman. (Aside: if you like the Kingsman movie series, they wear Huntsman suits and their set is based off the Huntsman store. Though if you want a Kingsman suit they actually have their own brand called Kingsman which can be bought from Mr Porter.) Now there is nothing like a bespoke suit but it’ll cost you thousands of dollars and four separate trips to London to be fitted. That’s a bit out of my budget range right now so I’ll settle for the next best thing, a Savile Row suit in name made ready to wear off the rack.

 

Huntsman makes 7 suits ready to wear, but really it’s 4 suits with the most common design having a few options. They basically make a “standard” suit, an evening suit with peak lapels, a tuxedo like suit with a shawl lapel, and a hopsack suit. Their standard suit comes in winter and summer weight, navy and grey, filling out the rest of the selection to 7 choices total. The two evening suits are pictured above and the more standard suit is below.

If this is going to be my nicest suit, I’d like some versatility from it. I don’t think peak lapels are for me and a shawl lapel is really only for those late evening events. That standard look pictured above is what I’m going for, something I can wear to work and a wedding.

Their sizing goes down to 34 on the suit with the shawl lapel and 36 on everything else. I’m a size 35. Oh well, that’s the compromise with ready to wear anyways, they typically only have even sizes.

I prefer a black suit. Some people say it makes you look like a butler and it’s overly formal but it’s my favorite color. If I had a bespoke tailor I’d try to find a black fabric that looked more casual. For now with the Huntsmen suits, my choices are grey and navy. Neither would be a fitting color for black tie but honestly how many truly black tie events do I attend?

The worst thing about being in a suit for me is the heat. I have a nice selection of overcoats for the cold but in any heat I’m uncomfortable. So I prefer lightweight suits weeding out all but three choices, the navy fresco suit, grey fresco, or navy hopsack. The two navy suits are pictured above. The navy fresco and navy hopsack are sold out in size 36 so my decision was really made for me, the grey fresco.

They also make these suits made to measure for the same price but really it’s just a few tailoring options. The most dramatic change one can request is a different cloth but the rest of it is unimpressive. I couldn’t dictate a different size or a different fit. Just waist and sleeve adjustments. Next time I’m in NYC I’ll stop by their New York location to take a look at these cloth options (they have a location in Manhattan as well as on Savile Row).

Teredo is unable to qualify

So you’re trying to play Forza on Windows 10 or whatever and the Xbox Live Networking app is giving you this error:

NAT Type: Teredo is unable to qualify.

Server Connectivity: Blocked

There’s a million fixes online and the error has existed for years. Hope this saves you the hours of troubleshooting I had to do. I fixed the error by forcing the correct settings via group policy.

Run the local group policy editor. (Windows Key + R, type in gpedit.msc)

Computer Configuration > Administrative Templates > All Settings

Find these settings and double click it to edit. Remember to hit apply.

“Set Teredo Client Port” set: Enabled, port 0

“Set Teredo Default Qualified” set: Enabled, Enabled State

“Set Teredo Refresh State” set: Enabled, 30 second refresh rate

“Set Teredo Server Name” set: Enabled, Server name: “win1807.ipv6.microsoft.com”

“Set Teredo State” set: Enabled, State: Client or Enterprise (try both)

My fix was inspired by OG-Lomeri’s post from two years ago https://www.reddit.com/r/Windows10/comme…; however, his server name configuration didn’t work for me. I think it’s been updated? The server name I used is from https://support.xbox.com/en-US/help/hardware-network/connect-network/troubleshoot-party-chat

Hope this works for you all.

Space Force FAQ

The Space Force is officially one year old and I’m going to write up a quick FAQ for those of you with questions. Information dated: 20Dec2020

Do we need a Space Force?

Yes. If you don’t believe in the branch’s necessity, you’re uninformed. A quick google search can direct you to write ups much better than I’d be willing to summarize here.

Why not keep the Space Force under the Air Force?

If you’ve done some reading on the topic you’ll learn that the Space Force, its jobs, and its members are just rebranded Air Force Space Operators. Why not keep it that way? Long story short, money for space turned into jet fuel money under the Air Force.

Why not just have NASA?

NASA is a civilian entity for science and research, not warfighting. You want to separate the two. Money for war is not the same as money for science… though the military does do a lot of science. (Honestly a good way to hide scientific spending in the budget if you were a snide science loving politician)

What jobs are in the Space Force?

I’ve heard that there will be 9 warfighting disciplines. The primary ones are:

1. Orbital Warfare: Flying satellites. But instead of being flown with joysticks they’re flown with physics and math. (Best discipline, cause I’m in it.)

2. Space Battle Management: Track space stuff with assets on the ground and in space.

3. Space Electronic Warfare: Jam satellites.

4. Space Access and Sustainment: Help launch rockets. This is the rarest of the primary space disciplines. It is a career broadening tour. So you can’t get this one out of the gate.

Other warfighting disciplines that as of now are scheduled to join our ranks but aren’t in yet: Cyber, Intel, Acquisitions… I forgot the rest of them.

Will support jobs be added to the Space Force?

Not for the foreseeable future.

How do I join the Space Force?

Get a space job with an Air Force recruiter. That’s 13SX for officer and 1C6X1 for enlisted. If you have a bachelors degree, go officer. We do the same job but officers get paid more.

How do you feel about “Guardians”?

It wasn’t my vote but maybe it’ll grow on me. I’ll give it a chance. I wanted astra, sentinel, or anything but spaceman.

What do your uniforms look like?

We use OCPs with dark blue lettering for our tapes. The flag and higher headquarters patch are on our left sleeve. (I assert this is the best side for the patch since we carry it into battle and you don’t have to reverse the flag.) Our unit patch and duty identifier tab is on our right sleeve. The tab isn’t official yet but many of us wear it to distinguish our discipline. Most of them are about the size of a flight suit morale patch. I’ve seen SEW patches the size of normal duty identifier tabs. Congress has banned the creation of new camos for each service to save money so we’re not gonna get that moon camouflage any time soon. Furthermore, space operators work on the ground. We do deploy for secret missions and we do need OCPs.

Are you against the weaponization of space?

It’s going to happen despite our good intentions of keeping as a scientific frontier. The number of nations that have access to space is growing. We may not be the first to employ kinetic space warfare but we’ll be ready when the time comes.

Where can one get stationed in the Space Force?

80% of us are in Colorado, most of those in Colorado Springs. Generally OW is at Schriever, SEW is at Peterson, and SBM is at Buckley. There are many, many, exceptions to that, for example I’m OW at Buckley. There are also SBMs at radar sites, Beale, Cavalier, and Cape Cod. Then there are a few SA&S guys at launch sites like Vandenberg and Cape Canaveral but that’s a temporary career broadening assignment. And then there are the very few abroad in Thule, Europe, Asia, and those deployed.

Other questions? Leave a comment.

Nobu vs Matsushisa

Everyone knows about famous sushi restaurant Nobu, a favorite of Hollywood celebrities and Roxanne. But few know about its sister restaurant, Matsuhisa. For those of you that haven’t made the connection, Chef Nobu’s full name is Nobu Matsuhisa and he’s given his last name to a few restaurants in the Colorado Rockies.

There are currently three Matsuhisa restaurants. One in Denver, Aspen, and Vail. Matsuhisa is basically a Nobu for your annual ski trip. Nobu’s are often found in affluent areas and Matsuhisas make no exception, Aspen and Vail are two of the nicest ski resorts in the country.

This past weekend I was skiing in Aspen, the restaurant is easy to spot from the street in downtown. The Aspen location looked pretty small, understandable because space in Aspen is very limited (Moncler even had to send a runner from their stock room three blocks away when we asked for different sizing). The Denver location was roomy, occupying the bottom floor of a building in downtown as seen in the featured image. I’ve seen pictures of the Vail location and that one looks the nicest to me. I’ll be going to Vail in a few weeks and hopefully will get it to check it out. Anyways back to Denver…

Denver is currently not allowing dine in because of COVID-19 but my friend and I stepped into their location to order. The door was consistent with the large wood designs I’ve seen at Nobus before and the interior looked upscale as well. The menu looked the same as Nobu’s but I only eat nigiri and waygu so I mainly payed attention to those sections. Matsuhisa Denver was really only missing the ocean views typical of the Nobus back home.

The host was polite and immediately came to help us. After we ordered he showed us a seat in the waiting area and offered us water. The food was nicely packaged making it look like we just finished shopping at a boutique. They even included an envelope with a letter thanking us for our patronage. The package included a few complementary cookies and more than enough soy sauce, both kinds, regular and low sodium.

I estimate that Matsuhisa is slightly cheaper than Nobu. Maybe 20% cheaper. 8 pieces of nigiri and a roll cost me about $70 before tax and tip. Comparing the same item on the menu, Salmon nigiri is $5 per piece at Matsuhisa Denver and $7 per piece at Nobu Malibu making Matsuhisa basically 30% off Nobu. Of course a restaurant on the Malibu coast is probably going to have more overhead costs. I know for a fact that Nobu prices vary depending on the location. Perhaps I’ll make a blog post later on the cheapest place to get Nobu; though I think I’ve already answered that, the cheapest place to get Nobu is at Matsuhisa.

I haven’t been brave enough to try other sushi places in Denver since it’s far from the water but I very much enjoyed the food at Matsuhisa. I think I’ll be visiting Matsuhisa more often because it’s basically a cheaper Nobu. I guess whether you’re wintering in the Rockies or you’re staying in Denver like me, Matsuhisa does the job of satiating that Nobu craving for high end sushi.

My Dream Watch: The Omega Speedmaster Alaska Project

I’d like to consider myself a watch enthusiast even though I don’t have the funds to support such a hobby. My very modest collection has a few mechanical watches, an apple watch, and a classic Movado (I know the stigma but I love their design). But the watch I really want is an Omega Speedmaster, the moon watch. I like to think of watches as a practical instrument and space is my profession. I guess in a certain way I work in the space industry. There’s a scuffed up example of a speedmaster I’m eyeing right now but I’d love to tell you you about the speedmaster in the featured image, the Alaska Project. It was designed to work on the moon and that bright red case was to insulate it from the harsh temperatures of space. I have a very slender wrist but I would wear that full case, what an amazing talking point.

Also on my list and at a much more attainable price point is the Omega Commander’s Seamaster. Wait that’s not a speedmaster you say? Actually speedmasters were all originally part of the seamaster line. I guess I’ll have to take up yachting if I get this watch. Most importantly though, it’s James Bond’s watch; he’s my idol.

Honorary mention is a digital speedmaster. It looks like a Casio! Imagine telling people you have a speedmaster and pulling this thing out. I think these may be oddly collectable.

My Favorite LA Restaurants

I never recommend that anyone visit LA without a local guide. The tourist attractions are disgusting but the city is just filled with amazing places scattered here and there. Listed are a few of my favorite restaurants. While LA doesn’t really have a “local delicacy” like Nashville hot chicken or Texas BBQ, it has the largest diversity of amazing food. One can easily find world class anything in LA.

The Favorites

Sugarfish ($$$)

This is my favorite restaurant. You can find this sushi spot scattered around in LA and NYC. They don’t take reservations. It’s normally served omakase but you can order a la carte too. I recommend trying the omakase trust me menu at least once. My favorite item is the albacore. I can’t find a place that serves albacore the same way, it’s delicious.

Rock Sugar ($$$)

Whenever someone asks me for food from “my culture” I take them here. It’s a very modern interpretation of SE Asian food. My favorite item are the beef skewers. My favorite thing to do is eat all of the appetizers and skip a main course. The service is excellent, they are attentive and even give you warm towels after you finish finger foods. If you want Pho, don’t get it here. Go to Little Saigon where all the Vietnamese people live.

CoCo IchiBanya ($$)

A Japanese curry chain that’s made its way over to California from Japan. I love the chicken curry cutlet with omelet. They don’t mess around with the spice either.

Wurstkuche ($$)

Great place to hangout in the Art’s district. They have sausages for a snack and an amazing tap room. All of the beers are matched to their own unique glass. Get drunk then go walk to the nearby art galleries!

Bottega Louie ($$$)

The famous macaroon place from Paris. Those little cookies aren’t cheap but they are so good. It really must be difficult to perfect that texture. It’s a nice place to sit down while waiting for Sugarfish to call your reservation or while shopping on rodeo.

Salt n Straw ($)

I’m not too big into ice cream but this is the unanimous favorite among my family. My favorite flavor is Honey Lavender.

La Colombe ($)

My favorite coffee, the Oatmilk Draft Latte. Feels like you’re drinking a coffee flavored cloud.

Nobu ($$$$)

So famous they rap about this place. A celebrity hot spot for sushi with stunning views. I haven’t had the chance to visit the one specifically in Malibu but they’re supposed to be consistent no matter which location you visit. You must call for a reservation or you will not get a seat. You can find these in high end neighborhoods around the world.

Honorary Mentions

Ajisen Ramen ($$)

My favorite ramen place. I get the ABC ramen. It’s a chain so you should be able to find these around. Honorary mention to runner up, Shin Sen Gumi which allows for noodle refills and is a great value!

Marugame ($)

Udon served cafeteria style.

Castle BBQ ($)

If for some reason they don’t have all you can eat KBBQ where you’re from, try it. I can eat pounds of brisket with brisket sauce, salt, and oil. Maybe a radish to cleanse the palate here and there.

Omomo ($)

My favorite boba place! The drinks are so creamy and yummy.

Unhealthy LA Traditions

Original Tommy’s ($)

Best chain of chili burger and chili fries.

Pinks ($)

LA famous hot dog place. Yes, the hot dog snaps when you bite into it.

Actually Running in Hypebeast Techwear Shoes

A while back someone at the gym stole my vaporflys and I was so bummed out I didn’t even want to go to the gym. Since not going to the gym was bad for my health I figured I’d solve this problem as quick as possible by walking into the Nike store and picking out whatever caught my eye. By coincidence I found the Nike Air VaporMax Utility Triple Black. They were listed on the Nike website as running shoes though at over $200 retail I think they were targeted a bit differently than trainers. I’d say these shoes were primarily for the techwear fashion enthusiasts but you know they had a nice new midsole and others in the line were clearly meant for running so I bought them… to run in. Not like casual running, these were my only training shoes for a while.

I mainly liked how the shoes fit in with my athletic outfits. I went to the gym on campus I wouldn’t have to bring a set of training shoes and a set of nice shoes for class. I’d love to style these with an acronym cp4-ws cape one day but that’s out of my budget range for now. My main complaint is the squeak. My friend commented “you’re not gonna sneak up on anyone with those shoes”. The vapormax soles squeak, especially on that you commonly find at schools and hospitals. Other reviewers said this went away but after years of ownership I can confidently say the squeak does not go away.

Enough of that though, I said I trained in them and I did. How were they to run in? It was fine. It felt like a high unstable platform at times. The flyknit held my foot well and I didn’t feel like I needed laces. That fastener lace they had on there does nothing. However, some days I’d get roped into playing sports with them on and this is where the real criticism lies, the shoe cannot handle any horizontal force. I think I was playing soccer and needed to change direction quickly. The shoe basically rolled around my foot like a sock so that the sole was completely on the side and I was stepping on only flyknit. The shoe survived that, more than once too.

After a years of use the shoe has faded and the flyknit has a small hole on the high top collar from me pulling the shoe on. Make sure to use the straps to pull flyknit shoes on or you’ll repeat my mistake.

Shoe was fashionable for everyday wear, acceptable to run in, and terrible for sports.

Comparing Three Doc Martens

I love Doc Marten Boots and I’m not sure why. They’re not particularly comfortable, practical, or honestly even that good looking. Somehow though I’ve still managed to accumulate three different pairs from different lines within the brand. They’re laughing all the way to the bank even with my criticisms.

My first pair was a 1460 in cherry red. Holy crap it was tough to break in. I remember I’d put folded paper in my socks to keep them from rubbing my heels raw. I wore them everyday for months and it eventually yielded to my determination. The leather feels authentic and over the years the boot has been scuffed up from motorcycle rides and late nights. I’ve never worried about this boot falling apart, it feels sturdy.

My second pair was a set of black Cartors. I found them at Nordstrom Rack for half the cost of my 1460s. From afar they look like the classic black docs but picking them up I could tell that there was something not right about them. I think my main complaint is that they’re synthetic leather and thus have a much softer feel and a different shine than the 1460s. These did not require any break in. They’re acceptable to wear if my outfit requires black boots but if these were my first docs, I would not have been impressed.

My third and hopefully last pair is a set of Chelseas, mono black so that I can wear them with my service dress if I want. I had been on the hunt for Chelsea boots for a while but none really caught my eye like the Docs. So after a putting it off as a maybe for a year I ended up buying it. They’re not too comfortable to walk in but my main complaint is the insole. It is cardboard. It’s hard to get a picture because it has some fake black cover they have over the heel of the insole. I thought it was some packaging material I had missed the first time I wore it. When you walk it feels like your socks are slipping around on dense cardboard inside. For $150, I don’t think this the quality one pays for. I gave them a shot though, maybe the cardboard becomes like memory foam after a while. I’ve worn them about 10 times. Still not pleased with the insole.

Overall I’d say get the 1460s, they’re the classic look, and be ready to break ’em in. They also have a vintage “made in England” line for $230 but I think Docs are quite pricey as is so I won’t be trying those any time soon.