Fellow Stagg EKG by Adrian Galli

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Only last week I wrote my review musing over the Zero Japan Bee House tea pot I adore so. Despite having owned it for months, I was inspired to write its review because of what was coming to me.

While walking through a William Sonoma, I saw a kettle that really caught my eye. Sleek, black, modern, and minimalist design, it was one of those gut reactions that said, “you need that.” I already had an electric tea kettle. It was cheap, old, and really only did one thing: boiled water. Of course, it did exactly what it was designed to do—I am not faulting it but when making tea, not all are brewed equally.

Black tea, for example, is brewed directly with boiling water. Green and white tea, and some oolong, on the other hand, are brewed at much lower temperatures of 70° to 80° celsius (160-180° ferenhneit). Boiling water to 100°C then letting it cool is tricky without a thermometer.

Fellow is a company making some svelte coffee and tea appliances. The Stagg EKG is an electric kettle with a great design and a programmable base to set one’s temperature needs. Hence, I needed it.

Not only looking amazing, the technical aspects of being able to set one’s temperature is really important. If water is too hot, for coffee or tea, it will diminish the quality of flavor. While many might find that funny, a favorite tea of mine, Gyukuro Jade Dew Green, is very expensive, high quality, and to ruin such a tea is like cooking fillet mignon to well done. At fifty-three dollars a pound, one would be wise to take care of proper brewing.

Sitting nicely on the counter top, the black matte finished metal is quite striking. A pistol-grip handle that never gets hot is well balanced with the kettle itself, whether empty or full. The base for the kettle very nicely and, while plastic, matches the design and finished quite well. It is really the only negative item on my list. I would have loved for it, too, to be metal. The knob to the right both turns on the device and sets one’s temperature—one press to power on, turn to adjust temperature, and press again to power off. The monochrome display opposite the knob give a clear indication of the temperature and state of the device.

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Upon first using it, I boiled water for some black tea. I set the temperature to 100°C and walked away. For a few minutes I didn’t check on it but it soon dawned on me that I had no idea if it was boiling water or not. I returned to check in on the kettle to find it was only at 99°C. I did not time it but at least five minutes had gone by which was sufficient time to boil the .9L of water.

What was going on here? I was somewhat disappointed that it wasn’t getting me to the a full boil… or was it? It sounded like it was boiling so what the gauge inaccurate? Being a scientist, something dawned on me. Have I ever boiled water in Chicago at 100°C? That’s a funny question to a lot of people. Before I answer, I would like my readers to answer that question. If one is in Chicago, boiling water, will it ever reach 100°C to boil?

The answer is 'no.’ Chicago, to the surprise of many, is at approximately 182 meters above sea level and that is just enough to change the boiling point of water to about 99°C (probably more like 99.5). You likely didn’t expect a science lesson when reading this review but Hexagon isn’t just cool gear! And this is to the credit of the Stagg EKG—the temperature gauge actually seems to be quite good.

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With a beautiful silhouette, black matte finish, temperature controls, and a pretty spot on gauge, this electric kettle has found a home and will be much appreciated. Fellow had a sale so I was able to pick up this lovely device for $126. While it is normally $149, making it five times more than my old one, good things are worth the money and I foresee this Red Dot Design Award 2018 winner to never cause any regrets.

Price: $149

 

Apple Watch — Watch Faces by Adrian Galli

Frequently, I get asked, “what do you use your Apple Watch for?” It is a hard question to answer because it is such a powerful device with so much capability but also because it is very personal and everyone will use it differently.

Wanting to answer this question better, I with something simple: Watch faces. It is the first thing you see when you raise your wrist and there are many different styles, designs, and functions. Some are very simple like Solar, showing time based on the position of the sun, or complex, like Modular, with many places for complications such as weather, calendar information, and fitness details.

 Solar watch face with Date and Time

Solar watch face with Date and Time

 Modular: Date, Time, Calendar, Wunderground, OTP Auth, Things

Modular: Date, Time, Calendar, Wunderground, OTP Auth, Things

Below are some of my favorite and most commonly used watch faces for Apple Watch.

Watch faces

Modular

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Modular is a simple design but powerful watch face. With five positions for complications, a lot of data can be viewed from one's wrist. It is a favorite for daily use and many colors available—Modular matches just about any watch band or outfit.

I typically will have this watch face active when on set or at Apple. I might replace Activity (bottom middle) with OTP Auth for two factor authentication and Deliveries (package tracking, bottom right), with a task manager app, Things. Color will depend on what band I have on that day.

Complications on this watch face:
Date
Time
Calendar
Wunderground (weather)
Activity
Deliveries

Activity Digital

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Activity Digital has likely spend the most time active on my Apple Watch. Three complications and a bold representation of Activity for the day, one of the most important features of Apple Watch, fitness, is promoted to the centerpiece of this watch face. Move (red) shows your progress toward your active calories goal. Exercise (green) gauges how many minutes one has achieved out of one's thirty minute daily goal. Stand (blue) counts the number of times one stands and moves toward a daily goal of twelve.

Complications
Wunderground (weather)
Date
Time
Activity
Calendar

Siri

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Siri is not only the best way to control Apple Watch, it also is a watch face that anticipates the one's needs and upcoming information such as weather, calendar, news, music, stocks, home automation, and more. Siri becomes one big complication what dynamically changes.

Using the Digital Crown, one can scroll through these items from various data sources, tapping on them for more control or information, and one can narrow the focus of this date from Watch, the app on iPhone that controls Apple Watch settings.

Complications
Siri (voice control)
Date
Time
Siri (date sources)

Simple

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Simple is simple. Like a classic wristwatch, the face has little to no information on it other than analog time. However, there are in fact five positions for complications (all corners and Date). However, being the minimalist I am, I keep this watch face strictly Time and Date. Especially on Apple Watch Space Black, it makes for a very sexy look as the OLED screen and black stainless steel case become one.

Complications
Date

Pride

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Every so often Apple will release something special and timely to Apple Watch. For example, Pride, a watch face to match the Pride Band 2018, was released with watchOS 4.3.1 to celebrate Pride month. Both a slick watch band and cool watch face, Pride has an animated rainbow background, two complications, and Time.

Complications
Date
Activity (numeric representation)

Design is one of the most important part of Apple Watch so it is worth noting that I will sometimes change my watch face just because one looks better with a different band. Solar and Simple both look really amazing on a Apple Watch Space Black with Black Sport Band while Modular in Flash (color) looks great with Flash Sport band.

There are so many more styles—millions of combinations and designs. Mix and match watch faces and bands with one mood or outfit and check out all the different watch faces in the Face Gallery found in the Watch app on iPhone.

#TodayatApple — This is what I do by Adrian Galli

Programming Expert belies the role and impact in Apple Retail. There are only double digits of us... lower double digits, but myself and my Programming Expert friends are the boots on the ground making Today at Apple a reality.

Apple Michigan Avenue has been a jewel for our daily programming and high profile events alike. It is just the beginning of what we can do.

Come be inspired — Today at Apple

Bee House Teapot in Noble Black by Adrian Galli

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I’m not much of a coffee person. In fact, I think I can count how many cups of coffee I’ve ever drunk. But I am a tea person. I drink a lot of tea and have many types. At any given time, I usually have more than a dozen loose leaf teas: green, oolong, black, some flavored. As one might also expect, I also have an affinity toward a nice teapot.

Bee House is made by Zero Japan, a Japanese company, and it is one on fine teapot. Little do many people know, it is possible to be excited about a teapot. This really falls under my love of design. Bee House's minimalistic teapots are made out of high grade ceramic and come in many wonderful colors. Being the minimalist I am, I went with the 26oz noble black—a matte black finish that reminds me of carbon fiber than pottery.

Smooth to the touch, it not only looks fantastic, it feels great too. While functionally a teapot can do it job really well, part of good design, especially when it is something one will touch, the tactility of said object is very important. It not only adds comfort to an already ergonomic design but also one wants to use it—keep it clean, functional, and share it with others. And, tea, after all, is meant to be shared so should the experience of tea serving.

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The top is metal and clips on. Easy to remove, one can clean it and the pot itself separately. Inside, a metal, mesh basket allows steeping of loose leaf teas.

I have found that this particular ceramic holds heat very well. My old tea pot, also ceramic, would cool much more quickly. One tip, due tot he heat capacity of the pot itself, I tend to steep tea far less time. I use to keep tea in the old pot for hours and never had my tea get too strong. In my Bee House, black teas I rarely steep for more than three minutes, and green or oolong, for five minutes if the water is at the proper temperature. 

It has become a favorite kitchen item of mine. It is not only beautiful and functional but part of my daily life. There are thousands of teapots out there but ever since I saw these round globes at Argo Tea, I’ve loved them. And seeing the noble black in person, I loved them even more. One knows something is great when opening the box and softly saying, “wow.”

Price: $35

Happy Father's Day from the Animal Kingdom by Adrian Galli

When discussing the dads of the animal kingdom, we hear all about the Emperor Penguin and its fatherly love. Seahorses are also an incredible oddity of the ocean—they carry their young to term. But one animal is commonly forgotten.

The Great Flamingo male is a pink, feminist of a man who not only mates monogamously but also takes equal amounts of responsibility in home preparation (nesting), egg incubation, and raising their young.

A model father to humans and the rest of the animal kingdom, we can't forget the many other fantastic dads out there— so I bid all fathers today, Happy Father's Day!

Check out more about the dads of the world from Africa Geographic.