Product review: Beardbrand Four Vices Mustache Wax. 

Well, we are half way through Movember. You know what that means. The Mustaches are growing! I am actually rocking a beard that I have been growing for about a month. I did trim up quite a bit last week but my mustache was completely shaven on Halloween night. The full beard is even now and this morning I trimmed up the edges of my mustache in preparation for my Mustache Wax that I received from Beardbrand this afternoon. I slightly disconnected the mustache from the goatee but left stubble. I wanted to be able to focus more on the mustache. I am thinking about rocking the Beardstache later on this winter.

This blog post is about the mustache wax, so let’s get into it! First off, I am a HUGE FAN of Beardbrand. I love the videos from Founder Eric Bandholz as well as Carlos Costa, Jeff Buoncristiano and Greg Berzinsky. They put out a slew of information on growing beards as well as fostering a style of the urban beardsman. I don’t grow the greatest of beards, but I definitely follow their philosophy of growing what you got!

 I signed up for emails from Beardbrand and every day I would receive new information and videos. At the end of the ten days, I was eligible to receive their Four Vices Mustache Wax for free with a promo code! I added the product to my cart as well as one of the free digital posters they offer. All I paid was $4.99 for shipping and received my wax within a week.

As I opened the package, I found the mustache wax and a vinyl Beardbrand logo sticker. The Mustache Wax didn’t have as much scent as I expected but it was noticeable and not did not deter me away. I enjoy that it is packaged like a tube of chapstick. It fits easily in the pocket for on the go. Much better than the traditional round canisters I’ve purchased in the past. I also like the black and gold labeling. This is a medium hold with natural ingredients like lanolin, cera flava and simmondsia chinensis oil. Not something I’m really familiar with but definitely more premium than other brands I’ve tried. This mustache wax is very easy to apply. Just scrape wax with fingernail and warm between the fingers. I find that it’s very soft and tames those unruly two week old hairs. I notice a slight smell when wearing it, but again not too strong, just enough fragrance to notice it. This is the first product that I have purchased from Beardbrand and I am not at all disappointed. 

I definitely recommend this company and that you subscribe to their YouTube channel. Beardbrand is changing the way Beardsman are viewed by society. I will link a video to one of the videos from Eric Bandholz with the mustache wax. 

https://youtu.be/kovbioAokpU

Beardbrand 

Movember Donation Page 
As they say at Beardbrand,

“Keep on Growing and Beard On!”

Until next time, 

James Virgil Boggs 

@jboggs222 on Twitter

@virgilboggs on Instagram

James Virgil Boggs on Facebook! 

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Beard Care. Cremo Beard & Face Wash & Balm. 

The cold weather has definitely hit Northwest Arkansas and that brings up Beard Care. It’s that time of season where many men grow their beards. Beard Care and skin care is a must. This season I am using products from Cremo. I picked them up at Walmart. I always have facial hair, but it’s shorter in the warm weather and I typically go with a Beard Oil. A few years ago, I created my own blend, because I wanted to save some money and learn more about beard care in general. There are a lot of resources online, specifically BeardBrand and The Beard Baron. I have learned a lot from their YouTube videos. I fall in line with the Urban Beardsman style of growing a beard, because it’s more than  just growing the beard. I have adopted new dress styles as well as haircut style. I rock the bald fade with hard part in the summer months and taper fade with hard part during the winter. I enjoy going to Coffee shops, riding my bike, walking trails and just enjoying everything this area has to offer.

Yesterday I picked up a bottle of Cremo Beard and Face Wash. I tried a small amount when I got home, but used it this morning during my normal shower routine. The first thing I noticed was the cooling effect that the peppermint oil left. The smell was amazing and the beard soaked up the wash. My skin felt much softer after using a quarter size amount, lathered up. The main reason Beard Washes are recommended is because they are natural products, free of harsh chemicals that strip beards of their natural oils. 

After the wash, I use the Cremo Beard Balm. This product keeps longer beards in tact, and keeps the skin underneath softer and smoother. With a short beard, I like a good oil but as the beard gets longer, I use balm. I put about a dime size amount in my hand and rub it in together, this creates a thicker type substance, like an oil that can be rubbed into the skin, then evenly distributed using a small Boars Hair Beard Brush. I have been using this brand of balm since March and really enjoy it. 

Neither of these products take much use and will probably last a long time. Both cost $10.00 at Walmart and can be picked up in the shaving area. Cremo offers several other products such as beard softeners, and oils. I would definitely recommend checking them out. Quick and easy to use and get.

Let me know if you decide to try out this Brand of Beard Care. 

Until next time, 

James Virgil Boggs 

James Virgil Boggs on Facebook 

Twitter @jboggs222 

Instagram @virgilboggs 

Help me change the face of men’s health this #Movember by making a donation to my moustache: https://t.co/YjWQS3HI3f 

AirPiZero. Kodi Media Center on the Raspberry Pi Zero. 

I’m calling this project “AirPiZero” because I finally settled on what I wanted to use to mount my Raspberry Pi Zero. I have tried several different types of cases from projects that I have disassembled, but I landed on this little Cessna 172 model that I purchased years ago. It was my favorite plane to fly when I moved to Northwest Arkansas nearly 10 years ago.

For this project I am running an updated version of Kodi, OSMC Media Player that I wrote to a 16gb micro SD card. I mainly use Kodi for watching Apple Byte and DIY Network as well as displaying the weather. To control Kodi, I downloaded Yatse from the Google Play Store.

AirPiZero Video 

Getting set up was pretty easy, I wrote the image on this SD card back in February and used it for a little while, but put it away until about a month ago. My first project with this Raspberry Pi Zero was Retropie, but I wasn’t very impressed after I got it. I was later given a Retropie Arcade using a Raspberry Pi 3 and I enjoyed it quite a bit. I wanted to use the Pi Zero for minimum use and Kodi has been a great option.

The connections that I use are a usb hub, that I have a Wi-Fi dongle connected to, a micro USB adapter plugged into the hub, micro USB for power and a really long mini HDMI cable to my Vizio Flat Screen. I had most of the peripherals lying around the house, so the cost of this project was pretty cheap. I really only purchased the Raspberry Pi Zero and HDMI cable online.

I am still in the process of testing it out, but found out last night that the Pi struggled to keep up after about 20 minutes of watching a DIY Network show. It lagged in the first 5 minutes, then played really well, but eventually stopped playing. I keep this Pi upstairs, which is away from the router so that could have a factor as well, but it’s probably more of an issue with the SD Card and Pi itself. I will test out more shows later on and update if it gets better.

This has been a neat little project for such a cheap computer. I’m not sure if I will use the Raspberry Pi for something else or keep it, but I do enjoy it for sure. I will leave the links below for Kodi OSMC and Yatse. Let me know if you decide to create a Kodi Media Player with your Raspberry Pi Zero.

Kodi OSMC 

Yatse 

Until Next Time, 

James Virgil Boggs 

Twitter @jboggs222 

Instagram @virgilboggs 

James Virgil Boggs on Facebook 

Install Firefox on the Raspberry Pi 3. 

I was looking for a different browser to install on my Raspberry Pi 3, and came across Ice Weasel, which actually turned out to be Firefox when I installed it. I was looking for a browser that I could use in full screen mode to display a Weather Dashboard like Weather Underground or DakBoard. 

The update process took around 30 minutes to complete. In the terminal I typed in the following code.

sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get dist-upgrade

After the update was complete, I was ready to install Firefox. Again, I typed in the following code. 

sudo apt-get install iceweasel

Once Firefox was installed, I opened it up, I was greeted with an update page, but after the installation, normal updates didn’t appear. Another reason I wanted to try a new browser was to run Netflix, because WideVine isn’t available for Chromium. Netflix said I needed the latest version of Firefox, but at this point I still haven’t gotten it updated. 

I did enjoy using Firefox in full screen mode for Weather Underground, although it was slower than Chromium, I find it an easy to use browser. The Raspberry Pi 3 is mainly used as a Digital Picture Frame and for casting videos via the Raspicast app. I have another tutorial on how to use the Raspberry Pi 3 as a Chromecast Alternative. I will update if I find out how to update for Netflix.

If you install Firefox on your Pi, let me know what you enjoy using, and if you like it over Chromium. I’m not completely sold, but even using DakBoard in Kiosk Mode would convince me to keep it.

Until next time,

James Virgil Boggs

Follow on Instagram @virgilboggs

Follow on Twitter @jboggs222

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Not your typical DakBoard 

The DakBoard is a fairly new product that was designed to give you a family style dashboard for displaying photos, news, weather and calendar updates. You can purchase your own DakBoard on their website or build your own using an old monitor and a Raspberry Pi. I chose to use an old laptop that I installed a Linux Distribution on and an existing monitor that I took off its stand. This was a fairly simple process. The main objective was to get rid of Windows 7 and install Linux Mint, I’m running Cinnamon. I used several tutorials I found searching Google. The first thing I did was try out the Linux Distro by creating a boot drive. Eventually I liked it enough that I erased Windows and installed Linux Mint. I would suggest that you Google ways to create a boot drive, and or install Linux directly onto your laptop. It can be a time consuming process.

As you can see above, that is the finished product. But how can you get DakBoard once you have the Linux installed? I simply went to the DakBoard website on Chrome and signed up for a free account. Once you are logged in, you have the option to set up which RSS news feed you want, photos to display, weather feed and of course getting your schedule to display. That is where you need to download Wunderlist, I got mine from the Google Play Store. In this app, you can create your own events that you want displayed on the DakBoard, just make sure to include your account settings in your DakBoard account. By having this app installed, you can easily update, and delete old events. This is great for on the go, because you don’t have to be on the same wireless network. When your DakBoard updates, it will post your new content. Sydney loves that I use this, because she can easily find out my schedule in the morning when she leaves for work.

The thing I love most about the DakBoard website, is that I can login on any device, specifically my Wall Mounted iPad in the bedroom, or my new Raspberry Pi 3 Box Project that I just created. It’s simple, there’s really no difficult process, other than getting the Linux installed, and I only did that because my laptop was old and barely working on Windows 7. As long as you have an updated version of Chrome, it’s pretty easy to get started. My monitor is vga, so I just plugged it in to the laptop and power supply. I had to go into the settings to be able to use it while keeping the lid closed, again I would search for ways to do that. Once you get that done, you can just plug in a keyboard and mouse and edit your settings on DakBoard in Chrome, as well as going full screen mode so that the entire monitor is filled with DakBoard. Unplug your mouse and keyboard and continue to update your settings on a mobile device. Every time it refreshes, you will see new content that you want displayed.

I like this way of using a DakBoard because I don’t like hanging things on the wall, and I didn’t have an extra Raspberry Pi lying around. I enjoy using old electronics for new projects and this is one of my favorites. It’s simple, doesn’t take up much room and is easy to update every week. There’s no need in taking apart the monitor, trying to tape the Raspberry Pi and other peripherals onto the back and then creating a frame around it. If you are interested in purchasing your own DakBoard, I will leave the link below.

DakBoard 

Let me know what you create with DakBoard.

Until next time,

James Virgil Boggs

James Virgil Boggs on Facebook 

Follow on Instagram @virgilboggs

Follow me on Twitter @jboggs222 

Raspberry Pi Box Project 

Link to Instagram video. Raspberry Pi Box Project

 

For this project, I used a Raspberry Pi 3, the casing from a guitar amp that I disassembled, an old Dell Monitor that I also disassembled. I mounted the monitor onto the amp box using zip ties. I put the plastic cover back on the front of the monitor and then hooked everything up to the Pi which is housed in a Samsung Galaxy S4 Box.

The main goal for this project was to be able to stream content from my phone to the Pi, sort of like a Chromecast. I used the tutorial from Don at Novaspirit Tech, follow on Instagram @novaspirittech. His website has the full tutorial along with a YouTube video. I will link below. After following the tutorial and getting the coding into the Pi, I downloaded RaspiCast from the Google Play store. Don said to his knowledge this was only available on Android. To get the ssh to work correctly, I had to find the ip address of my Raspberry Pi, I entered in ifconfig in the terminal and was able to get it. I also changed the settings to work on the 3.5mm audio jack since I’m not using straight hdmi for my monitor, it’s a hdmi to vga connection. After all the ssh settings were entered correctly, I found the video that I wanted to cast, and it worked perfectly. I was able to control the volume and still be able to use my phone for anything else.

I also use the Raspberry Pi as a Digital Picture Frame using a flash drive that I filled with pictures from Sydney and I’s engagement photo shoot. This makes a great addition to the living room. When the Pi wants to go to sleep, I also have a custom screen saver that I installed today. Overall I am pleased with this project. The Raspberry Pi is plugged in directly to the ethernet port on my router, so I can use it for streaming Podcasts as well.

I hope you enjoy this project and I look forward to seeing what you create with the Raspberry Pi!

Until next time.

James Virgil Boggs

Links to the tutorial from Novaspirit Tech

How to use Raspberry Pi as Chromecast Alternative

Novaspirit Tech on Instagram 

Novaspirit Tech on Facebook 

James Virgil Boggs on Facebook 
Follow me on Instagram @virgilboggs, @LYFTDLIFE. #LYFTDLIFE

POST WILL BE UPDATED WHEN I GET THE GOOGLE AIY KIT!

GOOGLE AIY KIT PREORDER

THREE YEARS OF MARRIAGE THIS WEEK. WHERE DO WE GO FROM HERE?

                                          
 This is a significant week in the life of Sydney and I. We celebrate 3 years of marriage on Wednesday, July 6th. As I reflect back on those three years, I am reminded of God’s Grace and Mercy upon us. We have been through so much together. We have learned to love each other more every day. We have faced so many hardships together, and have had to rely on God to bring us through, because He is much bigger than any trial we could ever face and so our hope has been on Him through the Gospel of Jesus Christ, that brought salvation to us both. Where could I start in reflecting back in our 3 years? Well, I can say I thought we would have a normal first year of marriage. You know, the we are in love, everything is beautiful and amazing at all times kind of marriage? It started out that way. We had a beautiful wedding ceremony, the best honeymoon in Branson, Mo I could ask for. I took a week vacation. We did things that were normal for a new married couple. We unpacked our new house together, we got a puppy, we mowed our yard together, she cooked some really great meals. Much of what I needed. I am a very skinny guy, but I was even skinnier then and I packed on some much needed weight early on. We both worked our jobs and came home in the evenings to spend time together. The first few months, I was working until 1 am, so that was difficult, but we adjusted. She would cook meals for me and my fellow coworkers. We did life normally and it was pretty awesome. I was 25 and enjoying life more than I ever had.  

Then we came to a point where we wanted to discuss having children. I remember being scared at the thought. I remember saying “let’s wait” and “let’s pray”. I was focused on my music, and by that I mean being a “bedroom rapper”, it was nothing as glorious as going to a big recording studio, but I could tell my story and promote my testimony. I did that pretty much as often as I could from 2011-2013 and then early 2014, I decided maybe it was time to slow down. I started reading the Bible through the year, was involved in small groups, and in early 2014, I went to a men’s retreat with my church. I remember sensing God’s direction to start having children and I came home after much prayer and said its time to slow down with the music and focus on my family. We did just that and a few months later found out we were pregnant. I was very excited. I was nervous but I had no choice but to pray and trust that things would be okay. At 10 weeks, we found out things were not okay. I have written about this several times, and it’s in the book we are working on, so I won’t go into too much detail on this blog post, but the pregnancy ended in a Miscarriage. We were faced with our first real trial as a couple. We had some choices to make. We chose to allow nature to take its course and let the child pass naturally instead of having a DNC surgery. We wanted to have a second opinion ultrasound to make sure that the baby did it fact pass away. We knew it was still early and didn’t want to solely rely on a machine to tell us whether there really was a heartbeat or not.

During this time I went to Ecuador for 2 weeks to serve by doing a Vacation Bible School. This was during our first anniversary. I had quite a scare for Sydney to hear about as I was nearly “Swallowed up” by the Jungle. Thank God for the backpack and walking stick that kept me from falling to my death. God is merciful. I thank God for men who wear hearing aids as well. Roger Reid finally did hear me hollering “Roger! , Help!”, it’s kind of comical to tell the story but it was life or death at the time and I just wasn’t ready to go. I did make it back on U.S soil and was welcomed home by my bride. We went straight to the doctor as soon as she picked me up from the airport to get her checked out since it had been about a month since the miscarriage. We also went to counseling the next day. I was convinced everything would be okay and that we would mend those wounds. I wasn’t prepared for the next year. I wasn’t prepared to find out that we were pregnant again, and that the baby, who we thought was developing normally, was not. In fact we were told little Drexel Lee, had no kidneys, and that he wouldn’t develop lungs, and without either he would pass away. This story alone, went on for months and to save time and information that I am putting into the book, I will keep it short. I was not prepared to give up our son. I was not prepared to be completely broken. I thought everything was okay. It had been for 20 weeks, minus an early scare, but I wasn’t prepared to fall on my knees, begging for God’s intervention. Begging for God to do something that I couldn’t do. I wasn’t prepared to be faced with the biggest heartache of my life, but I had to. There was no other choice. We could either be mad at God, or trust Him. We chose to trust. We chose to carry, when we had the option of abortion. We chose to deliver Drexel at 37 weeks, via C-Section, and that the outcome, would be up to God, that we would be okay with Drexel either living or passing. Drexel was born, I held him close. Family held him close. Friends visited. After 10 hours, he took his last breath. Drexel passed away due to a condition known as “Potter’s Syndrome”. We witnessed every breath he took, every little cry he could produce and his final breath. We were not alone and I believe God perfected his little life on this earth. We went through every grieving process and funeral service for him.

Like our wedding, the funeral was beautiful, and Jesus was made famous. Like our wedding day, Jesus was made famous. Our marriage has been focused on making Jesus famous. Do we fail? Yes everyday. Are we perfect? Far from it. We have been told that we are an inspiration to many. I am humbled by that. I can only say that God is good, He is merciful and full of grace. I could have continued a life of sin and separation from God, but He sought me out. He wanted me, he wanted ALL of me, not the part that tried to look good on Sunday. He desires a relationship with all of us, and I am reminded in Scripture, that He loves us, in our filth. He loves us when we are disgusting and ugly. He loves us when we are obedient. He loves us because He gave His only Son and while we were yet Sinners, Christ died for the ungodly. Jesus died for those who reject Him. Marriage is a beautiful description of The Gospel. Men, love your wives and be willing to give up your lives for her, as Christ gave up His life for the Church. Stop treating her like she owes you something. Be gentle, kind, selfless. It’s easy to say these things, but we are called to do them. Be Men of Grace, Mercy and Love as our God is. If you don’t know Jesus Christ as personal Lord and Savior, then I challenge you to search the scriptures to find out who He is. One day you will become like Him, through a constant growing in Him and His word.

So here we are, 3 years this week. What does the future hold? I have no clue, but I do know that I am not going back to the old me. I am not going to be afraid. I am going to proclaim Jesus more. Our marriage is going to proclaim Jesus more. Will you proclaim Jesus more? Will you stop playing games with the Gospel, if that’s what you have been doing? Will you be willing to die for His names sake? I made that decision years ago when I surrendered to the ministry though missions. I am not afraid. I am unashamed. I will be hated, but not because they hate me, but because they hate WHO I represent. They hate WHO my marriage represents. I am undeserving of such Grace, but I will gladly take it and be obedient to the calling on my life. Will you?

Until next time,

James Virgil Boggs
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