Minecraft Begats Mine Chest

Bring Minecraft into your real life.

My referral link: https://minechest.com/refer/Scott-LYPTBLES

Have $30 to spend, but don’t know what to spend it on? Mine Chest! What is Mine Chest? It’s pretty much a way to get Minecraft fans to spend more money, yet for some reason I’m still pretty excited about it. Who isn’t curious about what comes inside each box?

I’ve been curious about these “geek” boxes popping up on the internet. Loot Crate is probably the most known box of geeky goodness. They give you an idea of what to expect, but still leave some mystery. There’s a different theme every month, and these companies offer the swag in a subscription based format. You can usually pay month-to-month or in bulk.

Imagine spending $335.88 a year (not including shipping and tax) to get your very own Mine Chest ever month! Paying for a whole year in advance saves you about $25. I can’t see myself wanting to buy that subscription, having all that Minecraft stuff, it seems like too much. After a while, I’d run out of space. That’s why I’m just giving it a try for a month or two. I could use a new t-shirt anyway.



Why Not Buy a Used Electric Car?

This Photo Picked with Mark Mushakian in Mind

The first electric car I got to drive was the 2011 Nissan LEAF. I was an early adopter and it’s hard to believe that was around 6 years ago. I reserved one for $100, but I wasn’t sure I’d be able to convince my mom to help me get it. $100 didn’t seem like a risk and I could get the money back anytime I wanted. Well, we ended up getting it, and I drove that car a lot! I let mom drive it sometimes since at the time gas was expensive and she had a Honda CR-V.

Now I’m driving a 2014 Ford Focus Electric car. While I like the Ford, I’m likely to go back to a LEAF for my next car. In fact, I listed the car on swapalese.com to see if someone wants to take it off my hands. It’s mainly an effort to save money, and I rarely drive these days but also, I miss driving the LEAF.

The Ford Focus EV is a fun car to drive, and its great on the freeway with all the extra power you get versus other electric cars, but Ford put the battery in the trunk. That means you lose a lot of storage space. Nissan puts their battery under the seats. It’s a better design, but in Ford’s defense, the Focus wasn’t originally designed to be an electric vehicle (EV).

My 2014 Ford Focus Electric

Now that electric cars have been on the road for about 5 years, their popularity is steadily increasing. While gas prices have come down, electricity is still far cheaper, especially in California. If you’re in the market for a new car, you might want to consider a used Nissan LEAF or other EV. I’ve seen several LEAFs on Carmax for around $10,000. Used EVs from other automakers are also pretty low-cost right now. However, used Teslas are still pretty expensive, guess I won’t be getting one any time soon. 😉

I’m excited that there’s going to be a more affordable Tesla coming out next year. I won’t be reserving one, since I’m planning on taking mom’s 2013 LEAF when the lease is up. Still, someday I’d like to support Tesla, because the company is thinking outside of the box. After all, buying a Tesla is not like buying a regular car. No haggling, no pressure, just like buying anything else.

Buying a used EV is a little risky since no one knows quite what to expect. EVs technically are more reliable than gasoline cars because there are fewer parts that can break down and electric motors last a long time. The most expensive part is the battery, but prices on batteries are likely to reduce over time. It’s all about mass-production. However, if you need a second car for driving to work or around town on errands, a used EV might be perfect for you.

$10,000 is not bad for a used car and with a sizeable down payment, financing one is easy. Even if the battery needs to replaced at some point, that should be after several years. Then, in the case of the Nissan LEAF, it’s only about $6,500 for the new battery assuming the price stays the same. Who knows, it might be possible to buy a batter with better range too. With an EV, there’s a nice savings on maintenance and fuels costs, plus there’s no need to visit the gas station.

Even if it’s going to be your only car, EVs can still fit the need for most drivers. And with the next generation of cars likely to have a range of around 200 miles per charge, more and more people might make the switch. After all, if all you care about is having something reliable for every day driving, electric cars just make sense.

An Apple A Day…


Apple is having their Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC) this week and the big news is the plethora of updates coming to their operating system platforms this fall. Check out iDropNews for all of the latest updates from the conference. There wasn’t any new hardware presented at the keynote address on Monday, but it’s likely we will see upgraded Apple devices coming by the end of the year. A new iPhone is pretty much guaranteed and hopefully an update to the Apple Watch.

What I’m really looking forward to with the new software updates is the ability to unlock a MacBook with the Apple Watch. Hopefully the iPhone will be added to that at some point. Also, Siri is coming to Mac finally (I admit I don’t use Cortana on my PC, but I do on my Xbox).

The best thing about these new updates is that they will be free to owners of Apple computers and devices. It’s wonderful! Of course, some older Apple devices will not be upgradeable to the new software. This is usually because of hardware limitations. Thankfully, my MacBook Pro 2011 model is still upgradeable, and hopefully that will be true for many more years to come.