A Week with the 2018 Lincoln Navigator

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Lincoln (Ford) invited me into the lap of luxury for a week with the redesigned 2018 Lincoln Navigator Black Label. Boyz II Men said it best – it’s so hard to say goodbye to yesterday. I’m going to miss driving this sporty beast with a V-6 cranking 450 horsepower and 510 lb-ft of torque, the same engine you’ll find in Ford’s fire-breathing Raptor. This near three-ton blue chrome ship will spank most cars on the road with your family in the back waving through the tinted windows.


After living in our home nearly three years I got a leather recliner. It’s one of the joys of my life. My wife loves taking pictures of me laying in it and she doesn’t understand my fascination. I’d throw this chair into a dumpster fire if I could unbolt the 30-way front seats of the Navigator and have those instead. Those seats take the old “captain’s chairs” moniker to a whole new level by providing the opportunity to adjust the headrest, upper back, lower back, extended leg support, lumbar and flank support both at the thighs, with a back massage thrown in to really mix it up. I’ve never experienced more customizable seats than this. The one feature not mentioned in the seats, but most exciting for me? Air conditioning. When you leave work in the summer afternoon and the asphalt is punishing you on the walk through the parking lot, the air conditioned seats deliver a respite that cannot be achieved by mere a/c set to max alone. (Lincoln, please make air conditioned leather recliners.)

The seating for the second and third row is spacious and accommodating. There’s a center console for the second row with a digital screen in the arm rest in case you want to give the passengers some control to play their favorite Cardi B track.

If you’ve got an extra large haul from Costco, double press the key fob to open the back hatch, large enough to cover a Midwest family reunion during a summer downpour, and press the buttons inside the cab to fold down the second and/or third row seats.

You can also select the left or right side or both sides from either row. Once both rows of seats are folded down, you can pack anything you want inside the cab – it’s bigger than the storage unit you swear you’re going to clean out.


Remember when you bought your car, they gave you an instruction manual and you ignored it because you’re grown and you know how to figure things out? This Navigator has so much technology that if I had the time and owned the vehicle, I’d likely read the manual because the number of menus, buttons, knobs and features available will make your head spin. Ford/Lincoln’s SYNC is part of the package delivering both Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, depending upon your life choices. There are high speed USB outlets everywhere, wireless charging in the center console (works with the iPhone X), interior lighting color options to suit your mood and more. The menu and navigation information is pumped through an Apple iPad Pro-sized 12″ screen. The people in the third row and in outer space (through the pano sunroof) can see what’s going on. It’s that big. Traditional gauges are also a thing of the past with a fully digital display. The display minimizes what’s not important, so you’ll find the digital needle pointing to your speed and RPMs and the surrounding numbers are fading away like Marty McFly in good ol’ 1955 at the Enchantment Under the Sea dance.

Lincoln helps keep you properly on the road with a ton of safety features. The Navigator has cameras all over it so you get a simulated overhead view when you’re backing up, a fantastic rearview camera, sensors abound, a heads-up display showing that the lane keeping assistant is active, speed, cruise control information and also speed limits. I found speed limit information wasn’t always accurate, so instead of reading signs like some vehicles, it must be pulling the information from a database. If I had the vehicle permanently, I’d have read the manual to find out how to provide feedback for speed limits to update the databasae.

Lincoln also took the audio in the Navigator seriously. Packed with 20 speakers, the Revel audio system will knock your socks off. There will be socks everywhere and you’ll likely lose one, like you do in the dryer. Revel is part of the Harman brand, which is part of Samsung after they dropped $8 billion on them. Harman has been producing killer audio hardware for years and with the acquisition by Samsung, it will continue for many years to come. The sound insulation from the road is excellent in the Navigator, leaving your favorite tracks sounding amazing.


Hands down, this is the finest looking Navigator yet. Lincoln designers crafted the grille with a fine polish to make it look particularly expensive. The Black Label version of this Navigator smells like a high-end leather shop, with most surfaces covered in proper hide. The trim pieces inside are done in a tasteful and expensive-feeling whitewashed wood, to go with the yacht theme. The 22″ wheels, while lovely and understated, still provide a supple but sporty ride. You’ll find LED lights all over the vehicle for bright, instant-on illumination, as well as tasteful puddle lights that shine out of the door handles.


This beautiful school bus moves! The Raptor-borrowed engine, tuned for Lincoln, has a V6 rasp at idle, but turn the dial to Excite mode, stomp on the gas and tell the fam to hold on because you’re about to show the streets who’s boss. Lincoln has body roll control to keep you upright and feeling confident in the process even when you need to take a curve a little faster to get the kids to swim practice on time. The Navigator can be as much fun to drive as you want it to be. Otherwise, put it in Eco mode and just cruise the block like you should be doing anyway. All the neighbors will stare, nod approvingly and give you two thumbs up.

Disclosure: Lincoln provided this vehicle for testing for a week with full tank of gas for my enjoyment. The wife felt fancy in it, too.

Thirteen Photos from Prague, Czechia

In October 2009 I made my first trip to gorgeous Prague, CZ. I had no idea the impact this trip would have on my life. During the visit, I saw cathedrals, Old Town Square, spires and buildings of the like that I’d never experienced. It was breathtaking and I was angry. My photography was abysmal. Utter frustration. When I returned home I was determined to suck less at photography. For Christmas that year I received my first camera with manual functions-a Canon Powershot S90. I knew that anything larger than that pocket-sized camera would be left at home. The S90 looked like a plain point and shoot camera, but it was groundbreaking at the time. A fast f/2.0 lens, an oversized sensor, full manual controls in a pint size prevented me from excuses. Watching YouTube videos, reading online and practicing, I started to suck less. I memorized the technical aspects of photography when it came to aperture, shutter speed and ISO. Knowing these basics allows anyone to use nearly any camera. In 2012 I made a crazy request to Olympus to send me a camera and lenses, which they did after a humorous call. Then in 2013, I was invited into a group of wonderful photography influencers, much more skilled than me, to participate as a Samsung Imagelogger. An incredible gift! I met photographers and new friends from all over the world and we shot photos in San Francisco, Los Angeles, Las Vegas, the Grand Canyon, and Marbella, Spain. I still can’t believe it. The Imagelogger program has since been disbanded after Samsung left the camera market, but I’m still shooting with the gear. Speeding forward to 2017, lovely Deya and I planned a two week trip to Europe that had special meaning for both of us. I needed to go back to Prague for unfinished business – photograph this beautiful place with her and she needed to get to Paris, a lifelong dream. I hope you enjoy my thirteen photos from Prague, Czechia.

Deya at Charles Bridge at Sunset

Prague Castle from Charles Bridge

Church of Our Lady before Týn

Tram Near Wenceslas Square

Memorial to the Victims of Communism

Strahov Monastery Library

Deya with Bubbles in Old Town Square Prague

St. Vitus at Sunset

French Bulldog - Stitch the Frenchie

Charles Bridge at Sunset

Jan Hus Memorial in Old Town Square Prague

Old Town Hall Prague


Enjoy the entire set:

Prague, CZ | May 2017

Thirteen Photos from Washington DC

Photos from Washington DC captured with the Samsung NX500 and the 16-50mm S Lens by Nan Palmero

Washington DC renewed my sense of pride in our country. Although I spent most of my time inside a conference room during this trip, we had some time to explore in the evening. Here are thirteen photos from Washington DC captured with the Samsung NX500.

Deya at the National Gallery of Art

Monk at the National Gallery of Art

Robert Indiana Amor Sculpture at the National Gallery of Art

World War II Memorial

Deya on the Stairs at the National Gallery of Art

Lincoln Memorial

Washington Monument from the Lincoln Memorial

Dwight Eisenhower Building

Red Tulips

Cherry Blossoms near the Jefferson Memorial

The Gibson Speakeasy

World War II Memorial with the Lincoln Memorial

The Humanity of the Vietnam Memorial

Enjoy the entire set:

Washington DC | March 2016

Ultimate Ears 900s Noise-Isolating Earphones Unboxing

The new @UltimateEars 900s Noise-Isolating Earphones come beautifully packaged, it’s Apple-esque. The 900s come with a quad armature (four speakers per ear) that have been tuned to have more bass than their predecessors, the UE900. It would be unfair to consider these bass heavy at all, the sound gets rounded out beautifully. Further, the highs will make your ears bleed if you turn up the jams too loud. Ultimate Ears includes a huge assortment of ear gels and @ComplyFoam tips to ensure these fit your ears. Not only are they included, but check out the photo below, they are sized! Ultimate Ears also includes extras in case one of your ears has a larger opening than the other. You can also choose one of two different cables. The blue cable includes remote controls to allow you to turn the volume up and down, play/pause your music and a microphone is included on the back to catch a quick call between tracks. The black cable is a standard cable without remote feature or a mic, in case you’re a purist in listening to music. Drop me a line in the comments if you have questions.

If you’re looking to upgrade your headphones from your bundled Apple EarPods, check out Ultimate Ears line. Already have the perfect earphones? Grab a pack of Comply Foam Tips to maximize the noise isolation.

Ultimate Ears 900s Noise-Isolating Earphones Unboxing

Ultimate Ears 900s Noise-Isolating Earphones Unboxing

Ultimate Ears 900s Noise-Isolating Earphones Unboxing

Ultimate Ears 900s Noise-Isolating Earphones Unboxing

Ultimate Ears 900s Noise-Isolating Earphones Unboxing

Ultimate Ears 900s Noise-Isolating Earphones Unboxing

Ultimate Ears 900s Noise-Isolating Earphones Unboxing

Ultimate Ears 900s Noise-Isolating Earphones Unboxing

Ultimate Ears 900s Noise-Isolating Earphones Unboxing

Photos captured with the @SamsungCameraUS NX30 and the delicious 85mm lens.

Thirteen Photos from H&M San Antonio Launch

H&M is a Swedish, hip multinational company that makes really cool clothes at affordable prices. Last night, a ton of people camped out on hard concrete to have their first look at the new store at The Shops at La Cantera. Die hard fans for sure. Thanks to @torijohson, I was able to get a sneak peek into the excitement. Here are thirteen photos from the grand opening day of @HMUSA’s San Antonio store. If you’re interested in more fashionable goodies, be sure to check out Tori’s blog, The sTORIbook!

H&M La Cantera San Antonio Entrance

Dressing Room

Pink Sunglasses

Hands Up

Blue and Green Shirts

Hanging Shirts

Awesome Abe

DJ Jazzy Fashion

Hair Piece

Glasses on a Mannequin

H&M Selfies

H&M Shirt

Secrets, Important, Bits & Pieces

Thirteen Photos from San Francisco – Engagement Edition

I’ve found one of the great ways to love @HolaDeya is to make a list. I ask her about adventures she wants to have in her life, specific ones and I make a list. My memory is bad, but @evernote does an awesome job at it. With the help of Deya’s sister, Viole, and my @SamsungCameraUS photographer friends @mrcippy, @themrscippy, @techdadreview & @mdflores (in spirit), we gave Deya a memorable marriage proposal. Below are thirteen photos from our adventure together leading up to the proposal at Battery Spencer.

The @MysticHotelSF Fire Escape Fun

Deya at Mystic Hotel on the Fire Escape

“I’d like to ride a cable car.” – DONE!

Fisheye from the Front of the Cable Car

“I’d like to go to the top of Lombard Street.” – DONE!

Deya and Nan at Lombard Street

A ride on the cable car, then we’re in Chinatown!

Deya with a Watermelon in Chinatown

Lychee Cotton Candy at The Slanted Door After Lunch

Deya and Nan with cotton candy at The Slanted Door

Coffee at @BlueBottleRoast Coffee in the Ferry Building

Deya and Nan at Blue Bottle Coffee Ferry Building

Cupid’s Span Troublemaking

Deya at Cupid's Span

Painted Ladies Made Famous by Full House

Deya and Nan at Painted Ladies

“Ride Across Golden Gate on Bikes” – Done!


Proposal Complete!

Deya and Her Ring at Battery Spencer

Dinner at @ChefChiarello’s Coqueta with a Surprise Bottle of Cava from My Sister and Jesus

Deya at Coqueta

A Fun Ride to the Airport Thanks to @Scout!

Deya in a Limo

Deya Gets a Surprise From @VirginAmerica!

Deya's Surprise from Virgin America

Do you want to see the actual proposal shot by @mrcippy, @mrscippy & @techdadreview? Head over to Facebook! You can read the story about Deya and me on the Samsung Camera blog.

Look below for the rest of the photos from the proposal weekend!

Thirteen Photos from Cabo – Wedding Edition

Wedding photos from Cabo San Lucas and Los Cabos, Mexico photographed by Nan Palmero with the Samsung NX30 Smart Camera.

My sister married Jesus, an awesome man, an IronMan, in Cabo. We had the pleasure and fortune of going to celebrate their love for one another in a beautiful place. Here are thirteen photos from Cabo San Lucas and the Los Cabos area in Mexico.

Boat Silhoutte at Dawn

The rest of the story…

Thirteen Photos from Marfa, TX

Nan Palmero shares thirteen photos from Marfa, Texas. These pictures are photographed with the Samsung NX30 Smart Camera.

Marfa – such a peculiar place. A dusty little Texas town, backdrop for great movies including “There Will Be Blood,” “No Country for Old Men,” and “Giant.” Deya and I took a weekend trip out there to try some delicious food, experience quirky art and spot oddly dress people that I SWORE were members of Arcade Fire. Here are thirteen photos from Marfa, where everything is art – even a dog walking around in a bar…maybe.

Deya Petting a Horse

Prada Marfa

Donald Judd Concrete Art Chinati Foundation

Nan and Deya Double Exposure

Blue Dodge Truck in Marfa


Thunderbird Hotel Sign

Nan at Chinati

Donald Judd Concrete Art

Topo Chico and Lemon

Gas Cap Reflection with Deya and Nan


Bike Art

The rest of the story…

Photos taken with the Samsung NX30 Smart Camera.

Thirteen Photos from Honduras

Mike Sharrow, Josh Salmons and Nan Palmero traveled to Honduras on a mission trip to IMC and visited Orphanage Emmanuel. Photos were taken with the Samsung NX300 Smart Camera.

In March 2014, @mikesharrow, @salemonz and I traveled to Honduras on a mission trip. We worked with Moises Chino Murillo and his church, IMC to help them develop new leaders in their church. We shared creative communication strategies in presentation, shared with them a framework in growing young leaders and I gave the sermon, in Español on Sunday. It was an incredible journey of growth for all of us, in a dangerous and wonderful place. Here are thirteen photos from the adventure.

Humuya Inn, Tegucigalpa, Honduras

School Bus at Internacional Mision De Cristo

Santos' Barber Shop in Colonia El Pedregal Tegucigalpa, Honduras

Tegucigalpa, Honduras Long Exposure from Humuya Inn

Tortilla Maker in Colonia El Pedregal Tegucigalpa, Honduras

Mountain Lookout in Parque Naciones Unidas El Picacho

Jesus Christ Statue in Parque Naciones Unidas El Picacho

Mototaxi Valle De Angeles, Honduras

Kids at Orphanage Emmanuel

Mike and Josh on a Swing  at a Pulperia Outside Guiamaca, Honduras

Moises Chino and Family at Humuya Inn

Sunset in Tegucigalpa, Honduras at Cafemania

Nan Reading the Book of Complaints at the Dentist University

The rest of the story…

Photos were taken with the Samsung NX300 Smart Camera.

Thirteen Photos from SXSW 2014

Photos of SXSW 2014 in Downtown Austin, Texas by Nan Palmero photographed with the Samsung NX30 Smart Camera.

Band Playing on 6th Street at SXSW

The annual SXSW Festival in Downtown Austin, Texas always brings a gazillion people who want to mix, learn, drink, eat and party together from all parts of the world. These were my first photos with the new Samsung NX30 Smart Camera!

Delight Sign at Yahoo! During SXSW

A&E Bates Motel SXSW

Flowers in Jars with Rain at the SXSW Chevy Tweethouse

Street Signs during SXSW

Nan Wearing Oculus Rift at the Samsung Blogger Lounge

Roi Koi Wearing an LED Helmet at Fogo De Chao Entrepreneur's Lounge Party

Applauze Party Sign Hell X Hell Yeah SXSW Poster

SXSW Street Art

Ben, Deya and Nan at the SXSW Samsung Galaxy Experience

Jesus Saves Street Prophet on 6th Street SXSW

Allison+Partners Dominique Ansel Cronut and Chocolate Chip Cookie Milk Shots SXSW

Nan and Deya at the Park Selfie SXSW

The rest of the story…