Christmas Pictures

I am very happy today because a few days ago I found out that the person who had taken photos of Christmas lost his fanny pack which had his camera, wallet and 2 cell phones in it but someone else took pictures too.  She took them on a disposable camera so the quality of the photos isn’t as good as a digital camera but who really cares?  I got photos of me with the kids FINALLY!

On the left is baby Noah, in the middle is Andrew and on the right is Jordan then in the back is well, me…

I was really happy with the look on these kids faces when they found their stockings because even though they were empty, they didn’t care because they have a stocking with their names on them to use every year with a cool picture on them.  That was all that mattered to them.

Andrew was the first to find it.  I was watching him and he was ear-to-ear smiles and he was really excited about it.  Then he was yelling for Jordan to come see his and he was really excited too.

That’s what made it all worth it to me.  The months that I spent making them all boiled down to one thing, how the kids liked them.  It was worth all the numbness and pinching in my hands to see the looks on their faces when they saw them.

I hope they enjoy the stockings for many decades.  Except for Noah because his stocking is a baby stocking hehe.  I’m obviously going to have to find another stocking to make for him.

Additional pictures:

We Are Officially Switching Our Cable

Now didn’t I tell you the other day that we were thinking about switching to the Roku player for watching TV instead of paying our cable company $110 every month? Well, it’s official. We bought our Roku boxes this morning at 10am. And since I bought it before 11am it’s going to be shipped out today and we should get it next week. They said it should take 3-7 days but the confirmation email included an address which I google mapped and they are only 4 1/2 hours from our house. I’m expecting it to be here by Monday.

Our cable cycle begins on January 6th and ends on February 5th according to the cable bill I got in the mail today. That means if we cancel our cable before Thursday of next week then when we cancel it we won’t have to worry about any new charges. I’ll be free and clear.

Ok so I’ve already been adding shows to my favorites on the Hulu website so whenever a show has a new episode then it will automatically go into my queue. I don’t know how queues work with Hulu on the Roku but I hopefully won’t have to do much searching when my shows come back on, just play my queue.

We got a code for a free month of Hulu Plus which I won’t do anything about until the Roku box actually comes. I wouldn’t want to waste a few days of Hulu, besides, I want my monthly payments to start AFTER I get my monthly checks, not before.

Even though I’m kind of PO’d that I’m going to be missing some of my shows, I’m still really excited about saving money every month. I mean, I have wanted BBC America, Logo and G4 for years and never had them until last year when we finally got HD and got the new channels. Well, it turns out that even though I have those channels now, I hardly ever watch them.

The shows that I’m going to miss on G4 are Attack of the show and Web Soup which aren’t really on Hulu. I mean they are but only clips. I can live with that I guess.

The shows that I’m going to miss on BBC America are Being Human, Doctor Who and The Graham Norton Show. As far as I know those aren’t on Hulu at all. I know Doctor Who is on Netflix but I might have to wait just a little bit longer for the new episodes to come.

I didn’t mention HBO but there is a show that I will definitely be missing and that is True Blood. That’s one of my favorites and I will definitely be missing it but it is on Netflix. Of course I will miss seeing it when it’s on, I can certainly wait until it’s on Netflix. Or just find a friend who still has HBO and watch it over there lol.

I’ve been telling everyone about this because I think it is so cool to get Hulu and Netflix and watch all of my shows without paying high cable prices. I just have to wait for them to show up in my Queue.

I have mentioned that not all of my shows are going to be on there but I’m not too worried because those shows are on their networks websites. Like CW, I’m going to be missing Smallville, Supernatural and Vampire Diaries. Well, luckily they are on the CW website. And I just started watching Glory Daze on TBS, well that is also on the TBS website. So, I won’t really be missing anything, I just can’t watch them on my TV that’s all.

So, until I get my box then..

No Christmas Photos To Share

I am very sad to say that there will be no photographic memories of our time in San Diego for Christmas. I didn’t take any pictures but there were lots of pictures taken of me that are now gone.

Chips brother took all the pictures and I’ve been waiting for him to post them all on Facebook. I emailed him yesterday asking him if he could please post them so I can share them here but he responded to me by telling me that his fanny pack had been stolen. His fanny pack had his blackberry, wallet with credit cards and his camera.

I’m very sorry for him that he now has to replace all that stuff but unfortunately there is no way to replace pictures.

What kind of person steals your fanny pack 2 days after Christmas? And what kind of person doesn’t say “you know what, he may need this SD card back at the very least to keep his memories with him always?” then mail it to him with no return address. I mean really people, you’re just going to turn around and sell the camera, it won’t go down in value if it doesn’t have an SD card in it.

All I can do is describe some of the photos.

When I showed the stockings to him, he wanted me to pose in front of the tree with each stocking one by one then with all 3 and since I don’t have 3 hands I had to rest one on my chest and since it was felt, it stayed on my chest. That made everyone laugh.

Random pictures throughout 2 Christmas parties in 2 days.

When the kids saw their stockings under the tree they were very excited and they got their picture taken holding them. Then everyone wanted to get the picture of the kids with me since I made them so Jordan who is the oldest and who got the santa stocking stood to my left and Andrew who got the snowman stocking sat on my left leg while Noah who got the angel stocking sat on my right leg while I held him since he didn’t want to be there lol. All the stockings were being held up to show them and the 2 kids had a huge ear to ear smile on their faces.

That last picture was really the picture that I was going to post here but since it’s now in the hands of a thief, I can never share them. So thank you to the Grinch who stole my Christmas moment from me.

Internet TV

We went to San Diego to visit Chips family this Christmas weekend and we were introduced to a concept that we never even thought of when it comes to watching tv. Cancel our cable and get an internet tv box and watch Netflix and Hulu only.

Ok, I’ve known about Hulu for a few years, I love Hulu for watching shows that I missed when they first aired on tv. When I was a regular user of the site they only had Fox and NBC that I knew of. Whenever I’d miss my CBS, ABC and CW shows I’d go there and they would redirect me to the network website.

We used to get Netflix DVD’s in the mail and I was a member when they first introduced streaming movies on their site. They would only allow you to watch 8 hours of movies per month with the rental membership and that clock was ticking away even when your movie was paused. I would pause it so that it could download because it played faster than it could download. This was when I had a lower DSL speed. So if I let it play in real-time, it would keep pausing which made it very difficult to watch and they only had older movies available for download so it really wasn’t worth my time since they had a very small selection.

What we were told by relatives was that if we had an X-box then we could watch Hulu and Netflix and replace our cable but what they don’t realize is that we don’t have an X-box, Wii or PS3 so we can’t just go out and pay a few hundred dollars for a video gaming system just so we can save money every month on our cable. But I may have found an alternative.

The Roku player is way cheaper than an x-box and it allows you to watch your internet tv shows and movies with Hulu and Netflix as well as many other services. There is no monthly fee with Roku, all you pay for is the monthly fee that the services like Hulu and Netflix charge. Hulu Plus charges $7.99 per month and Netflix charges $9.99 per month. Well, I pay $110 per month for my cable and I hardly ever watch it.

I can watch my shows when they come on at their regular time but sometimes that time isn’t convenient. Also, I ignore the phone when it rings because I don’t want to be interrupted during my shows because if I miss one second of it then I feel lost. Well, this way I can pause it when the phone rings instead.

The downside is that I can’t watch my shows when they air, like when Chuck is on at 8pm on Monday nights, I won’t be able to see it until the next day. I mean, I can deal with that but at the same time, I like to watch it when it comes on, not the next day. The last few seasons I had multiple shows on multiple channels at the same time so some shows I was forced to watch on Hulu the next day which I didn’t mind but it was irritating to have to wait. Also some of my shows weren’t on Hulu, I had to go to the ABC website for Pushing Daisies and the CW website for Smallville.

I have a DVD recorder but ever since they switched over to digital cable they have a block on recorders unless they are DVR recorders. I used to record one show on one channel on a DVD Ram disc while watching another show on another channel while it was on. After my shows were over then I’d watch what I recorded then delete it from the disc. Well, now I can’t even do that so my DVD recorder is a giant $250 paperweight.

Well, we won’t be starting this up right away because we have to order the Roku box for the living room and order the Hulu and Netflix services the day it arrives then we will try it and see if we like it before canceling our cable.

The problem is, I’m still going to have to use my computer to watch my CW shows because I looked on Hulu and they aren’t there. They might be on Netflix, I don’t know because they only have the dvd’s for season 10 of Smallville on their site. It doesn’t look like I can watch ALL of my shows on there which is a real bummer.

Also, sometimes you just like to turn the tv on and watch whatever is on. I don’t know if I want to feel pressured to choose something to turn on then when it’s over I gotta make another decision. At least with Cable you can turn it on a channel and watch whatever is on for a few hours.

I also didn’t see any of my HBO and Showtime shows. True Blood comes on in the summertime and if Hulu doesn’t have it and Netflix doesn’t have the current episodes for streaming then I’m gonna be screwed. I’m gonna have to go to a p2p website and download them. I don’t want to have to do that. I pay for HBO and Showtime each month and I’m gonna lose them over this so that would suck big time.

On one hand I want to save myself some big bucks every month but on the other hand, I’m still gonna have to use the computer to watch certain shows which I don’t like.

But, maybe this will convince me. Like I said, I pay $110 for cable and if we get this then I will only have to pay $18 per month for Hulu and Netflix. That’s a savings of $92 per month, that’s $1,104 per year in savings. Of course that will only go towards buying more groceries every month so that is great for us but not great when I can’t see True Blood.

I have a lot to think about here. Maybe someone can give me their opinions about #1 the Roku box and #2 this whole concept of canceling cable and going with internet tv instead. Please, give me all of your thoughts.

All 3 Stockings Finished

I am beyond happy right now at this very moment because I finally finished the last stocking today. Well, I finished it yesterday but today was the daunting task of sewing all the pieces together to form actual stockings.

The Noah stocking was all felt that you cut out and sew sequins to and then stuff them as you sew them to the stocking. It was quick and easy and since he won’t be a baby for that long it’s more like his baby stocking. He won’t want this to be his stocking in his teens, trust me lol. I have more stockings that I can make that will be more grown up for him in his later years.

The Jordan and Andrew stockings are both by the same company and they are the same style of stocking, just different pattern obviously. The kits were so old that the yarn was constantly falling apart throughout the process. I had to take my sweet time with them to make sure I chose pieces of yarn that would work and not pull apart as soon as I yanked on it when embroidering them on.

Before this, I had no experience in embroidery. When I was 18 years old I bought some embroidery stuff and tried to learn but it was just too boring for me so I gave up before I could even learn. Now look at me.

Well, all I have to say is I hope these kids appreciate the work I put into making these stockings for them. They are probably too young to even tell the difference if I spent months on them or if I bought them at Wal-Mart lol. That’s ok, the adults know the difference and that’s all that matters. When the kids get older they will probably ask about them and then they will appreciate them a bit more.

Friends of the Snowman Stocking is Finished!

I started making this earlier this year in May (you can see the date and time on the left) but halfway through making it I got bored with it because this was my 3rd stocking that I was making. So I figured, I still had about 7 months to finish it, I can certainly wait until November or early December to continue working on it.

I started working on it a few weeks ago but I could only do so much in one day because of my back. What I thought would only take me a couple of days to finish ended up taking a heck of a lot longer.

There are probably a few flaws in it like the fox’s mouth for example, I just could not get it right and that was my 5th attempt. I figure if this is the only way I can get it to look then so be it. I can’t make it any more perfect than that. After close examination of the picture I see that I missed a spot on the fox’s ear lol. I ran out of that color so I had to use the same color as the face. Screw it lol.

Tomorrow I will sew all the stockings to their felt backs then I will get another picture of all 3 of them together. I’m too tired to do that tonight because my back is absolutely killing me. I have one more day to go before time is up but I will get it done tomorrow.

Lord of Ultima

Here is my latest obsession. I know that Lord of Ultima is not new, it has been around for several months but thanks to the Google Chrome Web Store, I have found it and am now playing it with my CR-48 laptop.

Today is only my 3rd day of playing so I’m not going to give a rundown of how you play the game but I will say that it is fun and kind of addicting. Not in a negative way because it does get boring after a while. You have to place buildings in your city and keep upgrading them which can take a long time. The more you upgrade things, the longer it takes to upgrade to higher levels.

When you send your army to raid dungeons, you have a long waiting game. You can’t actually be there with them, you can only wait until they get back to see what they brought you.

I wanted to play a game that was like EverQuest but something that was browser-based and although this is nothing like EQ, it is browser-based and works on the CR-48 laptop. If it can play on this computer then I’m good to go for a while.

The screenshots below are covered in snow because it’s winter now. If I had known they were going to do that I would’ve taken some screenshots yesterday when the ground was dry and green.

The one on the top is just an image of the center of my city. You got the town hall in the middle then a farm with the lake, an iron mine and a cottage on the bottom left and the right.

The one on the bottom is an image of the region where my city is. You see a dragon on that mountain, well it’s in the screenshot but it’s gone from the game now. I don’t know where it went but they removed it. It’s a good thing I already raided it lol. They had a minotaur dungeon but it was gone before I could even react. Oh well, my loss.

What I like about this game is that 1 its browser-based so it works on the laptop and 2 it’s FREE to play. So if you want to join me in playing Lord of Ultima, click the link with my referral number to make sure I get the credit for inviting a friend. If you already play the game, my name in there is Xanapus so say hi when you get in the game.