The Guild

I like to call myself a nerd but I guess I can’t really say that I’m that big of a nerd because I waited so long to watch The Guild.  If I had a nerd membership card I’d probably be asked to surrender it.  Well, I just watched the entire series so maybe if I had one it could get reinstated.  Oh whew, that makes me feel so much better.  Having been reinstated and all.  Wait… did that just happen?

I’ve heard of The Guild and I’ve wanted to watch for such a long time but the thing is, I really don’t like watching tv shows on my computer.  I mean, the sound issues alone are enough for me to shy away from it not to mention that I’d have to sit still, I’m kind of a spaz.  But I really enjoyed watching it regardless.

How I actually started watching it is a funny story.  Thinking of the Roku player I decided that since my Chromebook could plug in to my TV I would use that as my Roku player.  The Chrome store has tv apps so I thought I would browse the Google Chrome store looking for some tv apps to install and found Clicker.tv.  I installed it then signed in and guess what was in my queue?  The guild!  So that is what made me decide to watch it.

I started watching it but it wasn’t loading properly.  That first episode had a link to watch it somewhere else.  Bing and Blip.tv so I watched the first episode on Bing.  But then I had to go back to Clicker to choose the next video and I thought there had to be a better way so I wouldn’t have to click anything, just sit back and watch it load the next episode automatically.  So I chose Blip to watch it.  I only watched the first 2 seasons through that.  I decided to check Hulu and there it was so I watched the 3rd and 4th season there.

I think it was much better on Hulu though but that’s just me.  All I had to do was add those 2 seasons to my queue and just play it from there and it played one episode after the next.  Then again Blip had more extras which I enjoyed watching.  Hulu doesn’t have those extras so I’ll have to go back to Blip to watch the season 3 and 4 extras.

Last night I watched the first half of the 3rd season in the kitchen while making dinner then this morning watched the 2nd half and all of season 4.

Well, now if anyone asks I can say that not only did I watch it but after 2 days I am addicted.  So good for me… I think.

I can’t wait for the next season, and I know there is going to be one because I saw Felicia Day talking about it on Attack of the Show.  They were at a set which I did not see in any of the 4 seasons that I watched.  So I know there is a future of the show.  I can’t wait to see it.  I will definitely add that to my tv page lol.

Update: Once again I failed to do my research until after I hit the publish button but I went to the official guild website and found that not only do they have extras but they also have the first episode of season 5 available. So… watch the guild on their official website.

Update: Felicia Day is on Attack of the Show today, August, 1 2011 talking about her new web series called Dragon Age of Redemption.  I believe that is a new series where she is in the set that I referred to and has nothing to do with The Guild.  I seem to recall her wearing elf ears in that scene which she wears in this new web series.

httpvh://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OF2mPgwrlT4

How We Can Save “V” From Being Canceled

I am sad to announce that V has been canceled.  (insert crowd booing and the sounds of children crying here)

I found out this morning, well, just a few minutes ago really.  I was tweeted by Ilana Rapp who happens to be the person who spearheaded the campaign to bring V back to tv after 25 years.  She made my dream come true and for that I bow down to her.

Unfortunately, ABC canceled it due to not enough viewers.  How could anyone not watch this awesome show?  But, there is a way to bring it back.  Letter writing.  Why not emails?  Because they can be diverted to a spam filter and they can also be deleted.  A huge bag of letters will prove that V fans are serious about getting their show back.

We waited for 25 years for it to come back and only got 2 seasons and now they are canceling it because of bad ratings?  It’s just not fair!  I heard that Syfy already stated that they are not currently interested which really sucks because when V came back on the air, SyFy had marathons with the original V.  So to have them say they are not interested is very confusing to me.  It is a science fiction based television show, how can they not be interested?  It makes no sense.

You know what, I had actually written to them years ago telling them that I would love it if they brought V back.  Not just to run the old series again but to also turn it into a new series.  Of course I never heard back from them.  Little did I know Ilana Rapp was already working hard to make it happen.

If you love V, and how could you not, please join the 16,784 (and growing) people on the Project Alice facebook fan page and get involved to get this show its 3rd season that it deserves.  I waited for 25 years for this show to return to the air and to have it get canceled like this really upsets me.  So please, help get this show on TNT.  They know drama!

Here are some links:

 

Bike Safety 101: Riding the Roads

This morning I had planned on getting up at 4:30am as usual for my bike ride but because I went to bed at 11pm last night, I was still too groggy so I decided to sleep another hour.  I don’t have any place to be so why not right?  Darrin, thinking that I’m awake comes into my room at 4:45am to make me read an article in the newspaper about bicycle safety.

When I got up at 5:30 I read the article and thanked him for thinking of me.  Fortunately I already know everything that was in the article so I was already covered.  Luckily I don’t have to spend too much time on the road with cars to have to worry, that doesn’t mean I shouldn’t be reminded of the rules of the road every now and again.

I noticed that the article was written by the Chicago Tribune so I went online to find it and here it is.  Bike safety 101: Riding the roads – Chicago Tribune

That article has some good points but there are some things that they didn’t mention so I am here to add something to the list.

When you are riding with a helmet, and make sure you are, also buy a helmet mounted rear view mirror so you can see the cars and cyclists behind you.  This helps me see the cars behind me on the road and it also helps me see when there are a bunch of cyclists speeding towards me.  The article says that assume that there are drivers who are either drunk, texting or just not paying attention.  You can’t be looking behind you constantly so it’s a good thing to have that mirror.  And not handlebar mirrors because in some cases you can’t really look down, that would be too distracting.

Unfortunately, as with cars there are blind spots, even with helmet mounted mirrors.  This morning as I was coming home, I left the bike trail and got back on the street with traffic and there is a stretch of road that curves.  Well, in my mirror I can see behind me but there is a blind spot.  Unless I turn my head to look completely, I won’t see the cars that are driving directly behind me in the right lane, only the cars in the other lanes.

I had stopped because of all the traffic.  I usually go out into the left hand turning lane in the center of the road to get back into the neighborhoods and it’s usually safe in that spot but this morning after all the cars passed by I started to ride again and as I was picking up speed I noticed out of my peripheral vision a black SUV that swerved to stop before it hit me.  That was my fault because I shouldn’t just look in the mirror, especially when I stop like that.  I need to turn my head around so I can see to make sure there aren’t any cars still coming.  I was still looking in the mirror so that’s why it was puzzling that I didn’t see it.

As I was getting in the turning lane I looked over at him and waved saying “SORRY!” and he waved back at me as if to say “it’s ok”.  If I had gotten hit, it would’ve been my fault because I wasn’t paying attention to my blind spots.

So that is another tip to think about when you are riding in curved roads with cars.  Check your blind spots before going into the turning lane otherwise you might get killed.

The funny thing is, I was thinking about that article when that happened so my mind was elsewhere.  I was thinking about bicycle road safety when I was unsafe.  Oh sweet irony.

I learned a huge lesson today about safety.  I also learned that if I can’t leave the house as early as 5am then perhaps I need to just stay home because it’s much easier to get into that turning lane early in the morning when there are no cars on the road.  I would much rather be safe with no cars than get hit by a car because of a stupid blind spot.

Gnats Gnot Gnice!

Several times per week I wake up at 4:30am and leave the house at 5am to go bike riding for exercise.  I took this picture at sunrise this morning because I wanted to show off how cool the moon looked with the sun shining on it.  Unfortunately my cell phone takes crappy pictures.  I took 3 and this one was the best one.

But that’s not the reason for this post.  I love riding almost 23 miles every time I ride but the one thing that I do not like are the gnats.

Sometimes I will run into these little buggers.  They are so gross lol.  I can’t see them until they are coming towards my face and sometimes I can’t see them at all and I have no time to duck my head to the side to avoid them.  Occasionally I’ll get a straggler that’s flying solo that just flies into my mouth as I’m singing, and you know if you are on the bike trail by yourself with headphones on it’s pretty difficult to not sing.  Imagine singing an Alanis Morissette song “It’s like RAAAAYYYYAAAAYYYYAAAAIIIIN” where you practically have to unhinge your jaw to sing that one part.  A ton of gnats gets in then.

One thing these disgusting little things do is when they do run into my face, arm hair or chest, they latch on and go for the ride.  When I get to a point where I usually stop to take a break they let go and swarm me.  So one thing I like to do is stop maybe 20 feet or so from the place I like to take a break at so they will let go then take off so they can’t follow me.  Although some do catch up with me but not all of them.

During my breaks I like to take off my helmet and skull cap so I can dry my head and replace it with a dry one.  My breaks aren’t spent slacking off, they are spent getting dry to continue going the way I came, back home.  If I don’t do that then the skull cap I’m wearing will start dripping in my face.  23 miles is a long way to go with a soaking wet skull cap.  Usually as I’m opening my energy bar and taking a bite is when the gnats finally catch up to me then it’s dodging gnats all the way home lol.

It’s a very strange existence.  I can’t imagine what it would be like to be a gnat, flying in eyeballs, noses and mouths, latching onto clothing and sitting there while I’m being taken away from my gnat family.  No, I don’t think I want to live in that world.

I don’t even want to think of any diseases they carry *shivers at the thought*

Ok my skin is crawling, I can’t think about this anymore lol.

Roku 2

Roku has finally come out with a next-gen version of the Roku internet tv streamer and it is smaller than before.

Now let me see if I can remember how it was before because they don’t have their older models on their site anymore.  The cheaper one did not have HD at all, it was for older model tv’s.  The 2nd one was XD and the 3rd one was XS.  I remember that much.  The XD and XS were the only 2 that had HD in them.  I bought 2 of the XD’s because the only difference between the XD and XS were that the XS had a USB on it so you could hook up a USB drive for looking at external images and/or videos.  I forget what else but it wasn’t that much else.

They have added many more features to the XS now which makes me want it more than the XD.  Like the old XD had wired and wifi internet connection and now only the XS has that.  Well, when I bought the 2 XD’s in January, I had so much trouble with the wifi that I had to plug it in to the router with the wire.

I have several blog posts about the Roku.  The first one was about the Roku and about how I was going to buy it.  Internet TV.  Then We are officially switching our cable and I remember how excited I was that I was going to be saving SO much money every month by not having to pay for cable.  I was mislead into thinking that even though everything else was going to be like DVR where I’d have to find what to watch, just like I do on the internet, I’d also get live news.  (Roku didn’t mislead me, Chips family member did.)  Well, that wasn’t right and Darrin didn’t like that very much so we kept our cable.

Then I said I won’t miss my shows but I found out that was a total lie because there were only a few shows on Hulu Plus that they allowed you to watch on your TV.  In fact, I would end up having to watch 95% of my shows on the computer anyway.

Just before we got our Roku boxes I was starting to question my decision; Is getting the Roku was worth it.  Then the next day they came and I posted this: Our Roku Boxes Arrived Today… They’re Going Back Tomorrow.

The main issue that I had with the Roku boxes was getting them connected.  It took a long time to get them online with my wifi and when I finally did they were only on for 30 minutes before disconnecting.  I had spent several hours on the phone getting them turned on, even changing my router settings and everything and still nothing but problems.

They said I had 30 days to return them and of course they went to the post office the next day.

I was really sad because I really thought it was going to be such a cool thing but it turned out to be really disappointing to us.  Darrin likes to watch the news as it happens, not as it happened yesterday.  And with the Casey Anthony trial, he wanted to see all of that unfold as it happened.

So I was getting the Roku for the wrong reasons.  I was getting it so that I could save money on my cable bill because I was paying $110 for it every month and if I switched to Roku I’d only have to pay $8 for Netflix and $8 for Hulu Plus.  Well, the Netflix was a good thing but the Hulu Plus wasn’t.  The Roku has hundreds of channels (or websites) to choose from but the issue is still the same, no live anything.  If I cancel my cable I need to have something that is live, even if it’s streaming live tv from the net, I don’t care.  Roku doesn’t work that way.

I do recommend the Roku 2 only if you do not plan on canceling your cable.  It is not a cable replacement but an addition to your cable.  That is ok.  You can choose the different boxes that they have.

If I were to buy this again, which I am seriously thinking about, I would go with the XS version only because I really need to know that if my WiFi doesn’t connect, at least I can plug it in to my router.  Also, check it out, they’ve added games to it.  I also like that USB port.  My tv has an SD card but not USB so that would be cool to add.

If I didn’t care about the cable (wire, not cable tv) so much, I would buy the HD because it has everything else I need minus the 1080p which doesn’t really matter to me because most everything that is on the internet is not 1080p anyway, even Hulu+ and Netflix.  So the middle box doesn’t really make sense to me.

I am not so jaded by my past experience with Roku that I would slam them and say they have a horrible service because the problem I had was a minor technical problem with the wifi.  The service they provide is awesome.

I think the Roku is such an awesome piece of technology and I say go for it, buy it.  It works great and if really have to have Hulu then you can also do the PlayOn thing which means your desktop computer has to be super fast and you won’t be able to use it anymore since it is now your tv’s server lol.  I can’t do that because my computer isn’t fast enough.

I’m seriously thinking about it but that is off in the future because I’m too broke right now.  Maybe I will wait until Christmas when I might have the money.  But until then, I can hook my CR-48 up to my tv to watch videos, which is what I have been doing.  It’s not great but it’s something at least for now.

If I were to rate the Roku I would give them 5 stars.

New Video Card

In 2006 or 2007, now I’m not quite sure when, I got money for helping Darrin and his brother refurbish a house that was left to them by their mother when she past away.  I did a lot of work and didn’t get paid until the house sold.  I believe I got $2000.

When you get $2000 and you have an old computer what do you think you do with that money?  You buy a new computer!  Well, since I build computers I didn’t buy a computer, I bought all of the guts to build a new one.

Well, first I bought the hard drive from Tiger Direct but then when I went to turn my computer on nothing happened.  I think the mother board was too old for that hard drive.  The computer I was trying to install the new hard drive to was one that I built in 2004.  So I figured it was only a few years old, it should work.  But it didn’t because technology had already surpassed that computer.

So, I was forced to buy all new stuff so I just put the old hard drive back in there and gave it to Darrin.  I bought myself a new case, motherboard, cpu (w/heatsink), dvd burner and video card.  New computer!

A week ago we went to San Diego to visit Chips brother for his 50th anniversary party.  My computer did an update (which I could only assume was a Windows update) and suddenly I’m getting these strange blue screens (of death aka BSOD).  I didn’t worry about it because I didn’t want to stress on anything while we were gone so I put it in the back of my mind.  When we came home I was having the same problems.

Someone told me that I might have gotten a virus but I’m not convinced that is true.  I don’t visit websites on my desktop, I only visit websites on my Chromebook, I use the desktop for my Microsoft Money program and playing Lord of the Rings Online.  So there is no way I could have gotten a virus from visiting websites because it never happens.  I don’t even read emails on that computer.  My desktop is strictly for video games and Microsoft money, that’s it.

I got a couple of BSOD and accidentally allowed Microsoft to report the issue.  I have a jerk reaction to click no but for some odd reason I clicked yes.  When the report was sent a browser window popped up explaining to me that the issue was with my video card software or hardware.  Then suddenly another BSOD.

After that last blue screen I was done with being in regular mode so I went into safe mode.  I figure if I could download the driver update I might be ok.  How wrong I was.  I downloaded and installed the update and my monitor didn’t come on.  I plugged my monitor into the chromebook and everything I look at on the chromebook showed up on my monitor.  Ok so it’s not the monitor.  I plugged it back into the desktop and it turned on.  BSOD.  I turned it on again and the monitor wouldn’t even turn on.

So that is where I am at now.  I haven’t had a desktop in a week and I’m starting to go through LOTRO withdrawals lol.

This is my current configuration.  Well, I can’t turn it on so I can’t tell you the full details now can I?  This I do know.  I have:

  • MSI K9N4 Ultra motherboard – AM2, Nforce4 Ultra, 2*DDR2, Gb Lan, 5.1ch Audio, 1.
  • Gigabyte Tech GeForce 7600 GS 512MB DDR2 PCIexpress video card (I dug the boxes out of my closet)
  • Windows XP
  • I’m not sure about my CPU but I think it’s an AMD Sempron, don’t know the speed.
  • 1GB DDR2 memory

So this is what I’m looking for.  Any brand video card with 1GB DDR2 memory, PCIe.  I’m looking at Tiger Direct again for this new card and this is the one I have chosen.

Visiontek Radeon HD 4650 Video Card – 1GB DDR2, PCI Express 2.0, CrossFireX, (2) Dual-Link DVI, S-Video (Refurbished) – it’s $36.99 which is what I can afford.  My other video card was over $100 in 2007 and I just can’t afford to spend that kind of money right now.  I’m going to be paying for shipping which means I really can’t afford to spend any more on it.  So… is it a good one?  I won’t have the money to buy it until August so hopefully it will be on sale by then and they will hopefully still be in stock lol.

I think it’s a good video card but I’m no expert so I would love some feedback.  I’m choosing 1GB because I play Lord of the Rings Online and sometimes I get a lot of lag and I’m hoping that more memory will help that but you tell me, will it?  I would love some feedback on this.

So… until August lol.  By the way, I am not hung up on Tiger Direct so much that I want to wait 7 to 21 days for it to ship to me.  If I have to go to the computer store and pay a few extra $’s then I will.  As long as it’s not over $50 that is.

Straight Talk

This is a Sponsored post written by me on behalf of Straight Talk for SocialSpark. All opinions are 100% mine.

When I got my first cell phone 9 years ago, I was afraid of getting a phone with a contract because they were just so darned expensive.  I went with a prepaid phone with maybe only 250 minutes per month for $25.  That was perfect for me because I don’t really use it that much.  I only use it when I’m traveling or on the bike trail.  That old phone is long dead and I’ve been looking for a new one.

Straight talk has phones with everything you need such as the “All You Need Plan” with 1000 minutes, 1000 texts and 30mb of data for only $30/mo.  They also have unlimited plans for only $45 a month with calls, pictures, text, web and messaging..  That is a huge savings if you are currently paying $75 to $100 per month.  I love that I would feel richer with those savings.  What would you buy with the money you are saving?  I think I would be buying more groceries, then again I might buy some music or books, who knows.

Straight Talk has an international option for only $5 more so you can call a friend in Mexico, Germany, England or anywhere you need to call.  I see people buying these phone cards from the store on the corner for Mexico and I just think they are wasting their money.  They can just get one of these prepaid cell phones and call their family for only an additional $5 with their international plan.

Scott Canterbury talks about Straight Talk in this YouTube video hook, line and sinker.  He talks about how much money he is saving each month and as a family he’d be saving much more.  Watch and see.  It’s just such a good plan to go with, I don’t know why anyone wouldn’t want to.  They even have refurbished cell phones for as low as $10 with a camera, mp3 player, web and blue tooth.  They even have smart phones with touch screen, apps, maps etc.   There are no activation fees, contracts or credit checks.  You can’t beat that in a cell phone.  So watch the videos (links) and save some money for crying out loud.

Visit Sponsor's Site