Let’s Try That Roku Thing Again

In January 2011, my life partner and I decided after talking with one of his family members that we would quit cable and get 2 Roku’s because I had complained about the price of cable. This guy said “Well, you watch your shows on the DVR anyway, right?” No, actually, we watch live tv. In fact, at the time we didn’t have a DVR. I knew they existed, but we didn’t have one. I have one now, but we still watch live tv.

In 2011 I received our Roku’s and returned them simply for the fact that the one in the living room didn’t connect to our WiFi which is in the bedroom. I didn’t think the signal was strong enough, but the issue was deeper than that as I explained in this post. https://xanapus.com/2011/01/04/our-roku-boxes-arrived-today-theyre-going-back-tomorrow/

Well, that was 2011, this is 2019 and we have once again decided to quit cable, but there are a couple reasons for this decision.

1.) The price is way too high. Nearly 2 years ago we went to our cable service provider and said we need to change our service because I was paying $170 a month for our cable/internet/phone bundle. They told us there is a special that for 2 years we would get their $30/$30/$30 deal which came out to $90 a month, plus extra for a package my partner wanted, the DVR for one room, the cable box for another room, the WiFi box and the digital phone box. Our total bundle came to about $120 or so. I was fine with that, but then they told us at the end of the first year that our bill was going up because that 30/30/30 thing was only for 1 year, then it would go up to $170 and that is STILL a discounted price, which means when our special is over, my bill goes up even more.

2.) Our channels are constantly getting pixelated and it’s maddening, especially when the channel goes out and it doesn’t even record my show. When I’m not home and then I come home to find out it didn’t even record my show(s), I wonder why the hell am I paying $170 a month for this? We thought it might be our cable boxes, but I’m pretty sure the issue is our cable wire. That’s the only thing that makes sense to me because the app never has that issue.

I discovered there are so many different cable streaming services you can pay for that are cheaper than cable. They are mostly all around $50 or so.

Hulu + Hulu TV is $45 a month and you can stream on 2 devices at a time and they give you a DVR that is only 50 hours worth, and for another $5 you get ad free.

YouTube TV allows you to have 6 users while allowing 3 streams at once, plus an unlimited DVR for all accounts for just $50 a month.

Sling is cheaper at $25 a month, but you don’t get a lot of channels. They have 3 options, each option has specific channels, or both options for almost double the price. It also comes with 50 hour DVR.

For right now we have a Roku Stick + in the living room that works and I didn’t have to call anyone for help, and our cable service’s app is installed, as well as YouTube TV, Sling and Hulu to get us prepared for the switch. We have to decide which one is better, I like YouTube TV better.

The TV in the bedroom is a smart TV that already has Hulu and YouTube TV installed, but our cable service’s app isn’t available, and neither is Sling. I have to keep using my cable box, which is ok for now, even though I will still have trouble with pixelation. I can watch my shows On Demand if I have to. If we do go with Sling, then I will probably have to buy another Roku Stick +.

This is a huge change. No one likes change, especially when they have to remember how to get to their favorite channels, but once you get used to the change, you can pretty much adapt to anything if you are willing. I am willing, but I can’t say that about my life partner who hates change more than I do. We will see. All 3 services have a trial, so we can decide which one we like before we get rid of cable.

Tell me in the comments if you have cut the cord and went with a Roku or similar device and which internet service you are using. I’m curious to know which of these 3 services are better.

Update: Yeah, things have changed. Please read the new post.

Good Things Must End Early

When I was younger, I didn’t have enough time to watch TV. I had to work for 8, sometimes 16 hours per day, then I had the long sometimes 2 hour bus ride back home and all I wanted to do was sleep so I could start the next day over again. When I became legally disabled, I had all the time in the world, but still I didn’t watch tv because I didn’t want to start in the middle of a series not knowing what was happening.

In 1996 Buffy came on the air, then Roswell and Charmed and I felt some strange chemistry with these shows because they were all supernatural. Now, it seems like all I watch are shows that are somewhat supernatural in nature, or science fiction. I’m not much into reality show except for the occasional RuPaul’s Drag Race and the Real Housewives of Dallas.

Now it seems that I have too many shows, and it’s hard sometimes to catch up. Almost every night I have 2 shows recording on my DVR at the same time, and I may have up to 6 shows recording on any given night. How did this happen? So, I need to make a choice and stop watching certain shows because it’s just too much.

A couple of years ago I stopped watching The Walking Dead, and the reason I stopped watching was because they added a new character on the show named Negan. Negan is played by Jeffrey Dean Morgan and I have had a major crush on him for years since he was on the show Supernatural. His character is not a very nice guy, and he is why I had to stop watching. To me, The Walking Dead was a show that was about surviving the zombie apocalypse and it changed so much when Negan came along. It was no longer about surviving zombies, now it was all about surviving Negan. I did not like that. If Jeffrey Dean Morgan is going to be in a show that I like, I would like his character to be a guy that I watch the show for. I would like to be able to watch the show because my favorite actor is on the show that I’ve loved for years. Instead, the writing of his character turned me against the show. I no longer wanted to watch to see Jeffrey Dean Morgan taunting everyone and burning their mattresses just to be a dick. It went from horror genre to psychological thriller.

There are some shows that I watch now that are turning into psychological thrillers, shows like Arrow, The Flash and Riverdale. I have the last 3 episodes of Arrow still on my DVR and I don’t want to watch them, and I don’t see myself wanting to see the next episodes until the season finale. I’m still watching The Flash because I still love the beloved characters. I am SO over the bad guys, DeVoe who murdered all these dark matter metahuman’s from the bus, and his wife Marlize, although I think the only reason I’m still watching is because I feel sorry for her because she’s trying to leave him, and she finally used his own technology to get away so yay her. But I am mad that they took stretchy man from us because I loved his character and I am holding out hope that the team will find a way to get him back because he was the last guy DeVoe killed, and he’s still using Ralph Dibney’s body. Riverdale is almost finished, and then I think I’m finished. I think they’ve raped the comic book and turned it into a nightmare that I can’t seem to wake from. The latest episode has me done with the show, but I will continue until the season finale.

If I continue to watch Supergirl, I’m going to end up having to watch crossover shows because Supergirl crosses over with Arrow, The Flash and The Legends of Tomorrow, which I think has already ended for the season. I don’t have an issue with Supergirl or the Legends of Tomorrow, so I think I would like to hold onto those and just deal with crossover episodes I guess.

iZombie is just silly and that’s why I love it. I think it’s sad that they have walled off Seattle and are using a guillotine to kill anyone who tries to turn people who are dying into zombies because they don’t have enough brains to feed the zombies they have now, and now Liv is the one turning sick people into zombies. It’s pretty much HER show, and they can’t kill the main character, so I think she’s safe.

The Originals just came back for their final season, and they haven’t done anything wrong to make me stop watching, and I kind of want to see how that show ends.

The 100 just came back, and they’ve already started with a ship full of prisoners who’ve been asleep for 100 years and are looking to basically take over the entire planet, which seems to be one little tiny green spot on a planet that is otherwise unlivable. I kind of just want to see where they go and if I don’t like what they do with these new characters, well then I’ll just stop watching. I have very little loyalties to The 100, so that one will be easy to stop watching.

Colony just started up again and I seem to be fine with that show, for now.

Krypton is a new series and I have 4 episodes on my DVR mainly because I just don’t have the time. If shows will just stop coming at me bro, then I might be able to watch them so I can clear them off my DVR.

Then there are shows I watch only on Hulu like Once Upon A Time. I almost abandoned that one because they went in another direction, but I’m sticking with it. Gotham is still a very good show. I love Lucifer. Last Man on Earth is just too hilarious. Family Guy, Bob’s Burgers, The Simpson’s, The Orville which is currently filming their next season is hilarious, Will & Grace, is that over already? And, will it be back? Then of course Saturday Night Live.

Then there are Hulu shows not currently airing such as Rick & Morty, Future Man, The Exorcist was good, The Gifted, Inhumans, Midnight, Texas, Ghosted was hilarious. Dirk Gently’s Holistic Detective Agency is one I have in my queue, but haven’t started watching because I’m overwhelmed as it is, but I’m curious, so it’s there waiting. Those are the only Hulu shows and they aren’t on my DVR which means I have to be sure I keep up with them because I think they only keep the last 4 episodes on their site and then delete them, so if I stop watching, I lose out on them. I haven’t seen the last Lucifer or the last 2 Once Upon A Time, but I’m still catching up lol.

I stopped watching all but one Bravo show. I stopped watching The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills, OC, New York, New Jersey, I never really watching Miami or the other 2, I forget where they are, but I do watch Dallas ONLY because of LeeAnne Locken and D’Andra Simmons and her mother. If it wasn’t for them, I’d stop watching. I liked Tiffany Hendra, but she wasn’t on the 2nd season. I CANNOT stand the rest of those biatches on that show AND their husbands. I also stopped watching Lisa Vanderpump’s show Vanderpump Rules because it’s the same thing every year. A bunch of spoiled waiters and waitresses who can’t stop drinking, sleeping with EVERYTHING THAT MOVES (Jax) and tattling on each other. Ugh! Talk about psychological. It’s more psychological for me. I stopped watching The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills specifically because of Lisa Rinna. All she does is start trouble and then tells people stuff that are bold face lies, then she sips her drinks and watches them all yell at each other while she basically laughs at the chaos she started. Um Lisa, this isn’t one of your soap operas, this is real… scripted… I’m sure. Whatever, I’m over it because of her.

See? I told you I had a LOT of shows to watch. Too many on my DVR, then quite a few on Hulu. I don’t want to abandon the entire idea of watching TV like one person I know who said TV was TOO addicting and she literally got rid of it because it was taking over her life. I feel like it is starting to take over, but at the same time that’s why I have a DVR and why I watch the rest of my shows on Hulu. It would be nice to stop cold turkey, but how will I know how all my shows ended?

Anyway, I took a break from watching my shows to type this and now I have to go back and edit, then I can go back and take some more shows off the DVR or my Hulu Queue lol. UGH!

Cutting Back on Services

I’ve decided to cut back on a few things. I’m not broke, but I’m not exactly rolling in dough. I just think that there are a few things that I need to cut back on a few services that I don’t use as much as I used to.

Hulu Plus is one thing that is nice to have, but I don’t have that much time to watch it anymore. I started going to the gym, so that takes up my afternoons, and I haven’t been watching Hulu Plus as much as I would like, so that has to go. I didn’t exactly cancel my subscription, I postponed it for 12 weeks. My next billing date will be December 26th. I’m not sure I will have enough time to watch Hulu then, so if I still don’t have any plans to watch then I will just cancel my membership until further notice. I was going to cancel Netflix, but my partner says he watches Netflix, so that stays.

My website, this website, is one thing that I don’t use that often. When you have to force yourself to post something just to get your moneys worth, then is it really worth the money? I think not. No one ever visits my website anyway, so I really don’t see the point in keeping it. I don’t want to lose all my blog posts, so I’m going to copy and paste every blog post I’ve written here onto my xanapus.wordpress.com blog. I plan on keeping my domain, and it’s only $13 a year to have my WordPress blog redirect to xanapus.com. I think $13 a year is better than $144 a year. If I were still getting paid to blog then that would be one thing, but I’m not, so I have to make a change.

One more thing I am going to do is to stop paying games for in game money. Like The Sims FreePlay for example. This month I bought $20 worth of Life Points, then ran out and needed more to complete a quest, so I bought $10 more worth of Life Points and STILL didn’t finish the quest in time. That is $30 more that I could have used for groceries. So screw that noise. I’ve decided that when you have to buy life points to be able to finish a quest, then perhaps it’s time to throw in the towel on that game. I’m just not going to play that one anymore for awhile.

I’ve stopped playing with my PlayStation for several months actually. I’ll get on it every now and then, like I’ll get on it the first Tuesday of every month to see what games are free for PlayStation Plus subscribers. Since I haven’t been playing, I haven’t felt the need to buy new games or new add-on’s for the games I currently have or like to play.

I am still interested in reading more of the Pathfinder Tales books, but I will wait to buy any new books. I have a lot of eBooks that I haven’t even read yet, so I should probably focus my energy on reading those. To my defense, most of those eBooks were free, so I didn’t have to spend any money on those. A ton of them were Nook Free Fridays eBooks from when I first got my Nook, which was a long time ago lol.

I also bought the Dungeons & Dragons Starter Set and the Pathfinder Beginner Box, but haven’t had too much time to learn since I’ve been going to the gym. I will get to them, I promise. I just haven’t had the chance. I also don’t have a group of people willing to teach me or willing to learn with me. Hopefully that chance will come soon.

So there are a lot of things I am ready and willing to give up just because it’s unnecessary to have them. It’s nice to have them, but what good are they if I can’t enjoy them?

This is my notice that I am going to transfer all of my blog posts from here to WordPress and then cancel my hosting and redirect my WordPress blog to my domain. Let’s hope the transfer process is quick and easy.

Nook HD+ from Barnes & Noble

Nook HD+ from Barnes & Noble

I love my Nook HD+.  I have been having so much fun with it since I got it for Christmas, actually the week before Christmas.  Yeah we don’t conform to the traditions of opening your presents on Christmas day, or even on birthdays.  We open presents the day we get them.  Screw tradition lol.

My Nook HD+ has a 9” screen, so it’s bigger than the Nook HD in the sense that it has 2 more inches, but I’m telling you that because there are certain apps that work with 7 inches, but don’t work with 9 inches.  Like The Sims FreePlay and Viggle for example.  The Sims FreePlay is downloadable, you just can’t play it because you get this warning when you try.

The Sims FreePlay

I am not sure if The Sims FreePlay will even work with a Nook HD 7” tablet.  I know it works with the Kindle Fire because I’ve seen people taking pictures and video of it on that device.  I’m pretty sure it was the 7”, so if it runs on the Kindle Fire 7”, then it probably runs on the Nook HD 7”.  If so or not, please let me know.

Viggle on the other hand doesn’t even show up in the Google Play Store, so they don’t even give you the option.  I know it works on 7” tablets because I installed it on my partner’s tablet to see if I could do trivia when trivia wasn’t giving me any points with my phone.  It installed and looked great too, but the trivia was not working on his tablet any better than it was on my phone.  Although, just because it installed on his tablet doesn’t mean I know if it will install on a Nook HD 7” tablet.

Facebook isn’t great on the Nook HD+ when you use the app.  Using the browser is so much better because you get the full website that you get on the computer, but the only problem I have is when I use another tab to visit another website, or even if I use an app, like if I go check my email, when I come back to the Facebook tab, it goes straight to the mobile version.  If I wanted to use Facebook mobile, I would just use the Facebook app.

The Twitter app that comes with the Nook HD+ from the Nook store isn’t updated, so it’s better to let Google Play update it.  It’s easy to use and if you have multiple twitter accounts, you can switch back and forth very easily.  It’s actually better on the Nook HD+ than it is on my phone.  When I am using @xanapus on my phone, then try to switch over to another twitter name, for some odd reason it switches me back to @xanapus.  It doesn’t do that on my Nook HD+.

I didn’t like the Google+ app on my phone and I rarely ever use it on my computer, but it is great on the Nook HD+.  That’s one of the social media websites that I wanted to start using more often.  It has a much better look than Facebook does in my opinion.  Google+ doesn’t force you to look at ads or suggested posts.

One annoying thing that I noticed is that when I am in my library, I scroll down to My Files and see there are 564 files.  How the heck am I supposed to weed through all of those files to get to the ebooks I have downloaded?  Well, I discovered that if you click the words My Files, it brings up a new window which shows folders.  They are in the Download folder.  I have 6 ebooks that I downloaded from the EverQuest Next website that are fiction based books based on EverQuest the game, but they are all in PDF format.  Ebooks that I’ve downloaded in ePub format will show up with my Nook books, but the PDF files don’t.  I did download an app called File Manager HD which allowed me to create a new folder in my download folder so I could keep the EQN ebooks in there to keep that folder more organized.

PicsArt Photo Studio is a good app that I use on my phone to add stickers and frames and text to my pictures, but it’s such a small screen that sometimes it’s difficult to see what I’m doing.  My Nook HD+ doesn’t have a camera, but I can use Google Drive to retrieve my files.  What I really like most is that I can write on the screen with this.  I can do that on my phone, but it’s too small.

Happy New Year 2014

Okay, so my handwriting isn’t the best, it’s even worse on paper lol.

ChromecastSome useful apps that come with the Nook HD+ include Netflix and Hulu+ and if you have a Google Chromecast, you can watch them on your TV.  You don’t even need to have the Google Chromecast app installed to use it.  I know this because I bought it for my partner and I couldn’t get it to connect to his tablet.  I connected it with my CR-48 aka Chromebook, then was able to connect it to his tablet.  I don’t have the app installed on my Nook HD+ or my phone, but the icon is visible on YouTube, Netflix and Hulu+.  I guess any Android or Apple device that is connected to my network will have that ability.

Of course, other good uses for the Nook HD+ is actually reading a book lol.  You aren’t limited to Nook books either, you can read your Kindle books plus your Google Play books.  In fact, if there is a service that sells ebooks, you can read the books you bought from them, including pdf files and ebooks.  Some writers only publish their ebook with Amazon KDP Select because they get more advertising, and if they chose KDP Select, they can only publish with Amazon for 3 months.  That’s why it’s good to use the Kindle on my Nook, because some ebooks aren’t available on the Nook.

One of the features that I do like is the Nook app “Your Highlights and Notes.”  If you do a lot of highlighting and like to add notes, this is a good thing.  It had all the highlights from the Nook for PC when I got it, but it didn’t show any text.  When I add new highlights, it shows the page number and the first couple of sentences that I highlighted, and if I left a note, it shows my note.  That makes it so much easier to find every highlight and every note on every ebook you own whether it’s downloaded or in the cloud.  Highlighting and leaving notes on my Nook WiFi was so difficult and as soon as I started reading another ebook, all of the highlights and notes disappeared, which was very frustrating.

There is also a Nook app called “Your Lookups” that shows you every word you ever had to find the definition for.  That does come in handy if you ever want to find that specific word again.  The list of words you looked up are on the left, and the word, the book you found it in, the page and the date and time you looked it up are on the right along with the definition of the word.  WOW!  Now you have a record of the date and time you learned a new word.

Anyway, these are some of my thoughts on the Nook HD+.  I like it a lot and I will get a ton of use out of it.  I still have my Nook WiFi and I don’t think I will use it as often for reading ebooks, but if the occasion ever arises when I go outside to read, I will be able to use it.

Dark Shadows: The Revival (1991)

I have had this on my Hulu Queue since I saw Dark Shadows with Johnny Depp and I don’t know why it took me so long to watch it, but I finally finished it today.  There are only 12 episodes and it is totally worth watching.

According to IMDB, the original Dark Shadows had 1225 episodes, but Netflix is only showing 162 episodes.  I saw the first season which is 40 episodes, but haven’t seen the 2nd season yet because I kinda got bored with it.  I don’t know what made me decide to watch The Revival on Hulu, but I am glad I did because it was an awesome version of the story.

I don’t know if Dark Shadows The Revival is a condensed version of the original, but I really liked it.  I wouldn’t have minded if they had more than 12 episodes, but I think I was satisfied with what I got to see.  If it is just a condensed version, I can only imagine how much I missed from the original series that I will never get to see.

The best part of this series is we get to see Joseph Gordon-Levitt as a child who plays David Collins.  Also Pretender Jarod Michael T. Weiss plays Joe Haskell… without a shirt… yum yum gimme some!

I could go on about how I liked one more than the other, but who really cares what I think?  Just go watch it on Hulu before it expires on 1/2/2013.

Sliders Season 4&5 on Netflix

I watched the first 3 seasons of Sliders on Hulu because I missed it when it originally aired.  Unfortunately they didn’t have seasons 4 and 5.  I found it on Netflix, but I hate watching tv shows on my computer.  I had my computer plugged into the TV when I watched Caprica, but that was a pain because it was always going out of sync.  I got a new Sony Blu-Ray player for my birthday so I took that as the perfect opportunity to finally watch Sliders because the Blu-Ray player has internet channels like Netflix and Hulu Plus among others.

I was sad when the professor died in the 3rd season and I wasn’t sure if I would like the new girl whose planet blew up and she was forced to go with the sliders, but I found that I fell in love with her in season 4.  I was really sad that Wade wasn’t in season 4, but I was thrilled that Charlie O’Connell, Jerry O’Connell’s real life brother joined the cast as his brother Colin Mallory.  I loved the 4th season of Sliders.  I have to admit that I spent a LOT of time looking at Charlie, he is hot LOL.

I have already seen the first few episodes of the 5th and final season of Sliders and I think it’s ok, but I’m kinda miffed that Jerry and Charlie O’Connell aren’t in it anymore.  I thought that it was lame that they replaced Quinn with his alternate universe version who doesn’t look a thing like him, like he’s a Quinn’s fraternal twin LOL.

Tembi Locke (from Eureka) is in season 5 as a scientist named Dr. Diana Davis.  I guess since our new Quinn isn’t a genius, they needed to add another genius to the cast to do the things this new Quinn cannot do.  And they aren’t calling him Q-ball or even Quinn, they are calling him Mallory.

I almost didn’t watch season 5 because the only person that is left in the show is Rembrandt, but on the other hand, I love that Tembi Locke is in it so I think I will keep watching it until the end.

What is the plot of this new cast anyway?  I mean, the plot was originally to find their way back to their own universe, but now Rembrandt is the only one who wants to find his own, but they were already there and it has been taken over by an alien species known as the Kromags.  His world is now ruined so he has no reason to go back, except for wanting to be with his family of course.  Maggie has no home so wherever she goes is home.  Diana and Mallory, well I don’t know if they even want to go back to their home.  So what is the purpose now besides trying to stop the Kromags?

Anyway, I guess I will find out when I finish the 5th season.  I think it’s still a good show despite the fact that the original cast is all gone and it was replaced with 3 new people.  I’m glad at least one of them is still original lol.

By the way, can I just say how Maggie looks almost exactly like the woman who plays the evil queen in ABC’s Once Upon A Time?  I already checked, they aren’t the same person, but they could be twins.  Hmmmm, twins from a different universe perhaps?

Dark Shadows (2012) with Johnny Depp

I have been waiting for Dark Shadows for a few months and I couldn’t wait to go see it.  I never had the chance to see the original Dark Shadows because I wasn’t born when it first began and I was only a baby when it ended, so I never got the full experience.

I actually didn’t even know about it until I saw an episode of King and Queens when it was brought up because there was a convention that Spence (Patton Oswalt) was going to go to but his girlfriend wouldn’t let him go only because Carrie (Leah Remini) told her to stand up for herself which turned her into a crazy control freak.

Darrin told me when we were leaving the theater that this movie had gotten a few bad reviews.  Well guess what, they can suck an egg because this was a good movie.  Anything with Johnny Depp is going to be awesome and I really don’t listen to those reviews anyway.

Netflix has the original series, I don’t know how many episodes they have, but it says they have all 4 seasons.  I looked it up on IMDB and it doesn’t say that it has more than 1 season, it just shows 1966 – 1971.  I tried to watch it on the internet but I could only find 12 episodes which were dated in 1966.  It was a 5 day a week show so there are going to be a ton of episodes to watch, 1225 episodes to be exact since that is how many episodes IMDB says there are, luckily they were only 30 minutes long.  Then go check it out on Hulu because there was a remake of only 12 episodes from the 90’s.  So that should be quite interesting to watch.

I saw an interview on TV where they said that Johnny Depp was in the original series as the little boy.  Well, he was born in 1963 and the show first began in 1966 so it was possible, but he would’ve only been 3 years old.  Well, I scrolled through the list of cast members and his name was nowhere to be seen.  I then went to his IMDB page and his career began in 1984 with a Nightmare on Elm Street.  I know this is not even worth mentioning since it’s not even true, but you know, it’s something they said on TV and well, there you have it.

At any rate, go see this movie because it was very good and it was fun to watch.  Since I never saw the original, I didn’t get any inside jokes if there were any from the original series.  If you never saw the original then you won’t get it either, but it doesn’t matter because the movie was funny enough on it’s own.

When you go, get your picture taken on one of the displays for Dark Shadows like I did…