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..

In Memory of Vedra Jean Luttrell

We have recently suffered the loss of a great friend and family member; Chips cousin has unexpectedly and wrongfully passed away at the age of 62.

I first met Vedra in the mid 90’s when Darrin and I would travel from Hollywood to Bakersfield to visit his mom for Mother’s Day. Every year Vedra would send a flier in the mail telling us about the family reunion and pot luck in the park and it was something that I always looked forward to, not just for the good food but to see her since we clicked so well.

We moved to Bakersfield in 2000 so we were able to see her more than just once a year but little did I know, she only lived 2 blocks from us.  When I learned that she lived so close, we started to see her more often and we met her life partner Venda.  Next thing you know, we’re all trading birthday gifts with each other.

The circumstances with which Vedra has left this world is very painful and I will not go into any details as I would like this to be a celebration of her life but let’s never forget the tragedy for why she is not with us today.

There won’t be a funeral but there will be a celebration of life party at one of Vedras sisters house in mid November.  I like celebration of life parties because you aren’t just mourning her death but also celebrating her life.  I have been to 3 such parties in my life and it’s a better way to say goodbye with a smile and a tear at the same time.

We will miss you and never forget you Vedra.

Windows Live

A couple of years ago I got sick of using Outlook Express as my email client because it didn’t have a junk filter. I started searching for a new email program and after a few failed ones that added banner ads at the bottom of every email I found Windows Live Mail and I’ve been using it ever since.

Today I kept getting these messages saying something about my server not responding and I got sick of it so I thought, I wonder if there is a newer version of Windows Live Mail so I went to Google and found it. I was using the 2008 version and found that there is a 2011 version. Unfortunately for me, that is for Windows Vista and 7 only. They did have a version for XP users which is the 2009 version. Yes, I get to use last years model. But it’s still an upgrade for me considering I’ve been using the 2008 model anyway. I’m still having that issue with the server but it has nothing to do with my email client but more to do with my ISP.

It gets better though because I got a few new programs along with it. Not only did I get Windows Live Messenger — which is basically MSN Messenger which I got with the 2008 version — but I also got Windows Live Call, Family Safety, Photo Gallery and Writer.

Windows Live Call opens Windows Live Messenger so I can only assume you can make Skype like calls. Not video calls, well you can do that too but I mean calls to a persons actual telephone.

Windows Live Family Safety is great for families with children especially if you don’t want your children being exposed to the dangerous world of the internet. It allows you to prevent certain websites from being viewed by anyone on the computer. I haven’t tried it because I’m not a child lol. Well, it’s debatable.

Windows Live Photo Gallery is not unique but it is a useful tool for photographers and anyone who wants to organize their photos, or just look at them. I don’t know. I don’t really have a need for that program.

Windows Live Writer. Now that’s something that I can use because it’s a bloggers tool. It doesn’t have certain things that I would like for it to have like oh I don’t know, a grammar check for example. It has a spell check where it gives you that wavy red underline but nothing for my bad grammar and punctuation. It also has something like 158 plug-ins available that are useful. Some that I already use in my Word Press blog. There are some other plug-ins that I wish were available for it but I’m sure they will become available in the future.

I am using the Windows Live Writer to write this post and if it looks good in my blog then I may consider switching. It works with many websites like WordPress, Blogger, LiveJournal, TypePad, Community Server and many more. I have a Blogger account but I never use it because I hate having to copy/paste posts.

I know I’m late on all of this info but it’s new to me.

No Zombie Book For Me

On June 30th I got an email from GetGlue saying I won a book for being the guru of the book Zombies for Zombies .  Well the book that I won “ The Living Dead” by George Romero is apparently not really happening.

I haven’t really been that focused on getting it on a certain day or week because I know when you win things it could take a month or longer.  But since it has been over 3 weeks I thought maybe it might come soon.  I waited for the mail like a little pup but once again, no book.

I decided to go onto Amazon and get more information about the book, maybe read some reviews.  What I see is confusing because it says that this book is available for pre-order and that it has not been released yet. Hmmm , ok well I go down and see in the product details that it was released on July 1st 2010.  Well that’s odd.  So I scroll all the way down for the discussion section for this book and find out that in the post at the very top that this book is not even real.  It was actually someone who responded to the post titled “ Exciting! “.

Someone on July 13th said there was an interview on YouTube of him saying it’s not real and another person on the 24th said they would like the link to that.  I searched and found it.  I had to watch the first part of the interview then watch the second part of the interview to see and it was the very last question all the way at the end of the interview.

The question was asked at 6:09 and he responded at 6:25 that you can’t listen to what you read on IMDB, he responds about amazon at 6:51 saying you can’t believe any of the “shit” you read on amazon.

Seriously?  I really don’t believe this.  The Q&A session he did in this video was posted on YouTube on May 12 2010 by a woman who clearly sounded annoyed by the video game and novel questions and she clearly had her nose so far up George Romero’s ass, it was any wonder you could hear her chuckling at the questions being asked.

Anyway, I am a bit disappointed that the one thing I did win from GetGlue might never arrive, it was fun to think that it would though.  I guess I can stop waiting for it to come in the mail now.

Bright House Cable Upgrade

A week ago I got in the mail a letter from our cable company “Bright House Cable” saying they are going to be making some changes to the system and to keep an eye out or something.  I don’t have it anymore and I don’t remember what it said.

Yesterday a 1-800 number called and I let the machine pick it up and it was Bright House calling.  It was a recording and I let the machine record it but before it hung up I picked up the phone to hear the rest of the message.  It said that it was going to be upgrading 1 of our cable boxes.  It didn’t say which one, just that 1 of our boxes is going to get the upgrade and the other one will get it in a few weeks.

It was the one in the living room and I am so glad that it was that one and not the one in my bedroom because Darrin would never let me live that down lol.  I have an HD box in my room even though I don’t have an HD tv set.  The cable company gave me the wrong one but I insisted that I’m going to be upgrading my tv anyway (which was a lie) so let me keep it lol.  I said that because some of the HD channels are eastern time zone and I like being able to see the shows 3 hours earlier so that I can watch my network shows when they come on at 8 and 9pm.

One of the reasons why I couldn’t watch Ghost Hunters many years ago was because the new episode always came on at the same time as one of my shows at 9pm but I didn’t know then that they repeat it at 11 lol.  Duh!  But that’s ok, I like to watch the new episode at 6pm even though I don’t have any other Wednesday night shows.  I get to watch the new episodes 4 times, 6pm and 8pm on SyFyHD and 9pm and 11pm on regular SyFy lol.

So I still have to wait a week to 3 weeks for my upgrade.  I was just looking at it and it’s not all that different.  Ok yes it’s really different but it’s not better.  It’s just eye candy is all.  I will record on my dvd recorder what it looks like normal then when I get the upgrade record it with the upgrade and put it on YouTube lol.

Video Professor Free?

I see these commercials all the time for Video Professor where the “chairman” talks about how he gives away his lessons on CD for free.  Well, I hate to disillusion anybody but it ain’t free.

I ordered my “free” lesson and when it finally came in the mail I saw the fine print.  It’s free for a certain amount of time.  After that specific time is up they automatically charge your credit card $70.

I got the Frontpage lessons because I thought I was getting it for free for the cost of shipping.  I saw the warning and immediately called the number and told them I am sending it back the next day as soon as I wake up lol.  There is no way I am rich enough to be able to afford $70 for lessons for a program that I’ve been using since 1997 that I am clearly able to use without any of their lessons.  I just thought that they would be able to tell me something I didn’t know but every lesson in there was something I am aware of lol.

It would be one thing if they charged $20 plus shipping for a lesson, that’s at least reasonable but $70 that’s a bit much.  Is it false advertising that they say it’s free then you find out it’s $70?  I think it is.

Ok I have to admit something.  This happened like 2 years ago lol.  I just saw the commercial and it jogged my memory and so I thought I would blog about it lol.

Microsoft and Yahoo Vs. Google

I saw on Fox News this morning that Microsoft and Yahoo are going to merge and Yahoo will start using Microsoft’s Bing search engine.  I don’t know why.  Anyway, they said that Google has been kicking Yahoo’s ass in the search engine department so MS and Yahoo are going to combine to kick Google’s ass.

Shep on Fox said that Bing seems to be a way better search engine but I don’t know about that.  I just did a Bing search for my name “Xanapus” and it didn’t seem that special to me.  It has a pop up on the right side of each item that shows you whats in there but who really cares about that?  It’s not a little mini image of the page, its text.  I don’t see how it’s better than Google personally.

Also, a few nights ago we went to visit friends of ours and when I went to look up the directions I opened Windows Live Mail (which I find easier than Outlook Express) and opened up the address book to copy the address to paste in Google maps but the address was a link so I clicked it and up came Bing Map.  After awhile trying to figure out just how I was supposed to get directions to that address I finally printed the directions with a map.  Well, those directions got us lost because they put us somewhere else.  They told us to turn left when we were supposed to go to another street 2 streets up on the right.  We ended up having to call to find out which street to go to and found out right and not left.

Google in my opinion is way better for search engines and for maps.  I’m probably not going to change.  There are some aspects of Google I don’t care for like Google Chrome browser because it doesn’t give me my Yahoo toolbar.  I’m kinda sorta looking forward to Google Chrome OS only because of the claim that it starts up faster than Windows but we will see if I can still use my Windows software since it will be Linux-based.  One service of Google’s that I do love is their free 1-800-GOOG-411.

Good luck Microsoft and Yahoo.

YouTube Movies and TV Shows

I’m a bit behind in the news.  I know that YouTube has movies and TV Shows or they just added that recently.  Yesterday I watched “The Blue Lagoon”.  I never saw it.  It came out in 1980 and I was 10 at the time so I wasn’t able to see it for obvious reasons.  It’s rated R.  Not only that but I’d have to be an adult to really get it.  So I watched it and really understood it.  Such a sad and happy ending.

Anyway, they don’t have a whole lot of movies and TV shows yet because they just started but I’m sure they will have every movie and TV show ever made available for all to see.

I usually watch TV shows on Hulu because they have them like the very next day usually after airing on TV.  Sometimes I have to wait a few days after the show airs on TV but it’s not too long.  And you can subscribe to TV shows on Hulu so they email you to let you know a show is on their website so you don’t miss it.

This will certainly put Netflix out of business if people are able to just watch their movies right from YouTube.  Netflix is going to have to think fast and lower their prices and offer unlimited viewing through their website to compete.

The movies and tv shows you watch on YouTube do have commercials.  I was thinking that perhaps watching YouTube movies is like stealing from the actors and the production companies but the commercials probably make up for that.  The Blue Lagoon had like 10 commercials, it was all the same commercial just played every 10 minutes or so.  So that probably pays for it all so YouTube can continue showing them for free.

It’s the same thing as watching regular TV, you still have to watch commercials, but only 1 commercial, not 2 minutes worth of commercials.  More like 1 30 second commercial.  I think that I can handle being interrupted every 10 or so minutes by a 30 second commercial and be able to watch it for free than have to wait for the movies to come in the mail via Netflix and have it scratched and unplayable or have it come to me broken or never even receive it at all.  Which has happened to me by the way.  But that’s another blog post for another time.

All in all I give YouTube a big thumbs up for making it available for free.

Bicycle

I woke up at 7am with the alarm clock with the intention of leaving the house at 8:30am or when Darrin left for work.  But then I realized that I might be getting a package in the mail any day now so I just decided to wait another hour for the mail.  It’s a good thing I did because she left a big package on my doorstep and didn’t even ring the bell.  She just left it there.  If I wasn’t home when she dropped it off then someone could have taken it.  It was the Big City Slider Station from Publishers Clearing House lol.  Yeah I know, I could have gotten it from Wal-Mart but I can pay for it over the next 4 months.  I don’t have the money to spend at Wal-Mart right now.

Before the mail came I thought that I would go to Albertson’s real fast and see what they have in the way of energy bars.  When I get to a certain point my stomach starts hurting because all of a sudden it’s like I’m starving or something.  I don’t know why it does that so I wanted to get some energy bars.  They aren’t too bad I guess, most of them are a bit expensive like $1.50 – $2.  But then I saw the Tiger’s Milk bars which were only .89 cents but they also had a tag that said buy 1 get 1 free.  So I bought 3 of them and got 3 for free.  I’m going to have to go back later and buy 20 more for $10 lol.

So then I went to the bike path and didn’t stop for any rest, I was going to just rest at a Yokuts park just before Beach Park but then I figured that Beach Park is right next to Yokuts park so I might as well just keep going to Beach Park.  When I got there I sat on the cement bench and grabbed my Tiger’s Milk bar and enjoyed it.  My stomach was a little tiny bit hungry but it wasn’t too hungry but this Tiger’s Milk bar filled it.  I sat there for probably 15 minutes then I went on my way back the way I came to come home.

When I got home I took the bicycle computer off and when I opened the back door the dog (toy chihuahua) was jumping up for me to pick her up and I did then I started walking in the door and went to reach for the doorknob to close it and the computer fell out of my hand.  OMG!!!  I picked it up and it was flashing numbers as if I had just taken the battery out and replaced it so it wanted me to set it up.  This means that I had lost all my information.

Luckily I had looked at the info before I got home so I kinda knew what my trip odometer was.  It was about 10 miles which was the same exact amount of miles I went on April 17th so I just wrote down the same miles.  Also I looked at my average speed and it was 12.2 so I wrote that down on my sheet (and in the bike computer stats in the Spark People page).  My time was about the same as April 17th also so I just put 52 minutes and no seconds.  I don’t know how many calories or fat calories that was but I’m not really concerned.  The reason I say that is because going 12.2mph burns more calories than going 11.8mph.  Not that much but still, the numbers wouldn’t be the same.

So that’s it.  Tomorrow I’m going to leave at the same time as Darrin since I’m not expecting anything in the mail.  Well, I did buy him some ties for Church with crosses on them but I’m sure they will be in a small enough package that they can slip it into the big box outside.

Stargate

I’ve always loved the show Stargate SG-1 but only watched it occasionally but since I wasn’t a regular watcher of the show I was always lost.  So a couple of months ago I decided to sit and watch it every day when it came on Sci-Fi.  I started paying attention to it when Ben Browder came onto the show.  No reason why I paid attention to him, just a coincidence lol.  Don’t put any thought into it lol.

I know that I’m still probably lost and I figured that they would be nearing the end of the last season soon so I can start watching it from the beginning again but I don’t know when that will be.

Stargate Universe will be coming in the fall and I really want to be caught up by then.  Although, it doesn’t look like it’s from the same era, it looks like it might be in the future but I won’t know until it comes on.  I want to be really caught up with SG-1 before I start watching SGU anyway.

Yesterday I bought the original 1994 Stargate movie which I have seen before but I want to start it all over by watching the movie.  Plus I’m sure there are some bonus features.  Maybe.  I’ll have to wait until it comes in the mail.

I also bought another Stargate which I had no idea even existed.  “Stargate Infinity: The Complete Series” which apparently is a cartoon with half hour episodes.  There was only 1 season so it wasn’t a very good one I guess lol.  I can only assume they were trying to target the show to kids because some of the cast members were teenagers lol.  As if Stargate Command would have teenager soldiers fighting the fight.  Hilarious.  I bought it because it’s campy to me.

I was going to start buying each season on DVD but there are 10 seasons at $21 each and I can buy the entire series in a big box for $115 and get 2 bonus discs with all bonus features.  So I’m just going to do that.  I’m going to have to wait until next month though to set aside half then on my birthday pay for the rest so this will be my birthday present to myself lol.

When I’m done with all that then I’m going to buy Stargate Atlantis.  Although, I might wait until they have the entire series in a box.  Right now I think they only have each season sold individually.  I will work on getting that before the fall so I’m REALLy caught up hehe.