Planet Fitness Membership

20150912_195052What has 2 thumbs and a Planet Fitness Black Card membership? This guy!

Yes, I finally went to Planet Fitness and bought a membership. My partner and I both walked around the gym to see what machines they had and what the massage chairs and hydromassage beds and tanning bed look like. We also saw the Total Body Enhancement “chamber” as I like to call it. I asked what that was and the guy said everyone asks the same question. Well I mean, it begs to be answered. He said it vibrates your body, increases blood flow, opens your pores and does something with the red light to help burn fat. I don’t know exactly what he said, but I certainly want to know more about this machine.

Now when he mentioned the red light, of course what came to mind was watching the Real Housewives of Atlanta when Kim rented some machines with a red light, and oddly enough an attendant who rubbed this lotion on its skin… oh sorry, had a flashback from the Silence of the Lambs. Anyway, it rubs the lotion on its skin or it gets the hose again. Ugh darn it, I’m sorry, it’s a jerk reaction. Anyway, the red light was a totally different light from what I saw in the Total Body Enhancement chamber in Planet Fitness. Theirs is just a thing you stand in and it has red lamps and from the video I saw on YouTube you have to stand there for 12 minutes or so depending on the level you are on. I honestly don’t know how to work the machine because I haven’t been there yet, but a woman on a video shows you how to work the control panel and it was so fast I had to watch the video 3 times and I’m still not sure how to use it, but all I know is with the pain I feel in my back, standing there for 12 minutes is going to be torture. Another woman said she does it before she does her workouts.

The guy at Planet Fitness who registered me today told me that I have unlimited guest privileges and I pointed to my partner, and he mentioned that as a guest he can use the facilities with the exception of the massage chair, hydromassage bed, tanning bed and torture chamber, er um I mean Total Body Enhancement torture chamber. He didn’t care, but I kind of felt bad because how awful would it be if he were sitting there waiting for me to finish my massages while he’s sitting there like gee thanks for nothing. I mean, I wouldn’t be too happy, but then again he doesn’t really care to go to any gym at all. We are polar opposites. I like exercise, he doesn’t. I like science fiction, he prefers documentaries. I like Facebook, he likes Fox News.

He told me that he would not mind going if the doctor told him it was ok, and naturally when we went to the doctor on Friday, he “forgot” to mention going to the gym, so of course I mentioned it to the doctor and he said that he is 100% in favor of both of us going to the gym. So there you go, the doctor said do it, but start out slow for the both of us and work our way up to whatever you are comfortable with.

Anyway, I am totally excited. I made a new keychain (image above) that is purple and yellow to match the colors and I went to the store and bought some empty shampoo and body wash containers so we can shower after our workouts. I also bought 2 new puffy thingamabobs. That’s the technical term. They’re both purple for Planet Fitness’ colors lol. I also bought a brand new combination lock for $5 and 2 sports bottles so we can drink some water during our workouts. Oh and I also bought new purple shoe laces lol. My old red ones from Bank of America were worn out and I needed a change anyway.

Tomorrow when I go to the gym, and I am going to the gym tomorrow even if I have to ride my bicycle in the heat, I want to go to the cashier to buy a new gym bag with the Planet Fitness logo because they are $10 on the website. I’m assuming they are $10 there too. At least I am hoping. They have a neoprene armband for your phone, which I’m going to use because I don’t want to keep my phone in my pocket during my workouts. I have a new pair of headphones from the Sears outlet right next door to the Planet Fitness with a cool flat wire and a volume control on the wire along with a on/off mute button. It has a mic, so maybe it’s a mute for when I’m on the phone, but when I’m just listening to music maybe it turns the volume on/off. I really dig that flat cable though lol. The headphones are also for listening to the TV while I’m doing cardio.

I’m excited to go to the gym and I plan on taking a buttload of pain meds just in case. Right now I’m in absolute agony. No, seriously, it’s torture. I used the shiatsu massager that I have that sits in my desk chair 3 times today and I’m still in pain. I can’t wait to use the hydromassage bed and the massage chairs. I really do need those and I am really glad I got the black card membership instead of just a regular membership.

PlayStation Vue

PlayStation-Vue

I am very interested in a new feature that PlayStation has to offer called PlayStation Vue. It’s a new live streaming service on your PlayStation device that allows you to watch TV at a cheaper rate than cable.

This is what we have at our house. We have a bundle with Bright House with TV, Internet and Phone. I know that our cable internet is around $15 a month and our phone isn’t too much more expensive than that. Including the cable box in the living room which is $8 a month and the DVR cable box in my bedroom which is also $8 a month, our cable comes to $130 a month.  That’s a bit much for cable, but that’s how it is. They charge more for HDTV and we had to have certain packages because we have HDTV’s in both rooms.

With PlayStation Vue, I would have to use my PlayStation 4 to watch TV, which isn’t a bad thing because I use my PS4 all day long anyway with game play and watching Netflix and Hulu Plus, so to have another service keeping my PS4 running is convenient considering I have to grab the TV remote control to change from HDMI 1 for the PS4 to HDMI 2 for the cable. I wouldn’t have to go through that if I had PlayStation Vue.

They have a DVR function so that you can record ALL of your shows with NO conflicts, and you don’t have to worry about it recording on your PlayStation, it stays in the cloud for up to 28 days. As it is right now, if I want to record something, fine, I get to watch it when I want to, but my partner doesn’t have that option since he has a regular cable box. If he wants to record something, he has to watch it in my room.

My concern with switching from cable to PlayStation Vue is that we have 2 TV’s, and only 1 PS4. PlayStation has another device called PlayStation TV which allows you to play PlayStation Vita games with a PS3 controller, but PlayStation Vue is not available for that. If my partner wants to watch TV, he would have to use his iPad since there is an iPad app, but he wouldn’t be able to watch it on his TV. He has a Google Chromecast, but I’m not sure if that works with his iPad since we haven’t hooked it up yet. And even if it does work, will it work with PlayStation Vue? Also, would he be able to use his iPad while PlayStation Vue is streaming on his TV? Questions! Concerns!

If we were to switch from cable to PlayStation Vue, we would be saving $60 a month, that is if I chose the Elite package, which I would considering Logo isn’t available on the other 2 packages. They mention at E3 that you would be able to choose which channels you want, so if that is true then I would consider their less expensive Access or Core packages. Money is always tight, and I hate spending so much money on cable that I very rarely even watch. I don’t NOT watch TV, in fact, I have a huge list of shows that I watch, but I don’t watch TV all day long. It also concerns me that they don’t have every channel that is available, like for example where is ABC? And how will I watch Salem without WGN? What about The CW? Most of my shows are on The CW.

This new service is only available in certain zip codes anyway, and we are not in any of those zip codes since we are in Bakersfield, CA, but I’m sure the day will come when we will be able to use this service. I’m sure by then those channels MAY become available, but who knows for sure.

I told my partner about this new service and he just looked at me, like don’t even think about it lol. We were going to go cable free several years ago when we bought 2 Roku boxes, but realized there was no live TV, so if he wanted to watch his live news shows, he would be out of luck. They also didn’t have every episode of his news channel, they only had clips. He doesn’t want clips, he wants to watch entire episodes, and preferably live. Well, with PlayStation Vue he can see live TV, but he just doesn’t want to take the leap because it is too complicated, and he prefers things that are easy. And again, he doesn’t have a PlayStation, nor does he want to have to stream live TV from his iPad to the Google Chromecast, if that would even work. If it doesn’t work, then he doesn’t want to have to watch TV from his iPad and not be able to do anything else with it. It’s just too much of a hassle for him, and I understand. But perhaps if they made it available on PlayStation TV, and gave him a remote control instead of a PS3 controller, then he may consider it, but until then, he just wants to keep things simple.

So, I’m excited about it, but him not so much. But I think this is something that would be easier for someone who lives alone with 1 TV anyway. Unless every TV in the house has a PlayStation, this isn’t going to work for couples or a family unless they can make this service available on the PlayStation TV, which if you think about it is probably the best device for PlayStation Vue. I don’t know, tell me what you think in the comments.

Windows 8.1 Installed

Windows 8.1

My new Windows 8.1 Full Installation DVD’s came yesterday via UPS. I didn’t exactly have the easiest time installing it, and it literally took me 4 or more hours to figure out why. It turns out Windows 8.1 hates my storage hard drive, so the only way for me to install it is to unplug it. I’m sure that now that Windows is installed, I shouldn’t have any issues plugging it back in, but just in case, I will use a second IDE cable to plug it into the IDE 2 slot in my motherboard instead of using the same cable.

This is the error message I kept getting.

windows 8 install problems

But… here’s the thing, I was able to install the 64bit version of Windows 8.1 on the first try, but when it finished installing, it gave me an orange screen with thin white lines and a blinking underscore in the top left of the screen. I Googled that and found that it was a hardware error, but I figured it was because I didn’t have enough ram. I have 4GB of ram, but I figured maybe I needed to install the 32bit version, so I did and that was the first time I got the error message in the image above.

I asked on Facebook and a friend named James Benstine helped walk me through it on my Nook HD+ with Facebook messaging. I took several pictures with my phone so he could see what I was seeing. That is a huge help for anyone who is trying to help someone. I know I’ve tried helping people and they don’t think to take a picture with their phone to let me know what they are seeing, which makes it difficult to help, especially if they don’t give you details of what they are seeing. I took pictures of the BIOS menus every time he asked me to show it to him.

storage configuration bios menuI kept telling James that my hard drive was SATA and he couldn’t figure out why it kept showing up as IDE in my BIOS menu. I knew I had a SATA drive, but I forgot that it was my DVD burner that was the SATA drive. I mean duh, it says it right there in the BIOS menu as clear as day.

So I wrote myself a note and put it in the Windows 8.1 box that tells me to unplug the storage drive before installing Windows. I know that I will eventually have to reinstall Windows, I’ve had to reinstall XP more than a dozen times over the years.

The reason there is an issue with that storage hard drive is because when I built this computer, I tried using that hard drive, but it wouldn’t run Windows XP, it wouldn’t even turn the screen on. I had to buy a new hard drive and install Windows XP onto it to be able to use my computer again. I knew that I couldn’t load an operating system onto it which is why it is a slave drive and not a master drive. I didn’t have any issue installing XP on the master drive, so I don’t know why I had an issue installing 8.1 with it installed as a slave.

My next question will be this, will it cause an issue loading Windows 8.1 when I plug it back in? Tune in to find out. Same bat time, same bat channel.

Update: I bought a can of compressed air from Walgreen’s and managed to blow out all the dust from my tower, including all the dust in the heat sink and the fans in the back, as well as the dust at the bottom and laying on top of the video card. There was dust EVERYWHERE! I was still sneezing hours later. Should’ve wore a mask first. Lesson learned!

It took a little longer to load Windows, but it did eventually load. It has taken me most of the day copying and pasting my files from the storage drive. I decided that I should probably check for redundancy and unwanted files, so I was deleting unwanted and unneeded files, copying the wanted files and then deleting them from the storage drive. Once I have everything that I want on the drive that runs my operating system, then I will format the storage drive.

It would be nice to have a storage drive to keep all my files on, but if it’s just going to slow things down then it just isn’t worth it. I will see if it still slows my computer down after I format it. If it doesn’t slow it down then I will keep it, if it does then I will have no choice but to unplug and remove it. I could always install it onto a external hard drive case and plug it in with the USB cable and just plug it in as needed.

Oh would you look at the time, it’s 2 a.m. I will finish my copies tomorrow.

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.