A blog about "nothing"!

Friday, June 28, 2013

It's Friday!

Wendy over at Young Heart has started doing this every Friday and has invited her readers to "play" along as well, so I thought I would give it a try! 

Top 3 goals for the up-coming week:
1.  Eat More Fruit!
2.  List more stuff on Ebay
3.  Go to the farmers market on Wednesday (which will help with #1)

 
 
Current earworm:
Mirror-Justin Timberlake

Last movie watched (thumbs up or down?):
This is pathetic but we haven't been to the movies in ages and now that we don't have cable, I don't catch myself watching them either--I don't remember the last movie I watched!!!!! 

Noteworthy book /blog /magazine article /etc read:
Brittany (the author) is currently hiking the Pacific Crest Trail and I have to admit I'm a bit envious, but thanks to her regular posts of her journey, I am living vicariously through her. 

Product to try:
I don't know, I haven't really seen anything lately that catches my eye.

Topping my wish list:
A new Aran sweater from Blarney.com for fall.

Something quotable:
“I believe when life gives you lemons, you should make lemonade...and try to find someone whose life has given them vodka, and have a party.”  --Ron White
 
Have a great weekend everyone!

Monday, June 24, 2013

Hulu/HuluPlus--hmmmm.......................

I thought Hulu was a pretty cool concept--lots of free movies and television if you don't mind a few commercials.  The only drawback is you can't stream Hulu in it's free version with a streaming device, the only way you can watch it free is by watching it on your computer.  You can hook up an HDMI enabled computer to an HDMI enabled TV and watch it that way, but no remote control (unless you have one of the very few laptops that had this option).  However, if you spend $7.99 a month, you can upgrade to HuluPlus which not only gives you the ability to stream via a device instead of just a computer, but it also unlocks some additional TV shows that are only available to HuluPlus members.  I was willing to give it a try for a month.

Let me just say that it was a huge disappointment for a variety of reasons.  First off, if I'm paying for this service, I don't think I should have to endure the commercials.  There aren't as many, but they are still there.  There are still a lot of shows that can't be streamed to a television except by a computer.  And the streaming via a device is dreadful!   Constant interruptions, and the commercials stream even slower, by the time it is over with, you aren't even sure what the commercial was for--it's that bad.  2 minutes worth of commercials can take as long as 3 minutes to get through due to the hiccups, and you can't fast forward through them.  Ridiculous.  Streaming via computer seems to be a little better except for the commercials, still a mess.  Pathetic.

Needless to say, I have already cancelled this membership.  They are very fair with their cancellation policy, you can put it through early and still use it until the actual end date.  I've had memberships for other things like this where it was immediate, so I thought this was one of the few good things HuluPlus had going for it.  There are a couple of shows I will continue to watch via Hulu because they aren't available anywhere else, but I will use Netflix for most things.  I tried several different things to try and improve the quality, but gave up after I did some online research and found that the issues I was experiencing were common.  I hope that they improve this service, I would be willing to subscribe again if they can resolve these problems. 

My assessment on Hulu/HuluPlus--great idea, poorly executed.  Back to the drawing board!  Don't waste your money. 

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Yawn..............

It's been a slow week around here.  I've hardly seen the hubby, the new job has him very busy at the moment.  Ebay sales have been almost non-existent this month, but to be expected at this time of year.  The weather has been nice though, I've been enjoying having the windows open now that the worst of the pollen season has passed.  I baked an apple crisp yesterday--yummm!!!  That's probably the most exciting thing I've done all week.  I went to Kohl's and didn't see a thing I wanted bad enough to spend the money and the last few times I've been to the thrift stores, it's been a complete bust.  The last things I bought were two VHS movies for 49 cents each the first weekend of the month.  Wow.  I did buy myself a new iPod Touch, my old one was to the point that it couldn't be updated anymore, so I did make a splurge purchase.  Otherwise, it's been rather dull around here.   

Even Laney is bored, so I think after I scrub the living room area rug, we will go for a ride while it dries.  There is a really nice fruit/veg stand on the other side of the county that I used to frequent when I lived over that way that had the BEST strawberries, so I think I will see what they have.  It's supposed to be a hot weekend, so hoping they might have some other good stuff to eat that doesn't involve actually cooking.  Enjoy the first day of summer tomorrow and have a great weekend! 

"Mom, why are you aiming that iPod at me?"

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Subtle Humor

When I was in high school, one of my best friends and I thought we would like to go in to advertising.  Didn't happen, but I still can appreciate a well thought ad campaign, and better still, a really funny commercial.  Lately there has been one for Clorox cleaner that cracks me up everytime, especially towards the very end.  Enjoy!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AlXmiTBa5tM

"A rodent Benjamin!!!"

How does your garden grow???

At the beginning of the month I posted some pictures of my "gardening"--things are progressing well except for the green beans.  They are still growing, but I think the container I have them in is holding too much water as they aren't thriving the way I think they should.  We will see.  In the meantime I have tiny little onion tops poking up through the ground, fingers crossed that they survive.  Lots of little tomatoes formed now and peppers too.  However, I expect to get my first pickings this weekend off my lettuce--whoo hooo!  Here is what it looked like on June 3:
 
 
And this is what it looks like this morning:
 
I definitely would call it a successful planting!  I'm thinking I might even pull a little bit off Thursday morning to add to a sandwich for the hubby to take to work.   We will see, I almost hate to start pulling it off, it looks so pretty :)
 
In April I went to the doctor for my wonky knee, I was starting to get very tired of the pain.  I ended up getting an injection of cortisone in it and a higher dose of anti-inflammatory and it has helped tremendously.  That said, I knew that I really needed to do something about my weight as well to help not just with my knee, but my overall well-being.  I am not a big fan of any kind of fad diet, while they seem like a good idea at the time, trying to make them a permanent lifestyle change isn't always feasible and in some cases not even a good thing for long term health.  I ran across a thing on Pinterest that I found very interesting--it's more about counting calories and balancing it with your activity level.  My goal is to lose about a pound a week--I am now in the 8-10 pound loss range--yay!  And I'm not even closely counting, with a bit more lee-way on the weekends.  I've got a long way to go to get where I want to be, but it really does help when you can actually see some progress and in the way you were hoping to do it.  I can definitely tell that my pants are fitting differently, I'm hoping that next year at this time, NONE of my wardrobe will fit me anymore and that I can donate/consign it all :)  I need to get the seat on my bike fixed, I'm hoping to start riding it to help increase my activity level. 
 
Check out the website:  http://www.nowloss.com/how-to-lose-weight-keep-it-off-permanently.htm  Lots of good, common sense information!  

 

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Ah, the 80's!

I'm definitely a product of the 80's.  I graduated in 1982, so I'm one of those people whose childhood/coming of age actually spanned two decades.  What an interesting two decades they were! 

One of my favorite television shows which I think acurately depicts what growing up at that time period was like is "Freaks and Geeks".  It was only on for one season, but has become a cult favorite, I'm sure largely in part to people like me.  The then unknown actors in it have gone on to so many other projects--it's like a "who's who" of young Hollywood--Jason Segal, James Franco, Linda Cardellini, Busy Phillips, Seth Rogan--all incredibly talented, along with so many others who have gone on to successful careers.  I often wonder what the heck NBC was thinking when they cancelled it. 

Available on Netflix, it's a must watch series for anyone else who grew up then.  Last night we were watching it and I had to laugh when I saw one of the students carrying a book covered in a grocery bag cover--remember doing that?  My friend Joanne kicked it up a notch and used wrapping paper for hers.  It got me to thinking about all the other things they have picked up on, the crew who worked on this show paid such an incredible amount of attention to detail, and it just adds that much more to the show.

What are some things you immediately think of when you think of the late 70's/early 1980's?  Some of the things that come to mind for me:

Disco (and disco sucks!)
Flannel shirts (long before grunge was in)
Dark paneling in the living room
Orange or green kitchens
Shag carpet
8 track tapes (god, I hated when the song was split in the middle!)
Dungeons and Dragons
Steve Martin
Station Wagons
Pink Floyd, Rush and the Grateful Dead
Teachers having a smoking lounge in school (gasp!)
AMC Pacers

Saturday, June 8, 2013

Oh Roku, My Roku...............

Before I start--yeah, this is going to be one of those "shameless plug" type posts.  I'm not getting paid to do it though, I'm doing it because I just think this is about the coolest product since I bought my first iPod! 

A couple of posts ago I mentioned that we had cancelled our satellite television service and decided to go with a small antenna for local programming and then stream whatever else we wanted to watch.  I purchased this nifty little Roku HD box that connects to the TV, either by RCA cable or HDMI cable.  I had NO idea how cool this little gizmo was going to be.  To me the $58 was well worth the price for what you get.  This is the model we purchased--there are more expensive ones, but this had everything we needed for our viewing pleasure.

Hook-up/set-up was super easy--plug it in to the TV, plug the electrical plug in to the wall outlet and then follow the onscreen instructions.  You do need a computer handy to complete the whole process, but we were up and running in less than 30 minutes. 

The remote takes a little bit of getting used to, but I feel like a pro now, and it's only been two weeks.  There is a listing of available channels and you just add the channels you want to receive through your personal profile, either via the Roku box itself, or via the internet.  Easy peasy.  Some of the channels are completely free (Pandora, Vevo, Crackle, PBS), others involve a subscription fee (Netflix, HuluPlus, MLB.tv) and some are pay-per-view kinds of channels (Amazon Prime, Blockbuster).  The beauty of it is you pick your channels based on your viewing habits/needs and only pay for what you feel like paying for.  My only complaint was that I had to give Roku a credit card number in order to activate my account, but I was able to password it so that stuff we don't want can't be accidentally purchased. 

Picture quality has been very good, some channels stream better than others, and there are a number of channels that I probably wouldn't use in a million years, but there are plenty of items in the free category that I can see us watching a lot.  For a nominal monthly fee you can learn to speak a language (parlez-vous Francais?), play a guitar, even learn how to cook! 

What was nice is we already had accounts for several of the channels--Netflix, HuluPlus and Pandora--so it was just a matter of signing in to those and all of our information was readily available on screen, no extra charge.  I'm also loving the one channel which is all travel (and free to boot), they have a large collection of Rudy Maxa videos available and have recently added a new one called "Travel Grannies" that I'm anxious to watch.  PBS is free as well and now I can get my weekend "This Old House" fix without pledge breaks.  And Vevo--I was in heaven!  As a member of the "MTV Generation" who remembers when they actually showed music videos, I can now watch the new stuff as it comes out as well as some of the older stuff, without having to endure the "Jersey Shore" or some of the other crap shows that constitute so-called "television programming".  That alone was worth the price. 

The unit itself is very small--slightly larger than a deck of cards.  It's easy for us to move it from the living room to the bedroom until we get around to purchasing another one.  One of the best tips I've seen in other reviews is taking the unit with you on vacation--as long as wireless internet is available, you can watch the same things you would watch at home, and because of the small size of the unit, it doesn't take up a ton of suitcase space.  Genius!

The drawbacks--no, you can't pull up individual channels like TNT, TBS, or the like.  If you want to watch local programming you will need to purchase some sort of antenna.   But the plus is the wide variety of programming available that you watch when you want to, not on someone else's idea of a television schedule.  If you want to watch a movie over and over again, you can if you want to, but not because that's the only thing on to watch.  They even have a couple of shop at home type channels, I am hopeful that maybe they will get QVC someday, hee hee.  For someone who likes off the wall kinds of programming and independent film, this is heaven as there are many channels offering that kind of stuff. 

For us this has been a real eye-opener.  I'm not going to lie and say that it wasn't a bit of an adjustment, but it's more a matter of being a little more disciplined in a way.  Right now we have a lot of stuff we want to watch, so we are trying to make our own schedule around the shows we usually watch on broadcast TV.  I can honestly say I doubt we would ever go back to cable or satellite though.  The selection is good and we are loving the ability to choose our own programming.  As of now the price for the pay services is very reasonable, I'm just hopeful that as more and more people go this route they will stay that way.  I'm sure that more and more channels will be made available too as it becomes more popular.  I've thought for years that it would be nice to have the ability to pick and choose channels in an ala' cart method, and this comes about as close as you are going to get right now.  The times they are a'changing! 

For more information on Roku and it's available programming, click on the picture above! 

Monday, June 3, 2013

Looky, looky!!!

My veggies are starting to show some serious growth--yay!!  I thought I would show you how they are doing, I'm really excited, can ya tell?!?!?!

Here are my beans--started these from seed in this big blue container a couple of weeks ago.  We had some really hot weather last week and it really made them take off.  I'm tickled to see them already starting to "hug" the dowel rods I put in for them to climb.  I only planted four, I think that will give us enough green beans for two people for several weeks.
 
Both tomato plants are doing very well, I think I'm going to have to tie them up to a pole too, they have really gone kind of crazy.  We even have tomatoes on both of them, hopefully they won't get swiped, I will be keeping a close eye on those babies! 
 

 
The pepper plants are doing great, lots of blossoms on them, can't wait for those blossoms to turn in to little peppers! 
 
And those little green dots in this picture are leaf lettuce--I only planted it about a week ago, so I'm very pleased with how quickly they sprouted.  I only planted about half of the seeds in the packet (maybe not even that much) so that when this round is done, I can replant and hopefully have lettuce in to the late summer.



 
The only thing not shown here that I have planted are the onions--because there is nothing to show just yet! I only planted them about a week ago too, so it's still a little bit early. There are some green bits popping up, but I actually think they might be some leftover marigolds from last year, I'll know better in a couple of days--ooops!!  I've never grown onions from seed before so this is a learning experience, but I really had my heart set on some smaller scallion type onions this year.  Keeping my fingers crossed.
 
I was also pleased to see that the hydrangea we bought last year seems to be thriving--it was pretty sad when we bought it, like it had been left in the heat too long or had picked up some sort of fungus.  It was half off so I was willing to take a chance on it,  I'm very happy to see that it made it through the winter.  I'm anxious to see what color it ends up being when it blooms, it was originally blue, but as anyone who grows hydrangeas knows, that can change!!! 
 
Hoping my next report on my gardening efforts is with a photo of a yummy salad :)