Thursday, January 31, 2008

Uverse still ok

The Uverse is still ok. It takes a ridiculously long amount of time to reboot the boxes and the main router thing. Crazy. Yesterday the TV worked...but no internet. I figured I would "diagnose" the problem via a link.....It warned me it would shut off the internet. Since the internet wasn't biggie right? Well once I clicked it the TV stopped working. Then I remembered...the TV is basically streaming off the internet. Craziness commences as I scramble around for 5 minutes. We miss the last 5 minutes of American Idol.  This month is free....gotta remember that.

Weight loss is going well. My job is helping as I can't eat bad while I fly. I can only eat what I bring. I bring healthy stuff. If it's a short under 45 minutes, there isn't much time to eat anyway. Yesterday I did a flight to Norfolk, VA and back. It's a little over 2 hours there and over 3 hours back. I had a simple sandwich and fruit cup on the return trip. I had not eaten anywhere near my points when I got home. So I ate more. I am down 7 pounds in three weeks. Not too shabby.

Monday, January 28, 2008

So far Uverse=Good

Uverse is installed and running. So far we both love it. The number of HD channels we have is up by more than 3X. The number of movie channels we have is up by 5X. The cost? Up $8 a month. The installation took a while..I knew it would. The replaced the tips of the coax where each device was installed. Then they tested the lines and they were good. The line going to the house was dead. Luckily our lot has the fiber box IN THE BACK YARD! The line tech came over an waaa la they had a singal...a very good signal. The main box is huge. The main box is the router for internet AND TV. Pretty nifty. It took me an hour to figure out how to open the ports to allow all traffic to go inside to my main router. All is good. THe picture quality of the HD and regular (SD) TV is much better than Time Warner. Changing channels is faster as well. The guide isn't as robust, but is better as we can log on to any website and schedule TV shows or delete content on the hard drive! I am disappointed that the two other receivers in the house can't pull shows off the main DVR. I am sure it's coming soon. The boxes themselves are very small. The main DVR can record 4 shows at once...but only one HD. I am going to make the former media center and HD media center to record more in HD.

The Internet is fast. The upload speed is 4X as fast. The download speed is just a little slower.

Kelli is in love with the new HD channels. Animal Planet HD, Big Ten HD and Discovery HD. There are more. A lot more. So far.....I don't see us going back to Time Warner.

Saturday, January 26, 2008

New Mobo

I am writing this on my laptop which contains a brand spanking new motherboard. The installation went ok. I think there is something loose as once in a while....the damn thing just shuts off. Could just be the chips on the motherboard seating themselves. The board was a factory new board. I'm happy. I can't imagine what "normal" people do when laptops die.....I guess spend boatloads of money. It's good to be me.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Paid off my loan....well one of them

So I have had my college student loan on autopay since I graduated. A whopping $75 a month...every month....for the last....damn almost 8 years. I check my balance once or twice a year. I checked just now....I owe $86.41! That's it! Wow. Now the story of the loan. I worked every year except my freshman year of college. I was a Resident Assistant for a year, then a janitor for a summer and finally a school bus driver for 3 years. Well after 4 years and having not graduated my mom called me and my siblings up and stated since we were all in school for at least 4 years and no one was graduating we were all cut off as far as school payments. Neither of the other two worked while in school. My brother had a 4 year scholarship that he dropped and chased a girl to Germany. My sister dropped all her classes her freshman year and blew the money on......stuff. I was responsible. I was only in school 5 years because 1) I was having fun and met a girl who would be graduating one year after me 2) having fun. I could have graduated in 4. Hell I double majored. Anyways so I had to get a student loan for one year....$5500. I ended up paying back $6300 after interest. Not too shabby. I never had a desire to pay off early. I could deduct the interest! Now for my other loan...flying loan. I am paying on it. But the balance is so high I am afraid to check the balance.

Sunday, January 20, 2008


So the power jack on my laptop is going out. I have to wiggle the cable and hold it just right for it to work. Kelli and I have the same model laptops. Hers is dead. Her old one. Well I figured I would just take the port off of hers and put it on mine. I haven't used a soldering gun in 17 years. Off to Radio Shack I went. I bought a "cold heat" soldering gun thinking it being high tech and all. I bought some solder and a desoldering device. The "cold heat" gun lasted about 3 minutes. The tip broke off. Apparently it is very different from the soldering fun I remember. I didn't read the instructions....can't be held on very long. Back to Radio Shack...a different one though. Gotta save face. I bought a normal soldering gun. Went home. Fired it up. Took apart the old laptop. Soldering away. I couldn't get the old power jack off! Solder...smolder....cuss....damn. $50 down the drain. I am sure the gun will come in handy at some point in the future. So what now? Either spend $800 on a new laptop...or $200 on a new motherboard. I went for the latter. Stay tuned.

Saturday, January 19, 2008

Cleaning up the network and cabling

I spent the morning redoing the network cabling and cabling in general in the office. I added another computer to the office. Well it was the bedroom computer that will now serve as a dedicated security computer. In doing do I made the network cables as nice as possible. Below is the network table.


From left to right. Wireless hard drive (which will soon be hidden in the house in a remote location), Gigabit router for the three computers in the office, wireless routers for computers outside the office, Vonage phone system box, wireless router for security cameras and finally cable modem. I have the cameras on a totally separate network so they have dedicated bandwith and are not on the internet.

Friday, January 18, 2008

No PDX for me

I got home around 6PM yesterday. Tired. The flight to Portland looked too full this morning. I checked in anyway and had every intention of going. I packed my bags and was getting dressed. Then I saw 4 standby passengers due to being oversold. Hmm....they go before me. After grumbling around I decided to save some cash. The flight, rental car and hotel would have been $200 for less than 48 hours in Albany. There will be other weekends. Turns out there were still 8 empty seats when the flight left. Still better off saving money.

I have 16 gigs filled on my 80 gig zune. Doubt I could ever fill it up.

The dogs are home. In the idea of saving money I picked them up before 10AM which is the cut off time for paying an extra day. Kelli kept one of the smaller crates in her car so I only had one for 3 dogs. I can't fit the other crates in my car. The whole drive there I kept thinking of what combination I could put two dogs in and not have the third piss me off or run around. I had a blanket next to the crate for one dog. I decided to put Lilo and Vegas in the crate and Doogie out loose. He really wasn't loose as I moved the passenger seat all the way back, creating a pseudo wall. Worked great.

This weekend I will do very little. I have to update 4 manuals for flying. Beyond that.....not much to do. Will prolly clean my car....fix the network cabling.

Just gave Lilo a bath. The boys pee on her in the kennel. Don't know why. First time I ever gave her a bath. I had always bluffed. Not anymore.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

On the road

I feel the requirement to exercise whenever I am not home. Dunno what it is. At home there is a wonderful treadmill 6 feet behind the couch. I know how it works...I like it. Hotels have varying degrees of treadmills...some awesome (built in cable TVs in each unit) to some sketchy unit here at the Holiday Inn. I have to exercise. Odd indeed. I did indulge in the breakfast buffet though. Worry not I had only fresh fruit with the exception of 1 cup of scrambled eggs and one biscuit. All put into added up to a 14 point breakfast. I only have 32 points for the day. Seeing as I know my lunch will be 6 points...and dinner will likely be an apple. I am not too worried.

I think Kelli and I will take a self defense class together.  I really want her to take one. I would like for her to be more aware of her surroundings at all times.

2 1/2 hours till the shuttle to the airport.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Springdale, Arkansas

I am in Springdale, AR. No Tmobile coverage. I have AT&T roaming. Voice and text messages work....but not data. Boo T-Mobile coverage.

We saw The Bucket List .  Good movie. I am pretty content with my life. I have nothing else on my "list" to do. Flying is the pinnacle. Would be a shame to pass on with stuff left to do.

The security cameras are back on line. The developers of the software are quite helpful. They made me a custom patch to get the cameras back online.

A while ago I changed the wiper blades on Kellis' car. She reported to me that they needed to be replaced again as the driver side had come apart.  I bought new ones and went to put them on. Apparently I left the old one resting under the new one. It had been there for months. Just sitting there. The whole arm and everything. Surprised it didn't fly off the car.

Really liking the Zune.

Might go to Oregon this weekend. Gotta look at total cost of the trip.

My office and the network need help. I gotta get some cable ties and clean up the cabling. I have two different networks running now. One for just the cameras and one for everything else. One computer connects to both....but just one. Cabling is crazy.

I have 5 more hours in Springdale. I go to LAX tonight then back to Springdale. I didn't fly into Springdale....I flew into Fayettville. But there is no "good" hotel there. I say "good" because we are staying in a regular Holiday Inn. I like the Holiday Inn Express. Boo regular Holiday Inn.

Friday, January 11, 2008


My zune arrived last night. Very cool. I also ordered the AV pack. The AV pack I ordered was for the first generation zune, but was on sale for just $25. The AV pack for my 2nd generation Zune is $99. I read online that a slight modification allows the 1st generation AV pack to work with the 2nd generation Zune. The AV pack allows the Zune to be connected to a TV to watch movies, videos or just use the TV as a speaker. It also comes with a remote control. I can now download TV shows to my Zune before I go on a trip and watch them at the hotel on the overnight. I can also watch them while wasting away in the crew room. The software is very user friendly. The only thing I don't like is that Windows Media Center can't transfer directly to the Zune. I have to share the folder with the TV shows and then using my laptop (the computer with the Zune software) transfer the TV shows. Before any of this happens the Zune software converts the videos from the Media Center. I assume it's just making them smaller. I have 80 GB available on the Zune....I don't need the conversion. I will have to look around to see if there is a better way.

Monday, January 7, 2008

Good Weekend.

Everything aligned this weekend. It started with Kelli wanting to go to Vegas on Friday. I checked in with work. I was off work until Monday night. Hotel prices at nice hotels (we stayed at Planet Hollywood) were reasonable ($99 a night). Alamo had a rental car deal with a coupon we have via an entertainment book I bought a year ago for $18.14 ALL IN (Taxes, fees you name it!). The flights to Vegas leaving early in the morning were lightly loaded. Eric happened to be going to Vegas this weekend for CES. In addition his mom and sister were going (they will come into play later). All combined for what appeared to be a good weekend. Remember the whole liquids thing? I forgot my mini-febreeze and bleach pen in my bag. Confiscated by TSA! DOH! Well the flight there was semi-full and we were stuck in coach. Bleh. We arrived on time. Since we were so early we drove around and saw all that changed in the last 17 months..... A LOT! New hotels up, old hotels down. Later in the day we met up with Eric, his mom and sister. We found some Wheel of Fortune machines...but they were in use. I started playing one machine when I wasn't having any luck. I moved over one machine and before I knew it...$1500! Sweet. I decided 2 things:

1) My mom had something to do with me winning

2) My mom would want me to have fun with the money rather than save it!

I would never hit any jackpot the rest of the weekend. Eric's mom on the other hand hit $50K! To celebrate Eric's mom took us all out for dinner at an amazing steak place called Nero's. The food was very expensive. However the steak was the best I ever had. Kelli had short ribs that melted in her mouth. We ate until we were full...and then kept eating. Stuffed.

Sunday we first stopped by Fry's Electronics. I didn't buy anything but I have a tradition about stopping in a Fry's Electronics whenever I see one.

We then didn't eat much (still full from the night before). We gambled, I drank a bit and hung out with Eric. That evening we ate our first meal of the day via the free buffet included with our hotel room (Planet Hollywood grand opening special). We ate a lot. We then rested for a few hours and then went out gambling again.

I was talking with Eric about how I can put them on my AMR account for discounted flights. I tried....but apparently I can't add anyone who isn't family right now. This is odd because it shows I have 24 passes available for friends. Will have to look into this.

This morning I woke up at 3:30...early. And prepared to get ready to go. We caught the 6 AM flight back (in first class....hell yeah!) arriving in Dallas at 11 AM. We are now resting for a bit. I say a bit because I go back to the airport at 5:30PM for a flight to Chicago. Long day ahead. I am not flying tonight, just a passenger. I start flying tomorrow.

With my winnings...I am going to purchase a Zune....the 80 gigabyte one.

Sunday, January 6, 2008

First time I ever won more than $100 on slots!

I hit $1500 on a quarter machine. First time I have ever won over $100. I was on the machine behind me thinking..."I am burning $0.75 a pull on this one...while the one next to it was only $0.50 a pull." Smart move. I hit $1500 on my 4th pull on it.


Friday, January 4, 2008


If I wear my pilot uniform I can take whatever liquids I want through security.

If I wear my normal human clothes only 3 oz or less...which means my new shaving supplies can't go. Boo.

Just goes to show...there are Pilots....and then everyone else.

What day is it?

I am done with work for the week...I hope. The 5 legs on Wednesday was rough. We were behind by about an hour after the second leg. Arriving into Flint, MI at 10PM...with 2 degrees outside. COLD! We arrived at the hotel at 10:30. Yadda yadda yadda in bed around 11 PM and sleep around midnight. At 5 AM the phone rang...wake up call. It was now 0 degrees outside. That's Fahrenheit dude. I have never been so cold in my life. It was my leg back. Captain allowed me to fast...we were cruising at .84 Mach or 84% the speed out sound. We arrived early and I headed home tired. I was not sure what day it was. But I knew I was on the start of a good one getting to do what I always wanted...for money!

I am still working on the password issue with my cameras.

Those fancy compact flourescent bulbs that are supposed to last forever....don't. We have them installed everywhere in the house except outside. Three have already failed. Odd.

Might go to Vegas this weekend if I am off.

Tuesday, January 1, 2008

Router problems

So something is amiss with my wireless router. Everything works....but I am having problems with certain devices connecting. I dunno if it's a Windows Vista thing or a router thing. The router has been working 100% for over 2 years. Suspect Vista.

Heading out for a two day trip. I get to see Michigan today.

We stayed in for New Years. Just another day.

I bought a Dryel kit for my uniform. I figured it would be easier than taking it to the cleaners. If this is what the dry cleaners big scam.

For years I have been using name brand shaving cream or noxzema. I have had decent results. Nothing great. Well I tried a product called Bump Fighter, which is made for black men. Wow. Much nicer shave and skin. Too bad it took 17 years of shaving to find it.

Hmm just fixed the network issue. There is some sort of issue with the passwords on some devices. The passwords have been in place for a while. Removing them fixes it. Will have to input new passwords.