Saturday, February 26, 2011

Screw you

Kelli and I both signed up with to sell our used electronics. They said they would ship us boxes. The never arrived. They sent emails stating the boxes should have arrived. Bleh. I think it's a scam...they never ship the boxes. They want us to use our own boxes. Bleh.

Kelli is selling her Kindle DX. She paid $425 for is almost two years ago. She is getting $140 for it. Not horrible. She reads on her phone and Ipad now. I told her she should just get a Kindle Wifi for $139 and keep the extra buck for a pack of gum.

Still digging the Roku box.

Bought a new baby monitor. Our previous unit was a "BébéSounds Angelcare Movement Sensor w. Sound Monitor". It worked okay but had a lot of static if there were any other devices plugged in to an outlet in that room. We charge a lot of stuff...a lot of static.

The new unit is a Motorola Digital Audio Baby Monitor with Room temperature sensor. No more static! The con is there is only one unit while the last one had two.

Still looking for a new credit card for gas purchases. My last card was a Citibank Drivers Edge card. It was awesome. I got 3% back on gas purchases PLUS $0.01 per mile I drove. I had the card for my Acura and Mazda. In total I got over $500 back in miles driven on top of another $300 back via gas purchases and vehicle maintenance purchases. Sadly the card is going away.

My Nexus One is almost a year old. Still don't see the need for a new phone. It's just that good.

After my first tank with my new Bridgestone Ecopia EP100 tires I can report I got 3MPG better than with the Michelin Destiny tires. The Destiny tires aren't designed for high gas mileage, but for comfort. The Ecopias are very comfortable for me. The extra MPG meant another 40 miles before I had to fill up. Even with $3+ gas it was under $20 to fill up.

Still haven't finished installing the subwoofer in the Prius yet.

I have this odd thing I do where I lift my shirt over my nose when I watch TV. Natali does the same thing while sleeping. Maybe it's genetic. Or maybe I'm just crazy.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Cheap entertainment

Kelli and I took some time away from Natali and headed to a Casino. We wanted to go somewhere overnight, but between full flights and Natali having a really bad day it didn't work.

In the past we always left Winstar Casino broke. Not this time.

We each brought $100. We haven't been there in years. A lot has changed. It's HUGE! It's the 3rd biggest the world. The number of slot machines, places to eat and table games is mind blowing then you consider it's at mile marker 1 in Oklahoma. There is no big city around.

We played just slots. They finally have "name brand" slots, the same models we see in Vegas. We went up and down. Ate dinner (very reasonable prices!) and then played more. Right before we left Kelli hit $120 and that put us $0.12 positive. We left. Several hours of fun for just $0.12 plus gas. I averaged 50.1 MPG so it was just 2 gallons of gas each way. Cheap entertainment.

My mother in law, Peggy,  watched Natali while we were gone. We non-rev'd Peggy here. The flight was w-i-d-e open. Getting her back was a little tricky. The flights filled up....and were overbooked.

Kelli put Peggy on a 5PM flight that was overbooked by 8 passengers. That meant if everyone showed up 8 people who had real tickets wouldn't be getting a seat.

I was at the airport on standby. I went over to her gate and hung out. Boarding began. The computer showed all seats assigned. Twenty minutes to departure the agent called Peggy up to make sure she was there and to let her know she *might* get a seat.

Sure enough 7 minutes to departure 14 people failed to arrive. Peggy got a seat. The flight overbooked by 8 went out with 4 empty seats. Nice.

I got new tires on the Prius. I went with Bridgestone Ecopia's. They are a LRR (Low Rolling Resistance) tire. The difference between the previous Michelin Destiny's and the Ecopia's are profound. The Destiny is a regular all season tire designed for a quiet and soft ride.

The Ecopias are a sumer tire (not designed for snow or now off roading!) designed for a quiet ride and maximum gas mileage. I previously struggled to get 46MPG. I am currently getting 50.2 MPG. That 4MPG is a nice jump. I read about the tires via a Tire Rack article pitting several different tires against each other on identical cars ( ).

The Roku and Hulu Plus is interesting. Lots of content, but not all content on is available on Hulu Plus streaming. Annoying.

Monday, February 14, 2011

Holy Roku!

Roku box arrived Friday. I had it up an running in under 5 minutes. Even the average consumer could have it working in under 10 minutes.

First thing I did was setup Netflix. Easy. The interface is snappier and easier to use than the Xbox 360 Netflix interface.

Next up was Hulu Plus. Hulu Plus has a 1 week free trial and then it's $8 a month. I was unsure of it. The amount of content is equal to, if not better than Netflix. The most recent airing of each TV show is available plus all of the current and many of the past seasons. This will come in handy if we forget to record a show or if a recording messes up (the timing is off). I think we will keep Hulu Plus. One of the first things we watched on Hulu Plus? The first episode of Doogie Howser.

My mother in law arrives this week. I am going to give her a tour of Roku. I think it would benefit her as she records just as many shows as we do. With Roku + Hulu she would never need to worry about missing a TV show.

In theory the Roku box could be taken with me on the road. It only needs an Internet connection. Hmmm.

My bladder can't hold as much when it's cold. Sometimes it holds much less. The bladder I'm referring to is in my Prius. The second generation Prius (2004-2009) has a bladder fuel tank. The bladder is smaller in the cold and bigger when it's warmer. Thus in winter you can't put as much fuel inside. The third generation Prius has a "normal" gas tank. The bladder system was designed to reduce emissions. Bleh.

Two months until our cruise.

Natali is 6 months old now. She's changed a lot in the past week....almost like she was waiting for her 6 month mark to surprise us. She is "talking" a LOT more, crawling (albeit backwards), mastered the pacifier in and out, rewired the network for increased throughput,  sleeping all night and then some, sleep on her side, and just loves solid food. Kidding about the network rewiring although she did give me a fews tips.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Dropping Gold

For a few years I've been paying Microsoft around $45 a year for Xbox Live Gold. Most people do this to play online. I don't play online much. Not $45 worth anyway. Another benefit was being able to watch Netflix streaming on the Xbox. We watch a lot of streaming Netflix.

I got to thinking...I'm paying $45 a year just primarily just to watch Netflix. If I had a PS3 it would be free. I can watch for free via our Wii...but it's only 480P. Enter Roku.

I bought my dad a Roku box for Fathers Day last year. He loves it. It's been 100% reliable for him....and all he watches is Netflix. There is a lot more to watch via Roku. I tried to show him but all he cares about is Netflix.

Amazon is having a sale on the mid-level Roku box right now. Normally $79, just $69 if you Tweet "I just got a $10 credit towards a Roku XD Player from @amazonvideo and @rokuplayer. Click here to get yours: #rokudeal". I did. Bought it.

This mid-level box has everything I would want. In fact I paid $99 for the Roku box I bought my dad which is now the base level Roku box selling for $59.

Box arrives tomorrow. I love Amazon Prime.

We will now be able to watch streaming Netflix, Hulu Plus (if we miss a TV show we can watch it the next day), Amazon Video on Demand and more. Can't wait.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Blowing up my speakers

I replaced one speaker in my car last week with plans to replace the other one later. Later was yesterday as the other front speaker blew. WTF?!?! I don't think  I listen to excessively loud music. I am glad I never blew a speaker when the car still under Kelli's rule.

Still looking for tires. Should have new ones by next week.

We bought a HD video camera. Best Buy had a 720P flash memory camera on sale for $40. Used to be $119. Got it yesterday. I didn't read the directions as I am a geek. I ASSUMED the battery was built in. It took me an hour to figure out why the camera would only work while plugged in. I assumed the battery needed to charge. battery installed. Doh!

Been working a lot lately. I love my job most of the time. Still don't care for having just 8 hours between the time I walk off the airplane at night and have to walk back into the airport the next morning.

Down 9 pounds for the year.

Mother in law comes into town next week.

The dogs are still alive.

Our friends Jason and Jackie are expecting. For years they along with Kelli and I were NOT going to have kids. Eric and Angela had planned on having a kid. They had Marin first. We had Natali next. Now it's Jason and Jackie. Growing older makes you reconsider things. I am however positive I don't want another kid. I wanted to get "nipped" but Kelli protested. Currently there is a 5 year system in place that will (should) prevent having another kid for that span. The system? Photos of Kelli pregnant are plastered all around the house. Above the bed, in the bathroom, on her rear view mirror in her car, the fridge, all toilet seats, screen saver on her phone, Ipad and phone, every fan blade on every ceiling fan has a photo plastered to it as well. They aren't  the same photo, but random photos.

The new Prius drives way nicer than mine. The new Prius truly is a regular car. Mine is still a video game.

Speaking of cars....mine is now GEEK and hers is now DNACHK. It took the DMV a few minutes to figure out what I was requesting. I'm happy I'm no longer a CHK.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Texans and winter

Winter in Texas. We get one really bad storm a year. It's here.

The snow and ice is nutty. Coming home from DFW airport yesterday was easy until I got to the neighborhood.

I was going about 20 MPH approaching our street when I decided to slow down. I gently hit the brakes and the ABS kicked in as I slid down the road coming to rest right at our street. I turned and then idled up our street to the driveway. With a flick of my wrist I flung the car onto the sheet of ice covering the driveway and into the garage. Done.

As a kid I remember the pipes bursting in my parents house. I am Mr. Paranoid and made sure three different faucets were dripping overnight. I also made sure to get up and flush a toilet every 2 hours. Tonight will be even colder.....8 degrees.

Rolling blackouts have been issued. For whatever reason the power is still on at our house. Been on all morning. Not sure why we are so lucky.

My mother in law is coming to Texas in a week or so. Kelli and I are penciling in places to escape...err..go to while she is here. Maybe we should tell her we are planning on going somewhere.