Aug 182008

We’ve been celebrating our 5th wedding anniversary all year long and have been having a great time. We started our celebration with our trip to Italy, and will continue with a trip this fall to one of our favorite places…Disney World. Epcot is having their food and wine festival in the fall and we’re all about that. We’ll be staying at the Animal Kingdom Lodge and have heard some great things about it.

In the mean time, Brian thought it would be great to celebrate by getting some iPhones. I thought no way….but after awhile, I decided to check it out and I totally love mine. I guess after some resistance, we’ve totally bought into the whole Apple thing and I have to admit some of the stuff is pretty cool. Watching movies with an iPod is pretty cool especially when one is waiting those long hours at the airport. I wonder what other gadgets out there will help us celebrate our anniversary year as far as Brian is concerned. 😉

Jul 182007

In case you haven’t heard, there was a shake-up in the VOIP market. We got bit by the Sunrocket closure, but so far our service is still working…for the most part. Voicemail is down, but we can still make and receive phone calls.

We’ve had VOIP for over a year and a half now, and I really had no complaints up until this happened. Previously we’ve had both Verizon and Cox, and I was really tired of paying a large percentage of my bill in taxes and fees. It just didn’t seem as if we were receiving much bang for our buck. So we decided to try VOIP.

Vonage had a pretty decent offer at the time so we had them for a year which was fine, but then I saw the “unlimited calls for two years” package offer from Sunrocket for $199. Seemed like a no-brainer to me so I signed up last December.

And now the company no longer exists. So that’s seven months of service (so far) which comes out to ~$28.00 a month, assuming the service stops working this month. That’s still not bad considering what we used to pay with Verizon and Cox, but certainly not the savings I had anticipated.

I had thought about switching to another VOIP-only company such as via:talk, but now I’m not sure a company can make it on VOIP alone. Plus, I really don’t reel like dropping another $199 so soon after getting burned by Sunrocket.

So we’ve decided to wait it out to see if Sunrocket will get bought by another company. If so, great; if not, we’ll probably just stick with our cell phones. It’s not as if we need a landline for our home anyway. We might even go with something like this.

Sep 142006

Been off the air for awhile as we suffered through a major hard drive crash. I’ve never had a drive crash as hard as this one, but it was pretty old. I can’t get any machine to mount it, and all recovery efforts up to this point have been futile. I have a few things left to try (including some software I’m in the process of obtaining from my brother-in-law), but I don’t have much hope.

And to make matters worse, it wasn’t until the hard drive failed that I realized my backup wasn’t working properly. I really thought I had lost everything, but I found a few older backups that I had made from last year. I managed to recover all of my blog posts made from May 2005 though the present thanks to the wonders of xml and bloglines. Hooray for caching!

I did lose some photos unfortunately which is what really hurts the most. I lost some killer pictures of Monica and me from our trip to Epcot. Oh well. I also undid alot of work that my Mom had done on her site that she will now have to redo. Sorry, Mom. 🙁

So I’ve spent the last couple of weeks putting the site back together and even redesigned things a bit. I really like the all-css menu that we’re sporting now. Things are still being tweaked and added here and there, but we’re mostly all back together now.

And yes, everything is backed up now.

So much to say

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Mar 232006

So, yes, it’s been awhile since I posted on here. Not sure why, but I just haven’t felt like writing anything. Sometimes I used to feel like I had to write these mini-essays about whatever was on my mind, and at times I wrote some really stupid stuff just because I thought I had to. I’ll probably still do that, but I’ll do my best to make it somewhat entertaining. 🙂

What have I missed since January?

  • The Super Bowl – The game was good; the commercials were terrible.
  • birthday – My Dad turned 65 on February 11. He can stop singing that Beatles song now. Happy very belated birthday, Dad!
  • Valentine’s Day – I bought Monica an iPod; she was very happy which means I was very happy.
  • DIY – We ripped up the vinyl flooring in our foyer and kitchen (NOT fun at all) and installed ceramic tile (actually not that difficult); it looks really good now even though I have a couple of things I still need to do to finish. I’ll post pictures showing our progress soon.
  • the Oscars – I convinced myself not to watch this year but I did anyway. Hooray for will-power. Really a boring show even though John Stewart was mildly humorous. George Clooney is better than the rest of America, and he knows it.
  • friends – Steve and Tanya held their engagement party in Richmond; we attended and had a great time. Congrats, guys!
  • madness – My NCAA basketball bracket is in flames for another year. I think next year I’m going to get Jack to make my picks because I can’t seem to fill out a good bracket to save my life.
  • wireless – Monica and I both upgraded our mobile phones. Yes, we gave into the marketing hype and are now proud owners of a couple of PEBLs. We got an awesome deal at CompUSA which even included a free Bluetooth headset. I’m in the process of modding them, but since they’re so new, there’s not a whole lot of information about that yet.
  • I’m sure there’s other stuff that I’ve forgotten that I failed to mention. Anyway, I’m back. I didn’t really go anywhere, but you know what I mean. Okay, back to watching basketball.

Webcam Working

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Jan 222006

You may not have noticed but our webcam wasn’t working for awhile. I had a Logitech Quickcam Pro 3000 for a few years, but it kicked the bucket. I may keep it around for awhile to tinker with just because.

I picked up a Creative Labs WebCam Instant cheap, and it’s now functioning as our new webcam. You may now continue your voyeurism in our backyard.

I’m so glad companies are finally coming out with wireless USB hubs. Once I get a couple of those and a couple more cheap webcams, I could have an inexpensive video security system that could be monitored any where in the world. I love technology.

Jul 082005

Everyone’s eyes are on Hurricane Dennis currently heading into the Gulf of Mexico, but if you want a cool, new way to track it, check out this site.

This makes me want to start tinkering with the newly announced Google Maps API.

Google Earth

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Jun 302005

I had heard about this a few days ago, but I just got around to downloading Google Earth.

Two words. Very freaking cool.

The detail level isn’t quite complete on our house, but we were able to find Monica’s family in New York right down to their building. That is simply amazing. I assume they’ll keep going until they can zoom down to any building in any city in the world.

How long before anyone can just check me out on my couch?

GPS Stash Hunt

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Feb 012005

Monica and I have stumbled onto something new (to us anyway). It’s called geocaching.

If you liked scavenger hunts when you were a kid (and who didn’t?), then you’d like geocaching. All you need is a GPS unit, such as this one, and some free time and you’re all set.

We’ve been out a couple of times now, and we’ve really enjoyed it. Who knew the internet would actually get us to go outside more? 🙂

Nice Jobs

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Jan 112005

Ok, Apple, you’ve got me to buy an iPod, but I’m NOT going to buy anything called an iPod Shuffle or a Mac Mini.

Really, I’m not.

Why do I even care? I’m not an Apple fanatic or anything, but it seemed as if the entire Internet was buzzing over Macworld today. I guess I’m just a technology junkie, constantly striving to hear of new, cutting-edge gadgets.

I’ll admit the Mac Mini does look cool, but I’d rather build my own Shuttle box with Linux on it for half the price (though admittedly a larger form factor than the Mac Mini).

I’ll give Apple credit though; they really know how to announce a product.

And the iPod is way cool. 🙂