My site’s been a bit stale lately. Like, for nine months or so. I keep meaning to post stuff here, but just don’t find the motivation when it feels like I’ve got an audience of practically nothing. But, with Google+ gaining in the popular opinion polls – and the fact that its format lends itself to the short Twitter-like posts, the long website-like posts, and the medium Facebook-like posts – I find I post a lot more there. Like, a *lot* more. So, if you’d like to see what’s basically the next version of my website, it’s not a far trip: http://www.srhuston.net/+ will get you to my profile, and hitting the “Posts” tab will show you what I’ve been up to. If you want an invite, let me know there too – I’ve got plenty to give out still :>
Today Hulu announced their Hulu Plus service is open to all, with a slightly lower price of $7.99/month too. Stephanie and I have been quite happy with the service, and look forward to some more content deals that bring the remainder of our favorite shows to the offerings available to stream directly to the PS3.
Oh, and while they now offer a one week free trial, if you sign up through this link you get two weeks free instead. I also get two free weeks, so it would be appreciated :>
A couple months ago I wrote about changing how we watch TV and near the end of the month I did get a Hulu Plus invite. It’s been a while, and we just cancelled our DirecTV subscription (though they tried to give us some good deals on lower prices, they all still required a two year contract – no thanks). We have used both Netflix and Hulu on the PS3 to fill the “void” from a live subscription TV service. I think the kids have used our Netflix subscription more than we have so far – we’ve watched and returned three DVDs (the third just went back in today’s mail), but viewed considerable hours on the streaming service – and they have a new-found appreciation for the “Land Before Time” series of movies. I’ve used the streaming service from work during my lunch breaks, and fell in love with the show Firefly (Serenity is in the queue as well though I’ve also got hooked on Doctor Who and Torchwood). We’ve all enjoyed previous episodes of “Wallace & Gromit” (even some that I have on DVD currently) and were introduced to “Shaun the Sheep” as well as a new Wallace & Gromit episode we hadn’t yet seen (“A Matter of Loaf and Death”). So, how is Hulu treating us? Well.. it looks pretty, and it works great on the computer. It works great on the PS3 too, but we haven’t watched much on it. Unfortunately that can be blamed on the TV studios, but Hulu is taking the brunt of the complaints.
TV subscriptions have always felt like a “necessary evil” to me. Over-the-air TV signals used to leave a lot to be desired (my first 20 years were spent with them, we didn’t have a subscription of any kind until my parents moved to an RF dead zone), though I admit to not looking since the digital transition. Cable always seemed overpriced, and the local cable conglomerate never left me with warm fuzzies, especially when they’d just about double rates and say it’s because your promotion expired, but now that you called to complain they’ll be happy to sell you some other promotion with channels you don’t care about just to bring your bill back down to something you only scream a little when you have to pay. About two years ago, we moved to DirecTV and have been very happy with it ever since – by far, they have been the best TV subscription we’ve had. The hardware worked flawlessly, the software was easy to use, and the quality was better than anything we’d been served previously. But when looking at the bills and seeing that we’re paying around $75/mo for television, Stephanie and I both separately started wondering about other options. Last week we came to each other with some ideas, found that we were both thinking along similar lines, and decided to do something about it. Read on for more.
Stephanie has been doing a lot of coupon cutting over the years, and getting more and more serious with it – especially after the kids were born and we went down to a single income. Now instead of keeping all the information to herself, or emailing a link or two to friends who might be interested, she’s started a website with all kinds of information and links on how to save money. Raising a Family on a Budget is the name of the site, and it was just featured in the “Saving With 6ABC” segment on Action News this morning. Even if your “family” is just one person, go have a look and start saving!
As a systems administrator, I maintain a department full of computers for many users. But as with anything else, people’s needs and tastes in software are all different. In some cases, I can install multiple types of programs for anyone who asks, but some might be more difficult (relying on newer – or older – versions of software which needs to be installed as-is for the system to run properly). Because of that, and because of my own laziness in not wanting to always install every software package in the same /usr/local dumping ground (which quickly becomes polluted) I came up with a method which works well and is usable on just about any UNIX-type system for anything. If you run such a system, and are interested, read on for a lesson in local installs.
I must be bad luck. Every time we move, construction follows. We moved to West Deptford, and 295 went under construction for a large section I had to travel daily. We moved to Ewing, and various little construction bits popped up here and there. We moved to Morrisville and the Route 1 bridge started construction. Now that it’s almost completed, the Calhoun St. Bridge is now closed while they work in that. I forgot the bridge was closed yesterday (though I don’t usually take it) and got to a logjam on Route 1 just in time to get off at 129, snaked down Cass St. to 29 and found all routes over to PA were jammed. Drove up 29 towards Scudders Falls to find it too was crammed full of idiots. Ended up taking an extra half hour to drive up to Washington’s Crossing and come back down – tonight I aim to head directly there instead. Google tells me it’s a 52 minute drive, but 23 miles – so it adds about 10 miles to the commute, and a half hour. Then again, I’m almost okay with a half hour longer commute if I get to keep driving the whole time and not deal with aggressive, moronic and mentally deficient drivers that appear to be the norm on Route 1 anyway.
Oh, and this is apparently the 200th post on here. It’s only taken me what, seven years? Not counting the Slashcode years anyway.
May has always been a little bit of a busy month for us, but got a lot more busy lately. My mother-in-law’s birthday is in the beginning of the month, and our anniversary is on the 20th (just celebrated nine years!). Emily’s birthday is on the 14th, but we decided to have her party today since it was a bit more convenient – for one, her uncle would be up from college and able to attend too. Our friends Will & Megan have their daughter’s birthday one week after Emily’s, and their party was yesterday, so this weekend is filled with baby celebrations. Plus throw a mother’s day in there too, and every weekend we’ve had something planned. We’re pretty sure that June has an open date or two…
As I concluded in yesterday’s post, the combination of melatonin and light therapy seems to be working. I started it all last Friday night, and though I could have stayed up late since it’s a weekend I wanted to get things moving towards my weekly schedule right away. So at around 9:30 I took a melatonin and laid down to listen to a podcast and catch up on my RSS feeds. After a half hour or so, Stephanie wasn’t up to bed yet but I was pretty tired, so I put everything down and went to sleep, with the sunrise setting on the Dia2 turned on but no alarm set. I was surprised by the result.
For decades (sucks that I can actually say that) I’ve had trouble sleeping. I remember back in high school, getting up to get showered and out the door was always a chore that involved my mother almost pushing me around the house through each step. In college, it was no better, and the only times that I ever seemed to sleep normally was the few months I worked the night shift at a gas station (22:00-06:00) and any time I was left to my own sleep schedule. I’d go to bed anywhere between 2 and 4am, sometimes as late as 6, and wake up roughly 8 hours after falling asleep with no alarm clock or outside influence. But even recently if I tried going to sleep between 9-10pm I still had trouble getting out of bed at 6:30. Finally, I may have found the answer to what was going on, and a solution to keep me awake during the day – and sleeping all night – on what “normal society” considers a regular schedule.