Today is the day

DSL service is set to be turned on today at the office. I've got the modem turned in and as soon as the light changes from orange to green I'll know it's on. I just hope this hasn't been some elaborate April Fool's joke.

Space tourism news

This makes three:

Space Adventures®, Ltd., the world's leading space experiences company, announced today that American technology entrepreneur Gregory Olsen, Ph.D. will be the next private space explorer client. - Read more.

Pretty cool stuff. And the US House of Representatives passed the Space tourism bill earlier this month.

a grand day out

Today Emma and I spent the day together. We went to Don's TV and Appliance, Ethan's Auto Care, Sonic, Famous Footwear, Best Buy, some craft shop, Office Max, Famous Footwear again, Petco, and Wal-mart. We didn't buy much. We spent some time playing Tony Hawk Underground, we watched part of a documentary on some huge plasma TVs, looked at parakeets, she tried on some size 12 shoes and we brought home 3 black mollies for our fish tank. We had a great day. It's 7 pm and I think she's already pretty sleepy. She's watching an Elmo DVD and jabbering/singing right now.

Top doc backs picking your nose and eating it

Picking your nose and eating it is one of the best ways to stay healthy, according to a top Austrian doctor. - See for yourself

All Dawson, All the Time

dawson's creekWhen Danny first suggested that we, frugal (tight, stingy, scrooge-like…insert your own tight-fisted adjective here) people that we are, should splurge on a seemingly needless technological advancement like a TiVo, I was barely able to stifle a laugh. First of all, it took at least a year to convince him that we could afford more than the 12 (including local) cable channels we were paying for. (Actually, it took them canceling his precious TechTV from our lineup.) As you have already read, we got a great deal on the TiVo, so I couldn't really argue, but I wasn't quite convinced that it would help me in any way. Now I'm hooked. Today, Danny lamented that if he had known we could get DSL before we bought the TiVo, he would have gotten it instead…I quickly responded "No way!" Here are the top 5 reasons I love my TiVo.

5. Constant Dora the Explorer access. My daughter Emma is mildly obsessed with this Nickelodeon cartoon character and her show. (Emma's fixation on this show is actually the main reason we were floored when DishNetwork said they were not going to provide Nick anymore. But we took care of that problem!) Now I can enter our "Now Playing" list and call up any of the episodes we have saved. No more tantrums…until we visit someone without 24-hour Dora access.

4. The 'Search' Feature. If there is a movie or TV show I want to watch, I just have to enter the search menu and type in the first few letters of the title. I then have a playlist for the next two weeks, and can even choose to "Season Pass" a show, recording every new episode that appears. And, if I'm feeling really brave, I can view a menu of all movies, scroll through it, and select the ones I want to record. If you will remember my past confession of decision-making, I am always pleasantly surprised at the movies that magically appear days later.

3. Watching a show while one (or two) others are being recorded. You might think this is a bit much, and perhaps it is. But hear me out. I love the WB and watch Everwood, Gilmore Girls and Smallville regularly. But with our old setup, if any of these shows were recording, we couldn't watch anything else. So if Emma wanted to watch Dora on TV and not one of the many we have on DVD or VHS (which, believe me, isn't that far-fetched), we had to keep her mind off of this desire for a full hour. Have you ever tried to occupy an hour of a toddler's time? I rest my case.

2. No VHS tapes. Speaking of our finicky toddler, she also has the habit of running by a piece of electronic equipment and "leaving her mark". In the case of our VCR, this means ejecting the tape we were planning on using for one of the aforementioned WB shows. Translation: I would come home expecting to see Everwood and would instead see the front end of an empty VHS tape sticking out of the VCR. With TiVo, there are no tapes. It's Emma proof!

1. Dawson's Creek. (Brendan…I'm counting on you to stick up for me on this one.)
Here's the thing. TBS airs two Dawson's Creek episodes every morning. They run in succession, so, in theory, if I watched both episodes each day I could finish a season in like a week or two. Unfortunately, I don't have the time (nor the patience) to sit through two episodes per day, plus their airtime infringes on 'Dora time'-and we know who wins on that one. Now, I can get my teen love/drama/angst fix whenever I want. It's like being in high school without all the taunting and bad food.


DSL for the church is ordered and should be installed next week. Thank you, SBC!


Could it be?!

a better day

Today has started out much better than yesterday did. This morning Emma wanted to go into her room and play with a baby doll. She was smiling and talking, which is more than she's done since last Friday. She's eating a bit now and approaching 48 hours without a puke. I sold my stupid Dish Network equipment for $75 on eBay. Word.

Three Haikus

Two Haikus from "The Screen Savers" latest newsletter:

Videogames rule.
Hey, why not make your own ones?
Because it is hard.

You can make fun games.
Katie Salen shows you how
On tonight's program.

And one from me:

Newsletter sign-up
Or watch the show at my house.
I Tivo it.

I'm not normally an angry person, but . . .

I'm ready to break something right now. When I cancelled my DishNetwork service the nice lady told me that I had no contract and so there would be no penalty for cancelling, except that I wouldn't receive any more credits on my bill for the equipment that I paid for. Great, I said, so I cancelled it and had my wonderful new DirectTV with Tivo installed. I listed the DN equipment on eBay and it's currently at $31, easy money. But then I get the worst call today. Don's Satellite (not to be confused with Don Arndt local DirectTV deale, but some outfit from Kansas) calls and says that when I ordered the DN from them I signed a contract for a year of service, with penalties for early withdrawal. Crap. I forgot about that. Why didn't DN tell me that when I called? Ok, what will the penalty be? $220!!! Oh, and by the way, we'll be picking up the equipment, too. Gaaaah! I paid for that equipment with my own stinking money! I don't know who to be mad at or what to break. DN should have told me that I did in fact have a contract, and Don's Satellite is the one breathing down my neck for this money. The worst part is that if I had just kept my DN service until the end of the contract (I think about 6 months) it would have only been around $100, and the equipment would have been mine.

Update: I was able to sign back up with Dish Network until my contract expires in August. I'll be paying them $24.99 for service that I don't use, but it will be cheaper than what the retailer wanted to charge me for dropping out. And I can go ahead and sell the equipment. I wish DN could have told me that I was under a contract . . . Bottom line: it's all worth it to have Tivo.

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