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Had a great weekend!

(Repost from my old blog, accidentally posted it there first, and wondered why it didn’t show up on LJ, lol)

The fiance who was coming up for the weekend didn’t get here (he’s got a 2.5 hour drive from Concord) until around 2:30, so I had time in the early afternoon to record the feed for John Barrowman’s “Best Of Tonight’s The Night” off the BBC website. Will have to edit that down and add it to my JB website, but just didn’t have time over the weekend to do it. Read the rest of this entry »

Fave Apps for the LG Optimus V Part Deux

Sometime back I did a post detailing some of my favorite apps for my new Android phone. Just realized I never went back as planned to do another post for my favorite games and other fun stuff.

So at long last, here is said post. :)

Games Icons

A Few Favorite Games:

Just recently had my SD storage card crash, so had to reformat and reinstall a lot of my apps. Which was okay, had a lot on there that really didn’t need to be there anymore, so it gave the card a good cleaning. The only game that I’ve not reinstalled that really SHOULD be on my list of favorite games is Plants vs Zombies. LOVE that game, have it on my PC, my NintendoDS, and when Amazon’s App Store gave it away as a freebie, downloaded it for the phone as well. Unfortunately though, while the game was able to be put on the SD card, apparently the saved game file was not, so when I reached the end of the game for the first time, the saved game file was huge, and ate up too much space on my phone, so I uninstalled the whole game. 

But these games are the ones I tent to go back to over and over again. They’re all fun, but I tend to play Angry Birds Rio, Fire Ball Deluxe, Gem Spinner, Peggle, and Fruit Ninja the most. All of which are either free games, or were given away by Amazon as freebies at one point or another. 

 

Newly Found “Useful Tools”:

Got quite a few of those. Apps Organizer is what set up my massive assortment of phone apps into the useful categories you see here. You decide what categories you want, and which apps go in them, and voila, a nice organized phone desktop. :) Still using the Amazon App Store for their freebies of the day. Droid of the Day is pretty good, it pops up and suggests a free app every day. App2SD Pro is one of those apps I tried as a freebie, liked, then Amazon gave away the paid version. Makes it easy to move apps from the phone to the SD card, something very handy with the Optimus’s limited storage space. App Backup saved my bacon when my SD card crashed. I’d backed up all the apps with that program, then when I moved the contents of my SD card to my PC to Useful Toolsreformat, I was able to reinstall most programs that I wanted from the backup I’d done. Converter is kind of handy, any kind of measurement you can think of that you might want to convert to some other format, it can probably handle. I order from AmazonUK a lot, and it does a fast conversion from dollars to pounds, among other things. Useful and free (I think it might have been a Droid of the Day app, actually). Also on the phone is Cool Reader and eReader. Handles various and sundry types of ebooks and documents. Fringe Glyph Translator is a purely fun app. If you watch Fringe on Friday nights, and you see all those funky symbols with the dots next to them at each commercial break, those actually DO spell something different each episode. Makes me want to go back and watch Seasons 1-3 to see what I missed in those codes. 

GetGlue is probably, especially with the new TV season starting, one of my most used apps. Make it easy to tweet about what I’m watching, listening to, and reading, and earn stickers in the process. Kind of addicting. The two apps in the bottom row on each end – Remote Web and WiFi File Explorer – are both essentially the same thing, they allow you to wireless connect the contents of your phone to your PC to transfer files, use your phone cam as a webcam, all sorts of stuff. It’s how I got the screen caps of my apps from my phone to my PC. I actually paid for Remote Web and had been using it for a while, until Amazon gave away WiFi File Explorer. Now I use them both until I decide which one I like better. :) The app in the bottom row second column is Shoot Me, which is supposed to only work on rooted phones, but works just fine on my unrooted Optimus. Run it in the background, if you want to screencap your screen, just shake the phone, and instant screencap. Yes, it’s what I used to screencap my apps. And last but not least on that screen is Tweetcaster. I’d mentioned before that the free version was my favorite Twitter app, well you guessed it, Amazon gave away the paid version as a freebie so now I’m running the full version and have never looked back.

MultimediaOther favorite apps are QuckPic, a replacement for the default Gallery. Comic Strips, a new one I just added that lets you collect and share some of your favorite comic strips from the paper, like Scary Gary and Argyle Sweater. GhostTown is essentially a music player that lets you search YouTube for videos, and plays them back as music. Kinda nifty. Roku Remote and WDTV Media Player are substitute remotes for, yes, my Roku box (currently used for streaming movies at Netflix and Amazon on Demand) and my Western Digital media player box, which lets you plug in a hard drive and play back almost any video type you can think of on your TV set. Great for all those series episodes that would take up too many DVDs to burn. Tune In Radio Pro is another paid app that Amazon gave away as a freebie. I’d been using the freebie version to pick up Internet radio stations, like the various BBC stations or formerly local CA stations like KFOG. The paid version is essentially the same, only it also includes a recorder if you want to save any of the radio station broadcasts. I use it a lot. And Zinio works in conjuction with the PC app to download either free or paid digital versions of magazines to either your phone or your PC hard drive. Once you’ve downloaded them, you can view them on either. Have only used it a few times so far, but it seems pretty well made.

Well, that be pretty much the majority of what apps I use fairly regularly. Given that Amazon gives away a freebie every day, I’ve got quite a list of apps still available to me that I’ve not actually installed yet, but they’re there if I need them.

 

The new TV season thus far…

Another fluff post, but why not. :)

The start of the fall tv season is when our DVR (which thankfully has two tuners, otherwise we’d never keep up) gets a workout. We tend to watch nearly everything new at least once, then eliminate the crap shows from the schedule and end up with a reasonable number of shows to watch.

The only problem this fall? Not a whole lot of crap shows to speak of. LOL. We skipped H8R right off the bat, as well as The Playboy Club and Charlies Angels, plus a couple of other shows on the CW that just plain did nothing for us. And no, are not watching X-Factor. But have tried pretty much every thing else so far, and most shows are pretty good. So have started dropping show that are okay, but not great. Definitely deleted off the DVR’s on screen scheduler: Pan-Am (bummer, that’s the airline that flew me to Europe in 1984! :) ), Two Broke Girls, and Up All Night. Not sure about (we’ll watch for a second week and then decide): Unforgettable and Gifted Man. New Girl was supposed to be THE new comedy of the season, and jury is still out on that one too. It was cute and quirky, but it may lose out just due to the sheer volume of other good shows airing.

What’s funny is the number of shows that we thought we’d just watch to see just how awful they were, and they turned out to be pretty good. Didn’t think I’d like Ringer, or Revenge, or Whitney. I’d heard Whitney was supposed to be funny, but the previews looked kind of obnoxious, so we only tuned in to see how bad it would be, and found ourselves laughing several times in just the first couple of minutes. So definitely giving it another go.

A few more new shows that I’m liking right after the first ep: Persons of Interest and Suburbitory. Prime Suspect is pretty good too, although, if they don’t make the cops a bit more likeable, may drop it. Life’s too short to spend an hour with people on TV you don’t like. LOL.

Between old shows and new shows, the busiest night for the DVR has got to be Wednesday. There’s something on nearly every network that night. CBS has Survivor and Criminal Minds. ABC has their 2 hours of half hour comedies (The Middle, Modern Family, Suburbitory, and Happy Endings), plus Revenge at 10. NBC has Harry’s Law, and Law&Order SVU. Plus for 4 weeks BBC America has season 2 of Luther. Have all 4 eps saved on a hard drive from an internet download, but it’s been so long since it aired on BBC, not sure which drive it’s on. LOL.  So Wednesday, we usually end up with the DVR recording on both tuners AND our older DVD burner recording a third network to RAM disc (just like a VCR, only on an erasable DVD vs tape).

Then there’s all the returning favorites: Good Wife, Castle, Parenthood, Mike & Molly, Big Bang Theory, Fringe, The Mentalist, Blue Bloods, Supernatural. Haven on SyFy is still running from the summer season, soon to be replaced with Sanctuary after this week I think. And Doctor Who is just finishing up, to be replaced I guess with Bedlam (which naturally, we’ll have to try, along with American Horror Story on Fox). Just got hooked on a couple of the BBCA British comedies, Friday Night Dinner and Outnumbered, hope those are coming back.

Whew. Yeah, kind of sad how much TV we watch. Not everyone here watches every one of them, but we kind of split the difference.

And still find ourselves with enough time to watch Jeopardy every night. 😀

Random Birthday Yammerings

Yes, today is my birthday. Aren’t y’all thrilled?

As of today, I’ve officially caught up to and am now as old as my favorite former NHL goalie Arturs Irbe, and favorite all around performer John Barrowman, of whom had their birthdays earlier this year. Alas, despite the fact that we are now the same age, I think Mr. Barrowman has held up (with a little assistance 😉 ) MUCH better for his age than I have for mine. LOL.

Also share the actual DATE – although not the year, I think he’s got more than a few of those on me –  with actor Harrison Ford. Which is nice company to be in as well, since I’m Just Wild About Harry. 😀 (And I just saw that today is Patrick Stewart’s birthday as well, as well as John Barrowman’s MOM’s, apparently.  I really AM in very good company today. Well, as much as I can be sitting in an office by myself all day. LOL)

Am I doing anything fun for my birthday? No not really. It’s Hump Day, so I’m working. Bosses are on vacation for the next three days, so I’m holding down the fort by my lonesome.  Going out to dinner tonight, most likely to Bahama Breeze, since I haven’t been there in a while. I’d squee if I got there and found they’d brought back my barely seared Ahi tuna steak back to the menu, really miss that.

Dropped the Happy Hybrid off to my former regular mechanic this morning to get a once over to make sure it’s road safe for the upcoming road trip starting this coming weekend. Opting to go ahead and get its scheduled 45,000 maintenance done on it too while I’m there. Normally I take it to the dealership for that since I got suckered into prepaying for it when I bought the Prius, but I won’t have time to get it in before the trip, and would rather NOT have the “needs maintenence” light start flashing on the dashboard when the odometer says it’s due while we’re on the road next week. I mean, when it’s doing that, how do you know it’s just your regular maintenance light coming on or some sort of engine problem. So even though I’m going to have to pay John West to do it, definitely worth having it done there. Besides, I trust him more when HE tells me the car is road safe than I would after the quick prepaid once over that I get from the dealership. And John won’t tell me things need replacing when they don’t. Caught the dealership trying to do that more than once. So it’s all good.

Drove my mom’s Camry to work this morning since John will have the Prius all day. Definitely weird driving her car after driving the hybrid all this time. Promised her I’d be careful and try not to hit anyone or let anyone hit me. Of course what happens right after I get on the Beltline this morning? Right behind me I hear the squealing of rubber being left on pavement, and I just cringe, thinking “Not when I’m in my mummy’s car, PLEASE!”. Fortunately it was in the lane next to me and nobody hit anyone. Whew.

Ahh, the road trip. Will be gone 8 days. Itinerary for those who’ve been out of the loop: Driving from Raleigh to Long Island on Saturday, taking the train into NY on Sunday to see Spiderman Turn Off The Dark, chilling with some of the b/f’s friends on Monday. Then it’s the Mets game at CitiField on Tuesday, followed by the U2 concert at New Meadowlands Stadium on Wednesday. Then the 5 hour drive from Jersey up to New Hampshire to visit with his family Thursday and Friday, then heading home Saturday, finishing up the drive on Sunday. Will be quite the trip. Taking that Monday after off to recover. :)

U2 tickets! I’ve actually had a pair of tickets for the U2 concert in Pittsburgh that I’ve been trying to find a home for, once we worked out that there was no way we could time our trip to hit both the Jersey and the Pittsburgh concerts. Procrastination poster child that I am, I waited until the last minute to do anything about it, so listed them on ebay recently. No takers. Thought I was going to die with these things and be out the whole $140. Then a Twitter buddy suggested I check out StubHub and see about selling them there. So gave that a go last weekend. After nothing but email silence for several days, got an email from StubHub last night saying my tickets had sold. Sweet! I wasn’t interested in scalping them for some huge profit, just find a home for them at a fair price, so listed them just high enough over my purchase cost to make up most of Stub Hub’s commission. Not quite all of it, but then they’re paying to ship it Fed Ex, so I actually came out further ahead than I would have had they sold on ebay. So I’m happy.

NOT so happy about the upcoming Netflix price increase. Currently paying $9.99 to for one dvd out at a time, unlimited rentals per month, plus unlimited streaming. Will be going up to $15.98 for the same service at the beginning of September. Dudes! *shakes head* I’ve been a long time (for at least the last 10 years or so) Netflix subscriber. And have been really happy with their service for all that time. We’ve held off signing up for premium cable channels, thinking that we didn’t really need them, with the movie selection and turn around time that Netflix has. Never really even had an issue with their 30 day delay that they started with so many of their new releases, always just figured we’d get them when we’d get them.

But with this price increase, suddenly Netflix will cost MORE than the premium cable channels. Which DO offer new releases as they come out, without any sort of delay, as well as all sorts of original programming that I’ve had to wait until they’ve come out with on DVD to see by having Netflix vs a premium channel. All of which that I can get directly through my cable company’s DVR without any extra hardware or boxes or having to mail anything back. 

And their timing isn’t great either. I know a LOT of people, myself included, who have just added quasi premium channel Starz to their cable line up to pick up the fourth season of the BBC (and now BBC/Starz) program Torchwood, and now realize how very easy and convenient it is to watch premium channel content as just another cable channel, vs finding and streaming through a Roku or similar box. Add to that the fact that even multichannel HBO IS cheaper than Netflix’s new rates, and well, it’s not looking too good for Netflix right now.

Told you this was some random birthday yammering. I’ve kind of gone all over the place with it. If you’ve made it this far, good on y’all. :)

@Team_Barrowman : CDs, Olympic tunes, BBC radio…

Ended up canceling my AmazonUK order for the three John Barrowman CDs. Wanted to add on a fourth – John Barrowman Swings Cole Porter – which supposedly I should have been able to do, just place a separate order, then request it be “combined” into a single order. It refused to be combined. So rather than email Amazon for help and wait for a response in case they tried shipping in the meantime, I opted to just cancel both orders. Then turned around and RE-ordered all four CDs in a single order. 😀 Amazon didn’t have a problem with me doing that, I guess. So now I’ve got Another Side, Music Music Music, Swings Cole Porter (What? No “Night and Day” on that one!?!), and the new self titled CD that’s coming out March 1st coming in in a single shipment from Amazon.co.uk. And again, saved a nice chunk of change vs if I’d ordered it from Amazon.com proper. I think AmazonUK was $55 total, vs $110 from Amazon.com for the exact same CDs.

Didn’t have to get up at 3am to listen to John on the BBC radio thing the other night (see my Twitter stream about that). Once again, internet saves the day; the radio station is keeping that showgram as an online stream until early March. So I was able to listen to the entire 45 minutes of interview at my leisure last night. Although why JB would come on a show that is so clearly NOT into his music is beyond me. I guess any publicity for the new CD is considered good publicity, and maybe my American brain is just taking British humor too seriously, but IMHO they were seriously slagging off his choice of tunes, *pththtt*. Wasn’t a total loss though. Got to record 45 minutes of John, AND picked up that live Snow Patrol track as well. Yes! She shoots, she scores! 😀 Haven’t heard anything from Snow Patrol since D and I saw them open for U2 up in Boston last September.

When it’s not so late, I’ll have to see about some of his other radio interviews, since he’s doing something like 11 of them in the next week or two.

Hmmm… Heaven in my blog mp3 player just cut off early. Something must have interrupted the upload when I put it online last month. Will have to fix that. That’s okay. That just means Feelin’ Good came up sooner than later. 😀

Speaking of which, two songs that John has covered have made it into the Olympics, I noticed. Not his versions, no surprise there, but they did Both Sides Now during the opening ceremonies. And the first skater in the women’s short program last night during the figure skating competition did her routine to an instrumental version of Feelin’ Good. Since that one is currently topping my list of favorite John songs, needless to say I sat up and took notice in a hurry.

Gaa! Another song cut off short. Note to self: reupload I Know Him So Well too. Grrr… I was going to add a few more songs anyway, so I’ll upload the lot of them at the same time, probably over the weekend. NOT tonight though, I overslept the last two mornings, so promised myself I’d be in bed by midnight tonight, so I wouldn’t miss another Wii Workout in the morning.

New John Barrowman video uploaded to the website!

Just a short blog-post tonight, I promised myself I’d get to bed SOMEWHAT early tonight, which in this case means before midnight. LOL.

This video is primarily for my fellow US (and therefore usually deprived of many BBC videos) Johnettes and Barrowboys. John was in Scotland, decked out as Aladdin in a promotional bit for Panto, and this was on BBC Scotland News yesterday evening. Check it out here. (And if you didn’t catch my tweet from last night, my Episode 4 edit of John’s stint on Desperate Housewives from Sunday night was uploaded to the same page yesterday, just drop down the page a bit, it’s down with the rest of the DH clips.)