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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 »

And on the 7th Day, the new phone arrived…

… And It Was Good! 😀

Wasn’t planning on adding a blog post here, I’m getting ready to move my site to a different hosting provider, and backed up all my content last weekend preparing for the move, but figured why not, I’ll just do another backup and be ready to go later.

My Motorola Triumph came in yesterday, a day later than the estimated arrival date I got from Amazon. No big deal, I know it’s an approximate date, but usually Amazon beats their approximate arrival date by a couple of days, can’t remember when something arrived late. (Had to laugh though, I was following the tracking info, and it started out about 9 hours from here, in Kentucky. By the end of the first day, it had gone further NORTH and was now 12 hours away. Go figure. Next day? It ended up in Charlotte, about 3 hours SOUTH of here. Finally got to Raleigh on the estimated delivery date, but too late to be delivered. So it got here the next day. Would have been faster for me to just drive up there and pick it up as far out of the way it went getting here, LOL.) But again, no big deal, didn’t have time to do anything with it yesterday anyway.

Opened up the package this AM, figuring I’d activate it before work, then tinker with it at lunch time. HA! Per the manual: “Step One: Install battery and charge.” Whoops. The Optimus V instructions actually said that THAT phone had enough charge to do the activation, THEN we were supposed to plug it in and charge it the rest of the way. Sort of figured the Motorola would be the same way. Guess not, huh.

So I left it charging for the day today, and after we got done with our TV watching binge for the night, sat down, got it activated via the website without a hitch. Then figured out the IP address of the phone so I could add it to my “approved” IP list on my home WiFi network, and got that working.

Then came the fun of all the updates and app downloading: First up, Silent Boot, to shut up that annoying Virgin Mobile boot up sound. Then did all the updates from the Android market of all the preinstalled apps. Added Remote Web Desktop (one of the few programs I’ve liked well enough to pay for, makes it easy to access my phone content on my PC.) Then went to install the Netflix app, only to remember that I’ve put my Netflix account on hold temporarily, so no streaming at home or on my pc or *sob* on my phone either. Wah. Reinstalled Thickbuttons, Barcode Scanner, was able to install Google Earth, Firefox, and Adobe Flash (none of which were Optimus V friendly)

Then downloaded the Amazon App Store (love it, an app to get more apps! LOL) and Amazon MP3. Tried to download Jenga, which crashed the Optimus every time I tried to install it on THAT phone, and it works on the Motorola. Sweet! 😀 Then started going through my list of Amazon Freebies of the Day that I’ve ordered each day they were free, and started downloading a select few of them (I’ve got 200+ that I’ve “ordered” but not all I want to put on the phone at any one time)

In no particular order (although I started from the back of the list to get Tweetcaster, so they’re kind of in reverse alphabetical order):

  • Tweetcaster Pro* (* apps are the paid versions that Amazon gave away on one of their giveaway days)
  • IMDB
  • Tune In Radio Pro*
  • Solitaire Megapack*
  • Random Mahjong Pro*
  • Pocketbooth (this worked on my old phone, but didn’t have a front camera on that one)
  • Plants vs Zombies (Maybe I’ll have room to keep this now!)*
  • Peggle (another WiFi only download, so gotta do it from home) (currently downloading)*
  • Gem Spinner 1 and 2*
  • Fruit Ninja
  • Fancy Widget Pro*
  • Convertr
  • Collapse!
  • Bonsai Blast
  • App 2 SD Pro*
  • Angry Birds Rio
  • Angry Birds Seasons (another one I had to delete due to space issues)
  • Abduction 2*
  • 180Ultra*

Not seeing Fireball Deluxe in my Amazon list, nor Apps Organizer (which I love to death, keeps all my zillion apps, well, organized, into categories), and must have gotten Apps Backup, Cool Reader and E-Reader, Get Glue, Zinio, QuickPic, ComicStrips, GhostTown elsewhere. And a MUST have before Friday night, the Fringe Glyph Translator, to convert all those funky images before the commercial breaks on Fringe into their respective 5 letter words. 😀

Man, but Peggle is taking forever to download, even on WiFi. As soon as I get that, I’m going to bed, and will download the rest of what I’m missing at lunch tomorrow.

Just ordered a new phone!

Yeah, I love my Optimus V, but there have been several things about it that I’ve not been too fond of. Namely that it’s not all that fast, the minimal onboard storage capacity (it’s sitting there with a “low storage” warning in my status bar as we speak), the fact that it won’t play flash, so I can’t even play back the videos on my own website, and the screen is pretty damn small, even when I wear my readers. Even using ThickButtons, typing on that thing is really tricky, my fingers hit the wrong keys on a fairly regular basis. Plus there have been a few apps that I’ve run into out there that I’ve REALLY wanted to put on the phone, but while they’re compatible with my version of the android OS, they’re just not compatible with just that phone. 

(And yes, I noticed that out of everything I’ve mentioned about the phone, in this and previous posts, about how it operates, one thing that never comes up is how it handles phone calls. LOL. But I almost never use it for that, which is why that Virgin Mobile $25/month unlimited text/data plan with just the 300 minutes is so perfect for me. Essentially, I treat it as a PDA, that just happens to be able to make calls when I need to, which is rarely – don’t think I’ve ever gone over 30 minutes in any given month since I’ve had it. So as long as it can make them when I need them to, it doesn’t need to do much else so far as its phone abilities go.)

So as a rule, it’s been acceptable phone. Gets the job done. And it was the best one that Virgin Mobile offered when I bought it earlier this year. 

Motorola Triumph Phone from Virgin Mobile

But THEN, I made the mistake of going to my Virgin Mobile account to update my credit card info last week, then peeking into their “phones and plans” area. Whoops! The Optimus V is not their best offering any more. Now they’ve got a Motorola Triumph. With a faster processor. And a much bigger storage capacity. And a bigger screen. AND it will play flash video. PLUS it’s got two cameras compared to just the one on the OV. AND a flash for the still camera, which OV doesn’t have. AND HD video that you can play back via an HDMI cable directly into your TV set. In short, it’s like the OV, on steroids.*insert Tim Allen Tool Time grunt here: ARGH ARGH ARGH!*

Reviews on it have been mixed, but it seems like if you get a good phone right out of the box (which seems to be a problem on occasion, some folks have gotten real lemons right from the manufacturer), people have been happy with it.

So after hemming and hawing for a week (and missing Best Buy’s sale on that very phone in the process), and doing my usual comparison shopping, helped by the handy dandy plug in for FireFox called Invisible Hand which pops up when you’re shopping for something to let you know if there’s a cheaper price online anywhere, I found myself at Amazon. Invisible Hand told me it was cheaper on eBay, but I tend to like the return policies better from a known company vs someone on ebay where you’re not sure who you’re buying from. Plus if I put it on my Amazon store card, I’ve got something like 4 months same as cash to pay it off. THOUGHT I could use the nearly $50 in reward points from my Visa card towards it, but since I wasn’t using the Visa to pay for it, apparently that’s not an option. So did the next best thing. Used the $30 gift card that my sister got me for my birthday in July, put THAT towards the phone instead, saving my rewards points for my birthday purchase when I make it. Amazon seemed happy with that. So I got $30 off, free shipping, and 4 months same as cash. Nice deal. Ordered it this afternoon.

And one other thing I like about Virgin Mobile… If you’ve got a phone plan with them, and they change their rates, as long as you keep your same phone plan, you get to keep it at the same rates. So apparently even though VM raised their $25/mo plan to $35/mo recently, even if I swap out my OV for the Triumph, I still get to keep my $25/month plan. Sweet. :)

Can’t wait for it to come in so I can play. Fortunately it’s still an Android phone, so the learning curve on it won’t be to steep. AND all the apps that I already have via Amazon’s app store and the Android App Market should work with it as well (including, hopefully, the ones that were supposed to work but just didn’t like the Optimus V. So we’ll see.

@Team_Barrowman, my website winner :)

In another moment of utter geekiness, I thought I’d see if I could export from the Joomla website a list of all my webpages within the site and what their page ranking was based on the number of hits each has received. Then pull it into my WordPress blog as a post. Lo and behold, “there’s an app for that!” 😀

And as expected, no big surprise here, the John Barrowman pages are naturally the most popular, taking up 7 spots in the top 10 places (out of those, the video page has a wide lead, with over 7800 page views). U2 places second with two, and my 2008 Lunar Eclipse page coming in 3rd. (Oddly enough, my photo page of Creepy Crawlies doesn’t seem to rank quite as well, LOL).

THIS is why I keep telling my boss we should drop John’s name into our company website; nothing brings in the traffic quite as fast as that ole Barrowman name. 😉

Check it out, here’s the list by Rank, Page Name, and Number of Hits.

[pearl_csv_to_webpage_display filename = PageRank.csv]

Random Google-ly Thoughts

Sometimes geeky Google Analytics perplexes me.

No surprise that the Barrowman pages are the most popular on my website. (I keep telling my boss that if he wants to increase the page hits to the company website, to just let me sprinkle the name John Barrowman liberally here and there throughout the site, and the number of site visitors will skyrocket, LOL). Didn’t start my website with the idea that it would become 80% Barrowman related, but discovered him in Torchwood at the same time I started playing with Joomla as a CMS, so essentially learned how to design webpages in Joomla by making and breaking and fixing all those Barrowman pages.

But can’t figure out exactly how 21 people [edit: 56 people! since I first posted this] so far today found their way to the JB media pages on the site from FACEBOOK. I do have an account there, but rarely use it for anything, almost never post, only signed up for it so that nobody else would swipe my user name when they changed over to real name screen names.

Certainly haven’t been posting my JB site updates there, at least not that I know of. So it’s a bit of a mystery. A lot of the other referrals make perfect sense: Twitter, Brizzly, LiveJournal… I tend to make mention of my site updates to those three fairly regularly. But Facebook is like the forgotten skeleton in my internet closet, just never think to post regular updates there.

So again, it’s a puzzlement.

Do LIKE Google Analytics, though. Gives me a general idea of who is visiting what page, how they found it (keyword searches are particularly amusing sometimes; someone recently found their way to my blog by doing a search for “dudley douchebag”, a reference from Desperate Housewives),  how many times they visit, how long they stay, and from what location. The location info in particular is of interest, love seeing how many people from other countries come and visit.

And well, it must be said that I DO find it rather *squee*-rific when I find a visitor to the Barrowman pages coming from a location where I know the man himself is at the time. The realist in me knows it could be and most likely IS anyone else, but yes, my inner fangirl did do a mental happy dance when I got hits from Glasgow and Manchester while JB was there shooting Tonight’s The Night, or more recently, hits from towns in Spain during the three weeks he was vacationing there, particularly when I’ve never gotten hits from Spain before. Was it JB? Prolly not. But if it makes the inner fangirl happy to think so, who am I to burst her bubble? 😀

Of course on the flip side, if the Powers That Be DO visit the site, there’s always that concern that I’ll get some sort of cease and desist notification from them, since I AM going a bit rogue by capturing and streaming UK video to worldwide audiences. But I look at it this way, it’s a win/win for everyone. Non UK fans get to see video they’d never get to see otherwise, and it’s promoting the heck out of the BBC, ITV, JB, etc. Essentially free advertising for them. And it’s not like I’m making any money off of it or even attempting to. So one would hope that I’m not ruffling any feathers with my site content. :)

John Barrowman Desperate Housewives 2 new videos

Took a little while but I consolidated all five of JB’s Desperate Housewives clips and turned them into a single half hour video stream which I put on the front page of the JB section of my site, down towards the bottom of the page.

Also working on a full screen DVD version of the same, but in the meantime, here’s the link to the streaming version of the simple photo montage I put together to use as the menu background of the dvd. You’ll find this one right near the top of the page.

Enjoy!

Small website update…

Just added a little content to the front page tonight, got tired of it looking so empty. http://www.happyhybrid.us/website/

Site additions for JB's @Team_Barrowman pages

Guess the late evening coffee has finally worn off and while I’ve got MORE stuff I could do to the site tonight, it involves some serious video editing, and my brain is too tired for that. So I’ll just post what I’ve done so far today and call it a night.

On the Multimedia page: Two new Barrowman videos (the interview and “Copacabana” performance from the Jonathan Ross show from February of this year), and 6 new audio files from various radio shows and other places.

And on the Various and Sundries page, a video clip and a couple more cartoons/photos added.

And with that, you can now put a fork in me, I’m done for the night. :)

3 more videos uploaded to my @Team_Barrowman webpage!

Figured I haven’t mentioned JB in any of my last 3 posts, and thought “Can’t have THAT now, can we!?!” 😉 So added three “new” videos to the website this weekend. Two that are actually fairly old, but given that I’m a new fan, they’re new to me. And one newer one from March of this year.

And since I had time over the weekend, I picked ones that needed a little more tweaking than usual, since y’all know how much I just LOVE to tweak. 😀

A Day In the Life Of John Barrowman – 2007?
(Combined the 5 parts into a single video, and edited out the repetitive intros in parts 2-5)
Day in the Life of John Barrowman: Parts 1-5
—–

Charlotte Church Interview – 2007?
(Combined the three parts into one, and changed the aspect ratio
from the very squishy 4:3 to the correct widescreen 16:9)

—–

The One Show – March 2010

(Edited out the “NonJohn” parts and spliced the rest together.
Did some slight reordering of the footage so that the main JB stuff was at the front.)

And the band geek in me can’t help but notice how STRAIGHT he’s a’holdin’ that flute,
even after all these years. That deeply engrained school band training is hard to forget, eh John? 😉

All three are there on the multimedia page. :)

John Barrowman Tour dates announced by @Team_Barrowman…

… and they’re all in Europe (go here for the schedule). I’m a newbie to JB, does he ever tour the states, I wonder? I’ve been to Europe, once, a three week trip back in high school. Would love to go again, and a trek to see JB perform live would be great.

Alas, after paying off 3 pairs of U2 concert tickets, $500 for the new camcorder to take to said U2 concerts, the flight from NC to VT to see one of said U2 shows in MA (notice a trend there? :) ), plus *ugh* $700 for the new bumper on the Prius after my fender-bender before Christmas, I don’t think a trip to Europe for a John Barrowman concert is financially in my near future.

Hoping a lot of video shows up on YouTube from everyone who goes! Please, thank you! :)

Well, paying off a credit card bill then going to bed early tonight. That tossing and turning until 2:30 in the morning last night wiped me out today… Looks like it’s back to the laptop at lunchtime tomorrow for the next chapter in my JB webpage. As soon as I finish that, I’ve got more astronomy pics lined up to publish, but I kinda DO want to finish that page first.