Sunday, October 23, 2005

Life Simplification, Part 1

The recent increase in Yahoo! Music prices got me thinking about the various small monthly subscriptions I have that probably add up to a decent amount of money. So, I decided to do some house cleaning. The results so far are:

CTS Coaching: $150/month
Ok, this isn't really fair. I decided to cancel this a while back since it was a luxury and simply isn't worth the money.

Streamload: $5/month
I was attempting to use Streamload as an online backup service, but it was too much work. I'll stick to my home build backup server and DVD shipped to an undisclosed location for backups.

Netflix: Subscription downgrade
I dropped my Netflix subscription from the standard 3/month to 2/month. It only saves a few $$, but I wasn't really using the 3rd anyway.

XBox Live: $6/month
My annual subscription is about to come to an end and rather than renew I think I'll hold off until I actually want to use it again. It is definitely worth the money and I'll use it again once I get an XBox 360, but right now I'm just not playing that many games.

That's it for now. I'm giving serious consideration to give Vonage a try. That could save a fortune on phone costs. I'd love to get rid of the Tivo fee, but that is actually worth it and the "free" alternatives have a high startup cost (new hardware).

Friday, October 21, 2005

Yahoo! Music

I'm so pissed about an email I got this morning from Yahoo! Music. They have decided to increase their monthly fee from $7 to $12 if you transfer subscription music to a portable device. Unbelievable. Before this, you paid $7/month for all the streaming music you wanted. Included in that was the ability to transfer the music to an approved device. I thought this was awesome and was on the verge of buying a new Creative Micro. Now I have to pay an extra $5/month just for the privaledge of transferring music? I'm thinking about cancelling my subscription completely.

Lately I feel like I've been getting $5/month to death. I have this great plan to simplify my subscription life, but of course I haven't gotten around to it and a lot of people are still getting their $5.

Wednesday, October 19, 2005

Fun with Tivo?

Now you can configure your Tivo to talk to an application server and get all kinds of nitfy applications right on your TV. Is it any good? Well, let's see. Last night I set it up, looked at the measly application list and found myself playing Hot or Not on my TV. Yay.

Monday, October 10, 2005

Newreaders

I've been in search of a new news reader since I have been unable to use Onfolio. Unfortunately, I can't install Onfolio at work (security issues) and running it over VNC to my home machine was getting a bit tedious.

So, when I heard that Google released a new web based news reader I immediately hopped over to their site to check it out. Unfortunately my joy only lasted a few minutes. I quickly realized that while it has a nifty interface, it is missing some key features. In particular, there is no way to mark all (or some) of yours feeds as read. After importing all of my feeds this was exactly what I wanted to do, but came up dry. I went back to the site a couple of times because I was so amazed they didn't have this feature.

Then I remembered bloglines. I used it once, but decided to check it out again. Sure enough, it does exactly what I want. It isn't as pretty as Google, but I can live with that. Funny how Google drove me right to a competitor.

Saturday, October 08, 2005

Gulp

I did it.. I bought a Cycleops PowerTap. After I get it installed and try it out I'll write up a full report.

Friday, October 07, 2005

Survivor

While watching Survivor tonight I noticed that it seems like players reveal way too much at tribal council. Why would they ever say anything, let alone something revealing? Then it hit me.. maybe viewers aren't shown the true order of events. Suppose the players vote first, then have the discussion, followed by the vote tally. In that ordering players would be more likely to share potentially revealing information since their fate is already sealed. That or it happens as we see it and they really are that stupid.

Tuesday, October 04, 2005

Season Wrapup

My racing season actually ended quite a while ago in late July. With Ryan's arrival approaching I decided to stop racing early to make sure I was in one piece for the delivery. I was hoping to get in a few more races after his birth, but I underestimated the time requirements of a newborn (duh). Anyhow, my last race was in late July and since then I've pretty much moved into training mode. Thanks to bike commuting, I've still managed to get in a solid number of training hours.

All in all, it was a pretty good season. I went from the bottom of the field to a top 10 contender in most races, placing very well in some stage races. Unfortunately I also had a few mechanical issues (flats) that I believe cost me some good results. I was thinking about petitioning for an upgrade, but given the fact that I have a newborn to deal with I'm going to hang out in my current category for at least one more year.

In training news, I've officially canceled my membership with Carmichael Training. $150/month was simply too much money and while having a coach was helpful, I think I have enough knowledge to go about it alone now. Right now I'm thinking about putting together a program that combines elements of the Carmichael program and Friel's work. We'll see though.. the season is barely over and there is plenty of time to figure these things out.