Blog Archives

Sun and Rain

I just love the fickle weather here in Tampa.  One minute it can be pouring down rain, and the next it will be clear and sunny, or even a mixture of the two.  Check out the images I took with my phone yesterday.

[MYPLAYLIST=1]

Advertisements

My Favorite RSS readers

I actually have two favorite RSS readers.  Both are now free!  Check them out and feel free to leave feedback with your opinion. 

1. NewsDemon – Newsdemon was raved about on “The ScreenSavers” TV show and has many loyal users.  I loved the trial I had a while back of a previous version and quit using it because it wasn’t free.  I didn’t want to pay money for an RSS reader when even at the time there were some decent free readers out there.  Now that NewsDemon has been released for free, I’m definately switching back!

 

2. Attensa – this is also a very nice enterprise grade RSS reader.  I have been using this for over a year and love it.  It has some nice features that NewsDemon does not have and integrates very nicely into Outlook.  Definately check this one out as well and compare the two for yourself. 

 

Mourning the death of my…..TILT

Today is a sad day, its a day of separation, of death (tech people call it “end of life”) and severe sorrow as I accept the death of my TILT. For a little over a month now I’ve had an at&t TILT and really enjoyed it. I loved the crisp call quality, and sturdy feel of the well built phone. The Windows Mobile 6 features and cool apps and customizations I had were really something special.

I called at&t and they won’t replace the phone since it was physically damaged. I then called HTC and they said they were not yet prepaired to repair the TILT since its so new. They couldn’t even find my part numbers in their database yet. So at this point in time, I have a $1000 phone thats functioning as a paper-weight.

Im such a softie

I just turned on my wi and checked my wii mail and saw a message that Abby lost her pro status today, and it made me sad because I know how much she loved being a pro and getting a special ball in bowling. It means a lot to her that she made that achievement and it makes her fel grown up. I hope I can help her get pro status back soon.

Verizon FIOS billing issues

I’ve been having a difficult time lately with Verizon and their billing of my FIOS account. Sure my account history is a bit complicated. Let me recount the things that have happened in the brief history of my account…

1. Ordered online with a promotion offer (ordered with a landline phone service and had billing through the phone bill).

2. Got billed wrong amount, turned out they never applied the online promotion to my account.

3. Got an account credit of $60 to cover the promotion discount for 6 months. Also got my Target gift card mysteriously after complaining that I had not yet received it after my 12 weeks or service.

4. Ported my landline phone service to a VOIP provider.

5. Switched my billing method to credit card after phone service was ported away from Verizon.

6. Got a letter from Verizon saying I was in default and my account was terminated and sent to a collection agency.

7. Called CS AGAIN and found that my account is ok afterall, they had some kind of mixup with the other CSR that processed the port. My account is in good standing and no balance is due.

So as you can see, its been fun! I love FIOS internet, its fast, reliable and perfect for my home network, but dealing with a big company like Verizon is such a pain.

When you call in to customer service, you get a rep after going through their aweful phone system, and then they find out I’m in Florida and have to transfer me. I finally get someone in Florida and they tell me they can’t help me because they are normal Verizon and have to send me to a FIOS rep. I finally get a FIOS rep and then they have problems finding my billing history and account information. Its all straightened out now though, so I can take a breath of fresh air and not have to worry about this account any longer… until next month that is when they screw up my bill again.

Weekend followup

We just had a great weekend! Saturday with Michael’s birthday party and Sunday enjoying the awesome weather outside in the back yard together and chatting with neighbors, it was just a great weekend. I love this time of year with the cooler temperatures and clear skies. It is so relaxing to sit in my back yard, with the “preservation” area behind us, nothing but the sounds of nature to listen to (and the kids playing of course).

Liz and I even got to work on her allspiffedup website a little. We are testing out some things and trying to make it more interactive and visually appealing. We should have a new site up and running in a week or so. I really enjoy doing web work with Liz, we both enjoy it, and although I’m the more technical person who makes things happen, she is understanding of how things work in general and is very good with graphics and we end up having a good time together doing this sort of thing.

P.S. Michael still talks about his moon, he randomly remembers he has it, and keeps saying “moon” over and over and tells everyone about it. Its really cute!

Coming up!

There are a few things I’m working on that I will hopefully be able to release on both my blog and family website soon. Here is a brief list of things I’m trying to get setup…

1. Method for web visitors to send me messages or info, perhaps post back information to my site, maybe a public category where friends and family can post messages.

2. Podcasts – We have a lot of fun doing podcasts. I hope to get the girls and Liz and I back into a somewhat regular podcast series. It would be audio only at first, probably short (under 5 minutes) and of course make you laugh.

3. Way down the road, I’d love to start doing video podcasts. This is going to take a little more thought and planning, and we don’t have the video equipment to take on this job yet.

4. Add pictures to posts – it would be nice if when I posted an update on the site if I could attach a picture to the post for a visual aid of what I’m talking about. So from now on, I’m going to try to post individual pics of the kids or relevant pictures of what relates to my post so that its not just a bunch of boring text… 🙂

5. Custom theme – at some point down the road, its inevitable that I need to try to create a custom theme for WordPress. I have up to now used freely available themes I found online and modified them for my own use. This has worked out fine so far, but its time I start looking into option to code my own theme. This would open up all kind of opportunity as to how I want the site to look, and it would be a lot of fun designing graphics and CSS for the site.

HTC Home Plugin and random vibrate

Well sadly I discovered today that my beloved HTC Home plugin for my ATT Tilt is the cause of a minor issue. It seems to randomly switch my phone to vibrate. Obviously this is a problem, and the only solution so far is to uninstall the 6 button home plugin and install the more limited 3 button home plugin. I really don’t want to do that downgrade, as I love having the favorite people button and quick ringer type change options. I am going to keep digging for a solution but I’m not sure if it will get fixed anytime soon. So far I have found very few instances of people with the TILT having this issue, I guess most of them found the 3 button plugin easier or happen to find it first. It did take me some time to locate the 6 button plugin, since I had to dig pretty deep in some forums to find it.

My Today Screen

I really like my new Tilt from at&t. I’ve added some plugins and tweaks which make this an awesome device. I’ll post more of a thorough review later, but I really love the HTC home plugin. I also have GPS and various other apps that definately make this the most reliable, stable, usable, and fun phone I’ve used to date.

TodayScreen

Catching up

Its been a busy two weeks and I have not posted much to my blog lately. So here is an update starting with the weekend we went to Orlando…

On Saturday October 6th we drove up to Orlando and stayed at the Hilton resort at Disney. My aunt and uncle put us up at the hotel to spend some time with them while they were in town for a conference. We got to the hotel sometime around 4:30 or so. We grabbed some dominos pizza for dinner and Liz’s sister Christina came over to visit for a while. My aunt and uncle arrived later that night and we visited for a while until after midnight.

Sunday we got up and went out to breakfast at a waffle house. Once we were done eating we headed back to the hotel to get ready to go to Downtown Disney. On the way back to the hotel, we saw an IHOP which we would have all preferred, but didn’t know was right there. We got back to the room and got ourselves ready to go and walked over to the Downtown Disney marketplace. We walked around a little and let the kids play at the lego store and checked out some neat things they had setup on the street.

The kids rode a train around a little, and we got some cute pictures of that. They also rode a merry-go-round which they always love. Then we headed over ot the Rain Forrest cafe for lunch. That place is really neat, and has a unique atmosphere and awesome decorations and effects. Every 30 minutes there is a thunderstorm and the animals go wild and they flash lights, etc. Its a lot of fun, the staff are friendly and the food was good.

We walked around a little more and ultimately headed back to the hotel to go swimming. The kids and uncle David beat us all down to the pool, and when I got there, they were already in the water. I tested the water with my toe and found it a little cold for my liking, so I took advantage of the cool breeze and occasional sun to get a little rest on a lounge chair. I had just started to doze while the kids were playing in the pool, when I was awaken by the sensation of rain drop on my face. We got our stuff together and herded the kids under an umbrella and got ourselves ready to go back into the hotel. We got back to the room and changes and visited a little more, and by this time it was after 5pm, so we decided to get ready to go soon. I think we left close to 6 or so, and the rain actually stopped which was good, because traffic would have been slow if it had kept raining. We were home before 7 and got to crash for a bit before getting all the kids off to bed.

Then this past weekend, the 13th and 14th, we actually had a nice productive time at home. Liz and I got a good amount of yard work done and trimmed bushes and cleaned up, which was good. Sunday we spent the bulk of the afternoon at Bonnie Brae park in Temple Terrace, hanging out with friends and letting our kids play. It was a very nice evening and the weather was perfect! The kids played on the playground, and the adults visited and played with their kids. It was very relaxing.

Sunday morning I had a problem with my new phone (the tilt). I set my phone to vibrate in the morning and later it went off so I pulled it out of the holster to check and the screen was all washed out and practically un-usable. I tried to call AT&T about it, but the office I needed to talk to was closed until Monday. So Monday I called and they are sending me a replacement, which I should have by tomorrow (Wednesday). I hope this is not a bad batch of phones and just a strange fluke with the individual unit I received.