Get Rid of Cable – Adjust Your TV Viewing Habits

Adjust TV viewing habitsNBC just cancelled their new series Believe and this brings to light one of my recent cable cutter thoughts. Every year you hear outrage from viewers when their new favorite show didn’t make the cut. You spend your time each week getting invested in these characters, these plots, and some executive decides your effort wasn’t worth anything. Firefly, Stargate Universe, Jericho, Arrested Development… all shows with die hard fans but were slashed. Luckily Jericho got a 1 season reprieve and AD was actually brought back to life years later but most shows aren’t so lucky. So this brings me to my point. I didn’t actually watch Believe; I did have 9 episodes stashed on my DVR for summer viewing. They were just deleted. Thanks for saving me 9 hours of my life NBC. I no longer need to waste my time. Instead, I’ll focus my attention on shows worth watching.

I think anyone who enjoys TV would be lying if they said it was easy cutting cable. I think the largest #cablecutter challenge may be learning how to completely adjust your TV viewing habits. Specifically learning how to simply watch the quality old shows you missed instead of worrying about the next big thing or the current hit shows. Instead of watching the Believes and the Almost Humans, focus on shows that you may have missed that you might have on your wish list. If you don’t, you’ll never watch them. There will always be something new on. For instance Breaking Bad is my #1 show on my wish list. That show was not on my radar until a few seasons in and I always wanted to catch up but never had the time because I watched too much other stuff. No cable? Now’s the time. Netflix has Breaking Bad (soon to be in 4K). Amazon Prime on the other hand has 24 and Always Sunny In Philadelphia (which I’ve already started watching). Between those 3 shows alone, that’s seasons upon seasons and hours and hours of cable subscription replacing TV.

I spent over a year watching everything the Stargate franchise could throw at me; most of it was long past the view date. I watched Battlestar Galactica years after airing. I didn’t realize it then but I was on to something. Why was I even paying for cable at that time while I was watching mostly Netflix shows? Foolish. If you’re anything like I was, stop throwing money out the window and start thinking about getting rid of your overpriced cable. There’s tons of content out there. Learn to focus on watching what you can and less on what you can’t watch. If you can’t watch it, put it on your wish list. It’ll be available somewhere soon enough. And if you feel left out when your friends are talking about the new hotness, just remind yourself chances are it’ll be cancelled soon anyway.

Ant Colony Casting

I’ve never been bit by a fire ant but I saw an episode of MacGyver, “Trumbo’s World”, where killer ants wreak havoc and it takes the likes of MacGyver to save the day. He didn’t do it quite like these guys do it though. Somehow these guys are taking something as fiery as ants and turning them into works of art. Ant colony casting with super molten hot aluminum? Pretty impressive. -via iflscience.com

Love Never Felt So Good – MJ & JT

So Michael Jackson has been dead for 5 years now and, like we’ll probably get for another 50 years, his estate is about to release some posthumous material. The new single is Love Never Felt So Good and it’s actually featuring the Prince of Pop, Justin Timberlake.

I actually like the song. It’s pop music but like everything from Michael Jackson and Justin Timberlake, it’s far and away better than any other current pop music. While listening to it though, I can’t help but feel like that if MJ was still around, and if this was ever released, it could, and would, have felt much bigger. The song has solid bones but it doesn’t have that grandiose Michael Jackson feel. That’s what set MJ apart from everyone else and that’s what sets Timberlake’s music apart from everyone else today. Still though, it’s something fresh to listen to from a genre that doesn’t typically make my iPod anymore and I can live with that.

New Girl Got Old

New GirlIn the wake of Almost Human getting cancelled by Fox today, I realized it may be time to re-evaluate what I’m watching. With the DVR always around 70-80% anymore, I just made my first cut, New Girl.

The first season of New Girl was awesome. I found myself stopping to laugh and then rewinding multiple times after jokes. It quickly became one of my favorite shows. I’m not sure when it jumped the shark but season 2 was just never able to recreate that magic. Season 3 has been a downright chore to watch. I liked when Schmidt and Cece were together but when he blew up that relationship, that was a downhill moment. They didn’t need to get Nick and Jess together; they needed to keep Schmidt and Cece together.

Probably the worst thing was bringing back Coach. I liked him on Happy Endings but he changed the dynamic on New Girl and I didn’t understand why he was necessary. I also felt when they brought him back, they started dumbing down Winston to a frustrating level.

In the end, everything was good at first but they meddled and it didn’t work for me. In a way, New Girl got old fast. I’m sure since they cancelled Almost Human and not New Girl, it’s doing well enough for them and that’s fine. I just can’t do it anymore.

Prevent A Hangover

Prevent A HangoverWell not quite. This may not prevent a hangover but for the craft beer drinker, this may be the best news I’ve ever seen. Sure, maybe when I was in college pounding crappy beer for the end result, this would defeat the point. However for those of us getting up there in age, with possibly more sophisticated beer drinking pallets, this could be a game changer. Please note I have not tested this yet so I cannot vouch for it in any way but I will most certainly try it soon. And I’m sure every body is different so some may be disappointed when it doesn’t work for them.

According to Jim Koch, the face of Sam Adams brewery, in an article from Esquire that is surely about to blow up the Internet, How To Drink All Night Without Getting Drunk, the secret to being able to drink as much, hopefully good, beer as you want is… active yeast! “One teaspoon per beer, right before you start drinking”, according to Koch. Hopefully this news won’t cause my local grocer to run out of yeast.

I cannot wait to try this. My last craft beer drinking event was certainly not as great as the beer festivals of my youth. There was no hangover or ill side affects however that was only because I had to severely limit my intake. Not only is that not fun but it stopped me from sampling everything I wanted to. If you’re drinking like a lunatic, this may not help you at all, but for the people who really enjoy drinking beer for the beer itself, don’t want to get trashed and want to possibly prevent a hangover, this is awesome news. I’m just not quite sure how I never heard of it before. Internet, you have failed me. Until today. Sláinte.

2014 Philadelphia Eagles Schedule

2014 Philadelphia Eagles ScheduleSo the 2014 Philadelphia Eagles schedule was released last night so why not take a quick look. The Birds sure as heck surprised me last year going 10-6 and almost winning a playoff game. I thought at best they would have been 5-11 so what do I know? This year looks pretty rough though. We have to play the dreaded NFC West, or as a friend of mine likes to call it, NFC Best. I don’t like him but he’s right.

Last year’s team couldn’t possibly regress this year though. I mean they had a new everything last year and got better as the year went on. Having a full year under their belt means they can only get stronger. And despite letting the Redskins get Desean Jackson, the NFC East does not look formidable. The Cowboys are mediocre at best, the Giants are sub-par and the Redskins may be better offensively but it’s the Redskins. So lets take this thing week by week.

  1. At home against the Jaguars? Seems like a can’t lose which makes it kind of scary. Still 1-0.
  2. Monday night at Colts. I think the Eagles should win this football game. 2-0
  3. Home against the Redskins featuring the return of Desean Jackson? Desean shows up but the Eagles still win this game. 3-0
  4. Yay, a west coast road game against the 49ers. Can’t wait to lose this football game. Why bother? Thankfully it’s a game we probably lose at home anyway. 3-1
  5. If it was on the road I’d worry but home against the Rams? W. 4-1
  6. Sunday night at home against the Giants. Win. 5-1
  7. Week 7 bye.
  8. Week 8 at Cardinals. NFC West road games still haunt the birds. This is a far different team than Andy’s Eagles but until I consistently see them take care of these games, 5-2.
  9. At Houston. What happened to Houston? W. 6-2
  10. Monday night. At home. Against the Carolina Panthers. This is a tough one but the Panthers only have Cam on offense. That defense is real good but at home we should win. 7-2.
  11. At Packers. Unless Rodgers is hurt, I don’t know how we win this. 7-3.
  12. Home against the Titans. 8-3.
  13. Thanksgiving day. I hate Thanksgiving day games. I love Thanksgiving. Let me enjoy it without worrying about an Eagles loss. Which will most likely happen. 8-4.
  14. Week 14 at home against the defending champion Seahawks. I’ll flip a coin. L. 8-5. Back to back losses against teams everyone in Philadelphia was sure we’d win despite the fact that we didn’t have a chance. Panic ensues.
  15. Back home against the Cowboys. A win and everyone is happy again. 9-5.
  16. Week 16 and a weird Saturday game at the Redskins. Sorry DJacc. 10-5.
  17. Finishing the season at Giants. The Giants want to ruin our playoff seeding but all I see is Eli face. We pull through with the W. 11-5.

On paper it’s awesome. Why bother even playing? Now Chip just needs to get that first playoff win.

Hola, el Hombre de los Moleculos… the Molecular Man!

It’s been a while since I’ve searched for it but it looks like THE MOLECULAR MAN skit is finally on the Internet. I used to look for it all the time and SNL denied us the pleasure of el Hombre de los Moleculos. Here it is in all its glory, taking us all the way back to Conan O’Brien’s SNL hosting gig from 3/10/01. Enjoy it while SNL allows it.

Federal Donuts Figured It Out

Federal Donuts platterJust had an excellent 4 day weekend “spring break” that, as usual, went way too fast. I was moving non stop every day and one of those stops just so happened to be Federal Donuts which I’ve had on my food wish list for quite some time now. I heard nothing but good things regarding the food at Federal Donuts but when you’re so close to John’s Roast Pork, it’s hard to eat anywhere else.

Fried chicken is an interesting food for me. I’ve never really liked fried chicken however I always want to eat it for some reason. Maybe it’s that comfort food aspect. Whenever I eat it though, I always seem to regret it; it’s always too greasy or just doesn’t hit the spot I hoped it would.

Federal Donuts was different though. The chicken was amazingly juicy however it wasn’t greasy at all. At all. It was kind of amazing. I tried the Za’atar chicken which I slightly regretted but not that much. I just felt trying a new spice may have taken some emphasis off of, what was probably, phenomenal chicken.

And the honey donut that comes with it was also really good. It had a great honey flavor but not an over the top sugary sweetness. A real natural honey flavor. I saved the donut for the end but it almost had a cornbready consistency to it where I kind of regretted not eating it with the chicken. It would have paired, I imagine, as intended. Oh, and I can’t forget, even the pickles were good.

My only real quarrel with the whole experience was that for $10, you didn’t get nearly enough chicken. I’m not sure the value was there. $10 gets you 4 pieces of a not large chicken and a small donut. Maybe the clientele needs to make sure they can fit into their skinny jeans. $10 at John’s Roast Pork buys a cheesesteak that, after eating it, you can barely eat dinner that night. With Federal Donuts, you don’t have that problem at all. At least I didn’t. If you eat like a normal human being though, I can see how Federal Donuts lives up to all the hype.

Sixers 2014 NBA Lottery Outlook

Sixers - Together We BuildWith 1 game left to play, the Sixers 2014 NBA Lottery spot was all but solidified at #2 by beating up on the Celtics again last night. It was a meaningless game for the Sixers. The Bucks were not going to win both of their remaining games.

So now it’s time to eagerly look ahead to Tuesday, May 20th, the day we’ve all been waiting for all year anyway… the 2014 NBA Lottery! #2 it is. 199 out of 1000 chances. Just about a 20% chance at that #1 pick. Depending on how you look at it, that’s either great news… or horrible news.

What do you mean horrible news? Well I hate to break it to you but going back over the last 10 years, the #2 team in the lottery averages a paltry 3.8th pick in the draft. That’s closer to #4 than #3 and not very close to #1 at all. Over the last 10 years, no #2 lottery seed has had their name pulled out of the “hat” first. All that tanking and hoping and wishing and praying all year… the odds are apparently not in our favor.

There is a silver lining to this all though as Philly fans can always attest to; if it hasn’t happened in 10 years, we’re simply due. Well that #2 spot is anyway. I mean, why can’t us? And this is a deep draft so all we really need is a top 2 pick. Oh, and then there’s that #10 lottery spot from New Orleans. And MCW most likely winning rookie of the year. And Nerlens Noel coming back hopefully very healthy and very much looking like the #1 pick he was supposed to be last year.

Oh, but back to that Celtics game… It meant nothing for the Sixers but it meant a great deal to the Celtics. That loss moved them 1 game ahead of the Lakers for that #5 lottery spot. Over the last 10 years, that 5th spot has drawn the #1 seed twice. That’s 2 more times than the #2 spot. On that note, maybe I don’t want 5/20 to come at all because if the Celtics stealing the #1 pick isn’t enough to make you feel sick, I don’t know what is. Boston has had enough steak at this point. After the last decade, you’re looking fat Boston, it’s time to try a diet.

Password Management with LastPass

Worst Passwords 2013In the wake of this mind blowing Heartbleed bug that has the entire world coddling naked in a corner, it’s time for everyone to do a little Internet housekeeping and general security maintenance. I won’t try and explain the bug, others have explained Heartbleed way better than I can. You can’t worry if you were affected by it, you just need to look into it and act accordingly.

As for making your online lives a little safer and easier, LastPass is here to help you with your password management. You access hundreds of sites with “hundreds” of usernames and passwords and I’m going to go out on a limb and say you use the same password for most of them. Good job. When you’re compromised on a little non critical utility site like Wunderlist, someone will be able to steal your entire identity from your important social sites to your bank accounts. You need some type of password management. Everyone’s furious about NSA spying but I bet most people are completely careless about locking up their own “doors”. Get LastPass now. Just do it. Use the link I posted above and we both get a free month of LastPass Premium.

Sure, LastPass may be a bit of work to get set up however once you’re established with it, it’s completely seamless and you only remember it’s there when you’re creating an account for yet another new website. You get on your computer, log into LastPass for that session through a plug-in in your browser and don’t have remember another password the rest of your time on the computer. This is how it is now. You’ll be joining websites for the rest of your life. I’ll say it again, you need some type of password management.

I can’t remember, nor do I want to even imagine, what life was like before I started using LastPass. Nevermind, I can remember. I was using my browser to store my passwords so that anyone who accessed my computer could open up my browser, go into my settings and see all my passwords. That was cool.

If you go premium, you get access to apps that will help you manage your passwords from your mobile devices. I have never gone premium so I cannot vouch for them however I do know you can access your LastPass vault from a mobile browser and pull the passwords from there for free. Sure it’s not as seamless and can be a hassle at times but if you don’t think you really need a mobile feature that often and don’t want to pony up $1 a month, it is an option. I know for the amount of times I’ve used the mobile browser since I started using LastPass years ago that I don’t particularly need an app but it would probably be nice.

And back to the Heartbleed for a moment. LastPass has a good looking Heartbleed Tester which you should most definitely check out. If you have their service, they have an even better integrated Heartbleed test if you go into your vault and run a Security Check on the left side of the page. It’ll tell you exactly where you were effected and what passwords you need to change and when.