Sunday, November 22, 2009

How do we sleep while our beds are burning?

I never changed the time on the thermostat when daylight savings changed over.  The heat turned on 15 minutes ago and the temp change woke me up.  It needs to be cold when I am sleeping or I can't sleep.

I went on a hike with Wendy two days ago up Rock Canyon.  There was about 6 inches of snow on the ground.  She was wearing her backpack with some water bottles in it.  It didn't seem to faze her at all that she was carrying a few extra pounds.  She stayed off the path as much as possible, leaping through the fluffy snow and getting it in her nose.  When we got back she was tired and fell asleep.

Yesterday we walked up to Provo Canyon.  When we got to Timpanogos park it was dark, so I had to call around to find someone to bring us home.  Sara came and got us, but before she did Wendy found a dip cup and got it all over her snout.  It smelled horrible.  Chewing tobacco = gross.

So, I am starting off this Sunday bright and early because of the heater.  We're not really even suposed to be here, we should be in Park City.  Esther's family got a condo from Friday (two days ago) until Monday (a week from tomorrow).  During this week we will surely be up there.

Does anyone have exciting plans for Black Friday?  The deals this year don't look all that spectacular, but there is one thing that I would like to get - a plasma TV.  Over the past few months I have done a ton of research on HDTVs so that I can get one!  Esther says she will pay for half if I can come up with the first half.  Someone asked me a few days ago if they should get a plasma or an LCD, and this was my answer (with a little editing): 
Plasma FOR SURE. Go with either Samsung, LG, or Panasonic. The best deal I see coming up is Best Buy's Black Friday deal on a Samsung. Samsung 50" 1080p Plasma HDTV (Model # PN50B530S2F) - $897.99.  Sears has a BF deal on a similar model Samsung 50" Plasma HDTV (Model PN50B530) - $899.99 aaaand at Best Buy they have a Panasonic Viera 50" 1080p Plasma HDTV (Model# TC-P50U1) w/Blu-ray Disc Player (Model # DMP-BD60K) - $999.98. Go with something 1080p for that large. If you are going under 42" then you will have to go LCD, and you could also go with 720p at that size. The sweet spot of pricing right now is right at about 50", depending on brand. Very small discount for going smaller, very big jump for bigger. The three brands have different features such as if they have D-sub input, DVI, a slot for a memory card... Also very important is the Blue-ray player you are going to hook up. You usually want to go with the same brand as the TV, BUT they all have different features such as whether they stream Pandora, YouTube, Netflix, Blockbuster, Amazon video... Some are wired, some are wireless. In most cases it is cheaper to buy a cheap wireless bridge than to get a player with wireless build in (save yourself around $100).  Keep in mind that the features that the blu-ray player has may make up for the features that the TV lacks, for xample an LG TV probably doesn't have an SDHC memory card slot for your pictures, but the blu-ray player might. Plasmas have blacker blacks, higher contrast ratios, and no refresh rate issues. They do use more power though. There are some brand new Plasmas that have the energy star logo if you are concerned with that (those are much better on power). I can give you lots of info on LCD as well, but I really don't think they are worth it comparatively. Plasmas haven't had problems with burn in for years. Many technologies have been developed to avoid this. As long as the image on the screen does not stay the same you will never have to worry, and even then, the new technologies *should* prevent it. The people who are most at risk of burn in, if it is going to happen, are people who play games with static graphics on the screen. As I said though, it is unlikely with a modern plasma. Back when a 50" would cost you $8000 it was a reasonable worry. This is a good excuse for the gamer in your family to never play games for more than an hour ;) LCD HDTVs can have uneven lighting, halos, judder, washed out colors and blacks, smaller viewing angle, and the decent ones are more expensive than their plasma counterparts. One other thing that I forgot to mention is whether your TV has a matte finish or glossy. To the eye glossy usually looks better, but it can be annoying to see reflections on your screen while watching TV. Many now have an adequate anti-glare finish, but it is worth a mention anyways. It is always best to see the TV in person first, BUT always remember that the floor models are not calibrated, so the picture will almost always look much better in your home after calibration. Some differences between LCD and Plasma and here is a link to Black Friday HDTV deals

The titlte: Midnight Oil - Beds are Burning

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Who let the dogs out

I recently got a dog. Her name is Wendy. She is an airdale terrier. Esther and I had been talking about getting a dog for a while and she had just reached the point where she thought we would never agree on a dog (and therefore never get one). I have been waiting to hear about a job in New York since July, we couldn't agree on a dog we liked, and we work opposing schedules. She showed up one day while I was sleeping and tried to wake me up "to meet someone". I told her to come back later. Turns out it was Wendy she wanted me to meet. This is one totally awesome dog. She was 4 months old when we got her and she has grown a lot, but she will grow a lot more. An airdale looks kinda like a cross between a yorkie and a deer. Originally she was very shy and obedient. Not she is a ball of energy and often won't listen to us. The Dog Whisperer has been a HUGE help, but sometimes we still aren't the leader of the pack.

I know you think she looks small, but she isn't.

Lots of my friends in the past month or two had kids. While they were birthing I got a dog, and I'm ok with that. Yes, I am old, and getting older. There's probably never a "good time" to have a kid, but I'd like to wait at least a few more months. This new dog has been good training so far.

I got a fantastic new phone - The Sprint Hero. It runs android, which is completely new to me. The OS could be a little more respinsive, but the fact that the programs for it are almost all free is real nice. I don't have to pirate buy software for my phone! I have had the phone for a week and paid $200 for it. It is my luck that today the price dropped to $100. There have been amazing deals on so many things over the past two weeks. I think that black friday will be a letdown in comparison, and judging my the leaked ads I think I'll be right.

Halloween came and went pretty quickly, and I wish it had lasted longer. We now leap into the depressing season of gifts and greediness. Bleh.

Adobe released a sweeeeet beta of flash that improves the performance of hulu desktop by tons. Some day I hope to be able to watch hulu on my phone. Still in the works.

For anyone who hasn't seen me in a while, and is in the Utah area, you should get in contact with me so we can do something. I miss my friends!

The title: Baha Men - Who Let the Dogs Out