Living and stuff

Residential Data Transfer Limit Rubbish

I am a Comcast customer. I can’t help it.  They’re the only cable internet provider that offers service in my area, and I refuse to go back to anything except cable broadband ever.

But this also means that I am trapped, of course.

There are four of us with various mobile devices in the house.  iPads, iPhones, iTouch.  We have an x-box player or two.  We have a few WoW players.  We like music.  We like movies.

And Comcast has this ridiculous data transfer limit for residential customers per month. The limit is 250GB a month for residential customers.  You can’t get more by paying more, unless you get a business customer account.  No idea what’s involved with that.

If you hit the limit they cut you off.  They don’t slow you down or anything. They cut you off for excessive use.

The usage is for ALL data that comes through my cable modem, including on-demand movies from Comcast/Xfinity TV.

The closest we’ve come to our limit so far is 75%.  It does worry me though.  What if we download a lot of music and films one month?  It’s a constant worry for me towards the end of the month, and I check our usage every day the last few days.

So, I have canceled my cloud-based backup service.  The last thing I need is Carbonite eating up data allowance.  I have set up my own backup system here at home.  Sucks to be Carbonite with such shitty plans from Comcast.

And then, today, I find out that Comcast has launched video streaming on it’s Xfinity TV iPad app. Huh?!? Don’t they realize they’re going to have to do something about this data limit at some point? With more and more opportunities to stream content, high usage households like ours are going to get nearer and nearer that silly limit.

Upgrading to 64 bit

Today, I upgraded to Windows 7 – 64 bit.

I had 6 GB of RAM installed on my machine, but only 3 was biding used with the 32 bit system.

This was probably the most organized I’d ever been for a hard disk reformat. I had all my data backed up, all my programs ready for reinstall, all passwords, codes, registration keys written down and ready to go.

Of course there were still issues.  It was a struggle getting my wireless adapter going – which is sort of the first thing you need.  Some programs are refusing their product keys (read Quicken) which is a pain in the ass.  And some programs take a long time to get set up the way you like even when working properly (iTunes and Lightroom) – I’m talking about preferences etc.

Even World of Warcraft has behaved really well though. The install was remarkably quick as a download – Blizzard seems to have got this process right. Now, if only I could say the same for my add ons – maybe it’s time to get the curse premium client.

I will finish the process tomorrow. Enough staring at bars for one day.

— Post From My iPad

Desk 365.137


Desk 365.137
Originally uploaded by Strumpet101

So much to do!

The Daily Post-It Flickr Group book arrived today! Very excited! It looks fantastic. You can check my Flickr stream to see it.

The other thing on my desk there is the lapel binaural mic I had on my wish-list for Christmas. The youngest very kindly got it for me. And it won’t work with my iPhone. I ordered that adapter plug you see there which supposedly would work, but the plug doesn’t fit in the adapter plug. So, now I am either returning it (if that’s still possible), and getting a powered mic to go with my iPhone, OR getting a different recording device that my mic will work with.

The new mic thing seems cheaper. But not much, believe it or not. A powered mic that will work with the iPhone ain’t cheap.

But I’d rather not have a SECOND device to carry around.

And I want to be able to record Strumpet’s Voice ‘on the go’.

What a way to say goodbye to 2010

I’m not going to lie. I feel incredibly fortunate to have had such an amazing year in 2010. My life feels charmed at the moment, and I don’t want that to end.  At the same time, I know I have more than one good friend who is more than happy to kiss the ass of ’10 a cheery good riddance. 

So I will cross my fingers and happily usher in ’11 in the hopes that some of my happiness will spill over into the lives of those I care about. Bring it!

Today, I said goodbye to the year in the best possible way.  I got to see my best friend from high school, Adria.  We were inseparable back then.  Many things happened that separated us in the early years of our 20s – many of which I am not proud to admit were my fault. What a totally self-centered and insecure cow I was back then.  Anyway, we got back in touch a few years ago.

Geography, logistics, and life circumstances have prevented us from actually seeing each other in person until today.  She is sooooo pregnant.  Still sooooooo beautiful.  And it totally fed my soul to see her. It feels like two halves of my life have been united.  

I hope I have a chance to spend time with just the two of us sometime not too far in the future.  But for now I am happy just to have seen her and hugged her.  Seen her happy and met her beautiful daughter and delightful
fiancé.

And I’m so grateful to hubbie and the kids for indulging my need to see her and driving all that way.

I wish you all the best for 2011 – all my imaginary and real friends.

I will add an image when I have had a look at ones taken of us together.

— Post From My iPad

Managing My Online Layers

This morning, I took stock of all my email addresses.  I saw my sister post that she had 4 accounts linked to her GMail, and I thought, “Hm? How many do *I *have?”
I got slightly panicky when I realized that I had to make a list, since I hadn’t kept a record of them all.  
Why do I have so many email addresses?  
  • Well, there’s one for money stuff.  If you don’t have a separate email address for anyone who gives you money or takes from you money, I strongly encourage you to get one right away.  It’s a very very simple thing to set up – and a simple way to protect yourself.
  • Then there’s my Battle.Net email address.  I made a separate one specifically for this, so that I could give the address to people I wanted to share my RealID with – this is a World of Warcraft thing – simply put it’s a separate one for World of Warcraft.  Again, a simple way to get a bit of security.
  • There’s strumpet101 – which is my ‘online persona’ account.  This used to be the email address I used for absolutely everything, but, lately, as I have been more and more ‘out there’ in the Meta, I have started separating things out from there.
  • There’s StrumpetsLife, which is the one I use on Strumpet’s Voice blog.  Not sure why.  It was a slip of the tongue while setting up my GoGo Daddy site.  I’m sure it can be fixed, but I’m not sure I can be bothered.
  • There are others, including a photography one, for more private reasons.
Then, today, I decided that it’s really time to stop embarrassing my children.  When they tell people their mother’s email address, they shouldn’t have to say strumpet.  So, I made a new one, to go with my ‘mom’ hat.  And probably for some other places too.
The question is: Where is the line between Strumpet101 and my ‘real’ self?  Who wants which email address?  I think if I send out a ‘change of address’ notice to my family and school friends, it will just cause mass confusion.  I will just have to try to keep the line as clear as possible – knowing that it will be blurry as hell.

Learning to “Let it Go”

I have a problem with tension. 

I carry tension around in me throughout my body, but it is particularly bad between my shoulder blades and through my hips.  I also have been told my pedicurists that I carry a lot of tension in my calves, but this never seems to bother me as much as the tension I naturally carry in my back.

Believe me, I know this is not a good thing.  And it’s not like I don’t try to do something about it.  I go for massages regularly.  Good ones too.  I also make it a point to go for facials – not necessarily just for the good it does my face, but also because it is one of the few times I really feel myself ‘letting go’ for want of a better phrase.

I wish the feeling of tension release that I get after a 90 minute massage or facial would be easier/cheaper for me to come by – but usually, by the next day, the tension is back. 

I really don’t think I am getting this tension solely from the way I sit at the computer. I do my best to be ergonomically ‘correct’.  I think I carry my stress in my body more than anything else.  Which is probably why I get physically exhausted and totally worn out when I am under extra stress.

I tried yoga once.  But I really think I might actually need some sort of relaxation hypnotherapy to force myself to release and let go.  Any recommendations of podcasts or other medium for this purpose would be GREATLY appreciated.  

The GM Diet


Breakfast
Originally uploaded by Strumpet101

I’m on another GM at the moment. Another GM diet that is. We (meaning hubbie & I) have been doing it every six months or so.

If you want to find out about the specifics of the diet, you can read it here:
http://www.iimahd.ernet.in/~jajoo/gmdiet.html

And, yes, GM stands for General Motors of all things.

It’s amazing to me how many people have really really strong and unsolicited opinions about 1-week cleansing diets. Everyone has one they think is better. A lot of people say: “oh! Don’t do that X, Y, or Z is much healthier/better/sustainable/ethical.” Or something to that effect.

The thing is, we researched a BUNCH of cleansing diets before we settled on this one. We chose it because it FITS us. It might not fit everyone’s lifestyle, beliefs, or diet choices, but it works for us. It works because it’s doable, we feel great after a week on it, and even better: we lose a little bit of weight and shrink our stomachs enough to keep our portion sizes reasonable for a few weeks again after being on it.

I’m not saying it’s perfect, but it works for me … and I might moan a lot while on it (especially the first 3 days), but I feel great when finished!

Today will be tough – this apple is about to become my breakfast. Today is all fruit and veges … third day with no meat, and only one little potato for carbs yesterday. But tomorrow, I get to have beef. Lovely lovely beef. Then I’ll stop being so grumpy!

The Friendship Thing.

This is in response to Alachia’s Post the other day.  Her musings made me think about my own friendship situation.

I really do not have any friends here in Denver.  My one friend that I was close to when we lived here before was a friend from way back in college. Unfortunately, she passed away a couple of years after we moved.  The other ‘friends’ were book club friends.  I could get back in touch with them, but I don’t really think I have much in common with them.

I actually know a few people who live here that I knew in Adelaide, Australia too.  We were ex-pat ‘wife friends’.  These are friends that mean the world to you when you are an ex-pat and are desperate too socialize with when you are a ‘stranger’ overseas — you’re suffering from culture shock and really need those other people who are culture shocked around you.  Since moving here, I have only seen two of them once each.  I’m sure they are wonderful people, and I wouldn’t run away if I saw them in the supermarket, but we don’t REALLY have much in common other than having been a good support network for each other when we were ‘foreign’.

I also know a couple of people via Facebook that I was friends with at college in Wyoming about a million years ago.  We made some noises about meeting up — but … meh.

Of course, I am close friends with my two super bosses – but I don’t think that counts.

I have tons of friends in Norway.  Far far away friends.  We aren’t wonderful at staying in touch, just Facebook, Gowalla, and the occasional email.  But when we DO see each other, everything is still the same – we’re just as good friends as we were when we were living in the same city.  I miss them.  Same goes for my friends in Australia — I have really, really good friends in Australia … I miss them, but we don’t get on the phone or write long letters to each other or anything.  And I don’t tend to go around with an aching in my heart because I miss them or anything. It’s not even really something I think about on a daily basis.

All my other friends are online.  I don’t even talk to them using my voice – online written words and images. Chat rooms, Flickr, Facebook, and Buzz.  Oh and tweets.  Although the VAST majority of the people I follow aren’t my friends.  A few I DO consider my friends though, and hopefully they know who they are.  And I feel strangely closer to a few really good friends from high school and college years than I have in a really long time.  And I am so grateful for Facebook for that.  Friends that I have only ‘met’ in the last year or two online also can feel very special to me at times.  I do call them my ‘friends’ when I speak about them.

The thing that struck me the most about Alachia’s musings on friendship is that she said she sometimes longs for the physical aspects of friendship.  And I wonder if I am strange or cold-hearted since I generally don’t feel that kind of loneliness.  I don’t have a longing to connect with people in real life on a daily basis.  I have my family (hubbie and the boys) of course — and being there physically with them gives me all that I need in the physical realm really.

But then, again, I do think it would be very exciting to meet my online friends in the physical world, and there are a few that I wish lived closer so I could hang out with them one afternoon.  But in general, the idea of having a physical friendship that I would have to nurture exhausts me.  My life is already so full – working, mothering, shooting pictures, writing, and playing – I just don’t know when I’d have the TIME to take on something/one new!!  Seriously, I find it exhausting just thinking about it!  And I just KNOW I would fail miserably at it.  I would resent ‘having to’ talk on the phone, meet up for lunch, or, God forbid! on a precious weekend!  I have the occasional night out with my bosses – that keeps me pretty happy.

So, maybe I’m weird.  I actually count myself LUCKY that I have such a rich social life online that I don’t NEED to cultivate real life friendships.  What a whacko 🙂

Besides, I have Toulouse.

It's official – I'm a fan

Having owned the iPad now for nearly 24 hours I have to say I am more than impressed.

It is amazingly fast, it looks absolutely gorgeous, and has even more functions than I expected it to have.

Last night we had a dinner party and it showed a great usefulness. It was constantly being passed around the table to share YouTube videos that were mentioned, look up facts that were In dispute, and to share photos! Really a fun and surprisingly handy addition to the evening.

And this morning, while I have been recovering from the dinner party’s indulgences, I have been lying back on the couch reading my favorite papers, catching up with Facebook, my Twitter feed, watched The Office streamed from my netflix account, surfed Flickr, and am now blogging – all still on the couch!
And the truly amazing thing is that the battery indicator says I still have 46 % battery life left from my first charge!

I know that everyone who has touched this thing wants one now?

And I am officially a fan.

— Post From My iPad

Teaser Tuesday and Third Culture Kids

It’s Tuesday, and here are the rules:

Grab your current read Let the book fall open to a random page Share with us two (2) “teaser” sentences from that page, somewhere between lines 7 and 12. You also need to share the title of the book that you’re getting your “teaser” from … that way people can have some great book recommendations if they like the teaser you’ve given!

There is only one VERY IMPORTANT THING TO REMEMBER:

*** Do NOT post anything that could spoil the plot of the book!!! ***

And here is my teaser, coming from page 217:

“Under the stress of raising kids in settings markedly different from their own upbringings, parents often go to extremes.”

The book is “Third Culture Kids: The Experience of Growing Up Among Worlds” by David C. Pollock & Ruth E. Van Reken.

I have to thank my high school friend Eric for bringing the book to my attention. I would not normally read ‘psychology’ texts, or child rearing texts, but this one is a ‘must’ for me. I am probably what can be classified as a third culture kid. It can most simply be defined as someone who grows up in a culture that is not the culture their parents identify with. Expat kids that become attached to the community they grow up in rather than the community their parents call ‘home’.

I’m only a little ways into the book, but I already think it will be very interesting. And anyone who is a parent to a third culture kid should probably consider reading it!