Making changes in my digital life

Rearranging my digital footprint

Taking some baby steps

I am tired of cable TV packages and having to renegotiate every 1 or 2 years so I have made a move to change how I watch TV. And how I get it.

Got my own cable modem

netgear

No biggie here, did that a ways back. Why pay $10 a month when you can get an equal or better unit for just $70 or so. Get a good one! And get a nice wifi router to get your wifi coverage. Some units are AIO so it works out well if you aren’t sure how to hook it up. I know how to hook it up but our house is small and an AIO Netgear 450 does us just fine.

Go independent on your phone

ooma-logo

Comcast and others bundle a VoIP phone into the package. If you are already a cell phonie [no land line] then you are one step ahead. If not, you can do what I did and switch to Ooma. This #1 rated VoIP unit simply plugs into your router and you’re good to go. Now your house phone cost you $4 a month after the cost of the unit. And it works with your existing phone units. And your phone number is free!

Dumped my cable package! I just need internet!

I disconnected all of my Comcast TV stuff. The DVR and the set top units and took them in to my local Comcast center. And then dropped all cable TV and phone packages. I dropped back to just high speed internet.

Go Local! Get a Mohu! Or two!

th

Over the air TV is free. And a good share of it is now HD. I have a pair of outstanding  Mohu products, a Mohu Leaf 30 [$30]downstairs and a Mohu Leaf Metro [$15] upstairs. The Metro is a smaller version of the Mohu Leaf 30. These are pretty vanilla units but they work spectacular for me. Thin , flat and flexible. You can even paint them! I used command strips to hang them. I picked mine up at my local electronics retailer Micro Center. I am sure I could have shopped around for a better price but I was there!

I purchased them a while back just because I was curious. Boy! Was I surprised! Both units pull in over 35 channels! Many are the local channels in HD. Plus ION and a bunch of other channels that cater to old movies/series and a bunch of crap shopping channels. Once you winnow through the crappy sites you get about 10 or so that are your local channels and a couple of others like Rev’n a car channel. Most cable packages gig you extra for the local channels. They are free! You just have to plug in an antenna to get them in HD.

Move to Sling

sling-logo

I made the move to Sling to get what we wanted. It still has some goofy channels thrown in the mix but I get all the ones we watch for way cheaper. And it is monthly! Like Netflix. I don’t watch that much sports so I don’t need those. I can always catch those on my local channels. Sling is a web app driven package so you sign up for the packages you want, get the payments arranged [monthly] and  if you have a smart TV or DVR is is a simple download to get it up and running. Even my Xbox1 has it!

 

RokuTV_logo_1

If you don’t have a smart TV/DVR then get a Roku Express [$30 or less] and you are ready to go. BTW Sling offers a free one if you pre-pay 2 months! Download the app to the Roku and you are good. It turns you dumb TV/DVR into a smart unit without a lot of effort. I have 2 of these.

The end result

So far I am happy

Despite the front end costs of all the items, spread over a period of time,  it was a nice change to not get hammered by a package with a bunch of useless channels served to you as a “discount bundle” where the price explodes at the end of the term! I own all the hardware.  And it is all compatible with whatever internet provider you choose.  I like Comcast speed just not enchanted with their package pricing. Once we find out what we have in usage I may even be able to throttle back on the internet speed [75mbs > 25mbs ] and save a bit more. But we will see how the net traffic shakes out.

Faye Dean can get to whatever she wants to watch and is happy so life is good! I can get to the “short list” of channels and that is nice.

 

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THIS IS MICHIGAN

vintage_mi_magnet

A little bit of Michigan history …

  • Michigan is first in the United States production of peat and magnesium compounds and second in gypsum and iron ore.
  • Michigan is first in state boat registrations.
  • The oldest county (based on date of incorporation) is Wayne in 1815.
  • The Packard Motor Car Company in Detroit manufactured the first air-conditioned car in 1939.
  • Often called the Wolverine State, there was speculation that there are no longer any wolverines in Michigan , until one was spotted in 2007.
  • Michigan is the only place in the world with a floating post office. The J. W. Westcott II is the only boat in the world that delivers mail to ships while they are still underway. They have been operating for 125 years.
  • Michigan was the first state to provide in its Constitution for the establishment of public libraries.
  • Michigan was the first state to guarantee every child the right to tax-paid high school education.
  • Four flags have flown over Michigan — French, English, Spanish and United States.
  • The Michigan State Motto (written in Latin) translates to: “If you seek a pleasant peninsula, look about you..”
  • Detroit is known as the car capital of the world.
  • Alpena is the home of the world’s largest cement plant.
  • Battle Creek is the cereal capital of the world. The Kellogg brothers accidentally discovered the process for producing flaked cereal products and sparked the beginning of the dry cereal industry.
  • Caro is the he largest village in Michigan.
  • Colon is home to the world’s largest manufacturer of magic supplies.
  • Elsie is the home of the world’s largest registered Holstein dairy herd.
  • Grand Rapids is home to the 24-foot Leonardo Da Vinci horse called Il Gavallo. It is the largest equestrian bronze sculpture in the Western Hemisphere.
  • Indian River is the home of the largest crucifix in the world. It is called the Cross in the Woods.
  • The state capitol with its majestic dome was built in Lansing in l879.
  • Novi was named from its designation as Stagecoach Stop #6 or No.VI.
  • Rogers City boasts the world’s largest limestone quarry.
  • Sault Ste. Marie was founded by Father Jacques Marquette. in 1668. It is the third oldest remaining settlement in the United States and the oldest town between the Alleghenies and the Rockies .
  • In 1817, the University of Michigan was the first university established by any of the states. It was founded by priests. Originally named Cathelepistemian and located in Detroit, the name was changed in 1821. The university moved to Ann Arbor in 1841.
  • Michigan State University has the largest single campus student body of any Michigan university. It is the largest institution of higher learning in the state and one of the largest universities in the country. Michigan State University was founded in 1855 as the nation’s first land-grant university and served as the prototype for 69 land-grant institutions later established under the Morrill Act of 1862. It was the first institution of higher learning in the nation to teach scientific agriculture.
  • Michigan’s official state stone is the Petoskey and found along the shores of Lake Michigan. The painted turtle is Michigan’s state reptile.
  • The Mackinac Bridge is one of the longest suspension bridges in the world. Connecting the upper and lower peninsulas of Michigan, it spans five miles over the Straits of Mackinac, which is where Lake Michigan and Lake Huron meet. The Mighty Mac took three years to complete and was opened to traffic in 1957.
  • Gerald R Ford grew up in Grand Rapids and became the 38th president of the United States. He attended the University of Michigan where he was a football star. He served on a World War II aircraft carrier and afterward represented Michigan in Congress for 24 years. He was also an Eagle Scout, the highest rank in Boy Scouts.
  • Rising 460 feet above Lake Michigan on the western shore of Michigan is the Sleeping Bear Dunes. Living among the dunes is the Dwarf Lake Iris, the official state wildflower.
  • Vernor’s Ginger Ale was created in Detroit and became the first soda pop made in the United States. In 1862, pharmacist James Vernor was trying to create a new beverage when he was called away to serve our country in the Civil War. When he returned four years later, the drink he had stored in an oak case had acquired a delicious gingery flavor.
  • The Detroit Zoo was the first zoo in America to feature cageless, open exhibits that allowed the animals freedom to roam.
  • The Ambassador Bridge was named by Joseph Bower, the person credited with making the bridge a reality, thought the name Detroit-Windsor International Bridge was too long and lacked emotional appeal. Bower wanted to symbolize the visible expression of friendship of two peoples with like ideas and ideals.
  • Michigan has more than 11,000 inland lakes and more than 36,000 miles of streams.
  • Michigan has 116 lighthouses and navigational lights. Seul Choix Point Lighthouse in Gulliver has been guiding ships since 1895. The working light also functions as a museum, which houses early 1900’s furnishings and maritime artifacts.
  • Forty of the state’s 83 counties adjoin at least one of the Great Lakes.
  • Michigan is the only state that touches four of the five Great Lakes.
  • Standing anywhere in Michigan, a person is within 85 miles of one of the Great Lakes.
  • Michigan includes 56,954 square miles of land area, 1,194 square miles of Inland waters, and 38,575 square miles of Great Lakes water area.
  • Isle Royal Park shelters one of the largest moose herds remaining in the United States.
  • Some of the longest bulk freight carriers in the world operate on the Great Lakes. Ore carriers 1,000 feet long sail Michigan ‘s inland seas.
  • The Upper Michigan Copper Country is the largest commercial deposit of native copper in the world.
  • The 19 chandeliers in the Capitol in Lansing are one-of-a-kind and designed especially for the building by Tiffany’s of New York. Weighing between 800-900 pounds apiece they are composed of copper, iron and pewter.
  • The first auto traffic tunnel built between two nations was the mile-long Detroit-Windsor tunnel under the Detroit River .
  • The world’s first international submarine railway tunnel was opened between Port Huron, Michigan and Sarnia, Ontario, Canada in 1891.
  • The nation’s first regularly scheduled air passage service began operation between Grand Rapids and Detroit in 1926.
  • In 1879, Detroit telephone customers were first in the nation to be assigned phone numbers to facilitate handling calls.
  • In 1929, the Michigan State Police established the first state police radio system in the world.

****** Thanks to DetroitMemories.com

You Know Your From Michigan

Here is your true Michiganders list

Or is it Michiganians? I’m not sure actually! Whatever!

See if you fit in

vintage_mi_magnet

You Know You’re From MICHIGAN If . . .

  • You know how to pronounce Sault St. Marie.
  • You know what a Soo Lock is.
  • You know a pastie is something you eat.
  • You knew that Mitt Romney’s dad was named George, and what he did for a living. If you’re REALLY good, you know that Mitt’s real name is WILLARD.
  • You eat corn on the cob with home grown tomatoes for dinner in the summer.
  • You know that UM’s biggest rival is Ohio State.
  • You know that walleye is better than perch.
  • You know what a sea lamprey looks like, and what it can do to a fish.
  • You know only a suicidal fool takes a boat onto Lake Superior in November.
  • You know what a lake REALLY is.
  • You show people where you’re from by pointing to a spot on the back of your left hand. (Especially useful if you’re from the Thumb or the Little Finger.)
  • You consider it a sport to gather your food by drilling through 18 inches of ice and sitting there all day hoping that the food will swim by.
  • Your local Dairy Queen is closed from November through March.
  • You know that UP is a place, not a direction.
  • You know it’s possible to live in a thumb.
  • The only place in the world can you experience all four seasons in one day.
  • Your doctor tells you to drink Vernors and you know it’s not medicine.
  • You know what a ‘party store’ is.
  • You’ve never met any celebrities.
  • “Vacation” means going to Cedar Point.
  • At least one member of your family disowns you the week of the Michigan / Michigan State game.
  • Your idea of a traffic jam is 40 cars waiting to pass an orange barrel.
  • Half the change in your pocket is Canadian….eh?
  • You drive 86 mph on the highway and pass on the right.
  • You know how to play (and pronounce) Euchre.
  • It’s easy to get Vernor’s ginger ale, Better Made chips, Sanders hot fudge sauce, and Faygo pop.
  • You know how to pronounce “Mackinac.”
  • You’ve had to switch on the heat and the air conditioning in the same day.
  • You bake with SODA and drink POP.
  • The movie “Escanaba in Da Moonlight” wasn’t funny. You consider it a documentary.
  • Your little league game was snowed out.
  • The word “thumb” has geographical rather than anatomical significance.
  • Traveling coast-to-coast means driving from Port Huron to Muskegon.
  • You measure distance in minutes.
  • When giving directions, you refer to “A Michigan Left.”
  • You know that Kalamazoo not only exists, but is only 100 miles fom Hell.
  • Your year has two seasons: Winter and Construction.
  • Home Depot on any Saturday is busier than toy stores at Christmas.
  • You know when it has rained because of the smell of worms.
  • When owning a Japanese car was a hangin’ offense in your hometown.
  • You believe that “down south” means Toledo.
  • Your idea of a seven-course meal is a six-pack and a bucket of smelt.
  • You know that Big Mac is something that you drive over.
  • You can see a car running in a parking lot with no one in it, no matter what time of the year.
  • You end your sentences with a preposition; example: “Where’s my coat at?”
  • All the festivals across the state are named after a fruit, vegetable, grain, or animal.
  • You think of the four major food groups as beef, pork, BBQ sauce, and beer.
  • You carry jumper cables and snow chains in your trunk.
  • You design your kids’ Halloween costume to fit over a snowsuit.
  • Driving in the winter is better because the pot-holes are filled with snow.
  • Your favorite holidays are Christmas,Thanksgiving, and the opening of Deer Season, which you consider a National Holiday.
  • You have 10 favorite recipes for venison.
  • You learned to drive a boat before you could ride a bike.
  • You owe more money on your snowmobile than your car.
  • Your snowblower has more miles on it than your car.
  • Shoveling the driveway constitutes a great upper body workout.
  • You’ve ever used the word “bogue.”
  • The “Big Three” means either Ford, Chrysler and GM, or Little Caesar’s, Domino’s, or Hungry Howie’s.
  • You think alkaline batteries were named after a Tiger outfielder.
  • Your definition of a small Michigan town is one that doesn’t have a lake.
  • You define summer as three months of bad sledding.
  • You attend a formal event in your best clothing, finest jewelry, and snowmobile boots.
  • The municipality buys a Zamboni before a bus.
  • You have experienced frostbite and sunburn in the same week.
  • The orange barrel is considered Michigan’s ‘other’ lighthouse.

****** Thanks to DetroitMemories.com

Sweating is good for us!

Go ahead and work up a sweat! It’s good for yu1

Fellowship of the Minds

When was the last time you perspired?

Did you know that sweating is good for us, physically and mentally?

benefits of sweat

Read more about it, here.

I’m gonna put on my walking shoes and go take my walk in the hills and, hopefully, work up a sweat. insouciant cat

How about you?

~Éowyn

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Great Day! Got a lot done!

Today was an excellent day! Sunny and warm.

Got all sorts of stuff done. We replaced all the home fashioned patio planter hangers [5] with some metal shepherds hooks and to go along with it we re-potted the 5 hanging baskets we got at the Royal Oak flower sale last Sunday from the tacky white plastic pots to some nice wire baskets with natural liners. Way nicer!

then it was on to a quick clean up of the patio. There may be a big to do on the patio next Sunday so I might as well start getting it all lined out now.

I even got some time in on Wun Tunn Zoop and stripped and repainted two stone shields from under the van. I am still tangling with the goofy start / run issue but may have actually figured it out thanks to my assistants on a couple of the diesel forums. Thanx guys!

With all that done I decided we should treat ourselves to dinner and got a pile of Jet’s stuff. An Italian Jet Boat and salad for Faye Dean and a Jet 10 pizza for me! Easy! Throw in a couple of “doctored” sparkly waters and some smooth jazz and it was a great finish on the patio for the evening.Nice! Cool and relaxing.

Hope your day and evening were good for you too.

Later!

Let the mowing begin!

Yesterday was the official opening day for mowing season here

It is a major event with having a triple lot. But I got it done in a couple of hours. I did not edge, trim or blow. Just mowed. I did pay a price with leg cramps all night but it got done.The cool weather has gotten the lawn off to a good start.

The next order is to get Faye Dean’s garden spot ready for planting. That is the next big event. Maybe later this week.

And, of course, the Patio Is Open! So a small cookout complete with some soothing jazz for a background and the sound system checked out nicely and  was the finish to a busy day. And the patio is ready for a nice gathering or two. I did take time to treat the patio to a coat of weed killer so I don’t have to deal with that aggravation during the season.

Now… when’s the party?