Time To Cut The Cord?

Over the past couple of years I’ve been reading a lot about people who have been “cutting the cord” and I think it’s time I become one of those people. Back in October 2013, we moved into a new house in Escondido, California. When we first moved in the only Internet service available was from Cox Cable. Within a few weeks I was seriously wondering if we a mistake buying this house, because the Internet service was just that awful. I was getting so desperate I was considering using a hot spot for Internet service in my own home. Streaming was out of the question irregardless. A hot spot was looking like the only alternative, so I could at least get some work done. Just as I was reaching my tipping point with the horrible Internet service, we got a letter in the mail notifying us the AT&T Universe was finally in our neighborhood. I couldn’t sign up quick enough; our Internet troubles became distant memories. We signed up for a package getting us top tier Internet speeds and just about every channel they offer for right around $130 a month. I think that’s pretty reasonable. That was about one year ago, and evidently this was only introductory pricing. This month our bill skyrocketed to $242.59! I’m not sure who can justify almost $250 for Internet and television service each month, but it sure is NOT us. To prepare for cutting the cord, I ordered a Roku 3 set top box and an amplified HDTV antenna. My plan is to use the antenna to watch live TV and use...

Time to start blogging again…

Where have you been? It’s been a little over 8 months since my last blog post and I’ve really been having the itch to start it up again. To be honest, the main reason I stopped blogging for awhile is that I was dealing with a lot of unpleasant things that just wouldn’t have been very fun to write about. If you were a follower of my blog you know that I moved to Texas back in mid 2011 only to realize what a mistake that was a few months later. I certainly don’t want to air all the dirty laundry of that experience here, but the biggest fallout was some bonehead SEO practices by my former partner. While I was off practicing total white hat SEO, even writing about it, my partner was off doing all the black hat no-nos known to man. Things such as article spinning, buying links, comment spamming, low quality directories, etc, etc. When I first discovered what he had been doing I was pretty outraged. When I confronted him about it his exact words were “But it works”. Just thinking about it right now makes my head almost explode. I equated it to poker during tournament play when you bluff all in. There is that old saying of “It works every time, but once”. Even after we had a long conversation about shutting the black hat crap down, he still persisted behind my back. While we ultimately decided to part ways because of this (and several other reasons), Panda and Penguin finally caught up to his “it works” approach and left me with...

The New iPad, iPad 3, iPad Resolutionary (whatever you want to call it) review

As most of you know, I’m a pretty big fan of Apple products. I’ve had pretty much every Apple product that’s come out the past 5 years including the iPod, iPhone, iPad, iMac, Mac Book Pro, MacAir, Mac Pro, etc. So, it’s without a lot of surprise that I preordered the new iPad when it was announced a few days ago. I’ve been getting smarter and more cost efficient with my Apple upgrades by promptly selling my old version when the new product comes out. Apple products hold their value surprisingly well, and the trend held true when selling my old iPad 2. I paid $599 for my iPad 2 wifi 32gb when it came out last year and I was able to recover $340 by selling it this week. I used a new eBay feature called Instant Sale which worked perfectly. They even pay for shipping, so I was able to net the full $340. This time I decided to get the iPad with the 4g LTE incorporated – it was a no-brainer for me to go with Verizon vs AT&T. After traveling the country in our RV last summer it’s pretty clear who has the better coverage. When my iPad 3 arrived today my first thought was “Wow, this is heavier”. That lead me to the Apple website where I was shocked to find out I wasn’t imagining things. The new iPod is 1.46 pounds (662 g) vs the iPad 2 at 1.33 pounds (601 g). That’s a full 10% heavier and it’s VERY noticeable, I’m honestly kind of annoyed by the extra weight; I assume the...

Final Space Shuttle Discovery Mission

For those of you who aren’t aware, yesterday was the final launch of the Space Shuttle Discovery. I was lucky enough to be able to watch the launch from the plane since we had DirecTV service on our flight. The launch left me wondering what’s become of our space program. When I was a kid the entire country stopped to watch the Space Shuttle launches. When I was in elementary school, we had the TV rolled out so we could watch the launches. I also remember, like it was yesterday, watching the Space Shuttle Challenger blow up. It was a moment of great tragedy for the country, but everyone pulled together and it became a time of great patriotism. Today, it seems like hardly anyone could give a crap. I know this county is in the midst of a horrible budget shortfall, but I’ve always been a big believer in the space program. To me the space program pays dividends way past the initial money that is spent on it. It creates high paying jobs, supports rapid science advancements, produces 100’s of useful inventions, gives the country something to pull for, and fulfills mankind’s appetite to explore. I want to see the USA balance its budget and cut down the deficit more than anyone, however I think a case could be made that space funding actually could help with that. Obama went on and on during his State of the Union about how this county needs to advance in technology; the space program could help with that. There are only 2 Space Shuttle launches left on the calendar. We...

Dragon Dictate 2.0 – A Real Lifesaver

I saw a commercial the other day for Dragon’s dictate software. I was quite skeptical because I used software like this in the past and it was horrible. However, it’s been several years and I was hoping the technology had improved a lot. Since I find myself writing more than I have in years, software like this could prove invaluable to me. It would allow me to write my posts much quicker and with fewer errors. On top of this, it would save wear and tear on my wrists. I find my fingers and wrists start to hurt when I type for an extended period of time. With all this in mind, I figured I’d give it a shot. I ended up going with Dragon Dictate 2.0 Bluetooth for Mac. They also have a Windows version which is at version 11. The reviews for the Windows version are much kinder, but I use a Mac exclusively. The Bluetooth edition comes with a USB wireless headphone / microphone and sells for $269.99 on Amazon.com. However, you can buy the software for as little as $125.98 without the microphone. I found the pricing for the bundle to be a better option for me since I wanted the headphone anyway. The software arrived yesterday and this entire post has been written using Dragon Dictate 2.0 for Mac. To this point the software only made two errors, which I find very impressive. The box came with two DVDs and the wireless headset. I’m not sure why dictation software needs two DVDs, but it seems like the first DVD had very little on it....

I can’t believe that I did it – Twitter

When it comes to technology I’m usually ahead of the curve, but social networking is another story. I was one of the last people I know to create a Facebook account, now I’m behind the curve on a Twitter account too. In the case of Facebook, it was my wife who finally twisted my arm to create an account. However, I have to admit, it was one of the best things I ever did since I was able to reconnect with so many old friends. I’ve gotten way more enjoyment out of it compared to the amount of time I’ve put into it. I only really read Facebook updates a couple times per week. I also try not to post unless I think it’s something others would really like to know about. The picture feature of Facebook is also awesome. However, I’m not sure I really see the value in this Twitter account. It’s just one more thing for me to read. One more thing for me to update. One more thing for me to waste my time on. The only reason I finally broke down and created one is because I’m getting back into web marketing again. Every site I see has a little t or bird on it and I feel compelled to join the mix. Only time will tell how I truly feel about Twitter. I’m going to do my best to add this to my daily life for the next few months and give it an honest “college try”. If you would like to keep up with my Twitter updates, please follow me on my...