Top 10 List of Geek/Nerd Things To Do This Year

One of my goals for 2012 from a previous post was to learn obtain some sort of new geek/nerd skill, trait or as I’ll add; notch to my geek utility belt. I’ve been pondering what that item should be and was torn. I’ve decided first of all to add this as a constant annual goal. This came clear to me as I ended up with a list of possible items for this year. I ended up broadening it to ten items. Some might be a little lamer or easier than the other, but this is the first year and it might advance over the years. I’m also open to suggestions from readers…if there are any out there.

I’m open to geek/nerd activities that allow me to involve my two younger sons Quattro and Mace.

Here is the list.

  1. Build something with a solar panel.  I always wanted to build something that uses renewable energy. May it be a Lego robot that travels across the picnic table or get a solar power kit from Harbour Frieght and wire up all the external house lights.
  2. Learn how to splice fiber cable. This one would be tough since we don’t carry the necessary tools at work and could be an expensive project to make mistakes in. Playing with small strands of glass sounds like too much fun though. My skills at crimping Cat5e and Cat6 cables as sped up this year and comes in handy when you want to make clean precise cable runs. Continue reading

Goals or Resolutions for 2012

A new year is upon us and who knows it could be the last according to the Mayans. So, on the positive side of that doom and gloom, we only have to make a list of new year resolutions one more time. I hate calling them resolutions. I’m not trying to resolve some behavior or attitude. I want to accomplish something, yes. It makes it sound so much better than a resolution. A resolution makes it sound like I am an overweight, racist, cold hearty, unhealthy schmuck and I need to resolve or abolish an attitude to either stay alive, keep my marriage, or regain state custody over my kids.

So enough with that. This is what I want to get done this year. (We won’t discuss my progress from last year because I barely did a damn thing on that list. I’m going to keep track of my resolutions via a great app called Wunderlist.

-Stay well under 200lbs. [Optional goal is 180lbs.] (This has been my goal for the last couple of years and been successful.)
-Complete 2 certifications for work.
-Play more disc golf.
-Disc golf in 2 new states. (I try for one new state a year but I missed 2011.)
-Go fishing with the kids more.
-Take the kids camping.
-Get all the rooms on the first floor painted.
-Insulate 2 of the 3 crawlspaces.
-Replace the ceiling fan.
-Replace the garbage disposal.
-Replace all electrical outlets and light switches.
-Expand the garden and hook up a rain barrel system.
-Build a compost pile.
-Decommission one of my servers.
-Write 12 blog posts to this blog or any reincarnated form. (Actually 11 if you count this one.)
-Hook up a surround sound system in family room.
-Earn Xbox Gamerscore of 13500.
-Read 10 books.
-Learn a new geeky/nerdish trait or skill.

I keep making this list longer and longer. I should probably stop now or my end of the world will really be depressing since I might not complete most of these when the world implodes next December.

Did I disable cable TV yet?

As I mentioned in an earlier blog post, my family and I were going to experiment with streamed content to our TV in the hopes to cut down our monthly bills and eliminate mindless TV watching of shows we don’t care about but since it is the only thing on at this time slot we will watch it. So, did I cut the cords with my cable provider RCN? No. Why? Cause it would of cost me more with RCN if I got rid of TV and just kept Internet and phone. Sounds ridiculous? You would be right. Granted, I knew there was a discount for having all three services bundled with them but I didn’t think the discount ran this deep.

So, I called an RCN rep to discuss my bills. At the start of this I had premier TV package, 10Mbps Internet, and unlimited national phone and was paying $131 a month before taxes. After telling the rep I wanted to eliminate cable she ran through some options with me. I knew this was coming since they need customer retention. She first offered lowering my cable to standard HD and added the two year price lock which would drop me to $91 a month before taxes. Sounds good. So what if I got rid of TV and returned their DVR box and kept Ineternt and phone? That would be $112 before taxes. Crazy! So, of course we kept cable, lost a lot of channels that I don’t watch but the family does. (They will survive. They have been loving the Netflix.)

I have not picked up my Roku yet. Netflix on the Xbox 360 is serving its purpose so far.

If you are looking at lowering your bundled TV/Internet/Phone bills, call them up and ask questions about dropping the TV portion. They will either give you new customer rates or some sort of promotional code. You too could drop 25% off your monthly bills with them.