A little bit of everything

March 27, 2011 | By Patrick | Filed in: CMS, Geek, Gymnastics, HKS, PAS, Volleyball.

This blog is supposed to be about our family, right? Apparently, nothing happens for a month, something short is written, then another month goes by, then a quick post is written, rinse, repeat.

Since it’s been a while – oh, about a month – I’ll get in a bunch of updates here.

On the vehicle front, the February Flickr photos on the right will show you our Escape is no more. Monica, Hannah, and a friend rolled it on the Interstate on Sunday of President’s Day weekend. Everyone is OK with just a few scrapes, but it was quite traumatic for those involved. Fast forward to this past week when we finally took delivery of a Hyundai Sante Fe. It’s plenty safe, reliable, and is definitely an upgrade to what we had before. It should be great for getting us to future out-of-town volleyball tournaments. Speaking of…

Hannah is again playing club volleyball, this time for Wisconsin Performance 18’s Red. This year has been up and down (mostly down), but she maintains her positive attitude. Coaching and player changes in the early part of the season made the team dynamic, well, dynamic. They are finally starting to play better together which is showing better results on the court. Two more tournaments remain in LaCrosse and Louisville (yes, Kentucky, over Easter weekend).

Clare is in a recreational gymnastics class once a week and really enjoys being back in the gym. She has also started working out at the Prairie Athletic Club another two times per week for a couple of reasons: 1) To stay in shape, and 2) To watch a little cable TV.

Did I mention we cut the cord on cable/satellite TV? We were using Dish satellite for our TV up until last fall and paying about $75/mo. for multiple receivers, HD channels, DVR, etc. I knew we were getting a deal that was winding down so I tried to get it extended. Shouldn’t be hard to keep cutting me a deal to keep me as a customer, right? No dice. Really? You now want me to pay $90/mo. for the same service even though 95% of the TV we watch is broadcast over the air? Say goodbye, Dish. I went and purchased a slightly better, smaller over the air antenna, mounted it on the south side of the house, hooked it up to a Tivo Premier and we’re now quite happy with our setup. Between the Tivo, an iPad, and multiple Roku boxes on other TVs, we can watch just about anything we want on our own schedule.

As an appeasement to the rest of the family, we all got Android smart phones around Thanksgiving and we’re loving them. Anytime/anywhere access to our e-mail, the Internet, and, most importantly, our calendars is proving to be invaluable. Keeping the batteries charged is our biggest challenge. It is, however, mighty convenient when we’re all using the same chargers.

For the technically-minded, Froyo (Android v2.2) *finally* became available for the type of phones this family has. Thank you, Samsung for allowing us to come charging into 2010. As with most things technical, I learned a bunch experimenting on myself, then repeated the process for everyone else. Piece ‘o cake.

Also in tech, I ultimately decided *not* to get an iPad 2. When it was first announced, I was all over it. I spent a week trying to decide which version to get – Wifi only? 3G+Wifi? Black? White? What capacity? Definite signs of Apple Fever. When reviews started trickling in and it was finally time to pull the trigger, I decided to wait. Generally speaking, the consensus was the following: If you already have an iPad, don’t bother with iPad 2 unless you want to shell out at least $500 for a mediocre camera. If you don’t already have one and want one, the iPad 2 is a great choice. Since I fell into the first group, I was OK waiting it out.

Sorry for the seemingly aimless updates, but I wanted to bring the handful of readers up to date. Really, I’ll post more frequently.

Coming up: Clare’s bedroom flooring replacement. Right now it’s just an activity to accomplish over Spring Break. Full story as it develops.

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