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An Article A Month | Kestrel's Aerie

An Article A Month | Kestrel's Aerie

An Article A Month

I was considering a total ripoff of the Reader’s Digest long-time motto (“An article a day of lasting significance”1), but I don’t flatter myself that much. However, it seems I can be moved to write here on a monthly basis lately, at best. Perhaps I’m boring myself, and fear spreading that ennui to the rest of you. If so, you’re welcome.

However, now that we’re all here (thanks for stopping by!) I should try to keep you at least mildly entertained. And this is the point at which my carefully constructed plan (a.k.a. “house of cards”) falls apart. So, what to talk about?


Well, since I last wrote, I’ve endeavored to enjoy my subscription to MLB.TV; unfortunately, the Los Angeles Dodgers are doing their best (well, worst) to make that experience as miserable as possible. While I didn’t have a lot of hope for the Dodgers this season, when the best parts of the best aspect of your team (the bullpen) are on the disabled list, and despite some bright spots hitting-wise, the season is shaping up to be even worse than expected. The only saving grace is that the rest of the teams in the NL West aren’t performing appreciably better. Oh well, Vin Scully calling baseball at Dodger Stadium is always a treat.

Speaking of Scully, I’ve watched other games and listened to other announcers this season. What. the. hell. They all SUCK! Granted, I haven’t listened to all the announcing teams throughout MLB, but other than Scully, I haven’t heard a single announcer I’d want to listen to on a regular basis. What happened to the legacies of Jack Buck, Curt Gowdy, Ernie Harwell, Russ Hodges, et cetera? (And don’t you dare say “What about Joe Buck?” Just…don’t.) There just doesn’t seem to be any passion for the game among the announcers—even those who used to play!

Oh, and one more thing on that MLB.TV sub… If you recall, one of the reasons for getting the PS3 was to be able to watch baseball on my TV, rather than on the computer. Thank you for your lousy security, Sony PlayStation Network, which prevented that for a good three weeks and more.


PS3 and Home Video

So yes, the PS3. Shortly after the Masters in April, I switched from Tiger Woods Golf to Dragon Age: Origins (Ultimate Edition). I’m still on my first play-through, as a dwarf rogue, disgraced son of House Aeducan. I don’t play every day (and we’ve had company since last Friday, so I think I’ve played once since then), but I’m enjoying the game quite a bit. I know others get into the romance aspects, but I guess I’m too old to see that as a “must-do” part of the game. I do get a kick out of the byplay between Alistair and Morrigan, though. Sten, I haven’t much use for. Next time, I’ll leave him in that cage.

Last week, I signed up for Netflix. I got a Roku XDS for Mrs. Kestrel’s TV, so she can stream Netflix movies and TV shows to the set in her sewing/computer room. I also got a Sony BRD S5802 3D-capable Blu-Ray player (for that day, probably very far in the future, when we have a 3D TV). The player has built-in wireless, so we can also stream Netflix to the 40″ TV in the family room, as well as watch the DVDs there.

Via Netflix, I’ve become a bit of a Doctor Who fan. I’m only halfway through Season 1 (2005 version), but enjoying it a lot, although sometimes I want to slap that rubber grin off Chris Eccleston’s face. I like Billie Piper a lot, but for some reason, her overbite becomes more pronounced in each episode. Of course, that could be my imagination.

Here’s a tip for anyone setting up a wireless streaming device (Roku, Apple TV, Blu-Ray player, television): Hook it up to a hard ethernet connection first. You’ll invariably have to get a firmware update, and it will just be a lot easier to run the network setup routines for wifi if you start out connected to ethernet. Oh, and…be sure you have your television set to the correct input for, say, your Roku, if you want to see the setup screens. Doh!

Somewhat coincidentally, I noticed we were paying more to our local cable provider for one premium movie channel (HBO, in our case), than we’d have to pay if we had all of the movie channels! So we now have Showtime, Starz, Encore, and The Movie Channel packages. The downside of all this is that I’d happily give up ALL those movie channels, but in doing so, I’d lose a bunch of HD programming (including NFL Red Zone), and our Internet connection speed would be lowered from 30Mbps to 20Mbps. I really don’t want to make that sacrifice, especially since we use wireless streaming so much. (And just in case you’re wondering, I get almost every bit of that 30Mbps downlink speed: Speed tests consistently show 29.75Mbps or better, regardless of time of day. I love my regional provider!)


Given our three-week odyssey in New Zealand earlier this year, our travel plans for the remainder of 2011 are rather modest. We thought we might be going to Coeur d’Alene, Idaho, and Yellowstone National Park in June, but that plan appears to have fallen through.

We will be going down to Florida in September to help Alison celebrate her seventh birthday; that trip will be at least a couple weeks, perhaps a bit more. We’ll also be in New York City for Thanksgiving with our youngest son, and we’re planning on doing a lot of sightseeing on that trip. Let’s just hope the weather cooperates! Other than that, I think we’ll be home most of the rest of the year. We’d hoped to have the Florida clan here for Christmas, but that’s not going to work out. We may try to get back there in early December; otherwise, I’m sure we’ll be heading south shortly after New Year’s. At the moment, our Christmas plans are to be here for the holidays, but that’s subject to change.


I’ve saved the worst for last. Why worst? Well, start with “I haven’t written a damn thing since March” and go from there. I haven’t been blocked; far from it. It’s been more like, “I just don’t feel like it.” Yes, I’ve been distracted by shinies (PS3, games, streaming Netflix, and so on), but this time of year, I don’t want to be inside writing. I would rather be outside doing…something. (It doesn’t help a bit that I hate gardening and yardwork, I know.) Of course, it would really be helpful if the weather were at all conducive to being outdoors more than once a week. So far, it hasn’t been.

Ah, well…this too shall pass, I hope. The curious thing is, I have a very good idea of what I want to write next in both of my WIPs. I simply haven’t been motivated enough to pop open Scrivener and actually start typing. Once I get past this point, I’ll definitely let you all know. Maybe about this time next month? *grin*

  1. Or something very similar
  2. …which I see is now $6 cheaper, at $170, than what I paid including shipping!


6 Responses to An Article A Month
  1. Tami
    May 19, 2011 | 10:34

    The beauty of feed readers is that your posts arrive as you write them, without any need on my part to continuously check for updates. =] Write at your pace, whatever that may be.

    Will you be visiting our favorite Bre while you’re in Florida? :D

    Also, I’m sorry to hear your Idaho trip fell through!! I’ll take extra pictures for you. <3
    Tami recently posted…Steampunk Costume – Harley QuinnMy Profile

    • Steve
      May 19, 2011 | 17:22

      Probably won’t get down to Miami this time around, but you never know. I’m sorry the Idaho trip fell through too: We were going to spend time with Janet’s brother and his wife, and we don’t get to do that often enough.

  2. Mazil
    May 19, 2011 | 19:11

    No ennui! I enjoy reading your updates. I am always a little more interested in the writing-related segments, but it’s really nice to know what you’re up to the rest of the time :)

    Yellowstone National Park! I would love to go there one day. NYC is also on my “to visit one day” list. You’ll have to post some photos for us :D
    Mazil recently posted…Reviewing my eReaderMy Profile

    • Steve
      May 20, 2011 | 08:48

      My brother-in-law and sister-in-law are currently on a beer tour of Belgium, and they’ve been blogging about it regularly, with pictures (it’s Bill’s first attempt at blogging, I believe). I think when we travel anymore, I’d like to try to do the same sort of thing here.

      After all, we’ll probably have at least the iPad if not my laptop, and I can even blog from my phone (painful as that might be).

  3. Andrew
    May 23, 2011 | 13:23

    It’s a shame that the PS3 network is down, and possibly compromised sensitive data. Great post though!
    Andrew recently posted…Make Your Own Homemade ShampooMy Profile

  4. Andrew Bailey
    June 8, 2011 | 00:29

    sounds like you’ve had fun with your new gadgets!

    and the reason Billie is not in Dr.Who any more is because her teeth grew so large that her jaw exploded!
    Andrew Bailey recently posted…I am NOT a BMX bandit!My Profile

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