Friday, 8 November 2013

10:44 – As it turns out, Amazon Prime Video now provides a queue, which they call your watchlist. After I signed up for Prime, I started adding series that aren’t available on Netflix streaming to our watch list. I added series 3 of Downton Abbey and series 3 of Justified without any problem. Then I added Under the Dome. It showed up on our watchlist, but rather than having the Prime logo under the series icon, it had a note that it costs $2.99 per episode. I went back to the page for Under the Dome, which indeed showed that series as free with Prime. So I contacted Amazon tech support.

When I got to the page with contact information for Amazon tech support for Prime instant videos, there was no phone number. Instead there was a field to enter my phone number and there were two icons, one for “Call Me Now” and one for “Call Me in Five Minutes”. I clicked on the Call Me Now icon, and phone rang literally less than two seconds later. After about 6 minutes on hold (versus the 5 minute estimate) I was connected to a support person. I explained the weirdness about Under the Dome. She checked on her own system and said that she was seeing the same error that I was seeing and that she’d report it, but that I could indeed watch the series without being charged per episode. I verified with her that any time we attempted to watch video that was pay-per-view I’d have to enter my PIN number, so I didn’t have to worry about being charged unexpectedly.

So, I added Amazon Prime videos to my channel list on the Roku box and verified that my watch list showed up on the Roku. When Barbara got home from work, we decided to watch Downton Abbey. We watched the one-minute summary of series 3 and started the five-minute summary of series one and two. About two minutes into that, the screen went black. Not good. Then the Roku box rebooted spontaneously, something that had never happened before. I hope that was coincidental. We’ll try Amazon video again tonight.

14:27 – I just saw a report that yet another former NFL player, Tony Dorsett, has been diagnosed with chronic traumatic encephalopathy. The only reason Dorsett’s illness is notable for me is that I met him once or twice when I was a photographer for my high school newspaper and yearbook. He played football and basketball for Aliquippa/Hopewell, which New Castle High School frequently played against. Tony was a year behind me. Back then, his name was Dorsett with the emphasis on the first syllable. I seem to remember that he changed the emphasis to the second syllable when he was in college or early in his NFL career. I was very sorry to read of his problem. He was, as I recall, a nice guy and a hell of an athlete.

16 thoughts on “Friday, 8 November 2013”

  1. Yeah, I saw that elsewhere a couple days ago. It’s an impressive enough project as is, although several orders of magnitude less impressive with a purchased mirror. (Making that 70-inch mirror is literally 99.9999% of the job.) The largest amateur scope I’d heard of before this was 40 inches, which was unbelievable itself. This mirror is 1.75 times that diameter. Many mirror makers would tell you that the effort involved increases at least with the cube of the mirror diameter, although most would argue for fourth power or even fifth.

  2. I gave up on the Roku box a long time ago. The only TV Stations we can receive are our local PBS channels because of our terrain. We are about a mile from the antennae for all of the other local stations, but they are on the other side of a hill. The only TV we have is a 22″ Samsung monitor that came with a tuner. We can plug that into a Netbook to watch videos. We also have a 1024 x 768 resolution projector which we can watch videos on on an 8′ wide screen. Streaming from Amazon worked OK, but with some buffering, with our old 1.5 meg down 768 kb up DSL. We switched to a 40 meg down 20 meg up DSL a couple of weeks ago. That makes streaming videos much smoother.

    I have a Blu Ray player which can also do Netflix and Amazon streaming. I haven’t got around to taking it out of the box. I’m not sure how well it will do with the projector as the projector does not have an HDMI input. The player has component video out but I’m not sure how well that will work. I’ll try it eventually.

    I have dual 23″ IPS monitors on my desk. Shows where my priorities are.

    Rick – mostly TV-free in Portland

  3. My Roku, LG Blu Ray DVD and 2 Wiis all do a variety of streaming services including NF and AP. The closer you can get to a WiFi connection the better. If you can wire them in all the better.

    Component or HDMI I see little difference.

  4. ” The only TV Stations we can receive are our local PBS channels because of our terrain. We are about a mile from the antennae for all of the other local stations, but they are on the other side of a hill.”

    Pretty much the same deal here; our inside active antenna (Mohu) pulls in three digital PBS broadcasts from across the lake down near Plattsburgh. But the major networks are south of us across a bunch of hills and ridges, so no dice there, and, no loss. Otherwise we have Netflix and streaming from the Windows 8 machine upstairs of videos and tee-vee series. Haven’t tried Amazon Prime streaming yet. Mrs. OFD is rarely home to watch anything with me and I only bother with maybe one movie every other night or a series episode per night. Mostly stuff she won’t watch.

    Right now I just finished Season Two of “Homeland” and still want to jail or execute the leading characters, with the addition of the truly obnoxious teenage girl. The young actress playing her does a terrific job of it or maybe it’s not that much of a stretch, who knows. Now on Season Three of “Justified,” to be followed by the seasons of “Boardwalk.” All of this will likely take me well into the wintuh, along with various Christmas movies and videos and music.

    40 here with a brisk wind, and overcast; rumors of snow flying soon. Mrs. OFD due back tomorrow early evening from Phoenix for about 24 hours, then on to El Paso, which she is not looking forward to. Already had two more gigs lined up for early December and now they want her for a third, just before Christmas. Business is booming.

  5. Wow, Obummer came to the Great State of Texas this week and called our Governor Perry bullheaded for not expanding Medicaid to the point that we could not afford it (and a lot of Texas doctors do not take Medicaid or Medicare patients anymore):

    “Perry maintains that expanding the program isn’t the right move and turned the attention back on the president.”

    ““President Obama deceived the American people by promising that anyone who liked their health care plan could keep it, but millions of Americans are now discovering that simply isn’t true,” Perry said in a statement. “Now, he’s coming to Texas in a desperate attempt to salvage his ill-conceived and unpopular program from a Titanic fate by preaching expansion of the same Medicaid system he himself admits is broken.”

    ““In Texas, where Medicaid already consumes a quarter of the state budget, we simply need the flexibility to implement fundamental, state-specific reforms to our Medicaid program, instead of a one-size-fits-all Washington mandate, before it bankrupts our state,” he said.”

    Obummer is toxic according to Krauthammer. Looks like Obummer is becoming desperate also.

  6. Right now I just finished Season Two of “Homeland” and still want to jail or execute the leading characters, with the addition of the truly obnoxious teenage girl. The young actress playing her does a terrific job of it or maybe it’s not that much of a stretch, who knows.

    I like this show. Good writing and very watchable. I really cannot stand having Damian Lewis in one of the lead roles. Something about him doesn’t fit the character (Nicholas Brody). Claire Danes also bugs me a little. She plays her role (Carrie Mathison) well, but she gets increasing masculine-looking as she gets older. She could totally play a transgender role convincingly. As for Brody’s kids, I really don’t care for that side story at all. I am sure it will all tie back into the plot eventually, but I find myself tempted to fast forward through those scenes on my DVR. Though, Morena Baccarin (Jessica Brody) is very pleasing to the eyes. I fell for her when she was playing Inara on Firefly. Mandy Patinkin as Saul Berenson is just great casting.

  7. Our family doesn’t watch TV at all. One of my sons would if we had cable or a tuner and the other hooked up an antenna to a small set to watch something pointless — football or something.

    As for me, I’m not even tempted to watch anything on the air. The only video entertainment I’m interested in is Japanese tentacle porn, and that isn’t broadcast in the US. Thank you, Jesus, for giving us BitTorrent so I can download all the Japanese tentacle porn I want.

  8. Agreed on Lewis in the role of Brody; something not plausible; even the period he was supposedly in that hole, eight years, and then upon being treated decently, goes over whole-hog to islam, does not convince. Eight years in a desert hole with intermittent torture and most folks would be insane or dead. I really dislike the Claire Danes character and she is also unconvincing; in real life I’d have her medicated and at a desk analysis job there, at best; but her antics would have gotten her cashiered, of course, if not actually jailed. The actress playing the Brody daughter is totally convincing as a thoroughly obnoxious, self-centered and preachy teenage girl, with which I have some experience. In real life I’d come close to shooting her. The son, what little we see of him, seems mostly normal except for being the usual Merkan momma’s boy. I’d also stick the Patinkin character behind a desk and tell him to STFU, if I didn’t actually cashier or jail him also. Agreed on Baccarin playing Jessica; a mostly stable and put-upon, upright wife and mom, who got a raw deal; in real life I would have expected her to marry that Marine captain/major within four or five years, max, of the Brody NCO presumed dead.

    So “Justified” is now a relief of sorts here; salt of the earth characters up to no good, most of them, who could easily be found right here in rural and small-town Vermont.

  9. Then I just now made the mistake of looking up “Japanese tentacle porn” on the net, because I needed a break from exchanging electrical plug assemblies on two stoves here today and wish I hadn’t.

    I am sending a crew out now to disconnect SteveF permanently from the internet.

  10. Now that you are a Primus Amazonian, can you watch “Wolfblood” for free? I agree with another quote that I saw about Wolfblood, kind of Buffyish. And the scooby gang is just as weird as the protagonist is also.

    I am sending a crew out now to disconnect SteveF permanently from the internet.

    +1 million. Don’t google it whatever you do, I think my retinas are scarred for life.

    And “Justified” is totally cool. Everyone in “Justified” crosses the line, even Raylan. OK, especially Raylan. I still double watch the intro just to hear the theme song twice (the wife thinks that I am nuts).

  11. I have the CD that includes the theme song; kinda addictive; rap married by shotgun and rye whiskey to bluegrass.

    Wife here knows full well I’m nuts. But so is she.

  12. Sometimes I’m so awesome I just amaze myself. I was just goofing around up there, not intending to troll or prank anyone, and even so I pranked OFD and Lynn. I rule!

  13. There’s gotta be a vid somewhere on the net of nubile young wimmenz playing electric guitars in showers, nekkid.

    My hair is the same color is that RickRoll’d fella, only a bit dahkuh; maybe if I style it like his, shave off all the facial hair and learn some spiffy dance moves, I can get chicks like them blondes in the vid.

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