Stop the Cap! Expands Upon My Recent Internet Savings

Earlier this week, you might remember I planned on switching to Earthlink’s High Speed Cable offerings in an effort to trim away my cable bill. (see http://www.scotthowell.ws/?p=931)

As a follow-up, I was able to successfully make the change over to Earthlink and am now currently saving $20 a month on my internet bill for almost identically the same service. This afternoon I wrote the Stop the Cap! website the good news which was the place I originally found Time Warner’s & Bright House’s best kept secret.

To my surprise Stop the Cap! published my email on their website today and further expanded on the Earthlink savings available and show how you too can try to take part in these savings. I’m glad to be able to help spread the news!

Link: http://stopthecap.com/2011/09/02/an-unsolicited-testimonial-stop-the-cap-saved-us-over-20-a-month-on-our-cable-bill/

Unique Way to Save on your Internet Price.

I don’t bundle as I’m a DirecTV customer and we don’t need a land-line for phone service. In February I signed up in Indianapolis with Bright House for cable internet at 7 Mbps downstream for $44.95. However, when I got the bill it was $50. After several phone calls and complaints I got them to issue credits to my account for the difference. But recently the credit stopped again, and the person who promised vocally a year worth of credits, no longer works for the company and his email bounces back. Unfortunately for me, the message on my account when I call is that he put it in their system to only credit me for 3 months of the $45 dollar price. And since I can’t prove he said a year, there’s nothing anybody will do and they continue to charge me $50 again.

I found an ad for Earthlink Cable on my city’s website today. To be honest I only thought Earthlink had dial-up. Well it turns out – their so called “cable internet” service is actually powered by Bright House. Earthlink just mails you their bloat-ware software upon sign-up. (Which I am smart enough not to install)

So today, I signed up for Earthlink Cable for only $29.95 for the first six months, and then only $41.95 thereafter! It’s cheaper than what I was fighting so hard for at Bright House. There’s actually no installation, as Bright House is actually providing the service. I was told it will just switch over later this month, and my billing will remain through Bright House. I keep my existing modem, etc. but get a cheaper price all because I’m going under the “EarthLink” moniker.

This trick also works for Time Warner customers. You just have to be careful to not get any of the gimmicky add-ons Earthlink tries to sell you like “Wireless Networking” or “Virus Protection”. They will try really hard to talk you into these useless add-ons. (For instance, Wireless Networking is just them leasing you a wireless router for an additional fee)

So in conclusion, in your face, Bright House! 🙂

The Gospel of Steve Jobs .

Although I do wish Steve the best and hope he remains healthy, this article from Christianity Today, though from January, is still very relevant to the recent news of his resignation and touches a little bit on the 2005 Stanford speech he gave that has been floating around on the internet. Ever since I heard the news it has been strange as a Christian to read some of the comments, especially when at times it feels as if we are all giving him his own eulogy.

Even a PC fan-boy like myself who has tried to stay away from Apple has ultimately been pulled in – I’ve owned two iPods and the most recent an iPod Touch that I purchased so I could take video in Ukraine last year when we adopted. I love it and use it daily much to the chagrin of my wife who wishes I could find something better to do at times then play Words with Friends.

So yes, Steve Jobs has impacted the technology world; there is no denying it. But this article can really be an eye opener. I mean no disrespect for people who claim Steve Jobs has helped them get where they are today and are thanking him. I believe that to a “point” it is okay to be thankful for the inspiration certain people can be on your lives.

But, ultimately this tech-event is just another reminder that there is someone far greater to be thankful for and that there is only one person that can really transform our lives and give us hope (a hope that has a true reward, requires no work on our part; completely self-less). And I guarantee his name is not Steve Jobs, not Bill Gates, or anyone else.

The Gospel of Steve Jobs | Christianity Today | A Magazine of Evangelical Conviction

Jackson Likes to Shake His Booty!

During our trip to South Haven, MI last weekend, while walking back from a lighthouse, Jackson started singing “Shake Your Booty”. We’re not sure who he heard it from, but it’s safe to say it was probably from TV. We managed to snag it on film – so here is Jackson dancing in all his bootylicious fashion!

Syndicating from Google+.

I’ve really been enjoying my time using Google Plus. As of yesterday, I’ve officially been Facebook free for a month. Since then, I’ve spent some time trying to figure out how I can combine Google Plus with my blog at ScottHowell.ws. I don’t think Google+ is quite ready to be a blog replacement, but I found some neat ways to push some of my Google+ content over to my blog as mini-blog posts.

To do this I have to use the Public Post option – which I rarely use. But using the Public option makes a bit more sense for blog posts, which is a post that I probably wouldn’t mind sharing on my own website anyway. By using a WordPress plugin called “FeedMyWordPress” and a RSS service called “PlusFeed” I can automatically make any of my public posts carry over to my website. For now I have it set up to just show up as a draft so I can pick and choose what gets published.

I think the majority of my longer blog posts will be made directly on my website, but it will be fun to test this out, as it’s quicker to write a quick post up on here and I’m guaranteed a higher level of interaction with readers and commenting on Google + itself. You will still be able to comment on these mini posts on my site though.

What’s really great about this, if I edit a post in Google+ – the post should correct itself in WordPress as well. Also, it appears to bring in images I post. I will have to see if links work as well.

So we’ll see how this goes. Just testing this out. My hope is that people who aren’t willing to make the jump to Google+ yet will at least see more activity on my actual blog.

Jackson Turns Three!

Today I woke up as a father to a three year old. How does that happen? Lindsey & I haven’t even been married for three years yet. Although we are holding on to most of the festivities until Saturday for his Big “Blue’s Clue’s Happy Birthday Extraordinaire” Party with all of his family, we will be making a special trip to Chuck E. Cheese’s tonight. I had no clue there was one around here until Lindsey set the evening up, and I certainly haven’t been there since I was a kid. But, we should have fun 🙂

We’re kind of having a normal day today as I’m kind of under the weather this week. Not sure what’s wrong, but I’ve had a sore throat since Sunday and it’s made my energy a bit down lately. Hopefully this will be out of my system by Saturday. Regardless, I just wanted to make this quick post today, because today is special for us, as Jackson has never really received any special attention before on his birthday that we are aware of. So it has been exciting to teach him the tradition this summer with my birthday earlier in the month, as well as his 4 year old cousin Reagan’s birthday before that. I think he kind of understands this is a special day and if you ask him about it he will smile and sing “Happy Birthday, Me!” from time to time 🙂

Also, if you haven’t noticed I cut the rope with Facebook and I am exclusively on Google+ at the moment. Some of you may have wondered where I’ve went, while others may not have even realized I had left. But, I want to make it clear that I didn’t drop Facebook because of Google+. I decided to drop Facebook because of some peer pressure, and because I waste too much time on there as it is and there are some other areas in my life I want to try to focus more on. So for now, that leaves me on Google+, which I believe is a better social network. Right now it’s not as busy as Facebook, but is definitely growing and a much more appropriate avenue for sharing more privately with certain friends than Facebook allows.

If you are missing me on Facebook, rest assured I’m still around. I’m going to commit to blogging more on a daily basis again with shorter posts to make it up until more people transition over to Google+. I would have blogged more this week, but like I said I’ve been kind of under the weather. Also, even if you are not yet a member of Google+ you might get email updates from me when I update my blog. I’m sending these out only to some close friends and family that I don’t think would be bothered. These emails will actually contain a link to my blog, but also a way to join in on the conversation at Google+, if you do decide to join. If you didn’t get an email for this post & would like to be added to the blog list please let me know. Also, if you get an email and you don’t want to get them from many any more, there should be an unsubscribe link as well in the email. (Or just let me know, and I can take you off manually)

That’s all I’ve got from me. Hope everyone is doing well!

Projectile Oatmeal, Toddler Eating Issues & Facebook’s Fate

First their was the fear of Jackson going potty in public without a diaper. Luckily I made it through that father test, however yesterday I faced another challenge I had been hoping would never come – a sick toddler.

Surprisingly, Jackson has never really been that sick since he’s been home with us. There was a couple of times he had a cold and a real bad runny nose and cough, but that’s to be expected I guess and they usually came and went very quickly. Last night however Jackson had a strange quick turnaround from healthy bouncy boy to a lethargic sick kid with a fever. It happened really quickly after his afternoon nap. I noticed he wasn’t full of his normal hyper self after his nap and he wasn’t really interested in doing anything beside watch TV. Then, when Lindsey got home he actually started to feel very hot and was almost falling asleep. Of course we couldn’t find our thermometer, so Lindsey headed to Target real quick to grab one. Well, while she was gone he would not do anything. I even asked if he wanted to do his favorite activities which include Eating, Dancing and Horse rocking. He politely told me “No Papa” to each question. Well after giving him some water, Jackson vomited everywhere nearly missing me in the process. Pretty gross. But he did end up okay after that. We gave him some medicine for the fever and in less than an hour he was back to his normal self running around and wanting to play. He’s been fine ever since! It was such a strange quick sickness, but it seems to have passed.

Also, this is kind of on a different subject, but lately in the last month Jackson has started going through an annoying phase. I’m sure it’s normal, but we’re not sure how to handle it. Basically, he’s refusing a lot of the food we offer him for meals, sake the food he really enjoys like oatmeal, hotdogs, and the like. He used to eat almost anything we made for dinner as long as we cut it up in small pieces, but now he is being really stubborn.  A typical dinner tonight of left over lasagna took about an hour or so to even get him to eat a few bites. Does anybody have any advice?

Last, I am closer and closer to dropping Facebook. I know I’ve been driving the point a lot, but Google+ is great. I’m not pushing the idea simply because you should join “another” social network. But, for many of us Facebook is an addiction that hundreds of my friends are hooked to. I want to break free from spending hours each day reading my feed. I’m still a tech guy at heart though and I think social networking is okay and fun, but Google+ is changing the way you share information and let’s you really share what you want with only who you want. And as I mentioned earlier,  one of the best features is the quick way to just read up on people you care about and hide all the other junk if you just need a break.

So as an update to my last post, I’m closer to possibly quitting Facebook. There’s still clever ways I can share my blog updates via email to my close friends until they make the jump. If I do move to Google+ I plan on updating my blog more frequently though. If I make this “bold” move, I’m excited to see how much of my day will be free to actually get work done and in turn spending more quality time with my son.

As a side note, I’m going to help a new group of Stay at Home dad’s by hosting a weekly hangout on Google+ to offer support and friendship for other Stay at Home Dad’s – and specifically for those who happen to have adopted. More details on that soon!