Smart TV

​Now for something totally boring. 

We bought ourselves a new TV. Not necessarily for christmas but it worked out that way. Shawn had a 60″ tv when we met so we put my old 45″ in the spare room. Out of nowhere, the big one just up and died. [1]It might be fixable but we both wanted a new one. I will try to get it fixed a little later. It’s getting burn in from the hours and hours I spend playing Destiny  I was happy with the 45″ back in the day but I’ll tell you downsizing to that 45″ again was painful after having the 60″ for several years. It was like going from the old 36″s to a 19″. Yeah, you know exactly what I mean!

I’ve always been a big fan of Panasonic, but we opted for a Samsung. We got the 60″ SUHD 8-series version. It’s super thin, light and pretty easy to setup. The only frustrating part was the remote wasn’t paired to the TV and I got frustrated for a few minutes thinking it was broken. Why do men hate reading directions? Once I figured it out, everything went smoothly.  There is almost no bevel on the edges, which is different from our old one. It’s also LED instead of plasma. I really liked plasma TV’s as they are much easier to setup and use. For the longest time, they provided a truer representation of images and motion without pixelation. However, LED (and soon OLED) won the format war with ever decreasing production costs. The upside is much lower power consumption. The power cord is practically the same type you’d find on a DVD player. I’m curious to see if I notice a difference in our electric bill since we watch TV a lot. Anyway, almost all the TVs we saw, regardless of brand, were super thin. The quality is similar but the devil is in the details. 

I knew I wanted the same size, or bigger, but I didn’t really care about all the fancy features. It’s a damn TV, it doens’t need all the fancy stuff. I’ve seen other smart TV’s at friend’s houses and they all felk gimmicky. Or at least that is what I used to think. hehehe  Our new one is pretty snazzy. To my surprise, I totally love the enhanced features. The menu is super quick so it doesn’t feel gimmicky at all. I wonder if that is why I thought previous tvs were so gimmicky? It also supports 4K even though I didn’t really care about that either. It supports wireless or ethernet to connect to the web. Another pleasant surprise, it supports Google Play, which I use a lot. Google Play and Amazon Video are my go-to sources for streaming media. It also supports Hulu, Nextflix, Vudu, etc. They actually came preinstalled on the TV. There is a list of other apps you can download for broader options. Pretty much every movie channel was availabe, ie HBO Now, Starz on Demand, etc. You can easily use the TV and still cut the cord from cable as long as you have internet. And while I have several of these available thru the Tivo, it’s actually easier to use and navigate them thru the TV. 

The frame rate is faster so it makes everything look live. In some examples it can ruin the effects for you. heehee  We eventually turned it off. It’s hard to explain until you see it in person. It gives everything a sharper more realistic view as if you’re watching it live. Shawn doesn’t care for it but I kinda like it. The TV is also very bright. We’ve had to lower the brightness pretty far to feel comfortable. Even now, anything with white space will light up the whole room. The only odd part is the TV only has one connection port. It connects to a small hub that supports 4 HDMI ports and few others including usb. I didn’t really like the idea but considering how thin the TV is it makes sense. If you’re into video games, like I am, it has a special ‘game mode’ setting for making games play smoother, and it really works. I noticed a difference right away. 

So, if you’re in the market for a new TV, I recommend the Samsung 8-series line. It is well worth the money. It was on sale black Friday so we got a decent deal on it. If you do the Vizio line, which is cheaper, do the M-series, NOT the E-series. Vizio’s were about $300-$400 bucks cheaper but we really wanted the higher quality display for gaming. Vizio had a much lower rating for gaming and the refresh ration for motion were lower. Now, if you don’t watch a lot of TV or use it for more than the casual show, these differences really don’t matter. 

The TV also serves as a nice distraction to keep me off FB more. heehee


1 It might be fixable but we both wanted a new one. I will try to get it fixed a little later. It’s getting burn in from the hours and hours I spend playing Destiny

Game On

I am so looking forward to this game. The first one didn’t get much press but it was a very fun game. If you’re a nerdy consoledarkness gamer like me that enjoys a game that’s fun to play, this is a good one to have. In the first one, the story isn’t overly complex but it gives you a decent history as it unfolds. It had a few bugs in that it was too dark on some scenes and the monologues were boring as hell and couldn’t be skipped. But the game play was fun. If you’re like me and you enjoy FPS [1]first person shooter games w/more than just army nonsense, then this one is worth checking out. Well the first one was. I haven’t played part 2 yet but it’s been getting good reviews.

Like blogging, I come and go on gaming. Free time tends to be limited these days so just finding time to get lost in a game is challenging enough. lol I gauge a games worth on how many times I play thru it end to end. If I play it once and put it down, then it might have been ok but not phenomenal. If I’m willing to play thru it on increasing difficulty modes or just like replaying over and over, then it’s a keeper.

Anyway, I’ve always been a fan of scifi/horror/fantasy games. I know everyone else is big on war and sports games but I need more than speed or just different scenes to shoot opponents. I like a game with good visual layouts, music that fits the game play, and ease of use. The latter can be harder than you think. Every game developer seems to wanna ‘reinvent’ the game world which can often start with large expectations and small outcomes. You also have to have a feel for the game developer. Some companies turn out crap over and over until they find a hit. Some actually spend a lot of effort really focusing on how gamers play the game. The later often turn out to be big hits. I’m a huge fan of the Gears of War franchise. The third one seemed a little rushed but it was still good. The God of War games were awesome too. Both had great game fly, difficulty but not too difficult, and wonderful visual/audio scenes. I wish they’d come out with another Ratchet & Clank game. It was one of my all time favorite games. lol I played each one over and over and over.

Anyway, rather than wasting money I don’t have on buying all these, I use It’s like Netflix for video games. I can play a game as long as I like and send it back when I’m done or I can buy it at a reduced rate. I used to buy 5-8 games a year and that shit adds up. Now I play twice that many and only buy the ones I really like.

For you nerds, I’ve got Infamous 2, Darkness II, and Portal 2 all up next in queue. My username/gamertag for Xbox 360 and PS3 is the same as my twitter handle.


1 first person shooter

Weekend “Stuff”

This past weekend was rather fun.  I went for a 150 mile ride two days in a row.  The first day I went solo and the 2nd day I rode with a friend from the sports bike group.  The 2nd day was the most fun as we drove down to Big Basin park.  The views were awesome and the windy roads even better!  There was a moment when we were taking a break where this very friendly guy came over to chat with us.  I first pegged him as gay…well until his wife sauntered over.  He was very friendly.  One might say too friendly for your average straight guy.  My friend and I both thought there might have been a ‘story’ there. lol  Anyway, the rides were awesome.  I’m loving the new bike more and more every day. I am kicking myself for waiting so long to upgrade.  As for the shoulder, it is healed up nicely.  I still have some numbness around the wound from nerve damage but it is better every week. 

Friday night I also had dinner with Adam & Brad.  I hadn’t seen them in ages and it was nice to catch up.  They seem very acclimated to life in the big city now. heehee  Brad is looking rather hot as he has been hitting the gym pretty hard.


I finished Gears of War on the first 2 difficulty settings. The hardcore mode is proving rather difficult.  I can only imagine what “insane” mode is going to be like. lol  The online mode for this one is way ahead of the previous version.  I have to admit the game has consumed a lot of my free time as of late. 


TFA was in town this past week as well.  We had an awesome time, as usual.  He gave me the nicest compliment w/o even realizing it.  While I was undressing (get your mind out of my gutter), he casually mentioned, “someone’s been working out“.  It was so unrehearsed and off-the-cuff I knew he meant it vs just trying to flatter me. hehehe  So…he got it extra hard just for that, twice! 


I haven’t really been inspired to blog much lately.  Even my twittering has waned.  After getting yet another round of emails asking “are you ok?”  I figured I should at least post an update.

Nothing is really wrong, [1]well other than being a 2nd class citizen in the eyes of the law again. I’ve just been busy.  Work has been crazy.  My union duties are extremely busy right now.  The other day I had so much union related stuff going on, I only sat on channel for about 45mins the whole day.  I’m not complaining as I usually get results.  Plus, I am actively working to make my place of employment better. 

I’ve also been heavily involved in playing Gears of War 2.  I freaking love that game.  I beat the campaign level once already and am really enjoying the online play.  If you have an 360, you should try it even if you don’t normally go for FPS (first person shooter) games. 


The Prop 8 scandal still smarts.  I will admit to being rather sad lately over the whole ordeal.  I’ve attended several rallies and sit-ins.  And while it feels good, I just feel like rallies don’t accomplish much after the fact.  Where were all these people when our rights got taken away?  I’ve also donated all I can at this point.  I’ve pushed my finances as far as I’m willing.  I’ve already forgone riding gear, my holiday overtime pay and money for personal holiday gifts this year.  I can’t afford to give anymore right now.  I know I sound pissy but I’ve done my part.  I’m certainly not giving up but we all have limits. 

I’m curious about the whole “amendment process”.  I’d love to start an amendment to ban divorce in California.  Or maybe we could ban marriage all-together.  Or how about we ban Mormons?  How very “christian” of you to force your beliefs on others. Don’t like the idea of marrying a gay person?  Well then don’t do it you ignorant hate-mongering fuckers!  That’s ok, you’ll get yours in the end.  I have no doubts in that. 


I’ve been hitting the gym consistently.  I’m back up to a full routine.  Still haven’t hit my original limits but slow and steady.  I’ve been good at incorporating cardio into my routines and I’m getting used to it now. 


I had a date last week.  It was a medic who was doing his Medic cert back when I was doing my EMT cert.  We used to run into each other at the hospitals and chatted often.  Anyway, long boring story short, it did not go well.  One, he was clearly husband shopping.  Two, he had some internalized homophobia.  Neither of which I am inclined to put up with.  The final straw was when he indicated the whole Prop 8 scandal had very little to do with him.

I think he was more disappointed than I was. heehee  His face fell several times in the course of our conversations.  It was clear he expected me to be of a similar mind-set since we worked in related fields.  I almost felt sorry for him.  Almost. 


I’ve taken my daily journals private again as they aren’t very nice right now. 


1 well other than being a 2nd class citizen in the eyes of the law again.

Self Portrait

Rooster + Pork?

Recently, not one but two of my blog buddies sent me T-shirts in the mail.  This pic was sent by Large Tony.  I absolutely love it!  He was worried if I would wear it.  Hell, I’ve already worn it 3 times. lol  *Thanks T, I greatly appreciate it!*

Oddly enough, the 2nd shirt is also black and was sent by an anonymous source.  When I get time to wear it, I’ll snap off a pic. 

My weekend is fast coming to a close.  Friday, I spent about 3 hours doing continuing education for my Fire training.  I’ve mentioned before I’m a training Officer for the Fire civilianization project.  I previously went down to SFO to see Fire operations at the airport.  This time I got to drive all over the bay in one of the 2 fireboats owned by the Fire department.  It was awesome of course! 

The Phoenix - Full Shot

This trip is normally reserved for Supervisors and Managers.  There were a couple of snarky comments made in the background questioning whether I should be there.  I was happy to hear the Fire training manager silence them with a curt explanation. [1]Forgetting for a moment, I have more fire/medical training than most of them combined.  I don’t understand petty power trips at all . Anyway, you can click over to flickr for a full rundown on the pics.  I tried to take a few more this time even though some are pretty much the same picture. 


Saturday was pretty low key.  The Latin came into town and we spent a good chunk of the day just hanging out.  I hadn’t seem him lately, we had fun.  We also decided to go see the Batman flick.  I’d been wanting to see it and he hadn’t seen it either so it worked out great.  The movie was exceptional!  Much better than I ever expected and way better than part I.  Keith Ledger turned in one of the best performances of his career.  Not to mention, the plot was very complex and constantly evolving. 

Latin & Moby

He took off to go bar hopping with some coworkers and I met up with Adam for Sushi for dinner.  Brad is at a conference so it was just the two of us.  We were caddy as usual.  Afterwards, we hung out at 440 Castro (aka the old Daddies bar) with Dan.  Ironically, we spent a good chunk of time watching the Olympics while there. lol  We watched this one chick slaughter the entire competition in a long distance run.  Even if we kept laughing at how emaciated and hungry she looked. 

I didn’t stay more than a couple hours. [2]I get bored in bars easily these days w/o some sort of carnal distraction.  hehehe.  I left the boys and came on home.   

So now, I’m just finished uploading pics to flickr, made myself a yummy egg/bacon bagle, caught up on Tivo, and replaying thru Gears of War.  GoW 2 is due out in November and I can’t wait! 

Not a bad weekend.  Not too terribly busy but still managed to be preoccupied. 


1 Forgetting for a moment, I have more fire/medical training than most of them combined.
2 I get bored in bars easily these days w/o some sort of carnal distraction.  hehehe.

Weekend In Review IV

What did I do this weekend? [1]besides being a pig.   I ended up playing Uno w/Brettcajun on the Xbox.  I can advise Brett is just as competitive at playing Uno as is at tennis. lol  He was determined to play till he got a couple wins under his belt.  He did finally.  I introduced him to a couple of my XBL [2]Xbox Live buddies.  One, from the UK and one from Boston.  It was fun.  I love Uno and playing with friends is even better.  Most of all, I loved watching Brett squirm.  I also knocked off a few games w/my buddy kristaki.  He got served on Call of Duty 4.  heehee

I also caught up on a lot of Tivo. [3]Oh yes, I was very productive  New stuff, I had 5 Battlestar Galactica, 3 Dr Who, and 5 South Park episodes.  Reruns, I had 5 ST: Voyager and 4 Stargate: Atlantis episodes.  BG is good but a bit extreme if you ask me.  They are really trying to go out with a bang.  Dr Who is constantly evolving.  I don’t like the new sidekick as much but she is growing on me.  I hope they bring Rose back.  South Park was, well South Park. lol

I was a dirty pig more than a few times to say the least.  Details forthcoming.

TFA isn’t feeling so well this week.  He had a crown replaced and had some severe pain afterwards.  Of course, the dentist office was closed over the weekend.  I felt so bad for him having to fly all over creation with a sore tooth.  Seems he is a bit better today if not a little worn out.  He always teases me because I always say my weekends are "uneventful".  lol 

Oh, I also moved all my pics over from Picasa to Flickr.  Flickr has become just so damn handy, I couldn’t resist.  I inadvertently left some safety settings open though and got an stern scolding email.  Ooops.  All the tweaking, sorting, and labeling was a bit tedious but would been regardless of what I was using.  I didn’t realize how many damn pics I had to sort thru.  I’ve only uploaded a fraction so far.  Overall, I’m happy w/flickr but I still don’t like the idea of someone else controlling my data.  I can always delete’em if I don’t like it. 

Tomorrow, I have to be up at daylight thirty as I’m teaching again this week.  Thankfully, I had a hard ass workout today and feeling a bit sleepy.  I’m still gonna be dead on my feet come 1700 hours.  Oy!


1 besides being a pig.
2 Xbox Live
3 Oh yes, I was very productive

Random Smandom VI

Nothing to see here, move along. *g*

Analytics: My blog traffic has slowed to a measly 5 thousand hits a month now.  Guess my absence as of late is showing.  I’m still solidly a "referral blog".  Meaning?  Most folks who find me do so thru another blog vs just random search engine queries.  Large Tony is still the leader in referrals.  Twice the number as anyone else.  Brettcajun is holding a respectable second place like a trooper.  And a surprise, Durban bud is bringing up the rear. [1]as he tends to do.  *EG*


Did you know if you put 4 lesbians together in one sitting they will share their most intimate medical history out loud?  My ears are still burning.


It was HOT here yesterday.  Today is a bearable 63 degrees out.  Hot weather makes me frisky.  Oy! 


I finished Call of Duty 4.  I was reluctant to play at first however, it is a decent game.  I still have an issue w/playing games where humans are killing each other.  However, I am an adult and I KNOW the difference.  The online matches are great if you like XBL. [2]Xbox live


I’ve been good about hitting the gym.  I decided to work on bulk the first 3 months and leaning out the last 3 months.  I a little proud of how often I’ve been going.  I tend to be a slacker on weekends but not lately.  People are noticing so I must be doing something right. 


I’ve been hiding the daily journal entries as I figured they were boring everyone.  I got several inquires as to why I wasn’t doing them anymore.  Ok, ok, I’ll leave them open.  I will be kind enough to turn off the subscribe notification thingy so you don’t get bombarded. 


I think I corrupted my blog database.  My posts are acting erratic.  One from last night just showed up and another is MIA completely. 


1 as he tends to do.  *EG*
2 Xbox live

Catch Up Already

Oy! Yes, I know I’m behind with blogging.  I’m still adjusting to the new schedule.  Plus, I have a trainee at work so even less time to blog.  Arrrgh!  I finished Halo 3 last night on the xbox so one less distraction there.

My buddy Frank from Urswine Addiction was in town this past weekend.  We had a great time hanging out together.  I haven’t seem him in a while.  It was IBR (International Bear Rendezvous) weekend.  We went to Sweat on Sat night which was fun.  I think I’m getting old though.  I used to go all night dancing.  After just a few hours, I was dead on my feet and ready to go home.  lol  There were some yummy eye candy though.  Plenty of beefy hairy bears were in attendance and shaking their "groove thang". 

I wanted to go see Kathy Griffin while she was here but I waited too long to get tickets.  I was more than a little bummed but no one to blame but myself.  I heard she was her normal hoot and half.  *le sigh*

We went to see Jumper at the movies on Sunday.  The plot was a little lacking for my tastes however, good movie.  Worth seeing.  Good action, good acting, and a little bit of eye candy.  Never a bad combination.  heehee  I’m not sure if it was because of IBR or not but there were quite a few piece of eye candy in the theatre as well.  Frank and I were ogling boys left and right. [1]He is a bit flirt just like me 

Monday was pretty low key.  We hung out and went to the gym before he had to head home.  All in all a good weekend. 

What did you do?


1 He is a bit flirt just like me

Fat Heifer

I’ve been lazy the last couple of weeks. Ok, that is half true. I’ve had a busy work schedule and lazy on my weekends. I haven’t been to the gym in almost 2 weeks either. I feel like a fat heifer. I’ve probably put on about 6 lbs. Ugh! I think I feel the need to purge. j/k. This morning I woke up with a small sore throat. I ended up calling off work today. No gym yet again it seems.

I finally beat Timeshift on the Xbox so the absent-minded look in my eyes from too much gaming has begun to fade. It was a decent game. Nowhere near as compelling as Gears of War. The time-shifting ability isn’t that new either. Prince of Persia has a similar feature. Still it was a nice twist on an otherwise mediocre FPS [1]first person shooter for you n00bs game.

I felt guilt for having a booty call yesterday. I hope I didn’t give him a cold. lol He took it like a pro and wore me out. I did manage to get out and pick up a few more Christmas cards. I’m almost done shopping for cards and will starting mailing them out next week. [2]I spend more money on cards than presents I think. I like buying christmas cards.

The roomie got back last night. The apt. has felt empty the last two weeks without him. You know how it is when you get accustomed to having someone around.

I also had dinner w/roblog last night. It was good to see the big man-brute in the flesh again. I felt so bad though. His tendons are still giving him grief. We yacked and caught up on the random goings-on in our lives over burgers and fries. Always good to see him.

I’m feeling quite chatty-kathy today so expect several more blog posts before the day is over.


1 first person shooter for you n00bs
2 I spend more money on cards than presents I think. I like buying christmas cards.

Update IV

Been a bit distracted lately so no posts. I’m back.

The past weekend w/TFA was nice. No natural disasters this time so we got to spend some quality time bonding and getting to know each other more. We skipped all the touristy stuff. We got to the beach one day, movies the next but mostly we spent quality time at home relaxing and enjoying the down time. I made the mistake of telling him the one ticklish spot on my body. He spent the whole weekend tickling me every chance he got. [1]My voice tends to go up several octaves when I’m being tickled.

In work related news, I got notice today that I am being sued by a previous trainee. [2]She is suing quite a few people in the dept as well. I am not in the least bit worried. The dept. bent over backwards to not only accommodate her but also gave her an incredibly lengthy extension beyond what anyone else has ever received. I am dismayed she simply refuses to accept the simple truth the job function was beyond her abilities.

The xbox is finally back! They sent me a new one as promised. So far, it is working like a dream. I haven’t had much time to play but I did get a couple hours in yesterday playing Bioshock. Excellent game. Given a choice, I have to say the xbox still beats the PS3. Sorry Sony, you dropped the ball.


1 My voice tends to go up several octaves when I’m being tickled.
2 She is suing quite a few people in the dept as well.