Thursday, December 31, 2020

Happy New Year, 2021!


Happy 2021 from

Have a Happy and Safe 2021! May your 2021 year be much improved over 2020! 

Let us reflect a little on 2020 and what all happened this past year. We started 2020 thinking it was any typical year. The Kansas City Chiefs won a Super Bowl, college basketball was in full swing, and then we all had to quarantine. If we did go out of the house, we had to wear masks. We were stuck in our homes for most of the year which continued through the end of 2020.

It is time to look to the future as 2021 begins. The vaccines are being deployed which gives us hope to start the year. We can only hope that 2021 will return to our new normal where we can once again travel, once again see our loved one, and once again go to places to eat. Yes, the pandemic has changed us, but it has not defined us.

So, here I hold up my glass to toast to my family, friends, everyone I know, and those that I do not know,  to have a wonderful, safe, and Happy New Year!

Sunday, December 27, 2020

Changing Cell Providers After Being with #Sprint for Twenty Years and Going with New Option on the Market for Cheaper Monthly Price #Tmobile #MintMobile #Options #blog

Photo by Polina Zimmerman from Pexels

Much like my dad used to be, when I find a brand I like whether it is food, a product, or a service, I tend to stick with that brand until I am forced to leave or become unhappy with the service. After twenty years of being with Sprint for my cell phone service, we are making a change. 

I will first say that overall, I have been happy with my Sprint service and unlike others that I have spoken to throughout the years, I really do not have a lot of issues with signal within the city limits or really when traveling. Yes, there are some areas where it is impossible to get signal (i.e. northern parts of Kansas, Nebraska, etc.), but it has not caused a lot of issues.

Sprint Image
Carrie and I leased iPhones from Sprint two years ago at a Sprint store in Dallas, TX and we still have our phones. As we were reviewing what to do for our service on whether to get new phones through Sprint, make a change to T-Mobile (T-Mobile now owns Sprint), or make a jump to a new service, we decided to make a switch. Again, I have been happy with Sprint through the twenty years of being with them, but thought it was time to change. 


In the back of my head, I have this nagging feeling I am letting down Sprint because I have been with them for so long. I wake up at night after we made the decision to change thinking what if the new service does not work? What if we are unhappy and service is bad? Well, sometimes it is necessary to make a leap and try something new. If nothing else, we hope this change will save money. One thing we had to do was either buy new phones to make the change or buyout our lease with Sprint so we could use the phones on another service. 

After twenty years with Sprint, it is time for a change. Which cell provider have you used the longest period of time?

We opted to buyout our leases so the phones can be used on a new service provider. We still owed a considerable amount for both phones, but figured we are happy with our phones and why not continue to use them. I have the iPhone Xs and Carrie has the Xs Max. The only reason we would really consider changing phones (i.e. upgrading) would have been to get the newest iPhone which has a much better camera, but the camera we have is fine, so did not see the need for making the change. The other consideration was the ability to use 5G service which our current phones do not support. Again, we did not see that as a need to get all new phones.

MintMobile.Com Web Site

We thought about going to T-Mobile since they bought out Sprint, but Carrie came across a deal for three free months of Mint Mobile. If you have not heard of Mint Mobile, it is a cell provider that is much cheaper than Sprint or at least the deal we found is going to be for us. Yes, Ryan Reynolds owns Mint Mobile

For one, you take your own phone to their service. Previously, we were paying a little over $200 a month to Sprint on our service and leasing of two phones. Granted, if we had bought our phones outright and not been leasing, our bill with Sprint would have been around $130 a month. With Mint Mobile, we were able to lock in a holiday rate to get service for six months at about $150 for all six months. The deal we found on their site allowed for signing up for three months and three months free. Basically, comes out to we are paying $28 a month for this new service.

This will allow us to test out the service and see how it works. If service is not good, then we will consider going to T-Mobile or other options for our phone service. We are excited for the change and savings in monthly bills for our mobile service. The fact that we are not getting updated phones is not an issue for us as our phones are new enough as mentioned earlier, but that will also help on our monthly bill not be paying for a "new" phone.

In the end, I enjoyed having Sprint for my cell provider the past twenty years. I will miss them, but probably good to try new things and check out how service, cost, and support work with a new service. I will update in a few weeks, or months, on the status of our change.

A side note, we also contacted Cox Communications to check on lowering our monthly bill and we were able to knock off about $17 from our monthly bill for the next two years. So, it was a good day of making changes as we made a decision to change cell providers and knock some money off of our monthly home internet costs.

Thursday, December 24, 2020

Merry Christmas! Have a Happy and Safe Christmas #Christmas #Holiday #Greetings #blog


Christmas 2020 - Photo Courtesy of carrieloulou on Instagram

Merry Christmas! It is hard to believe it is Christmas Eve 2020. We are almost done with this year that seems to have lasted forever. Another unusual holiday we celebrate remotely with our loved ones. I hope you have a happy and save Christmas.

Mantel and picture courtesy of Carrie. Follow Carrie on Instagram.

Sunday, December 20, 2020

Saturday Night Live Continues to Struggle with SNL Opening Skit After Replacing Cast Member Playing Joe Biden #SNL #NBC #blog

SNL Replaces Joe Biden Actor

"Saturday Night Live" (SNL) replaced Jim Carrey with Alex Moffat to portray Joe Biden in the December 19, 2020 broadcast. I am not sure what is happening with SNL this year, but the opening scenes have not been great. Often not funny at all. I give the opening to season 46 episode 9 a chuckle and that is about it as I watched it last night. The half chuckle not being toward anything Alex Moffat did as Joe Biden, but instead what Beck Bennett acting as VP Mike Pence in the opening skit last night. But that was about it for laughs for the opening skit. SNL is struggling with the opening each week to their show.

Back in October, I posted comments regarding the opening skit at that time and it has not gotten any better. Is it the writers, the content they have to work with, or actors that are not pulling it off? It seems like it is the content as the material is available for comedy, but so far in season 46, SNL has not been able to able to tap into the comedy aspect of the opening to the series.

If there is anyway SNL can find a way to bring Melissa McCarthy back to be included in the opening skit, that would go a long way helping to improve how the show opens each week.

Who is your favorite cast member from season 46? What is your favorite opening skit of this season through 9 episodes? Who would you like to see included in the opening skit of a future episode?

How Do You Automate Your Blog to FaceBook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Others?


Picture from Social Media Page

Like most everyone else on the internet, I have social media sites on a variety of platforms. I use Twitter almost exclusively but for various reasons I also have accounts on FaceBook, Instagram, LinkedIn, YouTube, and Flickr. As I get back into posting regularly to my blog, I am trying to work through the processes of automatically posting to various sites. The sites I have focused on include Twitter, FaceBook, and LinkedIn.

When I was blogging on a regular basis a few years ago, there were different options for auto posting to Twitter and FaceBook, but the services I used before either stopped those options or services such as FaceBook no longer allows for posting to profile but only to a page. So, I created a page on FaceBook and still not really sure what I am doing, but it seems odd as people have to subscribe to the page in order to see the posts. I am simply trying to reach my contacts on FaceBook so they can see my posts that may not normally check other social media sites or following my blog. FaceBook has made the process of sharing content to your own profile a little complicated. It seems odd to me that in order to automate sharing content to FaceBook that I have to do so to a page and not my profile. 

I did find some services that allow for sharing that cost money, but this is a personal blog for fun and I am not interested in paying for any services. I am using IFTTT to post to my FaceBook Page as well as to my LinkedIn profile. I also use for posting to Twitter and just realized I have it set up to post to LinkedIn too. I will probably leave it for this post to see how it works as I set it up earlier this week and had not posted anything to see how it works.

So, with this post, I am checking how various automated postings work that I have tried to change. I am looking to increase followers on various platforms. Finally, I am looking for feedback from various bloggers I follow to get their input on auto sharing to various social media sites. How do you share your content and automate that process?

I look forward to seeing how this works to my social media sites. I am also interested to hear from other bloggers on how they share and automate their site sharing. Please feel free to comment directly on this blog post or on the various social media sites where this is posted.

Sunday, December 13, 2020

Closing in on 50 Bike Rides and One Full Month of Daily Rides... Still Having a Blast! #Peloton #Exercise #Bike #blog

I will be completing my 50 ride today. Riding daily since we got our bike back on November 13 which means I have also been riding for one month. It is so much fun! Now, Carrie and I are working to include weights, yoga, and other exercising into our routines. A few times before we got weights, I would go through the motions with just my arms and that about killed me. I could barely raise my arms later in the evening after doing the exercises, so yes, this should help a lot to have weights and not be able to feed myself following weight lifting.

I still have on my to-do list some of the boot camps that are offered. I am not sure exactly what to expect in the boot campus, but they sound like fun. I have made a few friends, or contacts, through the Peloton app which is fun because I can see when they are doing different rides so I can join and give high-fives to them while they ride. Of course, when I ride, I see a lot of high-fives from others.

We get prompted when other riders hit mile stones such as 10, 20, 30, etc. rides or even number of weeks they have done rides. Some of my 14 contacts, I have been able to connect with them in Reddit group which is fun because they have shared tips and tricks they have used for rides. Or, more importantly, which rides they enjoy and recommend.

Carrie and I share rides we do that we think each other would enjoy. I did a fun ride yesterday that Carrie did live Thursday morning with Denis Morton for a 30 minute Holiday Ride. It was a lot of fun and enjoyed the music choices he used in his class. 

On Monday, December 14, Apple is scheduled to release their new workout program called Apple Fitness+ although I do not see Carrie or I joining as we have our hands full with Peloton Bike+. I am interested to hear how the Apple Fitness+ works although I have read some reviews of Apple compared to Peloton. I know I have at least one friend that was going to sign up for Apple Fitness+, so interested to hear how it works for him.

Until next time, happy riding!

Kansas Football Finishes Season 0 - 9 on the Season and Finishes Second Season for Les Miles as Head Coach going 3 - 18. #blog #KUfball

A friend and I were talking the other day about Kansas football. Yeah, it was a slow sports day and a frustrating season to be a Kansas football fan. We were thinking it had been three or four years since Les Miles started as coach for Kansas. Well, sure enough while listening to the news this morning of the Texas vs Kansas football game scheduled for Saturday, December 12 being canceled because of COVID positive cases; the news reported Les Miles is finishing up his second year as head coach for Kansas.

Much like 2020, it seems like Les Miles has been the head coach for Kansas longer than just two years. He was hired by Kansas on November 18, 2018. He coached his first full season 2019 and then completed his second season this year. He is 3 - 18 in two seasons for Kansas. Granted, this year (2020) has been an unusual year not only for fans watching sports but for athletes and coaches trying to maneuver the unusual realm of sports in our COVID world.

Les Miles did not win a single game this year. The closest he came to a win was on December 5, 2020 playing Texas Tech where we lost by three points. The other games throughout the season we averaged 17.8 points a game and lost on average of 30.2 points per game.

I remember back in November 2018 when Les Miles was announced and we all had hopes of a better football team. Here we are and did not win a single game in 2020. I get it that it is an usual year, but good grief, this is pitiful! I read a tweet saying that good thing this weekend game was canceled as it looks worse to be zero and ten rather than zero and nine. Both look really bad!

We have another year, or more, with Les Miles, so settle in and hopefully for his third year we can win a game or two. Even better, maybe we can win more than three games in his third year as head coach. Stay tuned but do not hold your breath.

Sunday, December 06, 2020

Update on Riding Peloton Bike, Working Out, and Struggles Have Gone Through to this Point in my 23 Day Riding Streak


Peloton Stats from 12-6-2020
After getting our Peloton bike on Friday, November 13 (see post), I have been working out daily with a streak of 23 days. I have biked everyday since getting the bike. Some long rides (45 minutes), a few medium length rides, and then a few short rides too. Overall, I have felt great during all of my rides. The first week, or week and half, my behind hurt from the seat (saddle). That eventually went away and do not notice sitting in the saddle much any more. 

What is hurting right now are my legs. Even during a 20 minute ride, my legs start burning and doubts start cropping into my head that I am not going to be able to finish the ride. I can barely push the peddles which made me wonder if maybe I am riding too much or too long of rides each time I ride. So, Friday, I did an easy ride of only about 15 minutes. It worked! Saturday, I did a 45 minute (see stats) ride and felt great! It was a tough 45 minute workout that was intense, but I felt really good throughout the ride. Later in the day my legs did hurt, but it was a good kind of hurt letting me know I had done a good workout.

One thing I have been battling is that my left foot becomes sore during a ride. Almost as though it falls asleep. I have looked for answers and might have found what is happening, but I have not done anything yet to fix the issue. For my bike rides, I wear special shoes with cleats that snap into the bike peddles. I think on my left foot the cleats might be up too far on the sole of my feet. I have no issues with my right foot, but left foot becomes uncomfortable on longer rides. So, I am going to try and move the cleat up, or down, to see if that resolves the issue.

New Profile Picture on Peloton Site
I plan to keep my daily streak going. As we get back to "normal" later in 2021 (hopefully) I know it will take planning on my part to either make sure I get up early and ride or ride after getting back from an event. But, I think I can keep it going and keep the streak going. 

The picture on the left is my new profile picture on the Peloton site. Snapped it Saturday, December 5 prior to my 45 minute ride. I figured I had my previous picture as posted in my November 15 post since Carrie took that picture that it was time to post a new picture. 

Happy riding and be sure to connect with me if you are a Peloton member. As of today, I am following 15 and have 14 followers. It is fun to connect with others giving high fives in rides and receiving high fives as I ride.

On another note, today is my mom's birthday so wishing a big Happy Birthday Mom!