A Month Without Cable TV

It’s been a month since I cancelled Charter Spectrum TV service. Go back and read that post if you want details on the services I’m using now. I haven’t missed the service at all and Playstation Vue continues to impress me. In fact, I didn’t even notice I wasn’t picking up ABC on my antenna until I went to schedule TV show series recordings last week. I still need to adjust the antenna placement. I get ABC On Demand through Playstation Vue, so I’m not missing out on my shows.

I have noticed a pretty big habit change without Charter. I rarely sit down and watch random TV anymore. I’ve spent the extra time working on home projects, learning things from YouTube videos (mostly about electronics), or getting to bed earlier.

The Hero of Hyrule

Finished The Legend of Zelda this afternoon. I explored the world and played quite a bit on my own before following an official walkthrough. I must have selected a potion instead of a heart in one of the caves since I didn’t end up with the full 16 hearts of life. It was fun to play through. Crazy to realize the copyright year listed in the credits is 1986!

What should I play next?

A Record Streak

screen-shot-2017-01-26-at-9-17-37-pm This post makes 79 days in a row, breaking my old streak, which was set on April 13th, 2009. When I took notice of the posting streak and decided to keep going, I was worried I’d run out of things to publish within a couple of weeks. I haven’t had any issues though. These things have really helped:

  1. I quickly made the decision not to get caught up in the length of posts. Sharing a video or a simple link would be just fine some days.
  2. Whenever an idea strikes, I try to get an early title and some quick notes saved as a draft post in WordPress. I usually have at least 5 drafts in progress and had 10 at one point. Some of the drafts are waiting for a specific date or event while others just need to be completed.
  3. In Apple’s Reminders app, I have a repeating daily reminder. I don’t mark it as completed until I have published or scheduled the post for the day.
    post-to-blog-reminder.png
    The notification on my iPhone as well as my computers doesn’t let me forget.
  4. Speaking of scheduled posts, I usually have at least 1-2 posts set for the upcoming days. I tend to move them around when I want to publish something right away, but it helps to keep the process stress free.

I don’t follow my blog stats closely, but I’m curious if the increased activity has caused the decline in visits and visitors. I would expect the numbers to move in the other direction.

stats-during-posting-streak.png

Home Assistant Pi

With all of the Raspberry Pis I have (now up to 6 after adding “flapper”), I wanted to get a bunch of data in Home Assistant (yes, I’m still working on a larger home automation post) and have an easy way to reboot or shutdown each computer.

I wrote a little app which runs as a service on each Pi. Here’s an example of what shows up in Home Assistant.

home-assistant-pi-groups.png

The Python app and sample Home Assistant configurations are in my home-assistant-pi project on GitHub. Of course it’s all Open Source.

Apple TV Repeat Song

There doesn’t seem to be a way to play a song on repeat in the Apple TV Music app, but you can tell Siri to “play this song on repeat.”