Saturday, September 12, 2015

Compulsory TV Upgrade

New TV. Samsung UN50JU7100.Unexpectedly for us we had to upgrade our TV. The whole thing started somewhere in the middle of August when our daughter decided that our TV needed some cleaning. With the use of a glass of water and her toothbrush she managed to do a pretty thorough job by the time we noticed it.

At first a thick vertical gray line appeared. Then everything got covered by fog. Then lines started to spread. And eventually in a course of a couple of days the whole screen turned to pretty colorful lines and nothing else was coming through. Our 46″ Samsung TV that we bought at the end of 2009 was done.

Our new TV.After doing a bit of research I decided to settle on 50″ Samsung JU7100 — 4K TV. Another choice was Vizio M series, but the best screens are used on 55″ and bigger units and 50″ was the biggest we could fit. But on both Wirecutter and CNET Samsung came highly recommended.

Over the last six years the UI of Samsung has improved significantly. Everything is fast and responsive. The old was completely useless. Although we still watch most of our content through Apple TV which is also about to get significantly updated by Apple. We’ll probably upgrade it eventually as well. We bought our TV at P.C. Richard & Son where we got a good deal on it, as always.

TV remote with Wii-like controller behavior.

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Friday, April 6, 2012

Green Tea, Aroshka, Books, TV

Arosha on his car.I think about writing something about everyday things quite often, but keep putting it off. I guess if there was something grand to talk about, it’ll be easy to come up with the words, but my life at this point is pretty ordinary. And you know what, this is a good thing!

Nonetheless, here are some things I want to jot down.

Green Tea and Milk


Japanese green tea.When we were in Japan I realized that I am quite in love with green tea. I drank it in huge quantities there, and ever since returning home I consume about one and a half liters (or more) of this fabulous drink per day. I used to drink all my teas with milk (yes, ALL gazillion billion kinds of them) because to me they tasted too watery and flavorless without dairy. Japan changed this, and I am quite happy about this development. I went from consuming 1 gallon of milk per week to about 1/4 gallon — I even stopped buying milk for myself, and just drink from Aroshka’s carton of whole organic milk. Aroshka is not big on milk drinking by the way. He gets some in his morning kasha and with his evening tea, but that’s about it (we’re talking about cow’s milk, not mine).

Green tea from Japan.I also realized that I like Japanese green tea in particular. I drink other kinds of green tea as well (jasmine, rose, pear flavored ones are among my favorite), but when I ran out of the teas that we brought from Japan, I knew I had to get more of them. Luckily, you can get almost anything with the help of the Internet nowadays. I ordered three different kinds of green tea from Hibiki-an, and 8 days later a package from Kyoto has arrived. All I want to say for now is that two teas that I’ve opened — Organic Gyokuro and Organic Genmaicha Matcha-iri — are excellent. I might write a bit more about the teas and my favorite tea-maker (Danya’s New Year present) in a separate post.

What I am also happy about is that Danya likes Japanese green tea as well. He prefers to drink black tea with lemon and sugar, but he drinks green tea straight up, which in my mind is an additional bonus (he really has a sweet tooth when it comes to drinks).

Arosha’s Crib Escape


A few days ago Arosha has figured how to climb out of his crib. Luckily, we saw it on a baby monitor, and were able to stop him from completing the grand escape unsupervised. Here is a short video of his technique.

I was afraid that unless we do something, he might hurt himself while climbing out. Our friends told us that they just forbade their daughter from climbing out and she listened. I doubt that this approach would have worked with Aroshka (he is not mature enough and is pretty stubborn). Some people put some sort of tent on top of a crib, and it prevents toddlers form climbing out. I am not ruling out this option yet. And some people just transfer their children to a toddler bed. We decided to go this route since our crib is convertible, and so far the first two nights were normal. We had some issues with nap the first day (he did not want to fall asleep and kept climbing out of the bed), but today he napped happily for 3 hours.

Arosha's converted crib.To be honest, I am much more concerned about Arosha’s transition from nursing-to-sleep (or almost sleep) to NOT nursing-to-sleep. This has been on my mind for at least a few months now, but I am still not sure how to best approach the transition. He just loves to nurse, and I don’t know how to help him to learn to fall asleep by himself. I hope that in the next few months he will become less and less attached to nursing (and by the way, I believe that my milk still has a lot of great stuff in it), and I’ve decided to wean him around his second birthday (I don’t think that he well give it up by himself).

Books


Book in Kindle.After reading a very favorable review of “The Magicians” by Lev Grossman, I’ve decided that I would enjoy it too. It was OK, and I even bought the sequel, but somehow I can’t bring myself to read more than a few pages of this book at a time. I am not sure why Grossman’s magical world did not suck me in, but the fact remains that I am not drawn to reading, so it’ll probably take me another month or two to finish “The Magician King”.

TV


We’re re-watching Star Trek: Enterprise now. We watched it over 5 years ago for the first time. Sadly, my opinion about the show did not change — it’s not bad, but it does not come close to other Star Treks either (we did not watch the Original Series, so I am not talking about them here). This show is not too engaging or thought-provoking, but it is relaxing nonetheless. Too bad I know that they’ll screw some characters at the end (we’re at the 3rd season right now).

Star Trek: Enterprise via Netflix.Sometimes, when we have dinner early, we watch “How I Met Your Mother” or “The Big Bang Theory” on TV. Those shows are pretty funny, and I usually enjoy watching them. We might watch them on DVD when they finish filming them.

What I would really like to watch is “Mad Men” or “Game of Thrones”. We watched the first four seasons of the “Mad Men” last year, and I really loved this show. I think we’ll hold off from watching the rest of the show until it is fully finished. As for the “Game of Thrones”, we did not watch a single episode, but we heard a lot of good things about it, so I have pretty high expectations. Since at the moment only one season is out, we’ll hold off watching this one for a while as well.

My Weight


I’ve mentioned before, but I’ve lost some weight since our Japan trip. I used to be around 172-175 lbs in November, and now it’s 158-160. I love being on a skinnier side of my weight spectrum — the clothes look better, and I feel more confident about myself overall (especially when I have a touch of make up and freshly washed hair). Yay to loosing all the baby weight and then some! I think that the weight loss is a combined effect of green tea drinking, overall healthy eating, running after Aroshka and breastfeeding. And I started to sleep more in the last 5-6 months, which is great too.

I think about having another baby pretty often. Not that we’re planning to yet, but it seems like every other girl I know is expecting. The news about future babies make me excited, but a tad jealous at the same time. Is there ever a good time to have a baby? Is it every easy?

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Monday, October 12, 2009

Wall Unit & TV

New wall unit.This weekend was well spent. A good portion of our renovation project is complete. We put together the wall unit from a million pieces that it came as into a single solid system. It took a lot of work, but it’s all done. It came out better than we expected and it’s as custom as it can be. We added a lot additional support parts and cut a bunch of paths for wire management.

IKEA Besta. Ignore the other-dimension cat.We also bought a new TV and wired everything up — video, audio, network. And out of all the wiring there is only one wire actually visible and that will be corrected in the near future. We were also happy to get rid of our old open bar and move our vast alcohol reserves behind the glass.

Samsung LN46B750.The TV that we decided to go with is Samsung LN46B750. It’s a 46″ non-LED LCD panel with 240Hz refresh rate and 1080p resolution. After doing a lot of reading this is simply the best LCD available as far as non LED screens go. It is also better than latest Samsung edge-lit LED screens. And actual back-lit LED screens cost twice as much and in my opinion are just not worth it. Either way, I’ve been tweaking the settings on the TV and we’re pretty happy with the end result.

More updates will follow as we make more progress.
In: Gadgets & Gear, Home Sweet Home   Tags: , , , , , ,
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Friday, October 9, 2009

Living — Under Construction

Besta in progress.When we bought our apartment we moved in with pretty much zero furniture purchases and used everything that we had before. Now we decided that it’s time we’ve updated our living room. We have no plans to be moving any time soon, therefore we might as well make it as nice as possible.

Living room progress.The whole movement has started because of that BD movie and the player. The TV could use a refresh, and along with it could the arrangement and the layout of the room. Also I decide that it’s time I finally got my surround system back in place, as we have never connected the rear speakers after the move.

Living room and IKEA wall unit in Sketch Up.We visited a lot of furniture stores and came to the consensus — they either have something small, ugly or just plain wrong for our room, or they have something that costs WAY too much money. 5 grand for a freaking collection of shelves and doors?

Our final design sketch.Naturally IKEA came to mind and we came up with what we think should serve our needs for a very good price. IKEA though has no planning tools, but that’s when my old friend Sketch-Up helped me out.

Many more updates to come.
In: Home Sweet Home   Tags: , , , , , , , ,
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Thursday, October 8, 2009

TV’s Up For Sale

Our TV for sale.Our trusty good old TV is going up for sale. It’s a hell of a unit that served us well for almost 10 years without as much as a hick-up. I hope it gets bought and at the same it’s very sad. I wish I had a basement I could move it. Asking only 1/10th of the price that I actually paid for it.
In: Gadgets & Gear   Tags: , , ,
Time: 17:53   Comments: 7 Comments   Post a Comment  
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Friday, June 13, 2008

Watcing TV

Watching TV.This is the last one, I swear. This is how we watch TV with Alena. Some of those just play out in my head, the rest — not so much. O.o
In: Life In General   Tags: ,
Time: 12:00   Comments: 9 Comments   Post a Comment  
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