CurEight: Cord Cutting is a Misguided Fantasy

March 16, 2015

My wife and I pay $40 a month for our cable service and close to $80 for our internet.

TV isn’t the problem anymore when it comes to our cable bill bloat.

Let’s say I decided to cut the cord (but keep the internet service of course), there is no way I’d be able to come close to the value I get out of my cable service at $40 per month with a mishmash of cord cutting services.

If we cut the cord today, these are the four services we’d need to watch all of the shows we currently enjoy watching:

  • Netflix (House of Cards and Orange is the New Black) – $8.99
  • HBO Now (Game of Thrones) – $14.99
  • SlingTV (The Walking Dead and ESPN) – $20
  • Hulu Plus (The Real Housewives … Amy, not me. I swear!) – $7.99

The grand total of those four services? $51.97 per month. Almost $12 more than what we’re currently forking out for probably 200 more channels (granted they’re channels we never watch) and Xfinity On-demand.

As you’ll read in the first link in this week’s CurEight, HBO’s deal with Apple to bring streaming HBO to those without a cable plan only shows what a bargain the current cable bundle really is.

  1. Apple’s deal for HBO Now reminds us why cord cutting remains a misguided fantasy (Venturebeat) – “Still, rather than being a victory for cable cutters, the HBO Now deal with Apple demonstrates just what a bargain the current cable bundle really is.” Spot on.
  2. Ulysses for iPad (iPad App) – This is the writing app for the iPad I have been waiting for. It has received rave reviews from around the internet since its release last week. I know. $20 is a steep price to pay for an app, but this is well worth it if you’re serious about your writing.
  3. Why I Stopped Using “Actually” and “But” In My Customer Service Emails (Buffer) – This post made me realize I use the words “actually” and “but” far too often in my own emails. I was amazed at the difference in tone between a sentence that uses the word “actually” and one that doesn’t. These things we call words are pretty darn powerful, huh?
  4. The new MacBook may be the future, not the present (The Verge) – Apple made a ruckus this week when they unveiled their new MacBook (that’s right – just MacBook) with only one port: a USB Type-C connector. I really don’t know who I’d recommend this computer to at this point. At first I thought this might be a great replacement laptop for Amy (she’s currently on a 2011 MacBook Air), but I think she’d up getting frustrated with its lack of USB ports.
  5. The Futility of Always Pushing Myself to Be More (ZenHabits) – Gosh. This post is beautifully written and exactly how I feel about my drive to improve myself. I haven’t figured out how to be happy with where I’m at and what I’ve achieved; my mindset has always drifted towards doing more and being more.
  6. AnkerCam Wi-Fi Camera – I got a new toy this week! I’m excited to put this to use in our new house (which is almost finished by the way!) as a security camera and, more importantly, a baby monitor.
  7. Grid-It by Cocoon – This is the best $10 – $15 I’ve ever spent. Everywhere I go people first make fun of me for being OCD and then they ask where to get one.
  8. Alto’s Adventure (iPhone / iPad Game) – I picked this one up on the way out to Vail, Colorado so that I could be entertained during the three hour plane ride. Entertain me it did. There’s something strangely addictive about it. I’ve played a million snowboarder going down a mountain type games, but I can’t put this one down.

Time for me to get back to vacation.

Have a great week!

Don’t forget: If you want to receive CurEight in your mailbox every Saturday morning, type your best email address in at the bottom of this post.

CurEight: The One Where I Might Get an Apple Watch

March 9, 2015

might get an Apple Watch.

I’m just not sold on it for a few reasons:

  • What are the benefits that differ from the value my iPhone brings me?
  • Do I really want a device like this strapped to my body at all times?
  • Will Apple upgrade it within a year anyway, rendering the first version obsolete? I can’t afford to drop that kind of cash on a phone and a watch in the same year.

I guess we’ll find out the answers to all those questions (and more) at Apple’s Spring Forward event at 1:00 pm EST today. I can tell you that if I were to get one, it would be the once above.

Let’s get on with it. Here is this week’s CurEight:

  1. How to Watch the Apple Watch Livestream (Wired) – At 1:00 pm EST today the world will finally know the cost of the Apple Watch Edition. Rumors say it could go for as much as $10,000.
  2. Mix Your Apple Watch – Which Apple Watch will you be buying? Use this website to pick out the one of your dreams. I’m keen on the black steel band and watch face.
  3. The Customer Always Remembers (Helpscout) – Do you deal with customers in any way in your job? Do yourself a favor and read this now.
  4. What Doesn’t Get Scheduled, Doesn’t Get Done (SimplicityBliss) – Even if you don’t use OmniFocus for your task management, this post has some great nuggets for those struggling with Getting Things Done and time management in general.
  5. It is common sense to take a method and try it. If it fails, admit it frankly and try another. But above all, try something.” – Franklin D. Roosevelt. I’m sure I have heard this before, but something about Kevin Spacey delivering this line in S3 E2 of House of Cards really impacted me. Are you trying something you’ve been wanting to try for a while or is the fear of it not working out holding you back?
  6. 20+ Productivity Apps for College Students and Young Professionals (Zapier) – I use a number of these apps every single day.
  7. How I Work Series (Lifehacker) – I am fascinated with how people of all types work. What gear do they use? What apps help them stay on top of their game? What type of books do they read? This Lifehacker series interviews the most successful people around to find out the answers to these questions and more.
  8. WellnessFX – I just finished my semi-annual blood analysis and will be sharing my results with you over the next few weeks.

That’s it for this week’s CurEight. Did anything strike your fancy? What cool things have you discovered recently? Let’s chat in the comments below!

Don’t forget: If you want to receive CurEight in your mailbox every Saturday morning, type your best email address in at the bottom of this post.

CurEight: My 8 Favorite Discoveries From the Past Week

March 2, 2015

Welcome to the first CurEight.

What is CurEight, you ask?

CurEight is the first in a series of posts I’ll be sharing every Monday on my blog that focuses on my 8 favorite discoveries from the past week. Now, the discoveries I share with you could be anything: a new app that has helped me become more productive, a link that has given me some insight into solving a particular problem, an incredible book I might have just finished reading, or even a podcast that I think you might enjoy listening to.

Each discovery I share will hopefully add some type of value to your life, because if I’m sharing them on CurEight they’ve helped me in some way, shape, or form.

Without further ado …

  1. 15 Clever Recipes to Try With IFTTT’s New Do Apps (Field Guide) – IFTTT is one of my all-time favorite internet apps. Their new app Do is interesting. I’m not entirely sure how it will fit in to my workflow, but I’m willing to give it a try.
  2. Getting Lost in Just Doing (zen habits) – My wife and I were talking about this topic over the weekend. It is so easy not to act and just be content with the way things are.
  3. SelfControl (Mac OS X App) – Pat Flynn of the Smart Passive Income Blog featured this app as one of his top 5 productivity tools that can make you better, faster & stronger. I haven’t totally set it up on my machine, but from what I can tell it is going to help my increase my productivity by keeping me off of sites I don’t mean to spend time on (I’m looking at you Gmail and Feedly!).
  4. Spring Cleaning, or How I Fell in Love with 1Password Vaults (MacStories) – I use 1Password to manage all of my passwords and sensitive info and I’ve noticed that my vault has been getting a little cluttered lately. This gave me a starting point to begin cleaning it up.
  5. The first rule of web design (Seth Godin) – It is astonishing to me that clarity that Seth Godin possesses. This post is spot on and one that every web designer should read.
  6. f.lux (Mac OS X App) – It’s 10:32 PM at night and my computer is not suppressing my melatonin production with its harsh blue light. Thank you f.lux. I’ve had this one for a while, but it’s too good not to share in my first edition of CurEight.
  7. 5 Questions to Ask When Interviewing Interns (LinkedIn Talent Blog) – I have a new intern that just started with me this week at The Bailey Group. With my first intern, I didn’t spend the time learning about what interested her. This time around, I wanted to figure out the tasks could I give her that she’d feel comfortable with completing right away because that’s where her skills lie.
  8. The Miracle Morning: The Not-So-Obvious Secret Guaranteed to Transform Your Life (Before 8AM) (Written by Hal Elrod) – I read this over the weekend after hearing multiple people talk about it on the podcasts that I listen to. The premise? Start your morning early and with intention and it will take your life to the next level. I completed my first Miracle Morning this morning; I’ll let you know how it went in a later blog post.

That’s all folks! I hope you enjoyed the first edition of CurEight. If you found any of these resources helpful don’t forget to subscribe at the bottom of this post. That way you’ll get each edition of CurEight delivered straight to your inbox every Saturday morning.

Have an incredible week!

It’s a Wrap …

February 21, 2015

Man.

I’m close to tears right now.

Maybe it was a bad idea to do this in The Kookaburra. Crying in public is kind of frowned upon, right? The sappy coffee shop music isn’t helping.

Oh great. Coldplay just came on.

I’ve resisted looking back at all these pictures since we left Los Angeles in 2011. I had come to terms with the fact that moving back home was the best decision for Amy and me; if we were to eventually have a family, Los Angeles wasn’t the place to do it.

Just because It was the rational decision, doesn’t mean it made it any easier to leave.

When we moved to Los Angeles in 2009, I had no clue what I’d end up doing for work.

Little did I know, I would end up with the best Production Assistant job in all of Hollywood. I quickly learned that it wasn’t the job that was special, it was the people around the job that made it one of the best experiences of my life.

Today is the last official day of shooting for Glee, which is why I’m sitting here looking at all these photos … reminiscing.

I love my Glee family so much. There isn’t a day that goes by that I don’t think about you all.

I feel SO lucky and blessed to have been able to get to know each and every one of you.

I haven’t been able to watch an episode of the show since I left after Season 2; I knew that it would bring back too many incredible memories that I wouldn’t be able to deal with emotionally.

You better believe I’ll be watching Glee’s final episode on March 20.

Gigantic box of tissues by my side.

Reminiscing.

I Can’t Stop Listening to These 8 Podcasts

February 20, 2015

You hear that?

Well, of course you don’t because you’re not here.

It’s silence.

This is the first time all week I’ve sat in silence, mainly because I can’t write and listen to people talk at the same time. My brain ends up all scattered.

It is really hard to sit here right now and not be listening to a podcast. Every moment that I’m not working on a big project, writing, or sleeping, you will find me listening to podcasts.

I freaking love podcasts.

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