The NurflugelBlog is a place where I can vent my spleen about pretty much anything that crosses my mind. Politics, religion, those annoying little indignities we all have to put up with - I have plenty to say about them.

Location: United States

Wednesday, January 30, 2008


I switched to FIOS last week - hugely faster internet (15/15), an indecent number of HD channels, and best of all, it works with HD Tivo (just ask Verizon to skip bringing their set top box and just bring cablecards).

By dropping my land line (only needed it for DSL), I'm saving $60 a month - more channels, faster internet, better DVR (I used to be on DirecTv).

Woo hoo!

Monday, January 21, 2008

Trader Joe's is evil!

It's true - after stocking "Mint Cookie Cheers", they no longer offer them (see previous blog posts). The rationale? "Those were holiday cookies"!

Arrgh!!! If I'd known that, I'd had bought a bunch!

Time to call Harry London's up and order a case!

Sunday, January 13, 2008

A good day...

Ever have one of those days when everything actually goes well?

First, Trader Joe's brought back a favorite treat (see previous post).

Second, I did some calculations, and switching to Verizon FIOS will save me about $60 a month, with a 10x increase in internet speed.

By bundling my internet and TV, and dumping my land-line phone (I only kept that so I'd have DSL), it saved quite a bit. There were two major factors in this that I had to figure out first:
  • I've got a web server at home - that's forbidden by Verizon (they actually block port 80), so I enquired my ISP ( about hosting a server there - a whopping $19/month gives me 1.5 GB or storage. Geez, I remember when a hundred MB cost something like $150/month! I'm getting old...
  • I did some digging, and HD Tivo works just fine with FIOS - just gotta get a multistream cablecard instead of a FIOS DVR. You don't get PPV on the box, you gotta call Customer Service for that, but I've done that a total of twice in my DirecTV experience.
Poor DirecTV - they just can't figure out what to do with Tivo. They "support" HD Tivo, but have no plans to have any of the new satellite's HD channels on the older HD DirecTivos. I emailed and called Customer Support, but they had nothing. Oh, well...

So, I went down to BestBuy and got a Series 3 HD Tivo for $299. I actually got somebody who knew what they were talking about (gasp!). To top it off, when checking out I got a coupon for $50 off my next purchase. The Tivo wireless internet adapter runs $54.95, I'll swing by Monday and pick that up. Sweet. No more stupid phone line and wireless modem (and now I'll get all the spiffy features that DirecTV turned off).

Icing on the cake - Tivo has an offer for current users when they buy a new box - the Lifetime Subscription. It's $399 - that's a lot - but over the lifetime of the unit, it'll pay for itself (assuming it lasts more than four years).

Now I've just got to deal with the whole FIOS thing and get it installed. That should be fun.

Saturday, January 12, 2008

"Mint Cookie Joys" are back at Trader Joe's!

Trader Joe's used to carry these fantastic cookies called "Mint Cookie Joys", made by Harry London. Dark chocolate, just the right amount of mint, crunchy cookie - totally addictive.

Then, one sad day, they no longer had them... not just out of stock, they no longer carried them.

Friends of mine would forlornly place orders direct from the manufacturer, and for a year we only had occasional relief packages.

But then, I got a call from my mother - Trader Joe's had them again - only they were packaged under the Trader Joe's label as "Dark Chocolate Mint Cookie Cheers". Hell, they can call them "Chocolate Landmines" for all I care - they're the same thing, exactly, just under Trader Joe's label (as verified by several people doing taste tests).

Sometimes things just happen right...

Wednesday, January 02, 2008

Christmas with the Bullards/Reists/Renworths

We've been having Christmas Eve dinner with another family we've been friends with for ages. Mom makes roast beef and Yorkshire pudding, then we play poker till midnight. Lots of wine and beer flow (don't worry, designated drivers abound).

This year, one of the "kids" (my age, they've got kids in college now) brought an exchange student from Turkey. She's going to have a very strange version of American Christmas to tell her friends back home ("They celebrate the birth of Jesus by stuffing themselves, getting drunk, and gambling all night! How come they never show this on Melrose Place?").

I eat more red meat in those few days than I do the rest of the entire year.