Wednesday, January 26, 2011

I Hate Comcast! (Again)

At this point in time, it's been about two weeks since my computer, cell phone, and phone started going wonky.

The phone is doing something that the phone, by itself is incapable of doing. At random, it starts making a loud beeping noise on my end. Sometimes, it is inaudible on the other end of the line. Sometimes everything is inaudible on the other end. If I ignore the beeping and try to explain to the person on the other end that my phone is malfunctioning, after a few seconds, the beeping starts going more quickly, and the volume escalates to the point that (even with my hearing problems) it sounds air-raid-siren loud when held at arms' length! It has caused me to levitate at least two feet straight up in the air, even when I'm expecting it!

The phone just does not generate those kinds of beeping noises. It's not constructed that way. It can't! The sound is coming from something that's not working right over my internet connection.

The cell phone (which I was using via WiFi) and the computer have precisely the same problem. They work fine if I'm not using the internet, but go wonky in the precise same way when on the internet. For instance, when I read an email and then hit "delete" usually, nothing happens.

I'm sure you're as surprised as I was when I realized that all three devices are connected to the internet, and Occam's razor says that it's the internet that's the problem. In other words, it's less likely that three devices malfunctioned at the same time (two of them in exactly the same way) than it is that something that was already malfunctioning (my internet connection) went further wrong.

I've spent most of my time on Monday, Tuesday and today trying to get this fixed, with no success so far.

When I called Comcast to alert them to the problem, I got their usual idiotic type of response. A perky, cheerful woman on the other end of the line asked me for my identifying information, and then chirped, "Well, your modem is working perfectly, and you're getting a great signal, so it must be your router!" Seconds later, I found myself talking to the manufacturer of my router.

Well, she might be right about the modem working well. It seemed to be working fine to me. Her assertion that I'm getting a good signal is a little more iffy. There have been at least 16 service calls trying to fix TV and cable, and about half of the repairmen have mentioned that I'm barely getting any signal at all in my apartment. So, I feel it's more accurate to say that they may be sending out a "great signal," but it's not arriving here.

Comcast had some people come out today to talk to the people who live in my apartment building. In spite of the fact that everyone in the building is having the same kind of problem, they really weren't here to help with that. They weren't here to help the last two times, either. They were here to sell us more "service!"

I did speak to someone about the problems of all the people who live here. They responded the way my mom would have.

If you gave my mom a problem, her policy was to give you two problems back! And they did that very well!

They wanted a phone number that they could use to talk to me about this. I explained that my phone isn't working because of the problem they caused, and they said they'd call the manager of the apartment building and get her to get in touch with me!

They didn't feel the need to contact me when they caused this problem. And believe me, they should have felt that need. During a one-year period, they had NO service for a total of enough hours to equal a month!

At this point, I'm seriously considering just having my service turned off as a cure.

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On top of all this, I got an email from TiVo yesterday, saying that I could get a premier TiVo box from them for $7 extra per month with a two year commitment. It sounded like a really good deal, and I ordered it.

Well, the woman I spoke to on the phone didn't really tell me anything that was not true on the phone (that I know of, anyway), but she did leave out a lot of information. A lot of information that turns the great deal that she made it sound like into something that I can't possibly do, and can't afford.

In spite of the fact that I mentioned to her that I only have one TV, and that I asked her about disconnecting the box I have and connecting the new one in it's place, and that I asked her about possibly using the old box at sometime in the future, when I might have a second TV. She neglected to mention that she was opening up a whole new line of service for me, but not canceling the old line of service. So, now I discover that I have a choice of either paying for TiVo service twice each month, or paying a $65 early termination fee! When I called to ask something, they explained it to me, after they'd already sent out the new box! They said that the person I spoke to should have told me that.

So, they've already charged me $21, and I'll also have to pay about $30 (the guy on the phone said) to return it. They'll refund my money (eventually), but I still have to put out the money up front.

Which has made me more angry than I would usually get due to all the other problems Comcast has been giving me.

I want to crawl into bed and sleep for the next week! I want to sit down and cry for a few days! I want to call Comcast on the phone and just cancel my internet access completely! I want to get a batch of donuts and eat them all! I want to go down to the local Comcast office and throw a screaming net fit! I didn't know it was possible to be this angry and also want to cry!

I'm so upset that I'm even considering getting Verizon DSL. I fully expect the service to be as bad as Comcast, but at least they're going to charge me $10 less per month for the bad service.

I'm also considering just cutting off internet service completely.

Forever!

And, as if all that weren't enough, there's nothing worth even bothering to turn on the TV to watch tonight.

I really hope you're having a better week than I am!

Friday, January 21, 2011

The Internet (or Maybe Comcast) Hates Me!

Actually, all communication with the outside world is having a big problem here.

My phone, my cell phone, and my computer all started having problems the other day. I've been trying to fix my phone, my cell phone, and my computer, and then it struck me that all of those three have one thing in common. They're all plugged into the internet.

Since Comcast has created nothing but problems for me with my TV connection, Occam's razor says it's probably them.

I am so fed up with Comcast! And they've made it practically impossible to even report the problem since all my communication seems to depend on them. I really have to find some other way to contact others! I've set my cell phone to not connect to the internet over WiFi, and it seems to be acting a bit better.

Holly says there's a way to reset everything on my phone to factory settings, but I can't find it anywhere or I would have tried it already.

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So, after spending a little time trying to get to my email today, I found a link to this in my inbox! If you click the link, you'll find that Craig Charles spilled the beans, and that there will be another six episodes of Red Dwarf! All I really know is what's on the web page, so I can't really comment except to say that it's the funniest thing I've ever seen on TV, even funnier than The Middleman, and that's saying something!

In with the same email, there was a link to a story about a new show called 17th Precinct, which will be a new science fiction show. Once more, I don't know anything except what's on the page from the link.

I saw a trailer for Medium on last night, and they said to tune in tonight for the series finale. I'm really sorry to see it go!

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Usually, the knitting content comes first, but this time it's last. Sorry, I'm struggling just to get something up here, and it's not easy.

I went to the library on Wednesday, and picked up a fairly new knitting book, Modern Top-down Knitting.

Modern Top-Down Knitting: Sweaters, Dresses, Skirts & Accessories Inspired by the Techniques of Barbara G. Walker

 It's got some really interesting things in it, and it's a must-have if you want to knit dresses from the top down. There are seven slim, pretty dresses in this volume, including the dress on the cover. There are a couple of cardigans and a few pullover sweaters, too.

All these things make sense for knitting from the top down. You can try on the dresses and sweaters and make changes as you go to make the garment truly fit you. That's the whole point of top-down knitting.

But there are a batch of other projects in here that don't make sense to be knitted from the top down, and some that aren't knitted from the top down at all. They're mostly accessories, and while some of them are nice, and I even love a few of them, I feel they should have been saved for another book, and the space they're taking up should have had some more top-down designs.

There's some knitted jewelry, including a ring, plus a belt and a wrap (which obviously can't be knitted from the top down) that are wonderful and innovative, but not top-down. There are some interesting hats, which don't benefit at all from being knitted from the top down. There's one hat which I'm not too enthusiastic about knitting, but would love to own in several colors! She uses pipe cleaners to stiffen the brim.


That's the Annie Hat from the book, the one with the pipe cleaners in the brim.

She also has a beautiful wrap, which is, once more, not top-down. I was going to show you a photo, but can't, due to computer problems.

The author, Kristina McGowan, obviously comes from a sewing background, and applies lots of designer detailing to her patterns. Some of it is useful and welcome, but some is just extra work for nothing. For instance, if you sew a skirt or dress, the hem is a raw edge unless you finish it with something. Hem tape or stretchy lace is great for this. It's really completely unneeded for the same purpose when finishing a skirt or dress that's knitted, though. Yes, it can be a pretty trim that nobody will ever see, but why bother?

She is also really big on binding off, adding a bit of crochet, and then picking up stitches and continuing. Once again, what is the point, except for make-work? Then again, you needn't do any of these except the ones that are actually needed for the design.

One thing I've noticed, is that some of the directions are shown right-handed, but a lot of the photos of sewing and crochet are shown and described for a left-handed person. I'm not sure why they're mixed up like that or if it was intentional, but that's the way it is.

 I'll try to keep posting, but if you don't hear from me for a while, it's because of the communication problems.

Have a wonderful weekend!

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Adventure Is Out There!

As you may have guessed, I just saw Up yesterday! I liked it, but not as much as most people seem to.

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Speaking of yesterday, my friend, John put up something he called "his six degrees of separation from Martin Luther King" in honor of the day.

I really wanted to put the photo up here, but everything that has anything to do with both the internet and my computer does not seem to be working right today.

It's a photo I took of John with Nichelle Nichols at our friends Jan and Phil Cox's house. I wish I could show it to you, but Safari seems to have gone on one, so I'm using Fire Fox, which is wonky, and the internet seems to react differently to it.

In case you don't know, Nichelle met Martin Luther King, and he's the one that convinced her to stay on Star Trek when she wanted to quit and be on Broadway.

For instance, I just hit return twice to get a new paragraph, and the curser moved two lines UP!

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I can show you what it looked like out my window today, though.

We seem to have gotten a bit of snow either overnight or this morning. Paved areas, once again, are just a bit damp, but the grass, trees, and some buildings have snow on them.

I haven't actually seen it snow today, but every so often, a breeze knocks the snow off the trees, and then a while later, they look like this again.


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Well, I really want to say a lot more, but my whole computer is acting so wonky that I'm going to quit for now. You may not hear much from me until I get this fixed.

There's a new V tonight!

Have a great evening.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Quiet Sunday

Not much is going on around here other than I seem to have gotten off the tracks with my knitting. I was going to finish the last little bit of Christmas knitting, but the blue, self-patterning Comfort yarn from Mary Maxim that I got last month was calling me, and I rationalized it all by saying to myself that I could knit just one sock to get an idea of what it would look like so I'd have a better idea of how to design the vest I bought the yarn for.

Sort of a useful swatch.

Well, I finished the sock, but then one sock isn't much good unless you're Dobby. So, I thought I'd just knit a second sock and then get back to finishing my Christmas knitting.

I'm now on the third one.

This has got to stop!

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The only exciting thing that's been happening is that my phone has started to make loud beeping noises in my ear when I'm using it at random times.

At first, I thought that I just hadn't charged the battery in the handset enough. It's a cordless phone.

But it seems to be charging OK. The other night I was talking to Holly, and it started beeping loudly, and I told her it was beeping and I couldn't talk on it. I hung up, and she called me back because she couldn't hear me once it started beeping, so she didn't know why we got disconnected. She couldn't hear the beeping, but couldn't hear me, either. Anyway, it worked fine then. So, it's obviously not the battery.

The current favorite theory is that it seems to be happening around the time that Comcast sends out the signal to turn off their DVRs. The phone is plugged in to the internet connection from Comcast via a T-Mobile router that I bought for that purpose. If you have a T-Mobile cell phone and a broadband internet connection, you can get a router from them (mine cost $40) with a SIM card and plug it into your internet connection, then plug your landline phone into it and get unlimited service to anywhere in the US for $10 per month.

The router also gives you WiFi.

This is a really good deal for T-Mobile and the customer. My cell phone will work from a wifi connection, and since I use it at home most of the time, I've been using about 40 of my 600 minutes per month. Especially since I use the landline instead of the cell most of the time when I'm at home.

So, I can call my friend in California and talk for an hour whenever I want,  and it doesn't cost anything extra. So, T-Mobile gets $10 extra per month, I use fewer minutes on my cell, and T-Mobile actually has to do less for their money.

But, once again, Comcast is probably messing up a good thing.

I'm so sick of them.

One of the things I really hated about them was that they send out a signal between 1 and 1:30 am to turn off your DVR. Doesn't matter if you just checked to see what was on, changed the channel, whatever, it just tries to turn  off your DVR. It blanks out the picture of whatever you were watching, turns off the sound, and says "Your DVR is powering off, now. Press any button to stop it from doing that."

I hate Comcast!

Although they still send out the signal, now that I have a TiVo, the box ignores that signal. But I think it may be affecting the phone. I don't know for sure that this is what is happening, but I'm still really disgusted with Comcast (as usual)!

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Speaking of TV things that I'm really disgusted with, Fox did another one this week.

I was really looking forward to watching two back-to-back episodes of Human Target on Wednesday. It was so much fun last week! So, at 8 pm, I sit down to watch, and there's a stupid sitcom on! I check the electronic TV guide, and it says two hours of Human Target. I stick with it for a while and finally find out that they bumped those two hours to televise the memorial service for the victims of the shooting in Tucson.

Don't get me wrong. I would have wanted to watch it if I'd known it was on. I did watch it, and sat and cried for a while.

The thing I object to is that they didn't let me know what was happening.

And then they televised the first of the two Human Target episodes on Friday night, but didn't tell anyone. I didn't find out until it was over and I'd missed it.

If you don't let people know your schedule, it's all useless. There were probably thousands of people who wanted to watch the memorial service and didn't because they didn't know it was on.

Ditto, Human Target.

Get your act together, Fox! You have had some great shows on, but you manage to kill them! Notably, Firefly.

I hate it when TV networks change their schedule 15 minutes before something is due to air! Especially since that's too late to change the electronic TV guide (not the mention the printed one), so nobody knows what's happening. You could at least make an announcement on air at the beginning of the change!

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I hope you've been having a good weekend and I wish you the best week possible!

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Happy 1/11/11!

We've had some interesting repeating numbers in our dates lately, and this is one of the more fun ones. Of course, when we get to November we'll have 11/11/11. Lots of ones! What fun!

Or as my ex-husband used to say "You're easily amused!"

Oh well, you have a choice with things like this. You can either be bored or find it amusing. Amusing is more fun.

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It was supposed to snow here early in the morning, but it just started a little while ago. I checked the window, and there were big, fat, wet flakes falling out of the sky.

It was also supposed to stop after rush hour and then start up again just in time for rush hour in the late afternoon. Maybe that means that the second batch will wait until after rush hour to begin. It shouldn't be bad in any case because we're expecting about an inch of snow total today. We're also expecting "snow showers" (flurries?) over the coming few days.

After checking the window again, I can say that it's stopped, and all it's done so far is dampen everything slightly. The lake behind me is frozen, so it probably added a very thin layer to the top of the snow there.

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I still have a little Christmas knitting to do.

I know. Some people don't finish on time, but this is ridiculous.

I'm taking a break to knit a sock, though, and then I'll finish the Christmas knitting. But since it's not a present for someone, I can show it to you.


I bought a batch of this yarn from Mary Maxim last month, and I wanted to knit socks just to see how the self-patterning looked on this yarn. I like it! In fact, I like it so much I'm thinking of making a vest for myself out of it. That's what I originally bought it for, but I've been turning over various ideas for how I want to make it. There are no decisions yet, but I think I'm going to like anything I make out of this! Maybe I should order some more.

This is done in their Comfort sock yarn in denim. Do not try to buy this elsewhere. Their Comfort sock yarn is superwash wool with a bit of nylon for reinforcement. There's another brand of Comfort sock yarn out there that is primarily acrylic, but the price isn't as good for what it is. And the search engines seem to only find the acrylic yarn, not the wool yarn from Germany that Mary Maxim has.

Anyway, this yarn is about $5 for enough yarn for two socks (with probably a little left over unless they're very big socks).

I used to think that Mary Maxim only had the cheapest acrylic yarn, but either I was wrong or they've added some very nice yarns. Whichever, they're worth checking out because they have some yarns that are very nice! And some good prices on that yarn! They have a nice acrylic tweed yarn in some colors that are hard to find or too expensive for me to buy in wool. And some nice self-striping wool yarn at a good price. Sign up for their mail catalog. There's a lot of dreck in it, but a few real gems!

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I watched Castle last night. It's one of the few shows on TV at the moment that are showing brand-new, never-seen-before shows! The one last night was one of their best. Someone died at a magic shop, and Castle went on about how he loves magic and used to practically live at the magic shop when he was a kid. Beckett doesn't say anything, but does a few magic tricks right in front of him during the show. Her signature line for this show is "Alakazam, Jackass," which she says to people whose alibis she pokes holes in or just as she's arresting them. It was a very entertaining show. Oh, and a friend of mine on Facebook mentioned today that it's been picked up for another season! Thanks, Steve!

For you V fen, they've shown some reruns (At least I thought they were reruns, but maybe not) during the past week, and there's more on tonight. It's not beyond the realm of possibility that they may be new shows. I've TiVo'd them, but haven't watched them yet, so I couldn't say. I do plan to watch them later today in preparation for the show tonight.

As far as new shows (as opposed to reruns) are concerned, Human Target will be on tomorrow with two brand new shows on back-to-back (same as last week). This is action-adventure, not science fiction, but very good, very well done, and a real treat to watch! If you were a fan of Pushing Daisies, Chi McBride, who played Emerson Cod, the knitting detective, is in this. In a wasteland of reruns, this really stands out!



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What a great day I have to look forward to! Snow flurries visible out the window while I sit nice and snug and warm watching some great science fiction on TV and knitting! Can life get any better? Maybe, but not much.

I do plan to take some books back to the library and get some more, and while I'm out, get some things at Safeway, so I can have snacks for my snow, TV and knitting.

Happy 1/11/11!

Friday, January 7, 2011

Happy Distaff Day!

Happy Distaff Day!


Distaff Day is the day after Twelfth Night, and, during the Middle Ages, it was the day when spinners had to go back to work after the Christmas holiday.

For any of you who are not spinners, maybe I should explain. The long stick-like thing the woman in the picture is holding in her right hand is a distaff, and it holds the fiber she's going to spin on the spindle that's hanging from her left hand. That's a drop spindle she's got. Between her two hands, is the singles she's just spun and is ready to wind onto the spindle to store while she twirls the spindle and spins some more.

Since I'm a spinner and interested in the Middle Ages, I tend to keep track of, and enjoy these things, and I thought you might, too.

It's also, by the way, Pearl Harbor Day.

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There's currently a Merlin marathon on Syfy, and they're going to show the new season premier of Merlin this evening. If you think of it as something that happened on some other planet at some other time, it holds up well, and has some good stories. It is not, however, anything like the Arthurian legend in any way, except that they used the names of the characters from Arthur. That's where the similarity ends.

Have a wonderful weekend!

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Happy Twelfth Night!

Happy Twelfth Night!



We've come to the biggest blowout of the Christmas season in the Medieval world, Twelfth Night!

I hope you have a happy one!

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There's a brand new episode of The Big Bang Theory on TV tonight! Don't miss it!

And we were lucky enough to have two whole new episodes of Human Target last night. It might not be science fiction, but it's one of the best action-adventure shows on TV at the moment! There will be two new episodes on again next Wednesday, so check it out if you haven't already.

Have the best Twelfth Night ever!

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Knit Picks Giveaway!

Knit Picks is having a giveaway! You can enter to win a copy of a Noro book and a ball of their new Chroma yarn!

If you click on the title of the book, you can see (by clicking on the photo of the cover of the book) about a dozen of the designs in the book, and by clicking on "Chroma" you can see the colors it's available in. It seems to be available in both sock and worsted weight.

My favorite colorway is Midwinter (bet you saw that coming!).


I was looking at a knitting magazine I bought a bit more than a month ago, and noticed some very rich colors. After reading the instructions, I discovered that the colors were so rich because they were knitting at a knitting worsted gauge with two strands of fingering weight sock yarn that was self striping, and the colors were deliberately not matching at any one point.

Beautiful!

This kind of striping would also look great done in entrelac. It would make a stunning entrelac lap robe or afghan!

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I can't believe it's Wednesday already! I went to Joann Fabrics yesterday to get what I needed to finish a few Christmas presents. I didn't get to see anyone on Christmas, and won't get to see anyone I'm giving presents to before this weekend, so it's OK. But I'm knitting like a crazy person trying to get it all done. There's a pile about a foot high of things that need to be blocked that I have to get around to real soon now, and a decent sized box full of presents to wrap yet, so I'm way behind, as usual.

Anyway, it took so long to go to Joann and shop and deal with the bus that it's almost as if yesterday didn't exist, although I did manage to get a lot of knitting in on the bus, and even waiting for the bus early on. It was warm enough yesterday to actually knit without freezing my fingers.

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There's two hours of Human Target on tonight, and although I think they're reruns, it's always worth watching.

There have been loads of reruns of V on in the past few days, and I hope you haven't missed them. I think they're trying to get people psyched for the new season.

Other than all that, not much is happening, so have a wonderful night watching TV and knitting!

Monday, January 3, 2011

Have a Lucky New Year!

I got an email today, and this is what it said.

Essentially, feeling like you're lucky, or wearing a lucky charm actually seems to affect your luck in a positive way!

All over the world, you find spinners and knitters throughout history that have a belief that making yarn or knitting something for a specific person and thinking happy, lucky, or healing thoughts has the corresponding effect on the person when they wear the item. And these are cultures and times where the people had no real communication with each other, but it pops up everywhere and when.

It's nice to know that modern studies agree with age-old beliefs!

Posting this makes me feel like Immanuel Velikovski!

And it's one reason I always wish you a nice day, evening, week or weekend at the end of a post.

Reruns of Chuck and Castle are on tonight! Have fun!

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Nookcolor Giveaway Info and News!

As you know if you read this blog on a regular basis, I wanted a Nookcolor ebook reader for Christmas. It was never likely that I would get one, so I've been looking around for some Nookcolor giveaways, and I've found some.


Before I get to that, I'm going to go over a little of what I've found out about it, though. If you're a knitter and think you won't be interested in this, you may be surprised to find that it has features you'll really like, so read on.

It's an ebook reader. Well, duh, of course, that's what it's marketed as. But it does almost all book readers one better by displaying color. It's being stressed that the color makes it good for reading picture books to children, and it has a feature where the reader will read the books out loud to the kids, too!

You can download your ebooks from a WiFi network without having to plug into your computer.

The color aspect of it means that it will show your PDF knitting patterns in full color, and let you carry around all the knitting patterns you want. Including charts in the patterns!

If you write your own patterns, you can save them as MSWord or text files and carry them with you. And the major distributers of ebooks have apps for Android, so if you have other kinds of ebooks, you can read them here, too. You'll have to play a little to download them until the system update becomes available later this month, but they are available.

Zinio will also be putting out a reader app very soon for their magazines to be used on Android systems (which this is) so that you can read most knitting magazines and Spin Off on your Nookcolor.

Oh, and you can share your books with a friend who has a Nook!

It's functionally an iPod! It can do everything (if my understanding is correct) that an iPod can do. Store and play back MP3s. Listen to your favorite songs in stereo! Or sign up for Pandora and get radio on your Nookcolor as long as you're near a WiFi network!

Store all your photos on it, and see them in color on a 7 inch diagonal screen. It's big enough to really see and enjoy photos without the device actually being too big to carry comfortably.

The list of kinds of files the Nookcolor will display is staggering!

And it comes loaded with a few games. It's likely more will follow, but read on for more game info.

It's almost a tablet! Barnes & Noble isn't pushing this aspect of it, but it will do an awful lot besides being a book reader.

For starters, it will connect to the internet via WiFi, which means you can check your email on it and answer emails. Look up local movie schedules, check out information on Wikipedia, catch up on Facebook, Tweet to your heart's content, and do all the same stuff on the internet that you can do on your computer! That's right out of the box. I'm guessing it's possible to blog from it.

It didn't take me long to find instructions for how to plug a cell phone that has internet access into a Nookcolor and give it internet access even where there is no WiFi. I leave it to you to find the instructions on the internet.

This has ramifications that may not be immediately apparent. Such as controlling TiVo from your Nookcolor via the TiVo website over the internet. Read the TV schedule, and tell many brands of DVR what to record. DirecTV has had this capability for a while, and Xfinity has begun advertising this feature. And if you have DirecTV, etc, you can also check on the cast and crew of TV movies via IMdB! You can even read my IMdB page. If you have TiVo, you can do this right from your TV, but the others don't.

But sometime in January, B&N intends to open their app store so that you can get other functionality, too. How many apps they'll have available, and what those apps will do is a matter for speculation now, but the possibilities for the Nookcolor will be expanding.

One of the big advantages of the Nookcolor over an iPad is that you can expand the memory. Just slip in a 32 gig mini SD card, and you've got more memory than a $600 iPad because the Nookcolor already has 8 gigs of memory for a total of 40 gigs! For a cost of $250!

The expandability has another benefit that may not be immediately apparent, too. Stop thinking of that mini SD card as just memory, and start thinking of it as a medium to transfer things from your Android phone or your computer! Of course, you can do that with the data cable supplied, too.

Which means that although the Nookcolor doesn't have access to the app store that an Android phone store, doesn't mean that it won't run a lot of Android based apps. Some apps won't work right due to shortcomings in the Nookcolor. It's not an iPad, after all.

The major thing that seems to be missing (other than more apps, which may be fixed soon) is GPS. That's what makes the star chart program I discussed the other day work as well as it does.

But there are programs for making lists, and even programs for writing available for Android. I hate virtual keyboards, so these won't be popular with me, but they're there. Oh, and games!

The Nookcolor comes loaded with Android 2.1, but it's rumored that it will be upgradable to Android 2.2 later this month (or real soon now), and then it's supposed to have direct access to the Android app store, and more capabilities for internet access.

It may not have full tablet functionality, but it's a really amazing little gadget for a comparatively small price.

Read on for how to enter a couple of giveaways to win one free!

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Enter by January 9 to win a Nookcolor at Susan Helm on Parenting. As usual, read the rules and find several different ways to enter to win. I'm really excited about this one!

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Enter before February 20 at Pazsaz Entertainment Network for another chance at a Nookcolor. You can enter on their website once each day until the deadline.

Check my Twitter entries on the sidebar for continuing information. Good luck to all of you!

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