Pumpkin Carving

It’s that time of the year again to carve some pumpkins! After our trip to Kessman Farms with Alyssa we came home and carved up our first round of pumpkins. Starting early this year to make up for not doing anything last year. This is Jess’ favorite time of year and she’s done a great job sprucing up the house for the holiday. Arianna got to decorate her first pumpkin this year too. She did a lovely job on her cute white pumpkin!

Pumpkin Picking

Today we went pumpkin picking with Alyssa. We took a ride over to Kessman Farms out near Alyssa’s house. Arianna actually liked the hay ride and running around practically touching every pumpkin or “apple” as she called them. Besides the few terrible twos screaming fits it was actually a really good day. They had a small petting zoo and hay maze that was just Arianna’s size. For a while we didn’t think she would ever leave the maze. We picked some good pumpkins and had some cider donuts, then headed back home to start the carving.

For all the pictures, see the gallery here.

Apple Picking

I took the day off Friday to spend some quality time with my ladies. We took a trip down to Fishkill Farms for some excellent apple picking. We went last year and Arianna seemed to love it, so we figured it would be ever better this year now that she was older. Oh boy was it fun with her this year! As soon as we got there she kept saying “apple!” and ran right over to a low hanging tree, picked one off, and bit right into it. Best part of the day was when she found one really small and low and ate it while still attached to the tree. I can’t get enough of this kid sometimes, she cracks me up. We had a lovely day and then came home and made some pies. Time to make some more to go with football tomorrow.

Click here to see the full gallery.

We Cut The Cord – No More Cable TV

A few months ago Jess and I decided to cut the cord and get rid of cable TV. I couldn’t stand paying so much money per month to watch the same shows over and over again. Thousands of channels at our fingertips but in reality we only watched a few. ¬†With the savings I signed up for Netflix streaming and Amazon Prime. I’ve had a Netflix account in the past but only kept the DVD service alive for the last few years.

I just recently added Hulu Plus to the mix. I don’t even pay for that service. I use my Bing Rewards points and get months free, but since I can get the free month before the month-end, I essentially don’t have to pay at all. Yet another added bonus to this scheme was when I dropped the cable TV plan from Time Warner they actually increased my internet speed and lowered the price just to keep me happy. Little do they know I’m actually stuck with them and have no alternatives where I am unfortunately, but I’ll take the discount.

Since we’ve been using the services, we’ve found that we actually enjoy watching TV without stupid commercials. We watch only what we want to, and it’s always new content. Many shows we always wanted to watch but never remember to DVR are now at the ready. I’m actually amazed at how much less time we spend watching TV also. It’s nice sometimes to just enjoy silence and not have reruns of Family Guy on just until some show you want to see comes on.

Now I know many people have already been doing this, but this is for the people out there that are worried about cutting the cord and missing out on programming. There are always ways around road blocks. I was worried we wouldn’t ever see football or hockey anymore. To get around that I simply got myself and nice VPN that allows me to connect to somewhere in Europe. With that I signed up for NFL Gamepass, which is far superior to DirecTV’s Sunday Ticket. I get to watch every single game in better quality HD, even the blacked out games, the late night games, and the ones on Monday and Thursday, something you CAN’T do with Sunday Ticket. I also get the full playoffs and Super Bowl, which also isn’t part of Sunday Ticket. For NHL I can use the same VPN and watch blacked out games on NHL Gamecenter. Man I love technology.

I considered using an antenna for the main channels, but being 80 miles from the city and 50 miles from the secondary sites up north I wouldn’t really get great quality, if the mountains don’t get in the way. So for popular shows I haven’t quite found a way around it that everyone can use since Aereo got shut down. For now I just “borrow” my parents Verizon FiOS account and stream the shows from their perspective websites over to my Chromecast.

Feel free to comment if you have any questions on how to get around certain things or wondering what you can and cannot access when streaming only.

the incoherent ramblings in my head