Happy New Year! (from Busch Gardens)

We rang in 2018 at Busch Gardens this year … watching the fireworks display through the skeleton of Gwazi

2018 fireworks through Gwazi

The park was crowded, but nothing like we’ve seen when we’ve gone to the Disney parks for NYE. There were a lot of ride closures, but with Quick Queue we were able to ride all of the coasters.

Earlier in the day, my Cleveland Browns completed their perfect season, going 0-16 for the first time in franchise history (and marking the 2nd time in NFL history a team has gone 0-16, the 2008 Detroit Lions doing it before … and my Tampa Bay Buccaneers went 0-14 back in 1976 (before they were “my” Bucs). Let’s hope 2018 can’t get any worse for football in Cleveland.

Hydra: TiVo’s next-generation user interface

Last weekend, TiVo officially released their next-generation user interface, code-named Hydra so I used the Early Access Request link posted by TiVo_Ted on the TiVo Community Forums to upgrade my Roamio Pro so I could check it out:

Hydra early access page

Hydra early access DVR selection

A few hours later, my box had upgraded to 21.7.2.RC7 and the next-generation UI:

Hydra UI

The new navigation structure and screen layouts are going to take some time to get used to. I have a lot of TiVo-related muscle memory that no longer works (like using Left to go back a screen, or pressing “1” on TiVo Central to jump to OnePasses, etc.). Think carefully before upgrading your own box(es) to Hydra … if you want to go back to the “classic” UI it will involve a complete reset of your box, which means you’ll lose all recordings, settings, etc. Ouch.

Mainly the reason I upgraded one of my boxes was so that I could start updating my Alexa skill for the new UI navigation. I’ll post more opinions once I have more time to play around with Hydra.

Advancing to the Artful Aardvark

The Indians were knocked out of the ALDS by the Yankees. The Bucs are 2-4 and the Browns are 0-7. The Cavaliers are 2-1. The Lightning are 7-1. It’s October, which means a confluence of the major league sports, and a new Ubuntu release!

17.10 wraps back around to the beginning of the alphabet with Artful Aardvark (release notes).

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Indians lose Game 5 of the ALDS


After Brett Gardner’s line single to right field scored two runs to put away Game 5 of the American League Division Series for the New York Yankees, hundreds of crestfallen realists in the Progressive Field stands succumbed to the inevitable. They lugged their disappointment and dashed dreams up the stairs into the night, fully cognizant that the Cleveland Indians’ streak of world championship-free seasons will turn 70 in 2018.

I guess they peaked a little too early with that record-setting win streak in September … or they choked. This about sums it up:

Indians elimination game woes


Retro gaming + Raspberry Pi = RetroPie

There’s no shortage of retro dedicated gaming consoles in today’s marketplace: theĀ Atari FlashbackĀ has been out for years (in several iterations) and more recently theĀ NES Classic and SNES Classic have made headlines as they fly off the store shelves. I’ve owned two Flashbacks (both gifts), bought a few Virtual Console games when I was still playing my Wii regularly, and recently resurrected my old Atari 800XL for classic gaming, but then I found RetroPie.

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Hurricane Irma recap

animated Irma NHC forecast cone

We had plenty of warning that Hurricane Irma was coming, but the uncertainty of when, where, and how bad continued to be the wildcard right up until the last minute. Whereas at the beginning of the week it looked like Irma was going to skirt up the east coast of Florida now it seemed that it was going to come up through the Keys on theĀ west (Gulf) side of the state, aimed directly at the Tampa Bay area.

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Bracing for Irma

With the devastation in Houston from Hurricane Harvey barely two weeks old, here in Florida we’re bracing for Hurricane Irma, a Category 5 storm with 185MPH winds:

We had our impact windows installed back in 2008, and replaced the overhead garage door in 2015, but still hadn’t gotten around to the entry doors. Trying to find plywood has been difficult so far and there were lines at the gas stations last night when I went to fill up the car and my gas cans in case we have to evacuate (I don’t live in an evacuation zone, but if they evacuate the entire county, we’ll leave). Our supply closet is stocked (refreshed over this past Memorial Day weekend as is our custom) and ready to go either way.

Fingers crossed this thing continues to track east and spares the state!

Labor Day Weekend 2017 at Disney: Day 3

Happy Labor Day!

We got up early so we could check out of the hotel and drive over to the Animal Kingdom park to take advantage of the early morning Extra Magic Hours (it opened at 8:00am for Disney resort guests). We were in the parking lot at 7:40am but discovered that they were already letting people into the park to get in line for Avatar: Flight of Passage. So we walked immediately (with everyone else) to get in the line … which wasĀ reallyĀ reallyĀ long. Despite that, however, we were actually done with the ride by 9:15am! It’s pretty incredible … Soarin’ on steroids, and might compete with Expedition Everest for my favorite ride at the park.

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Labor Day Weekend 2017 at Disney: Day 2

We bounced around a lot today …

This morning while eating breakfast at the Contemporary, a departing family gave us three Super FastPasses for Epcot! They were heading to the airport and hadn’t had a chance to use them and since they had three, and we are a family of three, they gave them to us. Very nice! We’ve done this ourselves in the past, so it was nice to have karma pay it forward. After eating, we crowded onto the bus (barely making it on) bound for Hollywood Studios.

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