Saturday, October 18, 2014

Netflix vs Hulu Plus

For quite a few years we have lived without cable television due to the fact that it's too expensive. However, to fulfill my television wants and needs without cable, we purchased an Apple TV and have Netflix.

Netflix or Hulu, Netflix or Hulu...which service is better?  Well, today I'm going to throw my opinion into this often debated topic.

When we first subscribed to Netflix, we had both the TV and DVD service.  I used the DVD service a lot during the summer, but once school started it wasn't being used, so we cancelled it.  Luckily I cancelled the service before the infamous price increase, so it never bothered me.

I've always been happy with both the TV and movie selection that Netflix has offered.  There are many choices for Brandon to pick from, no matter what his age is.  And I love that there are choices that we can watch together, without me wanting to poke my eyes out with a fork!  Shows like Phineas and Ferb, and Ninjago can often be seen on our television.

I've found that when I watch Netflix, I tend to watch TV shows more than movies.  With a TV show, you can watch one, stop, and then come back.  I don't like doing that with movies...I have no idea why.  If you know me, you know that I LOVE the TV show Burn Notice.  All 7 seasons are on Netflix, along with the stand alone TV movie The Fall of Sam Axe, which tells the back story of that character.

On the occasion that I watch a movie, Netflix has many Disney options that are always fun to watch. Old school Disney movies like Robin Hood, Dumbo, Cinderella,Winnie the Pooh and Sleeping Beauty are on my list.

When we had cable, we would often watch HGTV and The Food Network.  Just last week I noticed that both channels have added many of their shows to the Netflix line up.  I was even happier when I discovered that two of my favorites were among the titles:  Restaurant Impossible, and The Property Brothers.

Needless to say, this discovery has left me EXCITED.  Now all they need to do is add one of the MANY shows with Bobby Flay on it, and I will never need cable again!

Netflix is constantly attempting to update their selection, providing customers with more recent movies and television shows.  As a customer, I appreciate that.  More often than not, once the most recent season of a TV series is on DVD it will pop up on Netflix.

Recently Netflix added a feature making it easier to watch the next episode of the TV show you're watching.  When the episode is over, it will automatically go to the next episode for you, unless you tell it not to.  For a fan of episode TV like me, this is a great feature.

I also love that the TV shows on Netflix don't have commercials.  There are no ads that play where a commercial would be if it was on cable.  I hate commercials.  When we had cable, this was the job of the DVR; fast-forwarding commercials!

Netflix has also found productive, and effective ways to use technology.  If there is a TV show title on my list that will have another season coming soon, I will receive a notice on my phone from Netflix.  If you're adding selections to your Netflix list from the internet, I've found that their website is very user friendly.  It is very easy to find all the possible titles of both TV shows and movies, and add those that you want to your list.  And since I'm anal, and a little OCD, I have the selections on my list in a specific order.  Netflix makes it easy for me to put the new titles in the order that I would like them to be in.

Just this week a fabulous announcement was made.  January 1st, the greatest TV show EVER will be joining Netflix:

A few years ago I watched EVERYTHING on the internet through the station's website (,, etc).  The networks caught on that many people were doing this, and decided to play dirty by forcing you to provide your cable account information to be able to watch the episode online. Since I didn't have a cable provider, I was no longer able to watch many shows.  If I had cable, and access to a DVR, why would I want to watch the show in the internet when I could watch them over and over again on my DVR?  It makes no sense to me.

It's beginning to happen more and more.  The day CBS does this, I will have to purchase cable again. If I can't watch NCIS, NCIS: LA, and Survivor, I will die!  Ooo, it's beginning to feel like a conspiracy to force people back into purchasing cable!

Moving on...

Now on to Hulu Plus. Thanks to McDonald's and their annual Monopoly game, I won a free month-long trial of Hulu Plus. I had tried the 7 day free trial about a year ago, but wasn't very impressed.  I decided a month would give me a lot more time to investigate and learn more about this service.

Right off the bat I found one of my favorite shows that I no longer have access to due to the stupid cable account information fiasco:

I began watching the seasons that I've missed, and looked forward to discovering what other shows I could find.

I've always heard Hulu Plus advertise themselves as the service that provides current episodes of TV shows that are on right now.  I continued my search for said shows.  I'm 3 weeks into my free trial and I'm remembering why I wasn't impressed the first time around.  Unless you watch all the vampire TV shows, the shows about the Kardashians, all the prissy, rich housewife shows, America's Next Top Model, or most everything on Fox, there's not much of a selection for you.

I'm finding it difficult to find the shows that Hulu Plus offers.  Their website isn't nearly as user friendly as Netflix, and the actual channel isn't much more help.  I like when the service lists all the shows it has to offer, that way I don't have to try and remember what I would like to watch.

Hulu Plus has commercials.  Unlike Netflix, they will show 2 thirty seconds ads where a commercial would've been had it been playing on television.  The ads are promoting other shows available on Hulu Plus, which is how I know all the real housewife and Kardashian shows are available.  They are the same few ads replayed over and over again.  These ads are often inappropriate.  I don't like Brandon in the room when they come on because he's 7 and doesn't need to see women acting like sluts, women pole dancing, and women dressed like hookers.  I'm not kidding, these are "commercials" that are seen on Hulu Plus.  No thank you, disgusting.

The last thing I'm noticing about Hulu Plus is that it is constantly loosing its internet connection.  The show I'm watching will often freeze up, or even completely stop playing.  This rarely happens with Netflix, and I have no idea why.

It's obvious which service I prefer.  When the trial is over, I won't be continuing Hulu Plus.  For the needs of my family, Netflix has it all.

Sunday, October 12, 2014

Change Is Never Easy

...especially when you weren't looking for it to begin with.

The past 2 months have been a challenge...a HUGE challenge.  I thought loosing my job was difficult.  I was wrong.  That was the easy part!

After I obtained a new job, many decisions had to be made, and quickly.  Should we stay in Tooele, in a house we LOVE and commute into town so that we could stay in our fabulous ward and near our terrific friends, or should we pay more on rent and move closer?  After number crunching and much thought, we decided it would be best to move to West Jordan.  The next problem was our lease.

The beginning of August, right after receiving the new job,  I informed the property management people that we would probably be breaking our lease and moving, so they needed to get on the bandwagon and find someone to rent the house.  We didn't want to break the lease, but moving to West Jordan would put me 5 minutes away from work instead of almost an hour away.

The beginning of August I began packing.  By the way, I HATE PACKING!  Members from our ward came out the night before we moved and helped us load up the U-haul truck.  Saying goodbye wasn't easy.  The morning we left I put the last box into my car, and just stood looking at the front of our tears.  I didn't want to go, plain and simple.  I wanted to unload the truck myself, unpack all the boxes, and continue living in a place I had grown to love, and go back to the job I loved more than anything.  Since that wasn't going to happen, off we went.

We now live closer to the Salt Lake airport.  I LOVE hearing the planes that are preparing to land. We also live across from a small airport that is used for flying lessons.  There are a lot of military helicopters in the area, and where they are the coolest thing to see flying in the air, they are SO VERY LOUD!  

I began training for my new job, and was looking forward to the new school year.  I was sad to move, but grateful for the new job that came so quickly and looked promising.  Well, it hasn't been the easiest transition.  We're almost 7 weeks into the new school year and job.  I keep thinking that things will get easier; and they aren't.  I seem to take 1 step forward, and 2 steps back.  I am busier than ever with things that, as a teacher, I shouldn't have to be dealing with.  I've developed an insane caffeine addiction...the people working at the gas station around the corner from our house practically know me by name, and I continue to gain weight.  Oh well, with all the stuff on my plate, who has time to exercise anyway?!?  No matter how much I remind myself each day to be positive and look for the good things in life, I'm just not happy.  I miss my friends, our old house, ward, and most of old job.  I've been back to Tooele a few times since we've moved, and it's been too much for me.  I've had to avoid driving by the school while driving into Tooele.  We all knew each other's first names, what was happening in our lives...we were family.  I lost my family when I lost that job.  That is what hurts the most.

To makes matters even more fun, the house in Tooele hasn't rented yet, because the property management company has been sitting on their butts doing nothing to get it rented.  So the landlords are mad at us, which I understand.  I'm frustrated because they've known about this since the beginning of August...plenty of time to find another family to rent it, in my opinion.  Moving back over the mountain has proven to be more expensive, too.  You'd think that making more money would mean you'd have more money....I should know better by now!  Since there's only 3 of us in our family, a ridiculous amount of money comes out of my checks so that we avoid owing money come tax season.  Medical insurance will begin to be taken out next month, and the price of that is going up quite a bit too.  (Again, thank you to Obama and his STUPID "insurance" idea) When that happens, I'll end up taking home less each month than I did when we were in Tooele!!

My health is also getting worse, and I'm now on another medication to hopefully give me better control.

I know that this was the right choice.  Of the 3 job offers I received that day, I know this was the job I was supposed to take.  I also know this is where we were supposed to move to.  What I'm struggling with is this:  WHY IS THIS SO DIFFICULT?  WHY am I so unhappy when I know this is where we're supposed to be?

 I'm tired of not knowing WHY we're here. WHY did this all have to happen to begin with?  WHY wasn't this entire issue worked out when those involved didn't want me to loose my job and fought to keep me at the school to begin with?  I have ideas about that one, but you'll have to ask me!!

I was happy in Tooele, making a difference, working with people I adore, at a school Brandon LOVED.  I was finally making friends, which is something that doesn't come easily for me.  We were in a house that, where it had flaws, on a whole, we LOVED.


I feel a little better now.  Okay, not really, but venting is always healthy, in my opinion!

I'll leave you with three quotes that I found.  These are easier said than done, but I'm working on it!

Trust me, I'm trying VERY, VERY HARD to remember all these things!