Monthly Archives: April 2011

Closed Captions for the Hearing Impaired

courtesy of wikipedia.com- all rights reserved - Jack Foley created the "CC in a TV" symbol while senior graphic designer at WGBH.

We never really truly appreciated closed captioning until … we had children.  After our oldest child turned two, we realized we could not hear anything on TV- the news, the State of the Union, movie dialogue, sitcoms, etc., much less hear ourselves think.  So, we turned to what most parents turn to- closed captioning for the hearing impaired.  It’s awesome!  I am not saying it is great to be hearing impaired nor am I comparing myself to someone with a disability but I am thankful that a tool like captioning is available.  And, it’s made available to all of us, not just for those who have a disability requiring it.  Even DVDs have the subtitle feature and yes, you can even pick English.  It’s also a great tool for learning languages, brushing up on your English, Spanish or French, and if you are watching a Bollywood movie, Hindi, Arabic, or other languages as well.  For us, closed captioning and subtitles are just perfect because we have energetic kids that scream, yell, “sing” (notice this is in quotes), cry, and just talk so loud  we cannot hear Alex Trebec state the answer on Jeopardy!(c).   Instead of doing all of this activity in a toy room, or play area set-up for them, they will undoubtedly do it right in your ear, or in the general vicinity of what you are watching and trying to listen to because simply put, they want to spend time with you. What better way to do that then be close to you when making the sounds/screams/noises or straight up crying?

For us, we never thought we’d use closed captioning.  I always found it annoying when my parents kept it on because they couldn’t understand some American slang or strange words or accents.  For my parents, English was not their first or second language.  Now, two kids later, I cannot imagine watching a movie, a show, or anything for that matter (including commercials) without captions or subtitles.  When I go see movies in the theater with my husband, I initially feel absolutely lost without captions.  I am like, “where are they?! What did he say?  Did he say Hello? OMG- I am not gonna make it- why did I pay $9.00 for this- I should have waited to rent it.”  Eventually, like 40 minutes in, I get used to the lack of captions and finally understand the actor’s accent and start following along.  By this time, the woman next to me has also stopped crunching on her popcorn, or tearing open her bag of chips too, or shaking her ice around.  But, really, would it hurt the movie theater to throw in subtitles for those of us who are hearing impaired- not officially but in theory?  Come on – just for the first 30 minutes or so?

Tell us what you do, parents- do you keep the captions on or your TV on or off?  What if you have to watch a movie when the kids are sleeping and need to keep the volume low?  I am curious.  Am I the only parent with this addiction and love of captions and subtitles?

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Got Dairy? A review of Royal Crest

Leave the readers your experiences in the comments below. 

While I have only had three deliveries as of the date of this post, I have to say, I really, really enjoy receiving fresh milk delivered straight to my door!  I am not sure why we did not do this sooner.  It is strange that during both my pregnancies and during nursing, I did not do this.  First, I should point out I am not a snob.  There’s nothing wrong about store bought milk and Second, it is a cheaper option and easier to obtain if you get it at the store.  But, for me, after I tasted fresh milk – skim, whole, and chocolate from Royal Crest and did a side-by-side taste comparison, there was just no going back.  Sadly, I am hooked to overpriced fresh milk, from the dairy to my front door.  The good news: It is hormone-free, and better for us.  It tastes good as well as it does not sit in plastic or cardboard for days before arriving at the store, where it may sit for longer before it sells.  It arrives fresh, and is guaranteed for two weeks.   Because it tastes better,  I am drinking more of it.  I may gain weight … yikers!  

For me, the convenience is very attractive as well which is why I wish I had done it sooner.   While in the infant stage, it would have been very useful to have home milk delivery.  Both my kiddos were breast milk fed until almost a year old but even then, it would have been nice to have fresh, hormone-free milk for me when they first started drinking whole milk.   So far, my review of Royal Crest is positive.  I have not tried Longmont Dairy so I cannot speak to them but Royal Crest charges $0.75 per week (not to exceed $3.00 per month) for delivery whether you skip or not.  You get charged monthly on your credit card or can set up an automatic withdrawal from checking.  You can always get billed as well.  Their prices on the milk are a little bit more than Longmont I think but Longmont Dairy does have a minimum per week which you should be able to meet.  Longmont charges $1.00 per week for delivery but appears to deliver milk in glass bottles.  Longmont’s menu is more limited but they have Strawberry milk. Both Dairies often a free 1/2 gallon of milk to try out before you start delivery as well.

You can see a full menu at Royal Crest’s website but their milk prices are not posted.   You can call and ask as well but expect the gallons to be in the $5.00 range- not all of them, and then half gallons roughly $3.00+.   I have tried some of the other items too.  I love their chocolate milk and their eggs are larger than the average LARGE eggs in stores and a reasonable price.  I have had their bread but that is because I did not feel like going to the store for a loaf of bread.  The bread is Sara Lee or Rudi’s (which is yummy).   Additionaly, they sell cheese, butter, yogurt, juice, lemonade, and other products.  Their OJ, in my opinion is not as good as Tropicana or Florida’s natural because it is from concentrate, but in a pinch, you can always order a quart before you make it out to the store.  I am hoping to try the cheese and butter in the future and will let you know what I think.  The way to order is to have a recurring order which comes unless you change it.  The website is good but be careful when you make changes.  It could delete other items as you add more.  So, always double check what you order and for what date especially if you are like us, and receiving two deliveries per week.  You can get one or two deliveries but if you do two, the price is the same $0.75 per week total and you have to make sure you get a GALLON (two 1/2 gallons are fine) each time the delivery comes.  So, that ends being a minimum anyway.  Otherwise, if you do once a week, there is no minimum and you can skip weeks as well.  Also, if their website is down, just use the order card and leave it in your dairy box- it overrides your entire on-line order but oftentimes, more reliable.  Well… maybe? 

Please leave us your thoughts and comments on either or both of these home dairy deliveries and your experiences with them: Royal Crest and/or Longmont Dairy.

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Where do you get your K-cups & my warning about Keurig.com

***Readers, please leave your comments to help all us addicts out- where do you get your K-cups and what type of deals can you get?***

For a few weeks now I have had trouble with the Keurig website. They have a website and there are member prices along with points you can earn and later redeem for rewards but today, I had it with their website and lack of customer service and empathy so I found a few other sources to get my much-needed supply of K-cups.  Frankly, most of these sites are cheaper and better than keurig.com.  Sorry, Keurig but you cost me about two to three hours of my valuable time and frankly, your website stinks so I moved on. 

Interestingly enough, I called customer service on last Friday and even Tuesday afternoon and explained all the frustrations and all they offerred to do was re-enter my order (consisting of over 10 items) and placing it for me. Not good enough, Keurig. I would like free coffee or bonus points if you want my business again. For all you Keurig.com users out there beware of this: for about 5-6 times now, my cart goes completely empty. All the items I add in when I go in to purchase, are gone. Even the customer service can help you add them back in but then when I go to purchase the same items they added, they are poof! Magically gone! Keurig has a horrible website and if a shopping cart cannot be saved and re-accessed just a few hours or days later for purchase, I said, “forgettaboutit!” I had over $96 worth of K-cups in my cart but if Keurig does not want my business because their website cannot handle it, then I say… let me give it to other vendors who are responsible enough to maintain a website that does save my order and can allow me to complete it. Here are a list of the other websites I like or stores that I use but this list is not all-exclusive. You can google K-cups or “where do I buy K-cups” and you will get a whole host of others.

STORES:

Bed, Bath and Beyond is a great place to go in-person, use your 20% off coupons or $5 off of $15+ and get boxes of your favorites. But, their selection is limited so keep that in mind. They will apply those coupons (in the store) to on-line orders and have amazing customer service.  This is by far the best place to get the Cafe Escapes, Chai Latte, Hot Chocolates, and Cafe Mochas (yum).  And with the coupons, these can be as little as $8.00!

Target is another great place but their selection is seasonal and often limited as well but if you have the Target card, it is hard to beat their everyday 5% off, and if you get pharmacy rewards, you can get 10% off total on one shopping day.

Other stores like Sears, JCPenney, etc., also carry K-cups but again, it depends on what you are looking for – flavor-wise.

ON-LINE:

My new recent favorite as a result of Keurig.com’s incompetency and lack of customer service is: Big Cat Coffees at https://www.bigcatcoffees.com/ This place rocks!  You get a 10% discount on your first purchase, free shipping of $45 and get this- for picky people like me, you can do a mix and match box of 5 different flavors for $14.95. What a great deal! And best of all – their website appears to work. Make sure you get a log-in ID and save your variety boxes under neat names so you can later re-order if you want.  The other boxes are approximately $12+ but again depends on what you get.  The best feature of this website to me is the “PURR-FECT” Box that you can make picking your flavors and combining teas and coffees into one “PURR-FECT” box.

Coffee Whiz appears to be another vendor on-line where you get bulk discount. Some boxes (of 24) are as cheap as $11.95 if you buy 4 or more and FedEx shipping is free on $60 or more or a flat $6.95 on all others which is a great deal. Only thing with this site is that they have boxes so you should really like what you are ordering before you do so.
If you look and compare to Amazon, you will quickly see that this website is a great deal if you know what you want and get boxes of it- so share with others and go crazy but try to reach $60 so you score free shipping too. If you are more of the variety or “I just want to try it out” kind like me, Big Cat Coffees is probably a better choice for you.

Great Coffees is another place to get a good deal but not as good as the places mentioned above. You have to buy boxes again and they come with 24 and you can get them as cheap as $11.99 but you have to buy 10 or more boxes! And… to get free shipping, you have to buy 6 boxes or more.

Amazon.com also has good prices especially if you really like a flavor- then you can get a 4-pack of the flavor you love and save a lot! But do you really want that much coffee? Well, maybe you do.  Amazon.com will have free shipping on some of them but not all private vendors offer that and the same boxes I looked at at the websites above can run you an extra $3-$4 per box. So, keep that in mind but there are good deals on Amazon as well.

***Readers, please leave your comments to help all us addicts out- where do you get your K-cups and what type of deals can you get?***

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A Hindu, A Catholic & A Palm Cross

No, its not a funny ethnic or bar joke but what I am about to share really happened and as a result, I learned something new about Palm Sunday and the celebration that precedes Easter.  Here’s my story: My neighbors who are Catholic and/or Christian left a Palm Cross in a cooler we keep at our front door for milk delivery.  They left it on Sunday and sent me an email on Monday letting me know that they left a Palm Cross in my milk cooler.  They had a nice message too- that they wish us peace as their neighbors whom they adore.  What a great gesture I thought, but not knowing what a Palm Cross was, I replied, “thanks… I hope it does not melt. We will not be home until later tonight. I am sure the girls will really enjoy it. Thanks- Peace to you as well and Happy Easter!”  I kid you not.  I thought it was a chocolate cross or something because growing up a Hindu in America, I always got Easter baskets from my Catholic neighbors full of chocolate eggs, bunnies, and yes, once, a chocolate cross- it was yummy!  But never before had I received a palm cross and nor had I heard about it.  I even attended Vacation Bible School (VBS) one summer and recited the Psalms (we had to memorize it to get colored paper for our little paper church) but I did not know what anything meant.  Also, while I have heard about Palm Sunday, I never knew what it signified.

As my husband broke it to me gently over e-mail, “it will not melt, dear, because it is a cross made out of palm- ya know? the foliage.”  I was quite shocked and embarrassed that I did not know something about a major religion – something perhaps so basic to Catholics and Christians so I decided to do some research into this whole thing and thus, a Hindu began her journey into learning a little more about Easter and the Palm Cross.  What I found was fascinating and as a result of this blunder, I feel more enlightened.  Have a Good Friday and Happy Easter!

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The Lincoln Lawyer – A Movie Review

movie poster from imdb.com- all rights reserved

This past weekend, my husband and I got a much deserved date afternoon and we went to see The Lincoln Lawyer.   My husband had read the book by Michael Connelly in three days and was completely hooked so it only made sense that watching the movie would follow suit.   Similarly, I love crime & court room drama so I knew I would love it.  Neither of us were disappointed. 

Matthew McConaughey plays the role of Mick Haller surprisingly well and the movie is true to the book.  There are some things in the movie that a real lawyer would question- ethics-type questions that would cross a lawyer’s mind but other than that, the movie does not leave many holes.  There are twists, turns, and your run of the mill courtroom antics and tricks.  It’s a good movie and keeps your attention from start to finish.  If you have seen the movie, or read the book, definitely leave me a comment and let me know what you thought.   I would definitely recommend the movie, The Lincoln Lawyer, but it is not high action so you could wait until it came out on DVD as well. 
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