Sunday, April 25, 2010

Netflix Wii Watch Instantly Disc

I love my Netflix account, but if I'm honest I am more likely to use the "Watch Instantly" feature than I am to watch the actual discs. The problem with this has been that I had to use my computer to watch things instantly unless I bought a Blu-Ray that was Netflix-ready, bought a Tivo that was Netflix-ready, or a converter box. All of those options required more money than I wanted to spend when I had DVR through my cable company and a perfectly good DVD player and other things I'd rather spend my money on than a converter box.

Netflix came out with this great idea to have discs that you put into your video game system and you can use your video game system to stream the movies instantly. They are free and so easy to register! My Wii disc came in a couple of weeks ago and I'm using my Netflix more now than ever.

The video quality isn't bad. It's not as good as HD, but it's better than watching it on the computer. I'd stay it's about the same quality as a non-digital TV station. I also haven't had the buffering problems that I tend to get when I watch the Netflix instant movies on the computer, so that's a huge plus! I don't think it's a problem at all to have to use the disc in the Wii to watch the movies, but I only have one TV so nobody would be able to use the Wii while watching a Netflix movie anyway. The sound is a little quieter than when I watch TV, but it's not bad. I keep my TV at volume 13 for regular TV watching and have to bump it up to 19 to watch the Netflix movies.

Here's how it works.

1. You put in the disc and bring up the Netflix disc just as you would any disc.

2. You get a little menu while it's loading to show you how to work the remote to select titles.

3. You'll get the Instant Queue menu so you can browse the titles you've already selected. This is connected to your online account (and I have the iPhone app, and it'll load anything you've added from either of those places).

4. If you click on the picture, it'll pop up with this menu which has the rating, a summary, and buttons to click on to play the movie or remove it from your queue.

5. I just found out that you can also select new movies while using the disc! If you look at the picture in Step 3, you can see the box with the words "Instant Queue" in it. If you click on that box, you get a couple of menus, which are the same menus that you get while in the online system.

It can show you movies that Netflix things are similar to one you've recently watched (although I'm not really sure how some of them relate...)

Here's page 2 of the menu:

Page 3

6. Here's how you can add new movies or shows from the Wii: You click on the search criteria from one of the menus in Step 5 and browse through the options. I clicked on the "Television" menu and got a screen that looks like the picture in Step 3 and the second picture in Step 5. I clicked on a British show I like called "Coupling" and got this:

It looks pretty much the same as the screen from Step 4. You are told how long it is, get a review and summary, and have the option to start watching immediately or add to the queue for later. This also shows up in your online Netflix account so you could watch from your computer later.

7. Once you want to start watching a movie or TV show, you just click on the "Play" button and the movie will start.

Don't worry, that hand and those bars disappear.

8. If you want to do a scene selection, that's really easy. You just hit one of the arrow buttons on the Wii remote and you'll get a scene selector mode.

The image is a bit blurry, but you get the idea. You can just click on the scene and it'll fast forward or rewind to that point.

I'm so glad Netflix came out with this disc! I finally feel like I'm getting my money's worth out of my Netflix account!

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Nail Polish

I've become a bit obsessed with nail polish lately. I can tend to get obsessed with things, I've been obsessed with cookbooks, makeup, making bath and body products, and lately it's been eyeshadows and nail polish in particular.

I think I have started to love nail polish so much because it's a little thing I can do to make me feel feminine. I'm always running late for work, so I might not have enough time to do my makeup how I like it, but I do my nails at night, so they're done.

Nail polish can also help reflect or perk up my mood. I love duochromes. They are really pretty and they provide a bit of entertainment when I think I might have a boring meeting. I can keep changing the angle of my fingers and see the different colors. If I'm feeling gloomy, I have started liking to put on bright nail colors. Today I'm wearing China Glaze Heli-Yum on my fingers and China Glaze Something Sweet on my toes. I even ordered some neon colors, which I didn't think I'd want, since they are so bright. Oddly, the brightness is the reason I didn't think I'd want them in the first place!

I'm so glad I teach in an elementary school and can get away with more outrageous colors than most other careers. The kids love the fun colors. I can't wait to see their reactions when my neons come in and I wear those!

Monday, April 5, 2010

Stephanie Plum

I can appreciate the classics and quality literature; I don't think I'd be much of a reading specialist if I didn't, but I love to read brain candy. I'd say 90% of the books I read are considered beach reads or chick lit. I like to read as a way to relax and have fun and most of the time that means doing something mindless. I need to get away from the stress of work and chores and it's hard to do that when you're thinking a lot about the story.

One author I love for that is Janet Evanovich and her Stephanie Plum novels. If you've never read any of the Stephanie Plum novels, they're the series by Janet that all have a number in the title. There are a couple of novellas, but those aren't very good in my opinion. I've read two of them and the only reason I'm reading them is so I make sure I don't miss anything. I struggle through them.

The main books in this series are enjoyable to read! Stephanie used to be a lingerie buyer, but she lost her job and blackmailed her cousin Vinnie to let her be a bounty hunter for his bonds firm. Stephanie ends up in some hilarious situations, including the time a FTA (Failure to Appear) was naked and covered himself in Vaseline in order to keep her from catching him. If you like mysteries with humor, I highly recommend this series!