2011 In Review

january 1, 2012

It's that time again to recap Mookie's last year...

The numbers from last year.

The Year of Changing Battlefields

After spending too many hours to count in Battlefield: Bad Company 2, Team 409 has moved onto the new Battlefield 3. 2011 also saw the addition of a member to Team 409: Reckless. Reckless joins Paddles, Marksman, McStabby and Tank in the fight against n00bs.

The Year of Small

In 2011, we left AT&T because they started capping DSL data usage. The move has been really positive because we switched to the superior service of Sonic.net. Sonic.net not only costs less per month than AT&T for both landline and DSL, but gives us more for our money - uncapped data usage and data speeds; premium voice features that are free; free domestic long distance (and long distance to Canada); and a free static IP address. I'd like to give a big thanks to AT&T for forcing us into looking at better alternatives.

On the same note, a thanks goes out to Citibank. Their extreme greed also forced us to reconsider them and look into alternatives to big banks. We had all our finances with Citibank (checking, savings and credit cards), now they have nothing from us. We have found an alternative in a local credit union and haven't looked back since.

2011 saw us move from the big players, who have shown their greed, over to smaller players who are out to provide better service for their customers. Our credit cards are still with big players, but only because we pay-in-full each month and we like to reap the rewards of these new cards.

The Year of Tablets

2011 saw an explosion of tablets on the market and I was one of those who was caught up in the excitement. I started out the tablet frenzy with an el cheapo AOC tablet which fell squarely into the "you get what you pay for" category. It was returned for a Samsung Galaxy Wifi, which got sold on Ebay because...well, Samsung has shown that it sucks at long term support for any of their devices. Samsung has now officially entered the Mookie blacklist of companies whom I will not spend money on.

The Samsung was followed by a far superior Motorola Xoom which continues to be used daily in the household (both by myself and the kids). At Christmas, I received a Amazon Kindle Fire and that has become my personal tablet that the kiddos do not get to touch.

The Year of Paying for Entertainment

In 2010, we cut off Netflix DVDs and Streaming. Then we cut off Dish Network TV in favor of OTA TV. This was all part of cost cutting. In 2011, we returned to paying for some entertainment. We signed up for Amazon Prime and started using their streaming service -- and I subscribed to some cable TV shows via Amazon Streaming. Amazon streaming (both paid and free Prime) is robust and the library is deep enough that we have been using it consistently. We also signed up for Blockbuster DVD mail rentals, which has turned out to be surprisingly good.

The Year of Mobile Data

In 2010, when AT&T Mobility introduced tiered data, both phones in the family had their data plans reduced to the lower cost data plans. This was because we both had data-efficient (or feature lacking?) Blackberry phones. Now that I'm on an Android device and my wife is on an iPhone 4S, we have upped our data plans again.

Now, it's time to look forward to 2012! Happy New Year!