Overcast feedback from a podcast power user

When word came yesterday morning that Marco had released his new iPhone podcast client, Overcast, I downloaded it immediately. I even paid the $5 to unlock all of the features, if only to show my support for him and his work. So far, there’s a lot to like. But, as a podcast listener with over 50 show subscriptions, there are a few things missing that will keep me from using it for all of my podcasts.

Overcast Logo
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You Need a Budget

I’m no stranger to personal finance software. Hell — I’ve written about most of my experiences with them here on this blog. Moneydance, Mvelopes, Wesabe, and most recently, Mint, all helped keep track of my family’s finances for varying lengths of time and differing degrees of success.

Mint turned out to be an interesting case. Its homepage promises that “Mint does all the work of organizing and categorizing your spending for you.” Which is true, really. Log in, and it automatically fetches the latest transactions to give you up-to-date balances for all of your accounts.

So for over five years, I dutifully logged in every day, checked my balances, and split and corrected any transactions that required it. But the question it took me too long to ask myself was: Does using Mint change the way Casey and I spend our money?

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An Ode to Scott Pilgrim vs. the World

I’d been dying to see Scott Pilgrim vs. the World since I saw the first trailer for it last March. I didn’t get to see it in the theaters this summer, but I last week I finally got to sit down and watch it on Amazon streaming. Since then, I’ve watched it at least 2-3 more times.

In short, I love this movie. It’s fantastic – one of the most unique movies I’ve ever experienced and one of my favorite films of recent memory. And while I can see why it wasn’t a mainstream hit, it’s a travesty that crap like Little Fockers earn three times more than it at the box office.

Scott Pilgrim vs. the World movie poster

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Cutting the Cable Part 2: Hello Roku.

Our family dropped our cable subscription last year, and I’d consider the change a success on most accounts. With just one or two reliable over-the-air channels available, our living room TV stayed quiet for months except for kids’ movies and PBS programs. Casey all but stopped watching TV except for the occasional disc from Netflix, and I continued watching the majority of my television on the 2-inch screen of my iPod Nano.

In March, our living room entertainment options expanded a bit when we began beta testing the Netflix streaming disc for our Nintendo Wii. The on-screen interface was minimal, requiring that almost everything be done from the browser on a Mac/PC, but it did allow us to watch shows and movies on-demand on a screen bigger than our 20-inch iMac. Picture quality wasn’t all that great, and we had a lot of buffering issues, but it was better than nothing.

When we moved into our new house a couple of months ago, Casey mentioned that she’d like to be able to watch something while nursing our infant, and for the inevitably long winter nights that we have here in North Dakota. After looking at a few different options, we decided to try the new Roku XDS. The Roku is a streaming-only device, gettings its content from various sources online instead of storing it locally on a drive.

Roku XDS

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