Saturday, April 09, 2011

Working On It

Okay, so we have a budget.

I am happy, relieved and still pissed off.

Why did it have to go right to the edge before the people whose job it is to pass the budget and who would be least affected by a government shutdown could get off their collective a$$es and pass a budget? And could we go ahead and do the 2012 one, due in September, while we are being agreeable, rather than giving federal employees another collective ulcer and panic attack?

That said, I am trying to relax, breathe, and focus on the positive. I can go to work. I can pay my bills.

And I can focus on trying to get the Department to agree to let my wife come with me to post in August.

I can also start thinking again about going to post.

So today, I finally recycled computers that I have had longer than my wife. Arlington was having a special recycling day, so I removed the hard drives got rid of the rest.

And I have started thinking of other things I can donate to Goodwill. Like my crappy bike. And the old bread maker we have NEVER used. And the VCR and tapes we haven't touched since the advent of DVDs. And the stereo that plays CASSETTES (to be fair, it plays CDs too, but who doesn't just use their ipods these days?). And I got buy in on all of the above from my wife, so a trip to Goodwill is in my very near future.

I also checked out this site, and I wonder if any of you have heard of/used it:

StrongVPN

I saw it suggested to someone as a way that you can do things like watch tv on hulu when you are overseas. Or order things from the US like e-books for your kindle when the servers want you to be originating from a US IP address.

That would make living overseas much easier.

Speaking of which, when I was in J'lem, I also used ShipitAPO when we wanted to order electronics and such from places that would not ship to an APO address. They give you a physical address where your order is shipped, then they send it on to you at the APO for a small fee. I found it very worth it.

Okay, back into planning mode...maybe soon my inner calm will return.

7 comments:

OpSec said...

Lifehacker actually ran an article on VPNs in February:

http://ca.lifehacker.com/5759186/five-best-vpn-service-providers

They listed my personal favorite, Witopia, which I've been happy with for several years now. You might only care about the ability to appear as if you're in the US, but if you subscribe to a service with the additional aim of privacy from snoopy governments you should be sure that it uses IPSec/L2TP as its protocol (you don't necessarily have to know what that means... just look for it in the list of features).

adventuresin said...

Just FYI, Kindle doesn't require a US internet address, only a US credit card. I order Kindle books and Amazon stuff all the time here without a VPN. You also hve to make sure the internet available in your future country supports the bandwidth you need to stream video, since the VPN-hulu and netflix streaming won't allow you to load the whole video (like YouTube does) and watch it. You have to watch it 'live.'
The max internet here is 1 Mb, and that's pricey, the streamers suggest at least 2 Mb, and preferably 4. I don't think that will be a problem where you're going, but maybe.

ForeignObsession said...

Thank you for this info...I am sharing it with my class. = )

Diplogeek said...

I heard positive stuff about StrongVPN from A-100 classmates, but rumor has it that the Chinese government has just blocked the heck out of it due to the Jasmine Revolution stuff, so I won't be able to speak to its effectiveness personally. I second OpSec, though; check out Lifehacker, and I think Gizmodo recently did a thing about VPNs (it could have been the same one, as they sometimes share content), too; do a search, and it might turn up.

Don't know if there are any other Team China folks here, but to derail slightly, have any of you had success streaming Hulu or Netflix through a VPN there?

claresays said...

I love strong VPN. We actually can stream netflix.

Destinaish Unknown said...

Yes, that budget was a close call (I'm also a fed employee). I still support you for Congress though, m'dear.

Daniela Swider said...

The Weekly State Department Blog RoundUp is posted, and you're on it!

http://tukytam.blogspot.com/2011/04/weekly-state-department-blog-roundup.html

If I've made any errors, or you prefer not to be included, just let me know. Thank you!