Wednesday, September 25, 2013


... we bought laminate flooring for "Rover's Room". Last November, our not so tiny kitten Rover had dug a hole in the carpet near the door. We had been meaning to replace the flooring in that room ever since, but had postponed it month after month.
It wasn't lack of money, more a lack of urgency. We kept telling ourselves that there was no rush, and really there wasn't. We covered the spot with a sisal scratching mat to prevent the hole from getting bigger and to provide Rover with something that was better suited for his little claws. And in the end, it is our kitten's room where he spends the day when we are at work so that he doesn't get into trouble or hurt himself (he's clumsy) and to give our other older cat a much needed break from the little bully. But now "Rover's Room" is awaiting a little bit of a re-purposing as in February a new (human) family member wants to move into that room - it is the nursery after all!
Another factor that lead to us postponing the flooring was that we were undecided about what kind of laminate flooring we wanted. We read reviews, got samples, tested the samples, and considered prices and availability. (I am sure the husband will go into detail about that in a later post.) But a couple weeks ago we made a decision and the husband is eager to start on this new project :) but the installation probably has to wait until Thanksgiving. But that's ok, no rush, right?

Monday, September 9, 2013

Cyber Monday - Setting up an VPN with Synology on your Android & iPhone Part 3 of 3

Setting up a VPN on your Android or iPhone device is just as easy as setting it up on your computer. To begin, you'll want to download the configuration files from the synology server, or if you've already done that, you can use the same ones you installed on your computer for your phone.

To set up the android, you'll want to navigate to the Android Play store and either download this version if you have a newer device (4.0 and higher) or this version for older devices (1.5 and up).  It's very possible that if you are installing the older version (and possibly the newer, I'm not sure), that you'll have to install TUN.ko Installer. TUN helps establish the virtual point-to-point IP link. If you have this problem you'll be notified like shown on the picture to the left and it will likely even open another page of details (like the picture below) giving you a link to install it. If it is installed, then you'll just open the program and load the drivers and all will be well again.  This does happen to me every now and then because the drivers aren't loaded.

However, before you run into those problems, you'll need to connect your device to your computer and transfer your ca.crt and your openvpn.ovpn into the necessary folders.  For me, it was under the /mnt/sdcard/Openvpn folder.  From there you can start up the vpn client and you should be good to go now that you know how to trouble shoot any potential problem.

Now that you're connected you can check out the data transfers in the status bar of the phone.  :-)

Currently the official OpenVPN (1.0.1 build 88) software is too buggy for it to be easily compatible with iOS 6.1.3 (10B329). When I attempted, I ran into many errors. The files worked on my desktop OVPN connection, however they failed when trying to work with the iPhone version.  If/when the next release of OpenVPN is out there, I believe they will be fixing many of these issues and I will attempt an easy guide at that point.  However, currently you would need to log into the server, run several commands modifying several files and start and stop some services then play with it on the iPhone as well, all far too dependent upon what version of Synology/openVPN you are running and iOS version.  No elegant solution is possible currently.  Sorry guys!  :-(

Check out Part 1 of 3
Check out Part 2 of 3
Check out Part 3 of 3
Check out the bonus stuff!

Monday, September 2, 2013

Net Debt - Sept 2013

Student loans: -$79,130.39 ($565.43)
Car loan: $0
Revolving Credit card debt: $0.
Mortgage: -$132,941.83 ($507.18)
Total Debt: -$212,072.22 ($1,072.61)
Debt Jan 1, 2013:  -$216,875.08 ($4,802.86)

A nice website I just recently discovered is the Chase Home Value Estimator, I know I don't typically post values of assets, but it is nice to some degree because while your value of the home may be an overestimate (like mine was apparently but only $3,635), you can see what a bank might value your home for. I know this
doesn't affect our "net debt" but it does affect our net worth and if you are interested in refinancing your home and the sort.

Also, I realized that we HAVEN'T been paying one of my student loans, so now we are catching up on the student loan payments.  This isn't a critical piece of news as my loans are in deferment, but it is important to us to try to get them as low as possible before they go into repayment.  So, you'll likely see some better trends in our debt going down soon, like this month!