Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Kiss today goodbye, and point me towards tomorrow… I did what I had to do



Man, I’ll just come right out and say it. I quit my job. As anyone who reads my blog knows, I’ve been dreaming/planning/plotting this move for a couple years now, so you’d think I’d be a happy Doug—in all honesty though, it was a year or two too soon for me. I just felt like I didn’t have a choice.

I don’t want to go into a lot of boring detail here (besides, my poor family & friends have already had to suffer through the story again and again). In a nutshell, awhile back I was told I’d be assuming new responsibilities in addition to my current workload. Okay, where was the support (or backup at least) I’d been requesting for years? It was never coming, and now this. It was just too much for my brain (and nerves) to handle.

So on Monday, November 17 I talked to my manager & informed him I’d been planning to leave in a year or so anyway—but if I had to take on this additional work, I’d probably exit sooner. At first he suggested if the new stuff was given to someone else, would I stay a year and properly train my replacement. It sounded like a win-win for both of us, but HIS boss was not okay with this plan. I handed in my resignation. End of story.


My good friend & coworker Danielle; that’s my buddy Steve in the background


The last couple weeks have been a surreal, bittersweet experience. My friend Steve (who sat right behind me) treated me to a pricey lunch at the Carlton ($60.00 for one meal!) and even promised another one there if I came back! (I would never hold him to that, but I love the guy.) A few days later my team took me to an upscale lunch at the Bigelow Grille, and presented me with a card and $300.00 in cash. I admit it, I’m a big drama boy & choked up when I read all the kind wishes in the card (above, click on it to see full-size). I sure am going to miss these guys.

My ornery friend Kathy who I hope I don’t lose touch with in the months ahead, her & Danielle (and several others) are good peeps

So… now what? I’m still a good year or so away from reaching my early retirement goal, and even THAT estimate was based on me living on a leaner budget. But truth be told, I’m just not up to looking for anything new right now.

I worked at UPMC 15 years—never had a week off—so for now I’m just going to enjoy this freedom for what it is.

 

  Well if I can get over missing everybody—take care, guys

apache_tear[30]

Saturday, November 1, 2014

My birthday may be over, but the party is just getting started (fingers crossed)



Hmm… sometimes it’s tough to come up with an opening line here. (Especially when you’re not sure what all you’re planning on sharing, until you start writing it.) In a nutshell, this was a good week. I may dislike my job (ok that goes without saying) but I’m grateful I have it, along with a great bunch of coworkers.

For example, here are two gifts from my friends (and teammates) Kathy & Danielle. They not only gave me a couple of cool thingamabobs (a miniature Walton’s House and a 1970’s tv that lights up and plays the Brady Bunch theme), they wrapped both of ‘em in handmade “Daryl from The Walking Dead” wrapping paper! If that ain’t love, I don’t know what is.

  
My coworker Karan’s birthday is the day before mine, so we celebrated together with a giant “ice cream” cake covered in oreos; here’s Karan, enjoying his slice

Two other coworkers (Gwen & Candace) bought me lunch (a ridiculously expensive pizza covered in string onions... heh) and our team-leader Jamie gave me a $30 gift card from Amazon (with a talking Spock that says “Annihilation Jim. Total, complete & absolute annihilation.”) Like I said, a swell group of people.

And to top things off, last night I did my customary “weekly check-in” with the stock market (to update the Retirement-Date on my blog) and couldn’t have asked for a better way to end a birthday. MONEY! Okay not exactly money, but unrealized gains!!!


It’s one thing to jump for joy after a day with good returns, but this has been going on ALL WEEK—my portfolio balance has recovered almost all of it’s prior losses. I wonder how long the good times will roll?

(At least if we suffer another round of downturns, we’ll be starting out from the top again!)

And so I’m left wondering what my next move here will be. I’ve been saving my money & pinching those pennies, and open enrollment is starting in a couple weeks for Obamacare. What many people don’t realize, you can’t just apply for it year ‘round—unless you’ve had a drastic change in lifestyle that was NOT OF YOUR CHOOSING, Nov-Jan is your 2-3 month window of opportunity for affordable healthcare. And if I let that window close again this year, I’ll have to wait until next November to plot my escape.

So, I need to consider my options, including something a close friend (who shall remain nameless, as she’s a coworker) said to me: “Do you want to cut a few corners and go now, or save some more money and have a really shitty year doing it?” I’ve got a lot of thinking to do.thinker

Saturday, October 25, 2014

Goodbye Comcast! I finally got rid of cable—and slipping out of that noose was easier than I thought

 

Two Fridays ago in the office, as I was clearing my desktop of the weekly havoc of emails and excels before calling it a day, my coworker Steve (who sits directly behind me) asked me if I had any plans for the weekend.  I said “Other than a mushroom pizza and catching the season premiere of ‘Walking Dead’, no.  I may write a new blog.”  He said “I don’t want to hear it!  You post false blogs!” 

I said “What are you talking about??”  He said “It’s true—you wrote a couple MONTHS ago about getting rid of cable, and I’ve been waiting ever since to see how things turned out!  Well—did you??”  I said “Er… now look Steve, I got the indoor antenna, but it has to sit on a HUGE stack of books on top of my stereo to pull in all the channels, and I can’t walk within 3 feet of it or sit on the left side of my sofa or I lose half of —“  He cut me off.  “Ha!  I knew it—I knew you couldn’t get rid of your cable!  You’re roped in just like the rest of us!” 

I knew right then & there I was getting rid of that damn cable.  Annoyed

As soon as I got home, I went online and ordered a dvr I’d been reading about the last couple months—the Tivo Roamio, their latest offering and designed especially for OTA (antenna tv).  I got it last week and long story short—I am in mad, crazy love.  It works like a dream.

 Half the size and a fraction of the weight of that clunky Comcast DVR, and with double the features; the remote controls my tv too

Not knowing what to expect, I hooked it into my indoor antenna and tv.  It promptly asked me if I had wifi (yes) and for my zip-code.  And then for 20 minutes, my screen went dark (except for a small Tivo logo) with the words “Hang on…just a few more minutes”.  And then suddenly this appeared on my tv:

After that, a series of instructional screens directed me how to use the remote, and a reminder to activate the Tivo service.  It’s $14.99 a month and some cord-cutters have complained about the fee—all I know is, it’s going to save me over $100.00 a month.

And I’m not sure why, but my “sensitive” Mohu Curve antenna (which plugs into the Tivo now instead of the tv) is now working twice as good as before.  It no longer needs to sit atop a stack of books, it’s right on top of my stereo and movement in the room or nearby objects doesn’t seem to affect it.  I don’t get it, but I’m grateful!

 

I get ABC, CBS, NBC, FOX, 4 PBS channels, 6 ION channels, CW, MyTV (a movie channel), MeTV, GetTV, RetroTV, CoziTV, QVC & HSN--all in crystal clear, hi-definition format

And still, the best was yet to come.  Besides being able to pause “live tv” and record shows like my Comcast DVR (it will skip repeats unless you tell it otherwise—and will automatically change the recording schedule if your show has moved to a new night or time), the Tivo “merges” your antenna with the internet to make your tv a more cable-like experience.  And with much nicer screens too!   Here’s a few:

tivocentral

Tivo Central is the main menu, allowing you to search for or watch recorded shows or access Netflix, Amazon Video, Hulu Plus, YouTube, various music, news & weather channels

myshows

Here’s the shows I currently have recorded for weekend-watching

netflix_channel

The Netflix Channel; I’ve subscribed to their streaming service for the last 2-3 years—now I can watch it on my tv instead of my computer

<        <       <

I thought there’d be one disappointment, “The Walking Dead”.  It’s my favorite show and the ONE show on cable I didn’t want to go without.  (I’ve already seen the first two episodes of Season 5, and figured I’d have to wait a year to see the rest of them on Netflix.)  It turns out I don’t have to—they’re all available, the day after they air on AMC, for $1.99 an episode.   I think those zombies are worth the $25.00 I’ll have to cough up for ‘em!

Smile  THANK YOU TIVO  Smile

Saturday, October 11, 2014

Hi, remember me? My Top Five Reasons for Becoming a Zombie

dugzom

 

Excuses, excuses… I always seem to have several when it’s been awhile since I shared anything here, and this time around it’s the same old story (work, nothing of real interest to write about, general feelings of doom n’ gloom about the planet & civilization as we know it).   I’m ready for a zombie-apocalypse just to shake things up.

So in the interest of keeping this old blog of mine going (and letting you know I’m still alive, so to speak), here’s my top 5 reasons for becoming the zombie I am today.

1. The stock market has sapped the life right outta me

I’ll be honest here; I haven’t looked at the S&P, Nasdaq & Dow for 11 days now.  Who needs to, when you see headlines like “THE MARKET HAS FINALLY SNAPPED”, “WORST DAY OF YEAR FOR STOCKS” & “STOCKS LOSE ALL GAINS FOR 2014”?  There goes those dreams of early retirement… it’s enough to drive a man to drink.  Or zombiedom.

2.  Facebook has turned ApacheDug’s Teepee into Deadsville

Okay I can’t really blame Facebook for my own doings, but it seems the more time I spend there, the less drive I have to share things here.  When I told my sister Shawn this a couple nights ago, she said “That stinks.  I’m not on Facebook.”  But can you blame me?  For example, a few days ago I shared this amusing little incident on FB:

deranged

Within an hour it got 25 comments.  Here, it would’ve gotten crickets.  I admit it, I’ve been feeding off the attention I get over there like the undead feed on the living’s brains.

3.  It’s a blessing, not a curse.  (Or is it the other way around?)

The other night on the news, they shared this study about being born on Christmas.  It seems that most feel it would be a “bummer”, but the ones who really are born on that day consider it a blessing.  Wow, really?  Well, if that’s the case, then my birth on Halloween would explain my lifelong connection to all things monster.  (Personally I think maniacal robots are cooler, but zombies are what’s trending y’know.)

4. I am hungry for people… but they have to be the right people

Two weekends ago, my gay neighbors moved out. For as noisy as that pair was, they were gone for an entire day before I even knew.  And for every person I shared this tidbit with (the other tenants, coworkers, my barber) I always got the same reaction—“you must be thrilled!”  NO I AM NOT.

From their nightly caterwauling of Celine Dion songs that lasted until midnight (or even later on the weekends) to their patio aglitter with 2000 lights, to their wrestling & shrieking matches, I hated it all.  (Okay, I didn’t mind the fights so much.)  But the thing is, I worked on these guys for TWO YEARS to reduce their noise to a tolerable level, and they up & leave me??  And now, after hearing about some of the newer tenants in this building, I am realizing more & more I had it luckier than most.  

So all I can do is sit here & wait to see who moves in next; and if they’re anything like the screaming Chilean couple down the hall, or the metal-head on the first floor, I will chew their damn heads off!

5.  And last but not least—look who returns to tv tomorrow night

Does anything more need said.  The new season of “The Walking Dead” premieres tomorrow night, and it’s pretty much the reason why I’m still hanging on to my cable!   This year’s tagline is “Hunt or Be Hunted”...

and I’d happily settle for being one or the other  Left hug

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Meanwhile, this just happened a couple minutes ago and I felt like sharing

 

This is certainly nothing to write home (or blog) about, but I’ve lived in this apartment building here since the mid-90’s and I suppose there’s a first time for everything.

So a little earlier today, I run to the store and I’m not home from the market five minutes when there’s a loud knock on my door.

 

KNOCK KNOCK KNOCK

ME: Er… yes?  (It’s my gay neighbor’s new live-in boyfriend.  A handsome guy—he’s also like 7 feet tall.)

My neighbor (in the orange) & his new fella at the Gay Pride Festival downtown; and no, I didn’t take this picture--I stole it off their Facebook!

HIM: Hi!  Hey, you know me right?  I live next door!

ME: Yeah… you’re my neighbor’s new boyfr—I mean roommate.

HIM: Right!  Hey, I need to ask you a REALLY crazy question!

ME: Uh-oh…

HIM: What is it, Is something wrong?

ME:  Well, when someone I don’t know says they need to ask me a really crazy question… what do you want??

HIM: A-HA, HA, HA!  OK!  Well… I locked myself out, and I was wondering if I could jump off your balcony?  Then I’ll just shimmy across the railing until I get to MINE.  Dummy me, I forgot my keys again!  (Slaps his forehead)

ME: Waitaminute, how can you lock yourself out?  You can’t lock the door from the outside unless you have your key.

HIM: (Shrugs his shoulders)  I don’t know!  These things happen to me ALL THE TIME.  Smile

ME: But—but we’re on the top floor, if you fall you’d break your neck!  Isn’t there someone you can call? 

HIM: Oh, don’t worry—I’ve done this a hundred times!

ME: What are you, a cat burglar?!

HIM: A-HA, HA, HA!!  More like a forget-me-not!

ME: Uh-huh.  Listen, can’t you just wait until your partner gets home?  You can use my bathroom if you gotta go…

HIM: He won’t be back until later in the week, like Thursday!

ME: Ah okay…

HIM: He’s back home in West Virginia.

ME:  Ok.

HIM: Visiting family.

ME:  Yes, yes.  Got it.

HIM: I didn’t go, or course.  But I could’ve! 

ME:  So… you ready to jump? 

HIM: You’re going to let me do it?

ME:  Yes!

Suffice it to say he made it--The End

Saturday, September 13, 2014

Chapter 4 in my Diary of a Fat Man: Dammit this is no laughing matter

fatman

 

Earlier this week, my sister Shawn a relative informed me she had just joined Weight Watchers because she was at her wit’s end & didn’t know what else to do at this point about these few pounds she couldn’t seem to shake off. 

I nodded my head solemnly, because I respect her feelings (and oh boy can I relate); but on the inside my head was tilted back, with my hands on my big, round Santa Claus belly—“HO HO HO!!”   Sister, you are preaching to the choir—a choir that consists of one big fat brother that’s 50 pounds overweight!

wedshawndug2

 

Here’s my sister Shawn & myself on her wedding day in 2000.  I can still remember what I weighed here: 195 lbs.  I’d sell my soul to weigh that now!

 

Anyway, after talking to Shawn my relative, I thought “hey I haven’t checked my own weight in months” so I pulled out my trusty digital scales, climbed aboard, laughed at the number (it HAD to be wrong) and promised myself I’d weigh-in on the professional scales in the office the following morning.  IT WAS TWO POUNDS MORE THAN MY SCALES AT HOME.   So I figure it’s time for another weight-chart & yes I know what you’re thinking “Aw c’mon Doug, not another one of these!  You’ve done this 3 times, you always fail!”   You’re right—but I can’t just give up, there’s a thinner Doug in me screaming to be let out.  So without further ado… wish me luck! 

GOAL:  DROP 40 LBS BEFORE I DROP OVER

Date Weight Gain/Loss Total
Sept 12 242.50 0 0
Sept 19 239.50 -03.00 -03.00
Sept 26 238.50 -01.00 -04.00
Oct 03 238.50 0 -04.00
Oct 10 238.25 -00.25 -04.25
Oct 17 238.00 -00.25 -04.50
Oct 24 236.75 -01.25 -05.75
Oct 31 236.75 0 -05.75
Nov 07 235.50 -01.25 -07.00
Nov 14 234.75 -00.75 -07.75
Nov 21 235.50 +00.75 Sad smile -07.00
Nov 27 235.00 -00.50 -07.50
Dec 05 236.00 +01.00 Sad smile -06.50
Dec 12 236.00 0 -06.50
Jan 02 241.50 +05.50 Sad smile -01.00
Jan 09 244.50 +3.00 Crying face +02.00 
Jan 16 246.00 +01.50 +03.50 
       
       
       
       
       
       
       

I’ll be back… I’ll be back.  Sad smile

Saturday, August 30, 2014

The importance of feeling relevant… is it really that important? I’ll know soon enough

This is me, late summer 1996, a year or so after I moved into my current apartment on Monroe Avenue.  I’m surprised how differently I look from this photo now, and I’m also surprised I’ve lived here this long.  (I’m comfortable with my space & I like the street I’m on and that’s pretty much it.)

It’s only worth mentioning because this past summer, as I’ve seen my investment portfolio rise (and sink, and then rise again), I’ve confided to a couple friends that those early-retirement plans are still a go, the closer I get to that date (or it gets to me).  At the same time though, I confess to worrying a little what will become of me after said event, as I have no real plans in mind.   (In the book “You Can Retire Sooner Than You Think” by Wess Moss, he says that unhappy retirees tend to read a lot of books.  Really, Wes??  Gosh that’s one of my favorite pastimes!)

I guess it really struck home a few days ago, when I read on Facebook about someone I once knew in high school (single like me, a year or so younger) going to Guatemala with his church-group to install a new water purification system.  (The dude is also a volunteer fireman.)  I admire Joe & what he does… he makes a difference.   I sat there at my desk reading this and felt pretty irrelevant.

But God works in mysterious ways (so I’ve heard) and after work, as I got off my bus and headed down the street, I saw three people sitting and talking on the low stone barrier in front of my apartment building.  There’s Bill, Jim & Theresa—the oldest residents here, in more ways than one.  (Theresa is 82 and has lived here since 1983.)  Bill says “He’s home!” and Theresa says “See Jim, I TOLD you Doug doesn’t get home until 5:15!”   I said “Have you guys been waiting for me?”  and Theresa hands me a slip of paper and says “This was in the lobby this morning.” 

It says “On Monday Sept 8, the basement & lower level area will be cleaned out.  This includes the emptying of unreserved storage lockers, which will have their locks removed.  You MUST call this number to reserve your new storage locker ID, which can be found below in yellow.”

Theresa says “Doug I have 35 years of stuff down there!  And that black woman beside me, Jolene?  She’s always wanted MY locker because it has HER apartment number on it, and now she’s going to claim it and I’ll have to move everything out!”  Bill says “Back around ‘94 or so, I traded mine with some youngster because I wanted a bottom locker and had a top.  I certainly don’t want to change back now.”  

I said “Did anyone call building management?”  No.  “Does anyone know what they mean by new storage IDs?”  No.  Theresa says “That’s why we’ve been waiting for you to come home.”   I suggested we all head to the basement.

It was pretty apparent, those yellow IDs stenciled on the floor.  I said “Guys, ignore the apartment numbers painted on the lockers—see how this works?  5T & 6B, fifth locker top, sixth locker bottom.  Theresa, Jim, where are the ones you use?”  “Here’s mine Doug, it has 22T and 23B painted in front!”  “Mine’s 19B but my apartment is 203 and this door still says 205!”  I said “Don’t worry about it, just keep your stuff where it is.  I’ll call management and reserve your new IDs for you.”  “Oh Doug, thank you!”  “See, I told you Doug would fix things!”   Really guys?  Really??

Well, it’s not fighting fires or purifying water in Guatemala, but it’s a start I suppose.  Thinking smile

 

Hope everyone has a nice Labor Day Weekend

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Destroy, destroy... I’m ready to destroy everyone in my path (just kidding, folks)

destroy

 

I admit I wasn’t in the best of moods this morning.  After a long work week, I sat there at my desk Friday afternoon & calmly tried to fill out my weekly timesheet while not watching the stock market take a bad tumble—my dreams of early retirement zapped by the evil robots on Wall Street.

And then the next thing I know, it’s around 4am, I’ve just awoken in a sitting position on my couch with my head resting on my right shoulder, and my tv is shouting at me to wake up and watch this nifty infomercial for the “Hurricane Mop”.  Meanwhile, my (very hot) laptop is busy branding the name TOSHIBA into the tops of my legs.  Arrgh!

So when I went to bed and got up (again) still feeling grumpy and out of sorts, I made a cup of coffee and thought I’d see what the folks on Facebook were up to.  I was greeted with this alert:  “Courtney has tagged you in a photo”.  (That’s my youngest sister.)  Oh I hate being tagged in photos.  I clicked on the link and it was this cheesy artwork of a baby deer surrounded by baby bunnies and blue butterflies.  At the top was the caption “Family is…”  and of course I did what any older brother in his right mind would do, gagged on the swallow of coffee in my mouth and then responded with this!

vomit7

Now I was just kidding of course (cough not really) but WHY IS THERE SO MUCH DRECK POSTED ON FACEBOOK.  For example, a couple posts below Courtney’s wretched love-fest were some words of wisdom from another relative:

"Don't expect others to heal you, you have to understand that the healing of a broken heart is an inside job..."

Christ Almighty, c’mon!  Why why why!   Not a day goes by that I’m not getting some life-lessons on there, with those infernal quotes.  Not just from family, but half the women on Facebook.  And then there’s my cousin, who enjoys sharing stuff like this:

Maybe this is his way of balancing out all the putridosity (or he’s just trying to stir things up), I don’t know.  What I DO know, I read this article (you can too, click on the photo) and it made me gag just as hard as that other stuff!

I’m just in an extra-sore mood today.  Normally this stuff doesn’t affect me like this, but it seems today there’s a wealth of it & there’s no stopping me.  I visited ‘The Town of Waynesburg’ page (my old hometown) and these are the types of posts I’m greeted with:

“FREE SOFA NEEDED!  I haven’t had a sofa for awhile but now I need a free one!”   (I need lots of things too—especially when they’re free)

“RINGER WASHER NEEDED!  NEW!”   (Er… it’s a ‘wringer washer’ and they stopped makin’ those contraptions in 1945)

“CHEAP STOVE WANTED!  OR A FREE ONE!!  A GRIDDLE WOULD BE NICE TOO”  (I’d like one with a griddle too, mine only came with burners) 

I know I’m being a real pissy pants here, forgive me.  But if people can post these requests on Facebook for everyone to see, then why can’t I share some of them here!?  Oh I wish I could kick something, it’s just that kind of morning.

wringer

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Parsley sage rosemary & thyme: they’re what’s for dinner (oh, and this chicken)

 

You’d think that a single 52 year old man like myself would know how to cook a chicken—but I don’t.  Oh, I’ve done some things with a boneless, skinless chicken breast but actual chicken parts?  Bone-in pieces of skin, drumsticks and thighs?  When it comes to such parts, I’m more chicken than they are.

But a couple days ago when I was at the market, Kuhn’s had a display of “Amish Chicken, Pick of the Chic’ Paks”—two breasts, 2 thighs & 2 legs for $4.99, and I knew it was too good a deal to pass up.  (Besides, I was craving a good, old-fashioned roast chicken dinner, the kind that didn’t come out of a KFC bucket or from a Hungry Man Frozen Chicken dinner box.) 

FYI, if you’re any type of cook—go ahead, roll your eyes!  But for guys like myself who have never done this sort of thing, have patience—there’s a first time for everything y’know!

ApacheDug’s Herbalicious Roast Chicken & Potatoes 

Assemble these ingredients:

  • 3 lb. pack of assorted chicken parts (wirh skin)
  • 2 tablespoons Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 1 teaspoon Morton Sea Salt
  • 2 tablespoons Italian Seasoning
  • 1-2 potatoes
  • 1 onion
  • 1 green pepper

1. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees.

2. Chop up the potato, onion and green pepper into one inch chunks.  (I left the skin on the potatoes.)  Get a large glass bowl (I used my Pasta Serving bowl from IKEA) and throw in the chicken parts, chopped potatoes, onion & green pepper.   

3. Drizzle 2 tablespoons of Extra Virgin Olive Oil over everything, then cover the top with something, I used Cling-Wrap.  (My Cling-Wrap is red, because it’s Holiday Cling-Wrap that was on sale in the Clearance bin for 50% off!) 

Once it’s on there good & tight, shake that bowl up and down to ensure everything has a light coating of oil.

4.  Peel back the Cling-Wrap, sprinkle everything with one teaspoon of Sea Salt & the 1-2 tablespoons of dried Italian seasoning.  Close it back up, toss it up & down some more to ensure everything is flecked with the herbs.

5.  Line a metal baking pan with tin-foil (I used the Heavy Duty foil, but I still had to wash the pan afterwards, dammit).  Spray it with Pan Oilive Oil Cooking Spray. 

ready to cook

Place the chicken (skin side down) in one half of the pan, and the vegetables in the other half. 

6.  Bake uncovered for 30 minutes at 425F.  Turn over the chicken parts, stir the chopped veggies & pop it back in the oven for another 20-25 minutes.   (I only used 1/2 bell pepper, but next time I’ll use a whole one—those roasted pepper chunks are good!)

That’s all there is to it--why didn’t I do this sooner!

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

One step closer to cutting those strings (from more than just my cable company, too)

 

A couple months ago I wrote about the possibilities of “cutting the cable cord” by getting one of those indoor hi-def antennas.  I hated that I was paying $119.00 a month for dozens of nonsense channels I only saw in passing on my way to the few I actually watch.  And it kills me that I’m charged extra for the hi-def channels that are broadcast over-the-air for free!

So I bought a Mohu Leaf (a thin white square with a rubbery texture, $39.99) to try out.  (If you look to the right of my tv in the picture above, you’ll see it hanging on the wall.  It’s a lot more obvious in this photo, in person it’s nearly invisible.)  

Anyway, I’ve been “testing” it off & on for a couple weeks.  I’ve hesitated talking about it, when I first mentioned my plan at the office, my friend Kathy mumbled something that sounded like “damn penny pincher” (I know she loves me) and when I told my friend Danielle about a girl at the eye doctor’s who I thought was cute, she said “hey baby, come up to my place & check out my tv with one channel!” 

Well I wasn’t going to settle for one channel—if I was going to do this I still wanted CBS, ABC, NBC, PBS, CW & Fox as good as I got now, and the folks at tvfool.com supplied me with this list of channels I SHOULD pull in with an indoor antenna, based on my zip code:

So when the Mohu antenna arrived, I promptly hung it up behind the tv.  I got everything I wanted EXCEPT for ABC & PBS, a real bummer.  I spent the next couple days hangiing it higher, testing it in different locations but still no luck, until it hit me to hang it on the side.  (I like it there even better, I’m planning on painting the wall behind my television a kilim-beige soon, but that side-wall will remain white.)  Hooray, it worked!  Well, SORT OF.  I was getitng PBS now, but only after dark, and to get ABC I had to reposition the leaf (losing PBS again) & STEER CLEAR OF MY COUCH.  I’m not kidding, the minute I took a seat, ABC became “Channel not available”. 

I finally decided I wasn’t ready for high-maintenance television, and packed up the Mohu Leaf to send back; I’d probably remain Comcast’s bitch.

UPDATE:   After doing some additional reading from other cord-cutters, I discovered that for some that had issues with the Mohu Leaf, the Mohu Curve (same size and shape as the leaf—but is rigid, and sits on a shelf or table near the tv) is better.  I exchanged the Leaf for the Curve—and they’re right!

009

The Mohu Curve is now getting all channels with no issues—it sits atop my bookcase & stereo, right beside the tv

Now I’ve got to give this a few more days; if my luck holds out, I’m going to buy that Tivo Roamio (over-the-air dvr) and have OVER AN EXTRA HUNDRED BUCKS in my early retirement budget every month! 

Will I miss those endless repeats of Honey Boo-Boo & her clan on TLC?  Sure!  Nothing beats watching them bob for weiners in a washtub full of eggnog or eating armpit fudge—but I can’t help thinking it will help make me a better person!

 

Oh Comcast—you were always pricey but you hiked your rates like 30 percent in the last few years!  You brought this on yourselves!   

To be continued…  Smile

old school

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