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:


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


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


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


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:


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.



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