Cutting the Cord

I’ve spent $31,200 on Cable and Internet since 2001.  You have too.  That’s $200 a month every month for 13 years.  It’s filthy.  But you can win.  You can win this war.

The Cable companies have gotten overly greedy.  They’ve made it so that even though it looks like you have options, you really don’t.  Here’s Why:

Let’s just say that you need internet to stream Netflix, surf the web and check email.  Nothing crazy.  Maybe 6mbs is all you need.  As for TV, you like a handful of shows on an array of channels.  Some basic cable, some network and there always seems to be one show on a channel that isn’t on either of those.  Oh, and then someone introduces you to Game of Thrones.

Internet by itself is like $50 a month minimum.  Ignoring the bullshit introductory whore rate of $29.95 for 6 months, it’s $50 to get ANY INTERNET.

Internet is easy.  TV is what gets you.

Basic TV is $29.95.  If you enjoy black and white, boring ass, 7 channels of shit, with 27 channels of half-infomercials.  But it’s totally there.  It’s an OPTION.  None of these are broadcast in Hi-Definition, but hey, $29.95 is available guys.

For $49.95, you get stuff that has the 2nd ESPN, Bravo, A&E and some other relatively decent channels.  No HDTV though.  You stupid idiot.    What are you?  A moron?  We just gave you BOTH CSPANs and THE COOKING CHANNEL.  What else do you want from us?  it’s $49.95.

For $79.95, now we’re talking.  You get all of the channels of stuff that you already like to watch and then you get some sports channels… that you never watch… because it’s soccer and darts.  You also get an array of Spanish channels.  Because of course.  Then they throw in these music channels.  You begin to think to yourself, “I should be good with the the $49.95 really.  There’s like one show that I watch on the $79.95 package and I’m good without it.” BUT THEN CABLE IS LIKE “HEY ASSHOLE!! If you want those $49.95 channels in HD, it’s $15 a month.  YOU WANT HDTV don’t you?”.   But you think, “I think I’m still better off saving $15/mo.  Gimme that $49.95 Cable and I’ll just pay $15.”  But you’re totally wrong dipshit.  The $49.95 deal doesn’t come with a cable box.  How the hell are you going to order Pay per view or DVR anything you stupid moron?  You need a box.  $79.95 comes with a box.  I mean, you can be a total fart pillow and pay $10 a month for a box, but now it’s only $5 more a month for the $79.95 AND you GET all of those shitty channels.

So, it’s decided.  $79.95 for TV and $49.95 for Internet, right?  $130 a month. But wait.  There’s more.  Remember.  You wanted to DVR some shit right?  Well, that’s a problem.  It’s $15 a month per box.  You have two boxes.  But not to worry.  There’s a package that’s only $139 a month and DVR, HDTV, all those 300 worthless channels!  Don’t be a stupid slut.  $139 is what you need.

Dammit.  Dammit.  Dammit.  I forgot Game of Thrones.  HBO is $20 a month.  Or… no… I get it… I totally get.  Double Play.  You have a double play.  If I get all the movie channels and all 400 channels and internet and DVR and HDTV and REDZONE and a look into three security cameras secretly installed in your neighbor’s home, it’s only $179 a month.  I mean, don’t be stupid, you goddamn jackoff.  So there you are, you’ve committed…

And the first month you pay $222, you realize there’s another $33 in taxes, licensing, rape kits and surcharges.

Here’s the good news.  When enough people get fed up with the bullshit, the free market finds a relatively easy alternative to make things easier. This week, we cut the cord.  With the help of my brother in law, our friends and the internet, we made a pretty seamless transition.  We dropped cable and put AT&T in the corner and forced them to give me 18 mbs speed for $50 a month.  If you have any interest in what else we did to cover gaps, keep reading.  If not, who cares.  We save $170 a month now.

WHAT YOU NEED TO DO

Realize there are a number of ways to watch TV:

  1. Network TV – If you just like network TV and you like HDTV, you can spend $80 on an external omidirectional antenna (TERK is the one we purchased) and easily install it nearby the cable box already installed on your house.  Run the cable from the antenna into your cable box outside your home and you immediately have free HD network channels.  FOX, NBC, ABC, CBS, PBS and a bunch of Spanish (just like $79.95).
  2. Netflix – If you can just be patient and not mind being 6 months behind on shows, Netflix is pretty good. This is a major adjustment.  I was already spending $8 a month for this service because it turns out, I’m unable to be up to speed anyways, so Netflix was easier than DVR.  Also, they have a pretty good selection of movies.
  3. HULU Plus – You can get most of your shows next day with a $8/mo subscription here.  I don’t know if this is necessary if you can be diligent in watching your network antenna shows.
  4. DVR – This is a real mind blower.  There are a number of ways to grab your antenna signal and do a DVR like cable, but after doing the research and setting it up, here is the most logical and cost efficient way to make it happen.
  • Buy a PC –  I spent $319 on a Dell G3320 Desktop.  It has a 500 GB Hard Drive, 4 GB ram, Windows 8.1 and it was brand new.
  • Purchase Windows Media Center – $99.  This program will accept your antenna signal, create a guide menu system just like cable and record and program your over the air signal.  Pay the $99 one time and you have recordings forever.
  • Connect the computer to your TV – HDMI – super easy.
  • Purchase hardware that will accept the TV signal – Hauppage makes great products.
  • Purchase a wireless key board and mouse to make control of the computer comfortable – $24.99 – logitech on amazon.  Works great.
  • This set up recovers it’s cost in less than 90 days.  Amazing.

Be mindful of the fact that once you have a dedicated PC connected to your TV, you now have full access to watching EVERYTHING on the internet.  Think about that.  The internet is so powerful now, that if you really want to see something, it’s there.  I won’t take the time to tell you some of the illegal things that you can do in order to see everything you want because I want to show you all of the possibilities without resorting to that… but there are totally some great illegal things you can do that are easy too.

What am I going to do with my $170/mo?  I might just go have a night out for once.

I have to say that returning those boxes and remotes back to the cable company felt really good.  The freedom of doing whatever I want, however I want when it comes to my TV entertainment is liberating.  We have a blu ray player that also shows netflix, amazon and a host of other entertainment streaming.  We have apple tv and now we have this PC.  We currently pay for HULU, but I suspect we’ll be cancelling that soon enough.  $8/mo for netflix.  Netflix has killed Blockbuster and it helped us quit cable.  The other stuff convinced us.

My Resolutions

Here it is;

  1. Weight.  I weight 260.4 pounds today.  It’s 5 pounds shy of the heaviest I’ve ever been.  I have high blood pressure, high cholesterol and other bad stuff that comes with being overweight.  I have a foot injury that I think will only go away as I lose weight.  I resolve to get below 200 pounds by next year.
  2. Texting and Driving – I do it alot.  I’ve had some close calls this year. It needs to stop.  It’s against the law now.
  3. Pescetarian – I’ve had a problem for nearly 2 years now that I eat food that I don’t have the heart to kill.  I’d never be able to murder a cow, chicken or pig so why can I eat it?  Yes, it’s delicious.  It is.  It doesn’t make it right.  I’ve fished in the past and I could kill a fish.  I have.  I resolve to not eat meat for 2014.
  4. Drinking – As part of the weight program, I figure it would be easy to just eliminate drinking in 2014.  It will help with the budget and the weight, so why not.
  5. Run a half marathon.  As soon as I can begin training, I will.  The weight has to go down before I can consider it.  The foot really hurts.
  6. Positivity – It’s important to keep my posts online positive.  I can’t attack groups of people.  If I want to make a point, do it with humor.
  7. Finish Frat Boy – I’d like to finish writing this so I can produce it at the end of the year.
  8. Be in a position to be completely self employed – Sick Puppies needs to generate enough income for me to choose whether or not remain employed. I really enjoy my job so it’s hard to get motivated to this, but I believe it’s the right thing to do.

 

Jim Casperson

We don’t celebrate our friends enough.  We spend time with them, we enjoy their company, but we rarely take a moment to understand how our lives have been affected by them.  This is a series of or collection of blog posts that I’ll make one at a time until I’ve got all of you.  Don’t feel left out.  The timeline is large enough that I’ll get you.  There is no rhyme or reason to who I choose.  Except for this one.  My best Friend. My Dad.  Let’s get started.

Who is He? He’s my old man.

How do you know him? simple enough.

How do you spend time together? Usually with a glass of wine, beer or mind altering beverage, the two of us likely gambling or conquering world problems.  Lot’s of laughter usually due to the awful things we are saying when together.  Telling stories almost too big to be true.

What have you learned from him? Generosity.  Short Answer.  He teaches me how to give it all away even when it seems I have nothing to offer.  He’s taught me the value of time.  Minutes matter.  Moments are all we have.  He’s taught me how to be the perfect father.  I am an honest person because of him.  He’s taught me how to be a good person and doesn’t judge me.

Have you picked up any of his bad habits? Most. Never became a smoker.  I eat too much and tend to have a temper.

How has he changed you? He’s my father so it’s a tricky question.  My father molded me.  As an adult, there was one moment when life was getting tricky and he said “don’t take the easy road”.  That was enough.  At that time.

Describe him in a sentence Everyone thinks they are his favorite… and they are.

I love you Dad.

 

Having a Good Day

Just for the sake of having some content on my site, I thought I’d let everyone know I’m having a good day.  Learned the gender of my kid today.  Will be releasing that information tomorrow.

The Puppies are on their way to a sold out show again and that makes me very happy.

Life is good.