Spending time off the net

I just got done spending about 10 days without Internet or cable service. I did have the usual withdrawal symptoms but eventually made due by trying to find things to occupy my time. I wrote some stuff out about what I did. It is a bit long so I may post it in parts.

1. Watched the regular television networks. My ISP is also my cable company so I had no cable TV and I usually read my newspaper online. I borrowed a Digital TV converter and tried that out on my set. Digital TV is almost as bad as the old school rabbit ears when you use to have use aluminum foil to get any signal. I would set the antenna and sit down and the picture would mess up. I would stand back up and reach for the antenna and the picture would be fine then sit back down and the picture would cut in and out again. Very aggravating. The picture quality is great – no snow at least and it got me thinking I might cancel my cable TV altogether and just use the Internet and the converter box to watch TV. I was looking at the selection of my cable company and found out that although I had the top digital package, 90% of the channels I watch are on the cheaper standard service. Of course…. lol….

Channel 4 and Channel 6 have extra programing on their 2nd digital channels. I would graze them when I had cable but really got a chance to watch them these past 12 days. WCMH has RTV which shows old TV shows – really old like 30 years or more. Seeing supposed cowboys of the 1850’s with pastel colored clothes was funny on some show about Texas Rangers filmed in the 1960’s titled “Laredo”. They also have my favorite “Emergency!” and “Kojak”.

Channel 6 has My Network TV and also shows “THIS” which plays old movie of the weeks from the early 1980’s. I like these because some are not that good but fun to see some actors before they got famous. One was about a biker club reunion called “Return of the Rebels” that starred Don Murray and Barbara Eden but had a fresh faced Patrick Swayze playing a bad guy. Another movie was about skateboarders called “Thrashin'” which starred Josh Brolin after he had been in “The Goonies”.

2. Got to watch the 6:30 PM network news broadcasts for the first time in years and I remember why I don’t watch them. CBS sounded boring but the others seemed to lack news. I am so use to the detail that some cable channels go into on some topics or the stuff I can read on the Internet. Other than catching the noon or 6 PM local news there isn’t any news available on the networks. That was hard to deal with – guess I am hooked on 24/7 news cycles. The funniest bit was during the NBC Nightly News from Pittsburgh due to the G20 Summit and someone with a megaphone was protesting Brian Williams live on the air. There was one point when his audio was not there and you could hear megaphone guy shouting “They’re lying to you!!!” clear as day… HA! Great TV….. When Williams signed off for the evening he signed off for the guy with the megaphone too.

3. Watched the premiers of a lot of network programing for the fall season. “How I met your mother” seemed a bit flat but “Big Bang Theory” was extra hilarious. I didn’t care for “Mercy” – or rather Grey’s Anatomy on NBC. I did like “The Good Wife”. I really didn’t like “Accidentally on Purpose” – I just don’t think unplanned pregnancy between two unmarried people is funny. The issue is too serious for a comedy series. The movie “Knocked Up” did the same topic but there was some pathos and heart to it. “Accidentally…” has no heart….. knowing me it will probably be the next “Cheers” and be on for 10 years. Hope not.

NCIS” and “NCIS LA” were pretty good and didn’t seem to miss a beat from last season. “Law & Order SVU” was okay. “Modern Family” was funny and looks good. “Flash Forward” seemed interesting and right now less esoteric than “Lost” did but we will see.

“Gary Unmarried” was good but I miss Gary’s buddy and his girlfriend from last season. “The New Adventures of Old Christine” was very funny but they ripped off a bit of Seinfeld with the airplane trip. I just don’t care for Elaine when she gets bitchy.

I still don’t like “The Office” and “Parks and Recreation” but “Community” seemed okay but the previews seemed funnier than the actual show. “Brothers” was another I didn’t care for and I skipped the other Fox shows because the canceled “The Sarah Conner Chronicles”.

Another season of “Survivor” that doesn’t interest me but “Amazing Race” was amazing again.

“Weekend Update Thursday” was funny but I worry they are using their best material before a Saturday show. The Joe Wilson fake out skit was one of the best of the year so far.

I totally ignored the crappy dancing shows and fat people shows including Jay Leno.

I was really hoping Jay Leno would do a show like the old Dean Martin Show with a mix of sketches and singing and dancing but what we got was his Tonight Show without that title. – Bleh!

Of course Conan O’Brien isn’t helping himself on his “Tonight Show”. It still seems he is holding back from doing the goofy stuff I loved that Jimmy Falon is doing on his show now. What is it about 11:30 that makes grown adults stiffen up? David Letterman did the same thing when he moved to CBS. If grandma and grandpa don’t like edgy goofiness then they should go to bed.

4 Replies to “Spending time off the net”

  1. DirecTV or DishNetwork.

    We used to have Dish before our fire (we liked it — & would still recommend it to folks not satisfied with cable — although, DirecTV has the NFL Ticket).

    After the fire we got all new cable hookups so we went with the cable/phone/internet package.

    Found out that the phone sucked — plus we never used the home phone since we all have cell phones.

    The cable kept getting worse & the price kept going up.

    Now we have RoadRunner & DirecTV & I like both.

  2. I will probably make a change at the end of the year and go with plain over the air TV, dump the phone (only used it for faxing stuff and long distance or tech support calls), and keep the Road Runner. Time Warner is changing their line ups this month and adding Millitary History Channel and NASA TV. AT&T down here is having some deals undercutting Time Warner big time on a Triple pack (TV, phone, and Internet) for under $100 but it is DSL and I would need to check to see how close we are to a switch before I risk getting DSL. Thanks for the tip about DirectTV or Dish.

  3. I've never had cable since I've moved out on my own years ago. I find that over the air isn't really all that bad…as long as you like watching the programs on PBS to break up the crap that is prime time tv and such. But hey…it's free. And I can always rent a movie at the Family Video down the street.

    As for DSL…I just got that just the other week. I think it's pretty quick and it suits my need really well for what I do online. Considering that it's only $19.95/mo, it's a reasonable price.

    AT&T does have something called UVerse. Phone/Internet/tv for $90 month. You may want to look into that…because I know you can just get the Internet and TV for $60 (since they price each line at $30).

  4. Thanks for the info on the DSL Thomas. A few years back had bad experiences with setting up DSL for other people but I'm sure it is better than it use to be – installing and setting it up.

    During my cable "vacation" I did find that over the air TV was just fine so I could take or leave cable. I love PBS and with digital channels the regular stations has alternatives to their regular programing.

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