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.

Tooting my own horn

I wanted to post about updates to two of my blogs.

iHumanism – narrowly focused on Humanism. Available since 1999, it was previously a standard HTML based site but has now been converted to a blog using WordPress. Content includes articles, essays, and commentary on Humanism, which is my life stance.

Most recent post talks about something called “vague theism” that is causing issues within the Humanist movement.

The Review Geek – basically a review style blog. It offers commentary on media offerings from TV to music to film and culture. I use the new Movable Type version 4.

Most recent post talks about the show “Feasting on Asphalt 2: The River Run” showing on the Food Network.

I really have no social life and am quite pale, so check them out if you have time.