As sort of an experiment, Geneva and I decided to shut off our satellite TV service last month. A lot of people I know don’t watch much TV and we figured we might try spending our quiet hours doing more reading and getting house-work done. Also, with this current economy I can’t quite justify the cost of the hefty DirecTV bill. Those guys are determined to raise rates as often as our power company does!
So how’s it going, you ask? Well, the toughest part is losing the morning news. I know that our local stations broadcast for free — in Hi-Def even(!) — but if you don’t know, I live in the sticks. So far out live I that signals from the big city are more ‘suggestions’ rather than actual transmissions. And in this digital age that amounts to pretty much a black screen. But back to the stuff I miss… the morning news. I’ve grown accustomed to finding out what new thing I’m supposed to be fired up about each morning before heading off to work, and now that I don’t have that I feel, I dunno, not very fired up. I’m sort of a news junkie so getting my morning fix has become — almost necessary. And yeah, of course the internets could keep me in the know, but i can’t browse fark.com whilst putting on my socks. I need that passive information feed. Well, I guess I’ll just have to rely on NPR during the drive in to fill that hole. But they need to learn to talk faster! Headline news can feed me three news stories every minute. Ya gotta keep Broca’s brain contextually stimulated.
For my other programming I’ve been taking a page from Wil Wheaton and hitting Hulu and various other video-specific websites. And through the power of the occasional torrent, I’m able to watch most of the TV that I normally would have suffered through the ads to enjoy — like Rules of Engagement, the Venture Bros., and House. I also can catch The Daily Show through their own website, which is nice because then I can easily catch all the parts of the interviews they edit out for the TV time-slot. [But why must they show me the exact same very annoying commercial during every single break? Can’t the AXE people just make a couple of extra commercials just to make me not spaz every time I see their product in the future? morons.]
And so the experiment continues. The boys haven’t complained about missing their daily dose of iCarly, but with school and soccer their schedules are so packed right now they wouldn’t have a 30-min. break in the day anyhow. And I’m catching up on a couple of books I’m been limping through and working my way through the back-log of movies I’ve been ‘intending to get to’ for far too long. (Sherlock Holmes is *still* sitting on my DVD player — unwatched!)
For someone who prides himself on perpetually integrating current pop culture into his vernacular seamlessly (“Twitcher lets you send and receive short messages called ‘twits’. [ding] Why, here’s a twit now!), I’m gonna find it hard to keep up. And as I’ve learned in the past, it’s not always a sure thing that an internet meme is recognizable by anyone other than those it was intended for. …or the other 99.99% of the local population. meh. Honestly, if I wore a T-shirt with “The cake is a liar.” printed on it, will it actually make me seem any cooler to the general public? I think not.
So for anyone keeping score: Having time to do some things that needed doing, 1. Keeping in touch with the things that keep me sane and make me cool, zero.
Oh, well. At least I’ll have another $75 in my pocket at the end of the month.