At first I worried a little, which is foolish. I worried because I would be putting people out of jobs, or at least contributing to doing it in a way. Then I used the car wreck and speeding analogies, which seemed to make sense. In other words, “Should I have a wreck in order to keep the local body shop in business?” or “Should I go out on the interstate and break the speed limit until I get caught a few times in order to help the police budget?”
Of course the answer to both of those questions is an absolute “No.”
Maybe I was more worried about the inconvenience of learning to do things differently or not having all the bells and whistles I’m used to having. Honestly, that is probably closer to my actual worries than the wrecking and speeding and making sure folks keep their jobs analogy.
Perhaps, I am trying to figure out how I’ll spend the extra $1000, $1200, maybe $1400 I’ll be saving. With two kids in college and addiction to buying and mailing postcards, that’s not a problem. Postage is expensive, but I like sending things to people. You know, actually putting a stamp on postcard, writing on it with a real ink pen and putting in a blue US Postal Service mailbox.
I didn’t get worried about the postal workers keeping their jobs, I just like it. I do like going to the post office and talking to the folks behind the counter though. You pick up a lot of good community information and a lot more useless small talk. Have you been inside a post office lately?
No offense to the Methodists, but it’s like going to an old established Methodist church. In other words, I don’t see many young folks in there. I think the younger generation probably doesn’t know that you send things through the mail. Speaking of mail, please don’t take the Methodist church observation the wrong way, I’m sure there are plenty with lots of young folks.
As for my countdown clock, I’m less than two weeks away from telling the cable company that I no longer need 250 channels or whatever I get. In my opinion, it’s a pretty good indicator that you don’t need it, if you really don’t know what it does. As for the telephone line, take it out also. I’ve figured a better way to do that and it will cost me less per year than what I was paying the cable company per month.
Papa would be proud. Papa, my grandfather, was a Motorolla television dealer and antenna installation fellow back when the television boom started. He had an antenna tower that was the envy of many, going three or four stories in the sky in rural Alabama. He would climb up there and work on it from time to time. I didn’t care too much for climbing – I still don’t.
With the new technology, I can get 20 or 30 channels with a pretty simple inexpensive antenna. I can even build my own if I set my mind to it. With all of the on-demand programming that is available through various services, if I need to watch something, I’ll still be able to watch it.
As for my home phone, I’ll still have one and it will work the same way. Maybe I can’t have a phone in five or six rooms, but why does one have a phone in five or six rooms? To be honest, the only folks that call me on the home phone are these folks wanting to sell me something or wanting my opinion on something.
I’m sure the cable company will call me and offer a bang up free or cut-rate deal for six months or a year, if I’ll sign back up. They are funny about that… Some folks don’t need you, or know you are there, until you are gone.
Not everyone can do without cable television… Then again, maybe they could.
I am old enough to remember getting four or five stations. Maybe I want that feeling.
Maybe some folks in the cable business will have to go into the antenna business or whatever new fancy thing they come up with to sell us.
Change is sometimes good, very good if it takes you back to a good place and a good feeling and an extra $1400.
Follow Up to this Story...
I jumped the gun and went ahead before scheduled... We called and cut it off today. I'm using a ClearStream 2v Long Range HDTV Antenna that I put in the attic. I have not fiddled with it too much yet. First test got me 32 crystal clear channels and 11 that were too weak. I haven't hooked up the High-Gain Signal Amplifier yet. The fellow at Radio Shack assured me that I could push the signal to 4 or 5 televisions with it (using all those cables in the walls all over the house to get there) and probably pick up the other 11 channels. Note that some of those are the Home Shopping Network which I shouldn't really count, but around 30 for free is nice.
When we called to cancel the cable and telephone, they had a deal for us. Of course they did... Since we were keeping the internet, we got a low-use telephone line and live television through their internet app for an extra dollar a month. We took that deal.
I'm still going to hook up the MagicJack (look it up if you don't know what one is) and try it for the telephone for a while. And the internet app for live television is just not anywhere as convenient as the brilliant picture from an HD television antenna. It's better than cable.
Not being able to live without ESPN and the SEC network (I can't), I signed up for a Playstation Vue account that gets us about 40 or 50 live channels that I can't get with the antenna. You don't need a Playstation, you can use your Roku or Amazon Firestick.
Total savings will be about $120/month or around that $1400/year I was shooting for...
Cranks My Tractor
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I'm BN Heard and I like semicolons, dogs and fiddling with the antenna to get rid of the snow or pixelation.
I will be back on stage January 28th at The Auld Shebeen in Fairfax, Virginia with Better Said Than Done and then again on April 30th hosting the show at Jammin' Java in Vienna, Virginia.