Monthly Archives: July 2014

Cord Cutting 101

11/17/2014 ADDENDUM: CBS has started a 24/7 Digital News Network at http://cbsn.cbsnews.com/

It’s been a bold experiment, so am sharing results after 6 months without cable TV.

AntennaTVlogoA few prelims. I might not have considered cutting the cord elsewhere.  In downtown Atlanta,  with only an indoor digital antenna, receive all the networks and several flavors of PBS.   Also their sister stations, with odds-and-odds like “Bounce” and “Antenna TV,” running old movies and sitcoms.  I haven’t at all missed the movie tiers, what I believed might be sacrificed, nor a DVR, realizing I never watched most of what was recorded anyway.

The networks are stunning in raw HD,  significantly cleaner than through a box.  I’m disturbed visiting anyone using a converter without proper cables.  Equally upsetting is when the necessary equipment is in place, then someone chooses the lower standard definition channel range.

Anyway!  The unforeseen advantage has been content discovered streaming.  Network favorites like “Extant” are available anytime with fewer commercials,  as are “The Daily Show” and “Colbert Report”.  I also appreciate “Free Speech TV” and “C-Span”.  Any sports I cared about,  Roland Garros and Wimbledon, required only a modicum of tech savvy to configure Tor for a European IP address.  There’s no shortage of content.

Although there is community Wi-Fi,  for reliable streaming am still beholden to Comcast.  Add Netflix and the monthly “entertainment bill” isn’t quite negligible.  There are cheaper internet tiers, but am not brave enough to test them.   Yet it was not only possible but preferable living without an extra remote control. Google is slowly rolling out fiber,  so imagine a future where access is fast and affordable enough to kiss cable providers goodbye, with a “screw you, too.”

 

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The Kindness of Strangers vs. Bully Mentality

streetcarUntil last weekend my knowledge of A Streetcar Named Desire was pretty much limited to “The Simpson’s”  musical satire,  A Streetcar Named Marge.  As it turns out,  that is a fairly thorough representation.  Also hilarious.  However Tennessee William’s own words do offer more.

I’ve never been able to grok the bully mentality.  In my life have certainly made mistakes, callously put my own interests first and unintentionally harmed others. Though like Blanche (Marge), never deliberately set out to harm another.  I’m a lousy chess player, in part, because I lack the ability to strategize offensively.

Yet there are those naturally inclined to inflict physical or emotional pain and even derive pleasure from it.  Some of the bullies I grew up with are now model citizens.  Have they learned a masquerade acceptable to society, and beneath still lies the malicious core?

“Some things are not forgivable. Deliberate cruelty is not forgivable. It is the most unforgivable thing in my opinion, and the one thing in which I have never, ever been guilty.”
― Tennessee Williams, A Streetcar Named Desire

 


Cities Without Sidewalks

Green_Day_-_Jesus_of_Suburbia_coverCobb county is evil. Cities with no sidewalks.  Headquarters for giants Lockheed Martin, Home Depot  and UPS.   The district that gave America Newt Gingrich.  Most recently the county acquired the Atlanta Braves under suspicious circumstances, with plans to build a 600 million dollar stadium and no concrete funding.  No form of mass transit serves the area.  I’m not certain how low wage stadium employees are expected to get to work.  It isn’t too different from other suburban Atlanta counties that began in panic of “white flight” and continue sprawling.  Cobb best represents them all.

Meanwhile urban renewal continues in downtown Atlanta with completion an interior beltline of greenspace. While not privy to statistics, my impression absorbing local news is suburbia has no less crime than downtown.  More often it appears near or outside the perimeter.  While no soothsayer, my prediction for decades future is that those counties will decay as Atlanta proper improves.

I was compelled to compose this  diatribe/rant  watching the disturbing case of Ross Harris, a web developer at Home Depot accused of intentionally leaving his son to die in a hot car.  While isolated, believe it reflects a  growing sociopathic corporate culture.

The two highest achievements of the human mind are the twin concepts of “loyalty” and “duty.” Whenever these twin concepts fall into disrepute–get out of there fast. You may possibly save yourself, but it is too late to save that society. — Robert Heinlein


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