The Three Steps of Cord Cutting

Step 1: “I’m paying $100 a month for cable. Netflix costs $8 a month, Amazon Prime $75 a year. WTH?”

Step 2: “Is it really worth $100 a month to watch football and 24-hour news?”

Step 3: “Hold up, digital rabbit ears are a thing?”

via Breitbart, noting the death-spiral of cable. Huzzah.

Or, as I noted when I underwent this process myself two years ago:

Mostly, I’m tired of paying through the nose for channels I never ever watch. The History Channel might be worth my time if I was an illiterate who needed everything explained to me real slow and then repeated. The Learning Channel has taught me nothing except that some women don’t realize when they’re heavy with child, but you can be a raging, soul-sucking, child-pimping, social climbing psycho hose beast control freak for eight seasons and the whole world will forgive you if your ex-husband puts on an Ed Hardy T-Shirt.

The pleasure are just not enough anymore. The Soup is not enough; reruns of How I Met Your Mother are not enough. Mad Men and Breaking Bad are not enough.

I’m a bit behind schedule, but I’ve finally watched all of Breaking Bad as it is.

How Facebook Saved the Superbowl

Every technological advance contains cost; functionality does not always transfer. Some time over the holidays, after wrestling with Verizon FiOS, I finally pulled the plug on the cable. Verizon still provides my internet and phone, but I watch TV on the Roku box. Between Netflix, Hulu Plus, and Amazon Prime Instant Video, I had everything I needed as far as content for the idiot screen.

Until I had to watch the Super Bowl. The game was on CBS, and live streaming at cbsports.com, but the Roku does not live stream. So that means that I needed to supplement my up-to-the-minute tech with a throwback to my pre-digital youth: a set of rabbit ears for an HDTV.

Remember me? Remember how I required a series of movements and rituals to function properly? Remember how I would stop working anyway? HAHAHAHAHA!

So after church, mother, baby and I rolled into Target, seeking the digital equivalent of the old signal-diviners I used to scan UHF channels back in the 80’s. There are several models, all of which use a coaxial jack, which information prompted an arduous attempt by both of us to remember if our TV even has a coaxial jack. We conclude that it must, because we used to have cable. We then rummage around the store to collect items for our Target co-pay (it is not possible to get out of Target for under $50. That’s what the security guard is really checking for). Since we’re watching the game, we I want football-watching-type food: high-fat, high-calorie, high-chance-of-morning-regret little bits of fried yumminess. Also, some sheets.

And we take all this swag into the house, and we feed the baby, and we the missus futzes with the wall mount to get the coaxial plugged in, and . . . we get FOX. We fart around with the antennae. We get FOX and PBS. We try some more. We get FOX, PBS, and ABC. We give up and watch a few episodes of Parks and Recreation while Nora naps. We try some more. We get nothing. I complain on Facebook:

  Andrew J. Patrick

21 hours ago via mobile
So I buys a digital antenna so’s I can watch the game, having no cable as I do. And we have to futz with the mount on our TV to install it. And we get Fox, UPN, and PBS. Lame.

This prompts my aunt to come to my rescue, as she lives around the corner and has the game on hi-def, big screen. We head on over, pick up the family platter from Famous Daves right before kickoff. The rest, you know.


My favorite commercial.

And then, the lights went out, and for 34 minutes on Facebook, we all became wits:

Even electricity thinks this game is over.

Is FEMA running the super bowl?

Previously on superbowl

If I were in the Superdome right now, I’d be on the lookout for Bane.

Buffalo Wild Wings strikes again

Lots of things in New Orleans are half lit…what’s the big deal?!

Yeah we all needed to lose another 34 minutes of sleep before a Monday morning of work, right?

Some of those are mine, most aren’t. And then there were the visuals:

Needs no explanation, unless you’re an uncultured whippersnapper.

And this social media outlet saved me from having to emit to my host and hostess my usual whine about football commentators being the dumbest form of fauna in our ecosystem.

So when the game started again, I had to say:

I hope the Ravens win, because if the 49ers come back and win after all that, the City of Baltimore will be complaining about it until the end of time.

There are men of a certain age who still remember the Colts sneaking out of the city in the dead of night without warning, and can speak of it only with bitterness. My hope was that the current crop of Ravens fans would be spared that. But as it turns out, the 49ers belonged in the Super Bowl, and my prophecy nearly came true. But only nearly. As it turns out, the Ravens’ defense had just enough backbone to keep Kaepernick et al. from taking the lead. And that may be the first time I’ve ever seen a team deliberately give the other team points.

So what have we learned?

That Facebook Save My Super Bowl twice. Once by allowing me to watch it, and once by giving me something to do when it stopped.

Verizon FiOS Doesn’t Hate My Business. They’re Just Not That Into It.

I ranted a few weeks ago as to how tired I was with Cable TV. However, Bill Inertia is a powerful force, especially When you don’t know if you’re paying forward or back, so I didn’t get around to actually calling Verizon until yesterday. Being one of those poor fools who got bundled, I wanted to see if I could downgrade my service from Phone, Cable, and Internet to just Internet, without having to pay the contract termination fee.

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