Cut The Cord

WAVE-picsayWe did it! We cut the cord, so to speak. I ditched cable this last week and went internet only. I’ve been considering it for about a year or so. The idea of not being able to just absent-mindedly channel surf was of concern though.

I watch a fair amount of TV; however, it revolves around a very limited number of channels. And let’s face it, TV competes with my video games pretty often as well. Like many people, subsidizing a giant list of channels I never watch burns my ass to no-end. I watch 15-20 channels tops and that includes a couple of the multiplex movie channels. Cable and internet thru “Comcrack” was runing us roughly $170.00 a month. At $170.00 a month, the bloat clearly outweighs the benefit.

So after reading yet another news feed on how Comcast is constantly trying to break the internet while simultaneously screwing over it’s customers, I decided to ditch them all together. We signed up for Wave Broadband’s gigabit internet service. Some of you may remember I left Wave over a year ago after months of intermittent service and never ending home visits that amounted to squat. I was reticent to jump back into Wave but being the only provider so far to offer gigabit service to my address, I took a chance.

So far it has paid off. The service isn’t quite gigabit speeds and fluctuates quite a bit. It will go as low as 200 and as high as 800 Mbps.1  It hovers around 500 Mbps consistently. They need a tech to work on the pole on my street to increase it (allegedly). And while that might seem rough, think about it for a second. My lowest speed is double what I was paying for Comcast.  It’s $70.00 a month for the first year including the modem/router. I’m saving $100.00 a month right off the bat. The savings will decrease as we add other necessary services. We already had Hulu so I am not counting it toward the monthly savings.

Shawn only cares about the pings, which hovers between 4-20. Again a wide fluctuation but still at it’s worst it isn’t bad. So I’m willing to work thru it at this point. And since they waived the first month of service and the installation fees, I figure they are trying hard to earn back my business.

The biggest struggle, as expected, has been the withdrawal from channel surfing. It bothers me. It’s almost always garbage TV or shows/movies I’ve seen countless times but having the option go missing is oddly disconcerting. Having a Tivo usually allowed me to avoid live TV for the most part. I loathe f**king commercials. Sadly, I bought one of the versions of Tivo that doesn’t support OTA broadcasts. FML right? lol  I invested in a digital antenna that works pretty good. Honestly though, I doubt we’ll watch much live TV.

I am adapting, albeit slowly. We signed up briefly for Sling TV, which for some is probably a good deal. However, unlike Hulu, you cannot skip commercials, even on shows you DVR’d to their cloud.2  I got rid of it before the trial had even expired. I’d rather just buy the shows I like outright and watch them commercial free. And while that does add up in the short term, in the long run I still save more money. And frankly, I like spending money on things I value vs endless channels I never even tune-in once.

Buying a season of a given show runs between $15.00 and $25.00. At an average of $20.00 a season, even if I buy 10 different shows, that is only 2 months of previous cable service. I did add HBO and Starz thru my Google+ account so that knocked the savings down to $75.00 a month. Again, still a value to me. All of it averaged together I figure I’ll end up saving around $50.00 a month  For that I’m getting gigabit speed internet (for the most part) and the joy of never having to watch commercials. A much better value than I was getting before and the savings adds up to a whopping $600 bucks a year!

It isn’t all rosy though. Navigating which shows you can get where can be a royal pain in the ass. Some shows air the same season on Hulu as they do live. Some shows run a season behind. Some shows aren’t even available on Hulu at all. Premium movie channels like HBO are prevalent almost everywhere so they are relatively easy to find. Basically, you have to review all the shows you like or watch and chase them down. Once you get past that hurdle it’s pretty smooth sailing. And none of these services require a contract or commitment so you can add/remove anytime your favorite show airs.

If you don’t mind commercials, Sling TV and/or Vue are probably the two best for choice and flexibility. Hulu is decent but lacking in many areas;however, it allows you to watch almost everything commercial free.3  YouTube TV is pretty basic but if you watch the basics you’re covered. I don’t know if it forces you to watch commercials or not as I didn’t try it out. It was missing several of my favorite channels.

All things considered, I’m happy with the decision so far. I let Comcast overlap until I finalize whether Wave can deliver. The abrupt and jarring end to channel surfing is slowly wearing off. The are other ways to surf anyway and I’m happier with my options.




  1. megabits per second []
  2. Yes, I know Comcast owns a chunk of Hulu. I can’t avoid them completely it seems []
  3. A few of the most popular shows require you to watch a commercial before and after. []

Destiny 2.0

Well, if you’re any sort of gamer or gaymer1 you probably know the 2nd game to Destiny has dropped. The first game captured my attention more than any previous game ever. I was totally hooked. I didn’t even mind the grinding2 so much as others.

One of the biggest complaints surrounding the first release was content. Bungie released the original disc with the full game plus much of the first DLC3 already on the disc. Not a big deal until they charged for the first DLC. Many folks were rightfully pissed! To their credit using many of the same worlds in different ways was ingenious. However, charging your user base for content already on the disc was just foolish and greedy. Ironically, the games popularity persisted and continued to grow. Bungie stumbled many times during the lifespan but came clean on some of the big items and promised bonuses to make up for it.

And speaking of content, many folks felt the game lacked variety even after several brand new DLCs dropped throughout the first two years. Bungie admitted it was hard to crank out new content for consumption due to how the game was built on the back end. In a game of this style with such a large user base, content is everything. The only saving grace was crucible and strike matches. Crucible was player vs player, solo or in groups. Strike missions are teams of players against the environment. The level of variety and skill in these arenas really saved the game. Otherwise, I think it would have gone down as brightly as it arrived. The new game is supposedly built completely different and should allow for more actual new content more often.

So far disc 2 has once again captured my total attention. Even though many of the same enemies have been brought forward, it is different enough to feel new and the same, in a weird sort of way. I’m not quite in awe as I was the first time though. I’m not a fan of much of the new shading and ‘realness’. Another big complaint in the first game was wasted time bouncing between social spaces accesing upgrades and cashing in loot and space/destinations. It was an incredibly annoying time killer. In the new game the simplifications are almost too simple. It keeps breaking my sense of continuity in the game. Granted, as I get used to the new game this will probably go away. I’m only 10 or so hours in and there are supposedly upwards of 150 hours of campaign game play alone.

If you play, feel free to add me. If ya do, send me a message so I know how you found me. I tend to ignore random friend requests when I don’t recognize the player. . I’m PS4 only this time too. No back and forth on the two consoles anymore. Microsoft is steadily ruining the Xbox IMO.

 




  1. gay gamer []
  2. playing repeat levels over and over to gain experience, points, and/or loot []
  3. downloadable content []

Eating Habits

I need to get my eating under control. Ugh! I eat out way too much and it is showing on my waistline. I don’t eat fast food as much as just eating out.

While on vacation last week, I ate like a pig. I’ve been hitting the gym consistently but with my eating habits, it shouldn’t really surprise me I haven’t lost any weight. And while I’m not overweight in the traditional sense, I am too heavy for my own comfort. I feel like a fat-ass.

Part of my problem is I procrastinate on weekends about doing my meal prep. I have almost no free time during the work week so if it doesn’t get done on the weekend, it doesn’t happen. This last weekend I was pretty good since I didn’t have an excuse. I got all my meal prep ordered, delivered, and prepped. Of course, due to the holiday, it is also a short work week for me. haha1  Since Shawn works Friday’ when I’m off, I really have no excuse for not getting it done. Well, no excuse except laziness!

*

On a related tangent, I’ve been asked a few times if I’m “ok” or “how I’m doing” in the sense of being depressed. I do not get depressed over being unhappy with my body. One, I’m usually just not prone to depression. Two, I’m not that far outside my range to get too down on myself. I chastise and scold myself but I also keep it focused to my procrastination, not my self-worth. I so rarely get down on myself these days. Overall, my life is damn good and it would be selfish and a bit self-absorbed to let such little things overwhelm my sense of self.2  There are so many bigger more important things to focus on. And at the end of the day it isn’t anyone’s fault but my own. If I want to change it, it is up to me to get it done. So, as a clarification, when I rant here about my failures I am doing so based on the best perspective I can have in relation to my well-being.




  1. The struggle is real, yo! []
  2. Please don’t misunderstand this as a belittlement of those who suffer from clinical depression. Completely different beast. []

Blood Draw

Who knew getting your blood drawn could make you feel so much better!? As previously mentioned a while back, my blood has gotten too thick as of late. The thickness was leading to high blood pressure and was causing my heart to work harder.

I finally got around to scheduling the appointment and what a difference it made. I’d sort of settled into a routine of taking a low-dose BP med every morning to keep myself from getting throbbing headaches. However, by bedtime it would be back to a dull throb which often interfered with my ability to fall asleep at night. I guess I hadn’t realized how much it impacted me. I mean it did progress slowly so it sort of snuck up on me. The first couple nights afterwards were lovely, no throbbing, no discomfort, no weird sensations. Lovely.

I’ll probably have to start going on a regular basis. Depending on how quickly it builds back up, I could need a treatment every 3 to 6 months. I can just barely feel the tension/pressure now. The lady at the blood bank was raving at how great my blood looked. She kept ‘tsk tsking’ about how it was such a waste to throw it away. I’m not sure why but I was tickled by it.

Having brought it up in conversation a few times in the past couple months, I discovered the procedure is way more common than I realized. I had several friends who do or have done it. The blood bank has whole blocks of appointments they set aside just for this type of service. Who knew?

Old Man

In the last year I’ve had several interactions either in person or online with younger guys behaving poorly when I didn’t return their affections/advances. Many of their not so nice replies often revolved around my age or lack of hair when they didn’t get the answer they were hoping for. As it either of those things would injure me in any way. 

One particular guy online started adding  “old man” to the end of all his comments, as if I was somehow hurt or injured by it. Of course, the less I got upset the more intense he became. I finally took pity on him and asked if he thought he was accomplishing anything. He ignored my question and kept at it until I started sending him random old man shots from the web.1  Every time he said it, I sent him another picture. He got upset and told me to stop, yet he kept adding “old man” each time. And he continued to get another pic. Realizing he wasn’t going to bait me into an argument, he gave up.

Weeks go by and I get another reply from him. This time he is polite and asked, “what’s wrong with me?”  Since he appeared to be trying to make amends I took the time to reply:

Let me first say, there is nothing wrong with you. Nada, zero, zip. You are a nice looking young man. The fact I am not personally attracted to you for nookie doesn’t negate any of your positive qualities. We are just not a match. I am literally old enough to be your father. That doesn’t work for me. But honestly, the reason(s) shouldn’t matter. You should never assume something is ‘wrong with you” over a lack of interest. Not everyone can be your type and as such, you can’t be everyone’s type. Rejection is a part of life and learning how to handle it will make you stronger as a person. 

He went on to apologize more earnestly and thanked me for offering wisdom. Normally, I would have just blocked him but I get in a mood at times where I am not to be tested. Since I’m not actually angry at the other person, I routinely ‘win’ these little battles as I can have the patience of a saint when I don’t really mind no “winning.” 

I kinda figured fewer young guys would go thru it now that we have more visibility. I guess I was wrong. I must admit I don’t understand it. Ok, well maybe I do. I mean I understand it stems from insecurity over being rejected. I get that part, but when has lashing out at said interest every worked to lure them back?  I won’t say with 100% certainity I never did that, but I honestly don’t ever remember having behaved that way. And we all know what a f**ked up mess I was back then. I do remember getting my feelings hurt quite often for many of the same reasons. I internalized  it and made it about me self-worth vs just attraction. Over the years as learned to value my self-worth differently, the anger, hurt, and pain went away. 

As for guys my age I think a lot of them struggle at this point. They aren’t the youngest or prettiest anymore and it’s intimidating. Interactions they took for granted no longer present themselves so readily. It can sting for sure. I’ve seen it play out for years. I’m grateful I’ve come far enough to avoid such trappings. It only services to make you sad and/or bitter. I’m grateful my self-worth and confidence are no longer based on how much attention I get. And if you find yourself in that category, learn from your mistakes. If you value your self-worth based on attraction, you’re doing it all wrong. Or, as the saying goes, “that’s not how this works…that’s not how any of this works!.” 




  1. They were of the biblical sense. I figured I’d return his generosity. []

Clean Bill of Health

IMG_20170703_150802-1
Cooper da Rescue!

Someone mentioned I hadn’t talked about Cooper lately. Never fear, he is doing fine. Actually, he had his yearly checkup recently and is fit as a fiddle, according to the vet!

I’ve mentioned plenty of times he is prone to severe health issues. I honestly didn’t expect him to make it past age 5. After all these years together, I’m proud to say he is still strong and robust. Ironically, he was just getting over a summer cold prior to our vet visit.  I booked the appointment and by the time it rolled around, he was past it.

His allergies are still ever present. With all the warm weather lately he has a had a few flare ups. Otherwise, the sausage is doing quite well.

Luckily, when Shawn and I travel his Uncle Chuck (our neighbor) keeps an eye on him for us. He gets to stay home where he feels safe and Chuck is just across the hall. The cleaning lady tends to spoil him with extra treats as well. She adores him. No matter where we go, he always steals the show. He gets almost weekly walks around the ‘hood and every store we visit is fond of him. The Starbucks crews will ask where he is when I pop in without him. The Posh Bagel crew always smile and say hi to him.

His age is ever so slowly creeping up on him. His hyperactive fits have shrunk significantly. He also refuses to jump up on our bed most days now. He’ll whine and beg until one of us picks him up. He still hops on the couch and the guest bed (it’s lower) with no signs of discomfort. He is in my heart and I just adore him. I shudder to think what his life might have been had I never rescued him. I still to this day get angry telling the story of how he was abandoned.

Anyway, there you have it. The Pooper dooper is most excellent and sends you all slobber kisses and stinky farts.

 

One Year

Well, it’s been 1 whole year since I took my admin assignment at work. My how time flies. It doesn’t seem that long at all.

13584249_261926234180151_1642763403_n
One year ago

I’m still enjoying the assignment. And yes, I’m still struggling with the hours. I just can’t seem to develop a consistent rhythm. It’s the going to bed part I struggle with. I can’t seem to get sleepy around 2100 (09:00pm). If I hit the gym hard that day I usually start getting a wee bit sleepy by then; however, if it’s a cardio or off day I’m awake for at least another hour. This makes me sleepy the next damn day. Arrrrgh.

Beyond the hours, I’ve settled into it. It isn’t hard, I just crank thru documents and audio/video files on a daily basis. Work comes in, work goes out, work comes in, work goes out…and repeat the next day. Pretty simple. I’ve learned quite a bit about our local Sunshine ordinance as well as our version of the Freedom of Information Act.1  I still work overtime from time to time in operations. It keeps my skills up and I miss the camaraderie of being with my coworkers. I’m isolated in a tiny office with just one coworker. We get along just peachy (some might say too well. heehee) but it isn’t the same as being in a room with a group of your peers.

The assignment is up to 5 years so I’m barely a year in. I have the option of rotating out after 3 years. I’m not sure I’ll stay the full 5. On the upside, I’ve finally gotten used to having holidays off! It was a bit surreal after over a decade of working most holidays. One can actually plan to do things that aren’t just on my weekend. Who knew!? hehehe  Half the time, we just sit at home and enjoy the time off. I’ve become such a home body. I’m still struggling to shrug it off. I know we should be out doing ‘stuff’, but video games and the couch are always so alluring. Shawn is just as bad; however, he seems to shrug it off a little easier than I do. He helps motivate me to plan trips and get out of the city.

So here I sit ‘working’ up a storm. It’s my Friday on a holiday week and I’m looking forward to the weekend!




  1. FOIA applies to federal agencies. We have the California Public Records Act (CPRA) which almost mirrors the FOIA one. []

Pride & Prejudice

So as usual, there is in-fighting amongst all the letters in our glorious alphabet of communities. This year seems to have taken a new twist as people are losing their sh*t over changes to the rainbow flag in PA. Apparently, some folks have decided to add extra stripes to denote the inclusion of race.

For my part, I don’t really care either way. If you want to add some stripes to represent the inclusion of race on the flag be my guest. The rainbow flag is just a symbol. It doesn’t define me or my life so modifying it doesn’t really affect me one way or the other. Symbols are meant to represent us, not define us.

On the one side, racism is just as prevalent in the gay community as it is in the straight world. What harm is there in adding reflections of race to show inclusion? Even though the flag wasn’t meant to reflect race, so what if some people want to include a variation that includes it. I’ve seen so many personal variations of the rainbow flag for years. Where is the outrage on all those variations? No one owns a symbol anymore than they own an idea. Let us all stop acting like changing a recognized symbol will end all our hard earned rights.  

On the other side, I also don’t really think it helps anything. Many of our racial tensions are tied to various socioeconomic issues. Until we work thru these, changing a symbol does absolutely nothing IMO. Actions are stronger than words. How about we stop using disrespectful terms to refer to other races? How about we stop acting like every unflattering joke or mention of race/gender is an attack? Even better, how about we stop marginalizing everyone because of the actions of a few? Instead, let us accept that others suffer differently than you. Be willing to look outside your sphere of existence to see thru another’s eyes.These actions and attitudes are much more effective at stopping hate, mistrust, and fear.

This whole pissing match is a reflection of the deeper issues within our umbrella. These ever growing trends of attacking and/or shaming anyone who disagrees, even in the slightest, are doing the work of our enemies for them. We are destroying our communities from within. Our umbrella of people rarely agree on any given topic. Why must we make enemies of each other over different view points like this? The level of vitriol and disgusting behavior I’ve seen on both sides has been deeply disturbing. This is not how we should be treating each other.We can disagree with our allies w/o labeling them as enemies. We can be patient and show understanding as we try to educate those around us who thru privilege or ignorance don’t understand a given viewpoint. Shock value and strong-arm tactics might sometimes work against our enemies but when we use them on our allies we only further the divide between us.

I’ll be the first to admit I don’t have all the answers, but I still support equality and freedom for all. That makes me an ally even though I’m a person who won’t be shouted down just because I don’t always see eye to eye with everyone else. When we silence the voices of our allies over internal squabbles, what is their motivation to speak for us when we need them? And don’t even get me started on the growing tide of small groups who decide they can’t compromise even a little. They demand to have their way or else. If you refuse, they do everything possible to obstruct or shut down the process. How is that productive? You don’t win hearts and minds that way.

While the LGBTI movement has taken some significant large steps recently, it took decades to get this far. We gained many of our rights slowly one at time. We still have more to accomplish. Many of these new found rights are under renewed attack. We need to be unified now more than ever.

Kindness 

I had to stop and share this. 

I’m checking in today at SFO on my way to Austin. I’m flying Virgin America and after a rather long security screening I arrive at the flight gate desk to see a very irate man practically yelling at the lady working the desk. He is basically blaming her for his delays in security and demanding all kinds of comps. 
He is just livid and the lady is on the edge of calling security. You can see the moment in her eyes when she goes from trying to console him to being fed up with his nonsense. The guy suddenly turns to me and trys to loop me into his drama-fest as I guess he saw me in the TSA line earlier. Now keep in mind, the flight is on time and we still have another 40 minutes before boarding starts. 

Being already fed up with his BS, I shake my head and in my best southern manners reply, “oh naw, don’t drag me into this, you’re doing a good job of making an ass of yourself without my help.” I then proceed to walk away until his fit is over or he gets hauled away. The latter I was prepared to film. The guy realizes he isn’t getting anywhere and walks away in a huff. 

The very frazzled lady motions me over with a huge smile and twinkle in her eye. She thanks me profusely for being so “patient.”1 She the asks if I needed anything since I had been standing in line. I inquired if there were any aisle seats. It was a full flight but she worked her magic and I was given a much appreciated aisle seat. She again thanked me profusely and I walked away to get food. 

Oh, the story isn’t over. 

I go scarf down some food and am headed back to the gate area when I see the same fellow storming away screaming into his cell phone. He has now been kicked off the flight for his behavior. Oh and he was furious that they had the nerve to put him in a middle seat! 

Now I do not know if my new seat assignment had anything to do with his predicament. There was no indication I was given his seat. It could have been, and most likely was, a random synchronous occurrence. However, I did notice a still present twinkle in the gate agent’s eye as I presented my brand new shiny aisle seat boarding pass for boarding. 




  1. You can read between the lines here, she was gleeful seeing him get served some shade of his own making. []

Gonna Live

I forgot to come back and update everyone. Sorry to disappoint but the doc says I’m going to live. heehee

Turns out it was mostly what I thought but with one twist. Courtesy of being testosterone dependent since my teen years, I’ve developed relative polycythemia, a fancy way of saying I have too much red blood running thru my veins.

My BP and heart rate were actually lower than they had been in weeks the day I visited the doc, but they were both still elevated. Besides recommending I shed a few fat lbs, he also put me on some very low dose BP meds. I’m basically taking a pediatric dose right now. My bad cholesterol  was also really high so I’m also on a low dose Lipitor (generic) regimen. Worse case scenario, I have to go in at some point to see a Phlebotomist to have excess blood removed.1  I’m not at that level yet.

The meds made an immediate impact. My heart rate is much lower. I wouldn’t say it’s normal for me, but well within a range I’m willing to tolerate while I work on the diet2 and some weight loss. Clearly, I’m not that heavy but loosing the weight helps rule it out if the problem continues. Plus, I don’t like being on meds more than necessary so the goal is to get to a point where I do not need them.

The irony is he thinks the time I spent away from the gym due to my surgeries and shoulder injury may have pushed it to a point where my body wasn’t coping. I also didn’t think to reduce my T dose while I was not working out. These together probably pushed up the thickness of my blood. He strongly encouraged me to keep hitting the gym regularly to keep things in check.  And you have to obey your doc, right?!




  1. I was doing some research and it’s surprisingly more common than I thought. []
  2. Goodbye to all the bacon in my diet. le sigh []