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. []

T-shirts

I’m big into graphic t-shirts. I’ve always loved t-shirts and am fortunate enough to work in a job where I can still pretty much wear them daily.

Way back when my ex and I were together, he got into making t-shirts. It was super convenient having fresh made t-shirts on hand. If I wanted a shirt he’d just screen one up for me. Bam.  However, fast forward almost 5 years and those shirts are all worn out.1  I realized I was starting to look like a hobo so I’ve been slowly replacing my shirts 1 or 2 at a time. I’ve pretty much replaced them all at this point.

However, I’ve run into a new problem now. I’ve been hitting the gym pretty hard and am growing out of large size t-shirts! To make it worse, I’m between sizes. Depending on the brand, a size large fits just right (after being washed) or it’s tight across the shoulders, arms, and chest, and a tiny bit too short. So basically, I look like I’m going out clubbing. lol  While I can still get away with wearing t-shirts at work, being in a slightly more professional environment with my new assignment means I now can’t really wear half of all my new shirts.2

Now I’m stuck either buying duplicates of the same shirts I already have or just buying new ones. It’s annoying as shit considering I tend to like tri-blend (super soft) shirts that aren’t cheap. I’ve also forgotten where I got some of them and I can’t seem to find them again online. I’ve even outgrown several of my tank tops for the gym.

For someone who couldn’t even fill out a small size shirt in my 20’s, I guess it’s a good thing but damn it’s expensive. First world problems I guess but I’m still frustrated over it. I don’t mind spending money on things I like or wear but I hate wasting money and I feel like I’ve wasted a shit-ton of it now. *grumble, grumble*

If you know vendors that sell good quality tri-blend shirts let me know. Right now, my go to list is Crawlspace Studios, Skull & Bones NY, Lamp Apparel, and We Are All Smith.




  1. And we don’t speak at all! []
  2. I have small nipples which tend to poke thru tight t-shirts. FML! []

A/C

Speaking of hot weather, we broke down and bought a standing A/C unit for little Cooper. Shawn found one we liked on Woot of all places. It arrived while we were down in PHX.  Cooper tolerates random warm days, but when the days stack together w/no breaks he struggles. Bullies can develop severe respiratory distress if they pant too long. Anyway, I didn’t want a full a/c as much as something to break the heat in the apt. The standing unit fit the bill nicely. It will knock the temp down about 8-10 degrees, which is just enough. It would probably work a little better if we had better seals around the venting window, but since it is meant to be temporary it doesn’t make sense to try to seal it tighter.

Cooper has figured out if he lays in front of it, he feels better. Shawn pulled his bed in front of it one day while it was on and Cooper took to it right away. The next time I turned it on he ran over and plopped down right in front of it. hehehe  Bullies aren’t the smartest but they do tend to have long memories. So it is working out perfectly so far. Cooper seems to like it and I don’t stress when I’m at work. Sadly, the one we bought is not IFTTT compliant so I can’t set it to come on based on temp settings. While it will switch from fan to a/c based on temperature, it won’t just come on that way. However, it has a on/off timer so it still works out. I slightly later work hours so I turn it on when I leave and set it to shut off right about the time the roomie or Shawn gets home.

If it is a wee bit noisy but you’d expect noise from an a/c unit. You do get used to it. It sort of blends in with the background noise after awhile. If you are in the market for one, I can recommend they do a good job for small to medium size rooms. However, they are not a replacement for a full window unit. You won’t be cooling multiple room with these things.

Shop

I am not a big fan of clothes shopping. So much so that I often go for months (sometimes years) without shopping for myself. I’ll go at the drop of hat for someone else, aka Shawn, but not for myself. I don’t think I got that part of the gay gene. hehehe Growing up poor made the idea of shopping a bit of a struggle. In my early days, having never had much, any time I got money I’d spent it all right away. The need for survival back then taught me the error of my ways, so to speak.1

I went thru a phase after moving to SF where I had the money but I didn’t spend it out of fear of the unknown. I was always worried about the what if scenarios. It was then that I started forcing myself to go shopping on a regular basis. And it worked for awhile. It helped that my ex went into the t-shirt business while we were together. I had a plethora of shirts at my disposal. And to show you what I mean, that ended 3-4 years ago and I am still wearing some of the shirts he made me.

Fast forward to now and I’m back to my old habits. I had to force myself to go out jean shopping this past weekend. And it was only because I realized I was down to 2 pair. I hated it. I got some of the gay gene as I care enough to spend time looking for a pair that I think looks good on me. Said care drags the process out. Yet, I’m not one of those that has to spend the whole day looking for the perfect pair. If I don’t find a good fit after a few stores, I’ll just give up. I’d love to just walk in, grab a pair and leave. Sadly, I got burned on that several times. Clothing vendors never seem to stick to sizing standards so even the same brand sometimes fits me in different sizes.

Anyway, I got a couple new pair. They should last me another few years.




  1. If you ask Shawn, he’ll tell you I still spend too much. LOL []

Belt

Ever get stuck in between belt notches? I’m currently stuck there. I’m not quite lean enough to move in a notch on the belt but the notch I’m currently using isn’t quite cutting it either. lol Don’t ya just hate that? #firstworldproblems

It’s the same thing with t-shirts too. I’m mostly in larges now but there was a time there were I was between a medium and large depending on the brand of shirt. Being someone who is not an avid shopper by nature, it gets frustrating having to always try a shirt on to see if it fits. And of course, ordering online can be a real pain, especially when the vendor doesn’t list out who manufactures their shirts. arrrgh!

And speaking of clothes, it’s time to start buying again. I used to force myself to buy one new item of clothing every month. This kept me in decent clothing and kept me from looking like a raggedy man. lol When Apple guy and I were together, he made shirts so I always had a quick fix for a new tshirt so I got out of the habit. Anyway, I was doing laundry the other day and noticed several of my shirts were looking pretty worn. Time to get my ass in gear and start shopping again. *sigh*  I don’t mind shopping but there is not joy in it so often it’s like a chore for me. And I love nothing more than procrastinating about chores!