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


I like gay-themed movies, books, tv-shows etc. I like seeing characters who represent me. That would be a no-brainer I guess if ya think about it, like likes like. That said, I’ve been disappointed for years with many of the gay-themed entertainment options. A lot of the books are basically soft-core porn. Sorting thru all the crap to find the real gems is not an easy task. Amazon should cut me a check for all the crappy ebooks I’ve had to sort thru. The movies aren’t much better. At least on Netflix I’m not losing money. lol And to be fair, there are some great gay-themed books and movies out there, even iconic ones. Sadly, they are the exception vs the rule. What is our fascination w/being werewolves and vampires btw? Seriously, like 50% of all the gay-themed scifi/horror books follow this format.

Anyway, I’d heard about the movie BearCity being produced and released awhile back. Even better, I heard some really positive reviews on it. I queued it up on my Netflix and had a chance to watch it the other day. I can honestly say the bears are officially mainstream. And by that, I mean they now have their very own overly contrived movie(s) that smashes would-be heart-warming scenes with the hammer of constant self-reinforcing stereotypes. God what a mess, where do I even begin?

The movie boils down to three plots.

Plot #1: Opens with a cute thin guy who is an aspiring actor and closeted bear-lover. Said guy falls for the popular fuzzy muscle bear who basically spends 90% of the movie bouncing from hookup to hookup all the while dishing the guy until finally he “falls” for him in the end.

Plot #2: Involves a very overweight bear and his cute muscle cub. The large bear is considering a gastro bypass to bring his weight down to help with getting a job. The cub and his friends are all adamantly against it.

Plot #3: A couple explores ‘opening‘ their relationship.

Before I continue with my very unhappy review, let me first say there are several funny scenes in the movie. IMO, the two best characters were the nellie gay boy (the original roomie of the bear-lover from Plot #1) and the large bear from Plot #2. They stole the movie. Moving on…

Plot #1 tries hard to make you believe the hot bear has suddenly changed his ways (at the very end) and falls madly in-love with his chaser. This whole story was so contrived and fake as to be laughable. And the overt stereotyping from this plot made my skin crawl. I almost turned the movie off several times while this story unfolded.

Plot #2 really upset me because the implied message was don’t worry about how overweight your are, just be happy with yourself. Normally that would be a great message for self-respect and self-esteem. The problem here is the large bear was not just a little overweight he was grossly overweight. The type of 100+ lbs overweight that significantly shortens one’s life span. This whole storyline pissed me off because it masqueraded as a message of being ‘accepting of yourself.‘ There is a very important distinction between being accepting of one’s flaws and taking no responsibility for your bad habits/behavior. This plot could have saved the movie had it not been so extreme.

Plot #3 jumpstarts when the older bear in the couple gets the hots for the thin bear-chaser guy from Plot #1. The bear-chaser ends up being their roommate. [1]Yes, I know it all sounds very lesbianish. lol Toward the end of the movie, they do finally agree to open up their relationship. A couple abstract sex scenes later, you see both of them getting high and showing more emotion while high than at any point in the whole movie. I still don’t quite understand the point of this particular storyline. The only implication I could find was ‘to be happy, we have to be high,’ which is pathetic IMHO.

The entire movie gave the impression that being a bear (or wanting to date one) was the characters only lot in life. And I think this is what rubbed me wrong the most. Of course, it isn’t much different from many other gay movies out there so I am not singling this particular movie out. And lord knows I’m not bashing bears, I’m more of a bear than not. So yeah, I thought it sucked. Maybe it was my own fault for getting my hopes up. I was expecting something more after all the reviews I’ve heard so far. Needless to say, I won’t be watching the second one.


1 Yes, I know it all sounds very lesbianish. lol

Netflix on Tivo

The marriage of convenience and technology in my household is now complete.  I got a nice surprise the last time my Tivo downloaded a system update.  Netflix!  It has only taken 3 years to finally come to fruition but it is finally here!  While the selection is currently a bit limited for downloads, [1]you can still have movies unavailable for download mailed to you but that is so 90’s. the quality is on par with standard def. TV broadcasts.  Surprisingly, when they say “watch instantly“, they mean it.  I’ve watched about 10 movies so far and every single one started within minutes and played thru to completion w/o pausing or hanging on the download.  Fast forwarding is a bit slow to start and stop but not unexpected for on-demand content. 

Of course, I’ve been able to stream Amazon movies thru the Tivo for about a year now.  The Amazon service is quite different though. For one, Amazon charges by the movie vs a flat monthly fee for unlimited downloads.  Amazon’s downloads also take quite a bit longer as the content is uncompressed and not optimized for streaming.  Usually, for a 2 hour movie, I have to wait 30-45 mins before I can begin watching if I wanna watch all the way thru w/o the movie pausing.  To be fair, Amazon does have a much larger selection of movies for download.  However, if they hope to compete, they’d better get their act in gear because I can easily see Netflix kicking their ass soon. 

I have yet to try HD content as I’m still streaming over a 54g wifi router.  You need a hard line connection or the newer N speed wifi routers to really stream HD content seamlessly.  I’m sure as the availability of movies increases, I’ll spring for faster wifi.

Once the selection improves, it will also give cable companies a run for their money.  Seriously, imagine having almost any movie or TV show ever made available to watch instantly for a low monthly fee.  No more exorbitant cable bundling fees to worry about.  No more getting stuck with 100’s of channels you don’t watch just to get a few you do watch.  If I were the cable companies, I’d be shitting in my pants about now.  Of course, they’d still make money on primetime channels, first-run content, and broadband so their money stream isn’t totally screwed just yet.  That said, I’ll quickly dump all of my movie packages once Netflix boosts their downloadable content. 

Yes, I know, I’m a geek.  But you knew that already.


1 you can still have movies unavailable for download mailed to you but that is so 90’s.

Self Portrait

Rooster + Pork?

Recently, not one but two of my blog buddies sent me T-shirts in the mail.  This pic was sent by Large Tony.  I absolutely love it!  He was worried if I would wear it.  Hell, I’ve already worn it 3 times. lol  *Thanks T, I greatly appreciate it!*

Oddly enough, the 2nd shirt is also black and was sent by an anonymous source.  When I get time to wear it, I’ll snap off a pic. 

My weekend is fast coming to a close.  Friday, I spent about 3 hours doing continuing education for my Fire training.  I’ve mentioned before I’m a training Officer for the Fire civilianization project.  I previously went down to SFO to see Fire operations at the airport.  This time I got to drive all over the bay in one of the 2 fireboats owned by the Fire department.  It was awesome of course! 

The Phoenix - Full Shot

This trip is normally reserved for Supervisors and Managers.  There were a couple of snarky comments made in the background questioning whether I should be there.  I was happy to hear the Fire training manager silence them with a curt explanation. [1]Forgetting for a moment, I have more fire/medical training than most of them combined.  I don’t understand petty power trips at all . Anyway, you can click over to flickr for a full rundown on the pics.  I tried to take a few more this time even though some are pretty much the same picture. 


Saturday was pretty low key.  The Latin came into town and we spent a good chunk of the day just hanging out.  I hadn’t seem him lately, we had fun.  We also decided to go see the Batman flick.  I’d been wanting to see it and he hadn’t seen it either so it worked out great.  The movie was exceptional!  Much better than I ever expected and way better than part I.  Keith Ledger turned in one of the best performances of his career.  Not to mention, the plot was very complex and constantly evolving. 

Latin & Moby

He took off to go bar hopping with some coworkers and I met up with Adam for Sushi for dinner.  Brad is at a conference so it was just the two of us.  We were caddy as usual.  Afterwards, we hung out at 440 Castro (aka the old Daddies bar) with Dan.  Ironically, we spent a good chunk of time watching the Olympics while there. lol  We watched this one chick slaughter the entire competition in a long distance run.  Even if we kept laughing at how emaciated and hungry she looked. 

I didn’t stay more than a couple hours. [2]I get bored in bars easily these days w/o some sort of carnal distraction.  hehehe.  I left the boys and came on home.   

So now, I’m just finished uploading pics to flickr, made myself a yummy egg/bacon bagle, caught up on Tivo, and replaying thru Gears of War.  GoW 2 is due out in November and I can’t wait! 

Not a bad weekend.  Not too terribly busy but still managed to be preoccupied. 


1 Forgetting for a moment, I have more fire/medical training than most of them combined.
2 I get bored in bars easily these days w/o some sort of carnal distraction.  hehehe.

Warmth & Woe

Frank & Adam

The weekend was awesome right up till the end. [1]Well, the end of my weekend which is Monday. As I already mentioned, my buddy Frank from Phoenix gave me a surprise visit. It was great to see and catch up with him over the weekend. On top of that, Adam & Brad made the move to SF from Dallas. They are currently in the moving “deadspot”. [2]The time between when you arrive and your furniture gets delivered. I was happy to have them over and get’em out of the empty apt.

Adam & Brad

We all went to see Sex and the City on Sunday. If you liked the series, you will love the movie. It starts off very shallow and empty and ends w/some very strong messages about life. You’ll laugh, you’ll giggle, you’ll cry. **Spoiler Alert** There is one scene that was a bit of a surprise. Samantha (my role model) was battling a particular vulnerable moment of naughtiness during which they actually showed her nemesis cock. Granted it was very quick and a bit blurred however, I was shocked they actually showed it. Maybe this Country is moving away from their unnatural fear of male genitalia. [insert girlish giggle here]


As the day was rolling to an end, I got a bit of bad news. My younger brother had a mild MI [3]heart attack. Yes, I said my younger brother. He is only 27 however, he has had a horrible horrible diet for years. He had been suffering pain in his chest and left arm for several days before finally deciding to take his ass to the hospital. The night before his arm actually turned a little blue which is a bad sign.

Being more than a little hard-headed I panicked. My little bro tends to avoid problems when he is scared. Knowing his temperament, I was prepared to hop on a plane and fly home to make sure he stayed at the hospital for treatment. My older brother beat me to the punch by driving down from Kansas. I slept horrible last night and was up and on the phone at 6:00am this morning. [4]You can imagine my mood today.



As I write this my little brother is being released. They didn’t find a clot but believe it may have cleared on its own. They gave him some blood pressure meds and aspirin. I’m more than a little relieved.


1 Well, the end of my weekend which is Monday.
2 The time between when you arrive and your furniture gets delivered.
3 heart attack.
4 You can imagine my mood today.

Catch Up Already

Oy! Yes, I know I’m behind with blogging.  I’m still adjusting to the new schedule.  Plus, I have a trainee at work so even less time to blog.  Arrrgh!  I finished Halo 3 last night on the xbox so one less distraction there.

My buddy Frank from Urswine Addiction was in town this past weekend.  We had a great time hanging out together.  I haven’t seem him in a while.  It was IBR (International Bear Rendezvous) weekend.  We went to Sweat on Sat night which was fun.  I think I’m getting old though.  I used to go all night dancing.  After just a few hours, I was dead on my feet and ready to go home.  lol  There were some yummy eye candy though.  Plenty of beefy hairy bears were in attendance and shaking their "groove thang". 

I wanted to go see Kathy Griffin while she was here but I waited too long to get tickets.  I was more than a little bummed but no one to blame but myself.  I heard she was her normal hoot and half.  *le sigh*

We went to see Jumper at the movies on Sunday.  The plot was a little lacking for my tastes however, good movie.  Worth seeing.  Good action, good acting, and a little bit of eye candy.  Never a bad combination.  heehee  I’m not sure if it was because of IBR or not but there were quite a few piece of eye candy in the theatre as well.  Frank and I were ogling boys left and right. [1]He is a bit flirt just like me 

Monday was pretty low key.  We hung out and went to the gym before he had to head home.  All in all a good weekend. 

What did you do?


1 He is a bit flirt just like me

Close Up

A movie about the life and death of Harvey Milk is being filmed in the Castro.  I keep forgetting and of course driving home I often drive right into the blockade.  I don’t mind so much as it is easy to go around however, it does get a bit annoying when you are trying to get from point A to point B and you can’t.

The other day, I inadvertently walked thru the set while they were filming.  I wonder if I’ll end up camera?  I should get some sort of compensation! lol  Speaking of, I got several emails from friends in the area about the casting for extras.  I’m shocked how much they don’t pay.  Fifty bucks for the whole day.  And if you’ve ever been an extra for a film, you know the mean the WHOLE day.  There was a time when I would have jumped at the chance to make $50 however, that day has come and gone thankfully. 

It is interesting to see how they prep and stage stuff.  All the awnings and old business signs gives one a sense of nostalgia.  Definitely before my time in the city but I like it.  I’m almost wishing they would leave the retro look.  The Castro is slowly losing it’s neighborhood feel.  Every year, it seems to be just another random ‘burb with no distinction to set it apart. 

I’m only half complaining.  Nothing ever stays the same.  Change is inevitable.  You either learn to change with the times or you find yourself left behind.  That said, I can still reminisce about the "good ole days".

Past Tense

The birthday has come and gone.  I’m officially a year older and wiser.  Well, the older part is correct at least.  It was very uneventful actually.  The roomie was out of town so I took the opportunity to catch up on several movies I’d been wanting to see. 

Cloverfield, In The Name of the King, and The Golden Compass.  The first two both decent movies but not epics by any stretch.  Imagine Cloverfield as the Blair Witch style filming of a Godzilla attack.  [1]I totally stole that quote from someone else.  In The Name of The King was a Jason Stathom flick.  Enough said really.  The Golden Compass was very well done.  I think I enjoyed it the most. 

Those 3 gems ate up most of the day.  I had a myriad of birthday texts, emails, phone calls, and web messages to respond too which was very nice.  I did get a couple of surprising emails.  Two ex’s whom I’m not overly close to both sent me B’day wishes. Who da thunk?   


I have a short week this week due to schedule change.  I can’t tell you how happy I am that the real Friday will be my Friday as well for awhile.  I’m still on swing swift but that is by choice. 


I’m trying to catch up on my blogroll.  Wish me luck. 


1 I totally stole that quote from someone else.

In Other News

…not about TFA. LOL Thanks for all the kudos btw. Yeah, I think he is a hottie too. I think several things but that is a topic for another day. hehehe

Work is driving me nuts and a showdown is coming (when I’m back from vacation that is). The new Deputy Director has gone off the deep end w/repeated MOU [1]Memorandum of Understanding. The Union contract w/the City violations. Our last Labor meeting she got called to task by the City’s DHR rep. A small victory but boy did it light up our faces. She got called out of the room and when she came back in it looked like she had been bitch slapped. I’m sad about this turn of events because I kind of liked her when I first met her. And truth be told, she does have some good ideas. But because of the way she has come across, she has ruined any goodwill she could have captured. And I do mean ruined. The outcome is not going to be pretty. One good thing to come it though. She has cause a lot of the complacent employees to get motivated. They are hopping mad and ready to do something. FINALLY some support!

I’ve been a little lazy with my gym time lately. I’m still going but not as consistently. I haven’t lost any new muscle growth so I’m content for the moment. My biggest problem is I get bored. The routines become tedious and my mind wanders. Never a good thing. hehehe. I did have an interesting encounter today though. [2]More on that later

I went to see 30 Days of Night the other day with the roomie. Not bad over all. It gets an A+ for being scary. A throw back to the old days of using flash scenes and loud music to make you jump. Loved it! lol The special affects were ok. The goal wasn’t to wow in that dept so nothing exciting there. Another A+ for all the gore though. Several really gross scenes. Nice! That said, the plot was a tad disappointing. Of course, you don’t really expect much from these types of movies however, they could have made a little more effort to flesh it out (pun intended). You never discover where they came from, how they found the remote village, etc. They allude to it many times with no follow up so you are left completely bewildered in the aspect. Overall, worth a see if you are horror fan. If not or if you get squeamish, you might wait for DVD. The roomie and I amused ourselves by pointing out the hotties in the theatre we would sleep with given the chance. Oh yes, he is a slut too.

Speaking of movies, I watched all three versions of SAW the other day. OMG, those are some sick films! lol I sorta held off because I tend to shy away from movies that could give real world sick fucks ideas however, I couldn’t quell my curiosity. Thankfully, they were so far over the top, I needn’t have worried. Now I’m excited to see the new one coming out. TFA wants to see it too so I’m holding off till he gets back up this way. Thank god he loves scary movies! I haven’t quite converted him to gaming yet though. Give me time. *eg*

I had to chew Microsoft a new ass again today. I called for a status update on my 2nd return of my console. The chick launched into her spiel about 3-6 weeks for repair and I let her have it. I hate being ugly however, I’m really frustrated by the lack of organization. She said she didn’t see any notes about me getting an exchange. I can guarantee you after today there are some notes. She also said I’ll get a confirmation within 3 days. Sometimes being a bitch gets the job done sadly. Thankfully, I’ll have the new Ratchet & Clank for the PS3 soon. That should keep me preoccupied enough to give Micro-hell some time to get their act together.

Ok, I’ve rambled enough. I need to catch up on my blogroll. I’m still way behind. I feel so guilty. I discovered 3 of my regular blogs have stopped blogging. I’m sad but confident they will be back!


1 Memorandum of Understanding. The Union contract w/the City
2 More on that later

Over it.

Ok, so all the mushiness of the past week has passed. I’m feeling almost like my old frisky self again. I’m off to see the new Superman on the Imax screen. I have mixed feelings about it as I loved the originals. I think they tried too hard to find a Reeve look-a-like. The bad part is he does sorta favor him but has softer lines. It makes him look boyish instead of manly, IMHO.

Of course, lots of rumors were flying during production about the new superman’s package. There was even talk of morphing it down a bit as it was so distracting. But who listens to such things? I mean, I’m certainly not going just to see his package. That would just be wrong.


First, I recommend seeing the movie. I’m giving details w/o spoiling it so feel free to read on.

Ok, so I didn’t know much about the movie as I hadn’t really seen many of the previews. I stand by my original gripe. They made him too young looking. (They also made Lois younger too) Even though supposedly, this one occurs five years after the last one.

The #1 rule to making a good movie is make it believable. For a sequel, the story has to continue where it left off or have a good plausible explanation as to the differences. The movie should allow you to suspend disbelief enough to get wrapped up in it. They half succeeded. If you’ve never seen the originals, you’ll love this one instantly. If you did see the originals, you’ll probably feel like me and think it was a good movie but, it sucked ass as a sequel.

Oh, and the package was more pronounced than the original but not overwhelmingly so. Straight people have such a warped view of what a big package is. Jeesh! I came away feeling let down. *giggle*

And before I forget, the trailer for the new Spiderman 3 looks interesting to say the least!