Archive for the ‘dish’ Tag

08-30-2015 Journal – Miscellany!   Leave a comment

With August in the rear view mirror, this week was a mix of this, that, and everything else.  I was a little unfocused but that’s not all that unusual anyway.  I spent part of the week back in the swamps looking for those illusive little dragonflies that were as always,  illusive.  A few dozen mosquito bites and another overexposure to bug spray yielded very little.

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There were more than a few in the area but they avoided getting anywhere near me.  I’ll be trying again in a week or so after the next crop hatches. I have a few decent pictures but I need five or six more before the cold weather sets in.

I was wandering around my garage looking for something to do when I saw my former satellite dish lying in the corner.  For more than four years that dish provided me with thousands of hours of television and cost me a few thousand dollars in fees and charges. With that much of an investment I just couldn’t discard that dish.  The company told me they didn’t want it back so threw it in the corner which gave some time to think about it.

I take great pride in my ability to repurpose objects that have out lived their original usefulness, why not this stupid dish.  I dismantled the old dish, took everything apart, and began the changeover from satellite dish to table.

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There’s a lot more work to do including a nice, deep black, and high gloss paint job.  Once it’s complete it will take it’s honored place among my other trophies as a game table in my man-cave. Thanks again Dish Network.

08-06-2015 Journal–August Whining!   Leave a comment

I just returned from the UPS Store where I dropped off the last of the equipment to be returned to the Dish Network.  I wanted to make sure I mailed them as quickly as possible because their veiled threats of future penalty charges were wearing thin.  I now have my receipt in hand and they can go find someone else to screw with.  The only chore I have left is to remove that attractive satellite dish from the front of my house. I may be forced to repurpose that dish for further use because I have hundreds of birds in the area who’d appreciate another place to bathe.  SEEYA DISH!

Today’s posting will be a lot of useless whining but I need to vent before my head explodes. Yesterday was Windows 10 day here at my house.  What a huge pain in the ass that turned into.  Two of my computers were eligible for the free upgrade and since I’ve always disliked Windows 7 and absolutely hated Windows 8.1, I was ready for the change. That old adage of “Be careful what you wish for” always seems to remain relevant.

My desktop was first up and should have been an indicator of where I’d be heading for the remainder of my day. The desktop was a Windows 7 unit and while the upgrade was over and done with in thirty minutes it created other problems. Anyone who knows anything about computers also knows that a Microsoft upgrade means additional problems. My desktop is located in a basement office a fair distance from the router. It always had a bar and a half on the wi-fi meter and that was sufficient to operate on the Net. After the upgrade I no longer could connect to to my home network. What a shock! (Sarcasm on) My final solution to the damn problem was either to buy a range extender or move my office elsewhere.  More money down the drain for an range extender making my free upgrade not so free . . . add $90.00.

Then I began the conversion of my laptop that was running Windows 8.1.  A handful of error messages and four hours later and it was finally done.  A nice quick Microsoft fix. (more sarcasm)  I let you know in a week or so just how stupendous Windows 10 is or isn’t.  I’m not holding my breath.

I’ve been attempting in the few years to fight the powers-that-be to regain some control over my life.  I dumped Time Warner because they were big fat liars and then signed up with Dish Network.  Then after the first year at Dish they turned into the little brother of Direct TV and started jacking up their prices.  They seem to think they have the moral high ground because they lie a little less than Direct TV.  It’s a small difference to those of us who are the screwee’s (my made up word).

A few years ago I went through the same process with the cell phone carriers. It  never seems to end with these companies who appear to have the government regulators in their pocket.  They have us by the throat in a government regulated death grip and they never stop squeezing. Network upcharges, surcharges, taxes, fees, and anything else they can think of. “Land of the Free” has no meaning for me any longer.

The golden rule, "Do unto others what you want them to do unto you”, has always been meaningful but I think it now needs a bit of rewording.

“Shut the hell up, bend over, and like it.”

04-26-2013   2 comments

It appears that I’m finally on the mend from this damn virus that’s been kicking my ass for the last week. I still sound like someone’s gravely voiced uncle but I can live with that for a few more days. Being sick is a triple curse for me.  First your sick as a dog, second your stuck in the house usually in bed, and thirdly you can’t stop coughing.  You can only read so much before you’re forced to watch television and there’s the rub. It’s like being shot and then hung.

These last few days have convinced me to consider canceling our TV service when the current contract expires.  I can’t take the endless commercials and the low caliber of programming that has slowly been turning my mind and everyone else’s to mush. I’ve had it with all of the “redneck” programs that make all of us look like effing hicks to the rest of the world.  It’s ironic that the program that supplied me with the information needed to cancel my subscription,  I saw on TV. 

I remember back in the day when cable TV was a new novelty.  The way it was initially sold was an ad campaign that was total and absolute BS.  It was called "Pay TV" then and we were all assured for a small monthly fee we would be commercial free forever.  Then slowly but surely the fees began to grow, the commercials returned in a big way, and all of a sudden it’s costing me upwards of one hundred and fifty dollars a month for viewing programming that is almost fifty percent commercials.

When I began approaching retirement I decided to simplify by life.  I got rid of my old land-line telephone, all of my premium channels, and returned to just a basic cable package.  The cable company then added surcharges and taxes which brought my monthly figure almost back where it started before I cancelled the premium channels.

Then I moved in with my better-half who was burdened with an almost $200.00 a month bill of her own.  We immediately took steps to reduce our combined bill but Time Warner is a devious enemy.  We reduced everything back to basic cable but with our Internet charges we were still paying over a hundred dollars a month.  The cable companies claim it’s impossible to offer a menu type system where you order the channels you really want and aren’t forced to pay for thirty or forty you never watch.  How convenient.

We cancelled a large portion of our package but since it changed our "bundling" (the newest word used to screw all of us) they couldn’t lower our costs all that much.  After it was all said and done we were still paying $110.00 a month after the surcharges and BS fees were added.  We were both unhappy with the results of our efforts so we cancelled all of our Time Warner’s services except for the broadband Internet.  We then subscribed to the Dish network for two years and were initially charged an introductory price of $38.00 a month for one year.  They told me that after the first year the monthly price would be increased somewhat.  The first year passed and the price increased with fees and surcharges to $68.00 per month.  I’d call that more than substantial.

Arguing with cable companies is useless.  They have their own agenda which is to get as much money from us as they possibly can and believe me, nothing else matters.  I think a reasonable price for Internet and basic cable should be no more than $85.00 a month with fees and surcharges.  Any more than that is just highway robbery.

We’ve reached the point where desperate times call for desperate measures.  At the end of our current contract with Dish we’ll be canceling the satellite cable package and retaining only the Internet service from Time Warner.  We’ve decided to then subscribe to Netflix ($9.99 a month) for an endless selection of movies and Hulu Plus ($7.99 a month) for almost any TV programming we’d like to see.  Our total cost at that point will be approximately $57.97 a month, well within what we consider a reasonable cost.  Another added plus is that almost all commercials programming will disappear from our life.

This is a trend that seems to be happening everywhere by many of us.  It gives the old saying “vote with your feet” new meaning.  If enough people walk away from these cable monopolies then changes will occur and prices will begin dropping.