Cutting the cord

Being poor sucks.  It’s a fact of life today and we all have to find our way to deal with rising costs.  Last month we realized that things were getting out of hand and we had to make a change and the one place we could make a cut was with our cable bill.

As of Nov. 1st we cut the cord.  We now watch all our TV online via Netflix, Hulu and other sites.

It is a bit of a transition and you do have to adjust your way of thinking.  Of course ever since the introduction of the DVR, people’s mindsets regarding TV schedules have been changing.  This is just that, taken to the next extreme.  There is a lot less random TV watching, so I guess fewer unwanted reruns is a good thing.

I have discovered a few issues though.  The biggest problem is that there is no one set of rules regarding shows online.  Even among the same network or “family” of shows there isn’t one rule about when and where shows will be available.  It’s a bit maddening and it’s one of the biggest things that we’ve had to adjust to.  Also, with certain shows only being available through certain outlets (Clone Wars is exclusive to iTunes) it does make things a bit more complicated.

Cost is also an issue.  Of course, this is one area where things tend to be a bit more standardized.  The majority of shows are $2.99 in HD and $1.99 in SD.  At first I didn’t like the idea of buying shows, I felt like with shows I really like (Doctor Who, Clone Wars, etc.) that I would be buying it twice.  But then I realized I’ve always been paying for the shows I wanted to watch.  Just that before I was paying my cable company and now I’d be paying Amazon, Zune or iTunes for my shows, and now I can pay for just what I want, not having to pay for a ton of crap I never watch to get the few things I do want.

All in all, I have been enjoying it so far.  We have adjusted to watching our favorite shows on a slightly different schedule and we have even discovered a few new shows to enjoy.  Is this a change that everyone could enjoy?  Probably not, it does vary from person to person and depends on which shows you watch and how much you watch things live versus on demand.

I do know that I’m going to be much happier when my next cable bill arrives and that I really am only paying for what I want and it’s on my schedule.

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This post is not for you…

I’m a big fanboy.  So much so, that I am the kind of person that could be accused of being an apologist.  It could be a type of Obsessive, Compulsive or such, I don’t know.

Take something like Star Wars, for example, I’d rather have bad Star Wars than a lot of other good stuff.  But, it seems some people just insist on shitting on other things.  This sucks, that sucks, they are just in it for the money, etc.  It’s this kind of thought that got me thinking, maybe some pieces just aren’t meant for you.

Why does everything have to be for everyone?

People have drastically different tastes.  What I love, may not be what you love.  Does that make my tastes wrong, or are your tastes inferior to mine? Or is it just a matter of different strokes for different folks?

I think that this is the biggest problem facing many “creative” types out there, especially in the land of TV and Film.  The marketing and other such executives are simply worried about how wide of a net they can cast.  Quality doesn’t matter, artistic expression doesn’t matter, it’s simply down to butts in seats and eyeballs on the screen.

This is leading to the neutering of the horror and action genres, everything is PG-13 now.  Nobody wants to take chances on something edgy, because somebody somewhere might get offended.  “Wont someone think of the children!?”

Frankly, my response is “Who gives a fuck if they are offended? This isn’t for them. They shouldn’t be there, they are not the intended audience.”

I think I may have found the reason why my career in Hollywood hasn’t yet taken off.  Haha.

Do I have a point to all this?  Not really, this is just a thought that has been rolling around in my head and I felt the need to vent it on here.

Eat Your Vegetables and Enjoy Your Science-Fiction

I’ve taken a lot of chances on new things in the last year or so.  Mostly due to Netflix and there Instant Watch Streaming service (arguably one of the greatest inventions in human history).  I’ve taken chances with Stargate, Doctor Who, Psych, 30 Rock and numerous other TV shows and movies.

However, I have noticed one thing with this ability to watch countless programs easily, and just about hassle free.  I’m still blinded by my supposed hatred of certain things.  I’m left puzzled by how I can refuse to watch things that are recommended to me by very reliable sources.

Let’s take Firefly for example.  I’m no fan of Joss Whedon, but I must admit I have only had the smallest of samples of his work.  But, it seems that the topic of Firefly has come up many times recently.  Enough times that one could argue it’s almost a conscious sign that I NEED to watch it.  With the amount of times that it has come up, it’s gotten me thinking about how much energy and effort goes into avoiding these things that we presume to hate, though have never even given a fair chance.

In the past I’ve made small attempts to watch Firefly, of course I started with the theatrical movie Serenity.  It could be argued that this was my mistake right there, starting with the finale.

With the amount of times it seems that Firefly has come up recently it almost seems that the silliness of my abject hatred of something I’ve never even tried is being called.  The universe has called my bluff.  It’s like when you are a kid and your parents tried to get you to eat your dinner saying things like “But, you like meatloaf, you’ll like it.  It’s good”

So, do I finally sit down close my eyes and eat my vegetables? or do I continue to sit there like a child, pout, throw my temper tantrum, burn calories on the fact that somewhere along the line I ate a poorly cooked brussel sprout?

2009 – A look back

It’s that time of year.  The time when everyone looks back on the year that was.  The good, the bad and all the rest.

I’ve started this post a few times and never been very happy with how it turned out.  Looking back on 2009, I’ve come to the conclusion that 2009 mostly blew.

Personally, for me, the year was pretty good, more highs than lows, and overall better than 2008.  However, when I’ve looked back at the big news stories, movies, music, etc. of 2009, I’ve realized how much this year just stank to high heaven.  We had some miserable lows, and a few dizzying highs.  But, the lows greatly outnumbered the highs.

I looked long and hard for good music in 2009, and came up mostly empty-handed.  A handful of decent releases, but nothing earth-shattering or anything that was anything more than a blip on my radar.

Movies fared slightly better, but still nowhere near what 2008 was, movie wise.  Star Trek and Harry Potter ruled, Transformers found a way to ruin a movie about giant robots beating the crap out of each other, Watchmen left many people scratching there heads, New Moon was enjoyable.  All in all, mostly just a so-so year, nowhere near the epicness of The Dark Knight, Iron Man, Indiana Jones (fuck you, it’s good and a worthy part of the saga, but that’s another rant) and everything else from 2008.

For me, 2009 was a year of continuing what started good in the later part of 2008.  I still work at the same job, which is better than the 4 jobs I had in 2008.  Finances have improved over the clusterfuck that was 2008.  I got addicted to Facebook, Twitter, ignored MySpace, started a blog, car blew up, bought a new car, buried 1 cat who was a member of our family, adopted 2 new kittens who have fast become a part of our family, traveled, saw much, experienced much more, loved, laughed, lost, gained, spent, saved, lost friends, gained friends, rediscovered old friends, moved into a full fledged staff position with Shevacon, then nearly fucked it all up with my big mouth and short temper, and Star Wars continued to rule every facet of my life.

Star Wars continues to be everywhere for me.  I trooped 8 different events with the 501st, got to meet Seth Green and Matt Senriech, be interviewed by Fangoria online (even though they didn’t use it), have dinner with Jeremy Bulloch (aka Boba Fett) twice, got my picture in the Star Wars Insider, may or may not have been on TV, marched in freezing rain, sweated my ass off in 100 plus heat, finally finished the Hell Bucket, raised money for charity, made thousands of kids smile (and only a few cry), saw the inner child of many adults come out and shine for a few moments.  Clone Wars continues to amaze with each episode.  Celebration 5 was announced after months of rumours and speculation and plans are already in the works for Jenn and I to attend the biggest Star wars party of the year.

It’s hard to believe that we are on the cusp of 2010.  For so long, 2010 was the FUTURE!! Like it was an episode of the Jetsons or something.  We still don’t have flying cars or food in pill form, but so much has changed in our daily lives since 1999, which was surprisingly only 10 years ago.  It’s hard to believe that 10 years ago, we were all worried about Y2K and all that nonsense.  Add in the fact that I turned 30 this year and it just boggles my mind, it’s so hard to believe.  I still mostly feel the same that I did in my teens.  I don’t feel 30 on the verge of entering 2010.  It just seems very surreal.  I have high hopes for 2010, and I see many good things on the horizon.

Here’s to the future.

blogging can be hard work…

So, I’ve realized that it’s a bit hard for me to keep up with.  I guess I’m just not that narcissistic.  Naw, that can’t be it, I am pretty full of myself.  Haha.

My biggest problem is I’m incredibly forgetful.  I get a cool idea and I think “that would be great to post up” and then I go to work or get caught up in games, movies, TV, whatever and *poof* the idea is gone.

Not much has been going on recently, just working and plugging away at the daily routines we all get caught up in.  Work is as unexciting and uneventful as always, which is just the way I like it.  I prefer my work to be drama free, let me show up, do my work and go home.  The least amount of people I have to interact with, especially customers, the better.

For those curious, my job consists of me sitting at a computer for 8 hours a day moving numbers from one column to another.  Pretty boring, but it’s a paycheck, I can wear what I want and I get to listen to my ipod all day long.  Not a bad setup if you ask me.  Especially now that it’s entering the holiday season, I’m so happy I don’t have to work in retail.  This really is the worst time of year to work in retail.  People are evil, vile and horrible this time of year.  People are rude, extra snotty and seem to forget all the nice human decencies that Christmas (or whatever you choose to celebrate) is all about.  You’d think it was a feast to celebrate St. Bastard the way some people act.  But, I’m out of it this year, and hopefully forever, so I’m happy.

Thanksgiving was uneventful.  Family, food, fun and we all watched Fanboys.  A great movie, definitely worth picking up.  And I’m not just saying that because the director, Kyle Newman, is one of the coolest and nicest people around.

Yesterday, Jenn and I marched in the Ukrops/Supervalu Richmond Christmas Parade, now more commonly known as The Deathmarch.  This was my first parade I’ve been in since I was a kid.  The route is about 3 miles long, it was raining, and it was about 39 degrees.  Jenn was drenched by the end and I was frozen to the core.  My hands were so cold, it actually hurt to take my gloves off.  But, we the 501st and the Rebel Legion are made of tough stuff, and we don’t give up easily.  We marched it to the end, spreading the love and fun to all those in attendance.  Shaking hands and waving to the people all the way to the end.  It was the most fun I’ve had in the most horrific of circumstances.  I can’t wait to do it again, I just hope it’s not freezing cold and raining next time.

So, that’s about all.  I’m sitting here typing and watching the seemingly never ending Harry Potter marathon on ABC Family.  I do need to buckle down and post more often.  I’ll try to do better.