May 13th, 2019


When I was young, we had 3 networks on TV - ABC, NBC and CBS. Programming started in the morning with news. The Today Show was an hour. The evening news was local from 5-5:30 and national from 5:30-6. I was not allowed to watch TV on school nights. The only exception to this was Sunday nights. We were allowed to watch The Wonderful World of Disney and then Bonanza.

I thought the weeknight TV ban was really cruel. I never got to see Gunsmoke and could never join in the conversation at school about Miss Kitty's new dress. Once I got out from under, I watched TV whenever I wanted. Which was a lot.

Then, in 1980, I got a VCR and my TV life was born anew. Some shows I watched all winter and then watched again over the Summer. There were many years when episodic TV just reran the whole season over the summer. I was always delighted when the new season started in the fall and always crushed when it ended in the spring.

Until this year. I realized this weekend, that I'm really ready for this seasons' shows to be over. They will be next week but this week would have been better. I have also quit watching many of them altogether. I totally abandoned all NCIS's. And This is Us. And Suits. And most of the new stuff that just started. I'm saving the Red Line til all the episodes are recorded. For The People, which started last year and I really enjoyed, got canceled.

It all used to matter to me way more than it does now. I still enjoy TV but now I'm much more into Acorn.TV and Amazon Prime and, to a lesser degree, Netflix. (The Acorn app is the best. Then Amazon. Netflix drives me nuts with it's autoplay-that-cannot-be-stopped.) I will buy a month of CBS All Active to get the latest season of The Good Fight.

This morning I learned that Spotify and Hulu got married. You can now add Hulu to your Spotify account (for a limited time, I think) for free. So I will no longer have to pay $1 a month for Hulu - ha! The savings!! I rarely watch anything on Hulu anyway but it's the principle.

It's still killing me how much I'm having to pay to watch baseball on TV. So much so that I'm seriously considering abandoning it and just listening to it on radio. This week, the idiot who usually does the radio broadcast will be switching to Mariners TV so I think I'm going to try an experiment. I think I'm going to spend this week as if I did not have any access to baseball on TV. I need to really understand how painful it would be to just have it on radio.

In other news, I was cleaning up the kitchen yesterday and found two baking potatoes that never got baked and were getting a little mature... So I plucked off the growing eyes and cubed them and turned them into potato salad which turned out to be excellent. And I have some left over.

It's blessedly cooler today and even cloudy. Way nicer. I haven't decided if I'm going out anywhere today. I need Costco bacon but not critically. I may just stay here and sew or whatever. I do need to finish up my library book. It expires on Wednesday but I also have a new one that downloaded and I need to get on it.

But, first, I should get dressed.


more tv ore less

After I finished the last entry, I started digging internetly into watching Mariners in Seattle without cable. It's pretty much not possible.

The Mariners have a 100% exclusive deal with Root Sports. And that deal says you only see the game on Root Sports and you only get Root Sports with cable TV.

I have MLB.TV but it blacks out Mariner games. It turns out even the audio is blacked out. I will be checking that tonight. I can barely get AM radio in the living room - not in the rest of the house at all. I'll be testing out the audio for tonight's game but it sounds like that's a fail.

I might be able to watch games via MLB.TV if I use a VPN but only at the router level (android aps require gps id) and in my case, I'd have to buy and set up a bridge to get that. Plus pay for VPN.

Most of this was brought on by my checking my cable bill yesterday. I could not see the actual bill yet but I could see the total $250. That's just nuts.

I even checked Comcast. I could save some by switching to them but not really enough to make up for the pain of both switching and using them. I could switch the tv only and save some.

But really, there are no good options. I did go back to the cable website to see if the bill detail was ready for viewing and it was. And the total is $200 not $250 which made me feel a lot better. It's funny how much of a difference that last $50 makes to me.

But, of that $200, nearly $100 is simply the surcharge needed to get the baseball games. So basically, to watch Mariner baseball, it cost me about $5 a game. I'm still trying to noodle out whether or not it's worth it.

proof in pudding

The rules and the internet says that MLB blocks audio stream of the Mariner game in Seattle. But, I'm listening to it on my phone using the MLB app! I have no am radio in the house that can tune in the station. The station's stream is not available on anything I have via any app I can find. MLB has two apps. MLB.TV tells me to piss off but MLB At Bat is happy to feed me the game. Weird.

But, now I remember why the radio broadcast is a poor second. No instant replay. If they say something I miss, no back button available. Between that and not being able to see stuff... just no.

Happily, dadi's comment led me down the path of 'hey, it's not like I can't afford it and or even have to sacrifice to pay for it.' I need to just forget about how much it costs and enjoy it. And be grateful that I can. So. That's the road I'm taking.

Best I can tell, the current broadcast deal is locked in until 2023. So if I'm still around, I'll worry about it then.