02 February 2017

Cord -> Cut!

The SandCastle has cut the cord!  We dumped satellite and now cable too.  We still have internet and now our video entertainment comes via that pipe.

Short version:
I'm on a 7 day free trial on both SlingTV($25 Gold/month)  and Sony Playstation Vue (29/month).  The channel lineups are similar but Vue has Discovery but not History.  Sling has the reverse.  Unfortunately History has devolved into a lot of stuff that isn't history:-(  I think Vue will be the keeper.  Discovery is not a Sling TV option.  Both offer FS1 & FS2 so I'll be able to watch F1 racing through the year as well as Daytona 24 hours last weekend and hopefully America's Cup as it comes.  I just wish someone would pick up Reno Air Racing!

I watch via  Roku Express ($29 @ wally world)

tl;dr version:
We switched from Satellite to Cable with the SandCastle move.  We were tired of playing pricing games with Sat TV and mediocre DSL service with ever increasing rates.  Local Cable had just installed Gigabit internet to the neighborhood.  They promised us 1000Mb/sec service along with price savings and a 3 year rate lock with zero installation costs.  Not that we need the bandwidth but it's fun!

I ran a few internet speed tests which rang in around ~960MB/sec.  Not quite the GB promised, but pretty close.  But the savings never materialized.  The monthly bill was within a few $$$ of the satellite bill. The channel selection seemed... deficient.  Turns out the 3 year rate lock was also a lie.  Within just a few months the bill went up.  Checking the "contract" as the old saying goes "what the big print giveth, the small print taketh away!"  This could not be more true when dealing with local cable co.  The SCQueen went to the local outlet to call them on their rate lock promise.  They countered something to the effect of "the rates are locked, the fees are not and we just added new ones".  She ended up telling them to get stuffed.  They cut the line hard - the SCSon's phone call dropped mid syllable.  TV & internet dropped too.  They told her to collect all the boxes and bring them back to the store RSN*.

So we collected all the boxes** & remotes.  The SCQueen was out front of the local outlet before opening Monday AM - along with half-dozen others also revolted by the broken "Rate Locked" promise.  By the time she finished turning in the hardware the line had grown to a couple dozen.  That's a lot of unhappy ex-customers!

Such revolts are surely baked into their rate structures.  I wonder if that includes the money they lost bringing us on as a customer.  Recall above the deal we had they covered installation costs.  It took them 2 or 3 service trips to get the installation right.  They had to trench to bring fiber from the street to the house plus 2-3 service visits get the signal into the house.  I'd guess they spent a couple thou on installation.  I doubt they made it back in the few months we were customers.  Too bad they threw it all away over a rate hike.  Had they kept their promise we'd probably have stuck with them till death do us part!  Local cable take note - your violation of the 3 year rate lock pledge cost you a 30+ year customer!  I suspect by the time a new potential customer moves into the SandCastle, current Gigabit technology will be obsoleted by subspace communications at least mega-gigabit if not giga-gigatbit rates!  Thanks for wasting your money,  I see your business practices and I won't be investing in you anytime soon.  Your short-term-view/long-time-view is a losing model.

* - Real Soon Now
** - but not before logging into the access point and changing the name from "SandCastle HQ" to "Local Cable Co Lies ALot!" (Not the actual names but you get the idea).  Also, I'm sure they will hard reset the modem before passing along to a new customer....  But just in case they don't  mu-hah-hah@!!!!

FTC disclaimer - None of the services mentioned have provided anything for this post.  AFAIK Free trials noted as such as available to anyone. Other services were paid at retail.  freely.  I get no $$ from referals and there aren't any links to refer to anyway..  These are my opinions stop period end.

02 November 2016

Congrats to the Cubbies!

As mentioned on the sidebar, and many times subsequently... I'm not much of a "ball sport" fan.  Though if there is a fav "ball sport", baseball would win.    And because I don't have a fav between the two teams competing for the World Series, I can enjoy the game without having any skin in the game.  And it was a great game.

That said, I was happy to see it go to 7 games.   And was equally happy to see an extra innings game to decide it all!  Too many "SuperBowl" games are decided in Q1..  "WTF,  I haven't even seen half the commercials?"  No.  Indians tied it in the 8th.  No score in the 9th. ChiCubs scored 2 in the 10th, and the Indians answered back with 1... not enough.  But still a great game.

Congrats to the Cubs!  Great effort Indians!  Cubbies, Don't use this as an excuse to riot.  That's a basketball thing!  Stay Classy!

09 October 2016

Which mic is hot?

DJT's mic is picking up all of his inhalations... HRC has two mics, The obvious hand mic + a white lapel mic blended in with her tunic.    Which of her's is active?  I do not see any corresponding lapel mic on DJT.  Amy I missing something?

Who controls the gain on DJT's mic?  Either could emphasize his breathing and de-emphasize hers...

Presidential Debate #2

I tuned in and out..  (Hey the Red Bull Air Races, Indy edition, were on)!  To bad local hero Kirby Chambliss isn't in the fight :-(

Caught one question  regarding SCOTUS noms.    Hil went first...  and droned on for her allotted 2 mins with out ever uttering the word "Constitution".  Rather she alluded to "Justice that sees the world as it is today..." (IOW, completely disregard the constitution!)  DJT at least mentioned the word though I thought it was a hanging curve needing to be drilled into deep left field!

(quote from memory.. but I was specifically tuned in to the word constitution and she didn't use it!)

24 September 2016

Shooting at the SandCastle!

Fortunately not the kind of event the event the TrueBlueSam encountered, but rather it appears someone may have shot at the SandCastle!  Maybe not at the SandCastle, but could be that's where it "landed".
The SCQueen noticed the hole as we pulled a breaker to work on a light circuit in the house: "Hey that wasn't there last week when I mowed the lawn!"

Close up:
The hole is about the size of a dime.  I'm thinking possibly .38/9mm/.40/.45 sized.  The lack of penetration suggest a low terminal velocity impact and/or low impact angle.  Probably some idiot celebrating the Autumnal Equinox by shooting a gun into the air without concern for where those bullets come down.

We haven't found the projectile, nor any fragments so maybe it's much less innocuous.  The SCQueen ended up calling LocalPD on the non-emergency number and they sent an officer to take a report. We don't expect they will investigate any further but rather the report will go into the database and if the scenario starts to trend, maybe they can take action then.  Our expectations are very low...

Shooting into the air is a rule 3 violation!

Arizona has "Shannon's law" which makes such celebratory gun fire a class 6 felony.  So named for Shannon Smith who was standing in her back yard, talking with a friend on the phone when a stray bullet hit her in the head, killing her.  I am 100% on board with this law...  People being stupid with guns should not have access to guns.

MythBusters looked into "shooting a gun into the air" and concluded "inconclusive"... They tested bullets fired near vertical so they have to reverse trajectory and fall at terminal velocity.  They did not test the case where a bullet was fired at a lower angle and fly an arc trajectory.  (And how could they test that?)  I suspect that's the scenario that probably killed Shannon Smith.

Interesting, there is an exception in the law for shooting blanks.  Fair enough.  Don't shoot into the air!  Even with blanks.    Don't be stupid..

23 August 2016

TMI - Update

I survived!  Afterwards couldn't hardly open either eye.  I went home and back to bed.  The SCQueen tried to apply the prescribed antibiotic cream - yea, that's not happening now.  Got up about 4pm and continue to improve.

Thanks all for you prayers & good thoughts!

22 August 2016


I am more than half a century old... and I dread this Tuesday like never before.  I am scheduled for surgery on my right eye.  I cannot think of a single body part I'd rather NOT have surgery....

I'm very sensitive about my eyes.  Eye drops?  Yea.. right down my neck.  The blink reflex is faster than the eyedropper.  I have experienced a scratched cornea and the  ..discomfort associated.  Contacts?  You mean "in contact with the eyeball?"  Yea right, that's not gonna work.  Gimme the cokebottles!  I'm good with that.

So what would make surgery an appealing deal?  The right eye is already effectively inop.  I can only focus both eyes under the best of circumstances.  Surgery can only make things better.  I hope.

The doctor tells me "this is a very simple procedure, 15 minutes and I've been doing them for 20 years.  It will be done under general anesthesia".   "YOU'RE DAMN RIGHT it will be under general... you're not gettin' close any other way!" I replied.  I suspect the first and last 5 minutes are putting me under and reviving me. and the intervening is the actual work.  Maybe less.  I don't actually know, nor do I want to know what he is going to do.  The whole idea of operating on the eye muscles turns my stomach.  He was recommended and has experience.  I trust him.  I have to.

And the procedure is probably the easy part..  The prep and recovery *sucks*! No food or water 8 hours prior and consuming scrambled eggs is just too complex a task afterwards :-(  Gawd I wish I could stack up all the procedures someone of my age starts to need in one swell foop and only go through the pre/post stuff once rather than once per procedure...

Tuesday sizes up to be a trying day.. as in "trying the marital vows, particularly the "..in sickness and in health.."  If you're of the type, please pray/think good thoughts/etc for me... and the SCQueen.

Wish me luck.  Out for now... expect to post the all clear tomorrow!