I quit cable TV cold turkey and lived to crow about it


People who know me cannot believe I’ve gone without cable TV since 2009.

My reputation is that I am a movie guy. Cinema was my vice. I was a subscriber to ON and Select TV, which were the pioneers of pay television back in the late ‘70s, early ‘80s.

Cable was a nice transition, until the pricing skyrocketed.

I quit cold turkey one day in December 2008. I was paying about $100 a month and decided I wasn’t going to take it any more. Without any thought, I canceled my subscription. No more ESPN, no more Food Network, no more HBO, no more paying for crap I don’t want.

So I dropped off my cable box and remote at the Gardena Time Warner (when it was around), then drove to Radio Shack and bought a $25 indoor antenna. After the first week of “free” TV, I realized that I was okay with watching local news, reruns of “Leave It To Beaver” and “The Outer Limits.” Then I got hooked on “Law & Order: SVU” and “Malcolm in the Middle.”

It’s was like getting into a local Cineplex movie for 50 cents. I was liberated.

And when my $9 Netflix account shot up to $18, for both streaming and DVD rental, what do you think I did? Aha, I dropped the DVD account and now stream only—all for $9 a month.

To top it off, I get more programming than I can watch with my Roku device. This nifty little box cost me less than $100 (which I own) and allows me to stream from a ton of sources, besides Netflix.

In an age when we get rooked for every dime, I kind of feel like I’ve beaten the system. Cheap entertainment on the fly, and it goes great with my TV dinners.

Candidates Forum: say what?

CandidatesPolitical forums are not the same as political debates. Forums seem to be designed to give candidates an opportunity to say how much or how little they know about a topic without any consequences.

Debates employ a fair amount of verbal sparring among the hopefuls and the hopeless. Verbal sparring leads to confrontation—which leads to digging, probing, consistency, and some measure of accountability.

Last month’s forum at the Nakaoka Community Center featured five council candidates (including an incumbent), two mayoral challengers — the sitting mayor sat this one out, and two city clerk challengers. Each office had their own set of questions, taken from the audience.

The issue I have with this format is that there were too many questions directed at individual candidate.  Questions should be open to all. Being an informed voter means knowing how candidates respond to one issue, so we can compare and contrast.

I’m hoping the Feb. 21 Candidates Forum at Rowley Park