Dan vs. the Cable Company

As has become my habit, this visit to the bar was inspired by was influenced by gives a nod to Linda G. Hill’s Stream of Consciousness Saturday prompt. Unfortunately, the rules of SoCS have been violated in the extreme. I left a tiny bit of dialog that worked in place, but that’s about the only thing I didn’t edit.

“Your Friday prompt for Stream of Consciousness Saturday is ‘green.’ Use it any way you’d like. Have fun!”


If we were having a beer, you’d be in trouble with Cheryl.

“You’re late again. This is getting to be a habit.”

“Twice in two months is hardly a habit.”

“What’s your excuse today?”

“River Street is closed.”

“Why am I not surprised that you wind your way around River Street.”

“Don’t let him fool you, Dan, he just got here. Naughty Nurse?”

“Yes please, Cheryl.”

“How about you? Wine, Bourbon…what can I get you?”

“How about a glass of green beer?”

“No gots – sorry. We do have a Corned Beef and Cabbage special.”

“OK, I’ll have a glass of wine, and could you switch the TVs to basketball?”

“The dial doesn’t say ‘basketball’ – can you give me a channel?”

“CBS or TBS. I see you’re snubbing the Irish and wearing your blue and gold gear.”

“My genetic makeup would justify a wee bit of green, but my undergraduate tuition outweighs that by a bunch.”

“I can wear green because UConn stinks – they aren’t even in the tournament.”

“I know how you feel. Pitt stinks, too. Only Division-One team not to win any conference games.”

“At least your teams are in Power-Five conferences.”

“OK, Naughty Nurse, basketball on the tube, Meiomi, a glass of ice, a splash of seltzer. Any food, Dan?”

“Thanks Cheryl, we’re good for now.”

“You know, you’re showing your age today, Cheryl.”

“What?”

“Yeah, what – why are you picking on her?”

“I’m not picking on her. I’m just saying that referring to the TV’s ‘dial’ and ‘tube’ identify a person with a different era.”

“Era? Now I’m part of an era? What’s wrong with you?”

“Seriously, dude. As someone who frequently says stupid stuff, take it from me, you need to stop speaking.”

“I’m sorry, I didn’t mean to offend her. It’s just that it’s weird how words like that stick around. I mean we still say: ‘dial the phone’ and phones haven’t had dials since the early 70s.”

“We have a rotary dial phone in our house.”

“Does it work?”

“It does. I bought a Princess phone for my wife for Mother’s Day a bunch of years ago.”

Princess
This little lady actually works.

“How does that work with a digital phone system?”

“We still have a land line.”

“See, now that’s a different era”

“Easy Cheryl. Remember when we lost power for ten days? That landline phone was our only connection to the world. My wife won’t give it up.”

“OK then, you need to listen to that woman.”

“Still, it’s cheaper to get your phone from your cable company.”

“I know cheaper matters to you, but I’ve been waging war with my cable company.”

“Cutting the cord?”

“Pruning.”

“How’s that going?”

“I cut our cable bill in half, but added in Netflix and YouTube TV.”

“So now you’re paying three people and working multiple remotes. How is that any better.”

“You guys want another round? Ready for that special?”

“How about we just get some wings, Cheryl.”

“Ten or twenty?”

“Hmm, his Nibs is paying, let’s go with twenty.”

“Whaaa? Oh, fine. A nice tip will make up for the age remarks. Are you actually saving money with streaming?”

“Total TV budget is down thirty seven percent. I’m spending less today than I was in October 2016.”

“What’s so special about October 2016?”

“That was the last time I made any changes to my cable subscription.”

“I don’t see the point.”

“Between October 2016 and November 2017, my cable bill increased by sixty-six dollars.”

“Ouch.”

“Yeah, ouch. That’s what caused me to start pruning.”

“What all did you get rid of?”

“First, I got rid of a premium package.”

“That’s giving up a lot.”

“I never watched any of the channels in that package.”

“Why did you ever order it in the first place?”

“I didn’t! I complained one day that I had lost access to BBC America. They said they would fix it. They added a premium package, free for twelve months, but didn’t tell me they were doing that.”

“So, twelve months later, bam!”

“Exactly. I also got rid of the DVR.”

“Why?”

“The only thing I ever recorded was stuff I can get on Netflix. And YouTube TV has a DRV option for its channels.”

“Does YouTube TV carry BBC America?”

“No, but the only thing I watched there was Star Trek.”

“And that’s on Netflix.”

“Yep.”

“So how do you actually get YouTube TV?”

“I bought a Roku device. Netflix and YouTube TV stream through it. It has an HDMI feed to my TV.”

Roku iOS Remote

“So, you have another remote to deal with.”

“Yeah, but the Roku remote is dirt simple to use.”

“Until you lose it.”

“No problem, I can use my phone as the remote.”

“That Princess phone?”

“Maybe, but only if I switch to AT&T for TV.”


Today’s gallery is a hodgepodge of recent photos. I hope you enjoy them. Also, please enjoy Cheryl’s most recent post, and have a Happy St. Patrick’s Day, if you’re so inclined.

96 thoughts on “Dan vs. the Cable Company

Add yours

  1. A good start to every day required good, hot coffee – always. :-) I like Maddie’s creative approach to not letting one of her three favorite people the ability to leave once they arrive. I wasn’t sure I wanted to read this once I saw the word, cable. I am actually attending an OLLI class in April on how to cut the cord. I am one of the few who still watch the current tv drama shows on CBS, NBC, and ABC so I have to figure out if I can get them on one of these other options. Stop laughing, I like my Blueboods and NCIS. :-) Hope Maddie gets in a walk this weekend.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thanks Judy, and not laughing at all. I stayed with a near-basic cable plan, that doesn’t add much to the bill, compared to the cost of unbundled Internet. I wanted my wife to be able to check news and weather without using multiple remotes. I also wanted some access if we lose Internet.

      My daughter cut the cord. She gets network stations over the air with an HD antennae. YouTube fills in most “cable channels” that I watch. I did lose the Science Channel :(

      https://www.suppose.tv/tv let’s you id the channels you want and shows you the streaming service you can get them from. It covers every imaginable service. It was helpful in deciding between DirectTV & YouTubeTV.

      You should also follow @cordCuttersNews on twitter. Great source of info. Good luck!

      Maddie is already pointing to her harness.

      Liked by 1 person

    2. Love, love, love “Bluebloods” and “NCIS” (and the NOLA version.) We have a basic package that has much more than we ever watch (where’s cable choice???) and Netflix. Netflix saved us LOTS of money, as my husband never wants to go to the movies these days, which quickly costs even more than a year of cable if you go very often. Of course, after our first two years of cable, the cost began creeping up, but my husband called them and managed to get the price lowered a lot…jut by signing up for another year. At one point, they even sent us the monthly magazine…and were charging us $3/mo for it, something we didn’t even want. Got rid of that quickly.

      Dan, we had a landline for many years but cut the cord, figuratively, of course, when we realized that the only calls we got on it were ones we didn’t want to answer. It was always good in an emergency, if needed, though.

      janet

      Liked by 2 people

      1. I was able to get the bill lowered at one point during the 2016-17 time span by calling and complaining. They offered to lower my cost again, they even offered to give me the premium package for free again. I said no, because I knew they would eventually ramp it back up, and I didn’t watch the channels. I had done my homework this time. I knew what I wanted. Ironically, I didn’t know what I had. When I asked them to explain my package, they said “you’re grandfathered into an old package. It’s very good, but we can’t tell you what channels are in it.” I asked how they knew what to charge and why they keep raising the fees and the guy couldn’t answer.

        I tracked what channels I actually watched, and I found the cheapest way to get them. It wasn’t easy, because they make it very hard to cut back – you can’t do it online – and you get routed to a “retention specialist” when you call.

        Liked by 2 people

  2. Well, isn’t this a theme dear to my heart! I talked about the same cable company woes in a blog post this week, and have decided after reading my comments that no one is happy about any of the ways in which anyone gets TV on a TV. Makes me think that the truth of the matter is that TV sets may not be worth it– financially or emotionally.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Ha ha was that your post with the ultimate TV remote? It does seem that everyone is unhappy with the 250 channels of garbage and the fact that they still need an extra $10 to get what they want. Having grown up with three networks and PBS, I think I’ll survive. There are always books to read. (Which I think you also wrote about :)

      Liked by 2 people

  3. I don’t understand the logic of the cable companies. They are facing extinction with the ever-growing popularity of streaming services, but their response is to increase pricing which drives yet more people away.

    Love the composition of photo of the airplane. I have itchy feet these days to travel – but that’s unlikely to happen for a long while.

    Happy St Paddy’s Day 🍀

    Liked by 2 people

    1. When I called to cut back, they tried offering me lower prices and better packages but I refused. I think by the time we can stream everything we want, they will be charging so much for internet it won’t matter. I’m hoping AT&T brings 5G cell service to our area. They’ll probably charge just as much but it would be sweet to say goodbye to Cox Cable.

      Liked by 2 people

    1. Thanks Ruth. I edited too much to claim SoC bragging rights, but I tried. I remember gettin cable when I was growing up in Pittsburgh. With all the hills, over the air was hard. Today, they’re just driven by greed.

      Liked by 2 people

  4. Maddie blocking the doorway is the cutest. We did the same as you did–cut the cord on cable. No one needs that many TV channels! For some reason, the weather (any weather!) messes with the cable so we spend most of our time watching Netflix, anyway.

    Liked by 2 people

  5. You lost me with Roku and YouTube TV. Clearly I’m from a different era, and very jealous that your wife has the pink Princess phone that Santa Claus failed to bring me. Great post, Dan! Oh, and Maddie matches the color of Naughty Nurse beer.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Sorry for the technical departure, Jennie. It was a lot to learn, but I like the new arrangement. If it makes you feel any better, the phone is beige. But, it’s the most comfortable phone to hold. I miss how good it felt to hold that style receiver. Maddie is kind of an amber color – thanks!

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Still have cable TV here, but also utilize Netflix, Hulu, Roku (on the bedroom TV) and Comcast. The cable company currently has us on a deal, but once that’s done we will be down-sizing again. The last time the cable bill went up it was similar to your increase, maybe a few dollars more. Nope, not paying $200 a month for internet and cable. We thought about totally ditching cable TV, but then they make us pay more for internet because we’re not bundling. Got us coming and going!

    Happy St. Patty’s Day to you and yours, Dan.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I understand that battle. Faith cut Comcast, and they jacked-up her internet. I was on a mission when our bill went from $192 to $256 without us doing anything. I chopped it to $121. If I had given up more stations, I could have saved an additional $7. If I cut it altogether, I would have only saved about $11 because then internet goes up. It still seems like a lot, but at least I can watch Start Trek whenever I want.

      I hope you find good Corned Beef and Cabbage.

      Like

  7. Hmmm…hard to pick a fave photo between “Maddie blocks the door”and “Snowy Sunset”. Happy Little Leprachauns Day, Dan! One of my favorite little holidays and one of the times I really miss being back home. NOLA and BR have the best parades. They throw way more cool stuff from the floats than at Mardi Gras, and it is very family oriented. Oh people still drink, but they keep their tops on; and the only thing they drive is a red wagon with the kids and pets in it! 😉 We cut through the cord when we moved to FL, having only basic cable and using our Bluetooth DVD player for Netflix, later adding HULU, thanks to some exchange ‘programs’ with my oldest. When we moved here we really took a slash, getting rid of cable and adding a broadcast tv ‘antenna’ . It gives us all the things we really watch anyway. Reruns, classic tv (the best stuff ever made) and the major networks for news, etc. There is so much on Netflix and Hulu that we watch there most often at night. Any new shows that are streamed have all the most recent episodes so no need for DVR, but we never had that enabled before anway; so this is a bonus for us! Plus, I can rewatch The X Files for anything I might have missed on the first run. 👏🏻Sorry your teams are letting you down this season. At our little outing to Wahlburgers last evening, some guy sitting next to us requested one of the tvs in front of us be swithched to golf. 😳GOLF. From basketball. After five minutes of consulting his tv sheets the really cool and nice bartender did as requested (after asking us first-we said ok). Then we looked up and the golf guy was gone. 🙄Hipe your bar time was good!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Cheryl. It’s so hard to figure out what to do. I ended up only losing one channel I liked (Science) but I’d littlerally have to pay an additional $12 a month to get it. Considering I mostly watched reruns of “How It’s Made” it wasn’t worth it. We don’t watch a lot of TV.

      I started out using my Bluetooth DVD player for streaming. It works well, but YouTube TV is new, and it didn’t have a slot for it so it meant going into the “Other” menu and creating an entry, and it started to seem too much like work.

      Sounds like Wahlburgers is becoming a fav! I hope I don’t lose you at the bar :(

      Liked by 1 person

  8. I understand, Dan. It was either 2013 or 2014 when the cable company did something similar to me. I cut the Comcast cord and never looked back. I have more (and better) than I could possibly watch with Netflix and Youtube… I actually watch more than I did while paying for cable. (Not that this is a good thing…).
    So cute, the shot of Maddie blocking the the door so Faith can’t leave. Happy St. Patrick’s Day hugs! ☘️

    Liked by 1 person

  9. I have been pruning as well. I kicked Spectrum to the curb. They actually continued to charge me for full service during the Hurricane outage which was over six weeks. The only provision they had was to put my account on “vacation pause,” for thirty days at a cost of $20.00. I told them to take a hike. Unfortunately, I also had my landline with them so it went as well. Now we are cell only. I enjoyed the post today, Dan.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thanks John. It never ceases to amaze me how greedy these companies can be. When my daughter cut the cord with Comcast, I told her it was a shame she wasn’t in Cox’s area. Cox wasn’t good, they were just behind in the race for high fees. Charging for six weeks during an outage is worthy of getting kicked to the curb.

      Liked by 1 person

  10. Best thing I ever did was get rid of cable. I’m sure I’m spending more on Internet service, but I don’t care. I have a lot more use for Internet service, and I get a terabyte a month there. The subchannels I get over-the-air (Cozi, Decades, The Justice Network, and Escape are the ones we watch most frequently) are the only ones we’d watch on cable, anyway. it’d be nice to get MeTV OTA again and to see Braves and White Sox games; the latter I could get with MLB TV (they black out Braves home games), but the radio feed is more than sufficient. Did you know that ESPN gets a huge chunk of your monthly cable bill? That should be a premium choice…

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I cut down to the tier that doesn’t include ESPN. YouTube TV includes ESPN 1-2-u, maybe N. They are also adding MLB in April.

      It’s going well so far. I wish I had find it earlier, but…

      I get 1tb and I’ll never stream more than that. I still travel a lot, and Netflix and YouTube travel well.

      Like

  11. Lol. These conversations crack me up. (Oooooh, another era heard from!) Cable companies must’ve been created by the devil himself. And dealing with them is like being in hell!

    Another collection of great photos. Shadows, sunrise, sunset, Maddie and her ball. But the shot of Faith and Maddie looking at each other, that’s priceless.

    “Maddie, I have to leave now.”

    “No, no, please don’t go. You didn’t give me a belly rub yet.”

    Hope you and Maddie get in a nice walk or two this weekend.

    •••Ginger•••

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Dealing with the cable company on this was misery, but I stuck to my guns. They did their best to wear me down. I had to do it in two chunks because the first guy claimed he couldn’t figure out what package we had. We were “grandfathered” into a package that cost more and provided less than s much cheaper package today ! “For your benefit, sir!”

      Like

  12. The bar’s the best place to watch a game as far as I’m concerned, green beer or not.
    My team managed to make history by losing to a 16th seed team last night. I’m betting that would have gone better with a Naughty Nurse (even though I have no idea what that is!).

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Sorry about UVA – Those results also hurt my brackets :(

      Naughty Nurse is an Amber beer, brewed locally by City Steam Brewery. It’s not really a naughty thing. This must have been tough to watch in Charlottesville bars.

      Like

  13. All the different types of TV service is getting nuts. We don’t have cable. Everything is streaming with our wi-fi, Amazon and Netflix. Then Amazon wants to see you HBO, PBS, Acorn and more. Brit TV? I am trying to limit the add-ons. But I do like Amazon and Netflix more than cable. :)

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It’s not easy to figure out. It was easy for me, as I’m really the only one watching much TV here. Still, I ultimately chose Youtube TV over Direct TV because I didn’t want to have to always say “No, I don’t have a satellite dish, I get it over the internet.”

      Maddie’s at her best when she’s asleep ;-)

      Thanks Audrey.

      Like

  14. Apart from the photos, many of which I love and you know which they are… I got stuck on ‘corned beef’ til I remembered it’s what Americans call salt beef. I’m good with salt beef (dunno about with cabbage though). Do you know what ‘corned beef’ is here in the UK? Look it up.. (I could give you a link but then I know what Akismet would do with my comment…)

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I had to go look it up, Val. I understand why you didn’t leave the link. While I do sometimes enjoy Spam, I wouldn’t go to a restaurant to order it. This place serves it over a bed of steamed cabbage, carrots and potatoes. I like cabbage, so it’s a good meal. Thanks for spending part of your weekend here. I hope the rest is good.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Mmm, it’s not quite Spam… very much dryer and it’s beef rather than pork, but otherwise, yeah, a tinned meat.

        Thanks, I’m sorta getting into my weekend, very cold though – lots of snow. Have a good one yourself.

        Liked by 1 person

  15. Oh my gosh, I am the pruner of services as well. Don’t even get me started. I’ve got photos of my recent pruning chats. Oy. It’s a constant battle, the rates shooting up. Oy. I said that, and I mean it.
    I would totally yak about this over a beer, but in all honesty, I’d end up wasted and weeping about why media is not completely a la carte by the year 2018.
    They’ve got us by the
    I’m paying way too much for a landline phone. Just way too much.
    Oy. If it’s not one thing, it’s another.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Media is not completely a la carte…because the money grubbing cable companies lobbied Congress snd three FCC to prevent it when they were briefly thought about it.

      I can imagine the pruning chats, but I hope you share them at some point. Mine started with “I want to reduce my cable bill” and sent me through the chatting roof 30 minuted later when “Lisa” said “I can’t reduce you services, you have to call 800blah blah blah for that.”

      Liked by 1 person

        1. I had done that, and I was offered a similar deal this time but I wanted out. I know it doesn’t matter, but I wanted to send a message. I also wanted Netflix and I like that Youtube TV travels with me.

          Liked by 1 person

  16. I have been trying to understand why my cable bill has crept up but not able to give up even the $2.50 sports channel cost monthly. Hmmm. I just found out Spectrum won’t work on just a cable into my TV. I went to the cable company and had to pick up two boxes or modems to continue on the same cable. Just an additional fee in 12 months and no channels available without these “contraptions!” Sadly, I don’t really have space for them. Oh well, waiting till when son comes over to help me figure this out. I am mechanically backwards.
    I am proud to say: I did set up my extra channels and cable attachment by myself when a friend’s husband won a 24″ television with digital channels!

    Liked by 1 person

  17. I will not start by aging myself. But instead I bring glad tidings. Did you know there is such a thing as a Universal remote where you can have your ROKU (which we have … good choice!), your music, and TV all on one remote? I couldn’t possibly keep track of all those remotes … so it is one we have. LOVE ROKU …. fyi. We save a ton of money too. We did the same thing about the premium package. We ended up realizing most of the stations are junk and so we were not watching them. Oh we have Amazon too. And BBC. LOVED your gallery, Dan! Just LOVED it! I was here a long time just gazing …. Thank you! 👏🏼👏🏼👏🏼

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Amy. I think I could do this with one remote, but I’m comfortable with two – I like the Roku remote a lot. The other remote can handle the other devices, but it’s complex by comparison.

      I’m glad you enjoyed the gallery.

      Liked by 1 person

  18. For three years my wife and I have been working on getting off cable for TV……we have done the Roku route and have slowly gotten use to that and trimmed our TV packages down….but we take so much time debating it and testing it, before you know it…it’s football season and that stops everything…collegiate or pro…can’t miss our football….most of our kids have cut the cord. The cost of internet will be the next issue and we only have two providers in our area. In the four years we have lived here have gone from one to the other…service drops…we are in a fast building master planned community and I think all of the construction is part of the problem…and now we are back to talking about cutting the cord and streaming again…until football comes back around :)

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It’s funny, Kirt. I didn’t want to start making these changes until football season was over. I have found that following the NCAA Tournament has actually been pretty easy on YouTube TV, at least the games I wanted to watch were all on. This is one time when being a Pittsburgh fan, stuck in New England is helping me. I never get to see the games I want to see, unless the Steelers are playing the (Pats, Jets, Giants) or if they are one a Sun/Mon/Thur night game. I might see a Pitt game, if they’re playing BC, but I almost never see WVU, since they’re the only eastern team in the Big-12.

      We really only have one decent Internet provider in our area, and the rates are pretty high. I stayed with a minimal TV package, to save money on Internet and to have easy to find options for local news and weather. That also gives me access to those NFL Night games.

      The huge savings on cable came from dropping below the package that included ESPN and other sports networks. YouTube has ESPN, and the other networks are NESN, YES and SNY (Boston, Yankees and Jets/Mets/UConn) none of which I mind losing.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Thanks for the info…we used the Red Zone on Sunday’s to see the major action in all of the games as it’s hard for us to get the games we really want to see….this will all come back to internet providers and lack of choice in that regard. The way the cable companies were given exclusivity to communities eliminates true competition.

        Liked by 1 person

  19. When over fifty, we suddenly get that label, being “part of an era.” Don’t remind me, lol.” When I notice my adult kids skirting around it, I offer with a smirk, “you can say, “older!” I know I picked out just one little detail of your story, but your stream of consciousness, is a huge river:):)

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ha! Thanks. The conversations do tend to flow like that. There’s always a goal, but my thoughts meander. The age thing was a tangent, but the clues were there. “Older” is ok. I’m good with having been part of an era.

      Like

  20. How timely! I am in the process of cutting the cable (erm…dish) as well! Perhaps “pruning” is a much better word! I found out I could get all of our local channels on Hulu plus for 39.99, with the exception of CBS (those sneaky rascals), who insist that I pay an extra 5.99. Oh yeah, and wait. Netflix is another 7.99, putting me up to 53.97. But because I bought my streaming (Firestick) devices using credit card points, I end up saving $42.74 per month. The way I see it, the $500 I’m going to save per year is worth the hassle of learning to use some new remotes!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Excellent! I am saving (for now) over $85 from what our cable bill was in December. I’ve lost a couple of channels I like (Science & American Heroes) but I’m hoping YouTube TV will ad them. I could get them for an additional $12, but I’m going to wait and see how much I miss them. Some of the AHC series are on Netflix, so it might not be so bad.

      Liked by 1 person

  21. This weekly prompt inspired by a prompt is always funny. This one is hilarious. Yeah, there is always a battle between cutting the cord or just do some pruning. But look who’s talking: We don’t even have the cable :)
    Netflix and Amazon Fire are our sources. We read the news online and favor going to the movies to watching them on TV. We don’t go as often as I wish since there are too many movies we don’t like. That’s another story…
    Hope your Saint Patrick went well. Ours was quiet :)

    Liked by 1 person

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