Its Nice to have Options – SoCS

Note: not a sports post – It’s the maddest weekend of March Madness in the US. For those of you who are unfamiliar, March Madness refers to the NCAA (College) Basketball Championship in which 68 teams from colleges all over the states meet in various cities in a chance to be the last man (oops, there’s a woman’s version, too) standing a couple of weeks from now. By the end of the day on Sunday, 52 games will have been played and there will only be 16 teams remaining. Squeezing a blog post in between the myriad games on TV is difficult. Still, I promised not to make this a sports post. David and I are here at the newly renovated Island View Café to drown our sorrows over favorite teams, whose tournament play resulted in one-and-done results. We’re also going to try to deal with Linda G. Hill’s Stream of Consciousness Saturday prompt:

“Your Friday prompt for Stream of Consciousness Saturday is ‘comp.’ Find a word that starts with or contains ‘comp’ and use it in your post. Enjoy!”

You’ll see in a minute why I had to ask Linda for a ruling, lest I get in foul trouble.

If we were having a beer you wouldn’t want to talk about sports.

“Don’t say it, Dan, don’t even say it.”


“Well, I’ll say it, David. I’m sorry your team did so poorly on Thursday, and I’m going to comp you a John Howell’s Special to ease your pain.”

“Neither of my alma maters even made it into the tournament, Cheryl…hint…hint.”

“OK, Dan. You can have a Corona on the house. But this better be the last I hear from you sad sacks.”

“Thanks Cheryl. And, according to that amazing Coming Attractions sign, it appears we will be hearing from our friend Teagan Geneviene next week. So, you’re off the hook until baseball’s opening day.”

“Do you want these cherries, David?”

“Yes. Of course.”

“Then ix-nay on the ortss-pay!”

“Pig Latin is so hard with words that end in s, but you did well, Cheryl.”

“Thanks Dan.”

“Well, I’m ready for Teagan, I just finished Dead of Winter – Journey Thirteen and I have lots of questions to ask.”

“Too bad, David. I told Teagan she could ask the questions.”

“What? Wait, you mean like a test? I’m not sure I’m ready for that, Dan.”

“Ha ha – it will only count for ten percent of your grade David. Besides, you have a week before she gets here, you should be up for the challenge.”

“Speaking of up for the challenge…”

“No more basketball, David! I can still yank those cherries.”

“I wasn’t going there, Cheryl, I swear – And, if I did go there, I’d really swear – I was going to ask Dan what’s going on, on his street.”

“What are you talking about?”

“I drove by, and I saw a guy riding atop the extended arm of a bucket truck stringing some kind of wire.”

“Oh, that’s Netspeed – the new Internet provider that’s coming to town later this year.”

“New? As in competition for Cox Cable?”

“Yep, and from the bill I see (OK, I hear about it from my wife) every month, it’s going to be like New Mexico State rolling into UConn territory.”

“Dan, I warned you…”

“And I warned both of you. You guys want another round since you’re not talking about basketball?”

“Yes please, Cheryl. I couldn’t resist busting my buddy. I’m sorry.”

“Do you really think they’ll be a lot cheaper than Cox?”

“It’s hard to know, David. If I get rid of all Cox services, maybe, but then I’m paying Netspeed, YouTube, Paramount Plus, Peacock, AMC Plus, ESPN Plus. It all adds up.”

“Don’t forget Netflix and Hulu. Here’s your beer and your bourbon.

“Forget Netflix and Hulu, Cheryl. Neither one offers enough content to make them worth what they charge.”

“I thought you liked watching all those old shows, Dan.”

“I do, but they’re gone. Paramount yanked almost all the CBS stuff and Peacock is getting ready to yank all the NBC stuff.”

“With all those options, Dan, it seems like you need to fire up the TV half an hour before your show, so you can figure out what service to use.”

“Precisely why I’d like to keep a minimal presence on COX.”

“How much will that cost?”

“Who knows. When I tried going with just Internet, the cost was more than Internet plus a minimal TV plan. TV with no Internet…might be more than I can afford.”

“You boys want any food?”

“I, um, well…”

“You stopped at Scooter’s, didn’t you Dan?”

“I did.”

“But you even said our fish and chips is much better now.”

“Their Cole Slaw is still better.”

“And whose bartender is better?” “We don’t need a tournament to decide, Cheryl, you’re the best!”


  1. I can’t say much about sports or Internet other than I’ve heard of both, but I can certainly say that it’s always great to have friends — maybe even with that adult beverage — to commiserate with. Looks as though MuMu has turned her back to the world. I can’t blame her. She and Maddie certainly teach about relaxing.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I wish I could relax like MuMu. Celebrating and/or commiserating with friends makes the events better. I guess that’s why they say misery loves company. The good thing is that no one in my group care so much about sports that it bothers us for long. We love it when our teams win, but we move on fine when they lose.

      Internet, on the other hand, is troubling. Our provider has been raising prices, just because they can. They unbundle and rebundle services so you end up saying more for the exact same service you had a month ago. I would love to be able to move on from them.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Love all the foggy photos. Old Glory looks grand, but I’m so sorry for why she’s at half mast. Good to see little signs of spring in your area. MuMu and Maddie each look very content in their favorite lounging spots.

    Looks like we’re getting a relatively decent weekend Dan. Enjoy seeing no snow or ice. Just green sprouts trying to poke through the not quite thawed ground.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks for stopping by, Ginger. It’s raining here, but we’re happy it isn’t snow. We’ve had fog almost every morning this week. It has been eerie, but it’s also beautiful and so quiet. I hope spring is beginning to unpack her things. I hope you have a nice weekend.


  3. All these streaming channels drive me crazy. We have Direct TV because we have to out here in the boonies, and I’m perfectly happy to have all my channels in one place and pay one bill, though it’s astronomically high. I get Amazon Prime on one television in our house because it’s the only Smart tv, and Apple TV on my phone because the Smart tv isn’t Smart enough. The only reason I have those is because they’re free. The new tv we put out in the man cave needs a technical engineer to program so I have up.
    That said… I’ll wave hello to the bunny.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. We don’t watch sports much unless our children happen to visit. When our son lived with us, he watched ESPN Sports Center every time it aired (several times a day). Our children give us much of our streaming access so we are lucky. There is very little provider competition here so choice is not an option.

    Liked by 1 person

    • You can go down several rabbit holes a day with sports, Maggie. I don’t live in the same region as my favorite teams, so I rarely get to see them playing. Sports news, like news has placed more emphasis on being entertaining than informative. I try to avoid both.

      Until these guys hang the cable and fire up the system, we have no competition. Our cable company knows that and has been beating us up with rate increases for years.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. I’m still not paying for any extra services. I’m also very upset with those networks who took shows to the streaming services and eliminated them from the free offering. I enjoyed Seal Team and then it was gone. I can only hope their subscribers are hard to come by. I doubt that though. Loved the foggy photos. I’m not a basketball fan so I have no comments on March madness but do enjoy others going through the joy of victory and the agony of defeat.

    Liked by 1 person

    • They took those shows to streaming services and then they yanked them from those services and started their own. Everybody wants a slice of the pie that is my wallet, John. The worst part is, even though they have less ans less to offer, our cable company keeps raising rates.

      I’m not a big basketball fan, and neither WVU or Pitt made the cut. I watched Iowa State play last night, in support of my brother, but that’s the only team left that I have an interest in.

      Walking in the fog has been relaxing this week. Not as relaxing as laying in the sun with MuMu, but still and quiet.

      I hope you have a good weekend.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. You guys were pushing your luck with Cheryl but I think she liked you both really. We don’t have too many channel …not enough time ! We do have the free ones, ITVplayer, BBC iPlayer, All4 and My5. Plus freesat, Amazon and Netflix, other people round here have a lot more .I hope the new internet provider is cheaper…. competition is good.
    Every year I ring our provider up and threaten to leave given them the price of deals I can get with rivals….🤞 I usually get a good deal 🤞🤞🤞. Love the photos as always 💜💜

    Liked by 1 person

    • I hope Cheryl likes us, Willow. She is the best bartender on the Internet and we’re happy to have her behind the bar.

      I imagine that when I call to ask how much I will save by dropping Internet from my cable company, they will talk me into staying with a one-year special rate. I don’t need faster, and I don’t need more, but I could sure do with paying less.


      • Yes indeed, threaten to take all your business away from them and politely screw them down, they can easily afford it, we know our provider can always do special 18 month deals 🤞.

        I think Cheryl definitely has a soft spot for you both 😉

        Liked by 1 person

  7. Sorry. So you say there is a March basketball tournament ? I am waiting for the spring tiddly wink toss. And just for the first round. After that it will be time to take a coffee into the garden. And later in the day stop by the mini fridge in the garage. So I will have a choice of slow cable with no contract ( a feature of no speed ) and marginally faster cable and lots of almost streaming services. I can hardly bait my breath. Let alone wait. Happy Saturday Dan.

    Liked by 1 person

    • There’s only one team left in the mix that I care about, John. Then there’s baseball, but maybe tiddly winks would be better. Cable/Internet/streaming services all seem to be cut from the same cloth. The goal is “how can we charge them more while giving them less?”

      I hope you have a good weekend.

      Liked by 1 person

  8. Dang, Dan. I thought with the prompt your post would most certainly be comp-uter themed or at least have the word computer in it. Thanks for the muzzle on sports though. It will be nice to see Teagan next week. Pssstt…. I’m very picky about cole slaw because it is near the bottom of my list. Just any old slaw won’t do. Happy weekend!

    Liked by 2 people

  9. I guess we’ll have to agree to disagree, Dan: I probably watch more Netflix and Hulu than anything else. SO MUCH GOOD STUFF! I do watch Disney+, but Hulu has The Rookie and Only Murders In The Building. Netflix has Russian Doll, Stranger Things, and lots of good movies. We can agree on your pictures, though, especially the beauty of fog/mist and the Colt dome. I’m glad you throw that into the gallery now an then, because it always makes my heart happy.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I’m not a drama series kind of guy, Marian. It takes too much work to pay attention. I’m glad you like the pictures and I am especially glad you like the Colt Dome. It sometimes gets a bad rap around here, but I like it and I particularly like seeing it reflected in the river.

      Liked by 1 person

  10. Well, Dan, contrary to Cheryl’s direction, I am going to talk basketball just for a few seconds. Wisconsin is still in the tournament, but don’t feel too bad if your teams didn’t make it in. Would you rather be a 7th ranked Wildcat losing to a bunch of Peacocks? Hmmm?

    Anyhow, good luck with the whole cable, internet, streaming thing. Former roomie and I went through that when we decided to cut cable. Thankfully, we ended up with reasonable internet from AT&T, which I have continued, bought indoor antennas, and signed up to streaming services. It’s the latter that adds up and I have to consider how much I watch any of those services. It’s the reason I don’t have Hulu at the moment, but love me some Paramount (NCIS and Star Trek), Netflix and HBO. I’m signed up to a few others, but they are temporary until I’m done watching current seasons of shows that I’m hooked on. I have found that I need to subscribe and cancel, subscribe and cancel as needed. It can be a pain, but it makes TV affordable.

    Hope you are having a great Saturday, Dan!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Talking basketball is fine with me, Mary, especially if your team is still in it. I am still rooting for Iowa State, since that’s where my brother went to school and it’s where he lives. They’re your next opponent, by the way. I think it’s the only team I have left. The local UConn fans are sad. I feel bad for them, but I don’t root for UConn sports, so…

      My big gripe about cable is that, for now, it’s the only option we have for Internet. And, if I were to drop the TV service I have, the cost of Internet rises above the cost of the bundled pair. Both have been going up 10-20 dollars a year, even though I’ve added no services. And they are masters as obfuscation. The excuses I get for why they can’t explain their costs could fill a book – a horror book.

      I’m hoping the threat of competition will smack some sense into them.

      Liked by 1 person

      • I understand the whole cable/bundling thing. Spectrum charges around $75/month (it might be more now) for internet alone, except if you add cable, the bill still feels like too much. I am still under an AT&T deal at $43/month, but for new people it’s now $50 or $55. It’s still cheaper then Spectrum, though. They have us coming and going, huh?

        Liked by 1 person

  11. I didn’t know you had Cox up north. County just over from me cannot even get it, but that’s what we have. We use my son’s password for Netflix but looks like that might be changing soon. God forbid the consumer gets something for next to nothing. Luckily, husband is not a sports fan, but I check the scores daily. Gonzaga and Loyola…fingers crossed. Gotta stick with Sister Jean. Have a great weekend, Dan.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. I hope you get some good competitive pricing and can leave Cox.
    Your foggy mornings were lovely! I like fog too. The reflections in the river are so nice. No river monster eh? I hope it swam on to somewhere nice and returns next winter to say hello. 😀

    I’m looking forward to Teagan’s visit to Café bar.

    Liked by 2 people

  13. Wonderful photos…and great use of comp! I loved the photo capture of MuMu. She is too precious. I hope you have a wonderful weekend. 🌞

    Liked by 1 person

  14. A couple of sad sacks, indeed. :) How wonderful that Teagan will be visiting next week. I will be at a music festival but will try to catch up when I get home. I love these photos, especially the foggy ones. Makes me think of London. Happy weekend, Dan!


  15. The picture of the tree in the fog is breathtaking… I’m thinking… OK I’m looking forward to hearing Teagan. I’ll make sure to come early to the bar just to listen.

    Liked by 2 people

    • You’re so kind Pam — thanks. I can’t believe I’m telling on myself this way, but back during the blog serial for which Dan did the photos (Brother Love, a Crossroad), I included a narrated snippet. I actually sang a snatch of song during it. I plead temporary insanity there. It was spontaneous, and I still don’t know why I did it. The audio clip is down near the end of the post.

      Brother Love 9 — A Hallelujah

      Liked by 1 person

  16. Thanks for the shout-out, Dan! I hope your weekend is going well.
    I cut the Comcast cord in 2014, and I still haven’t looked back. Lately I don’t even use Netflix enough to justify paying for it, but as sure as I cancel… I find so many full TV episodes or movies on YouTube (not the new paid version either) that I use it for at least half my viewing. Also IMBd and once in awhile Peacock. Again not the paid versions of either. I’m not really being cheap about it, I’m just satisfied with what I find there. Hugs on the wing.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Thanks Teagan. When I look back over the past few years, I see how many times I’ve discussed this subject. These days, more than anything, we need reliable Internet. Cox has been hammering us on the cost for that. I’m hoping that true competition in that space will force them to get realistic about pricing. I’m all for companies making money, but when they play games to move my stations into different “bundles” and then charge for each one. it bothers me. I don’t need the speed and bandwidth the new service promises, but the savings is compelling.

      See you next week!

      Liked by 1 person

  17. I like those foggy photos, Dan. They hint at mystery and adventure. Still, it’s always nice to come back to the stability of Maddie’s striking red coat and MuMu’s feet.

    Liked by 1 person

  18. Way to not talk about sports during March Madness. Spring is definitely showing up where you live. The fog is so cool to see, and I love that Maddie’s nose leads you both home after your walks. Great nature photos too! The bunny is adorable. I look forward to Teagan’s visit next week. Have a great week, Dan!

    Liked by 1 person

  19. It is so hard not to talk about sports! I feel your pain. 🙂 Your water reflection photos are really good; the Colt Dome is a great example. Thank you for recognizing that the flag at half mast is an important remembrance. Great post, Dan!

    Liked by 1 person

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