2006-06-20 :: Cutting Cable
Bills.. bills.. bills.. And not the kind that's known for losing
the super bowl either. No, today I'm complaining about all of the
monthly bills that have been clogging up the Noodles' mail
box. Land-line phone with long-distance: $50. Cell phone with
roll-over minutes: $40. Basic Cable TV: $15. Cable-based Internet:
$45. Two-movie Netflix: $15. Pickle-of-the-month membership:
etc.. While nothing really stands out as a bank-breaker (besides our
mortgage), they all add up and make you feel like you're being
nickle-and-dimed into middle-class oblivion.
Throw in the fact that there's a lot of service redundancy and it
becomes even more annoying. Ideally, we'd ditch the land-line and
switch to making all of our calls on the cell phone. However, Cingular
doesn't get great coverage out here, so I often find myself standing
outside whenever we're home and someone calls us on it. Another option
would be voice over IP. However, I don't put much faith in the 911
handling of voip. Plus, we'd still be stuck with cable-based internet,
which is the most bill we think is the most outrageous.
The lack of an obvious optimal solution has resulted in us doing
nothing for quite some time. But then.. out of nowhere, the TV shows
we watch on a regular basis (Lost and 24) all had their shocking
season finales. Once those shows ended, it was clear that there wasn't going
to be anything good on for several months. So.. we decided to take the
plunge and cut cable service (TV and internet) all together. And
that's why we haven't updated the web page in a long time. It's
because we've adopted an Amish life style.
Ok, not really. We in fact ordered DSL Internet service through
SBC/AT+T before the cable went away. The price was unbeatable for the
area: they had a deal where it's $18/month for 1.5Mb/s DSL with free
equipment. They also gave us three free months because we switched
from cable. While cable was a little peppier (3Mb/s), we hardly
even notice since we really don't move that much data these days.
I have to admit that living without cable tv has been kind of rough
for me. You never know how addicted you are to something until it gets
taken away. As a means of getting my tv fix, I've rigged up an indoor
antenna that brings in about 10 fuzzy channels. Unfortunately, seven
of those channels are in Spanish (Telemundo!) and one is in
Korean. The one English channel that comes in really well is Action
36, which has a tendency to alternate between COPS and Tyra! reruns
(no joke- they show two hours of back-to-back COPS every Monday
night). I'd like to say that the endless COPS programming is a
deterrent to watching TV, but like I said, I'm hooked. No, I don't
watch more than a few minutes at a time, but I have to admit there's
that spark of hope in the back of my mind that I'll turn on the tv at
some point and there will be an episode where COPS is driving through
my old neighborhood in Atlanta.
We'll see how long we can go without cable. I feel that my tv
standards can't drop any lower, so maybe we can survive or learn how
to live without it. Bah..