Friday, November 13, 2009

Sigh. Cable.

The Cable Peopleguy is coming this afternoon. I'm not sure how I feel about it actually.

We ditched satellite last February, the day after the Super Bowl, to save money and get rid of the time-sucking temptation of television. It has worked really well. We still watch tv shows (yay, Hulu!) and movies, but we are very deliberate about it. There's no television-on-in-the-background accidental tv-watching. And I love that!

Although if truth must be told (and of course it must), I am not the person who typically has a problem finding the "OFF" switch (ahem, Brendan). But still, even I would become sucked in occasionally, especially if they were having one of those Cake-Decorating-to-the-Death Contests where bakers create impossibly large and dangerous pastries and then try to move them across the room without giving themselves a hernia or injuring any innocent bystanders in the studio audience. (And that's before it's even consumed, hah!) Talk about suspense.

We have enjoyed the extra money and time. I've barely missed television at all. The kids sometimes missed it, but as fate would have it, they already own about eleventy-gazillion DVDs. Also, the fact that the Television Channel Peopleguys were the ones who got to choose the next show never really sat too well with them. I mean, why should they get a turn? Why can't we watch Scooby Doo right now? Why do we have to wait for 11:30 am tomorrow? What kind of game are they running here? And what's with the commercials anyhow?

So why are we getting cable? In a word: Football.

Brendan misses football and has wandered around life this season with a pining, poignant expression on his face. And I've missed it, too. I'm not a super big football fan, but I do enjoy it, and I've missed not having the games going in the background on a Sunday afternoon. Brendan found that NBC streams Sunday Night Football and we've watched those a couple of times. My need for a game on in the background was satisfied, but that pining expression on Brendan's face never quite went away. And to add salt to the wound, his favorite teams are doing really well this year. And then, what about Thanksgiving? Would Thanksgiving be the same without football going all day? Honestly, it would not. Truly. (Not to mention the Macy's parade, which the kids and I like to watch.) And then the playoffs? My god, what about the playoffs!?!?!?!?

So I found a really good deal ($34 a month for HD, for only one cable outlet, which is a bargain around here) with no contract. The rate is good for 6 months--more than enough to take us through football season. I'm still planning to cancel it the day after the Super Bowl again--unless there's another to-the-death bake-off I can't miss.

Now I've got to go clean up so the Cable Peopleguy can actually walk into our family room without killing himself. And I hate to say it, but we really do have plans on Sunday afternoon already, so we won't get to experience the full football effect until Monday Night Football (sorry, sweetie!).


Brad Harper said...

We're approaching our fourth cable-free year and I must admit that fall, especially football season, is the time I miss it the most. We dropped it a year or so before Sam was born, but now we're really glad that our lifestyle has adjusted so that there's not always something (in most cases, junk) on. TV time, movies to be exact, is still somewhat of a special treat for Sam. Even though most cable content is trash, I still wanted Sam benefit from any potential developmental value, so we've stocked up on quite a few used cartoon and sports related DVDs. I think seeing the agility of pro athletes and exposure to the vocabulary in cartoon dialogue is valuable.

We started with the Baby Einstein, Baby Signing Time, and Leapfrog Letter and Number series, plus a select few of the Disney classics and CG titles - any others that you'd recommend?

Bill Brown said...

Forgive my ignorance, but isn't football shown on network channels? I know it's not on all day but I thought it was on for at least a few games.

(I would heartily recommend the Leapfrog series. We just recently rented They Might Be Giants "Here Come the ABCs" and they went crazy for it--though I don't see the appeal and wouldn't suggest that it be used to learn the alphabet.)

Rational Jenn said...

We have a projector set up, no actual television, so we can't get local networks. Brendan has some slick kind of set up a Mac Mini and sooper dooper speakers hooked up to the projector to make TV on the Big Wall. (It's enormous.)

So when we dropped Sat TV, it all went away. I hope the Cable Guy can figure out where the plugs go because I have no idea. I think once we have a cable box hooked up to the whoosiwatchits then the magic of football will be real once again.

Brad, for young kids, we liked Baby Einstein pretty well. The music is nice. Also, I can't say enough good things about Blue's Clues, especially the original ones (some of the newer ones aren't as good). There's a mystery to solve in each episode, and collecting of clues (evidence) and figuring out how to put them together to solve the mystery. Some of the songs are a little hokey (but I like hokey), but it's a cute show that emphasizes thinking.

As the kids have gotten older, we have made sure to expose them to tv classics such as Bugs Bunny and Scooby Doo (which might be a little scary, fyi). We love Discovery Channel shows, too, such as How it's Made (videos of factories and peopleguys making stuff!!!) and Mythbusters (explosions!) and Mega Builders (or Mega Machines? Can't quite remember--big machines building big stuff). I'm looking forward to having this channel back. There are some good shows on History Channel and National Geographic, too (Egypt, etc.).

I'm definitely going to check out TMBG, but most just for me, because I love them so. :o)