Monday, June 25, 2018

Closing the Door on TV - How I am Going to Try to Cut the Cable and Actually Do Real Stuff Instead

Those of you who know me personally know that I have had my ups and downs with Time Warner Cable Company (now Spectrum.) Now, I will try not to bore you with the day to day issues I have faced but, suffice it to say, Spectrum has really gotten me this time. I won't go into too many details, as I would like to keep this somewhat photography related but, yesterday, I was all set to pop on my exercise bike and sit down for a long ride while watching a TV show I had been wanting to see for a while. Just as my show was coming on, I was greeted with what I like to call "the black screen of death." My TV basically responded with a blank screen containing the words, "This channel is not available right now, please try again later." Since I pay more than $200 a month for cable, I was highly disappointed and really snapped at the entire setup. I decided right then and there, while sitting on my bike peddling away, that it was time for me to just pull the plug completely and get rid of the entire cable TV setup I currently have. No, I'm not even going to "cut the cord" as they say, I'm actually going to go TV-less for a little while. I'm going to try and see how that goes for a short time anyway.

As you might have guessed if you follow me regularly, there are a lot of projects I want to do. There are a lot of things I want to accomplish. I am almost setup with a home studio. It's about 90% of the way there but, no, I have not quite finished it. I've been cleaning out my closets and trying to just rid myself of clutter, this too is an ongoing battle which I have been losing. Then there is the matter of that book I have been meaning to publish. Yeah, yeah, I know, "How's that coming along?" Right. You get the idea. In somewhat photographic news, I have decided that it might be best for me to rid myself of TV for a while in an attempt to focus on some of these projects. My attempt is already paying dividends. Today, I sent off some work, I'm now writing a blog post to share the news of my cable-less ways, and I'm doing a few other things. While it remains to be seen if I can keep up the momentum, I am enjoying the new quiet house so far.

In the past, when I went on photo journeys, I always came back with a sense of accomplishment. When I travel, be it for a workshop, location shoot, or whatever, I seem to have a renewed sense of who I am as a photographer. I think part of this stems from the lack of TV. When I travel you see I watch little to no television. Sure, sometimes I will check out a brief newsflash here or there and sometimes I'll even tune into see what the locals pass off as entertainment for the great unwashed masses and all but, generally speaking, for the most part I happily avoid the idiot box when I'm on the road. Avoiding television allows me to really sink myself into the local environs and try to absorb the local culture, to try and really connect with the people. There is a real connection too, for me anyway, between avoiding all that television has to offer and getting things done, especially things you really want to finish. I am now going to opt for the getting things done side of this equation, at least for a little while, to see how far I can push this. Maybe, if I'm lucky enough, I can feel like I'm away even when I am at home, at least in terms of getting things done and being more connected to all things photography.

As an aside, I've been completely shocked at how many people have responded to my recent online rant against Spectrum and my choice to rip out my cable service. There are many, very many indeed, people out there who have ripped out their cable and have offered up advice. It's astounding to me how many people are going this route, so much so that I'm starting to wonder if, by this time next year, Spectrum will have any customers at all. Really, I have heard from so very many people on how bad their customer service and their service in general actually is and how easy it is to just rid yourself of their unneeded nonsense so you can go about enjoying life again, without the hassle.

In case you are wondering, my immediate plans are to use what I've now been calling "the quiet time" to try to tackle some of the projects I have piled up in my photography world. Perhaps more mid term, if the projects start to get more in line and I find I can knock some of them out, I will take some of the monies saved from the big cable bill and put them towards an iPad, which I can use as both an entertainment console and, perhaps more importantly, a tablet upon which to make digital art. I have always wanted to do more with my iPhone photography but have found not having a tablet on which to work is quite limiting. If, after all of this, I'm still bored with it all, perhaps I will invest in a streaming service for some limited entertainment. We shall see how this plays out but, until then, I guess you can call me, "Cable-less Carol." Wish me luck, please, on this new road and please do continue to reach out with suggestions and advice you might have followed on your own personal journey away from the dreaded cable cord.

Until next time...

PS While this might look like Mexico, it's actually one of the last frames I shot in Guilin, China. I guess everybody the world over loves themselves a bright, colorful door.

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