Of Rats and Jen (Inactive)

Tales of a Perpetual
Work In Progress

Big Changes and a Moment of Rattie Zen

Filed under: Daily Life,Rats!,Television — folkcat at 1:13 pm on Monday, June 2, 2008

Hi, everyone. I know it’s been a while. I’m not sure I’m ready to post several times a week yet, but I can deal with posting when there’s news to report.

A large part of why I haven’t been posting is that most things haven’t changed. Gryphon is still looking for part time work or a better paying full time job. We’re still struggling to find ways to get by more cheaply. This has all been going on for five months now. I find it a wonderment that we haven’t gone completely down the drain yet, but Gryphon is something of a miracle worker when it comes to managing the budget, and he’s kept us (barely) above water so far.

There aren’t many places we can cut the budget anymore. At least, not without changing our lifestyle pretty seriously. And, well…today we took a step that does exactly that.

We cancelled cable television. Which means that, in our little valley between two ridges with no TV antenna, I will not be receiving television programming over either the air or the cable wire.

What? you’re thinking. This is the woman with three TiVo’s who watches a lot of television programs, who’s a fan of the media in a way most people never imagine. How can she give up television?

The answer is, I’m not. I’m just giving up cable television. I’ll be cancelling one of the TiVo’s (which will be offered up for sale some way or another) that is no longer under a contract, and keeping the other two. I may not have a television signal coming in by either of the conventional means, but the remaining TiVos can still download movies and television shows from Amazon UnBox. It makes sense to keep them active, too, since they’re both still under contracts that would require a large cancellation fee.

Besides Amazon UnBox, we’ve re-activated my NetFlix account. There is a multitude of programming that I can get on DVD, and they also have thousands of hours of both television shows and movies available for instant viewing on your computer.

So I’m not giving up television at all. What I’m doing is becoming far more selective about what comes into the house. Instead of having to make my selections from the shotgun programming of cable television, the largest percentage of which I’m not interested in, I’ll be going directly to those programs that I know I want to watch.

Past seasons of shows I never got to see, such as those that were on pay cable channels, I can watch on DVD. Most of the better new shows these days either stream for free from the network website the day after they air, or are available for download from Amazon UnBox or iTunes very soon for a modest price.

I’m really very excited about this. I feel that it’s a vast improvement, an elimination of the chaotic input from cable and broadcast television that I had to filter significantly to get what I wanted. It’s like a music afficionado who gives up listening to radio stations and switches over to getting the good stuff on LPs and CDs.

We called the cable company today. The change happens….tonight!

Your Moment of Rattie Zen

One of the Rattie Rugs got shoved so that it hung over the edge of the middle shelf the other day. Lola decided it was a comfy place to snooze. And the lens on my camera phone was actually small enough to fit between the bars of the cage, so I didn’t have to disturb her by opening the door.

Comfy Lola

May we all find a moment in our lives as relaxing as this! Enjoy!


Comment by Elspeth

June 2, 2008 @ 1:54 pm

I’m sorry to hear you’re so strapped. But I lived without cable for most of my life, so you can do it. And we didn’t have Netflix or TiVo back then! Good luck!

Comment by Carrie K

June 2, 2008 @ 5:01 pm

She looks so comfy.

I’m tempted to give up cable myself – but then I remember that’s what turned me into a TV addict. It is maddening.

Comment by christina

June 2, 2008 @ 6:53 pm

Congrats on giving uo the cable! I gave it up completely…no netflix, no nothing…a few years ago. My DD and I didn’t miss it. We have cable again now that I’m married. Hubby likes it.

Comment by Emily

June 2, 2008 @ 7:15 pm

Have you tried Hulu.com? There’s lots of freely available TV programming on there, and the commercials are very short & reasonable. I recommend a series on there whose one and only season I missed the first time around: “Kitchen Confidential.”

Comment by Carol

June 2, 2008 @ 11:05 pm

Hubby and I once went for 18 months without cable. And that was before TivO and Netflix. So it can be done. You just find other things to do with your time. I went to the library alot. But then, I’ve always been a big reader.

Now if only all life’s problems could be fixed by moving a rug and zoning out! I envy the Ratties.

Comment by Valerie in San Diego

June 4, 2008 @ 12:34 am

We don’t have cable nor a TiVo (I don’t really know how the TiVo or that service you have with it works!), but we are Netflix addicts. It’s probably tough to adjust, but it sounds like you have a great attitude about it.

I’m still keeping fingers crossed for Gryphon to find a good option soon!

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