COMCAST: Your source for worthless Programming, Customer service and Pricing

I just looked at my new Comcast bill and once again it went up. This bill jumped from $116 to $136. All I can say is what the hell is going on here? What am I getting for this amount of money?

I want to break it down based on what I have on my programming guide on TV. The cable box goes from channel 1  to channel 1991. Some numbers between 1 and 1991 are missed or skipped. Most of the higher channels are sports, HD channels, adult progamming, music channels (Music Choice, C.D.) and pay-per-view movie channels. Channel 1 is On Demand. Channel 2 – 11 is local programs. Channels 12 – 63 are (for me) primary viewing channels. These are channels like FOX, Discovery, Spike, CNN, USA, TCM and others. Channels from 63 to 297 are a varied mix of information, movies, news, kids programming, game shows, and a host of others. Channels 299 to 375 are the premium channels like Showtime, HBO, and Cinemax.

$136.00 cable bill just so I can spend 3 to 6 hours watching a movie that normally runs hour and half or watch a hour TV series only to see more advertising then I do the show itself.  Cable service is worthless over all. 99 percent of the time you have nothing but reruns and advertising to watch. Even the premium channels like HBO, Showtime and others play mostly old movies that we’ve all seen so many times we’ve lost count. If I was into sports, which I could care less about at least I could get any or even all my favorite teams broadcast live. Music channels are lame and boring with same ole same ole programming.

When I called to change my bundle plan the service rep I spoke with was from the Philippines and spoke just enough English to barely understand her. Comcast outsources some or most of their call centers, cuts staffing at payment centers and still raises rates more often then most people change their underwear. Of those two the only one full of crap is Comcast. What is the real reason for raising rates? So the powers to be at Comcast can make get paid their bonuses.

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Donald Sterling Banned for Life

Racial discrimination in any form isn’t good for business or life. Donald Sterling is finding out the hard way that comments made in private can come back to bite you. Even comments made to a girlfriend or spouse.

I wasn’t going to comment on the Sterling thing at all. I am not a sports fan and could care less what Sterling thinks or feels about other people of any color. I suppose it would be the safest to just ignore this and not say anything at all since I’m sure my comments on Sterling won’t sit well with a few people.

Personally speaking, I feel any action against Sterling was wrong. It is also unjustified.

The thing is this audio recording would be considered illegal wire tapping by the person who recorded it. Also anything said becomes hearsay and would most likely not hold up in a court of law. Also Sterling’s feelings and opinions of blacks are his to express. Once we start punishing people for their opinions we lose freedom of speech.

Something else to consider here are the many African-American performers – actors, poets, inventors and  rappers, just to list a few. Once American people start getting sued, penalized, fined or banned for their own personal opinions the sooner we start seeing action in all forms of medium. How long before someone sues a black rapper for lyrics found with their songs or something they say in public? What if a movie depicted racial discrimination? That may lead to some kind of lawsuit or penalization – maybe even a fine from some group or organization.

Think I’m stretching with that last part? Maybe. But consider this. There are many great works of literature that have been banned from libraries due to their content. Some of those very books are not only classics but works by some well known authors. The Disney’s movie classic,  “Song of the South” is banned in the states due to racial discrimination. One would have to wonder about such movies and shows like “Roots”, “Seven Years A Slave” or even “Gone with the Wind”.  Its only a matter of time before this kind of things carry over to Music or other mediums.

We have no one to blame but ourselves in this. Sterling isn’t the reason for racial discrimination in America. He didn’t start it and he won’t be the end of it. Any action taken against Don Sterling is merely action taken in show of good faith by those thinking they are doing the right thing. Quite frankly does $2.5 million even cause a ripple in his pocketbook? Not likely. This action was merely a smoke screen to cover any possible backlash others might try to levee on the NBA or the L.A. Clippers.

But then again – what the hell do I know, right?

Ronald McDonald May Go To Taco Bell But He Eats At McDonalds

You can’t watch television now days without seeing advertising for the Taco Bell breakfast. Their current adds have people named Ronald McDonald from all over the United States supporting the Taco Bell breakfast. Today I decided to try Taco Bell breakfast for the first time.

For me, my biggest complaint with McDonald’s breakfast has always been the lack of over all flavor. McDonald sausage taste pretty bland. So is everything else for breakfast at McDonald’s. I like McD’s breakfast and go there about three times a month, maybe more. But I’m always looking at other options, hoping someone starts serving something worth getting excited about.

Taco Bell was my last hold out available to try and I was hoping for the best. On my first visit I got two Waffle Taco with sausage and a sausage burrito and orange juice for girlfriend. When I got my order it came with two small packs of sirup. My total order came to around $8.50.

The waffle taco’s are implied to be a waffle bent to resemble a taco shell topped with sausage, scrabbled egg and cheese. The first one waffle taco had almost no eggs and both were pretty lame with the cheese. The waffle itself was dry, tasteless and tough. Sausage lacked any flavor whatsoever. The second waffle Taco had almost twice the amount of egg on it. Otherwise was more of the same – bland, dry, tough. The good part of it all was the sirup. At least that made added some much needed taste and flavor.

The sausage burrito is scrabbled eggs, cheese and sausage wrapped in a taco shell. The Taco Bell burrito is bigger then McD’s but sadly that is all I can say positive about it. Taco Bell sausage burrito lacked one thing neither my girlfriend nor I saw anywhere – sausage. It was mostly egg and cheese – every little cheese. Again it lacked any real favor and the lack of any sausage made it worse.

Because I have had McDonald’s so often I don’t think they have anything I haven’t tried at least once for breakfast. I may not be all that keen on Taco Bell breakfast but I also don’t like McDonald’s breakfast all that much. “WHAT!” you say. “But you go there so often, why?” you say.

McDonald’s breakfast items suffer in the same way that Taco Bell does. They lack over all flavor, taste and many times tough.

 Like Taco Bell burritos, McDonald’s burrito often times lacks any sausage. Their pancakes, as well as, biscuits and Mcmuffins, are generally tough and dry. The one thing that McDonald’s does win on is cost. McDonald’s burrito is $1.00. Taco Bell burrito is $1.69. Other items are similarly more expensive at Taco Bell. Based on taste, quality, and price Mcdonald’s comes out ahead.

It is pretty clear that Taco Bell fails at offering any real competition against McDonald’s breakfast. They can find a thousands of people named Ronald McDonald and it won’t win over the breakfast war.

A bit of Irony – so far of all the fast food places I have had breakfast items from my favorite is Burger King. Judge for yourself and see what you think.

Health Care – Doctors VS HMOs

One of the most irritating things about going to the doctors now days is HMOs. Our doctors see us regularly. They know what we need and don’t need most of the time. If they say you need a given kind of medication then you should be able to get that medication. If they say you need a walker or wheelchair you should be able to get one. No ifs, ands or buts about it.

Since HMOs were created doctors no longer have authority on what you should or shouldn’t have without going through a lot of red tape. If the HMO turns down a doctors scrip for medication or for a walker or wheelchair then you will be forced to pay more out of pocket or not receive the anything at all. What people is calling Obamacare will be exactly that kind of thing only worse.

Over time insurance rates will increase more and more. To qualify for things you will be required to jump through even more red tape then ever before.

OK, I hadn’t planned on ranting and raving about HMO or anything on this blog. Kind of got carried away. Before I put this subject away let me explain where it stems from.

Recently, my girlfriend was giving a scrip for a wheelchair. She’s on 6 liters of oxygen due to C.O.P.D. and Congestive Heart disease. When she walks around she has to be turned up to 8 liters (or cc depending on how oxygen is measured). Even on 8 liters of oxygen her levels drop from mid 90s to low 80s, sometimes mid 70s. So a wheelchair will help her get in and out of house, stores, and other places. Right now we’ve been waiting over two weeks to Healthplus, her insurance, to approve her wheelchair. Doctor said she needs one. He wrote the scrip for it and we turned it in. Why should it take so long to get something so important. Thank God she at least still gets her oxygen tanks and machine.

Easter with Family and Friends

Thankfully another holiday is here and gone. Next up we have Mothers day and then 4th of July.

I am not big on holidays myself. To me they are nothing more then ways for big business to make more money. Commercials are always at a all time high during holidays. As for family I don’t have any that live near by or for that matter even call me. That didn’t keep me from celebrating Easter.

My girlfriend’s family lives locally so we generally spend time with them. Easter this year wasn’t any different. We spent Saturday with her nephew and sister. Had way too much to  eat and lost our butts in poker. In spite of poker loses we enjoyed the company and the food. At one point we had 11 people in the house playing Texas Holdem.

This year we did have one surprising invite. Girlfriend’s grandson invited us over Sunday for dinner and cards. This is a first since the grandson was living at home or other places before. Normally he spends Easter with his dad’s side of the family. So glad he didn’t do that this year. Girlfriend not only got a chance to spend time with grandson and his girlfriend but also the great grand-kids.  Rangler and Paisley were a delight. I managed to take a lot of pictures of girlfriend holding her granddaughter and of Rangler playing.

Only one problem with this Easter (and most other big get together holidays) – I ate way to much. LOL I’ll survive and look forward to the next holiday and meal.

When will it end?

Cold weather!

More cold weather!

What the heck. I took the plastic off my windows middle of last week. Was great getting all the fresh air and feeling the warmth in the air. I knew spring was upon us. Oops, spoke too seen it seems. Back in the thirties again yesterday and today. I can’t get warm no matter what I do or how hard I try.

Have you ever had one of those kind of days you just want to crawl back into bed and pretend it isn’t here yet? Today has been that kind of day. It started at 7am this morning and by my own design won’t end until I’m tired enough to go to bed again. Kind of sucks because I am ready to move past all of today.

If anyone has been reading my blog post you know that I am an administer in a euchre league on Pogo.com. A short while ago I learned from another administrators that one of our members had passed away. This about floored me. I had no Ohiobass wasn’t doing well. Sadly, I was thinking about him ,but never asked about him to anyone. Members tend to come and go so often, I got lost in my own little world for a while. Kind of figured he was busy painting or something. Maybe even off enjoying some of this warmer weather we were getting.

As any reader of my blog would know my landlord and friend, Bob, is in the hospital. He recently went thru surgery to repair four of the seven broken ribs. Apparently, those four ribs were in really bad shape and were the cause of his punctured lung. From what I was told they had to put some kind of metal plates on the ribs. Doctors say this will greatly reduce his pain he was experiencing. My hope is the get that breathing tube out of his mouth. Unfortunately, this all happened during a warm period we had a week ago.

Growing up I so enjoyed the colder weather. Didn’t matter how cold it got outside I was out playing and enjoying myself. Walking to a friends house or to and from school didn’t bother me at all in the winter. I still remember digging out a tunnel in the big mound of snow my dad had created. Being in the scouts was great too because of the camping trips during winter. Nothing beats a game of Capture the Flag in the snow. Now days forget playing anything in the snow. Give me some warm weather of this cold stuff any day.

I have friends in St. Louis, Missouri that experienced some of this cold weather we have had up here in Michigan. My friend and his girlfriend posted pictures of the snow they got. I just laughed in their face (figuratively speaking) cause we had over twice the amount of snow they got.

Thankfully the rest of the this week looks to be in the mid to high fifties and low sixties. That is perfect for me. Only thing I can’t wait to do now is go fishing. That is just a matter of time also.

Landlord Bob’s Surgery

As I stated in my post concerning winter my landlord is in the hospital with 7 broken ribs and a punctured lung. Well it seems I misunderstood a something or maybe information is clearer now then before – not sure which.

My landlord had 4 basically shattered ribs that were splintered and causing sever pain. It was one or more of these ribs that punctured the lung.  The other 3 ribs were fractured but not completely broken. So I guess that is something to be thankful about, right?

Yesterday afternoon they took my landlord, Bob, into surgery and repaired those 4 splintered ribs. My understanding is they had to put metal plates in place of sections where they were splintered. Apparently, the ribs were pretty bad. The doctor also told the family that this should greatly reduce the amount of pain Bob is in. That will be good news for sure.

I’m missing my friend. I usually go over to talk with him a lot during the summer months and once or twice a week during winter months. Bob is also one of the few fishing buddies I have so going to be hard going fishing without him.

No matter what happens from here on out though the good news is still that he is Alive and healing. It won’t be fast. Won’t be without a lot of laying around and mending but he will heal. All is well and God is still good.

Being a published writer is hard

In 2006 I was looking around online for ways to make a little extra money. I’ve always heard there were a number of ways make money using the internet and who doesn’t need a little extra help with that, right? I looked into many different things. Things like blogging with adsense to pay per post blogging to content writing. None of them seemed all that great at the time.

I wanted to become a writer. Not content writing exactly but maybe a novel or short stories or even a screen play; something, anything that would allow me to write. Now this doesn’t mean I have to write like some of my writer friends out there. Many of them can’t go a day without writing something. They are drawn to writing like other people are drawn to painting, gambling or doing drugs. I good example here is Earl Hamner.  He wanted to be a writer. He lived its, breathed it, talked about it. His whole being required him to write and because of that we were able to enjoy “The Waltons”.

For me writing as been a means to an end. It had allowed me to pay a bill once in a while or buy a little something extra I otherwise wouldn’t have had the money. None of what I have written has been all that great with one exception maybe. Recently I submitted a story for consideration hoping it gets published. I’ll share more about that if and when I finally know one way or other. All my other stuff has been content stuff for Yahoo Voices, formally known as Associated Content. I also have a few things on Helium writers site and a couple other places on the web. But none of what I wrote for those sites game easily for me.

I have struggled with content writing horribly. I seem to struggle finding content – that others care about enough to get the page views needed to make the kind of money I need to make better money. For those that don’t know page views are important for content writers. The more page views the more money you can make from your content. In 2006 when I first started writing I actually made enough to pay my cable bill. I know some people who were and maybe still are making over $500 a month.

Being a published writer is hard because once you’ve been published people tend to think you are really good with words. Maybe for other writers that is true but for me it isn’t always the case. Sure I’m good with stringing words together to make a given point or to sound poetic. Sometimes what I say even makes sense to me.

Being a published writer does have some good things that come with it. For me it is a feeling of accomplishment. Like I have reached a goal and can move on to something harder or at least difference. Being a published writer has even opened a couple of doors. For me, I have been directly involved with the development of at least 3 websites from start to finish. I have also been asked for help with writing a few other things not related to online work at all.

No matter what else happens from here on out there is one thing for certain – I am a published writer. I may not be good at it. I may never be famous because of it. But I have managed to accomplish something in the form of writing and been paid for doing it as well.