We Don’t Have Cable

March 8, 2007 at 12:58 am (Pop thoughts, Random thoughts, Sports thoughts)

This isn’t an ethical, moral or religious statement. It’s a financial one. My wife and I decided that we would forgo the luxury of cable television in our first few months of marriage in an effort to save some money. The agreement was that when baseball season came around we could get it. As you know baseball season begins in about a month (I know many of you are looking forward to my preseason Padres predictions; expect another week or two for that).

Well with about a month to go before entertainment is pumped into our house through the coaxial I think it would be interesting for you guys who have cable to hear what life is like without it.

1. It’s not boring.

Actually it is more exciting. Instead of saying “what’s on TV tonight” the question is always, “what are we going to DO tonight?” Not that we do anything terribly exciting, we do the standard stuff like go out with friends, play yahtzee, go to the gym (sometimes), go for walks, go to a movie, go shopping,Β  read, spy on the neighbors, drive around looking for something to do, etc. And we do have days where we rent a movie or watch one from our collection, but I find that I never one bit regret answering the question, “did you watch American Idol last night?!?” with a simple “No”. So contrary to cultural norms, I don’t think my life is boring without cable.

2. We didn’t actually save any money.

Even though that was the idea, I really doubt we saved any money by not having cable, instead we just spent it in other areas. Now maybe if I was really good at budgeting and determining where every dollar goesΒ  things would be different. For instance if we have set bill money, food money, entertainment money, etc then maybe we would’ve saved money, but I’m not that cool. Instead I think the money we would have spent on cable was spent on things like, a new polo shirt, zoo tickets, golden spoon yogurt and a birthday present or two. I’m sure it wouldn’t be too hard for me to look back at the junk food, junk stuff and junk time I’ve spent my money on since October and it would add up to much more then what we would’ve spent on cable.

3. Spiritually speaking, I don’t know about what impact if any has been made.

Perhaps this is due to all of the emotional, personal and spiritual changes that a newlywed experiences but I really don’t feel any “closer to God” then I felt when I watched a couple hours of TV a week. Like any other believer I can sight ups and downs in my spiritual walk, but I honestly don’t think TV or lack of TV makes much of an impact. That being said I should note that I was pretty selective in what I watched beforehand (primarily sports, news and movies) and that I have never been enamored with current programming; especially ‘reality TV’ which I consider a great insult to all artistic talents. Nevertheless I don’t think it made a difference, either positively or negatively in my faith.

4. Culturally speaking, it hasn’t impacted me either.

Perhaps this is due to my daily routine of news reading via the internet, but I am just as aware of everything going on the real world and in the pop world as I ever was. No cable necessary.

5. I have missed it.

I’m not going to lie. I miss the ability to have instant entertainment beamed into my brain. There is a comfort that cable bestows on an individual that is difficult to explain. It’s a sense of connection to the outside. It’s the security of not having to be creative. It’s the satisfaction of laziness being thrust so conveniently upon you that going without it makes you feel so, so, so weird. Kind of like you’re missing a limb. Something that you had grown so attached to that the removal of it left your person lacking.Β  Now one of you may look down the end of your nose and reply piously how wretched a person I am to place such a value on something as profligate as cable, but your sanctimony means little to me because deep down you know that if you lost your internet you’d feel the same way.

Ahhh the loveliness of the blog.



  1. Albino Hayford said,

    Best compromise…TIVO

    Saves your favorite shows automatically…you NEVER channel surf…when you want to watch tv, something you really want to see is waiting for you. And when Esther was a new mom, Tivo saved her life through those sleepless nights of feeding the baby.

    Every head bowed and every eye closed. Nobody, and I mean nobody looking around. Do it right now. Accept TIVO as your personal digital recorder. Slip that hand up where I can see it. Yes, I see that hand. God bless you, and you, and you. Ok, you can put them down. Now, get out your credit card and do what you know needs to be done. And whatever you do, do quickly. In the quietness of your heart, click now: http://www.tivo.com/

  2. Matt S said,

    but I am just as aware of everything going on the real world and in the pop world as I ever was.

    How about the sports world?

    This would be a good place for me to voice my displeasure about hearing that you will not be doing the NCAA tournament pool this year. I hold out hope it is just a rumor and we will in fact have something to gamble on this month. πŸ™‚

    Perhaps you and college b-ball had a falling out because you have not been able to watch any of the exciting action due to not having cable?

  3. Pablo Honey said,

    All I can do is reiterate what I expressed to you earlier in person: Get DVR. This will change the way you watch TV forever. All the people who continue to insist that it is not worth the extra $10 a month are just being foolish. It is well worth the extra money to ensure that you get to watch whatever you want whenever you want to. You would be very hard pressed to find someone who had DVR at some point and got rid of it. For us it is a necessity. And if you want to REALLY maximize the value of your cable, throw down another $150 for a slingbox and $200 or so for a windows enabled phone and you will oficially be an entertainment powerhouse.

  4. Echo_ohcE said,

    Just remember what life is about. Don’t live for the TV.

  5. itsasecret2u said,

    We don’t have cable either. It’s been……. (had to think) 2 1/2 years now. Wow!

    1. I agree that life is not boring. Because we have the kiddos we don’t necessarily get to do fun stuff like drive around thinking of things to do, go to a movie, or spy on our neighbors instead of watching TV (ok, we do spy on our neighbors…), we have become rather well acquainted with our movie collection, a couple of video games, and some good books since we cut the cord, er… the cable. We do, however, have my mom burn DVDs of American Idol and So You Think You Can Dance when they are on just because I love both of those shows and we’ve been with them since their inception (the same was true of Survivor, but we left that one a long time ago). She burns them from her DVR, by the way, which is pretty awesome. If we were going to go back, we’d go that route.

    2. I am cooler than you are and we do save money. You should see my monthly expenditures spreadsheet…

    3. Spiritually it has made an impact for me. Honestly. I don’t know if it would be true for everyone, but when you have a tendency to become addicted to ridiculous reality shows or (even more so) all of the many crime dramas out there, it can only have a positive impact to not fill your brain with all that stuff. Don’t get me wrong, I still love my C.S.I. and Law & Order. But it’s had a very numbing effect on my mind in a lot of ways and I don’t like that.

    Also we “have more time” to read our bibles, which has been good. We always had the time, of course, we just used to spend it watching TV.

    4. Me neither. That’s the beauty of the internet. I would, however, contest the statement that you are aware of everything going on in the pop world; but perhaps I am thinking strictly of fashion and the like. πŸ˜‰

    5. Me too. I’ve never seen one episode of CSI: New York and this pains me. I have no idea how the Grissom/Sarah romance has played out, or if it even has at all. I don’t get what the big deal about Lost, 24, Grey’s Anatomy, or Desperate Housewives is.

    Still, I would say that, for me, the benefits outweigh the drawbacks. And I didn’t even discuss the kid-factor which is the second most-important reason that we don’t have it!

  6. danielbalc said,

    Wow this is so exciting. With our new lap top and the miracles of wireless internet I am able to see you guys commenting on my blog in real time. I had no idea this is what you guys did when you could be watching some great programs on cable.

    Pablo has pretty much sold me on DVR

    I will be heading up the pool Matt, check your e-mail

    I am shocked to see secret agree with point 5.

  7. itsasecret2u said,

    Really? It shocks me that you’re shocked. I am (was?) a total TV addict. Of course I miss it!!!

  8. Echo_ohcE said,

    What does it mean for TV to be an idol?

  9. danielbalc said,

    never would’ve known that. figured it was banned in your childhood along with sugar, meat and fun.

  10. Echo_ohcE said,

    Or I should say, to become an idol?

    That was deliberate.

  11. Echo_ohcE said,


    And not only was all THAT fun stuff banned, but apparently, she has been banned from posting on her own blog! Oh, for shame! No meat, no sugar, no fun, no TV, and no blog posts. I’m beginning to think she got grounded or something.


  12. itsasecret2u said,

    HAHA I grounded myself. Actually, I’ve been too busy. :-/ It stinks.

    Things that were banned growing up: sugar, meat, normal kid words for bodily functions (Daniel knows what I’m talking about), You Can’t Do That on Television (anyone remember that show?), and using the word “butt.” We had to call it a “seat.” And I think my mom still does.

    But, in general, we were allowed to watch TV.

  13. Echo_ohcE said,

    Excuses, excuses. Post here, post there, a post is a post.

    I used to LOVE you can’t do that on television. I especially loved when they got the green stuff dumped on their head. HA HA HA!!! It makes me smile to think about it.

    I wasn’t allowed to watch anything with magic in it, like He-Man or the Dark Crystal. But I was allowed to watch the Hobbit cartoon, which stimulated my love for and current practice of magic, and which prompted me to begin smoking pipes, which led to cigars, which led to all kinds of crazy…just kidding.

    The Grrrreatest Adventure….


  14. Echo_ohcE said,

    …are yet to be won…

  15. danielbalc said,

    If you’ve been to blockbuster recently you’ve probably seen the clip running that has a bunch of different people like you or I saying famous movie quotes. That is because blockbuster has combined with AFI (American Film Institute) to promote their “Top 100 lists”. Every year AFI releases a list of things like “top 100 comedies”, “top 100 movie songs” etc. They are really interesting to people like me who loves movies. Well this year their list is “top 100 movie quotes“.

    the whole page is pretty interesting, especially the bottom where it explains the balloting process. A lot of the movies are long before my time and yet I am familiar with probably 75% of the quotes which means they certainly do belong on the list. Not that I am qualified to even cast a vote for something like this, but I do feel there is one quote that is suspiciously absent. The first person who guesses the movie quote that I think should have been included on this list will win themselves a lotto scratcher πŸ˜‰


    The quote I have in mind is not necessarily new and not necessarily old.

    It is not necessarily one of my favorite movie quotes (i.e. “I don’t know Margo”) but rather one that I think is very broadly used in American culture today.

    This is only my opinion and though my pool of films may be limited and those closest too me may have the upper hand I truly think this quote is popular enough that anyone of my readers (even echo) could guess it.

    good luck and good guessing!

  16. danielbalc said,

    Here is another hint, and it’s a devastating one. at the bottom of the above link they have a list of the 400 quotes nominated for top 100. The quote that I think ought to be included wasn’t even nominated! Another quote from the same movie was, and maybe it’s a more famous quote, who knows? but I still hold to my guns and believe my quote should be included in the top 100.

  17. itsasecret2u said,

    Some missing ones for me:

    “I want you to hit me as hard as you can.” –Fight Club

    “Ditto.” –Ghost

    “Are you not entertained?” –Gladiator

    “Inconceivable!” –The Princess Bride

    Ugh, and did you notice the quote from my least-favorite movie ever? “Shhhaaaaaaannnneee! Come back, Shane!!!” Ewwww.

  18. danielbalc said,

    Are any of those an official guess?

  19. danielbalc said,

    I suppose one could list every conceivable movie quote and be the winner of the coveted lotto scratcher. To avoid that please identify official guesses as such and limit those to a reasonable number πŸ˜‰

  20. itsasecret2u said,

    Ugh… is 4 too many to guess? They are all official, if not.

  21. itsasecret2u said,

    If 4 IS too many, let’s take out Gladiator (since I know how you feel about that movie). Is 3 too many? If so, leave in the one that’s correct and the rest were just general statements. πŸ˜‰

  22. danielbalc said,

    4 isn’t too many

    none are correct

  23. itsasecret2u said,

    Dang it. Well, that’s it for me. I couldn’t think of any others that came from a movie that was nominated.

  24. danielbalc said,

    you went over all 400 nomination and though of every possible movie quote that may be deserving? WOW!

    Here is another hint that may help you out.

    I looked at a couple other AFI 100 lists and I am happy to report that the film from which the quote I am thinking is indeed on at least one other list. So maybe if you cross reference those 400 quotes with every other AFI list that may help.

  25. Matt S said,

    Dude, do you know how many sentences are in ONE movie? Now multiply that by the number of movies you have seen. How can one accomplish this task?

    Tell me the movie it is in and I still wont get the quote.

    None the less here is my guess from So I married an Axe murderer…

    Charlie Mackenzie:
    Hey Mom, I find it interesting that you refer to the Weekly World News as, “The paper.” The paper contains facts.

    May Mackenzie: This paper contains facts. And this paper has the eighth highest circulation in the whole wide world. Right? Plenty of facts. “Pregnant man gives birth.” That’s a fact.

  26. itsasecret2u said,

    Oh! I have another one!

    “Every man dies. Not every man really lives.” –Braveheart. But I’m sure that’s not it. You were probably sleeping through that part.


  27. Matt S said,

    Or maybe this gem from Ferris Bueller’s Day Off…


    Not that I condone fascism, or any -ism for that matter. -Ism’s in my opinion are not good. A person should not believe in an -ism, he should believe in himself. I quote John Lennon, “I don’t believe in The Beatles, I just believe in me.” Good point there. After all, he was the walrus. I could be the walrus. I’d still have to bum rides off people.

  28. itsasecret2u said,

    HAHA Love that one, Matt.

  29. Matt S said,

    My third and final from What About Bob…

    Bob Wiley:

    “There are two types of people in this world: Those who like Neil Diamond, and those who don’t. My ex-wife loves him. “

  30. danielbalc said,

    I don’t know if you realize this Matt, but I actually used that FB quote many moons ago on Rube blog I think. It’s a classic indeed. However none of the previously mentioned quotes would even be considered worthy of the top 100. Do you think? Seriously don’t try to think of me, think of a quote that you think is pervasive enough in our day and age that it should have been included on the list. “This newspaper contains facts” though said monthly by me doesn’t have the broad range that the quote i am thinking of has.

    BTW I really don’t expect you to cross reference every movie on every list so how about I narrow the list to the 100 passions

  31. itsasecret2u said,

    Dang, I still can’t figure it out. It was going to be “You complete me,” from Jerry Maguire when I first read the top 100 quotes, but then that was nominated. So I have no clue. I also thought of “I am your father,” but that, too, was nominated. I just don’t know…

  32. itsasecret2u said,

    How about “All I could say was hello,” from Sleepless in Seattle AND An Affair to Remember?

  33. Matt S said,

    At least tell me I Got the right movie….

    The Princess Bride

    Miracle Max: “You rush a miracle man, you get rotten miracles.”

    Miracle Max: “Sonny, true love is the greatest thing, in the world-except for a nice MLT – mutton, lettuce and tomato sandwich, where the mutton is nice and lean and the tomato is ripe.”

  34. itsasecret2u said,

    Oh! How about “As you wish,” from The Princess Bride?

  35. danielbalc said,

    congratulations secret. Although Matt deserves some credit for pushing you in the right direction. The quote that I think deserves a spot on the top 100 movie quotes is, “as you wish.” From Princess Bride. Seriously I can’t believe this quote wasn’t even nominated. For proof that this quote has far reaching impact the next person who asks you to do anything respond with, “as you wish” and see if they pick up on what you are saying. odds are they will smile because they know that when you say, “as you wish” what you mean is, “I love you.”

  36. danielbalc said,

    is it just me or has my site gone completely crazy?

  37. itsasecret2u said,

    YAY! Do I get an “A?” Do I get 100%?

    I agree that Matt deserves some credit… but remember, a quote from TPB was in my original 4 guesses as well. πŸ˜‰

    Crazy in what way?

  38. danielbalc said,

    yours is crazy too, you can’t see this?

    No you don’t get an A and certainly not 100% you gave like 8 wrong answers before getting it right. But you do win a lotto scratcher. I’ll give it to your hubby on Saturday. Or if you prefer I can wait till i see you Sunday.

  39. itsasecret2u said,

    DANG IT! I do love my 100%s…… sheesh, I hope you’re never my bible college teacher. I would probably leave your class crying every day… πŸ˜‰

    Crazy in WHAT WAY?? All blogging is crazy, of course.

  40. Matt S said,

    If you are referring to the deep, soul-searching, probing discussions on such topics as “Most underrated movies”, “movie quotes” and “Chargers next head coach” as not being worthy discussion fodder I would disagree.

    In fact, you should blog the relevance or importance of a Christian being up to date with the culture (i.e sports, entertainment, etc…) in which we live. I would love to get the blood boiling on that one.

  41. danielbalc said,

    that’s not at all the crazy I am talking about. I mean the page is literally jacked up with the font size, spacing and colors all mixed around. But I guess since no one else notices this it is just my dinosaur computer.

  42. itsasecret2u said,

    Oh! No, mine was too when Dave was looking at it. But he was on Firefox… do you use Internet Explorer or Firefox?

  43. Pablo Honey said,

    Secret… How do I say this? If you are not using Firefox then you are making a very poor decision. Believe me, page formatting should be the least of your concerns, you should be more worried about the countless hackers who are most likely stealing your identity as you read this through one of the many security flaws in IE. Make the switch to Firefox, trust me you’ll thank me later.

  44. itsasecret2u said,

    Man… you sound like Dave. He’s been trying to convert me for ages. But it’s so hard… Especially since the new IE has the different tabs like Firefox. But now that it’s you, Rube, AND Dave telling me, I guess I will have to be smart and switch. *sigh*

  45. as said,

    Anything from Judge Dredd?

  46. danielbalc said,

    as, brutal.

    secret, i’m using ie if that makes you feel any better. for some reason firefox didn’t work well on vista

  47. itsasecret2u said,

    I bet Microsoft did it on purpose. They are always planning sneaky ways to take over your entire system with their programs. Conspiracy.

  48. Echo_ohcE said,

    But you can still buy a Mac. Not a “trust”.

  49. Franky said,


    So it takes EVERYONE else to convince you to switch to Firefox? Your husband, who works in IT, recommends it and uses it, but do you listen to him? No. πŸ™‚

  50. itsasecret2u said,


    Sorry!! 😦 But my husband, who works in IT, is also prone to flights of fancy… change for the sake of change. I don’t like lots of change. I like to be comfortable. But fine. Can you move my bookmarks from IE to Firefox? Otherwise, how will I check up on Daniel’s Den 47 times a day?

  51. Echo_ohcE said,

    Firefox automatically imports your favorites.

    But you’re not alone, I don’t use it. Same reason. But now that I’ve got IE 7, it feels more like FF, so maybe I’ll switch.


  52. RubeRad said,

    Actually, you don’t want to check on Daniel’s Den 47 times a day using regular old-fashioned bookmarks, navigating to each page to check if there’s something new.

    What you want is Firefox’s “Live Bookmarks”, which automatically detect RSS feeds, and dynamically present updated bookmarks for the latest posts and the latest comments for a wordpress blog. And/or you can use a Firefox plugin RSS aggregator, like Sage.

  53. itsasecret2u said,


    My brain short-circuited about 2/3 of the way through your post. I’m sure my husband knows what you’re talking about… I’ll have him give me a tutorial where I can see it. haha

  54. Echo_ohcE said,


    That goes double for me. What the heck are you smoking?


  55. Pablo Honey said,

    I’m with you Rube. I use live bookmarks in Firefox to track all my RSS feeds including my favorite: Engadget. I also just recently began using google desktop and with the handy web clips gadget I can track all my favorite blogs without even opening a browser!

  56. RubeRad said,

    I thought I told you I don’t smoke!

    Come on a journey with me, and John Lennon: Imagine…

    Consider your current mundane existence with IE: you have bookmarks — or rather not even bookmarks, but because IE’s inferiority complex required them to be different so that people would notice they are not Netscape, you have “favorites”. Perhaps you have one to https://danielbalc.wordpress.com. Once a day (hour, minute…) you reload that page, and see whether there is a new post, and check the “Recent Comments” list to see whether somebody else has had a last word that you need to refute. And you do this for half a dozen (or more!) other blogs too.

    Now Imagine, you go into your bookmarks folder, move your mouse to “Daniel’s Den”, and without even clicking and loading, a submenu opens up showing the 10 most recent posts. Every time there’s a new post, the list automatically updates. Another live bookmark watches “Comments for Daniel’s Den” — again, without loading a thing, you can instantly see who has commented on what threads; any that you recognize are new, you click to load. Any that you recognize are old, you skip over in a tenth of a second, rather than 3-4 seconds to click and load a page. It adds up; when you let the computer do tedious things for you (which is what a computer is for, really), your user experience becomes a better experience.

    The Sage plugin is a tool that basically does the same thing, except it also tracks what you have and haven’t read for you, and shows you new stuff in bold, and it lives in a pane so you can see it all at once, rather than having to go find it in the Bookmarks menu over and over.

    Just think of the most boring, repetitive, mindless activity you have to do with your computer every day — somebody else has also gotten bored of doing that same thing, except that somebody else is a better programmer than you, and has created a tool to automate it. Go find that tool!

  57. Echo_ohcE said,


    I just might do that.

    So I can get up to the minute details about how Blogorea hasn’t had a new thread in a month…a month and a day…a month and two days…



  58. danielbalc said,

    Rube I’m a little bit upset about this idea. It seems like if everybody does what you are suggesting my daily hits are going to go way down because secret and echo will stop refreshing 20 times a day waiting for replies. I need to ego boost of a 400% spike in hits once a week to keep me going. It’s like coffee but without the jitters.

  59. Franky said,


    Try this to get Firefox running on Vista:

    Go to Start > Run
    Type cmd
    At the prompt type: netsh interface tcp set global autotuninglevel=highlyrestricted

    This should make Firefox run on Vista just fine…

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