I Should Write a Blog

I've been posting to Facebook with some frequency the past few weeks, my latest post drew a casual comment about "thanks for the blog" and then my daughter chimed in with a "you should write a blog."

This is my first attempt, playing with the google blogger tools to see what I see. This is very much a work in progress, well really more of an experiment, to see what I shall see.

Wednesday, January 9, 2019

Cord Cutting: Prototype

My proof of concept system turned out great.  I demonstrated to myself, at least, that I could bring in more channels than I could possibly want with an inexpensive antenna literally laid on a bed connected to a TV in an upstairs bedroom.  My signal from ABC, CBS, Fox, NBC, PBS, UPN & others was crystal clear in this configuration.

Still, there are some potentially interesting hurdles to overcome to actually have an OTA system that would make me comfortable with becoming a cord cutter.  Chief amount them:
  1. Does the existing house cable complex work? 
  2. Is TiVo viable for my hypothetical setup?
  3. Do I need a Skinny Cable Subscription?
  4. What are the actual economics?
  5. When can I cut the cord?
I have opted to address the first two questions by building a prototype system that can exercise the key elements of those issues.

Monday, January 7, 2019

Cord Cutting: Verizon - Tegna Spat

This past December 31st, sometime in the late afternoon the CBS signal carried by Verizon FIOS replaced the CBS feed with a looping "commercial" giving Verizon's side of a corporate dispute between themselves and Tegna a corporation that owns at least three stations:
  • WUSA (9), the CBS station in Washington DC,
  • WVEC (13), the ABC station in Norfolk, and
  • WGRZ (2), the NBC station in Buffalo.
Access fees appear to have been at the heart of the conflict.  Tegna wanted more money from Verizon to allow the carrier to distribute their signal to Verizon customers than Verizon was willing to pay. 

The result of this corporate battle is the blocking of the network feed that carries popular shows such as the Big Bang Theory, NCIS and NFL Football just as playoff season began.

Saturday, January 27, 2018

Investing in Mutual Funds: 101

A friend recently asked me my thoughts on mutual fund investing, seeking advice on how to build a portfolio.  Rather than just give him some notes, I choose to right a post so that anyone can see my approach.  It's certainly not perfect.  I strive for simple and easy to manage.  I do not chase the latest fad.  I talk only about mutual funds, the same thing can be accomplished with ETF's purchased through a broker, direct mutual funds save a middle man, they are easier, if you don't have a broker.  

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Happy Birthday, Littlest One!

Birthday cards have sure changed.  When I was growing up, my parents would give me a card, without failure, every year on my birthday.  I rarely really wanted a hallmark card, they all said the same thing, a good message, but the same.  A few of them survived my youth to make it into a keepsake box that I will always treasure, mostly because my mom and sometimes my dad picked them out signed them and gave them to me. Today, cards are becoming a thing of the past, often replaced with a quick post on Facebook or other even more passing wish.