Today is Wednesday, June 26, 2019


Fred's Views

Where Have I Been?

Being retired isn't all it's cracked up to be. For one thing, I'm just too darned busy! When I was working, I was able to get the job done and still have time to keep my web sites up to date, at least much of the time. Now that I'm retired, I'm frustrated at how far behind I'm getting with my sites. The UsingComputers site hasn't been updated since I retired. And this Blog section hasn't had a new entry, it seems, since the Superbowl where Janet Jackson treated us to a split second of a half-time show that was almost worth watching. That was two years ago, I think.

As I write this, Superbowl forty-whatever will take place this Sunday, about three days from now. I am not a big sports fan. And both of my teams, the Cowboys and the Patriots, disgraced themselves in their playoff losses. So it's probably not surprising that I'm not aware of much Superbowl hoopla this year. But things seem eerily too quiet. Is it because the Superbowl is an "America's Heartland" affair this year? I mean, Chicago is still one of the biggest markets in the U.S. and Indianapolis, while smaller, is still no downtown Grimsby. Where is all the hype?

At our house, we pretty much get all of our TV from our satellite dish. But for the Superbowl, we'll attempt to get it by Antenna - from Buffalo. That way, we'll get all those big, expensive commercials that the satellite cuts out. Of course, if recent trends are any indication, it will hardly be worth the effort. Recent Superbowl commercials have been pretty lame.

On the subject of the satellite (and cable) cutting out U.S. commercials, I'm getting really fed up with the whole thing. Last night, we were tuned to a U.S. channel, yet still had to wait what seemed like forever, perhaps 10 or 15 seconds, before the satellite switched over to the U.S. program. I almost missed what the whole show was about! And after watching Canadian commercials all night, it's a bit of a shock when the 11 o'clock news comes on for Boston!

On a positive Canadian note, I put Season One of Corner Gas on my Christmas list and got it. Up to that point, all I had seen were the promos. I really enjoyed that first season and I will probably snatch up the other seasons when finances permit. I've even caught a current episode or two. It's much easier now that the U.S. networks seemed to have cut their original programming in half.

I don't think I've ever seen so many reruns. Last night, however, there were supposed to be four new shows on at 8 o'clock, 2 at nine and only one at ten (of the shows we watch). It turned out one at least of the "new" shows was a rerun. But it's still a pain to try and organize a schedule that allows me to tape all the shows we want to see sometimes. In previous years, Maritime TV stations aired some of our programs beginning as early as 6:30 pm. Now there's nothing on to at least seven, and less shows that we watch. We can still tape some from the western feeds after 11 pm, fortunately. But we're watching less network TV than normal. Partially, of course, because there's less network TV to watch. Friday has a solid lineup from CBS and some shows on NBC, but Saturday is a real vast wasteland.

About the only new this season shows we watch are Men In Trees and Deal or No Deal, which isn't really new THIS season. Of course, we prefer to watch Deal via tape - it only takes about 15 minutes that way! And if we hadn't taken our cruise to Alaska last August, we probably wouldn't have tuned in for a program called Men in Trees!

We subscribed to TV Guide for years and years. Then they changed their format and the quality of the publication plummeted. Not only did it look poorly printed, but it devoted pages and pages of precious editorial space to useless junk like "fashions". If you're into fashions, buy a fashion magazine, for gawd's sake. Then, they stopped listing stations by their channel numbers. Well, a few of us can't get cable and still use antennae (or satellite). Cable channel numbers are worse than useless to us! We had already decided not to renew our subscription. Then I found out only recently that TV Guide is no more. A victim of the Internet or a victim of its own stupidity?

Where have I been? Well, not in Lewiston where thinks I live. So I get my TV listings from them. You can also get them from (I believe) but Titan tells me if the show is new or not - and it's usually correct, but not last night. I am alive and well and keeping far too busy in my "retirement". I've taken on (I volunteered army style. I really must learn to step backwards.) several new "jobs", none of which pay me any money. If I can't keep this blog up to date, please forgive me. But I'll try.


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