Category Archives: Rantings

Living without Cable.


So we have been living without cable since the beginning of August. We held onto it the first week of August for Shark Week. Unfortunately, RCN reminded us why we were getting rid of cable…the cable was out pretty much the entire week. But not only was the cable out, the internet was also. The problem was somehow our cable line had been cut so our neighbors were also without cable and internet. It took so many phone calls and visits for RCN to get their act together. I think it took about 3 phone calls before they realized this was not only a problem for us but also for our neighbors.

Now we are happily living without cable, though we do still have internet with RCN. It has been a pretty easy adjustment, mostly due to our sweet set up. Our HD antenna was working great, but after a lot of thought and research I really wanted DVR. It’s so nice to be able to come home in the middle of one your shows and to be able to start from the beginning because it was being recorded.

In July I started doing a lot of reading about how to have DVR without cable. Tivo was the first and most popular DVR product that I saw, but with Tivo we would have a monthly bill. After more research I found out you could make your computer into a DVR. Basically you install a TV tuner into your computer and watch live TV through it with the help of an antenna.

We looked into 2 TV tuners with the best reviews: the SiliconDust HD HomeRun Dual HD Digital TV Tuner HDHR3-US and the Hauppauge 1229 HVR 2250 TV tuner. Both were very similar but we decided to go with the Hauppauge. It was about $100.

So here’s how we set up…we moved my PC into the living room so it could be next to the TV. My PC has Windows 7 on it so it has Windows Media Center. This is pretty much a free program that you run with a TV tuner. It allows you to watch live TV on your PC, you can watch whatever channels your HD antenna can pick up. It comes with a guide and even the option to record live TV. To use Windows Media Center though you need a TV tuner and that’s where Hauppauge comes in.
After a lot of trial and error we have a set up that really works for us. We ended up moving the HD antenna into our bedroom window that faces south. It gets the best reception here. We taped it with clear tape onto the window. It’s not really noticeable with the blinds. Then we ran a TV cable from the antenna to the PC. We had to purchase this cable because we didn’t have one long enough; I think it was about $30. From the PC to the TV we have a DVI to HDMI cable adapter. This was $18.99 at Microcenter. We bought a wireless keyboard to use as our remote. It’s the k400 Logitech. I like it because it’s small and light and works great.

Once everything is hooked up correctly and you install the Hauppauge driver you’re ready to scan for channels using Windows Media Center. We opted not to download the Hauppauge TV guide & program software because we read Windows Media Center was good enough. So the PC receives the TV signal from the HD antenna and over the air channels are projected on the TV from the computer in HD. It was really easy to set up.

After we had all the channels coming in crystal clear I started setting up our recording options. It’s just like a regular DVR you get through your cable box, except this one is already paid off. You can put in series recordings so you don’t even have to think about it your Hauppauge TV tuner and recorder will just record whatever shows you tell it to. Like most DVR offered by cable companies the Hauppauge is a dual tuner so you can record 2 shows at once. It is freaking awesome. The only thing you have to remember is your shows will not be recorded if your PC isn’t on.

So after about 6 months of no cable, do we miss it? Not really. Rather than spending hours watching really bad horrible reality shows or lifetime movies, I find myself doing other things, like watching Netflix. But really it does feel kind of refreshing to not have access to cable. We are still able to watch all of the shows we were watching when we had cable. We record Big Brother, Survivor, Amazing Race and Grimm right now. We have found ways to get access to The Walking Dead, and we are up to date. We have been watching every Bears game live on free TV, as well as a few Hawks games that have been on WGN. We still haven’t tried any of the websites for streaming sports live because it really hasn’t been necessary…but watch out for that blog later.

Actually I think getting rid of cable has made me watch more TV, but better shows. For example if we still had cable I wouldn’t have time to finish series like Breaking Bad, Orange is the New Black and Parks and Recreation. It’s pretty cool and it’s been going very well.

Set-Up Costs:
$70-HD antenna
$120 Hauppauge TV Tuner
$50 extra cables
$40 Wireless keyboard
—Total: $280

Old RCN cable and internet monthly bill $130
New RCN internet bill $28
Netflix $8/month
Amazon Prime-$8/month
Approx.-$45/month for internet and TV services
About $1000 saved a year!

Our HD antenna.
Our HD antenna.


Our new remote the Logitech wireless keyboard.
Our new remote the Logitech wireless keyboard.




Getting Rid of Cable-Part 1-The Thought Process.

July 2, 2013

Three years ago when we moved to Chicago I thought it would be impossible to live without cable TV. Our cable and internet package price made it an easy choice to just keep it simple and keep cable. It was around $80. Within 3 years our cable and internet bill reached $130 (roughly $1500 a year!). Our cable company kept taking away channels and changing the line up and the price kept going up!

We then had a couple stints of weeks at a time with no access to cable or DVR and little help from our cable company. It didn’t make sense to be paying so much for a service that kept going off. It was really getting to me. Half of the time our DVR would freeze and not record a show and we would end up watching shows online anyway.

At the end of June we helped our friends move and they were talking about how they would not be getting cable. Instead they would be using an HD antenna to get their local channels and things like Netflix, Hulu, and Amazon Prime to get other shows. This really interested me because up until now I had not heard of HD antennas.

Pretty much immediately when we got home I started researching HD antennas and thinking about which channels we watched the most. First I had to see if I could live without cable. I made this list:

CBS (can pick up with HD antenna or watch shows on
-Big Brother
-Amazing Race
-Under the Dome

NBC (HD antenna, watch online)

AMC (online)
-The Walking Dead

Sci-Fi (we pretty much watched a whole season online so no problem)
-Being Human

History Channel (can watch on history channel website)
-American Pickers
-Top Shot

Those were our main shows, but then just to embarrass myself….

-True Life
-Teen Moms, other reality shows

-Impratical Jokers

Lifetime (lifetime website maybe)
-Preacher’s Daughters

-My Strange Addiction
-My Crazy Obsession
-Breaking Amish

Channels I will miss but can hopefully find a lot of stuff online…
-Natural Geographic

So those were the shows/channels we (I) were most concerned about. I found out most of our shows were on CBS and NBC and a lot of them were offered on the network’s website. I’ve also learned over time (through my husband) that you can get just about any show online somehow.

The next thing I thought about was Live Sports. The sports we watch the most in our household are College Basketball, NFL and NHL. Most of the Big Ten important games are on basic cable so that won’t be too bad, although with the Big Ten Network this might not be true anymore. It seems like more and more games have been on there.

I found that all the NFL playoff games are streamed online on and they are also on basic cable. As far as I remember this holds true because most Bears games were on basic cable.

Recently in the last few years we have started watching more hockey. Thanks to my dad who is obsessed with the Blackhawks and with us living in Chicago, it’s exciting. Unfortunately most of these games will not be on basic cable. I found some websites where you can stream live sports and hopefully this works for us or we might be hitting up some sports bars once in awhile. So look out for my future blog on live streaming sports.

So once I figured out we were barely using our cable I decided we should go through with this. It’s not that we can’t afford cable, it’s just that the bill is outrageous and hard to justify. That’s money we could be putting into our savings.

So then it was onto researching which HD antenna to get and if we should purchase a streaming application like Netflix, Hulu Plus, or Amazon Instant Video. Check back for all of this in Part 2!

One day I was thinking about life….

My Friend:
read this, its brilliant

Error42: eh but i dont think i equate money to happiness

My Friend: its a blog fool, read the whole article, its about more than that

Error42: yeah yeah im nearing the end

Error42: errr lol wait thats not the end lol

My Friend: lol yeah, i was like uhhh yeah….the article is liek 5 pages

Error42: does this guy have a video cause i cant read all this and work at the same time

My Friend: save it, save the entire thing

Error42: thats why i watch/listen to video

My Friend: im gonna buy the book

Error42: kk linked… thing is… i have a different view about life than most i think

My Friend: no you dont
My Friend: noob
My Friend: 😀

Error42: wow… i really thought.. that my sentance just then was going to spark a very deep conversation about life and my reason for living…. however… your response… kinda killed that with impunity

My Friend: 😀
My Friend: heheheheheheheheh
My Friend: go ahead mr. gopez
My Friend: testify!

Error42: no! i dont wanna anymore.

My Friend: awwwwwwwwwwwwwwwww

Error42: lol

My Friend: 🙁

Error42: eh. its an odd thing really. dont know if i can explain myself very well. … it kinda came about while i was thinking about… a book i was writing

My Friend: figure it out whilst i call swapnil

Error42: figuring out this religion for this book
you know the whole… question about “why are we here” and all that
what is our reason for being
like scientists and all the religion haters.. would call bull shit and all that
evolution and all that right
no god etc etc
there is a philospher who said that the reason for being is doing what an animal does by instinct
like… a bird in the wild… is doing what it was created to do
it lives.. it breads.. and it does what it does… and when you look at the circle of life… you can show exactly how what a bird does on a daily basis.. actually.. is an important part of ecology
same thing with worms right… they do what they do .. and because of it… grass and plants can thrive… birds can eat… etc etc
circle of life and all that right
well i was thinking… well what are the nuts and bolts of man
like what is it that man does
and like if you were to sum it up.. one could say… we create.. and we evolve
more than any animal…. mankind .. has been able to create and change our surroundings… writen language, technology… etc… the whole achievements of civilization… (video game ref)
like thats what man does right
so anyways… i was thinking.. well thats what we do.. but why would we do that?
so i … started thinking about.. God right
and this is sorta where my book comes in
like there is a line right.. that God created man in his own image right
so like why would he do that?
so i was thinking.. what if… there is a god right… but.. he’s just a god right
but its not like… he can do everything right.. but he cant do everything
like what if he just wanted to create… another god so that he had someone to talk to
cause god is by himself right
if there is only 1
anyways … the idea is… that god could not create another god… .for some reason.. that was not allowed
so he instead created man
and gave man .. the ability.. to become gods… but could not just give them.. the power outright… he just came up with this idea that as long as we did it on our own… it was legit
so .. .. the reason… mankind… has this … ability to become more and create.. and change ourselves.. is because thats what we are meant to do
we are meant to evolve… to create technology… and one day.. we will become gods
and then God would be like…. “Dang that took longer than I thought,… so… you wanna play chess?”
and then Man will respond “Meh…. nah…….. checkmate”
ok that last part wasnt really part of my thinking.. but i felt the need to throw it in there.

My Friend: when is your book coming out?

Error42: idk… so anyways… one of the problems with the human race is that… we are divided
but… we recently… created a piece of technology… that should.. bring us to the next stage of evolution

My Friend:
My Friend: 😀

Error42: the idea is that…. its not just one person that is suppose to become god… its that… we all.. are… that .. all of mankind.. is suppose to work together… but we cant work together
i mean.. you hear it all the time… we are connected you know
like my life will effect yours.. and yours will effect others…so and so forth. And if you sat down and wrote down.. everything you’ve ever done.. you’d be able to see… how your actions… changed the life.. of some dude in California… who changed some girl in Japan… who changed some girl in Russia
etc etc right
The Internet… has the ability to.. connect all of us
for the first time in all of our history… we now have the ability to connect to everyone around the world
its the first step… in becoming…. one race.. the human race
sooooo … my reason for being…. is to … somehow… change… humanity… for the better
everything we do….should be… to help evolve mankind… take mankind to the next step

My Friend: mabye you should sharpen your focus
and improve the lives of people close to you

Error42: however…. the problem is.. mankind is broken… we are too occupied.. with our own lives…. i think the WORST idea ever to come into mankinds mind.. is that Life is about Living and having a good time before you die
because…. if we all just cared… about ourselves… and nothing else…. what would be the point of having so many of us to be alive
if that was our reason for being.. than… there would only be one person.. he’d be immortal and he’d be sitting alone masturbating until the end of time
no i dont think we are suppose to live for ourselves…. we are suppose to live for each other
its weird… one thing that is important.. is that.. this way of thinking…is not suppose to replace religions…. there is a common ground that all religions can coexist
the United Nations.. was actually… in my opinion.. a huge step in the right direction… the problem is… the majority of people in POWER… only care about keeping that power… and getting more power…. wealth… and money… greed.. and all that…. so even though the United Nations is an awesome idea… it is hindered.. by other human motivations
religion.. in itself.. is a great idea…. however.. it is controlled by human motivations… so it becomes tainted
like in politics…. politicians.. using religion.. to gain power… this is the opposite of what religion is suppose to do
if you are to say that there is one god… and that one god created all of us humans… than that means he also created all the other religions…. but why would he do that? he wouldn’t do that so that we would kill each other until one religion survived… he did it because he himself is made up of everything… the religions of the world are suppose to come together
i know it sounds like an impossible thing… but then again.. if you believe in god… than you’re suppose to believe in impossible things existing

My Friend: pax

Error42: pax indeed

My Friend: what are you going to do with all of these thoughts and information?

Error42: dont know… currently the only idea that ive had so far… is to write it down
maybe when i get enough money… i’ll figure a way to get on TED and be like…. “yo peep this bitches….”

MLG Columbus Day 1

The game I’ve been waiting for. Millenium Stephano on the main stage. oh man. Stephano 1 – Polt 2. Man Game 1 was a hard battle for Stephano who eventually loses to just too many tanks. Game 2 was a complete turn around totally in favor of Stephano. But in Game 3 Polt pulls some quick unconventional build and Stephano, not having scouted it, gets mowed over. Ugh. So heart wrenching.

Come on Millenium Stephano you can pull though in the lower bracket! I know you can!

I think I need to blog more.

tonight i was bored and curious about something so i had to log onto myspace.  the reason for the myspace log on was to look for something i knew i had blogged about.  myspace has changed  A LOT.  i don’t even know what’s going on with that site!  it looks so different!  does anyone ever use it or look at it?  I haven’t in probably years. but it looks like their blogging is still better than facebooks.

well anyway…i was looking through my blogs for something…and i used to blog  A LOT.  and some of the stuff i wrote i don’t even remember! and as i was skimming through some of them i was like “man i’m glad i blogged about this now i can remember it!”  there were crazy dreams and just random things i did. i wonder if that will be there forever on myspace.  i hope so.  it was like a stupid diary.  a REALLY stupid diary, because i only wrote about mostly stupid stuff.

i should blog more though i guess.  then when my kids are growing up and are like “mom what did you do when you were younger?” i can show them because i know i probably won’t remember.  here kids just read this myspace blog.

i did find what i was looking for though…it was about puzzles.  most of you know mary and i went through a time in our lives where we were addicted to eating lots of junk food, getting drunk, and doing jigsaw puzzles…and i wanted to know how it all started so now i know.

so in tribute to our reunion in the next couple of weeks here is an excerpt from the blog of how all the puzzles started.
this was written sometime in the summer of 2007.

“so i’ve had something on my mind…something that i’ve wanted to get off my chest for awhile.  i dont have anyone in particular i would like to tell this to so i thought i’d just write a blog so that anyone that wanted to could find out.  i have a secret.  it may not be a well kept secret considering that most of my close friends already know (especially mary)  it’s more of an addiction rather than a secret.  well it’s both, a secret addiction.  this addictions started on November 26, 2006.  how do i know this?  because i received a traffic citation on this same day.  i remember me and mary were both very bored.  i mean BORED.  it was a sunday and we couldn’t think of anything to do.  so all of the sudden out of nowhere we decide to do a puzzle.  a freaken jigsaw puzzle…which we had to buy at meijer….which on my way home resulted in a speeding ticket.  this was supposed to be a one time thing but as winter became colder, snowier, and icier…and we had crazy drunken nights…and a lot of free time….we found ourselves wanting to do more puzzles.  so we just started buying puzzles and buying them….(pretty much cleaning out meijer, wal-mart, target and surprisenly k-mart) and when we finished one we would glue it together with puzzle glue…some people may not know but there is such a thing as puzzle glue…and now this addiction has resulted in about 10 glued puzzles stashed under my bed….

puzzles are like a sport except you’re doing probably the complete opposite of most sports by sitting on your ass for hours at a time…eating tons of junk food and sometimes even participating while wasted. ”