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Comcast is Gone
Oct 31st, 2009 by Mike

The 1.8 year old TiVo HD finally started to look like it was recording, but actually dropping programs around the 1 minute to 11 minute recorded mark. I wasn’t sure whether it was the hard disk in the TiVo, the external hard disk, or Comcast signals. Not wanting to spend a bunch of money to find out, we switched from Comcast to Dish. Since the DVR service with Dish is less than the TiVo service, and the actual Dish service is cheaper than Comcast, we’ll be saving the big bucks.

I also switched our high-speed Internet service from Comcast to CenturyLink. It’s no longer required that  you subscribe to local phone service in order to get DSL. Good deal. The DSL will be about the same as cable after the discounted price expires after a year.

So far things are working superbly and we’re learning the new system.

I’m officially retiring the static page titled “Comcast Saga” effective immediately.

© 2009, J. M. Erickson. All rights reserved.

Inflation
Mar 28th, 2009 by Mike

Last month Comcast changed their bills to full color. This month they raised their rates.1 I guess they figure if they look cool we won’t notice the rate increase.

© 2009, J. M. Erickson. All rights reserved.

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  1. Perhaps to pay for the full color. []
Begging The Question
Jan 16th, 2009 by Mike

One thing that irks me is talking heads completely butchering the English language. Many times they take a term that means one thing then use it incorrectly to mean another. For example, the word momentarily means for a moment. How many times a day do you hear an announcer say, “We’ll be back momentarily?” The announcer means in a moment but is actually saying for a moment.

One phrase that talking heads misuse that really annoys me is begs the question to mean asks the question. In fact, begging the question is a logical fallacy wherein the arguer tries to prove a point by relying on a premise1 that proves the point. Here’s what Wikipedia has to say on the topic.

In logic, begging the question has traditionally described a type of logical fallacy … in which the proposition to be proved is assumed implicitly or explicitly in one of the premises...

In contemporary usage, “begging the question” often refers to an argument where the premises are as questionable as the conclusion.

In popular usage, “begging the question” is often used to mean that a statement invites another obvious question. This usage is stated to be incorrect in The Oxford Guide to English Usage, 1st edition; “raises the question” is suggested as a more appropriate alternative. Improper usage of the term may to some observers make the user appear uneducated; this is presumably the opposite effect the user intends by using the term. [Emphasis mine]

Are you surprised the talking heads get stuff like this wrong?

© 2009, J. M. Erickson. All rights reserved.

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  1.  something assumed or taken for granted []
American Idol
Jan 13th, 2009 by Mike

The new season of American Idol begins tonight with four hours of programming over the next two nights. Mrs. Major and Son Major enjoy this show. I use the show as an opportunity to read or fool around on the computer.

Kevin McDonough, in his column “Tune In Tonight,” sums the program up very well:

With its endless hours of idle chatter and forgettable patter, “Idol” was made for the fast-forward button. I tend to speed over the obviously horrible performances, the banal travelogue and practically every segment featuring Ryan Seacrest. Technology can be a wonderful thing.

I say, “Just saying, ‘no,’ can be a wonderful thing.”

© 2009, J. M. Erickson. All rights reserved.

Hog Heaven
Aug 8th, 2008 by Mike

 

Hog Heaven 

Hog Heaven

I’m with Scoop. Big Screen TV + DVR + Olympics = Hog Heaven.

© 2008, J. M. Erickson. All rights reserved.

Frozen Dinners
May 4th, 2008 by Mike

“If it weren’t for Philo T. Farnsworth, inventor of television, we’d still be eating frozen radio dinners.” –Johnny Carson

© 2008, J. M. Erickson. All rights reserved.

Al Boliska Quote
Jul 24th, 2007 by Mike

“Do you realize if it weren’t for Edison we’d be watching TV by candlelight?” –Al Boliska

© 2007 – 2008, J. M. Erickson. All rights reserved.

Kurt Vonnegut Quote
Jul 15th, 2007 by Mike

“Thanks to TV and for the convenience of TV, you can only be one of two kinds of human beings, either a liberal or a conservative.”

© 2007 – 2008, J. M. Erickson. All rights reserved.

Blind Following
Aug 18th, 2006 by Mike

Thanks to all of you who responded to What Do These Articles Have In Common?.

Very good, folks. My Dau emphasizes blaming external sources for lack of personal responsibility; Bonnie quotes her Grandma who says, “we’re all going to hell in a handbasket;” Scoop encouraged me to change the posting category to “Obvious” subfolder “Dah!” Vicki (Kiki) asks, “Where’s the parents’ responsibility in all this?” All cogent replies. Proof positive that intelligent people read Major Mike’s Musings

Way back when, when Mrs. Major and I taught 9th grade Sunday school class at Chapel Rock Christian Church, we had a discussion about how the TV program, Beverly Hills 90210, was an undue negative influence on the class. (Maybe Kiki will remember that discussion). The students maintained that (1) the program did not put Christianity down, (2) promoted some moral issues, and (3) didn’t influence anyone who was smart enough to know the difference between TV and real life. It was just entertainment, after all.

Fast forward to the era of the three articles. Now we have three instances where the culture is exerting unhealthy influence on its partakers, in these instances soda, raunchy sex music, and gangsta rap. Couple this influence with the denial of those influenced that they are being influenced and you have a recipe for deleterious behavior change. While teens are extremely susceptible to cultural influences because they are seeking acceptance and independence, adults are not immune.

Also notice that those who profit from these influences–Soda companies, the music business, game makers, movie companies, television networks–all deny that their product has a negative affect on the product’s users. We, my readers and I, all say, “Duh! Everyone knows that if you drink a bunch of sodas all the time you’re going to gain weight. If you listen to music that promotes sex or violence, you’re definitely going to be desensitized to sex and violence.”1 Somebody out there must be buying the hogwash. Why else would it still be there? Maybe they don’t buy it, but don’t care about the consequences. Then again, maybe they’ve figured out how to blame someone else besides themselves.

© 2006 – 2008, J. M. Erickson. All rights reserved.

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  1. Thanks, Dau []
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