Hey Cable Guy – You’re on Probation!

I am a long-time cable television subscriber – about 35 years. I’ve gone through the never-ending changes in cable companies here in Montana (we should be given a medal). They all promise in some way that they are providing me “with the very best products at the very best value.”

Charter is just the latest company to offer cable, internet, and phone service in Montana.

I’m a television and internet guy – and I’ve got the belly and the large butt to prove it! All I want is to turn on my TV and click on Google Chrome and have them work. I watch mostly sports and news – and I watch movies over Netflix and catch up on some shows via the internet. One of the main reasons I am keeping my cable is because I watch a lot of football and football is on ESPN, NFL Network, and Fox Sports – all of which I need cable or I need to switch to satellite service.

I officially placed Charter on probation a month or so ago when my cable was out. I told the nice lady from Charter that I was tired of them squeezing every last dime out of me. My cable was quickly fixed. While I was on the phone, I also pointed out that one of their websites said certain channels were “Included in All TV Packages” and that I was not getting these channels. She told me that service in Montana was different and I said something like, “You can’t be serious.” A few days later, I was surfing and those channels were now showing up on my television.

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The Real Thing

I’d like to buy the world a home
And furnish it with love
Grow apple trees and honey bees
And snow white turtle doves.
I’d like to teach the world to sing
In perfect harmony
I’d like to buy the world a Coke
And keep it company
That’s the real thing.

Many readers may remember that catchy song from the 1970s. You can watch the video HERE. I was around in the 1970s and don’t remember the commercial getting much, if any, negative comments. There were boys and girls, blacks and whites, and people from all over the world in the video.

They performed the song in English.

Coke released another advertisement on Super Bowl Sunday with people singing “America the Beautiful.” They performed the song in different languages.

Watch and listen to it here:

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Duck Dynasty: Quack Quack

The cable network A&E suspended Phil Robertson of Duck Dynasty fame a few days ago after the reality television star made some disparaging remarks about homosexuality that were published in GQ magazine.

In my life I’ve heard people say some pretty ignorant things that have gotten them in trouble with the public, with their constituents, and with their employers. Believe it or not, I’ve said some pretty stupid things myself. I even worked for a few people who said ignorant things that landed them in hot water.

I hunted ducks as a kid, and I listened to my dad’s 33 1/3 rpm record about duck calling.  I practiced enough with my duck call that ducks actually came when I called them. I never knew someone could make millions from making duck calls. I think I missed out. It seems that Duck Dynasty stuff is everywhere these days.

The Duck Dynasty show is not on my regular schedule so I watch it when I think about it. It is funny – and their life story is remarkable. The first time I watched it I thought that down the road they would probably crash and burn because people probably won’t understand the Robertson family and their beliefs.

Several folks said that Phil Robertson suffered an attack on this freedom of speech rights. These people are wrong. I don’t think Robertson had his free speech rights attacked. Phil Robertson has a right to his opinion – and he has a right to express it. He did. His employer, A&E, did not like what he said, so they suspended him.

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ESPN: C’Mon Man!

There are 24 Football Championship Subdivision (FCS) (Division I-AA) teams that will play for a national championship. The champion in this division is actually decided on the field. The games start this Saturday, November 30, and the championship game is set for January 4.

The Big Sky Conference has four teams in playoffs: Eastern Washington, Northern Arizona, Montana, and Southern Utah.

That was the good news.

It looks like most of games are scheduled to be carried on ESPN3, which severely limits who can view the games. Here in Montana, my cable companies (Bresnan – Optimum – Charter) have changed so much who knows if I can even access ESPN3.

The same situation happened back in 2011. Fans across the nation banded together, and ESPN put the games on pay-per-view, which was a nice compromise. I wrote about that situation HERE and HERE.

They need to at least do that again.

If you are a football fan, you need to get involved. Here’s how:

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Changes in the Empire?

Fox News pretty much controls cable news, but there might be a crack in their armor. O’Reilly, Hannity, and Van Susteren pretty much destroy the competition in the evening on cable news. Even the replays of their earlier shows later in the evening normally beat the competition soundly.

So why tinker with a successful thing? Some believe Fox News is losing the all-important viewers between the ages of 25-54 and that is the reason for the change.

Fox News lost me years ago.

It appears that Fox News star Megyn Kelly is moving to primetime and will possibly take over the 9 p.m. (eastern) slot currently occupied by Sean Hannity. Nobody really knows where Hannity will go. I suspect that Van Susteren will move to another spot in the day, and Hannity will take her slot, but that is just my idea. It would make sense to put Kelly in between O’Reilly and Hannity. It would be a ratings bonanza for Kelly. Maybe Fox News needs more moderation during that time. Kelly would be more moderate than Hannity.   Continue reading

Stung by a Sting

I’m a channel surfer, but when I happen to see an episode of the long-running TV show “Cops” I have to stop what I am doing to watch it for a few minutes. This fall “Cops” starts season 26, so many other people must like it, too. Maybe we think we’ll see someone we know or maybe a relative! With 26 seasons, we’ll be seeing the show for the rest of our lives. Now we have “Cops Reloaded” for our viewing pleasure.

I also watched the show “To Catch a Predator” when it was on. Law enforcement personnel would set up an internet sting operation and lure male adults to a house. These men were lured into the trap because they were hoping to have sex with an underage girl in the 12-15 age range. The men knew the age of the person they were meeting long before they arrived at the house from their internet chat sessions.

“To Catch a Predator” placed hidden cameras around the house and lo and behold some idiot would show up at the house to have sex with an underage girl. They would not only get busted by the police, but they would be guest stars on reality television. I always wondered how they explained their actions to their wives, children, and their bosses.

These two shows enlightened us to the fact that people can do really stupid things – and sometimes alcohol and drugs are not even used. They also showed us how creepy and sick some people are – and that the world is a very dangerous place especially for our children.

The Great Falls (MT) police department along with state and federal law enforcement agencies recently conducted a similar sting operation.  Continue reading

Dear Dallas: Only You Can Stop the Madness

With just a few hours before the tip-off of the NBA Finals I, along with several (shall I say million) other fans, want to see the Dallas Mavericks put an end to the Miami Heat’s run (purchase) of an NBA Championship.

It may be too late.  I was pulling for the Heat to lose in the first round and then I would have loved to hear the cries of “They are a bust” rolling in from around the country.  But they did not lose.  They also beat my Boston Celtics and made them look old during the Eastern Conference semifinals.

So here we are just a few months after Jame$, Bo$h and Wade decided to $tick together to win an NBA Champion$hip and they are only four games away from succeeding and doing irreparable harm to the NBA.

Somewhere Jordan, Bird, and Magic are thinking “What if we…?”

If the Miami Heat succeed in winning the championship, we can look forward to seeing several trios of players putting together packages to sell – we may see it happen in Middle School, High School and College, too.

Full Disclosure:  During my eighth grade intramural basketball draft, I told two really good players to go home and I would put their names on the draft board and draft them – a package deal.  We won the eighth grade intramural championship that year because nobody knew these players were good – so they did not draft them.  I always felt bad about that just as James, Bosh and Wade will if they win the NBA Championship.

We’ll also probably end up seeing some of these “great players” start their own cable/satellite channel to sell their deal (a la The Decision) because ESPN received some big ratings for the show (and lost some credibility).

It was self-serving to say the least and LeBron made Clevelanders cry…and forget Elway.

So Dallas, it is up to you to put an end to this madness.

I’ll be cheering for Dirk Nowitzki, Jason Kidd, and the boys to win it all.  I want to see little Jose Barea slice and dice through the Miami players and be like a piece of jello when cornered. I want to see Jason Terry and Peja Stojakovic rain threes like a thunderstorm on the Texas Plains.

And yes, I want to see Dallas owner Mark Cuban get his ring.

I also want to see Clevelanders smile…

The 2010-11 NBA Finals airs on ABC starting tonight at 7:00 p.m. Mountain Time.