Glad to have you here but remember, you could be spending your time more wisely. Family, friends, maybe even your job if you are really pushed for something to do. David also writes the Building Our Home Blog as well as the wildly popular Dave’s Mindscape

Monday, February 29, 2016

I Don’t Like Sports

I Don’t Dislike Them

When I was younger and the NHL had fewer teams than a carton had eggs, we would gather with friends from down the lane and watch Hockey Night In Canada. I even played some sports.
It was fun.

Years on, when people gather for the Big Game, I don’t.

Whether it is the Grey Cup, the Super Bowl, the Gravy Boat or any other serving piece, I am not watching.

Sure I’ll gaze at the screens in Burger World as I anticipate my food. Usually sports is playing, but I watch the commercials with the same level of interest.

Here is Where I Make the Leap

I don’t want to make you any more paranoid than you already are but you are being watched.

Every time you buy something with a retailer’s “Loyalty” card, that information is recorded.

Sometimes this is good. The retailers know what to stock and when to stock it.

Sometimes it is just weird.

You start noticing that ads for (insert product here) that you bought in a real store start showing up on your Facebook feed and your Google-ing.

Seems a little creepy

I am not upset that “They” have the ability to connect the purchases I make in a bricks and mortar store to my online presence.
What bothers me is...

They Don’t Use the Info

My cable provider lists around 500 channels and tells me that I am getting a deal by them bundling a bunch of stuff I never watch.

I watch 13 channels and some of those rarely.
So their offering does not reflect my wants as a consumer. 
You know, one of the people who keep them in business. 
They even had a robo-telemarketer call me and it spoke French. I didn’t mind the language but as they had asked me to choose my preferred language in the profile they keep on customers, you’d think they’d use the information.
(Now I am paranoid. Yesterday I emailed the cable company about the mandatory March 1st 2016 (tomorrow) basic cable offering, and now none of my channels are working, just a “ONE MOMENT PLEASE This channel should be available shortly”. Still no reply to the email).

The other place the data is not being used is on my news feed in Facebook. It is not Facebook’s fault that Yahoo fills my page with sports stories but Yahoo should certainly take an interest in what their viewers want although the way Yahoo is going, it may not matter.

In Closing:

If you collect the data, use it. 
If you want to remain relevant, collect the data.

Amazon – I am no longer looking for that laptop battery.

Cable company – I do not watch sports, 99% of reality TV, any programming that is not English (except some Kung Fu movies) nor do I care about HD or 4K or 3D TV.

Yahoo – No sports please and good luck.

You can buy a sun flowery mug for your Maxwell House or Tetley tea here...

Saturday, February 13, 2016


I like quiet.

You might not think so because I usually have the TV on as background sound. 
Mostly the Weather Network playing quietly.

I do like loud music. Any kind of music as long as it is Rock. 

To quote someone’s photoshopped poster of the Dos Equis guy,

“I don’t always listen to Lynyard Skynyard, but when I do, so do my neighbors”.

But I do really like quiet.

Recently I was sitting listening to the wood crackling in the wood stove, the cat snoring, the wind blowing in off the frozen lake.
It was -41C 
or -41.8F with a wind chill of -51C  or -59.8F.

The sun was streaming in through the windows.
Unlike Edgar Allan Poe's "The Raven", it was not a midnight dreary, so I was surprised that the haunting started.

Dong dong dong dong.

It was like an old time sailing ship’s bell sounding out on the water.

It stopped.

It started again a few minutes later, and stopped.

This happened on and off for a while and I started to wonder if it was some emergency warning system on the TV.

I turned off the TV. *

Dong dong dong dong.

My cell phone beeps and bops at me regularly so I turned it off.

Dong dong dong dong.

I unplugged the DVD, cable box and microwave oven.

Dong dong dong dong.

I started for the router and modem when it happened again.

Dong dong dong dong.

The ghostly bell was tolling behind me. In my bedroom!

My mind felt some measure of relief as I remembered that I kept old cell phones in a drawer, as you do. It was probably an old reminder chiming on one of them.

I looked. All of them had absolutely no battery life.

Dread crept back into my mind as I imagined unnamed spirits returning to this plane. What could they want with me?

Dong dong dong dong.

I jumped and turned all in one motion ready to vamoose.
Then I saw it.

My old Blackberry tablet that I use as an MP3 player.
Apparently it has a low battery alarm. Dong dong dong dong.

Your old technology will return to haunt you when you least expect it.**
At least it won't molt.

*   my wife once turned off our old TV. It never turned on again. I don’t like to take the chance.
** not that you would expect to be haunted, would you?

You might want to buy US postage so in keeping with the bird theme...

Moderation Postage
Moderation Postage by damccaskill
Design your own personal photo stamps from Zazzle.