Xfinity X1

After repeated notifications from Comcast (Xfinity) about needing to upgrade my hardware to their overrated X1 system, I finally gave in and had them send me one. Let’s just say I wasn’t all impressed. At first it took a while for it to adjust itself to the signal to even allow setup of the box. After that seemingly straight forward process, I [re-]setup my scheduled recordings I had on my old (reliable) Motorola DVR. Someone will have to explain to me how those could not be transferred over to the new device. From their site you can set recordings on the DVR (old or otherwise). So they knew they were there, but somehow couldn’t figure out the plebeian task copy those settings to a compatible format for the X1 system? Please. I digress. Once I had my recordings scheduled, I thought, “great, I’ll watch them when I get a chance”; typically that’s one the weekend. See, contrary to what Comcast would like everyone doing, I do not sit on the couch after work for hours on end glued to the TV; I have better things to do with my time. So what I usually do is have shows recorded and watch them over the weekend. This is where X1 lost me. It’s Saturday morning and figured I’d watch NCIS which records on Tuesdays. Much to my chagrin it wasn’t in my recorded shows and I know it recorded, because on Wednesday I checked to see that it recorded. I also noticed a bunch of other shows I recorded (like “The Goldbergs”, “NCIS: Los Angeles”, etc.) throughout the week were not there. I thought to myself, that’s odd. Not thinking too much about it, I relegated myself to watching the shows on “On Demand”; with commercials of course. The main reason I record shows is so I can skip the commercials; I’m sure I’m not alone in this. Then on Sunday I decide to watch “Chicago Med”. I took note that along with “Chicago Med”, “Code Black” (yes, I like the medical dramas) was also in my recorded shows. After watching “Chicago Med” and deleting that show from my recordings, “Code Black” up and disappeared too. That pissed me off. Then it hit me: the shows disappeared from my recordings around the time they became available on “On Demand.” That was the last straw for me. I wasn’t going to continue paying Comcast over $200/mo just to watch recorded show from the broadcast networks (ABC, CBS and NBC) that I can get free with a less than $30 HD antenna. Still having the return box and shipping label for the original DVR, I packed both of them and sent them back to Comcast; cutting the proverbial cord. My HD antenna (from 1byone) gets 50 or so stations and would say they come in clearer than the box Comcast provides. Plus, if I want to catch up on shows, I can install an app (except the NBC app, I’ll get into that later) on my Pixel C tablet and cast it to my Chromecast. Yeah, I’m still stuck with commercials that way, but I’m not paying $$$ to Comcast to do that (well, except using Comcast Internet), but certainly not over $200. The NBC app by the way requires you have cable service with Comcast. That’s bullshit if you ask me. I’ve always thought the broadcast networks (already mentioned earlier) were essentially free; you shouldn’t need a cable provider to watch them.

So that’s it, that’s my short-lived experience with Comcast’s X1 system. Cut the cord folks; nobody should 1) be paying that much to watch TV and 2) do people really need 300 stations of which maybe 5 might be watched. An ala carte setup where you can pick what you want is what’s needed. With technologies like Chromecast or Amazons’ FireTV stick, the need for cable companies will no longer be justified. Almost everyone (HBO, Showtime, etc.) has an app and are offering low monthly rates to people without needing a cable providers. As for network shows, if you’re willing to wait a month or two after a season ends, it will likely wind up on Netflix (or Amazon Prime) shortly afterwards and you can watch an entire season in a weekend; without commercials!

And that’s all I have to say about that.

Olympics: Hope Solo

I have the utmost respect for Hope Solo; for a soccer player. She’s awesome goalie for women’s soccer in the U.S. as is clear by her being the goalkeeper for the U.S. women’s national soccer team since 2000 and being a World Cup & Olympic medalist; that’s 16 years. Never one to not speak her mind, Solo pretty much says what she means and almost always means what she says; she also does not mince words. Case in point, what she said of the Swedish team after the U.S’ lost to them in the Olympics; essentially calling the them cowards. I get that she may not have liked the loss, but calling the other team “cowards” (and I realize there was a lot more said in her statement) is being a bit of a poor sport and not in keeping with the comradery that epitomizes the Olympic Games. Sometimes I think Hope needs to use her inside voice, but Hope wouldn’t be Hope if she didn’t speak her mind; raw and uncut.

And that’s all I have to say about that.

Aziz Ansari

Aziz Ansari wrote an Anti-Trump op-ed in the NY Times about his disgust over Trump’s feeling towards Muslims (and basically anyone who is of color). I agree with Ansari’s take on Trump and, myself, view Trump as a despicable human being on many levels (Hillary Clinton is a very close second, and, sometimes, tied). Aziz Ansari can do that I suppose because he’s an elitist multi-millionaire and therefore knows more than us underlings that work for a living. Plus it’s in the NY Times, so there’s that. What I don’t agree with Aziz Ansari on is his clear hypocrisy. He goes out of his way to [rightly] slam Trump for his views, but says nothing about those that commandeered the Islāmic religion that wreak terror across the globe. As a matter of fact, no one, not the media, so-called Muslim leader, political parties, celebrities nor any other group denounces those terrorist organizations. Are they afraid? Another thing I’d like to point out: Aziz Ansari states that he is not a religious person, but identifies himself as a Muslim American. By definition, a Muslim is someone who follows and practices the Islāmic faith; since Ansari does not practice religion, then he is just an American; his parents are Muslim American, but, given that he was born in South Carolina, Ansari is just an American.

And that’s all I have to say about that.

It’s Not About Guns

The tragedy that occurred in Orlando, June 12, 2016 was not about guns, it was about terrorism. Yes, the coward that perpetrated this act was apparently able to buy an AR-15 assault riffle without issue. However, up to that point, he had not broken any laws nor had he been convicted of any crimes and, again, at that time, was not on a watch list. He was on a watch list in 2014 (for the second time; twice as much as 99.999% of the rest of the population), but when he obtained his weapons of destruction, he was not. And even if he was, that would not precluded him from purchasing a gun; there apparently is not tie between the background check (if you can call it that) and a terror watch list and/or no-fly list. Should there be? Yes. Would it have prevented what occurred on this past Sunday? Sadly, no. The assailant had planned this for a while (just ask his wife) and would have found another way.

This was about an weak-minded, brainwashed coward who had known ties to an equally cowardly terrorist group and connection with the U.S. suicide bomber in Syria. He also had a bit of hero-worship with Boston Marathon bombers.

I get that certain religions (Islam is not alone) may have objections to some people’s proclivities or different beliefs, but that does not give them the freedom to assassinate innocent people because of that. People are different, think differently, have different opinions, beliefs and are not always going to agree with everyone elses; just deal with that and move on.

And that’s all I have to say about that.

Dear Media

Please stop. Please stop making martyrs out of these weak-minded, cowards who cause wanton death and destruction of innocent people. Don’t even show their face or mention their name. Doing so only emboldens some other sick individual (or groups) to do the same thing, because they know you will shine a spotlight on them and whatever misguided belief system they may have. Just put up a silhouette with the caption “Unknown Assailant” underneath it. Don’t delve into their past, their family, claimed associations or whatever you think will give you better ratings. What you should do instead is do a story a day for the number of victims that had their lives cut short by some spineless caitiff; in other words, so that you can understand, if there were 49 victims, a story for 49 days covering each victim. Celebrate them.

I’m not saying don’t report the tragedy. What I’m saying is that you should maybe use a little discretion when reporting, instead of the shock and awe you typically do to get higher ratings.

And that’s all I have to say about that.