Thursday, July 20, 2006

TiVo: No, don't cancel!

Shortly after getting HDTV and a HD DVR from my cable company, I realized my TiVo had a short life span ahead of it. Dual tuner and high definition simply are killer features. Everything else, though, the TiVo does better.
Handling a show ending while you're recording it
Handling schedule changes
Season passes are "smarter"
PC integration
Overall interface

In other words, it breaks my heart every time I use the HD DVR instead of my TiVo.

So, after not using the thing for 6 months (hear that? That's 75 bucks down the drain), I called to cancel. I got a very friendly enthusiastic young man who couldn't wait to help me, and made me feel even worse about canceling.

I explained why I had to do it. I talked about HDTV. I mentioned I'd be looking at them again in a few months when Series 3 came out.

And he said, well, Series 3 will be out in a couple months. What if we didn't bill you for a few months, and once it comes out, you can decide whether you want to cancel or not.

Well, fine.

I'm a sentimental sucker. I love my TiVo. Let's hope I don't forget to cancel again in 3 months (or let's hope I get a Series 3 for Christmas...).

Thursday, July 06, 2006

New hobby in the making?

The area where I live now is known for being a haven for sportsmen. They are trying to attract hunters, fishermen, and just plain outdoorsy types. Boating, hiking, fishing, you name it.

Well, on the 4th I got a taste of what it has to offer for people, and I might just be hooked.

We had a medium-sized family BBQ on the 4th, and after a nice little thunderstorm blew through, all the guys in the group (myself, brother-in-law Steve, father-in-law Steve, and nephews Tommy and Joey) got into the kayaks Steve (BIL) had brought and started out from what's traditionally known as "North Pond." We paddled over to where a stream leads to the pond from another one, and headed up that way (going under the very low bridge to do so). Within mere minutes, the road was out of sight, and we were surrounded by reeds, wildlife, and quiet.

Now, I love water. It calms me, the sight of it, the sound of it, the idea of its vastness. But I am not a boat person -- I get seasick quickly. And I am not a fisherman -- haven't fished since I was a kid.

But this trip changed both those opinions of myself. The water was calm, and sitting in the boat was equally calming. And while I am not a legally licensed fisherman, I will admit to taking a couple casts and getting a feel for the rod and reel. Somehow, having something to occupy you in a simple repetitive way made the whole experience even more relaxing.

I returned home after several hours loose and relaxed, if a little sore from paddling. Sunburned, sure, but with a new experience under my belt.

Jess was just saying that it would be nice if we had a hobby we could enjoy together. We're going to give this one a shot -- a place nearby will rent you kayaks for the day for $40, or a bit more for a two-seater. We're gonna check it out, see if it's something we both enjoy.

Who knows, maybe I'll be posting about my exploits across the streams of Worcester County before long....