Monday, November 11, 2019

No Thanks Needed and Changing Lanes

I was telling a friend today that I'm somewhat self-conscience when anyone thanks me for my military service (not that it happens very often) because I didn't enlist out of a sense of patriotism. I enlisted because I was a kid who had no plan but knew enough that I couldn't continue working dead-end jobs. I don't think I should be thanked for that. Enlisting in the Navy was simply a card I played from a hand that made little sense at the time. But it was a good card to play and I'm grateful I did.

I wrote about my decision to commit to a 4-year enlistment six months out of high school in a series of blog posts beginning with this link. It was an enjoyable series of posts to write as I recalled so many memories (aided by a journal I'd kept) from my time in the Navy.

I'm not much for expressions of patriotism but that's just me. I respect those who feel otherwise. Still, thanks to all who have served and thanks to their families for keeping the home fires lit in their absence.

My brother Keith and his business partner are in the process of closing their cabinet business after some 30 years together. They sold the building they work out of last week and will continue making cabinets in their same location for another 6 months while they look for a buyer for the business. I'm happy for them both. Keith is the hardest working guy I've ever known and I'm glad that he's going to be able to move over into a slower lane for a change. He's earned it.

I took part in Random Relay 2.0 last Saturday morning at the West Lake Marion single-track MTB trails with the guys from Silver Cycling and others. It was a relay race put on for the purpose of raising money for trail grooming equipment for the WLM trails. It was a lot of fun—so much fun that I have no idea what place our team finished in.

That's all I've got









Sunday, November 3, 2019

Halloween Cuteness and Cutting the Cable


We had 44 little ones ring our doorbell Halloween night. That's up quite a lot from last year when we only had 33. I find them all to be so adorable. The highlight of our night was a group of 4 girls (3-4 years old) who paused in front of our inflatable Dracula to wait for him to show his face. They screamed and laughed when he did then waited for him to make another appearance. It was so cute to watch. (Thanks for the photo, Natalie.)

We received our bill from Spectrum Cable (formerly Charter) in the mail this week. Our monthly rates had risen from $248 to $262 for our not very extravagant cable package. This most recent increase was the one that finally put us over the edge and prompted us to call and cancel our cable service (we'll remain with Spectrum for the internet). We've been toying with the idea of leaving Spectrum for more than a year but the inconvenience of switching over to some other form of service or provider seemed daunting.

It wasn't at all.

I disconnected all 6 of our cable boxes and Tammy and I brought them over to Spectrum's outlet on Friday morning. We then went to Best Buy and purchased a bunch of Roku Streaming Sticks for $45 each that allow us to stream to all but one of our TV sets. It's a much simpler process than I was expecting it to be. We couldn't be happier having made the switch.

If you're considering cutting the cable, take a look at YouTube TV. It's a little more than $50 per month and it provides us with pretty much all of the programs we were enjoying before with Spectrum—plus, the service provides unlimited storage for recording shows. Our bill is now closer to $113 per month than the $262 it would've cost us to remain with Spectrum (not including Netflix, Amazon Prime, Hulu, and HBO Now which we already had. This is just an apples to apples comparison using YouTube TV in place of Spectrum Cable.)

I was going to spend the afternoon working in the yard vacuuming up leaves but an invitation to golf proved too strong to turn down. I met Steve at Oneka Ridge Golf Course late this morning for 21 holes of golf. We extended our stay by 3 holes because it was too nice out to call it quits. That will likely be Steve's last time on the links this year but I'm hoping to get out one last time tomorrow at Crystal Lake. I called and they said they'd be open tomorrow but that it's anybody's guess after Monday. My rider works fine in the dark.

I finally made it back to the trails at Murphy Hanrehan Park earlier in the week. I was so overdue for some time there. If I wasn't into golfing I'd likely spend more time there but the increased chance for an injury (I have some history in that regard) to sideline me from golfing is always a looming thought when I'm riding singletrack. Golf is winding down now so it's time to take advantage of this remarkable mountain bike playground 6 miles (10 km) from home.

That's all I've got.