The Decision

You’re gonna think I’m strange. In fact, you’re not only gonna think I’m strange, but you’re also gonna think I’m just plain weird. I wouldn’t blame you. If I were you, I’d think the same way. I mean, I typically have a high regard for the decisions I make. I don’t make them in a rash manner. I think about things. I ponder the consequences. And sometimes, I’m slow to act in order to gain the benefit of the doubt.

Cable

Cable

I gotta tell ya, though, for this decision, I dropped the ball.

I know what you’re thinking, “Hey, Jack. For Freedom Friday, don’t you usually write about things that are on your mind? What could be so terrible that you feel you can’t talk about it?”

Good question.

Here’s the thing—a few weeks ago I cancelled cable.

Yeah, I know—big step.

Okay, so maybe I’m exaggerating when I say it was a big step. You have to understand the context from where this decision came. I cancelled cable and got Netflix.

Yikes! And here we go?

“You mean you’ve never had Netflix? What’s wrong with you? Have you been sleeping under a rock? Aren’t you a guy who likes growth? Netflix? You couldn’t afford Netflix? Where have you been?”

Okay, okay. I got the message. Yeah, I’ve been living my life in a box stuck on a shelf. Smack me.

But I have it now. That’s what counts, right?

Good.

Netflix

Netflix

Listen, this isn’t an ad for the service. I’m not going to get a commission or anything mentioning Netflix on my site. But know this—why hadn’t I subscribed to the service earlier? It’s great!

Let’s see, I can choose my shows and add them to a queue, which I find really cool. I can search for movies I’ve wanted to watch but never had the time to fully appreciate. The service makes recommendations based on my viewing habits. It even goes so far as to separate my watch list with those of the other members of my family. They’re not into zombies. That’s a good thing, right?

The best part about the service, and I’m not exaggerating here, is its ability to remember where I left off with a program I was viewing. By far, this has to be the one and most useful feature of the service.

I can begin watching Star Trek: The Next Generation from my TV in the family room, pause the program and continue watching the show on the TV upstairs in our bedroom. Then, if I want, after dinner I can pick up from where I left off on my phone at the kitchen table.

You might consider this a “meh” moment, but you gotta realize I’ve come out of the 20th century by getting rid of cable. Cable, folks. You know—where you only get twenty-eight channels and the best you can come up with for entertainment for the night is some guy balancing a chair on his face while someone’s sitting on it playing a rendition of Ride of the Valkyries on a clarinet.

Anyway, that’s what happened with me these past few weeks while I prep my upcoming book for release on October 20.

What have you been up to?

RANGER MARTIN AND THE ZOMBIE APOCALYPSE, on sale now.
RANGER MARTIN AND THE ALIEN INVASION, on sale now.
RANGER MARTIN AND THE SEARCH FOR PARADISE, on sale October 20.

Have you tried Netflix? What do you think of the surface? It is all that you thought it would be?

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12 Comments

  1. We have cut the cord with cable and I am never going back. There are plenty of options throughout Roku that are free or a small price that have me waving bye to cable.

    Reply
  2. I’m debating doing something similar. I plan to get Netflix and maybe HBO go. Decisions, decisions…

    Reply
  3. I got rid of cable over a year ago. Antenna and Netflix. Don’t miss cable or paying the bill at all. Why pay money for a bunch of channels I don’t even like/watch?

    Reply
  4. I live in a very Rural area. Our high speed internet, is absolutely … Glacial.
    It was a great night if I could watch a movie straight through, uninterrupted.
    For me, Netflix Canada, did not offer anything new or that I hadn’t already seen/wanted to watch.
    We have “peasant vision” in our house. One channel, CTV, is pretty much all I have ever watched.
    We had satellite, for a while, but found that sitting on our keister watching enough tv to justify the cost was; prohibitive, unjustifiable and a huge waste of our time.
    I’ll buy a DVD of a new movie that I want to watch, and then watch it many more times before becoming tired of it.
    Really, just not enough time in the day to watch the boob tube.

    Reply
  5. I think I went through August without changing channels. I don’t watch that much cable TV on TV anymore, at least in the summer. I tend to stream the shows on the network’s website at my convenience or borrow the DVD’s when the whole season is out. Netflix is has some good original shows like Orange Is The New Black and Daredevil. There’s also old favorite shows on Netflix that I like to watch when I’m in the mood … so convenient! Now that Fall TV season is back, there’s some shows I’ll be watching so I can’t say goodbye to cable just yet. 😀

    Reply
  6. All we have is Netflix and Hulu Prime… and that adds up to being like $16 a month and to get cable in our area it costs like $100+ a month… and I didn’t want to watch hardly anything that was on and they didn’t even have good on demand… so if I missed a show well I just missed it… we kept it for like a day before we once more went back to just internet… it’s better… I get to watch what I want when I can… and Netflix is way better because it doesn’t have commercials and you just get to continuously stream your shows… it really spoils you…

    Reply
  7. The best decision I ever made was leaving satellite and getting a Roku box. Not only is there Netflix, but there are free channels too, such as Crackle, YouTube and NowhereTV. So I went from paying $80 a month for basic channels, to paying about $20 a month if you add Netflix, Hulu and Amazon Prime. The days of “appointment television” are long gone, thank goodness.

    Reply
  8. What’s cable? I know, I know. I know what cable is; here in the darker corners of the UK when electricity replaced the gas lamps and the steam trains were converted to diesel cable arrived shortly after satellite.

    Here, we also have a thing called Freeview, which is a miasma of choice; channel upon channel upon channel playing round the clock advertisements, but if you’re lucky you might occasionally find a tv programme about some guy lying on a stretcher with his leg hanging off, or another bald guy shouting because his car conversion is behind schedule.

    For those who want more than round the clock adverts there’s Amazon Prime (so-called because Amazon takes everyone for a prime chump by offering stuff they actually have to pay for in addition to Prime membership); and then there’s Netflix.

    I don’t have Netflix, nor Amazon Prime. I don’t watch Freeview because I’m not interested in adverts. I do subscribe to Cinema Paradiso, the postal DVD hire service, but in the last few months or so I’ve found so much stuff to watch on Youtube that DVDs lie around unwatched for weeks. (I even got an email last week reminding me to send them back if I’ve watched them.)

    Last Tuesday after finishing my volunteer stint at the stately home, I drove up to the Trough of Bowland, had a meal and a drink, did some writing and walked around slowly taking in the eveing air. I could have gone straight home to watch telly, but I’d rather be out away from it all and watch something just before I go to bed.

    Reply
    • Sounds like you had a wonderful evening away from the TV. I can’t blame anyone from staying away it. It’s like a brain suck, but that’s just me. Thankfully, it’s gone now!

      Reply
  9. I canned cable and joined the Netflix mafia many years ago, and was quite satisfied with my decision at the time… But it seems to me like Netlfix has been going down in quality quite a lot over the last six months or so. Shows that were there forever disappearing – sometimes when you’re mid episode, giving a lovely “This content is no longer available” message right as something important is starting – “simplifying” – which is to say, stripping the manner in which I could actually find things I wanted, instead of whatever people on Facebook or Netflix advertising execs want me to watch – the search function and an overabundance of Netflix-produced shows taking the place of the programs I originally subscribed to the service for are beginning to wear on me.
    Don’t get me wrong, it was a good idea, and I think its still got a bit of life in in it, but I think it won’t be too far in the future before Apple, Google or Microsoft come out with something to teach it some proper humility or force it back to the level they used to provide.
    But, if you’re happy with it, that’s what matters. 😄 (And, at the very least, I’m willing to bet that being billed for around $10 is a lot happier than the $60+ the cable probably cost, right?)

    Reply
  10. Ahhh! Welcome to the amazing and addicting world of Netflix, lol. I consume TV the same way I do literature, obsessively. I would much rather wait for a whole season to be out and available to view at my leisure than have to wait week after week to watch it. That being said though, I also have Hulu and get strung along anyway at times. I think the appeal for me to have something like Netflix is that I can say “All right, just one more episode,” which is similar to my compulsion with a good book, where I say to myself, “Just one more chapter, just one more….. (*Glances at clock. It’s 2 am).”

    Reply
  11. Considering you are paying for stuff that is boring and trite, they are squeezing that last buck out of you, squeezing so tight. Do I care for stuff I can later see on Hulu or Youtube at a latter date, I do not know about you but I can wait.

    Reply

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