Dear Bob, here are some photos of my life here on the campus of Concordia Seminary. I love kids, working with the grounds crew, swimming, playing with my dog friends, and especially my own family people.
We have the habit of watching a bit of tv when we go to bed at night, news or sports or HGTV, but lately all we're getting on that tv is images broken up into little blocks. This I've learned is called macroblocking. But whatever it is, it's truly annoying and there seems to be no real remedy for it. The signal coming in gets weak and the picture is scrambled. Last night every channel except the 4 local channels were unwatchable. Didn't matter whether the channel was a high def channel or just plain digital.
When I woke up this morning I turned on the tv to see if there was any change and yes, there was. All the channels were working fine. It's just in the evening this happens. Why we pay for that extra required box I don't know.
Lots of tech stories on how to get out from under cable tv with its high bills and lackluster customer service and the most common alternative is said to be Roku and similar streaming video players. With these you can use Netflix for movies, tv shows, YouTube, some sports if you have a subscription.
But what makes me hesitate is the lack of news, most live sports, and the tv shows you get are generally past shows, not the shows being broadcast in live time.
These machines are popular with people who don't care about news and who love movie watching. Maybe I'm wrong and the availability has changed but we're not ready for an entertainment only box just yet.
From Mr. Deeds Goes to Town, an old movie starring Gary Cooper.
"John Cedar: Suppose you just answer, Miss Jane. Now, will you tell the court what everybody at home thinks of Longfellow Deeds?
Jane Faulkner: They think he's pixilated. Amy Faulkner: Oh, yes, pixilated. Judge May: He's what? John Cedar: What was that you said he was? Jane Faulkner: Pixilated.
John Cedar: Now that's rather a strange word to us, Miss Jane. Can you tell the court exactly what it means? Board member: Perhaps I can explain, Your Honor. The word "pixilated" is an early American expression derived from the word "pixies," meaning elves. They would say the pixies had got him. As we nowadays would say, a man is "barmy."
All this as a prelude to our Charter Cable tv image: Pixelated! The images on the screen are caused to be enlarged so far that the viewer sees the individual pixels that form the image, the enlargement having reached the point at which no further detail can be resolved.
Here's what our tv looks like when we try to watch Fox Sports Midwest and the Cardinals game.
And on the FSN on the non high def channel, we get a blue screen which tells us our program should start momentarily. But it doesn't. And it's not only this channel, its many channels.
All this after Charter put us to some effort when they required new boxes for each tv or we'd get nothing. And we'll be paying for this new system and still getting nothing.
It's very frustrating, not to mention time consuming to have to sit on the phone and answer a mechanical voice tell us to go through a series of tests which we have already done.
I may Tweet charter today, it's often the fastest way to get a real answer. This stuff is more than Barmy!
CBS has won the right to televise NFL Thursday night games next season. This is good news for those of us who do not get the NFL Network on their cable line up. It's only a one year contract however, but it appears as though the following years will see the Thursday games on at least one channel we all get in our homes.
For several years I've had the idea that major league baseball national broadcasts were heavy on New York Yankees games and if not them, then the Red Sox. I always thought of this after too many weeks had gone by to prove it, but not this season. I've wasted a bit of my mornings since opening day checking the listings and taking notes. It turns out that my impression was correct.
Here is what April looked like for nationally broadcast baseball games.
April 1. April 2 Yankees MLB April 3 Boston MLB April 4 Boston MLB Yankees MLB April 5 April 6 April 7 Yankees MLB Boston ESPN April 8 Yankees MLB April 9. Boston. MLB April 10. Yankees Boston. MLB April 11 New York Boston MLB April 12 New York Boston fox sports April 13 New York Boston ESPN April 14. off day April 15. -- April 16 Yankees cubs MLB April 17 local games only April 18. Yankees MLB April 19 April 20 Yankees MLB Boston ESPN April 21 Boston MLB April 22 Yankees at Boston. MLB April 23 Boston New York ESPN April 24 New York Boston MLB April 25 April 26 LA at New York MLB April 27 LA at New York MLB April 28 off day April29 Seattle New York MLB April30 Boston Tampa MLB
This is in aid of nothing except that for whatever reason and no matter how good a fan base other teams have, someone at ESPN and MLB believe the rest of us are very interested in the Yankees. I even heard an ESPN commentator say to another commentator, "The Yankees are America's favorite team."
Maybe in the New York metro but I doubt you'll get that opinion in St Louis or Chicago or LA or anywhere else. Maybe in Florida since so many New Yorkers retire down there.
And what about today, May 1? Well, the Yankees gave up the stage for once, but Boston gets it.
Seriously, though. Don't the Yankees have their own broadcast network? Why YES they do.
In other NCAA tournament news from ESPN, only 612 ESPN Challenge brackets out of 11 million had the four last teams correct. I picked two of the 4 Final Four teams but will be going no where.
The original seeds of the Final Four teams-1,2,7,8 At least the 1 and 2 won't play each other until the championship game should they win their semi final games. Which is doubtful seeing how this tournament has gone.
There was a time when CBS basically had only one game on at time and sports fans were bound by whatever game that network chose to show in your area. Now CBS has partnered with a few other cable channels so we're able to see many more. That's a good thing.
But it means searching for the channel number of these extra networks. Here's what I've found. The network numbers are for Charter since those are the only ones I know. If you don't have the high def digital box, I can't find the channel numbers.
CBS 4 or 704
The Billikens of St Louis University will play at 6:20 CST on TNT
Last month a good chunk of the St. Louis side of the river had to have a Charter digital converter box hooked up to their televisions by February 25th or else the only image would be snow. Now the Metro East is under a deadline of this coming Tuesday, March 25th. Some areas have seen their deadline pass as it was this past Tuesday. Lines can be long and I'd guess the weekend will see a lot of people suddenly realizing they need these boxes.