Monthly Archives: July 2013

Cutting the Cord – Life Without Cable – Post Wedding Edition

One of the ongoing posts on this blog is how I’m coping without cable television and what I’m doing to pass the time. At this point, I’m now over 12 months without cable. This is a direct savings of at least $720 (minimal savings of $60 per month). I also have no added costs because I subscribed to Netflix and MLB.tv while I had cable.

Here is the list of what’s been keeping me busy.

MLB.tv

Even though my favorite team is on pace for their third 90+ loss season, I still love watching baseball. Lately I haven’t been watching as much as I’d like because the Minnesota Twins have been on the west coast, which means 10pm start times. That’s too late for me. I hope to pick back up this week now that they’re back in the central time zone

Orange is the New Black

Netflix has knocked their original programming out of the park. The next three entries are all Netflix exclusives. Orange is the New Black is based on the book by Piper Kerman titled ‘Orange Is the New Black: My Year in a Women’s Prison.’

I’m continually amazed by the high production value to the Netflix series. This felt like it could have been on HBO or Showtime without missing a beat (As it should because it was produced by Jenji Kohan who was a part of Weeds on Showtime).

My wife and I completed the entire series in 6 days after we returned from our Honeymoon. Netflix has already picked up a second season so this is definitely worth checking out.

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Arrested Development

Arrested Development remains the greatest television show ever. There was no way that season 4 could live up to the lofty expectations so I was glad to see the show take a different approach. While the new episodes weren’t nearly as good as the originals, they are still funny, well written and worth watching. So far, my favorite episode is episode 5 that focuses on Tobias (titled: A New Start). This makes the list for a second time due to the rewatchability of the episodes.

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House of Cards

I got hooked on House of Cards a new months ago. This was my first exposure to a Netflix original series. The series focuses on House of Representative Frank Underwood and the shady dealings of Washington DC. Kevin Spacey knocks it out of the park and Kate Mara was fantastic.

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Other Shows I’m Watching

Breaking Bad – Just watch it, it’s awesome. You won’t be disappointed.

Quantum Leap – Still Awesome

Scrubs – I would like to propose that we strike the last season from the record like it never happened (The Jar Jar Binks treatment). Other than that, I could watch scrubs all day long.

Futurama – I’m so sad that this got canceled again because it’s such a great show. Hopefully it’ll come back again in a few years.

If you are thinking of ditching cable or have any television show recommendations, drop a note in the comments.

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West Virginia Summed Up by a Chinese Restaurant

As I may have mentioned previously, my new wife and I spent a year apart from each other while she completed a one year residency in Charleston, WV. This led to lots of driving back and forth to see each other. I don’t think either of us were prepared for the culture shock. I’ve thought many times of writing a huge blog post on the pros and cons of West Virginia and what steps the state could take to come back in line with the surrounding states in terms of education and jobs. However, I feel like that could be a full time blog in and of itself. In the words of Sweet Brown…. “aint’ nobody got time for that.”

Some of my my negatives of West Virginia are that the vast majority of businesses don’t have websites (it was incredibly difficult finding an apartment and restaurants), the state as a whole is uneducated, the communities don’t believe in sidewalks (This could be one of the reasons that WV ranks as the 3rd fattest state), and the entire town of Charleston and the surrounding area appear to have been built and designed without any semblance of zoning or planning. It really felt like going to a different country.

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I don’t want to come off too negative because on the whole, the people of West Virginia were incredibly friendly and we met some wonderful people who we hope to have in our lives for many many years. The surrounding nature and outdoor life is incredible. It’s no wonder the Boy-scouts moved their National Jamboree to the state.

I was trying to think of a good way to articulate our year in West Virginia. My first thought was to dig up some Hunger Games quotes when they refer to District 12 (which they mention in the book is located in Appalachia) and compare to our experiences. However, on our last week there, a Christmas miracle occurred. My father-in-law and I went to get Chinese take-out and the restaurant had a huge sign on their window touting that they are ‘The only 3 1/2 star Chinese Restaurant in all of West Virginia.’

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Obviously, this brings up many many other questions…. such as:

  • Are there other Chinese restaurants rated higher and China Chef was the only one to receive 3 1/2 stars?
  • How many possible stars are there?
  • What non-Chinese restaurants are rated higher?
  • Who gave this rating?
  • Are they done trying at 3 1/2 or do they want to go for the 4th star?

Like the Chinese Restaurant…. West Virginia left us with a lot of questions and  few answers.

If you have any answers or want to weigh in on West Virginia, feel free to drop a note in the comments.

My First Morning Run

I don’t want to kid myself. With my recent wedding and honeymoon… I haven’t made it a priority to run or exercise. In fact, I’d bet with all the eating and drinking at restaurants and the wonderful cooking by my wife, I’ve put on at least 5-10 pounds. Before I balloon up to 200 pounds, I figured I need to do something to stay in shape and I’d pick up running again (I’ve gone on exactly one run since June 21.) The problem with this is that I hate summer running because of the heat, which leaves my only options as night running or morning running.

In a perfect world, I’d get home, simmer down a little bit, then grab my weimaraner Tobey and go for a run in 60 degree weather. Unfortunately, the temperatures have been in the 90’s lately in Columbus. At this temperature, I don’t feel comfortable taking Tobey out because I don’t want him to burn his paws on the pavement and I don’t want him to suffer from heat exhaustion. Night running isn’t a great option because I like to see where I’m stepping. This leaves as the morning as the best time to run. I’ve never done morning running so this is a whole new experience for me.

Today was our first attempt at morning running. I woke up a little before 6am and it took me about 20-30 mins to rally to actually leave the house. The run was a good experience. We ended up running 2.7 miles at a decent pace. The splits are below:

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The lesson I realized is that not running in three weeks will take it’s toll. Going forward, the plan is to do a morning workout 3-4 times a week. We’ll see if it sticks…. otherwise, I may have a weight loss blog in the future.

Editors Note: This comic came out while I was writing this – http://theoatmeal.com/comics/running …. definitely worth checking out and makes me want to get back on the horse tomorrow

If you have any tips for early morning workouts, please feel free to drop a note in the comments.

 

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My Beautiful Bride

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