Mar 29, 2017 - Thoughts    No Comments

Cut The Cord

So, I’m sure you have heard of people “cutting the cord” which basically means cutting off your cable and watching shows through other resources. We’ve wanted to do it for a long time because we literally HATE Time Warner Cable but it always seemed like it just really wouldn’t work. 

Yesterday…we decided to go for it.

I called TWC (now Spectrum) yesterday because I kept seeing the commercials for free modem and since we have been paying a “fee” for ours for years now…literally hundreds of dollars for a $50 piece of equipment…I thought maybe they would just drop that charge.

HA!

Not only would they not drop the charge, the guy actually seemed pissed that we weren’t paying MORE! I thought we were already Spectrum customers (but we aren’t…yet we are); he tells me that we got grandfathered in so we are still TWC customers so we are getting huge breaks. To transfer over to Spectrum, we would actually pay about $20 more to have what we have now. 

So- I asked why we wouldn’t get all the deals as a NEW Spectrum customer then…well, that is the thing…we aren’t new customers when it comes to getting any deals. 

TWC/Spectrum has this small town locked down and they know it- if you want cable or internet, you HAVE to use them- there isn’t really much of a choice and they love it. (See South Park episode Informative Murder Porn)

So…that was basically it. 
I started doing research and it came down to Playstation Vue or Sling TV and there was one factor that decided it for us- Comedy Central. Vue doesn’t have Comedy Central as one of their stations so we went with Sling. 

We are heading out tonight to get an antenna for our TVs so we can get local channels for news, TV shows etc. which should cover everything we have currently had. 

Sling TV has a great lineup of channels and the $25 pack included all the channels (that aren’t your local channels) that we watch.

One of the downsides is that Sling doesn’t have a cloud based DVR system yet…BUT it’s in beta testing so that is coming soon. 

We already have Hulu, Netflix and WWE Network and have had for years, so I’m not going to count that as a part of our “cable” cost because we never did…so here is the break down. 

We were paying $157.80 for TV, 30 mpbs internet plus HBO. The service was shitty, the stuff we DVRed usually broke up in the middle or just froze all together and we never got to see the final seconds of a show because the DVR stopped recording before the show even went off. Now, remember…that price should have been around $180 through Spectrum and he made it very clear that eventually we would have to switch over. 

So we had to put some money in now, to buy a couple ROKU boxes and some antennas but our bill will be $70 for internet (60 mpbs – through Spectrum due to their monopoly) plus $40 for Sling TV plus HBO. That internet speed is DOUBLE what we had before. 

Total savings of $70 PER MONTH! 

Here is the icing on the cake, which I automatically realized last night as I was watching Sling…this will highly cut down on what I call “mindless watching”. There are times we just turn the TV on for no reason and watch a rerun of Reba for the 150th time. Actually using the Sling App is going to force us to think about what we want to watch and we won’t watch stuff we aren’t even really interested in while our DVR fills up. 

I’m sure there are cheaper ways out there like those boxes you can find all over Ebay that allows you to watch ANYTHING in the world…even movies that are still at the theater! But remember, if things are too good to be true, they probably are….and a good chance that doing that is illegal. 

I’m just happy to be taking money away from Spectrum and putting it into my pocket while making us more mindful viewers at the same time. Also, we can watch the Sling App anywhere, on our phones or tablets PLUS the app is HD on our bedroom TV. We just had cable in our bedroom because another HD box would have been even MORE money!

Now, we’ve only had Sling TV for a day but the quality is amazing, the app is pretty fast and they have some cool little features like the “MY CHANNELS” so you just have the list of channels you will actually watch. 

So far, the experience has been amazing.

Love, Peace and Sharkyness
~~~~shArky~~~~

Mar 21, 2017 - Pokemon    No Comments

Team Skull Grunt Pikachu

I’ve always loved Pikachu and I love the look of Team Skull Grunt… So this was another brainer.

I had recently won some money through a Dietbet.com competition and figured… Why not. 

The box this comes in is amazing! 

Let’s see what’s inside… 

First up, there is some amazing deck sleeves and a deck box. 

Along with some card dividers. 

You also get two incredible Pikachu promo cards. 

And finally you get 6 packs of the Japanese version of Sun and Moon! 

My son and I opened the packs and each got a GX! 

You can NOT go wrong with this box and it’s a must have for Pikachu fans. 

 Love, Peace and Sharkyness 
~~~~~shArky~~~~~

Mar 21, 2017 - Recipes    No Comments

Sharkberry Salad

…. They are just strawberries…. Calm down. 

We are still trying and this is one of our favorites!

Just take this stuff and add it together… Put more or less of each ingredient based on your macros…. It’s not complicated at all. 

50/50 Dole Salad Mix With Spinach

Strawberries

Crumbled Blue Cheese

Grilled Chicken Breast

Litehouse OPA Strawberry Poppyseed Dressing

Add some walnuts if you want. 

Throw is all in a bowl and stir… This stuff is amazing! 

Love, Peace and Sharkyness 
~~~~~shArky~~~~~

Mar 21, 2017 - Thoughts    No Comments

Read You Bastards

I’m a dying breed and that makes me a sad panda….well…um…shark.

I wrote a really long post several months back, about Pokemon, and I posted it a few places. Overall, it started some great discussion and was well received but I noticed a lot of folks saying stuff like –

“this was too long, I only read a little of it…”

“I just skimmed this”

“TL;DR” (too long, didn’t read)

Truth is, it wasn’t really that long….maybe 2 pages in Microsoft Word; however, when you post that in a forum, it looks like a lot more and I understand that but what happened to reading exactly? 

I’m just as guilty as most because I love YouTube these days…however, I see the problems daily. I watch Pokemon videos and people will post their deck lists- so you have to pause it to actually be able to look at what it. They will even say stuff like- “pause the video if you want to read/look at this better” and I just don’t get that. Even on Facebook, I scroll and more than 75% of the stuff is video…how about posting a picture (because that will last longer…or so I’ve had a few attractive girls tell me.)

I guess I’m more “old skool” because I’m an “old guy” but if you pull something really cool out of a pack, I want to be able to click on a picture of it and zoom in on it and take it all in. If you are posting a copy of your deck list, I want to be able to look at it (clearly) and understand your thinking process and how it works. 

The written word is dying and I think it’s because it takes time to write and read and people are just constantly on the go these days; they want their news in 140 characters and everything else in something they can just stare at- without doing much thinking. I think writers don’t really want to put that much effort into things anymore because they realize that it will only be seen for a few minutes as folks scroll past for the newest thing. 

Maybe I should get me one of them there fancy videoing cameras and become a YouTube star?

Nah…it’s like I always say – “I have a face for radio and a voice for blogging.” (do the kids even know what a blog is these days….god, I’m soooo old.)

Love, Peace and Sharkyness!
~~~~shArky~~~~

Mar 16, 2017 - Pokemon    No Comments

PokeTubers

As most of you know, I am very new to the world of Pokemon TCG so I’m taking in all that I can. I’m reading up on websites like Pokebeach or the TCGO stuff on Reddit but the main thing I’m doing is listening to YouTube channels during my work day.

My day job is basically maintaining a database and running reports, so it’s perfect for listening to podcasts, videos and stuff that can keep my mind occupied.

sharkyyoutube

I have subscribed to several YouTube channels focused on Pokemon TCG, but, honestly, I’m more excited to see notifications from some over others…all of the ones I follow are good but there are some that I specifically look for on a daily basis.

Here is my list of my top 5 with a couple of “honorable mentions” thrown in….they aren’t in any type of order but they are the 5 I go to first.

The Meta Deck – I posted about these guys before- they are one of the first channels I found and Safraz does a great job of explaining decks- not just building them. I really don’t like videos where someone just shows you their deck build, without showing you HOW to actually play the deck…knowing how to play it is the key point in being successful. He does a good job of making decks for the Shaymin and Non-Shaymin players and he’s videos are a great way to learn the basic techniques to the game.

The Pokemon Evolutionaries – Professor K and N are some of my son’s favorite Pokemon TCG folks, so I had to check them out. The channel is a great combination of the PTCG and PTCGO- from doing fan mail, to decks to opening new product and giving you an idea of what to expect when you spend your money. They also do a great job of trying to focus older set as well, like opening up 1st Edition Jungle packs. I will admit, there is a lot of goofiness going on, which takes a little getting used to but, once you do, every video is highly enjoyable.

Omnipoke – This channel is mostly ran by Joe (who is a commentator for Pokemon.com streams) with Jack and a few others making for great conversation. They do a great job of building decks and showing how they work, but I love them for the 3-4 hours long “live” streams that they post…now, when I watch them on YouTube, they aren’t “live” but it’s cool to listen to them answer questions from viewers, build decks suggested by views or just play against viewers. On top of all of that, they are a great channel to get the heads up on the best decks for up coming events and they do an amazing job of really breaking down the current “meta”.

PTCGRadio– AKA The Wossy – this is another one of my first YouTubes and it mostly focuses on the newest stuff coming out. Most of Ross’s videos are quick and to the point and focus on a specific card that is coming up and how it will affect the meta in the future. Ross is also a commenter for Pokemon.com streams so he has some great commenting videos of “real life” matchups. If you need to know what is coming out soon- this is the channel to be watching. Ross also has a Podcast called “PTCGRadio” which is way more in depth and is a great way to hear interviews and really know what is going on in the real world of Pokemon TCG (and not just the online version.)

Next up is actually two channels in one- YellowSwellow and YellowSwellow TCG– these are ran by Dennis and this is another great “best of both worlds” channels as Dennis plays in a ton of tournaments but is also big online as well. He does a great job of keeping folks updated as well as building new decks and trying new stuff…such as a an ALL PIKACHU DECK! While The Meta Deck goes into more detail (my opinion), Dennis is more entertaining with his voices and intensity. Also, Dennis has videos that deal with PokemonGo and Pokemon Duel as well.

I do have a few “honorable mentions” that I’m just now following but really seem promising.

Demon Snowking (DSK) – this is kind of a “local favorite” since he is in my area (sort of). He seems to be the “newer” guy on the block but already has a ton of great content focusing on both real and online aspects of the game.

Last, but no where near least is Sheriff Crazy….honestly, he doesn’t post as much as I would love because his videos are entertaining. It looks like he mostly focuses more on the online stuff but I would love to see more uploads from him.

I’m sure there are TONS more channels out there that I just haven’t found yet and hopefully I’ll discover them during a down time when these other guys haven’t posted anything new.

AND yes…there are a few that I’ve found that I just can’t watch….a few folks with HUGE amounts of subscribers but I just can’t do it….I’ve tried! I won’t bad mouth anyone because everyone in this gaming community seems really awesome- let’s just say they don’t match up with my taste buds.

Love, Peace and Sharkyness!
~~~~shArky~~~~

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