The Return of Rabbit Ears

I like TV. Quite a bit. I’ve been a cable or satellite user since nearly birth. It’s always given the clearest picture and tons of channels

But damn, cable and sat service is getting pricey! As I get older I’m finding I view TV less and watch movies and Internet videos more. Actual “TV” is only for live events and local news. And with KOMO and Dish Network feuding over some asinine reason (So KOMO got dropped from my sat feed) there is even less of a reason for me to partake in the whole package. The only reason I pay for cable/sat is because I thought that was the only way to get a clear signal….until know.

…Enter the digital TV switch into the proverbial picture….

So with the recent brew-ha-ha of the digital TV switch/delay/etc. I decided to just see what I could get and see what the fuss was about. Being at the top of Capitol Hill, I practically stare at the Seattle TV station broadcast antennas from my deck only 2 miles away. My plasma TV has both the old analog and new digital tuners built-in, as mandated several years ago. So having not used an antenna in decades I attached a simple 6 foot length of coax cable to my TV antenna input and had the TV search for channels…

Holy smokes!

It found them. Not only the new digital channels for all the main stations (ABC, NBC, CBS, WB, CW and some others), but it also found some of the old analog channels still broadcasting. This enabled me to do a complete side-by-side comparison.

Rarely am I impressed, but what I’m seeing on my HDTV on the digital channels (with a complete ghetto “cable” antenna nonetheless) is nothing short of amazing. I’m floored. Full HDTV and stereo surround sound on all major networks. The analog channel equivalents still come-in, but are that lovely snow-storm of interference we’ve all come to know and love, but now are glad to get rid of. It really is that spectacular. I’ve never seen reception and picture quality like this from OVER-THE-AIR broadcast in my life. The comparison is really that striking.

So now I mull some thoughts….If a 6-foot length of coax dangling from the back of my TV can get excellent DTV (and, might I add, *FREE*) reception, what could a modern little antenna pick-up? My mind is full of thoughts.

Could this be the end of a $100/month bill and the beginning of a post-modern rabbit ears revolution for me? It makes me giggle with glee.

So for all the hype it’s been given, if you live close to town, or have a good antenna, The DTV switch is totally worth it. Proven by a small, 10-minute experiment I never thought I’d do.

William Shatner really does negotiate

Karate CHOP! All be damned if still has it!

I’ve used priceline in the past when being uber cheap was the name of the game. These days I’ve become a little more, well, fussy, and require control of my travel plans — I’m an admitted “mileage whore” so I like to stick with my favorite airline and hotel programs.

So when planning my March vacation this year to FLORIDA, I got all my favorites lined-up in a row and they satisfied me with good, competitive rates….and more miles! I’m totally happy with that.

But then Florida left me with a somewhat new-ish dilemma; Usually I go to cities that have lots of public transportation and there is NO need for a car. Umm, yeah, not so Florida! Seems like you and us in Washington have something in common other than being “corner” states after all! Damn. Must. Rent. Car.

So I look up the rates — they are atrocious. Ridiculous, even. $60 per DAY is the best I can get on Expedia or Travelocity. I have no loyalty to rental car companies — I don’t care which one, as long as it’s major. There has to be something better. I muse to myself “Hey, what would William Shatner do?!?” So I go to and put in an equally ridiculous low price for a car, per day.

$14…. [click]

…your offer has been accepted!

No way! Gaddam, that really was the best exciting thing to happen to me in a while. I got goosebumps. I could talk and go on and on about what a complete cahoots the car companies are in, but I was just glad to get a righteous price.

So cheers to the captain, and priceline really does still have it.