Friday, March 6, 2009

Blogger shame?

Question:  Assuming you're reading this and are a fellow "blogger", do your friends know about this little thing you do?  The most I'll really ever tell someone if it comes up in conversation is "I have a blog", but I'll never give out a URL or anything else that would identify it.  I think some old coworkers of mine know about my blog, but they either don't read it or they lurk...  My mom has her own blog that I helped set up for her, and she knows I blog, but I haven't told her who I am online either.  

The only person in my "inner circle" who knows about my blog(s) is my wife.  Well, besides my kids, she comprises the entirety of my so-called inner circle.  It's more of an inner straight line, or maybe a square if I'm feeling generous, but I digress.  She sometimes sends links to my wittier posts out to her friends, which is fine, but that's about the extent of it.  I'm not sure why I don't tell people about it.  I try not to say anything on here that would get me in trouble.  I don't think I've ever slammed anyone that I actually know in any of my posts, and I don't bitch about work (or at least I don't give any details out about work on here).  

It seems strange to me that I have the urge to type up the various contents of my head and publish them out there for potentially the entire world to happen upon, but I don't particularly want people I know personally to read it.  Why is that?  Any ideas?  If you think I'm just a freak, feel free to let me know.


Monday, March 2, 2009

Kill your TV

I have something to confess.  I used to be an absolute TV addict.  It didn't matter if there was anything I wanted to watch or not, I'd plop my ass down in front of the idiot box and listen to my brain cells wink out of existence as I watched various reality shows.  I at least partially blame this sort of behavior on my upbringing.  Watching TV has always just sort of been my default activity.  Maybe my being an only child has something to do with it, I don't know, but I was getting increasingly agitated with myself for watching TV.  

A while back I proposed that we move our TV from the living room down into the basement.  My intention then was to create some sort of "man cave" setup, but shortly after we made the change, our 42" plasma died.  Actually now that I think about it, this was a major turning point in my relationship with television.  We spent about $1000 on this TV a couple of years ago, and my wife and I discussed buying a new one when this one bit the dust, but I just couldn't bring myself to really justify the expense.  We still had a 20" CRT, so that's now being used primarily by the kids to watch PBS, Nickelodeon, Noggin, and Disney.

Over the weekend, I took the final step towards really liberating my family from TV.  I called the cable company and cancelled our service.  My wife had been asking me to do it for months now actually, and I finally did it.  There's no turning back now!

I'm not saying I don't watch any TV anymore, but these days there are lots of options out there on the Internet or DVDs to watch what you want, when you want.  My wife and I only have a few shows that we attempt to watch regularly, and they're basically all network shows that we can watch on our laptop on some website like Hulu or the various network TV web sites.  And of course, depending on how ethical you are, BitTorrent is still around to help you acquire things through arguably illegal means...  We also signed up for Netflix recently, and their new "watch instantly online" feature is pretty cool, especially for kid movies and stuff like that.

The moral of the story here is watch less TV.  It'll do you good.  Lately I've been reading more books, helping out more around the house, snuggling with my wife and kids, and playing guitar (this is my new "vice", which I'll discuss more in a later post).  My kids will have a tough adjustment period probably, but I don't want them to fall into the same rut that I did, and it's too easy for me to let the TV be the babysitter too.  This should be good for all of us.  Either that or we'll all go crazy.  We'll see how this pans out.