3/2/15

Writing Stats for February 2015

Here's the second post of the year about how much I'm writing.

February has been a remarkably steady month for me. I only lost a few sessions to errands. The sessions I did have were quite productive That means I wrote 178 pages this month. That's all of 2 pages over what I would have done if I'd only written to my goal of 4 pages per session. This has been a great month!

However, I'm sure March isn't going to be as strong. I'm going to lose about a week to Planet Comicon. I have one final Jake Bonner book set to release in April, so editing that will take some time as well. I do think I'll continue to be productive when I do write, because I've got a work that's flowing well at the present time. As long as it flows, I think I'll be good.

2/19/15

Could I be a cord-cutter? (Part 2)

In the previous post, I told you what cord-cutting was, and why it's on my mind. Now I'll talk about how cable is (and isn't) fitting into my life.

There's very little tying me to cable TV right now. There are all of two TV series that I watch on a regular basis: Doctor Who and Tiny House Nation. The latter might not be a problem, as video and episodes are posted at their website. The former is trickier; to get new episodes when they air, I'd have to subscribe to the series at iTunes or a similar service, which means paying for episodes I may or may not like. The only channels I watch daily are a few of the Music Choice genre channels. Other than that, there are a handful of channels I tune into weekly for perhaps an hour or two each week. I do sometimes watch movies when they come to HBO, Cinemax, or Epic. I do channel-surf on occasion, but it's not really how I watch TV, and sometimes the surfing drives home the point that there isn't much on that I want to watch.

Indeed, much of my entertainment time (and the programs that I like to keep informed about what I'm interested in) is spent listening to or watching podcasts. For that I have the Podcast app on my iPhone, and the Podcast channel on my Apple TV. There are also some video-blogs (vlogs) I watch via YouTube, and I follow a few YouTube content creators. As I said in the last post, I'm a Netflix subscriber, and I could add Hulu to that if I want to. As far as news: I have the Circa app on my iPhone; I have some local news outlets on a Twitter list; and there's what gets shared by my friends on Facebook.

That does lead to the one source of entertainment that I can't get anywhere else but from cable: Music Choice. I use a few of their genre channels as background music during the day. Right now the Radio channel on my Apple TV gets internet radio stations, all of which are add-supported (and the channel app isn't as good as it could be).

However, I have taken a step towards dealing with that concern. I'm now a subscriber to Calm Radio.
It's an online streaming music service with a wide variety of channels. Not only does it have several classical music genre and mix channels, it has specific classical music composer channels. There's also new age music, world music, and jazz channels. The tricky part now is that I can get Calm Radio's music channels through my MacBook Air and iPhone, but not through my Apple TV, since there's no Calm Radio Apple TV app. There are rumors of an Apple TV refresh coming, so that could change.

You might be wondering if I've looked at the various streaming music services out there, like Pandora and Spotify. I have, and I'm not interested in them. While I'm not a huge music fan, I am willing to buy what I really like. I stopped listening to commercial radio some 25 years ago because, more often than not, I heard what I didn't like more than what I liked. I pretty much own all the rock and pop I want to hear. There are a few genres where I know I'll buy more, but they're the sort of less-popular genres that I found didn't work out on those streaming services. That's just me, of course; you mileage will almost certainly vary.

At the end of this thought experiment, I have to say that yes, I think I could be a cord-cutter. Not much at this point in my life is tying me to cable TV. As long as I have high-speed internet, I can get almost all of the audio and video content I want.

I hope these two posts have got you thinking as well. If so, post your thoughts at your blog, and let everyone know (including me). Thanks for taking the time to read this!