Stuff… things

So, I was watching a video the other day about customer satisfaction that was made in the 80s, and they mentioned that one guy was only 30 years old (he was helping run the business). Dude looked 40 if he looked a day. I’ve noticed this before as well, when I was a teenager, people in their 30s looked really old. Now that I’m coming up on my 30s, and have friends in their 30s, I can’t think of any of them (save a small few) who look old. Take a look at some photos or movies from the 70s and 80s. Look at how old people in their 30s look. It’s creepy.

I know we’re all a lot more health conscious these days, and my generation has eaten a lot of preservatives, but damn. I guess that formula the government has been putting into the water supply since the 80s to create super soldier babies has really paid off.

This weekend is Dead Can Dance in LA. I’m pretty excited about it as they were a very formative group for me in high school and really challenged a lot of my ideas about how music could be made. This also represents my last out of state trip for a while, which also has me very excited. I’m looking forward to having my weekends back, especially as Phoenix is cooling down.

Work has been interesting with more and more project work going on. It’s been a great learning experience for me, but I’m pretty sure it’s eating my soul. When I start doing things that are interesting, it gets my mind cranking, and I come up with a lot of ideas. I really enjoy this part of it. The bad part is that my brain is really bad at switching off. So I end up having dreams about the work I am doing and my poor nervous system doesn’t get a chance to relax. The result is I wake up tired. Boo.

It actually just occurred to me that this could partly be that I’m not watching much TV anymore. As we all know, TV makes the brain happy by beating it into a relaxed submission. It’s an excellent relaxer, despite the lousy state of current television. I need to make more time for TV.

This was another thing that occurred to me recently, that there have to be other people like me to only ever have a chance to watch TV on the weekends. Sure there’s TIVO, but they have crossed the evil barrier into deleting shows after an arbitrary amount of time has passed. Why can’t the film and TV industries get their crap together and just offer downloads. I can buy a complete season of many shows for $30 on DVD which I get to keep forever. For most shows that works out to $1.25 an episode. Offer it up on a fast connection, and no one is going to bother pirating it. Release it a couple of days after it airs on TV. This way you wouldn’t have to protect it with DRM.

If this was available, I’d just drop cable entirely and do my downloads ala carte based on the couple of shows I’m interested in.

The reason I’m talking about this is that I’ve been thinking about loosing cable anyway. I pay $85 a month for what amounts to “basic” digital cable and a DVR with HBO. The reason I have HBO is the Sopranos, Deadwood, Carnivale and Six Feet Under. Personally, cable just isn’t work $85 a month to me. I’m almost never home, and what I do watch is almost entirely just so I can veg out. The DVR that cox provides is so terrible that it’s almost unusable.

I find myself wishing that I could just subscribe to a RSS download feed (podcast) for the shows I like and get billed a buck or two for each show as it’s delivered. But I can’t. I can however subscribe to feeds and get bittorrent downloads of any show I want illegally. Consumers have already developed the next generation of content delivery that they want, that many people are already using, and which the industry is steadfastly ignoring or trying to squash.

Where are the next generation content producers, willing to give consumers what they are already demanding? Well Ziffdavis is already offering up Patrick Norton’s Digital Life TV which looks like it’s heading in a free “screensavers” direction. It’s still rough, but not bad. I actually sit through the ads out of respect to them handing it out for free (they need to have a better variety though). Another TechTV alumnus, Kevin Rose is also cranking out things like Diggnation and Systm. Why can’t other producers get on this bandwagon?

At any rate, I think cable will be getting excised soon. Cox’s digital signal quality is horrible, with compression being cranked way too high, and the DVR is of terrible quality. Considering I watch maybe 3 shows a week, it might just be time for it to go.

That turned into a longer post than I thought.

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