I got up this morning and it was beautiful. Shining sun. Warm. Dry. Flowers blooming and birds singing. I looked at myself in the mirror and wondered if I remembered how to put on makeup. I used to be good at it, but that was a long time ago.

A diversion about things we used to know and over the years, forgot. We’ve been paying a really high price for FUBO, a streaming station specializing in sports, including baseball and football. At $70/month it’s not a bargain. Garry can watch baseball and football, but that’s a lot of money for a couple of retired, fixed income seniors. Last month as prices were skyrocketing, I said we were going to have to drop FUBO. We can’t afford it, baseball notwithstanding.

Remember when you could watch sports on the networks? You can still watch basketball and golf, but they are asking $30 per month to see the Red Sox and Bruins. It costs even more to see football. FUBO also carries all the networks (except, for some reason, ABC local news) plus all the network shows. Other stuff too, though I have no idea what since I don’t watch it. I bought it for Garry so he could watch the Sox.

I called FUBO and told them I needed to disconnect because we can’t afford it. They offered me a $20/month discount for six months. I said I’d love to keep it, but we are retired. On a fixed income 🎶 I’ve got the shpiel memorized.

So she cut down this month’s bill to $20 which will take us into the middle of July, but after that, bye bye FUBO. I feel bad about it, but I think that ⚾ and 🏈are destroying their own futures. Kids won’t grow up seeing sports. They won’t become fans. They are literally eliminating their future audience. I find it bizarre that they don’t understand this. Garry says the people at NESN (the Sox’s regional station) don’t care. As long as the money rolls in, that’s all that matters.

As for me, I didn’t mind losing all the sports though I’ll miss baseball, but I like getting network news and some of the network shows. We shouldn’t have to pay huge amounts of money to get television. Although we seem to have forgotten, TV is supposed to be free. They get their license from the FCC for free so they can “serve the nation and communities.” Except they don’t because you have to pay a cable service to receive them.

Except really, you don’t.

Owen bought an antenna. $90 on Amazon. Add another $15 in miscellaneous wires and connectors. Yesterday, he and a friend attached it to our roof and before the sun had set, we were getting 56 channels, crystal clear. Some of these channels, as far as I knew, usually cost money on cable or streaming, but are free via antenna.

Garry and I stared at the TV. How do you know what channel you are on? Answer: look up in the right corner. It gives the channel’s name and number. What’s on? Check online or subscribe to the online TV guide for your area. Or surf. The price of the antenna and everything needed to set it up cost less than a month and a half of FUBO. The picture and sound are perfect.

Our trees don’t matter because this isn’t coming from a satellite. It’s a broadcast channel. It’s probably this clear because it doesn’t run through some other server and then through the Roku. It comes straight from the antennas in Boston to our house in the valley.

Hot damn! Free television!

The antenna has cut our streaming channel bill by more than half. We won’t get baseball, but Garry is consoling himself with GRIT, a channel that runs old westerns all the time. He’ll catch whatever games he can on Apple, on the computer, and if we make it to the series, by network. For free. Just like TV used to be. We had forgotten it was ever free.

Also, it turned out, I remember how to apply makeup.


What is one topic you really like to talk about? Or something you really want to tell people?

The climate. And birds. How we need to do something while we can, if we can. Maybe human beings have had their time and like every other species, will disappear. Maybe that’s how it should be.

What do you normally never tell strangers about yourself?

I don’t talk about my second marriage. I never talk about Israel and politics. Talk about hot topics! It’s worse than a conversation about Trump and the hearings.

Have you ever broken anything?

What haven’t I broken! A couple of marriages, a few cars, one camera. I’ve dropped antique vases that were 500 years old. I tore all the ligaments in my right knee. I’m sure there are a lot more things to which I could plead guilty, but fortunately, my memory is very short and I can’t remember everything or actually, most things. Probably a good thing.

Is having a big ego a negative trait or positive trait?

A big ego isn’t a strong ego. A strong ego means you have confidence in your abilities and the strength of character to survive in a rough and tumble world.

A big ego? Nixon. Trump. Mussolini. Hitler. Stalin. We remember them because they become significant players in the game of “running the world.” There are many other “big egos” running around. Most of them don’t do anything big. They aren’t important but believe they ought to be important. They have nothing on which to base their big egos. They are just narcissists who believe they are the fulcrums around which the world turns, even though no one has heard of them.

I suspect they own plenty of guns.

About what aspects of your city or neighborhood are you grateful?

It’s beautiful. On a day like today, we can choose where we want to be. By the dam in town? How about River Bend? Or maybe we could go to Aldrich Stream in Slatersville, Rhode Island or the stone bridge over the canal and Blackstone River.

There’s a lake in Northbridge where the swans nest and half a dozen Audubon sites easily accessible from here. Or, if we don’t want to travel, there is our own back yard. It’s beautiful too.

On a day like today, living here is beautiful.

Categories: #BlackstoneRiver, #Photography, #SYW, Anecdote, Baseball, Blackstone Valley, Share My World, Sports, Television

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14 replies

  1. Really cool stuff and wasn’t it nice when you could watch the games free on tv. Makes you appreciate the important things and simple pleasures in life.


    • I know. It was only a few years ago. NESN was a standard part of the basic cable package. Then it was an “extra” part and eventually, you had to pay for it separately — at $30/month. It’s not only that we can’t afford it. It’s that it’s such a ripoff. NESN and all the regional sports channels are earning money by the bucketful, but it’s never enough. NEVER enough. While they are making all that money, they are losing the kids who would be their future audience. And they do not care.


  2. Thanks Marilyn for Sharing Your World! It IS beautiful there and finding that ‘perfect’ day is all icing on the top. I’m sorry about your baseball and agree that those professional sports teams are pricing themselves right out of business. The athletes, accustomed to being wined and dined and triple digit pay checks aren’t easily going to be consoled when the dollars dry up. Things are too uncertain right now to pin one’s future to such a star IMO. I remember “free” TV, all four channels, no remote, and watching what was offered or turning off the boob tube and going to do something outside or read a book. Halycon days indeed. I think that kind of idea got lost right along side common sense and importance of being well informed. You’ve had a tough time vis a vis the broken. I wonder sometimes why certain persons almost seem targeted that way, I have a sibling who is as well. Maybe it’s a stronger endurance that you get in exchange? I hope the weather stays nice for a few days for you. Take care! And have a great week! Go Sox! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Melanie, The post and the pictures put everything into perspective.

      The weather is “free” without any small print or hidden costs. It (right now but wait a minute ’cause it’s New England) is Gershwin marvelous. Even the mosquitos stayed on the down low. how often does that happen?

      As for our TV sports stations, you know the answer. They proclaim to be fan friendly but they are gouging those fans for every penny to be found. NESN, the Red Sox/Bruins outlet, is pricing themselves out of the fan support they pursue. It’s a Gordon Gekko special for TV sports networks across the country. Greed is good for the TV suits, MLB hierarchy and team owners who are lining each others pockets with money from the exorbitant fees charged die hard fans. They use broadcast blackouts as threats and lures to keep fans ponying up money that’s needed for essentials. Yes, there are some fans who believe watching their favorite team is more important than putting food on the table for their family. Those folks also spend their meager incomes on team apparel that’s shilled by sportscasters who also benefit from the ridiculous broadcast fees.

      I’m a lifelong diehard fan who lives and dies with his teams. But – at age 80 – I realize there’s more to life than watching the game while your spouse scuffles to manage household and medical bills on meager senior citizen income. There, I believe, are more and more folks like me who realize we are just pawns in the game of life as set up by the suits who only look to pour more money into their already deep pockets. The cynicism of suits — team owners and MLB jefes (like the commissioner who is a shill for baseball owners) is enough to make you gag.

      All that said, Melanie, I’ll still scour the stations for baseball games. And, there are other options like newspapers and on line coverage of the games.

      I still remember the legendary broadcaster, Vin Scully, lamenting the blackout of games in Los Angeles a few years ago so that he couldn’t see the Dodger games HE was broadcasting. Scully had harsh words for the Dodger’s TV sports network. Not for himself but the legion of Dodger blue fans.

      If you can raise the ire of Vin Scully, think what the greed is good suits may do to all their loyal fans.

      The field of dreams could become the field of nightmares for the greedy suits in high places.


  3. You do live in a lovely place too. I always enjoy seeing photos of it.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I remember when pay TV came to Australia. We all thought it was going to be great and for a while it was but gradually over the past couple of decades the free to air stations have stopped showing many sports. I got a subscription to a channel so I could watch cricket over the summer. Can’t afford to have it all year round. If I watched more sport I’d probably find a way but I don’t. I miss seeing some of it but it’s not the end of the world.

    Liked by 2 people

    • All the teams and I gather this is also true in the UK and Australia are just doing their best to suck every last penny from every fan. Of course, when you can’t afford to watch the games, the kids grow up without seeing any sports and don’t become fans. In the end, they are literally eliminating their futures and apparently, as long as they can line their own pockets RIGHT NOW, who cares if there IS a future? Not them.

      It’s hard for me to understand how come they aren’t planning for a future, but they aren’t. Not here, not down your way, not across the pond. The worst part is I swear the same people are funding the teams in all THREE places and for all I know, in other countries. too. Greed is great for them, but not for us. I really did my best. We could just barely squeak by with this before prices went soaring, but now? Feeding us and figuring out how to pay the bill to heat the house in the winter looms a lot larger than sports.

      What a pity for all of us.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Not only will kids not become fans but as school sport is almost non existent will they even get the idea of playing sports and being part of a famous team. I suppose there will always be some but as it is expensive to go to games, if you are lucky to have them in your town or city, TV is the main way kids can see cricket, soccer, baseball or whatever. If you are a fan of swimming, lawn bowls, golf or some other sport there is even less for you to watch.


  5. HI Marilyn, it surprises me that the TV networks haven’t got a longer term strategy when it comes to baseball and other sports. The young are already a hard sell as you have to compete with computer games and such like. I’m glad Owen could sort you out. He’s a good son.

    Liked by 1 person

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