Medium Articles

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

No Choice Cable and Satellite TV

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     When we first moved into our new home about 3 years ago we took advantage of the new customer promotion from Time Warner Cable Company.  We subscribed to a package with TV and Internet and were quite satisfied with what we were getting. At the end of the promotion, naturally the price increased, so I called customer support and negotiated another agreement where the price was not as high.  Once again after this deal ended the price increased and once again I called to see if I could lower the cost.  In order to lower the cost I would receive considerably fewer, and to me useless channels. I told them I am considering cancelling my service all together. They said they were sorry if I was dissatisfied with their service but would not budge on their cost.

    At this time the Dish Network was offering a promotion which sounded much better than what we could get at Time Warner, so I contacted Dish and subscribed to their satellite service.  We were locked into a 2 year contract though.  After the 6 month promotional inclusion of all of their channel offerings ended I realized how bad their basic package was.  It consisted of the local channels and basic news channels such as CNN and CNBC.  The majority of the channels consisted of shopping channels, infomercial channels,  running the same ads 24/7 and religious channels.  I ended up watching only 5 or 6 of over 50 channels!  Two channels that I really love are NatGeoWild and the Animal Planet, which are not included in my package.

    After a few months I get sick of the myriad of crappy channels I was getting. I called to see what it would cost to have a package that included the two channels I wanted.  I would have to spend an extra $40 to get the 2 channels I wanted and this included even more useless channels.  If I had taken this package I would be right back to paying the same as I had  before with Time Warner.

    At this time we ordered the Firestick from Amazon so that we could watch movies and shows that were unavailable to us from Dish.  This is great for movies, but I still could not get the most up to date shows from NatGeoWild and the Animal Planet.  A couple of weeks ago we received mail from Spectrum TV, which had recently bought Time Warner, advertising promotions on TV, Internet, and Phone packages.  We already subscribed to Internet service from Time Warner, but discovered we were paying more for a slower speed, as compared to the new Spectrum. I called Spectrum to get information on switching from Dish to their services.  Later that night we discussed switching and decided to do so.

    Finally I got the channels I wanted, with phone service, a DVR and faster Internet at a lower cost than Dish!  Spectrum even paid the early termination fees!  When we called Dish they tried to talk us out of our decision, but they could not match the deal from Spectrum.  Spectrum also tried to delay the delivery of the last bill, so that we would not be able to take advantage of Spectrum's buyout of our contract. I guess they wanted to punish us for switching. We told them that there was no such provisions in the contract to delay billing, to which they reluctantly agreed. 

    There are still quite a number of useless, shopping and religious channels that I have to skip over, but at least there are more decent channels to watch.  It is so annoying that the satellite and cable companies have so much control over what we watch for entertainment. I really feel that they are subsidizing these religious networks and receiving big bucks from the shopping channels to force them onto the consumers. I know that for years consumers have been complaining to Congress about these issues, but so many members of Congress receive money from the cable companies that they always vote against the interest of the public. There should be some way that we could subscribe to only those channels we really wanted. Just a thought!

Monday, March 27, 2017

Silent Reflux Disease or Laryngopharyngeal Reflux (LPR)

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    In my last post, Sinusitis and Shortness of BreathI discussed my problems with shortness of breath, sinusitis and asthma.  In my update I explained that I had Silent Reflux or Laryngopharyngeal reflux (LPR), which is similar to GERD.  I have had GERD and been treated for it for about 10 years or so and have had none of the symptoms since I have been on medication.   The symptoms of GERD that I have had included frequent and sometimes severe heartburn.  Since I have been taking Omeprazole for GERD I have not experienced any heartburn.  After a long and severe sinus infection that brought about asthma symptoms I began experiencing shortness of breath, air hunger, a dry cough, constant yawning, constant  throat clearing with a feeling of a lump in my throat and frequent loss of voice.  This I learned, after visiting my ENT, was Laryngopharyngeal Reflux (LPR) or Silent Reflux. Since returning from my ENT I began to research Silent Reflux online.  Since returning from my ENT I began to research Silent Reflux online.    


Thursday, March 23, 2017

Happy National Puppy Day!

Cato and Lucky at 2 months old
 Today is National Puppy Day and I just had to share a photo of Cato and Lucky on their first day with us. We bought them from someone who posted their photos on a pet adoption site. We picked them up in a parking lot at Chili's in Henrietta. We were only going to take one, but we couldn't decide, so we took both of them. We couldn't resist and we have had no regrets! How could someone not love puppies? Just thinking!

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

I am London!

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   My thoughts and prayers are with London and the United Kingdom today after the tragic terrorist attacks in London.  As always Britain will stand proud in defiance of those who wish to destroy her democracy and lifestyle.  They never wavered in WWII and they will not waver now. As Britain's closest friend and ally the United States and all her people stand with you.

Monday, March 20, 2017

Crimes Against Transgender People

    I was watching CNN last night when they reported that 3 Black transgendered women were killed within a week in Louisianna. The report also said that 7 transgendered people had been killed in the United States in the first 2 months of this year and 27 transgendered people were killed in 2016, according to GLAAD.

    This report bothered me the entire evening, as I watched other news regarding hearings on the GOP nominee for the Supreme Court, who happens to be quite ant-LGBT and pro-religious freedom.  I began thinking about how often Christians in this country argue that their freedom of religions allows them to discriminate against LGBT people because it is a matter of faith. Whenever a negative issue regarding LGBT people is raised, it is always raised in conjunction with so called "Christian values"! I was brought up a Christian and went to a Catholic school for grade school and high school. I, as I am sure all Christians,  remember the Great Commandment, "Love Thy Neighbor as Thyself"  Apparently there are many, many Christians who do not know what this means or they must really hate themselves!

    I wondered why being transgendered is even an issue in choosing a new Supreme Justice. They're just some of the many different kinds of people  who make up this country and this world.  Yet lately, being different seems to be a crime or a rallying call to action for small minded hate mongers who have suddenly come out of the woodwork. Why do these people like to hate someone for being different? If they don't like them why to they have to harm or even kill them? Why did the Nazis kill over 5 million Jews during the holocaust? I recall that not only Jews, but LGBT people, the handicapped and gypsies were also killed!  Is this country such a sick country that the Supreme Court has to decide if one group of people can have basic rights of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness and others don't deserve it? Do they have to decide who one group can love and the other group can't or if one group can marry and the other can't? What really gets me is that they get to decided who has rights and who doesn't and yet they also can decide if a corporation has the same legal rights as a human being? I guess the more money you have the more "human rights" you have!

   I am sure some people who read this post will say that it belongs on my blog, Steveso Thinks because it is a political issue, but to me it is a life issue.  Millions of people in this country go on living their lives, without regards to politics, so why should someone who may be LGBT,  a non-Christian or non-white be subjected to a political debate?  Just thinking!

Saturday, March 18, 2017

Brotherhood Of The Blood.


     The other night I was watching a cable television show, called "American Heroes", which was dedicated to secret societies. One of the more fascinating aspects of the show was Spain's "Brotherhood of the Blood", a heretical group of Catholics who claim to have the actual liquefied blood of Jesus in a vial.  They are located in Spain and once a year parade around in red hooded costumes similar to those worn by the KKK.  They claim that Christ never actually died and that they not only have his blood , but also his corpse. They also claim that he had children, who are the basis for the Merovingian Dynasty in France.  There are many followers of this an other secret religious societies who believe that Jesus did not die on the cross, either faking his death or being taken down from the cross before his death. These people believe that Christ and his disciples fled to France, where he married Mary Magdalen and raised a family.  It is suggested that the Knights Templar was not actually abolished in the 14th century, but was reborn as another secret society know as the "Priory of Scion".  The main objective of the "Priory of Scion is to protect the descendants of Jesus Christ. 
    I'm sure just about everyone has seen and enjoyed such movies as "The DaVinci Code" and "Angels and Demons", but I realize that there are a lot of people who actually believe the theories explored in these movies. Admittedly the Vatican and its workings are secretive and mysterious to everyone, even those who are deeply connected to the Vatican. It is rather exciting to wonder about what supernatural powers or occurrences may emanate from the halls of these  ancient bureaucracies deep within the walls of the Vatican!  Being a lover of horror movies, especially those involving demonic possession, my attention is more riveted to the movie if the Vatican and exorcism is involved. The program I referred to, I believe was not one that involved facts, but conspiracies and was not intended to inform, but to entertain. I do not consider myself to be a religious person, so  I did not read anything religious into the program or the revelations of the secret society showcased. I thought it was vaguely entertaining. I did come up with one question though, which I would like to ask the believers of the "Brotherhood of the Blood". If they indeed believe Christ was born of a virgin birth, as most Christians do, what would be the DNA findings of an analysis of Christ's blood?  Just thinking!

Thursday, March 16, 2017

Sinusitis and Shortness of Breath


Something I think about every day and have been for about 10 years is a health problem I have been dealing with, and that is Chronic Sinusitis. My sinus problems began about 10 years ago, with constant post nasal drip, sinus pain and pressure and teeth pain. I also experienced dyspnea which is shortness of breath and difficulty breathing.  After having quite a few teeth extracted to alleviate the pain, my primary care physician sent me to an ENT specialist who attributed my problems to both GERD (gastroesophageal reflux disease) and Chronic Sinusitis. After a course of steroids and antibiotics I had sinus surgery, which was one of the most disgusting procedures I’ve ever had. I also began taking Omeprazole for my GERD. I am still taking Omeprazole and my GERD symptoms are still under control. My sinusitis cleared up, but after a few months it came back as bad as before.
In December of this year I contracted a cold, which turned into a bad sinus infection, which lasted until about 2 weeks ago. Now my sinuses are constantly draining, especially with changes in the weather. I am not allergic to anything except a change in temperature, humidity and barometric pressure. After the sinus infection cleared up I began experiencing very sever air hunger, which is not being able to take a  satisfying deep breath, which in turn causes excessive yawning and fighting and gasping for air. It is worse just after sunrise and at sunset.  I have been on both inhaled steroid medications and steroid nasal sprays, as my doctor believes it is asthma. These have been no help. I had severe asthma as a child and my breathing problems brought back many not so fond memories of asthma attacks.
I recently had a CT scan of my sinuses, and EKG and a chest x-ray. Tomorrow I will see an ENT doctor to see what he can do for me. I hope that finally I will get some answers and hopefully some relief. I will update this post as soon as I learn anything new.

Update: After visiting my ENT I learned that I have Silent Reflux Disease or Laryngopharyngeal Reflux, which means I have asthma, GERD and Sinusitis. I was given a topical nasal antibiotic called Bactrim, which is to be combined with saline nasal spray and used 3 times a day, along with Flonase once a day. So far I haven't noticed any change, but hoping soon that I will!

Can I make Money Online Blogging?

make money online

I first started blogging about 6 years ago when I moved to Penang, Malaysia after retirement. My first blog was Retired in Malaysia and was all about my move and my life in Malaysia. My main reason in starting to blog was that I wanted a new hobby that could keep me relatively busy. My other reason was that I wanted something I could do at home that could earn me a bit of money, perhaps to buy a couple of beers from time to time.

I started to monetize my site with Google Adsense and was earning a few pennies now and then. But after a while Google banned me, without giving a reason, of course. Unbeknownst to me a friend was clicking on my site thinking he would help me. I appealed to Google with a full explanation, to no avail. Within a couple of hours they denied my appeal, I'm sure without even reading it! I then installed Infolinks, since I was banned from Adsense for life.  Shortly after starting Retired in Malaysia, I started Steveso Thinks, which was a blog where I could share my views on liberal politics and social issues. This site was also monetized by "Infolinks". I started using "Amazon", "Ebay" and "Groupon" affiliate marketing in hopes of making some extra cash.

In 2014 I moved back to the United States, where my spouse and I set up home in Brockport, NY. After moving here I started two new blogs, Help Me Make Up My Mind, which is about reviewing some of the products I have purchased while living here, and Cattle Dog Kids, a blog about our two Cattle Dog siblings. These two new blogs were also monetized in the same way as my previous blogs.  I also wrote a few articles on sites that pay for content, but they never got more than a few views. I now can honestly say that in the past six years I have made a combined grand total of maybe $10!

All of my blogs previous to this one were started using Blogger. After many hours of contemplation regarding starting a new blog with either "Blogger" or "WordPress", I decided to stay with Blogger, as WordPress was too expensive for a plan where I could easily customize my blog and also to monetize it.  I saw no sense in spending more money on another blog, if I couldn't easily use the site and earn a few cents at the same time.  If I can make enough money to pay for the maintenance of my blogs with a little left over for a beer I'll be satisfied, but I'm not going to hold my breath.

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Welcome to Free Flowing Waves

For quite some time I have wanted to start a blog where I can share some of the many thoughts or questions I have encountered during the day or while falling a sleep at night. Often times I forget what I have been thinking because I forgot to write them down. I have another blog, Steveso Thinks, in which I primarily blog about liberal politics or social issues, but I did not want to include short topics such as my random thoughts.  My other blogs with Blogger are Cattle Dog KidsHelp Me Make Up My Mind and Retired in Malaysia. Wish me luck and I'd appreciate your support. Thanks

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