The F-word as the best form of therapy

1 – Since I’ve lived in the northern half of the state, namely Eau Claire and Menomonie, the Bucks have been blacked out because the NBA denotes the Wolves as the local team. It’s ridiculous. It’s not as if the Bucks are in the same league of popularity of Packers or Brewers up here, but there’s more Bucks fans than Wolves fans.

So every year I’d write the NBA and the Bucks and Charter and DirecTV and every year I’d get no where. Back in September, like I had in the past, I wrote my letters and emails and made the phone calls to the companies that made the decisions on the matter.

This week I got good news.

The Wolves granted the Bucks permission to broadcast games in Eau Claire. All that needed to happen was for DirecTV and other cable providers to carry them. It seemed like no big deal. DirecTV carries FSN-Wisconsin and if you buy the sports pack you get that channel.

As it happens to be, here was the press release I saw this afternoon:

FOX SPORTS WISCONSIN TO TELEVISE MILWAUKEE BUCKS
GAMES IN EAU CLAIRE, WISCONSIN DURING THE 2009-10 SEASON

The Milwaukee Bucks and FOX Sports Wisconsin are pleased to announce television coverage of Milwaukee Bucks games in the Eau Claire, Wisconsin television market for the 2009-10 NBA Season. FOX Sports Wisconsin coverage of Bucks games may be found on the following channels in the Eau Claire area: Charter Communications (digital only) – Channel 91; DirecTV – Channel 669; and DISH Network – currently no dedicated channel but typically between 444 and 450. Eau Claire area customers of other cable or satellite services should contact their providers for further details.

Fox Sports Wisconsin’s Bucks programming includes 70 home or road games telecast, all including the 2009 Emmy award winning Bucks Live pre- and post-game programming. Thirty-five games are telecast in high definition (HD), ten more than last season.

The complete 2009-10 Milwaukee Bucks FOX Sports Wisconsin telecast schedule may be found on Bucks.com. http://www/bucks/schedule/index.html.

I’m a little proud. It’s about five years late but it makes me feel like the phone calls to the Bucks PR department, the email correspondence with Bucks beat writers, the pissing and moaning I did with DirecTV wasn’t for nothing. Speaking of which…

2 – I should feel different, having worked technical phone support for a software company for a few weeks when I was done with school. But when your issue is with a company like DirecTV, I don’t care. If I’m gonna be dicked around I’ll feel free to blow up on the poor sap on the other line.

The Bucks had a game on FSN earlier in the week. I’d heard that the Bucks would finally be broadcasting up here so when I got the game I didn’t think much of it until I got a call from someone in EC saying they weren’t getting the game. I checked my DirecTV lineup and to my amazement I’d been charged $140 for NBA League Pass. I didn’t want it but because I’d puchased it last season they re-upped without alerting me. No phone call, no email, no notice in the mail.

I got right on the phone and demanded my money be refunded and League Pass be removed from my account. The Bucks were now broadcast in EC. What the hell use for LP would I have.

Even though the season just started and the free preview ended last week, some dick on the phone said that there was nothing that could be done. The deadline to cancel had been a couple days prior. So I flew off the handle and it’s a good thing I was outside. I was yelling into the phone and there wasn’t a four letter word I didn’t drop. My last words before hanging up were, “This is fucking bullshit and I’m calling the better business bureau motherfucker!”

If he were anything like me when I used to work phones he probably laughed when I hung up. I vented, yelled a lot, called him a name or two but what does he care?

Whatever.

15 minutes later I was still pissed to the point where I didn’t care to have DirecTV anymore. I called back and told the first person I got on the phone that because I was being charged for some shit I didn’t order I no longer wanted DTV service and I wanted it canceled.

Ten seconds later I was on the phone with a different woman. “Oh, I see you were charged for LP and you didn’t want it? Let me just get that off your account and get you a credit. Really sorry about that!”

Funny what happens when you threaten to take money out of their pockets.

3 – Speaking of the Bucks, our Young Buck has 17 points in the first quarter. This could be another big night for the twenty year old.

4 – The reason why I would have had no problem canceling our satellite TV service is for one reason: NinjaVideo.net

For over a year it the was best kept secret on the net. Every TV show and new release out there, updated daily, all in high quality Divx format. You could watch DVD quality rips of movies on your PC before they were even out in rental. Miss your favorite TV show? Check Ninjavideo. Can’t find season 2 of 24 or the complete series of Firefly in your local rental store? Go to Ninjavideo.

But then PC World named it as one of it’s top 100 products of 2009 and the site has rightfully blown up.

Their library is stupid-awesome and easy to access. You open up the applet, enter a code to prevent bots and restrict access, and in 60 seconds you’re watching whatever you want in DVD quality.

The best part? The Divx codec they use. If you right-click on your Divx player you’re able to change preferences for the player. One of the preferences is where the video is cached on your hard drive. Typically it’s at a setting of 556 megabytes and the file is automatically deleted when you want to watch something else. But if you want to start a library of content it’s incredibly easy. Create a new folder somewhere, set your player to save the video files in this location and change the cache size to something huge, like 40GB. When you click to start a new video in Ninjavideo’s player, the download starts. Click pause on the playback and forget about it. 10 minutes later the movie is on your hard drive. Change the extension to AVI and you’re free to do with it what you wish.

With TV episodes I like to convert them to m4v and watch them on my iPhone while I workout.

With movies I like to stream them to my TV in the living room using my network and a PS3.

With a computer, a high speed network and a Xbox 360 or PS3 you can have yourself your own little DVR setup without ever needing cable or satellite TV. Watch TV and movies on your time, no commercials. The only monthly payment is to your ISP.

If I wasn’t such a huge sports fan I’d be all over it :/

5 – The rest of the weekend should be dope. I took the day off to make the place spotless and do some needed work. Tonight I’m going out, tomorrow it’s golfing, place to myself.

I love it.

6 – Family recipe for the dinner I made tonight:

Classic Beef Stroganoff
1/2 to 3/4 lb beef sirloin or round steak about 1/2 inch thick
2 tbsp butter or margarine
1/4 lb mushrooms, sliced
1 small onion, finely chopped
1/2 cup water
1 beef bouillon cube
1 tbsp catsup
1 small clove garlic, finely chopped or 1/8 tsp instant minced garlic
1/2 teaspoon salt
Poppy Seed Noodles
1/4 cup water
1 tbsp flour
1/2 cup dairy sour cream

Cut meat into strips, 1.5 x .5 inch. Melt butter in 8 inch skillet; cook and stir mushrooms and onion until onion is tender. Remove vegetables from skillet.

In same skillet, brown meet over medium heat. Stir in half cup of water, bouillon cube, catsup, garlic and salt. Reduce heat; cover and simmer 15 minutes (45 minutes if using round steak; if necessary, add small amount of water). While meat simmers, prepare noodles.

Mix 1/4 cup water and the flour; stir into meat mixture. Add mushrooms and onion. Heat to boiling, stirring constantly. Boil and stir 1 minute. Stir in sour cream and heat through. Serve on noodles.

7 – This week Brandon Jennings was on the cover of ESPN.com for a feature story, was mentioned on Pardon the Interuption and Around the Horn, interviewed nationally on the Jim Rome Show and again on the Scott Van Pelt Show.

This is a Milwaukee Buck we’re talking about here.

I feel like I’m in the Twilight Zone.

7b – At the half, 20 points on 8-10 shooting, 4 assists, no turnovers. The Bucks are missing three of their four best players and are still leading the healthy Bobcats by 10.

8 – OGTs

Update on Sunday. She looked cute as hell today.

9 – Cutting this one a little short. Maybe more when I get home. Hopefully not.

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