Category Archives: Money

This is a good place to find many financial tips and tricks I have learned over the years

Captive Audience


I have been thinking a lot about this recently with time being a rare resource and still having a desire to be well entertained.. Let me start out by asking one question. Are you a captive audience? Really? If you are one that likes to be entertained by Movies or a good TV series I would have to say that I doubt that you are anything but.. This initially came to my attention recently when I saw a commercial on YouTube for a TV carrier. The main character in the ad indicated that they were paying so much to see their movies and that by switching to this specific carrier they were saving so much and were able to watch so many more movies indicating that they had watched as many as 50 movies that month alone! Now I want to give you a little real information based on what I know about local viewing carriers.. I will not mention any names but I will tell you that this commercial was from a carrier (ComC****) that does have commercials in most of their programs. Most of the commercials last any where from 1-5 min each time with an average of a commercial break every 5-10 min, that would mean that you are watching upward of 600-3000 min of commercials in a month or 20-30 min of commercials in a single movie. Not that much right? Wrong! That would mean that in that month you are watching 6300-9000 min of TV a month.. yea, that sounds like a lot but lets apply it to numbers that mean something. That would be  3.5-5 Hours of of TV a day, 24.5-35 hours a week (yes, that is a full day of TV every week or more!)

Now I am not saying that this is something that everyone does but how much do you really do in a day, week, or month?  I know for me I was “hooked” on several shows on Hul*.. and I was finding that I was sacrificing much of my “free” time trying to follow a series. With this specific carrier, shows expire and I would miss an episode and loose the story if I did not keep up with THEIR time line, and yes, they had commercials..

I  found that Youtube as well has commercials, not the ones that pop up at the bottom of the video or the ones before it will let you watch the 0:30 video, that is not what I am talking about, that is normal, but rather, on the side. Now I am sure you are saying “what is the big deal, just ignore it”.. They are making it impossible to, they are a video themselves and one that you cannot Mute, pause, click away from, NOTHING will get it to stop until it is done. EVEN if there is no relevance, un-audience friendly, or offensive material.. The only way to SHUT IT UP without watching is it to leave the page altogether! Does the producer of that video know that their audience is being chased away by the very provider they are relying on to show their material? Probably NOT! I will also say that I have seen these same type of adds on other sites as well, Youtube is not the only one.. Most of them I do ignore by simply muting the audio on my computer but, that would really defeat the purpose of watching a video with it muted so you don’t hear another add in the background would it?

Even with the great changes in Technology with DVR’s, Netflix, Hulu, Comcast, and all the others, we are paying more for what we want and often (not always) being bombarded by adds and timelines that are designed to “addict” us to keep watching on their time line not yours, stopping you from doing other things that would be more beneficial to your psychology and spirit and body!

So I ask once again, Are we a captive audience? very much so. Are there things that we can do to fight back? not really, but we can at least limit it. Be aware of how much time we are spending allowing ourselves to be held captive. There are a great many things that we can do that are more entertaining and more productive in other ways..

Jan 26, 2014 Stalling out! Cannot wait for summer!

Well, maybe not a full on stall.. We did get a little further along on the project.. after running the wires we were feeling like we were on the home stretch.. well, at least until we started the insulation ( MAN DO I HATE THAT STUFF!) we were able to get it all in Minus down around the concrete and the attic access. The attic access will be an Expanding foam insulation and around the concrete will use a rigid R4 insulation paneling.  Here are some pics of where we are at.

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This week was a bit tricky getting much done because, well, putting in 57 hours really limit what you are able to do elsewhere.  But we are still on track.. we are hoping to get the sheet rock on Monday and get it going in this week.. The overall goal is to get the kids moved in by Valentines.. I think we can do it, it is just time right!?

Update stated, here is the deal.. I was really hoping to get the trench dug yesterday with a vid of that process but there was not a trencher available.. hopefully soon.. we’ll get ‘er dug and get some wiring to the garage..

Now for those of you that know me, I am always shooting for things waaayyyy  out of reach and really I am at it again! I am trying to convince my wife of doing some massive amounts of concrete work.. (new driveway, curb, gutter, sidewalk, and of coarse a driveway to the shop) what that means for you is a lot of new projects.. and tons of great vids.. the catch is somehow I have to swindle a new computer and a car lift in the mix of everything else. The upside to that is I can use it for a income source but it is the journey getting there that is gonna be a bit tricky..

I guess what I am saying is, its only gonna get better.

Jan 19, 2014 Wires and Bit Tricks

Wow, what a week.. started out with a lot of wires, big thick ones, well, and one little one that loved to get tangled on everything.. we finally pulled the last of the wires out of the house toward the garage.. I learned a cool trick though, for a long time I have always just used a simple speedbor bit do drill out the holes for my wire such as this:

but, the problem I ran into, was that I had to go through a diagonal board and then through four 2×4’s stacked to get the wires from the ceiling to the wall

difficult drilling situation
difficult drilling situation

I did look at getting an auger bit to do it but they tend to be really expensive and in the end they do not last as long and cannot be sharpened.

but I came across one of these nifty little cheaters.

f84af3d3-cd5d-48ef-81e9-f6b1ba1404a7_300I was surprised that they were as cheap as they are, and make a cheap bit do so much more. now, there are limitations such as the clearence. The hole that you need to drill needs to be slightly larger than the fitting for the bit.. in my case I opted for the quick release but that means that it is a bit bigger connector but well worth the time saving and for my applications it will work greatly.

That being said, it was pulled out side and now are strung across the yard and I hope to get the wires buried in the next few weeks but it will all depend on work schedules and equipment availability.

We were also able to finish out the closet framing and putting in nailers where one wall connected to another (vital to Sheetrock working as it should and not cracking) and also put some expanding foam into the areas that we wont be able to fit regular fiberglass insulation (that was a fun process and it ooses out the holes before drying)

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I am now looking forward to a productive week of installing the remaining insulation in the walls and getting the Sheetrock started.. There is one catch to the process though, I still have to put in the attic access in the closet…. new tools required to complete… of coarse…

That is one thing that I am hoping to get ordered