Is There a More Haunting Song Than This?

My wife and I were at the funeral today for Chuck, the brother of a good friend of ours.

Chuck had served in the U.S. Marines, and as part of the funeral service, two Marines came in and saluted the deceased and then proceeded to unfold the U.S. flag. Once it was unfolded, the two Marines held it high, and the song ‘Taps” began to play.

For me, it’s an emotionally charged moment. The song immediately brought a sense of reverence for the deceased, in this case, Chuck. Here was a man who had risked his life because of love of country. I think every time I’ve heard Taps played, usually at a funeral, you can hear a pin drop, and today was no exception.

It was also impressive to watch the genuine care that the soldiers displayed during the service. From their crisp uniforms, to their precision walking, to presenting the flag to the wife of the deceased; they were proud professionals.

So thank you Chuck, as well as all  current and non-current military personnel for your service to our country.

And my deepest sympathies to Chuck’s family.

Who Needs Fake News When You’ve Got Fake Comments

I thought I’d share some of the recent comments I’ve received on my blog, perhaps reading what others have to say may encourage you to post a comment or two.

While I fully realize these comments are all spam, crated by spam bots, for who knows what purpose, I’ll admit it is somewhat gratifying reading such positive feedback.

Or as Seth Godin might call it, “applause”. And as he points out, we could all use a little applause.

So without further ado:

This excellent website truly has all the information I needed about this
subject and didn’t know who to ask.

I am actually grateful to the holder of this site who has shared this impressive paragraph at at this place.

This design is steller! You certainly know how to keep a reader amused.

Between your wit and your videos, I was almost moved to start my
own blog (well, almost…HaHa!) Great job. I really loved what you had to say, and more than that, how you presented it. Too cool!

I’ve read some excellent stuff here. Definitely price bookmarking for
revisiting. I surprise how much attempt you set to make the
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Its like you learn my mind! You appear to understand a lot approximately this,
like you wrote the book in it or something. I feel that you simply could do with a few p.c. to power the message home a little bit, however other than that, this is fantastic blog. A great read. I will definitely be back.

And here’s a couple more of my favorites, which highlight the global nature of my blog posts:

2、以下のコマンドを入力し、Enter キーを押します。 あなたは最高のトレーニング資料を手に入れました。 microsoft excel 価格
Microsoftの歴史上、これは初の現象かもしれない。 これは、自分でやってもいい作業ではあるが、ついでなので。

I couldn’t have said it better myself. And then there’s this one:

chlüsseldienst Frankfurt Sachsenhausen: Wir sind rund um die Uhr für Sie da! Rufen Sie uns an und wir helfen Ihnen – egal ob bei der Notöffnung Ihrer Tür oder mit einem Sicherheitskonzept für Ihr Zuhause.24 Stunden und sieben Tage die Woche erreichbarschnell vor Ort als für Frankfurt Sachsenhausenfaire und im Vorfeld bestätigte Festpreisechadenfreie und TresoröffnungSollten Sie an Ihrer Türe ein Problem haben, so können Sie sich sicher sein, daß wir als Sachsenhausen bestens qualitativ ausgerüstet sind.So können wir gängige Zylinder und Schlösser in den entsprechenden Größen sofort austauschen.

So as you can see, there is s thriving marketplace for commenting on my blog posts. Feel free to join in the discussion.

And if you’re thinking about writing something negative about a particular blog post, try to make it sound as fake as possible. That way I can blame the bad review on the fake commenter…

 

“I Got It! I Got It!”

Seth Godin had a short and sweet blog post today about taking responsibility.

Seth uses a baseball analogy, that of calling for a fly ball. When two players are both in a position to make the catch, Seth notes that a player will yell “I got it!”, as a way of taking responsibility for making the catch. In such a situation, a player does not yell, “It’s yours!”

Seth notes that this is the same with responsibility. The best thing to do is to take responsibility, not to assign it.

I couldn’t agree more. I’ve always been a big believer in taking responsibility for my own actions, and for my own success.

I’ve never felt the need to have someone motivate me, ultimately motivation has to come from within.

As a result, I don’t think I’m very good at motivating others, since I think a person’s performance is something they need to take personal responsibility for.

There are obvious situations where responsibility is assigned, such as who signs off on a company’s 10-K, or who will be calling the plays in a huddle, Even in baseball, on some fly balls in the infield, the pitcher will assign responsibility for the catch to a specific player.

But even in such situations, once you have been given a responsibility, you need to embrace it, and carry out that responsibility to the best of your ability.

Going back to the original baseball analogy, here’s an example of what could go wrong in such a situation, although the problem here is probably lack of communication as opposed to a willingness to take responsibility…

And just in case I misinterpreted what Seth was trying to say, I take full responsibility for such an error…

 

If You Want to be Happy, Choose Your Apps Carefully

Time Well Spent, a company focused on stopping technology platforms from hijacking our minds and our best interests first, teamed up with Moment, an app that tracks how much time you spend on your phone, to study the impact of using smartphone apps on our moods.

Time Well Spent asked 200,000 users to rate apps after seeing how much time they spent on them. The results were broken down into which apps made people the happiest, and which apps made users the unhappiest.

The results?

Two of the top three apps that made people the happiest were meditation apps, with Calm as the top ranked one. Among the top 10 there were some apps that I use frequently, including Google Calendar, the Weather, and Waze.

My wife uses a meditation app, so it looks like I’ll have to hop on the bandwagon and try out Calm. Look for a future post on my experience with the app.

At the other end of the spectrum, Time Well Spent also reported on the apps that made users the most unhappy. Of the top 1o vote-getters, the only app I’ve used that is on the list is Facebook.

It seems as if a key difference between the apps that make users either the happiest or the unhappiest is the amount of time spent on the app. It may seem ironic, but the apps that people spend the most time on tend to the the apps that have the unhappiest people. The top apps are generally used to help the user become more efficient, and thus users interact with such apps in an efficient manner.

So it looks like if I stop checking Facebook on my phone, and do a very short session of meditation, I’ll improve my level of happiness by leaps and bounds.

As noted above, I’ll let you know what happens if I try this approach.

I’d do it tonight, but given that I am falling asleep while composing this blog, I’m worried that if I tried the Calm app right now, I’d enter a deep sleep, and wouldn’t get up until tomorrow afternoon.

I’m also considering downloading the other app mentioned in this post, Moment, but I’m a little nervous about what the report will say about my smartphone habits…

Hey Pittsburgh, You’ve Changed in the Past 35 Years

It was our oldest son’s (James) birthday, and since he’s been working in Cleveland for a while, we thought Pittsburgh would be a good place for all of us to meet for the weekend.

James had never been to Pittsburgh, and my wife had not been there since I graduated from Carnegie-Mellon in 1981. I’ve only been back once, and that was five years ago when my youngest son (Pat) and I went there during my Fall Break. We had a great time exploring the city, and I’ve been hoping to get back ever since.

We stayed at Marriott’s Springhill Suites at Bakery Square, and it was a great hotel in a perfect location.

Bakery Square is a new mixed-use development located in the East End neighborhood of Pittsburgh, built out of the existing site of the historic Nabisco Factory. Bakery Square offers an exciting lifestyle center environment while hosting numerous free events to connect with its neighbors and guests.

bakerysquare

Bakery Square offers an eclectic mix of retail, dining, living, and working spaces. As you can see in the picture one of the major tenants is Google.

One of the unique spaces was occupied by TechShop, a community-based workshop and prototyping studio on a mission to democratize access to the tools of innovation. TechShop offers the Pittsburgh maker community more than 16,000 square feet of workshop space equipped with world class tools and equipment, computers loaded with design software featuring the Autodesk Design Suite, hundreds of classes each month, and the support and camaraderie of a community of like-minded makers. We walked past it about 8:00 on Saturday night, and it looked like there were at least a dozen people in there, working away. Gary Vaynerchuk would have been impressed.

After checking into the hotel, I thought Shadyside would be a fun place to walk around on a Friday night and find something to eat. It was a nice neighborhood 35 years ago, and it is even nicer today (of course, any neighborhood that has an Apple store is a winner in my book). After strolling up and down Walnut Street, we had dinner at Mercurio’s, a great pizza place, and then headed back to the hotel.

We woke up early Saturday morning, and after a yummy free breakfast at the hotel, started out on our journey around the city. The first stop was the old house I lived in my second year at CMU, with four other guys. It wasn’t in great shape then, and unfortunately it is in even worse shape now. As you can see from the picture below, it would make a great stand-in house for the Munsters.

oldpitthouse

We loved the house though, and I have many fond memories of the time spent there. While the house has gotten worse over the years, the neighborhood has gotten much nicer, which was encouraging to see. After driving around the neighborhood for a few minutes, we headed to Carnegie Mellon to see what had changed on campus.

It took a couple of minutes, but I found the Business School, now known as the Tepper School of Business, thanks to the generosity of David Tepper, class of 1982 (one year behind me, but light years ahead of me in lifetime earnings…). The building has expanded considerably, and one highlight is the picture of the eight Nobel Prize winners who have taught at the Business School. Not too shabby…

After checking out the business school, we walked around the campus for a while, making sure to show my wife and son the “Fence”. The unofficial university billboard, the Fence is painted between midnight and sunrise by students who then stand guard as long as they want their message to stay. The original Fence was once the “most painted object in the world” until it collapsed and was replaced by a steel-concrete fence.

cmufence

I also pointed out the pool I used to work out in, which apparently was the same pool that Fred Rogers used to use. Allegedly his apartment building was right next to the campus.

After the campus tour, we got back in our car and headed towards the Duquesne Incline. Along the way I pointed out Pitt’s Cathedral of Learning, an impressive building right in the middle of Pitt’s campus.

The Duquesne Incline is one of the must-see and do attractions in Pittsburgh. The Incline is essentially a single trolley car that goes up and down the side of Mt. Washington, offering spectacular views of the city, the three rivers, and all of its bridges.

incline

The Incline will always have special meaning to my wife and I, since we rode down the Incline after having had dinner at Christopher’s at the top of the Incline. It was at that dinner that I gave Mary her engagement ring. We still remember how excited and kind people were on the Incline as my wife showed everyone her ring. Christopher’s is no longer in operation, but the memory will always be there.

After riding the Incline, we headed to the South Side. This is the funky part of Pittsburgh, and I think I counted at least four tattoo shops in a half-mile strip on Carson Street. As I vaguely recall, it wasn’t always the safest place to visit 35 years ago, but today it is a bustling retail strip. One of our favorite stores we stopped in was S&S Candy & Cigar, which seemed to have every kind of candy I remember as a kid. (I have no idea why a candy store and cigar store are combined into one…)

Before leaving the South Side, we stopped for lunch at Emiliano’s, which was outstanding, and on our way back to the car we grabbed a bag of delicious pretzels at The Pretzel Shop.

When we got back to the hotel, we all rested up for a while, a little tired from all of the walking. Later on we took a walk around Bakery Square (where we saw those makers hard at work at TechShop). We then had dinner right at the Square at Asiatique Thai Bistro. It was another wonderful dining experience.

We called it a night, and made plans to check out Squirrel Hill the next morning. After waking up and having another great free breakfast at the hotel, we drove to Squirrel Hill. This is another unique Pittsburgh neighborhood that seems to have gotten much nicer over the years. We visited the local library located right in the heart of Squirrel Hill, Mary picked up some tea at the wonderful Blue Monkey Tea shop, and I picked up a good cup of coffee at Commonplace Coffeehouse.

At this point, we decided to call it a weekend, and start heading our separate ways. We all agreed that it was a wonderful weekend, and are hoping to return again to Pittsburgh in the near future.

It is a city of great neighborhoods, and of people obsessed with the Steelers…

Can You Live a “Balanced” Life and Still Achieve Greatness?

“If you look at all of the really successful artists, they’re all loners. To get to where they are, they had to sacrifice everything, and they just practice all day, every day.”

That was part of a conversation I still remember from college, 40 years ago.

A friend and I were talking about what it took to be the best in the world at something, and that was his response.

I’ve thought about that conversation a lot over the years, and I think there’s a good deal of truth in my friend’s statement.

I think that if you want to be the best in the world at something, whether it’s music, magic, juggling, drawing, writing, basketball, running a business, finding a cure for cancer, it requires a near obsessive commitment to that goal.

I also think that the obvious outcome of such a commitment is a lack of “balance” in that person’s life. How could such a person have time or energy for anything else if he or she is going all in on such a pursuit?

I can see how such a person could become a loner, since they would would not be able to commit the time necessary to maintain a personal relationship with someone.

The big question of course is whether such s single-minded pursuit of greatness is worth it.

I think we all admire the outcome of such efforts, and we hold those who succeed in such pursuits in high esteem.

But we often don’t think about the cost associated with such outcomes.

I think about a recent tweet from Elon Musk when asked about his life:

“The reality is great highs, terrible lows and unrelenting stress. Don’t think people want to hear about the last two.”

I think about Bruce Springsteen and the bouts of depression he has dealt with for decades.

I think about Steve Jobs and his obnoxious behavior towards his employees.

Are these all examples of the price one pays for pursuing greatness?

Could these individuals have reached such heights without being fully committed to their goals, and ignoring virtually everything else around them?

Unfortunately, I don’t think they could have.

There was a great article in the New York Times this week by Brad Stulberg, “Maybe We All Need a Little Less Balance“, that looked at this issue.

Stulberg notes that the times in his life when he’s felt the happiest and most alive were also the times that he’s been the most unbalanced. He believes that trying to be balanced — devoting equal proportions of time and energy to other areas of his life — would have detracted from his formative experiences.

Stulberg also gives examples of others who have achieved success and who attribute such success to a single-minded commitment to such success. Stulberg suggests that “perhaps we could all use a little more unbalance in our lives.”  

He references the work of psychologist Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi who introduced the term flow a mental state during which people become wholly immersed in the activity they are doing and their perception of time and space is altered, their entire being filled with enjoyment. A telltale sign of these optimal experiences, of “being in the zone,” is that the outside world disappears. In such a state, flow and balance are irreconcilable. And compared to flow, balance seems, for lack of a better term, boring.

Stulberg also talks about the costs and risks associated with such behavior, but does not believe that “balance” is the solution.;s life

Instead, he recommends internal self-awareness, the ability to see yourself clearly by assessing, monitoring and proactively managing your core values, emotions, passions, behaviors and impact on others. Once you have done that, you should then live your life accordingly.

Stulberg concludes with the following advice:

Maybe the good life is not about trying to achieve some sort of illusory balance. Instead, maybe it’s about pursuing your interests fully, but with enough internal self-awareness to regularly evaluate what you’re not pursuing as a result — and make changes if necessary. Living in this manner trumps balance any day.

It still seems like he  is suggesting that there be some type of balance in a person that kicks in when the person becomes aware that they have become too obsessed in their pursuits of greatness.

But in my mind, I’m still not sure that’s possibe.

I guess I still agree with my friend’s comments from 40 years ago; if you want to be truly great at something, then you need to pursue that goal at the exclusion of all else.

It’s then up to that individual to decide if such a goal is worth the inevitable costs.

 

What’s In a Name?

Early on at the beginning of each semester I set aside a day for what I call The Name Game. The “Game” requires each student to come to the front of the room, introduce themselves, and then use a prop or some way to help us remember their name. (Admittedly I stole the idea from a Marketing Professor I team taught with one year).

It’s a fun class, there’s lot of creative props, and it’s a helpful way for me to get to know the students’ names more quickly. In addition to the prop, as part of each student’s presentation, they have to say the name of every one that went before them. They don’t know this last part in advance, so that guy in the back row corner seat has to say everyone’s name, while the person who goes first only has to say her own name.

During the class prior to the Name Game, I share a few examples of what students have done in the past. Two such examples stick out. Once, a young woman stood up in front of the class, and after introducing herself (her last name was Sprotte) , she took a roll of toilet paper out of her backpack, and said, “My name is *** Sprotte, “you’ll remember me the next time you’re on the potty.” That was an effective prop, I remembered her name immediately.

Another example I share is of a a young man who stepped in front the class, and then proceeded to rip open his shirt, buttons flying everywhere. He then took a stapler out of his backpack and started stapling his chest and abs. Somewhere along the line he said his name, but I was too dumbfounded to hear much of what he was saying. So while it was an impressive feat of pain tolerance, it didn’t help too much with getting to know his name.

Well today was Name Game day, and once again the students came through with some clever props. One woman gave a brief demo of Irish step dancing, another one led the class in a rap song she made up about her name, one guy brought in a pair of water wings (that he actually went to Target to buy just for the Name Game), and another guy played a song on his smartphone and started dancing around the room, lip synching to the Mighty Quinn. There were also several references to musical instruments, sports, a couple of YouTube videos, and lots of candy.

I’m always impressed with how comfortable my students are in front of the class, and not embarrassed if they can’t remember someone’s name. The students seem to enjoy the class, and the chance to get to know each other a little bit. I’ve also noticed that each student pays close attention to everyone’s name and the prop, particularly if they have to repeat that name. They also pay close attention to see if students remember their name.

I also participate in the Name Game. I use the same prop each time, doing a little bit of juggling with bean bags. I also go last so that I have to say everyone’s name. The students are watching me intently, waiting to see if I will remember their name.

It’s clear that people care about their names, and want others to know what it is. The Name Game reinforces the importance of a person’s name.

So for the next couple of weeks I’ll keep going back over the notes I took as each student presented so that I know their names as quickly as I can.

And to answer Shakespeare  “What’s in a name?”

Everything a person stands for, condensed into one word.

Write On

Morgan Housel recently published an article “Why Everyone Should Write“.

Morgan is a partner at the Collaborative Fund, a venture capital fund that focuses not just on investment returns but helping to make the world a better place.

So what qualifies a financial person to talk about the value of writing?

Morgan is a two-time winner of the Best in Business award from the Society of American Business Editors and Writers and a two-time finalist for the Gerald Loeb Award for Distinguished Business and Financial Journalism. He was selected by the Columbia Journalism Review for the Best Business Writing 2012 anthology. In 2013 he was a finalist for the Scripps Howard Award. (from his bio)

In other words, Morgan’s got street cred.

In the article, Housel states that writing crystallizes ideas in ways thinking on its own will never accomplish, and according to Housel, the reason is simple: It’s hard to focus on a topic in your head for more than a few seconds without getting distracted by another thought, and distractions erase whatever you attempted to think about. But words on paper stick.

He goes on to note that putting ideas on paper is the best way to organize them in one place, and getting everything in one place is essential to understanding ideas as more than the gut reactions they often hide as.

Housel also points out that sometimes writing can be encouraging since it can help people realize that they know a topic better than they thought.

However, writing can also be humbling, making us realize that we don’t know as much as we thought. He quotes Warren Buffett:

Some of the things I think I think, I find don’t make any sense when I start trying to write them down.

So where does one find ideas to write about?

Housel notes that even professional writers don’t know exactly what they’ll write about until they start writing, because the process crystallizes the fuzzy ideas we all have floating around.

So his advice?

Write.

Housel’s post really hit home for me.

I’ve been writing this daily blog for over two and a half years (967 posts to be exact, counting this one), and I remember when I first started my biggest fear would be that I would have nothing to write about it.

Now there are some days when it is hard to come up with something to write about, but at this point, I’m fairly confident that I’ll find something.

I have three primary sources I rely on for ideas.

One is from what I read. I try to read as much as I can, on a variety of topics that are of interest to me. My daily Password (most days) consists of the Wall Street Journal, the New York Times, the Philadelphia Inquirer, Fred Wilson, Seth Godin, David Kanigan, Harvard Business Review, Crain’s Philadelphia, SiliconValley.com, and the Onion. I also follow a few people on Facebook, such as Dan Pink, who often have links to great articles (that’s actually where I came across the article by Houser).

A second source of ideas are just my own personal interests. If you’ve followed my blog, you may have noticed that  there have been some recurring themes – happiness, social justice, behavioral economics, TV commercials, juggling, music, fitness, education. I may either write something from scratch on one of these topics, or more likely, I’ll read something from one of these areas of interest, and try to add my own perspective.

A final source of ideas is my personal experiences. Whether it’s a day at the beach, a nice dinner out with the family, or a humorous event at work, if I think there is something of value to be written about and shared, I’ll do so.

One of the best things that has come out of writing a daily blog is that it has forced me to read more and to become more aware of things, whether it’s politics, injustice, or the world of exercise.

Writing has also pushed me to live a life filled with more experiences. I’ve found myself more willing to want to try new things, often times part of the motive being that it may offer me something to write about at a later time.

And like Housel notes, writing has forced me to think more carefully about what my thoughts and beliefs are. It’s much easier just to have some vague thoughts floating around your head; writing has helped bring some clarity to those ideas.

My blog has also enabled me to interact with people I never would have otherwise; from a well known local radio DJ, to a family in London who have a son with Williams Syndrome, and to fellow bloggers.

And if you need further encouragement to write, here is a great tweet from Harlan Coben last week. Harlan is a bestselling author of mystery novels, and one of my favorite authors:

So there you have it – the same advice from three highly successful individuals, Morgan, Warren, and Harlan – just write.

My Edits of Mark Cuban’s Advice for the Powerball Winner

Last year, when the Powerball jackpot hit a record $1.5 billion, Mark Cuban shared some advice for the lottery winner with the Dallas News.

Now that the Powerball has worked it’s way back up into the stratosphere, I think it would be useful to share those words of advice again. But I have modified his advice a bit, which I have indicated in bold after Mark’s advice.

  • Hire a tax attorney first.Don’t take the lump sum. You don’t want to blow it all in one spot. Hire Jim Borden second. And do take the lump sum.
  • If you weren’t happy yesterday you won’t be happy tomorrow. It’s money. It’s not happiness. If you’re not going to be happy with all of that money, you may as well send the money to Jim Borden. I’m happy now, and I’d be REAL happy after receiving that lump sum payout. You could live vicariously through me.
  • If you were happy yesterday, you are going to be a lot happier tomorrow. It’s money. Life gets easier when you don’t have to worry about the bills. Research shows that giving increases your happiness even more, so be sure to share your winnings with Jim Borden.
  • Tell all your friends and relatives no. They will ask. Tell them no. If you are close to them, you already know who needs help and what they need. Feel free to help SOME, but talk to your accountant before you do anything and remember this, no one needs 1m dollars for anything. No one needs 100k for anything. Anyone who asks is not your friend. I’m neither a friend nor a relative, so there’s no need to say no to me if I were to ask for money.
  • You don’t become a smart investor when you win the lottery. Don’t make investments. You can put it in the bank and live comfortably. Forever. You will sleep a lot better knowing you won’t lose money. You could also help Jim Borden and his family live comfortably. Forever. Just think of the ripple effect your win would have. And you’ll sleep even better…

Cuban also added some words of advice for those thinking about buying a lottery ticket: “It’s OK to spend 2 dollars for entertainment value. If you have 10 dollars go to a Mavs game.”

To which I would add, and if you have $20, spend $10 at a Mavs game, and send $10 to yours truly.

Good luck to all of you playing Powerball tonight!

In Theory, This Post Should Have Only Taken Four and a Half Minutes

The offer seemed too good to be true.

Verizon was offering a one-gigabit FIOS connection package for just $79.99 per month. It was also waiving the installation fee (if you placed the order online), and was offering up to $500 to cover cancellation fees if you were switching to FIOS.

We have been long-time users of Verizon FIOS for both TV and Internet, and have been quite satisfied with the service. Our current speed plan was a respectable 50 meg connection, but the new gigabyte plan is 20 times faster than that.

I just envisioned how much faster I would get my work done. For example, my daily blog usually takes anywhere from one to two hours per night. So if we average that to 90 minutes per night while using my 50 meg Internet service, then at one-gigabit, the blog should only take four and a half minutes…

So I decided to give Verizon a call (actually several).

The first thing I found out is that the deal is only for new customers; but if you look closely at the ad pictured above (taken right from the Verizon web site), no where does it mention that the offer is only for new customers.

So during the phone call, I was told I could cancel my service, and then sign up for the new service under my wife’s name. But that would entail a $130 early contract termination fee. When I mentioned that the special offer indicated that they would pay up to $500 in cancellation fees, I was told that was also only available for new customers.

I was OK with the $90 installation fee, since the new service would require someone to come out and uninstall the old service and equipment, and put in the new service and equipment. However, the ad above does mention that if you place the order online, the $90 fee would be waived. During one of my phone calls I was told that I would not be able to place the new order online because I already had service at that address, and the system would not be able to process such an order. So the order would have to be done over the phone…

So if you are keeping track, I am up to $220 in one time fees for this new service.

I should also point out that the $79.99 promotion is just for a basic set of cable channels. I think I was told I that compared to the TV package we now had, we would lose something like 200-300 channels. When comparing the two TV packages, there was nothing of value that we were going to lose.

But the worst part is yet to come.

You may notice in the ad above that it does note (in small print), that the price goes up to $84.99 in year 2, plus the $79.99 does not include taxes, equip. charges, RSN, FDV, other fees, and $12/mo. STB equip charges.

So when I asked what will be the grand total of my monthly bill if I switched to the new service, the answer was $168 – more than double the big $79.99 advertised. Plus, let’s not forget the extra one-time charges of $220.

Well, I did some calculations, and despite all the issues noted above, it seemed like it would still be worth it to switch. We would be saving about $20 per month compared to what we currently pay, and so after 11 months we start saving money.

So we took the plunge, and the installation was today. The service tech did a great job; he was friendly, knowledgeable, and efficient. In a couple of hours we had the new service, and all of our devices were set up and ready to go.

So here I sit, about 90 minutes into this blog post, and I’m wondering, what did I just sign up for???

P.S. I just checked my speeds; download about 185 meg and upload about 480 meg. And that’s for a computer that is wired directly into the router. I wonder if that’s telling me I should start uploading more stuff…