Over the past twenty years I estimate I’ve paid roughly close or a little more than $27,000 in cable TV or satellite programming fees. After recently reducing my Direct TV plan, and by-the- way I accidentally ‘moved down’ two packages instead of the one-step drop I was planning. I’ve become accustomed to not having the 3 to 5 channels out of 679 that I actually normally watch.

For instance I love history – but not shows about pawn shop brokers, or guys running around the country buying old junk out of people’s barns. I like the kind of history program that looks at events and people that caused/lived through them such as The Great Depression, or The War of 1812, the Peloponnesian War, etc. Not shows about a grumpy old guy building motorcycles with his sons.

And it didn’t take long to get used to having basically two news channels to watch. (CNN, FOX) I haven’t watched ‘local news’ in years because for decades it’s largely been a re-wrap of national news that day, not really what happened locally in our communities or neighborhoods unless it was bleeding on the sidewalk. There are no great investigative pieces or series about the local government, bad restaurants, and so on that take place locally every day that largely go un-reported.

For national news and breaking stories yada, yada, yada, I’ll still have the internets at $62 a month. Plus I can go to the local tv and newspaper sites in case they happen to mention something that has happened around here that isn’t dead, missing or bleeding.

(Note to Self: Upon winning the lottery, I shall purchase a local television station and broadcast local news, local events and local happenings.)

I remembered how I used to read books, and have mildly picked up the habit again currently reading: ‘The Memoirs of US Grant’, ‘A World Undone’ and ‘A Man on The Moon’. I’ve always read two or three books at once. And I remembered how I’d spend more time out in the yard or garage workshop on ‘projects’ repairing or building things. Right now I have no less than 25-45 projects or future ideas that need immediate attention.

At this point I’ll mention I have Netflix, Amazon Prime and Hulu for pure entertainment purposes and these are about $10 a month each. (Someone mentioned to me that “Netflix and Chilling” is a big thing now.)

I think I can do this. I lost ESPN with my recent downgrade and after about five weeks of no Sportscenter or Mike and Mike and other urgent re-telling’s of what others have done on the field, I’m still breathing. Plus I know that in about 1843 Ulysses S Grant camped out with the Army in Louisiana along the Sabine River near what is now DeRidder. (Everyone complained about the insects back then too)

So now, here’s the plan and today’s question; after the election, (I do want to see all the results of course), I’m installing a pretty nice digital antennae on the roof of my house that purports to have about a 150 mile radius…. Yeah, just like in the old days. My cable/satellite bill will go from $164 a month down to just about $0.

So here’s the question: Is anybody else in SE Texas watching television with just an HD antennae? I know I’ll get all the major network programming (yawn) and ONLY ‘local’ news, but other than that – is there anything else out there to watch or watch out for?

The saddest part as of now is I know there is no way to see an Astros game without going to the baseball park. College football might be a challenge, for some games I may have to force myself to socialize publicly in a sports/bar venue. Due to years-long decline in my interest in the NFL, Thursday and Monday night games aren’t a big deal – and most Cowboy games (especially now) are going to find their way to primetime on major networks.

I’ll have to wait longer than everyone else, but eventually shows I do like- ‘Better Call Saul” will be on Netflix or Amazon so I’ll get to see some of my favs in due time, approximately a year after the rest of the world lol.

But wow – if I had that $27,000 in cash from past cable fees in the bank right now! That money is gone, I traded it for a few laughs but mostly for a lot of ‘noise in the background’.

Knowing myself pretty well after nearly six decades on this planet – I have the feeling that once I cut the ‘cable’ cord, reading more and doing more actual things with my hands - - the facebook habit will surely quickly begin to die out as well.

$27,000 in cable fees. Daaaang.