Thursday, May 14, 2009

The Switch to Digital TV

It was originally going to be in February, but now it's in June that analog goes bye-bye and digital TV is the new standard. If you don't buy one of those converter boxes, you won't be able to watch television unless you subscribe to cable or satellite. I found some neat links over the last few days that help with information about this change. In fact, since I might have to completely give up my cable very soon, these links have been very helpful.

The first one is the government's site and I'm also including their 'contact us' page. It gives the address you can write to them as well as an email address. All of the phone numbers are automated. Here you can read all about the change to digital and the converter box coupons that you can order.

There's a terrific informational site called TV Fool where you can input your zip code and find out what channels you are most likely to receive once the transition is made. It divides the channels into ones you should be getting, one you will probably get, and ones you probably won't without a really strong antenna. The TV Signal Locator page is extremely simple to use and only takes a minute.

Next up is Rabbit Ears and it can tell you what your local stations are and where their towers are located. It's more neat information.

Last up, if you have questions about the conversion, there's a forum designed to answer your questions. It's not government run, but there are some very in-the-know folks there and it's another good place to ask questions about the entire process of switching to digital and setting up your converter box.

Exploring the Rockies

One of the things I really love to do is travel. I haven't been able to do much of that these days, but I still have a list of favorite places to return to and other places that I haven't visited before that I'd love to see. One of these places is Banff. It is so beautifully picturesque. I look at the mountains and yearn to return to them again. When I was in college, I went for long rides through the mountains. Being in the clean air, surrounded by beauty and wide-open spaces, was a serene and refreshing feeling.

Visiting Banff has to be an exhilarating experience. Today as I was losing myself by looking at photos and its webcam, I was particularly attracted to the Columbia Icefields. It's located right on the boundary of the Banff, between it and the Jasper National Park. This area is so massive that it feeds eight glaciers.

There's a tour there called the Columbia Icefield Glacier Experience that is calling my name big time. It reminds me of an Alaskan excursion I went on once. Here, you actually get to go on one of the glaciers. Now that excites me.

I'm off to go review the Banff site some more. In this summer heat we're having, it's cooling me off just to look at the webcam images.

Some News of the Day

I read an article on Farrah Fawcett today. Her special airs tomorrow night on NBC, and I think it's going to be very poignant and touching. I also think it's going to be hard to watch. A lot of folks are referring to the show as an auto-obituary. In a way, I guess it is. I have to continue to applaud Farrah's strength. She's definitely getting the last laugh with the tabloids, and I'm glad about that. From the sound of it, they aren't going to be able tell much more than what she is telling tomorrow night.

At the same time, I'm just very touched by how Ryan O'Neal continues to be at her side. Now, I'm not a fan of Ryan's, and I don't like how he came between Farrah and Lee Majors decades ago. I believe it was very disloyal. That said, they are a volatile couple who really do seem to have some deep, deep feelings. He's taking care of her just how she took care of him years back. That's how love should be.

I also read today that Jay Leno is having as his final guest -- Conan O'Brien. Give me a commercial break. Some are calling it very sportsmanlike. I think it's ridiculous. I don't know about the rest of America, but I'm not watching Leno at 10pm next season, anymore than I'm watching Conan in what was once a proud spot on the NBC schedule.

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