Monday, September 30, 2013


Hello, WORLD!! Smokkee here again. Living in Chicago, you see how most utility options are limited because there's a monopoly running almost every major utility here. For example, Commonwealth Edison doesn't have much competition. I'm trying to figure out if there is another option for electricity in Chicago. For the life of me, I can't think of another supplier. Ditto People's Gas. At least when I stayed in Hammond, Indiana there was also a company called NIPSCO for natural gas. It's no joy for a consumer to have to buy something or get service from a company because it's the only game in town. That's why the CTA is able to do whatever it wants to with bus fare prices, which is typically raise them every year or so. 
For a long time, the phone companies were this way too. Thanks to cell phone technology, this is no longer the case.

I just wanted to throw my 2 cents out there again on this subject before I moved on to the true purpose of this post. I've given up on Comcast, both cable and internet. For some reason, each and every time I've went with Comcast as my provider and I got quoted a set monthly price, I have always had to pay more than that said set price. Ditto AT&T, and that goes all the way back to when they were Ameritech and then to when they were Illinois Bell before that.

I've been hearing about WOW Internet for about 5 years now but they never were in my area before. Since I've recently moved and was thoroughly fed up with Comcast after this last go round ended up being close to $300 a month, I decided to push my luck and try them. Lo and behold, I finally lived in an area that they serviced. I'm sorry I forgot the sales reps name. He was great at this customer service thing, and that's from another great customer service agent - me, LBVS. How good was he? Well, not only did I get internet, I wound up getting cable TV even though I won't use it. I still wouldn't miss a show even without the 250 channels the basic cable package includes because of my next purchase: a stream TV player. 

I call myself trying to stay in the loop about a lot of news but it's an impossible task; there's always a next big thing, always somebody working on something new.  Stream TV players aren't exactly a new thing. I do remember hearing about one, Apple TV, and was not impressed by it at all. For the uninitiated, these players stream internet feed like YouTube and World Star Hip Hop directly to your TV.  Yeah, turns your TV into a phone, lol. Seriously, YouTube is good for what, maybe 15 minutes before you're bored of it, right? When it first came out it was a different story. Now, it's just ho-hum. 

So forgive me for not seeing the bigger picture at first. That didn't happen until this year when this internet only show, Orange Is The New Black, became so popular that I had to see what the hubbub was about myself. You can only watch OITNB on Netflix for now so that meant I had to try it again. Mind you, the first time I tried Netflix was on my Android phone a few years ago. I thought it was cool having all these movies at my disposal...until my phone had to buffer every other minute or so. So I uninstalled it. 

This year, I have switched back to an iPhone, infuriating all of my fellow Android users who think I jumped ship in the process (LOL), and I've barely had to wait for buffering on it at all. (SN: I haven't jumped ship, Droid world. It's a best of both worlds type deal since I still love my Galaxy Tab. Forgive me for not wanting to carry it everywhere when my phone works does basically the same thing on a smaller scale.) So I was able to watch maybe 3-4 episodes a month ago before Verizon sent me a text about I'm almost me almost used all of the data I'm allotted per month....I pay for 10 gigs though! I contacted Verizon and they say that each movie you watch uses about a gig itself. So 10 movies for 10 gigs? Thanks but no thanks. 

So I had to find an alternative means to watch this series, which led me to inquire about how can I watch internet on the TV, which led me back to Apple TV, and finally seeing the big picture to it, as well as learning more about it's biggest competitor, Roku. Now my assignment for this week is figuring out which of the 2 I should buy sometime this week. From what I've read so far I should roll with Apple TV if I want the most out of my Apple experience because of the easy interaction between Apple products, and let me just add that if it works the way it claims to work then Airdrop will be that shiznit! I hear that if you don't own any Apple products, then Roku may be your best option.

Now I hear I have another major option from Google called Chromecast. I'll just assume that it comes packed with Android app capabilities. Again, this is just an assumption for now. Well, that's it for now, WORLD. I got reviews to read.


Tuesday, September 17, 2013


Hello, WORLD!! Smokkee, still alive and kickin. I've been saying that this blog is most personal blog. It really is though, I just don't open up easy. I'm working on that.

With that said, I was planning a few post more personal posts on here anyway, such as will I still be able to quit my day job on December 1st as I planned, why I feel comic book writer Dan Slott is the Vince Gilligan of the comic book world, etc. And this post too, which was just begging to be written. In fact I almost wrote it last Tuesday night, right after I wound up doing something real stupid. I didn't because I didn't want to seem like I was boasting or bragging about my, um, "good fortune". Then last Thursday night it happened again, lucky me. I wanted to write about it for sure now, but then the officer I was talking to requested I write it! So.....

Before I get into the details of what events led to this post, let me give you a lil gist of what I do and how that lead to this. I work from 8:30 am to 5:00 pm Monday thru Friday in the West Loop/Fulton Market area for a job that is more than a little frustrating on various levels. I do customer service for at least 40 different companies and I'm sure a lot of yall know how that goes without me going into detail. Well when the work day is done, I'm either heading to the movies for a screening or checking out some sports on 75th and Eggleston (aka Da Egg) before I head home to the family. 

Here I gotta confess that most nights when I leave I'm drunk as a skunk. Yes, I'm still trying to quit drinking and I'm not anywhere near the alcoholic I used to be but here we are. It's still what I do. 

Now when I head back to the home-front near 63rd and Western, it's late, I'm drunk, and the CTA buses are running on that slow night owl schedule. One night I sat at the bus stop damn near an hour before it realized it might not be coming.. Drunk people stuff. Anyway if I don't see one I start to walk. Yep, I know it sounds like a nice hike but I'm drunk. Only time a drunk stays still is if he's sleep. Whatever the case, a lot of nights I walk it's the entire 4.4 mile trek. Lots of interesting things happen as you'd expect. 

Now for what happened last Tuesday (this part is a lil embarrassing...).
I was heading home about sometime around 11pm - 1am. Yes, I was a little intoxicated. OK, a lot of intoxicated to tell the truth. So right on 68 and Halsted I felt nature calling. Nature calls a lot when you're drunk, like how drunk people call their exes. With no bathroom around (my drunk state didn't remind me that White Castle is about a block away), I did what most men would do: find the nearest alley. DONT JUDGE ME! Right when I was doing the finishing wiggle (again, DJM!), a blue and white cruiser pull up 3 officers deep. 
Of course, they started asking what are you doing back here, do you have anything, etc. For the most part, I was completely legal. I did have a little bit of marijuana, about 3 dime bags, like always but the officers were unconcerned with those for the most part. They took the weed out of my pockets and continued their search. After my name came back clean the gave me a ticket. Not for the marijuana; for the public urination. Then to my surprise, they gave me my weed back! After I looked at the ticket to make sure I didn't just imagine the whole incident, checked to make sure that what I had in my pocket again was in fact my weed, and looked around to see if I could spot a hidden camera somewhere (I just knew I was getting PUNK'D), I continued along my way home, a lil confused but no worse for wear. 

Then Thursday night after the PATRIOTS v JETS game, I headed home again, this time nowhere near as intoxicated as I was the Tuesday before. This time, I got all the way to 63rd around Morgan St when 2 detective cars and a blue n white squad car rolled up on me.
"Where's the gun?" the detective closest to me asked. "Gun? I don't need one. I aint got no enemies out here." I replied. "Yeah? We got a report that a man with his hood on in a black jacket got off the train and was walking around brandishing a pistol. Got anything on you?" "Nothing illegal. I got a little bit of weed in my right pocket though." "Where you just coming from?" "Oh you watched the game? Who won?" "Yeah, I just heard that on the radio." All of that was happening as one detective checked my pockets and not only found the 2 dime bags I was referring to but a couple of SWP Blog post drafts that I was gonna finish writing when I got home. I blog from my phone when I'm off work and it's much easier for me to look up what I've already wrote from a printed copy of the draft than to keep scrolling the page on my phone. "What's this?" he asked then I explained what I just explained to you guys. 

"So you're a blogger? I want you to blog this for me." the first detective said as I was presented with my marijuana back from the police for the 2nd time in 3 days!! "Tell your readers and the people that we're the good guys out here. We're not trying to make nobodies life harder. We ain't out here fucking with law abiding citizens. We're just out here doing our jobs. You don't break the law, we won't break your balls. You give us hassle, you're gonna get a hassle. Don't go spreading no stories about how we roughed you up now, you hear? Enjoy your smoke." With a laugh I told him I would do just that. Gotta keep your word; sometimes it's the only thing you have. I haven't made the walk since then though and I haven't had as much to drink since then, well,  until yesterday.

Which reminds me. Let me try to find something to eat. I'm still trying to sober up from the Monday Night Football drinking. Later, WORLD!