Culture Me Music My Stuff

Favorite TV Show? I Don’t Have One.

Tonight I was dumbfounded when a friend asked me what was my favorite television program. It is not that I don’t watch TV; I do. But I don’t have a program that I would classify as my “favorite.” My television habit has severely curtailed in recent years. It is not that I don’t watch television, but it isn’t that important to me anymore.

Directv NowI subscribe to DirecTV Now, an internet-streaming service. It costs $60 a month. They stream most of our local over-the-air channels, as well as the YES Network, SNY, MLB Network, MSG Networks, Fox News, USA Network, TNT, and a good assortment of entertainment networks (most of which I don’t watch). At $60, it is a much more comfortable cost to watch TV when compared to DirecTV’s (satellite) regular $130 a month charge. DirecTV Now doesn’t have a DVR, but with on demand, I guess I can say I don’t want to pay for a DVR.

Overall, I watch more sports than I do anything else. For instance, as I type this, the MLB Network is on showing the Arizona Diamondbacks vs. St. Louis Cardinals game. Right before, the New Jersey Devils’ game was on. And now as I type that previous sentence, that game is back on with the locals leading the Toronto Maple Leafs.

The last TV show I watched was NCIS: New Orleans (watched it on demand via the CBS All Access app). This morning, I watched parts of CBS 2 local news, Fox News’ morning program, including the last ten minutes of their 5 AM show, and some infomercial promoting the My Pillow Topper. At around 6:40 AM, I turned the TV off. And 14 hours later, I turned it on to watch the Devils, New York Rangers, Nashville Predators game in Washington DC against the Capitals, and baseball on the MLB Network.

I like dramas more than comedies. Documentaries score high on my list.

But a favorite show? I don’t have one. The last television show that I considered my favorite? 24 on Fox. Before that, The X-Files, also on Fox.

And I like to read, mostly mysteries and thrillers outside of religious-themed books. I like the Kindle more than the iPad to read, but actually holding books have come back into fashion with me. Listening to books is OK, but not great – listening to them makes me tired, especially religious-based books.

I like reading newspapers – on my iPad. The New York Post, the New York Times (the subscription is part of a deal that ends in May), the Wall Street Journal (also part of subscription deal) are part of my morning newspaper routine. The Bergen Record, our local newspapers, is delivered, but at $38 a month, it is very costly and is really not worth the monthly price.

Apple MusicI listen to the radio. Apple Music and iHeart Radio and and Sirius XM, all streamed from my phone to Apple’s HomePod, though Apple Music’s integration is perfect with HomePod and the others is a little clunkier. I like the playlists on Apple Music and their “radio stations” have gotten extremely good recently. Favorite music genres? Country, Christian Contemporary, Chill (especially piano), and some modern pop.

And look at that – the Devils beat the Maple Leafs and are heading to the playoffs for the first time since 2012.

Though a Rangers and Predators’ fan, I’m happy for the Devils.

Morning Coffee My Stuff

They’re Not Resolutions

In earlier December, I started an informal list of ‘things’ I want to do to improve both my professional and personal life. While not classifying them as “New Year’s Resolutions,” they are more like resolutions that I care to admit. January 1st resolutions are really meant to be broken because when your resolution is to lose weight, you really shouldn’t gorge yourself on doughnuts eight hours into the new year.

In the middle of summer of 2017, I made the decision to declutter my life by getting rid of all those material things that I hadn’t used in a while. Honestly, I spent more days at the recycling center/dump dropping stuff off I think the guys there are going to name the place after me. Yet with all the elimination of “stuff” in an effort to declutter my life, there is still plenty to do. And the process continues until my stuff problem is normalized.

That is what prompted me to start my December list. It includes so many little odds and ends ideas that I wonder why in the world hadn’t I already accomplished those tasks?

For example, I want to make my internet life safer by utilizing a password manager. My password list is so long, I end up changing passwords a lot of the time because I just can’t remember the current password to a whole range of websites. Also, I wanted to make my  “passwording” stronger. I sometimes use the same password for similar websites. That’s a no-no, but I did it because it was easier to remember those passwords for say news sites.

By using a password manager, I could update all of my passwords with much stronger combinations and have them available through a web browser or sharing sheet on my phone that is “password” protected by my face (I have the iPhone X).

This morning at 3:45 AM, I started using a password manager and began what will be a laborious process of changing passwords and adding all those website accounts to the program. It won’t be completed overnight, but the move has begun.

Church Morning Coffee My Stuff

The Day of Reformation


Church My Stuff


Late last week, I was talking with someone about their inability to focus on what is important. My suggestion to them was to take a day to really think about those important things in life that need attention, namely family, home life, faith, and work. From his new-found focus, he could then address the other issues in his life while standing on a firm foundation.

And then this morning I realized that I should start listening to my own advice.

My life is lacking focus, both personal and professional. There are more times where I want to tackle issues using the least amount of energy and drive, essentially “mailing it in” when things get tough. When I get this way, I tend to bog myself down in the tiny issues and fail to see the big ones staring right at me daily. My personal and professional foundation is built on sand instead of solid ground.

So, if I am going to give others advice on re-focusing their lives, I must do the same.

My Stuff Pastoral Care

When Not to Panic…

I have too much on my work calendar today.

  • Meeting at church at 8:30 AM
  • NJ District Circuit Forum at 10 AM
  • Bible Study class at 12:00 PM
  • Counseling session at 2:30 PM
  • Visitation at 3:30 PM
  • Counseling session at 5:00 PM
  • Church Vision Meeting at 6:30 PM

I am going to have to find some time today to brush my teeth. OK. I’ve already brushed them.