Overpromising And The K-Tel Effect

At the library last week I saw a CD with a title that promised so much I just had to check it out.  It’s called Inner Peace for Busy People, and the back cover says “Music Guaranteed to Relax and Renew Body, Mind and Soul!”

IMG_4685Well, that’s quite a guarantee, isn’t it?  Listen to a CD, achieve inner peace, and have your mind and soul renewed in about an hour!  Good thing, because as a busy person I don’t have more time to devote to achieving inner peace and a renewed mind and sould than that.

So, I put the CD on and gave it a listen this afternoon.  Candidly, I really don’t feel any different sitting here in front of the computer — but maybe when you’ve realized life-changing inner peace and had your soul renewed you just don’t notice it.

Anybody who grew up watching late-night TV in the ’70s — specifically, any commercial touting a compilation of songs by K-Tel Records — has necessarily been hardened to brash, over-the-top promises of auditory greatness.  When I was a kid I remember ordering a K-Tel compilation that claimed that it was The Greatest Collection Of Rock ‘N Roll Music Ever Assembled and being vaguely disappointed when it didn’t have some of my favorite songs on it.  Still, even K-Tel stopped short of guaranteeing inner peace.

The CD music was selected by Joan Borysenko, Ph.D, who wrote Inner Peace for Busy People, and Don Campbell, who wrote The Mozart Effect.  If you want to achieve inner peace on your own, just play the following selections in this order: The Lark Ascending by Ralph Vaughan-Williams, Berceuse, Opus 116, by Gabriel Faure, Lute Concerto in D Major – Largo, by Antonio Vivaldi, Symphony No. 35 in C Major – Andante, by Mozart, Concerto Opus 9, No 6 in G Major for Two Oboes, Concerto Opus 7, No. 9 in F Major for Oboe, and Concerto Opus 7, No. 1 in D Major for Oboe, all by Tomaso Albinoni (who must have been pretty inwardly peaceful himself), Piano Concerto No. 1 – Romance/Larghetto, by Chopin, and Piano Concerto No. 3 in C Minor – Largo, by Beethoven.

Hey, what have you got to lose?

Weighing The Different TV And Internet Options

We’ll be moving into our new house in a few weeks, and one of the key impending decisions for us is:  what to do about TV and internet coverage?

At our old house we went with cable-based service provided by Time Warner.  Our TV and internet coverage was generally reliable, but it was expensive and we really grew to dislike — actually, “hate” is more accurate — Time Warner and its employees’ collective attitude about customer service.  They seemed to revel in making us jump through stupid hoops for no apparent reason.  We won’t go back to TW because we know we’ll just end up infuriated.  WOW is the other cable provider in Columbus, but its on-line reviews seem extremely mixed — it’s great or it’s awful, with not much in between.

IMG_4686The second option is a satellite service.  Our new house already has a dish on the roof.  I think it for DirecTV, but I haven’t paid attention because I don’t like the idea of a dish on my roof.  Now I think it needs to be considered as an alternative.  However, satellite services seem to only provide TV and “partner” with another company to offer internet — which just means, apparently, that we’ll have to deal with two providers rather than one.

A third option is AT&T U-Verse “internet TV,” which would provide one-stop internet and TV.  The house we’re staying in now has it and we haven’t had any service problems, but the TV offerings are limited and don’t include some of the “basic cable” channels that we’ve come to like, such as the Big Ten Network.  Of course, that may just be a matter of getting a different package.  The more high-end TV channels, too, aren’t simple to get to and involve juggling multiple remotes.

And the final option is:  only internet service and no TV.  Since we’ve been at this house, I’ve gone for days without watching any TV.  We’ve got friends who’ve forsaken TV and seem perfectly content.  Maybe that’s an option — but I think we’d regret it when the next seasons of Game of Thrones and The Leftovers start and I want to watch a football game.

We want to make an informed decision in selecting among a confusing array of choices.  I’d be very interested in any thoughts on these options, and particularly in personal experiences with WOW, DirecTV or Dish, and AT&T U-Verse.