No TV for December — Part 2

This month seemed to just fly by so quickly, despite my
commitment to not watch any TV for the entire month.  It was much easier than it sounds, trust me.  Your time will become filled with other
things, hopefully things that are much more important and meaningful.



I don’t feel like I really missed anything.  I still read my Wall Street Journal to
keep up with events.

Surprisingly, I think I have a better or more
positive daily attitude since I don’t watch any news.  I believe I’m already a pretty positive thinker, but I have
to say that I surprised myself to see how much negative influence the little
news that I used to watch was having on me.

I’ve been reading more — I finished 3 books: The
Lost Symbol, Airframe, Rich Dad Poor Dad, and have made it partway through
Smart Couples Finish Rich.

We watched several DVDs for films that we really
would not have had time to watch before giving up TV.

The house was more quiet and peaceful in a way that
made me notice how much noise was going into my head each day.


Should we keep going without TV?  Should we cancel our cable all together?  I’m seriously considering it.



No TV for December

Yesterday went by very smoothly, despite my new
“commitment” — no TV for the month. 
While Sabrina immersed herself in the Montana photography school she
lived like a hermit by having no TV, pulling all-nighters to deliver a project,
and focusing her energies into her passion — photography.

So I started looking at myself and asked if I could give
up my casual TV as well — after all, how painful could it be?  I don’t really have time to watch that
much TV, but I do turn it on as “background noise” sometimes or to relax a few
moments to wind down at the end of the day.

To challenge myself and see if watching TV is a habit or
an addiction, I have decided to go the entire month of December with no
TV.  I may even realize that
spending $700+ per year on casual entertainment is way too much and putting
that money to work somewhere more productive would make me happier.  We can probably watch whatever
entertainment we may need for free through Hulu or Fancast and I believe that’s
the ultimate future of broadcast TV anyway.

If I start pulling out what’s left of my hair within a few
days I’ll be sure to let you know.


And now we have new Short-Sale rules

An interesting article in today’s WSJ regarding
short-sales.  Right now in our Bay
Area market, the short-sale success rate is at an all-time low and from my most
recent short-sale experience I feel the acceptance/approval process has gotten
much worse (read: slow) than just a year ago.

The article mentions a new “incentive” program to
encourage borrowers AND lenders to make the short-sale work (hopefully more
quickly).  The Feds will give a
borrower $1,500 and give the mortgage servicing company $1,000 to complete the
short-sale.  Nice.  Best of all, these guidelines specify
that the borrow must be “fully released” from the debt liability — basically
the lender cannot chase the borrower for the bad-debt.

Maybe it’s just a phenomena of the Bay Area, but most of
the short-sales I’ve seen are not happening from “poor” people where $1,500
makes a difference.  In most cases,
I see flat-screen TVs and newer cars in the driveway no doubt bought through
their equity line.

I’ll be curious to see what effect this new guideline has
on the short-sale numbers.  My gut
tells me it will have a minimal effect. 
The process is the problem, not the incentive, but we’ll see.