Sunday, February 28, 2021

YouTube TV Added MLB.TV as an option for Add-on this Past Week and I Added Immediately... I Still Want to See Fox Sports Midwest Available for YouTube TV Customers

YouTube TV and MLB.TV Now Available

Today marks the beginning of spring training for the 2021 season. Looking forward to watching baseball after a shortened 2020 season. This past week, YouTube TV announced they added MLB.TV to their add-on lineup. While a step in the right direction, it still does not address the missing Fox Sports Midwest channels from YouTube TV, Dish, Hulu, Sling, and others as contract disputes continue between providers and Sinclair Broadcast Group.

I was excited when I read the tweet earlier this week that MLB.TV was now available as an add-on for YouTube TV. I added it almost immediately and I look forward to watching more games this year starting with spring training today. I remain disappointed that blackouts still apply and I will not be able to watch the Kansas City Royals as they are blacked out.

Originally, I was thinking that for the 2021 season, I would be listening to MLB games through the radio option of MLB.TV which I still subscribe to and I did not think I would be able to watch any games. I decided to check with my mom to see if I could use her Midco account from Lawrence; I believe I will be able to watch the Kansas City Royals using Fox Sports app and logged into the Midco account. I have tested and it appears to work, but I will not know for sure until the games start later today.

I remain excited to have MLB.TV available on YouTube TV as I have been a subscriber through MLB direct for many years. The past two years though moving to the radio only option, but I did enjoy the watching of live games through MLB.TV  watching key game recaps, key plays, etc. on archived games. While I wish there were not blackouts I am happy to have the ability to watch games again not in my market. I am hopeful that one day I will be able to watch my local sports teams through YouTube TV, but for now, I will watch out of market games through MLB.TV add-on for YouTube TV and my Royals through my mom’s account.

Sunday, February 21, 2021

Extreme Weather, Remembering Snow and Cold from February 2021 and a Dog Paw Hurting from Extreme Cold

Snowy Back Yard in February 2021What a few weeks it has been not only here in Kansas but across the whole United States. Record temperatures for much of the country and in Kansas we saw temperatures drop to -16 which did not include the wind chill. Our friends in Texas continue to deal with water issues from not being able to drink water to broken pipes when their temperatures fell below normal temps for the region. We have heard that friends in Houston and Dallas are starting to return to normal with drinking water returning to normal in some areas, but still many people in Texas reported as not having power or issues with the water they have in their area. With warmer weather, hopefully we continue to see areas return to their normal temperature for this time of year and get things back to normal.

Here in Topeka, I worked from home Monday and Tuesday as there was snow, extreme cold, and not ideal to be outside let alone traveling. On Wednesday, February 17, I went into work and found that the roads were not bad at that time. The city had not done much of anything to treat the roads, but I had no issue getting around. By the weekend, we are up in the low 40’s and find much of the snow melting away. 

After having what I would say is a mild winter, we were caught in extreme temperatures, snow, and even some freezing rain, to make the middle of February 2021 interesting. As we see MLB spring training starting next weekend, college basketball is winding down to final regular season games, we can only hope that no more extreme winter weather will be had for our state or others that suffered through an unusual winter period for all.

I know our dog, Oliver, is happy to have warmer temperatures. On Monday when I let him out at one time,  I think he hurt his paws with the being in the snow and cold. Prior to that time, I was not letting him be outside very long and would often go with him to rush him along, but one time on Monday when he was out, he appeared to hurt his right front paw when the cold got to it. He was not interested in our touching him or checking why he was hurting. By later in the week, he seemed to be back to normal and whatever was hurting him from Monday had stopped hurting. 

Be safe and just think that Spring is right around the corner.

Sunday, February 14, 2021

Happy Valentine’s Day on this Snowy and Cold February 14 — Here is How Carrie and I Spent our Saturday and Plan to Spend Valentine’s Day Today #ValentinesDay

Photo from — Happy Valentine’s Day

Happy Valentine’s Day to my wife, Carrie, my whole family, and to you. I was trying to remember what we did a year ago for Valentine’s Day and I could not remember what we did or where we went. This year, with the snow falling and temperature being in single digits, not to mention that COVID and social distancing is still happening, Carrie and I will remain home. Carrie picked up crab legs for us to have today which we are both very excited to eat later today. 

Valentine’s Day 2021 in front of Fireplace Watching “The Dig”
Last night, we spent a cozy evening watching a movie in our living room. I brought home a projector from work so we could project on the wall, have a fire going, and hang out in a warmer room other than our breezy family room. It was a good way to start the Valentine’s Day celebration and I know Oliver loved our new location of hanging out too as we sat on the couch opposite the fireplace, and movie, he sat between us sleeping, dreaming, and enjoying the evening. For dinner, we had left over BBQ Carrie had picked up on her way home Friday after getting a haircut which made for a special evening of relaxation and being with my family.

I hope everyone has an enjoyable Valentine’s Day! I will be enjoying chocolate that Carrie got us for celebration and I hope you have something to enjoy on this day too. 

Sunday, February 07, 2021

January Stats from Peloton for My Workouts Along with Goals of Completing All Categories for Peloton — Staying Motivated is the End Goal in Exercise

Peloton Stats from January 2021Peloton workouts continue to keep me motivated. I am doing some type of workout every day of the week. I have met my 30 day Peloton streak and working on 60 days now of daily workout. As I mentioned previously, I am not cycling daily, but instead I have mixed in weight lifting, stretching, cardio, and even yoga along with cycling. I have changed my cycling schedule to be three days each week and one of the other Peloton workouts the other days. 

Each month Peloton sends a summary of workouts, minutes of workout, miles, and calories burned for the previous month. The first week of February, I received my January report. 33 total workouts, 710 minutes working out, 169.2 miles traveled, and 9,551 calories burned for January 2021. It helps to put some perspective to what I did for the month. The total workouts being 33 is obviously because some days (i.e. two days) I did an extra workout those days. I sometimes do this when biking to do a tough ride and then a five to ten minute cool down. 

My goal is to workout in every category of Peloton and gradually making progress. It is helping my recovery period to not bike every day and put some space between bike rides as I think doing so everyday or even every other day became a little too much for my body and I could feel myself starting to get burned out on the thought of biking. Mixing in other workouts has helped to keep me motivated and I feel like a more rounded workout.

My workout totals since starting Peloton back in November are the following as of today:

  • Cycling: 87
  • Strength: 9
  • Meditation: 5
  • Stretching: 3
  • Cardio: 2
  • Yoga: 2

Categories not yet started include Bike Bootcamp, Running, Tread Bootcamp, and Walking. Granted, I have done running and walking but not necessarily tracked with Peloton app when doing so. I plan to get those workouts included in my stats at some point during the next month or two. 

As achievements are completed, it can cause many high-fives when going into a live session or even recorded sessions. When I hit the 30 day mark as soon as I went into a recorded session I had so many high-fives I could not keep up with high-fiving back. Makes it fun though but if not expecting to hit a mark it is a surprise when high-fives start happening. In my case, I forgot 30 day streak was happening when I went into do a popular recorded session with over 300 people doing the session and found my notifications light up with high-fives after high-fives. It is fun to high-five back. When I am working out live, or recorded, I always give high-fives to notifications I see for others such as ten, 30, 60, or even 300 workout. Most people high-five back and some do not which is not an issue. The idea is that it builds encouragement within the Peloton community and I completely agree.

Today as I look forward to watching Kansas City Chiefs in Super Bowl LV I am also looking forward to my live class today with Ally Love in “Sundays with Love”. A good 30 minute workout and then thinking of doing another 30 minutes just to prepare for tonight for some beer, snacks, and cheering on our Kansas City Chiefs

Until next week, stay well, stay warm, and share your Peloton workout in the comments.

Sunday, January 31, 2021

MLB, Streaming Services for Television, Blackouts, Fox Sports Midwest, RSN, and Contract Disputes -- Time for a Change by MLB for Live Game Viewing

Screen Shot of YoutTube TV and MLB Apps

Background on Blackouts, Streaming Services, and MLB

As of today, it will not be possible to watch Kansas City Royals baseball when it starts later this year on a variety of streaming services which currently includes YouTubeTV, Sling, Hulu+, and Dish to name a few. It is important to note that Sling is owned by Dish, but all of this has to do with the contracts, or lack thereof; these television viewing services have not been able to agree to contracts with Sinclair Broadcast Group for Fox Sports Midwest to play Royals games but many other events too. The companies in contract disputes means that not only do their viewers (i.e. ME) are not able to watch Royals games but we do not get the channels at all. They were completely removed from YouTubeTV, Sling, Hulu+, and Dish.

A recent article (Sports Networks Are Losing Their Grip on Your Television) from The Motely Fool  provides a detailed background on how the contracts are done with viewing services, why this happened, and possibly the future of how this will work.

It is important to note that this is not only affecting the fans of Kansas City Royals, but other markets too that want to watch their favorites teams whether that is baseball or hockey. Recently, I have been reading a lot of customers complaining regarding not being able to watch their local hockey team because their Fox Sports Network is gone. All of which is because the provider and Sinclair have not been able to come to agreement on a contract.

Typical cable providers such as AT&T or ComCast (note Xfinity bought ComCast) keep the contracts because they are large and that’s how it has been for years, but it is the streaming services that have lost out. I recall when we were a Dish customer that it seemed that almost every year it would be threatened that we would lose our ability to view games. Sometimes the channel would go out for a few days while they were making negotiations and suddenly the channel would be back. Then they started to lose the channel out of season of the sport such as baseball. Now it is gone completely from all these services with no end game for when or if it will return.

Meanwhile, there is a Major League Baseball app (MLB) that is available to listen or watch games that are out of market. Sounds great, right? Well, with the MLB local games are blacked out so you can only watch them after they finish. The radio option is available to listen to the game live, but sometimes it is nice to be able to relax on a weekend, drink a beer, and watch my local sports team.

The process of blackouts has never made sense going back to when I was a Cox customer years ago and there would be two channels with one broadcast out of Topeka and the other from Kansas City. One channel would blackout during different times of the day as they wanted us to watch it on the other local channel. What? That made no sense then... Today, I understand why MLB blacked out local games years ago, but why does it still happen? 

Request for Change by MLB

Photo by Anete Lusina from Pexels
Let us be fans. Let us watch the games. My request is directed to MLB and their agreements with various providers to ask if we are fans to be able to watch and not have blackouts for live games. Especially if we are paying MLB to be able to watch the games we should be able to watch them no matter in market or not. The whole process seems to be antiquated and out of touch from what is happening in the streaming service industry. We are paying you for the access to your app and we should be able to watch live games through the app whether in market or not.

The whole idea of having blackouts reminds me of having an old TV sitting in a field and not being able to watch the TV because there is no power. Here we are with the power but the games are blacked out because of agreements between MLB, major television providers, and local affiliates. 

The reasons for the blackouts is simple and twofold: the first reason is cable providers' desire for exclusive broadcasting rights in their local networks. The second, is MLB's desire to get fans into the stadium for attendance purposes. -- from SportingNews

This is an old practice dating back to agreements with cable providers and the desire to get people into games. Having a blackout in my view does not make me attend the games. Instead, I will either listen to the game or not pay attention at all. When we pay for a service we should be able to watch the live games and not have to watch the game after the live event has ended.

MLB , please change the process and lift the antiquated process of blackouts!

What Happens Next?

Even though YouTubeTV has increased their prices, we are happy with their service. DVR options are awesome! I am hopeful that Sinclair Broadcast Group and YouTubeTV can come to an agreement so that when baseball starts later this year, I can watch the games. However, I am not holding my breath as it has been an ongoing battle for a few years as mentioned earlier. What if nothing happens and no live television baseball for me in the spring or through the summer? Well, I will try to bum access from friends who have DirectTV so I can use their service to watch the games. Or, simply, I will listen to my $2.99 a month MLB Audio so I can listen to the games will be how I will follow my team. I have no plans to change television service because of a contract dispute. I will be frustrated and blame MLB and Sinclair Broadcast Group.

Spring training is right around the corner. How are you doing to follow your team?

Sunday, January 24, 2021

Two Months of Riding on Peloton Along with Workouts and How I am Doing #Peloton #workout #Rides #biking


Photo by Roman Pohorecki from Pexels

I just had an anniversary of our Peloton bike making two months since we got our bike (see New Peloton Bike+ Delivered on Friday, November 13, 2020 and Cannot Be Happier... Let the Exercising Being! Let's GO!) and I am still loving the workouts and the process. I have found that I still enjoy the recorded classes with instructors, but I have a new found enjoyment of scenic bike rides. I have done rides in Washington, Europe, and even Costa Rica. Costa Rica was probably my favorite so far as I felt like I was riding through areas where Carrie and I had been years ago with Javier. The Peloton Costa Rica ride went around the Arenal Volcano and brought back memories.

The scenic rides are fun because they play music and you can go your own pace whether that is slow or fast, but I find I push myself harder in scenic rides than I do for instructor led rides. The Costa Rica ride when I finished, I could barely stand and perspiration was pouring off of me so it made it seem like I had been working hard... I had and it showed!

I do still enjoy the recorded and live sessions. I tend to do the live sessions on Sunday where I enjoy 30 Minute Sundays with Love which is every Sunday at 11 am CST. She does a good job with the class where I enjoy her pre-speach talk and she keeps me motivated during the 30 minutes. I have a few favorites including Ally Love, Jess King, Leanne Hainsby, Hannah Corbin, and Christine D'ercole to name a few.

I enjoy the feeling of pushing myself to what feels like the limits and then being able to finish the workout.

The past two or three weeks I have started working out daily doing weights, meditation, or aerobics on some of the off days. I am working on a streak and plan to have a streak go at least 365 days if not longer. It is nice because I can keep the streak going by using my phone, Roku, or even iPad to do a session which keeps my streak alive. My plan is to do more days of weights or aerobics as currently I ride the bike Sunday, Monday, Wednesday, Friday, and Saturday leaving only Tuesday and Thursday for weights or aerobics. I feel good and actually a lot better than the first month when I was doing the bike every day as I think that was not good on my legs doing the bike every day.

Free Photo from Pexcels
Two months into having our bike, exercising regularly, I have not noticed a huge different with weight. Obviously, it does not help that my eating habits have not changed much where I enjoy a few beers on the weekends, eat whatever I want throughout the week, etc., but I do feel a lot better. I enjoy the feeling of pushing myself to what feels like the limits and then being able to finish the workout. Now, if I can work on my eating habits or at least change what I eat, maybe some of the weight will start to come off too.

If you are interested in connecting on Peloton, please search for Havertyj which is my handle or leave me a message so I can connect with you and be sure to provide your handle.

Sunday, January 17, 2021

Semester Starting with What to Watch and Discussion of Sports, Teams, and Excitement as we Head into the End of January 2021

Image from


Semester Starting

I find it hard to believe another semester is starting. A year ago at this time, I was preparing to start my last semester before graduation. Wow! Time has flown but it does feel good to not have to worry about reading textbooks, posting discussions, or writing papers. I know some students have already started their semester and others are preparing to start. It is going to be another unusual semester for many doing their coursework remote for at least part of the semester if not all of the semester for others. Have a great semester and be sure to reach out for assistance from your instructors if you need help.

What to Watch

During the break and throughout the fall, it feels as though Carrie and I have watched just about everything that is available to watch. A few highlights from our watch history on recommendations if you have not watched them yet. I do plan to do a future post with a full listing, but these are some highlights that were finished recently and worth noting. The following is in no particular order, I will leave a future post to show top rankings for shows to watch.

  • The Mandalorian was a show Carrie and I started back in the spring. I enjoyed it, but Carrie was not much of a fan of the show. I finished it out recently finishing season 1 and 2. If you like Star Wars, I would highly recommend The Mandalorian.
  • Letterkenny is a show Carrie had heard about and we started watching. There are a number of seasons. Set in Canada focusing on a rural town, the interactions between the characters are funny and worth watching. Fast paced and packed with wit it is worth watching.
  • Queen’s Gambit was truly amazing. I have no idea how to play Chess, but the show was easy to follow and fun to cheer on the main character. 
  • Zoey’s Extraordinary Playlist is another new show we just started watching. The show recently started the second season and we just finished season one. This show does have singing and dancing, but they do a fantastic job with the show and the music is excellent where I found myself signing along to popular songs in the show.
  • Perry Mason on HBOMax was fantastic. The show finished their second season and we have been watching from the beginning. One of the best shows depicting Perry Mason I have seen.

Those are just a few of the sampling of shows Carrie and I have been watching. Worth checking out if you have not done so yet. 

Sports, Teams, and Excitement

Following the Washburn Ichabods basketball team has been fun this season. Last year, Greg and I had season tickets to Washburn games and with that not being an option this year, I decided to buy a season pass so I could watch Washburn basketball. The Ichabods are 10 - 1 on the season only recently losing their first game of the season where we were ranked #5 in the country. I look forward to listening, or watching, to every game we play this season and I look forward to watching the remaining games.

The Kansas Jayhawks basketball team continues to be games I will not miss. This team has been different from past teams where we struggle at times, we have lost at home, and at times there does not seem to be a leader on the team. Still, I enjoy watching the games and cheering them on whether in my family room cheering on the television or tweeting about them. We did recently have our game on Saturday, January 16 postponed due to COVID which I believe was from the opposing team. Three out of five games in the Big 12 scheduled for Saturday, January 16 were postponed all of which were from COVID related issues. We can only hope that this trend does not continue with COVID and games being postponed or canceled. Having nationally televised games helps to make these unusual times seem normal, so we can only hope the games can continue and do so safely.

The Kansas City Chiefs start the postseason today playing in the playoffs. With Patrick Mahomes guiding the team, I am looking forward to a fun postseason. Overall, the regular season was fun; we had a tendency to get a lead and let the other team back into the game. In the postseason games, I want to see us stick with what is working in the game (i.e. passing) and keep doing what we do best to get us points. Go Chiefs!

Great End to January

Have a great end to the first month of 2021! Those starting their new semester have a great semester. If you need some relief from studying, be sure to check out some of the recommended shows. I would love to hear from you on your recommended shows. Go Washburn IchabodsKansas Jayhawks, and Kansas City Chiefs! Have a wonderful finish to week and I will talk to you again next week.