It was just another reason to hate the local cable television company.
The letter came in the bill, as it always does. Another channel realignment was on the way. I swear, sometimes cable companies used to move the channels around just to confuse customers and make them reprogram their remote control units on a regular basis.
There was some juggling of outlets in the digital tier, which I don't get. Me, I think $70 a month is enough for television, and there are enough programs out there as it is without adding 150 bad new channels.
Then I saw that a couple of channels were being kicked off basic cable and moved to digital TV. One of them was C-SPAN II.
C-SPAN is one of the great treasures of the cable system, in my opinion. They set up the cameras at a variety of different events, and let them run without commentary. You want fair and balanced for real? You can't do better than that. I can't say I spend afternoons watching sessions of the Senate and legislative hearings, but it's nice to know I can.
The problem with C-SPAN II departing is that it carries something called "Book TV" on weekends. For about 48 straight hours, the channel carries interviews and speeches with nonfiction book authors. It's a terrific way to get a preview of a book without reading it first.
Then there's "In Depth," which airs once a month on the first Sunday at noon. Authors get to answer questions and take calls for three straight hours. When a good guest is on, it's quite fascinating to watch the range of subjects and answers come up.
I don't watch C-SPAN II constantly by any means, but then again there aren't many channels that meet that standard. Alas, it's headed to the digital tier, as Time Warner Cable reduces the number of options on my package and charges me the same price. Fine work if you can get away with it. Heck, that's what they did with HBO, and I cancelled (costing TWC $15 a month) rather than pay for digital cable.
Monopolies -- they are so lovable some times.