Kimberly Jordan: Surfing the channels to find out how to make surfboards

As I have mentioned in this column in the past, my husband and I decided to save ourselves quite a bit of money a few months ago by getting rid of our satellite service.
Jun 26, 2014
Kimberly Jordan

As I have mentioned in this column in the past, my husband and I decided to save ourselves quite a bit of money a few months ago by getting rid of our satellite service. 

We subsequently tried using the cheap antennae, which gives us about 15 channels (some of them in Spanish that I cannot understand).

A couple of weeks ago, we made another leap in technology and got an iPad. So my husband started exploring the various ways we could stream things from the iPad to our television, and we landed on Hulu Plus.

For those who may not have experienced Hulu, lets just say the selection of shows is not what I was expecting. There are bigger names like “Castle” or “American Dad” and others such as these, but many of the shows are similar in format to those many of us watch on cable or satellite, but not the same. Let me explain.

One example that my husband and I came across was when we were searching for “How It’s Made.” I’m a self-confessed nerd, so shows like this are interesting. Watching how they manufacture anything from surfboards to computer chips can be downright fascinating. On Hulu though, we could not find “How It’s Made.” Instead we stumbled upon “How It Works.”

The first episode we watched talked about chocolate torts and hardback novels. If you’ve ever seen “How It’s Made,” you know that they often talk about long something is, or how large. They do this on “How It Works” as well, except I had to keep glancing at my husband every time the announcer said “these stretch out to a length of 40 meters,” or something similar in nature. Because where I’m from, we use feet and inches, not meters. I had no idea how long anything they were discussing was. It all looked really long, so I went with that.

It was all still very interesting to watch, I just had no idea how to gauge sizes anymore. One show was all about the construction of a large skyscraper, and I forgot how many meters tall it was supposed to be, but as I’d never heard of the building, I was hoping maybe the announcer would mention an American skyscraper for reference. No such luck. Still have no idea how tall that building actually is.

And I know I have friends and coworkers out there who are probably rolling their eyes that we didn’t try this sooner, but we are jumping in on the NetFlix bandwagon next. 

I have heard all sorts of good things about NetFlix, so I’m about to get to see for myself. Who knows, maybe I can finally hold an intelligent conversation about a popular cable show in a couple months?

I have so many friends that talk about all these wonderful shows that they are into that run on networks I’ve never paid for, but they will be available at the touch of a button now. So maybe the next time someone starts talking about “Game of Thrones” or one of those types of shows, I can look them in the eye and say “I saw that episode.”

Or, maybe I’ll have access to them and still no time to watch it.

Kimberly Jordan is The Democrat’s general assignment reporter. Email her at or follow her on Twitter @wilsonnewsroom. 


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