The Washington Times - March 17, 2011, 12:22PM

The transition from being a Richmonder to becoming a Washingtonian is well underway. Right now, I’m something of a Richmondtonian or Washingtonder as I spend the majority of my time up this way and a day or two here and there further south.  There’s a house to get ready to sell and a school year for my wife to finish and so much to do I don’t really even want to think about it now.

It means I needed to find a temporary living situation, which means I spent more time than I ever cared to on Craigs List trying to find something suitable and reasonable.


I hit upon the perfect answer: a basement apartment in a house on the water.  The plusses are many.  It’s a great space, it’s reasonable, it’s right on the water and — key point here — my dogs are allowed. Those who know me well know my dogs rank pretty much on the same line as my wife and kids on the family depth chart.  On some days, they rank higher.  They’ve already been swimming and we take a nice walk in the woods every morning before I venture in to the office.

Negative No. 1 is there’s no Internet service.  Easily fixed, thanks to some “myfi” contraption my son procured.  It’s about as big as an old-fashioned change purse. I have no idea how it works, but I turn it on and there’s the ‘net.

Negative No. 2, or so I thought, is no cable. That was almost enough to make me go running as fast as my old legs would carry me.  No cable? How is that possible?  I can’t survive without cable. Well, without “pay” TV.  I actually have DirecTV.

Turns out I can survive without it, and quite nicely.  I haven’t even brought a TV up yet for local channels and I may not.

If I HAVE to watch something, I can stay in the office where I do have DirecTV or I can go to my son’s. He has a fancy TV that’s about as big as my first apartment.

What not having a TV has done is twofold:  It has forced me to make more time to read, which I should have been doing anyway. And it has allowed me to rediscover the joys of sports on radio.  I’d forgotten how enjoyable listening to a game, without seeing it, could be.

I became a sports writer because of the radio. I used to fall asleep at night listening to the Senators broadcast. I’d wake up and run get the newspaper to see who won and how it happened.  What a cool job that must be, I thought (and it turned out to be correct).

On long rides back from the zillion of football and basketball games I covered over the years, I’d try to find some game, any game, to listen to while I drove.  I got to know the Fort Wayne Komets, a minor-league hockey team, pretty well because of the power of their signal.

I don’t even know the names of the guys who do the Capitals broadcasts and for that I apologize. But I’ve listened to a half dozen or so games thus far and they do a nice job.  Mike Knuble’s overtime goal to beat the Blackhawks on Sunday sounded great.

I’m looking forward to many a spring and summer evening, sipping something chilly on the porch, throwing the ball to my dogs and listening to Charlie Slowes and Dave Jageler call the Nationals.

Eventually, I’ll get a TV.  Eventually, I’ll live in a spot with cable/satellite availability (or it will become available where I am now).  My hope is I remember these days with my radio and develop the discipline to leave the TV off.  Sound without pictures really is kind of cool.