I've also been told I have little tact, so if this offends you simply ride on.

Thursday, January 31, 2013

NBC Sports disappoints with Tour Down Under coverage

Now, while I have to admit Australia is a long way away, there is no reason why NBC Sports needed to give it such crappy coverage.  Those of us who like cycling got basically a half hour per day for highlights.  That's it.  Those half hours?  They were not even broadcast at a set time, say like 5 PM everyday.  No, one day it was at 1:30 PM, the next day at 3:30PM, talk about stupid programming.
On February 10 they will dedicate one complete hour to the six day race.  Boy, I'll bet that's going to be chock full of sprints and chases!

For those of you who missed it, here are the top three winners.

Now, I'll admit the Tour Down Under does not have the prestige of the Tour De France, but let's give cyclists their due.  Of course, cycling has always gotten short shrift here in the United States.  It's not American, not the way major league baseball is, or football, or hockey... well the NHL did kind of shit in their pants this year, didn't they.  In fact, recently the only cycling news people were even talking about was that American embarrassment, Lance Armstrong.  Of course, why should he really be considered an embarrassment?  It seems as though every news feed I get names players of major league sports who have used performance enhancing drugs.  

The real problem is that we want to dominate.  We need to be number one.  All you need to do is watch the Olympics to understand.  We wouldn't send athletes if we weren't winning a lot of gold medals.  To see how right I am, compare the Olympics with the World Cup.  Our soccer players go out and bust their asses, but when it comes to coverage our Sports Networks only provide a video feed when the Americans are playing.  This is not the case in the other countries of the world where there are actual rivalries; not so with the United States.  I suspect the only reason we send a team at all is because we feel it's necessary.  Sure, we'd like them to win, but very few here really care, after all, it's only the World Cup.  It's the same thing with cycling, a sport that, because we don't dominate, we really don't care to watch.  

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Fox news silences Palin

As most people now know, Sarah Palin was dumped by Fox.  Wait, let me put that more delicately, her contract was not renewed.  Of course, it doesn't make a difference how it's said, the truth is she was no longer seen as an asset.  I'm sure three years ago when she was hired for her not too brilliant commentary Fox News could not comprehend how Obama, the nation's first black president might even come close to winning a second term.  I'm sure the executives there said to themselves, "this tootsie is going to be the icing on the cake."  Wrong.  They paid her three million dollars simply on an assumption.  What they truly should have done was to have revisited the McCain campaign and recognized how detrimental her presence had been.  She turned off quite a few women voters, that select group she was supposed to welcome in to the Republican Brood.  While the campaign was run poorly, Palin did very little to help it.  In fact, it seemed as though every time she gave an interview a turd fell out of her mouth.  She wanted to go rogue with out knowing the definition of the word.  Americans want a stable government, not one that's goes rogue when it doesn't get its way.

Pretty but not that smart

She speaks about family values, yet her children can't seem to stay married.  Image is very important in politics, it's more then standing on stage behind a microphone and looking pretty.  Being successful is very difficult when your family is a star of the tabloids.  I understand she said, of her future, there will always be people who want to hear her message.  Does she understand speaking to a crowd of seven can be a little disheartening.  The truth of the matter is she was the Flavor of the Month who lasted a little longer then most.  Now, what she needs to do is disappear completely and not leave a bad taste in the GOP's mouth.

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Prince Harry - Bonehead for life?

A day doesn't go by when I don't find myself simply amazed at the stupidity of some people.  Recently it was Prince Harry who had me wondering if he was using his head for anything but a hatstand.  What was the comment?  Shooting people in Afghanistan was a lot like playing a video game.  At least that was the headline most news organizations were using, or something quite similar.   Talk about playing right into the hands of the NRA.  They first crapped out this argument two weeks after Newtown, part of their "always blame someone else" campaign.   Being the curious type, I Googled this royal putz.  Holy Crap, Prince Harry is as dumb as brick.  Some of the tabloids actually call him Dirty Harry.  Not good.  Wait, let me take that back, he isn't dumb he just doesn't think.  I don't think there is a conscious spark jumping between what he says and how his words are interpreted.  Sadly, I can understand why.  He is never going to be King.  That honor will go to his Dad first, and then to his older brother, or to one his brother's kids.  Unless there is some terrible, unforeseen calamity, he is going to be a prince forever, sort of like "always a bridesmaid, never a bride."

Doesn't it look like he's calculating?

He does kind of have that "screw you" look doesn't he?  That tells me he is going to bang as many birds as possible.  It also tells me he's going to try his damnedest to do what ever he wants.  One of the headlines that popped up was "the girls, the gangs, the booze," or something like that.  Believe me, it was not flattering.    Does he really care?  Hell no.  I can hear the Queen saying, "he is just like that mother of his."  Back in August when someone took a picture of him hanging around with a bunch of sluts in Vegas, I could only laugh.  Will the Royal family try and rein him in?  You can bet the bank on that.  They can't let him embarrass them every six months, it will make them look less regal. Do you think he's really going to care?  Hell no.

As a side note, there are a lot of women out there who know the value in giving birth to royal blood.  Of course, maybe he doesn't mind have that expensive habit.  One might expect this from a bonehead for life. 

Thursday, January 24, 2013

How stupid is the "Forever Lazy?"

Every now and then I will see a product advertised on television and all I want to do is hit myself up side my head.  You know what I'm talking about, those things which can't even be categorized as guilty pleasures.  Right now the commercials I find jaw dropping are those for "Forever Lazy."  Supposedly it's a garment, a full length, fleece jumpsuit and hoody combination with booties attached.  First of all, I find the name alone revolting.  Lazy is not a characteristic anyone should aspire to, let alone be called.  People who are lazy are frowned upon by society because they don't carry their weight, they don't want to work, they just want to lay around and get fat.  Lazy people neither can't, nor want, to hold a job and so collect welfare and, or, unemployment.  Knowing this, why would any person in their right mind want to purchase a "Forever Lazy?"  One of the problems is this recurring thought that the definition of an easy life is to spend most of your hours reclining away with some sort of white, trash reality show playing across your flat screen TV.  Actually, this is what I picture most people doing once they don their "Forever Lazy."  I can't see them doing any kind of physical movement what so ever, except perhaps to shove some sort of high calorie food in their mouth.  I wouldn't be surprised if there are those out there who will purchase one thinking they might look like this:

Remember, these are models who work out daily

In the commercial they say something about tailgating and supposedly picture men wearing their "Forever Lazies" in a parking lot outside a stadium.  I would really like to see that.  I don't think anything could be funnier.  Can't you just picture some jock getting to the Super Bowl early so he can strut around outside in his baby blue "Forever Lazy?"  Of course, if he was in his team colors they might not have him arrested.

If you really are interested in buying one of these, you can do so at Amazon, which surprised me, but then you can buy all sorts of things at Amazon.  I found the reviews interesting.  One reviewer gave it 5 stars because it made a great 'prop' for a play.  There were more negatives then there were positives, but then that is to be expected.  I suspect most people who buy this are doing so in the middle of a brain fart.  It's a good thing they're dirt cheap other wise you might really hate  yourself in the morning.  

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Hitting 50 means it's time to start working your ass off!

It's that time of year again where some people are actually making a concerted effort to lose a few pounds and maybe get in shape.  By this time all of those New Year's Eve resolutions doomed to be crushed underfoot have been long been forgotten and all of those 6 month gym memberships that were purchased have been classified as a poor investment.  Yet there are those who are making the effort.  Some of them go to the gym and others do their workouts at home.    If you are one of the latter chances are you might have bought a work out video, there are a shit load of them out there.  One of the most popular is the P90 program.  I also do an abbreviated version since I don't have an hour and half every day just to run through the routines.  Also, I never play the music since it's not something I enjoy listening to and I don't find it at all rousing nor do I find it inducing enthusiasm.  Another thing I rarely complete are the push ups.  I have always hated them, for as far back as I can remember, which is nearly prehistoric.  Quite a lot of the routines, however, are beneficial, if you tweak them to be age appropriate.    I'm not thirty, so jumping around like I am might result in injury.

In addition I include weight training in the form of dumbbells and a medicine ball. As we age, both men and women, our muscles tend to atrophy - they get smaller.  How often have  you seen an elderly person and realized their musculature almost matches that of a baby?  I see in all of the time.  That's one thing I don't want to grow into, which is why I advocate weight training.  I think it might even be more important the jumping around I do with the P90 programs.

If you do this often enough you can start wearing the cute, little black shorts.

I use a 12 pound medicine ball and love it.  The routine is simple and takes about 7 minutes to run through.  It's great for stretching!

My cardio usually consists of a hour three times a week done on either my Sole elliptical or my bike which is mounted on a Cycleops trainer.  

Why do I do cardio, free weights, and stretching?  Because as we get older we need to do all three.  I do four if you throw in the Yoga which is something I definitely need to work on since it is the one thing I tend to forget (something about bending over to do a double dare dog or what ever it's called seems odd to me).  Staying active is important as hell. Once you've decided you deserve to sit on your ass ad relax you start losing the battle.  The weight will pound on, your energy will dissipate.  I know because I see people like this every day as they trudge through life.


Thursday, January 17, 2013

Drowning in your K-Cups

I like my morning coffee.  One of the first things I do after turning off the alarm clock is go downstairs to the kitchen and brew a pot, usually 6 cups.  Of course those are 6 oz cups which works out to about two and a half to three mugs which I will casually drink while reading through the news of the day and some blogs I follow.  This makes me different.  Why?  Because I haven't let myself get caught up in the  Keurig trend, and it is a trend you know, one that coffee manufacturers would sell their left nut to join.  As far as I can tell, there are a lot of Americans who can't wait to start drowning in their K-Cups, and all of them have so much disposable income.  Try talking to someone about the expense and you might as well be talking to the wall.  They all have the same retort "but I love just being able to brew just one cup of coffee at a time."  Is it me, or does it seem as though a lot of people have been brainwashed?  Amazingly, those are almost always the first words out of their mouths.  These people don't even qualify them by adding "I know they're expensive."  How expense are they?  And this is just one example.  If you own one the chances are very high that you've already searched the Internet trying to find the best deal.  You can buy 108 K-Cups at the K-Mart website for $80, which is a little less then .75 cents per cup.  Hey, trendy person out there, that's not bad.  However, at the Giant Supermarket where I shop, I can buy 60 cups of Maxwell House for just .18 cents per cup.  Holy crap!  Can that be right?
More expensive then a dozen roses

What does that mean?  Simply that I'm getting about 444 cups of coffee for the same price as 108 you can buy at K-Mart.  For you to get 444 cups you would need to spend $320.  Holy crap, and that's K-Mart.  And how many people out there just drink one cup per day?  What about friends?  I'm sure all of these Keurig owners have they, and now and then they invite them over for coffee.  All of a sudden the dollars begin adding up. Hey all you Keurig owners out there, don't those single cups of coffee taste delicious?  Who ever would have thought trendy could be so expensive?  These people don't understand there is a price for what they call convenience.  

Saturday, January 12, 2013

Next week, on Thursday, January 17 at around 9 PM in the evening, the world as we know it will come to an end, so saith the Armstrong / Mayan Calendar.  Well, it's not really going to come to an end, at least for most people.  For those Lancelings out there, followers of Armstrong, it may well might.  That is the night Lance is going to sit down for a tete-a-tete with Oprah.  There is a lot of opinion circulating out there about this meeting of the minds.  Supposedly, no question is forbidden.  I think this is horse shit.  I suspect you could bet the bib of your aging US Postal kit that every question and answer has been negotiated and not worry about having to ride bottomless.  This does not mean they're not going to speak about his alleged doping; that's the whole point of the conversation.  Oh, and if doubt he's going to admit to something, you're wrong.  Lance needs to do a public mea culpa and he can't think of a better place to do it.  Oprah, meet Lance.  Lance, meet Oprah.

Bare bones confession at best

Of course you need to keep in mind this is going to be a milquetoast confession at best.  There will be just enough detail for him to feel exonerated but not nearly enough for his accusers to feel vindicated.  He's not going to give them that pleasure.  This is why he chose Oprah.  She will ask something like "did you ever use performance enhancers?" And his response will be something like "sadly, there was a time, when I was youthful and naive and easily persuaded by those whose only motive was greed by those who promised me the world and I foolishly believed them."  Wait, is there a confession in all those words?  Hell no, not really.  You see, the real reason for this interview is not for him to come clean but for him to get over the speed bump that he wasn't expecting.  In response to his Texas Sidestep response, Oprah will undoubtedly say "Oh, Lance."  

Personally, I think if he really wanted to come clean he'd have arranged an interview with Barbra Walters.  Of course, he wouldn't have liked that.  She would have nailed his ass to the wall.  Damn right, she would have grilled him, frying out all of those greasy confessions that have made him so slick for all of these years.  Which is why he chose Oprah, who will slap his hand.  I do believe he does feel this will be enough, he will be over the speed bump and will be able to go about doing what ever he wants.  I don't think he understands the seriousness of his crime, but then he's been lying to himself about it for years.

Friday, January 11, 2013

Oscar Nominations: beating the hell out of snub

So, the Oscar nominations came out yesterday and once again there are a slew of complaints of potential nominees being either overlooked or snubbed.  I always have to laugh at these since most of the whiners simply have problem dealing with the number issues.  There are only so many votes to go around.  Just because your favorite doesn't get enough votes to receive a nomination doesn't mean he was snubbed.  To snub someone to to purposefully stop that person in his tracks because you don't like that person.  By any other name, snubbing is just being rude, or possibly hateful, or maybe viciously angry.  "Lincoln" received twelve nominations, had it only received eleven, with no nod to Spielberg, that would have to be considered a snub.  People need to understand the Academy nominates ten films but only five directors so that means five directors are going to get the shitty end of the stick.  Are they being snubbed?  Hell no, they just got less votes then the five who were nominated.  The truth is people don't want to be considered losers so rather then admit to that they take a bat and beat the hell out of the 'snub.'

One of the biggest and loudest whiners of all time was Leonardo Di Caprio when he failed to get a nomination for "Titanic."  His problem was he believed his own press, that all those millions of people going to see the film did so because of the love story.  This is pure horse shit.  The world loves disasters and Hollywood understands this quite well; they've been making mega bucks off of them for years.  I went to see "Titanic" with a date and I can tell you, walking out of the theater afterwards, we were not having a heart to heart conversation about the love story.  Hell no, we were talking about how neat it was to watch that ship sink.  Of course no one would ever want to admit that, so the love story became the hook.  Watch the movie again and you'll realize how wooden Di Caprio's performance really is.  He didn't get a nomination because the real star of the movie was the Titanic itself, not him.

Clint Eastwood complained that he'd been hobbited by Peter Jackson's win for "Return of the King."  Only a man who talks to chairs would have failed to realize Jackson got the Oscar for directing a 17 hour (if you count the extended version) magnum opus.  Still, for Eastwood it was a snub.  

Last year Meryl Streep won Best Actress and a lot of "people" thought Viola Davis had been snubbed. This is horse shit, too.  These "people" evidently don't know their Oscar History.  Any actor who gives a good performance playing a real person, whether living or dead, is an odds on favorite to have their name called on Oscar Night.  So, if you're an nominated actor up against a Margaret Thatcher or a Truman Capote you might as well go and enjoy the evening for what it is and remember, you're not being snubbed.

My predictions for Oscar night?  Lincoln will get eight, Les Miz will get three and The Avengers will win what ever it's nominated for because it made so much money.

Thursday, January 10, 2013

The cost of Dirty Harry, celluloid phony

With Vice President Joe Biden looking at creating some form of gun legislation, the crazies are coming out of the woodwork.  Of course they've always been there, never being satisfied to be subtle presence.  They damn anyone and everyone who they think is threatening their second amendment rights.  What makes these people moronic is Harry Callahan.  There are at least two generations of Americans who know who he is or at least what he said.  Two of his most memorable phrases are "read my lips," and "make my day."  Wayne LaPierre, of NRA fame,  is actually old enough to have seen at least one of the Dirty Harry movies in the theater.  It is not too difficult for me to imagine him going deer hunting, sighting and aiming at his target, making the kill, and saying "make my day."  All you need to do is look at him and see how that image fits.  Unfortunately, there are a lot of people like him, and all of them dumb as bricks.

Dirty Harry, celluloid phony

They don't seem to understand he is a fictional character, or that all of his words and actions were first written down in a script, or that the scene was short several times and a director chose the one he liked best, or even that a film editor cut and spliced the scene to achieve the desired effect.  For them, Dirty Harry and all of his words and actions are real.  How do I know this?  I listen to the people around me, those associates I work with, and now and then those boneheads on TV who want to be deemed voices of authority.  As one example I'll give you a large woman I work with me.  After the Aurora shootings I found her standing in the lunch room reading a comment by that horse's ass Louie Gohmert.  She actually said, "if I'd been there, I'd have taken out my gun, drawn a bead on him and put him down."  The trouble with this comment is that she didn't remember James Holmes was wearing body armor (big dumb shit duh).  When I pointed this out she replied "well, I would have gotten down behind the seats, lifted my gun and fired in the direction his shots were coming from."  When I pointed out she would not only have to contend with the volume of the movie, which was still playing, but with screams, and shrieking and wailing of 200 plus movie goers she looked at me blankly.  I also noted that the people in her row would run right over her, that she would  actually become a speed bump in their exit from the theater.  Even though you could see she was absolutely clueless about what that night must have really been like, she remained adamant, she would have taken out the shooter and been a heroine.

People don't understand.  They want to see themselves standing along in the Dirty Harry spotlight.  They want to say "make my day," and read my lips."  They need to learn that owning a gun and knowing how to use it does not make you wise.  It just means they have a lethal weapon in their possession, and in the wrong hands that weapon can unexpected kill a lot of people.  Until they have actually been in this type of situation, they need to keep their mouths shut.

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Garmin gets swallowed up in the Tsunami of social networks

Last week I had to deal with some disappointing news, not job related, or personal, no illness in the family, nothing like that at all.  There are a number of workout products which Garmin sells that I like.  I own and Edge 605 and a Forerunner 405.  My first Garmin product was a bicycle computer which fit my needs at the time.  When I purchased it I also their Garmin Training Center.  A few years ago, when I bought the Edge, I saw they had added something onto the Garmin Training Center - a little thing they called Garmin Connect.  This was, basically, a social network for Garmin Users; you could upload your data for others to see, and create contacts, or friends who also use Garmin products.  I had no need for that.  I had no need for that.  My main interest was in tracking my own data: total time, total miles.  There was GPS so I could see hills, how fast I went up them, what effect they had on my heart rate. This is what I wanted.

Back on January 3, 2013, I put in some time on my Sole 95 (Elliptical).  When I went to upload my data in to my Garmin Training Center nothing happened.  I use a USB hub, so it didn't really concern me.  Occasionally that happens.  Two days later I did another Sole workout and again there was no upload.  I checked the Garmin ANT Agent and all of my data was there, it just wasn't uploading.  After spending quite a bit of time troubleshooting, I sent an email to the Garmin Help Desk.  This is the response I received:

Garmin Training Center for both PC and Mac, has been discontinued.
Garmin is moving forward with Garmin Connect, and no longer releasingupdates or support for Training Center.  You can still upload activitiesto Training Center.  However, due to it not being updated, other programs like the ANT Agent, will not directly communicate with it.  Inorder to get information to show in Training Center, please manuallyupload the activities to it.  I apologize for any inconvenience this maycause.  If you have any further questions, please contact us.

The first word out of my mouth was, as you might suspect, "shit."

An untimely death

Then I wondered why it is everybody needs to create social network?  And of course, working in retail and prior to that in business accounting, I knew the answer: marketing.  You don't have to be a bonehead to put two and two together, or I should say thousands and thousands.  If you sell a product, and you get a large number of people gathered in a network around that product, you have a ready market for any type of upgrade or new product.  And it isn't just Garmin, it's everybody.  Every car manufacturer does it.

Most people don't even understand we are being inundated by a tsunami of social networks.  I'm a member of LinkedIn.  I recently sent a connect to my Behr Paint  rep.  When I talked to him later he said "everybody I know joined, we use it as a social network."  Isn't this contrary to how LinkedIn promotes itself?  I have the basic service, but if I want to, I can "upgrade," for a fee.  Isn't that horse shit?  Talk about putting free money in the bank.  They all seem to be doing it.  Map My Fitness, you have your basic, bare bones service, but you can "upgrade" which gives you more benefits, including Chat.  They are always reminding you there is strength in numbers, so if you want to chow down on a couple of mini-snickers you can always go online and find some bozo who's going to counsel you into not eating them.  A lot of people sign up for these services because they feel they are necessary.  Do they work?  For the vast majority of people I'd have to say "hell no."  Sure, some may say they are beneficial, but I'm a skeptic and think too many people are paying for nothing.

Monday, January 7, 2013

It's not the workouts that'll kill you, just the other people in the gym!

I read an interesting article NBC News / Health concerning gym intimidation which actually made me chuckle.  True, there are those out there who have such terrible self-esteem when it comes to their physique, the idea of letting others see their bulges is terrifying.  Because my work requires a constantly changing schedule I do my workouts at home.  If, some day, I land a job where I can work 8 to 5 I'll be in the gym.  Personally I think this being intimidated is a bit of horse shit.  It gives slackers an excuse, an easy out.  Can't you hear them whining "I can't go to the gym because they might laugh at my fat belly bouncing up and down."  Give me a break!  If that were the problem they could be exercising at home, running on a treadmill, spending an hour and a half a day with P90X.  If they were doing that they wouldn't have a fat belly to bounce up and down.

There were two comments on the article, no more.  I took this as agreement to my position because there are alternatives to going to a gym.  If it has to be a gym, then go when it isn't full.  I took a walk through Planet Fitness one day around noon and was amazed at how empty the place was, seven or eight old people walking slowly on treadmills.  Believe me, they are more focused on keeping their balance then on how out of shape you are.  Or, better yet, get one of your friends to go with you.  I've always heard there is safety in numbers.  You can actually have a lot of fun if you go with a friend.

Look at the terror on their faces.

Of course there are always going to be those who steadfastly stand behind their hokey-pokey line of shit  "I'm just too embarrassed to go to the gym."  Translation:  I'm fat and a I'm going to stay fat. 

As for alternatives, they could take up jogging, not done in a gym, or mall walking, again not done in a gym, or cycling, or bowling.  If you can afford it by a piece of equipment.  I own a Sole 95 Elliptical.  I also have my bike on a trainer during the colder months of the year.  Dumbbells are not that expensive and you don't need a lot of intelligence to figure out how they work.  Of course buying it means using it.  I have a friend who once told me his parents had just about every piece of equipment manufactured in their basement gathering dust.  I suspect that a lot of these whiners have the same sort of stuff sitting around in their basements or attics.  The real problem for them is not the intimidation, it's the lack of ambition.

Sunday, January 6, 2013

How retail murders working out!

We are creatures of habit.  We like our routines.  They have been drummed into us since we could first sit in front of a television.  Working  8 - 5 Monday through Friday with weekends off, this is what we all want.  If you made a New Year's resolution to lose weight, or get in shape or both, no schedule could be better.  You can set up a regime where you can run on that treadmill in your basement, or go to the gym at a set time on a set day and create a routine.  This type of pattern works best for the majority of people.  If they miss a workout it's because they choose to skip it, for what ever reason, and the responsibility is theirs alone.  If their resolution falls along the wayside it truly is their fault; they could not incorporate exercise into their daily habits.  There are those of us, however, whose work prohibits setting up a set routine.  I work in retail, on only two days of the week do I have a set schedule:  Monday's in at 5 AM and Wednesdays I'm there until 10 PM.  For the rest of the week is a grab bag, I never know when I have to be at the store.  My two days off are rarely the same, they may not even be back to back.  This means setting up a workout regime is next to impossible.  There is no way I will ever be able to ride my bike every other evening at 6, or go to the gym at a set time, or lift free weights at any set time on a recurring basis.  This is especially aggravating with the free weights since every program includes a recovery period.  This sucks big time!

For those of you who don't know what this is, it's a resolution pattern.  A long time ago, back when their were dials, this was used to make sure you television was in focus.  The more clear the numbers were the better the pattern and the better the viewing.  When you work with a rotating schedule the pattern will never come into focus, it will never be clear.  There is always going to be some blurring around the edges.  What makes this even more shitty is that the company I work for wants us to be healthy.  They give us healthy living discounts on our insurance.  However there is a struggle to set up any type of routine.  Going to the gym, while not impossible, is chaotic at best.  One week I may be able to go Tuesday, Thursday and Friday evenings but the next week I may be working those days.  Mondays and Wednesdays are the only days I can actually set up a specific workout time and that is not enough.  Without being about to workout on steadily on three set days is pretty much a fail in my book.

Thursday, January 3, 2013

Rough Shoulders Ahead for Fox News?

Even though I don't watch Fox News, I get them.  They want to be the conservative mouthpiece of America, which for them means ratings.  Honestly, that is all they are concerned about, nothing else.  News is business.  To be successful your business needs to target a certain type of consumer.  This is why Best Buy doesn't sell clothing and Home Depot doesn't have a dairy section.  Fox wants every conservative in the United States to watch them, and only them.  This is where they run into trouble.  In order for them to maintain their image as the conservative mouthpiece, they need to brand every other media outlet as 'liberal' or 'progressive.'  Unfortunately for them, Independent voters are growing, and you can't count on every one registered as Republican or Democrat to stringently vote the party line.  In other words, if the United States was a two lane highway, in most cases, about 60% of Americans would hang around the yellow line.  True, they may veer a little to the left to pass on some issues and on others a little to the right but over all they go right down the center.  For Fox News to be the conservative mouthpiece. they need to push that yellow line as far to the left as possible in order to call it liberal.  As a result, Fox news seems to be spending a majority of it's time bouncing around on the shoulder and losing clout with those riding down the center line.

Are there rough shoulders ahead for Fox News?

This does not mean they will completely lose their audience, they can always count on that 25% to 27% the blood of the far right flowing through their veins.  Those people will only ever watch Fox so that part of the market is safe.  Others, however started dabbling a while back.  They will not only watch Fox News, but will also watch a little MSNBC and even a couple minutes a week of CNN.  A interesting statistic I ran across was that during the 2012 Presidential Debates more Americans turned into MSNBC.   Hhhmmm.  Were they more liberal, or more centrist.  Could it have been because that news network doesn't preach or pass judgement?  Or that they have both Republicans and Democrats on their staff?  Who knows.  I think we'll just have to tune in and see.