Currently, I am in the process of “cutting the cord,” which, if you’re not familiar with the term, means that I am getting rid of my television service contract and will rely on other (cheaper) means for watching my favorite shows. The main reason I am doing this – without getting into too many details – is that I no longer have the option of a reliable satellite connection. I fought a battle with my neighborhood association over this issue and I lost, but that’s neither here nor there. I’ve decided to embrace my situation and become a member of the cordless club. (If there is such a club, they really should consider a snazzier name.)

Knowing full well that my local cable TV provider has a terrible reputation – and knowing that the cost for its service would basically be the same as the satellite company, I’ve decided to stream most of my TV entertainment through hardware from Apple and online services such as Netflix and Hulu. Additionally, I have purchased an HD antenna that picks up the local networks, so that’s all I really need. What this adds up to is more than $1,200 a year in savings! What will I do with the money? More home renovations? More travel? Who knows?

So, what’s the point of me telling you this on a blog about masonry? Well, the entire process of cutting the cord and learning about the technology behind streaming services, HD antennas, and the like, has me thinking about all the new building materials technologies that come our way year after year. Some are great, and some are not so great. But in either case, no one has ever found a better natural building material – I think – than clay. No one is going around saying they’re “cutting the clay.” Brick is just better and always will be. When I think all about the new technology and fixtures I want in my next home, I still want them surrounded by four brick walls. Don’t you?

Don’t misunderstand: I’m not a luddite or a naysayer when it comes to new construction technology. I love learning about it all, keeping up with the trends and news, speaking with the developers and the materials manufacturers. Honestly, I wouldn’t be the editor of Masonry Design (nor would I have spent most of my professional journalism career covering the A/E/C industry) if I didn’t love this topic. But newer isn’t always better. Of course, sometimes it is, such as saving $1,200 a year on TV service.