Showing posts with label star choice. Show all posts
Showing posts with label star choice. Show all posts

Thursday, December 01, 2011


My favorite time in the desert is sunrise.  I like how the soft pastel light creeps down the western mountain slopes to the valley floor.  Long Saguaro shadows from the East inch across the sleepy desert floor.  There is not a sound and the brisk air is still.  I am generally outside in my pajamas with the Pheebs as we both take in the enchantment of the awakening Sonoran desert.
Our day topped out at a sunny 73F with a light cooling breeze.  Wispy clouds added character to the sky and all was well Cactus Land.  Well, that is until we decided to have another go at setting up our Shaw Direct TV satellite system.
The majority of our day ended up being chewed to bits with our wrestling and tussling with our Shaw Direct satellite dish.  After 5 years of fighting with various satellite systems I can tell you I am no fan of satellite technology.  When it works, it works fine but I think any honest satellite user would have to admit they certainly have had their trials and tribulations with the darn things!!  It’s not that we are new at it and don’t know anything about setting these things up etc.  This time we just ran into a perfect storm of difficulties.
We came south this winter with a new tripod which in itself is a total exercise in frustration.  We also came with a new Star Choice receiver, dish and LMB.  I’m not going to bore you with all the technical stuff but luckily we brought our old receiver along too.  We finally got all the bugs ironed out about 4 this afternoon using our new LMB with our old receiver.  We did briefly manage to finally get everything working right but then because of the poor tripod set up we lost the signal.  It was at this point we just simply threw in the towel and called it a day.  Until we can get ourselves some kind of solid base for the dish we’ll just continue watching the TV stations we can pull in with the rig’s antennae.
Except for a few, you folks out here in Blog Land and all the readers of my blog sure have been a patient and understanding bunch over the years.  I have never had the luxury of self confidence like many and have been plagued with self doubt for as long as I can remember.  Doesn’t take much for something to knock me off kilter.  That’s not an excuse it’s just a simple fact of how it is.   Some folks will understand what I am talking about and some will not.  What is unfortunate is that my self doubts show up in my posts from time to time and that doesn’t make for good reading.  The last paragraph of Tuesday’s blog is an example of that.
Thanks to everyone for your comments and emails today.  Some emails were constructively sharp about my waffling ways and I appreciate the honesty and time it took for people to send me their thoughts.   
This whole blogging phenomenon is proving to be a real eye opening and learning experience for me.  You people have helped me more over these past few years than you will ever know.
Awhile back I was looking for some blogger oriented jokes for Groaner’s Corner when I came across this site which I thought might be interesting to all Bloggers out here.  It’s short, it’s interesting, and it fits right in with what I have just been talking about .  And, after reading it I must admit I am very guilty of number 3 as you shall see.  THE TOP 4 BLOGGING CLICHÉS THAT JUST HAVE TO DIE
I do firmly believe in all the opinions I state but I do have a bad habit of backtracking and apologizing for those opinions.  I think the guy ahead of me in the Gene pool line-up years ago didn’t want his ‘sensitivity gene’ and I ended up with an extra one.  Sorry about my wishy washy way folks….Awwwwww Geeeeezzzz, there I go again!!!!
A minister dies and is waiting in line at the Pearly Gates. Ahead of him is a man who’s dressed in sunglasses, a loud shirt, leather jacket and jeans.
Saint Peter turns to the first man and asks, Who are you, so that I may know whether or not to admit you to the Kingdom of Heaven?
I’m Joe Jones, says the man, and I was a taxi driver in New York City.
Saint Peter consults his list and says, Take this silken robe and golden staff and enter.
When it’s the ministers turn, he stands erect and booms out, I am Joseph Snow, Pastor of New Covenant Tabernacle for the last 37 years.
Saint Peter consults his list and says, Take this cotton robe and wooden staff and enter.
Just a minute, says the minister. That man was a taxi driver and he gets a silken robe and golden staff.  How can this be?
Up here, we go by results, says Saint Peter.  While you preached, people slept; while he drove, people prayed.

Tuesday, November 08, 2011




I am almost afraid to allow myself a twinge of excitement this close to our departure date in case it throws a jinx into our travel plans.  But, allow a twinge of excitement this morning I did, and what a great feeling it was too.  I would have to say, the RV Traveling lifestyle is probably the number one favourite thing for me at this stage in my life and being only days away from another great southwest trip feels like a hurricane of fresh air blowing through my mind.  I love the excitement of unknown destinations and adventures.  And, above all, I love the feeling of being completely mobile and not being committed to sitting in one spot for weeks or months on end.  Our time is our own whenever we chose to let the winds blow us on to our next destination.  We do enjoy our extended times at the Ranch near McNeil Arizona but that is the exception to our blowing around like a tumbling Tumbleweed all winter.  Sooooo looking forward to seeing new things:))

KEVIN AND RUTH had a question about why would we fill up with gas in Canada when we are so close to the U.S. border.  Well, good question I guess and one to which I have no totally logical answer.  Only way for me to respond to that one is to simply say I never thought of it.  Guess it's an old habit of filling up locally before heading out on a trip.  Having been out of the States for 7 months now and not being a guy who ever pays attention to gas prices it just never occurred to me to do that.  I wonder if it would fall under the heading of a 'Senior Moment.'  And Jo over there at THE WANDERING WISHNIES  wondered why it is I can't eat McDonald's Burrito's anymore.  Well, it's not so much that I can't them Jo but I have been trying to avoid wheat based products lately in an effort to see if all that doughy ooze I love so much has an affect on my health.  Of course eating a whole wheat bread Turkey Salad sandwich didn't make much sense Tuesday and maybe those Burritos aren't made out of wheat anyway.  I'm thinking there just may be a couple McDonald's Burrito's in my not too distant future now that you mentioned it:))

Our temps are still holding out on the mild side with 60F today under cloudy skies and a drizzly kind of mist in the air.  Sure not complaining about the weather though if the temps stay like this.  Thought I noticed on last night's news that we were the same temperature yesterday as Phoenix, Arizona.  I'm keeping a close eye on the weather patterns right now south and west of us.  Noticed it's 66F in Yuma Arizona today and 69F in Borrego Springs California.  Those are perfect temps for hiking so hang on to those temps guys because we are headed your way soon:))



I once again spent time on Google+ this morning trying to gain some kind of concept into how this program works.  Managed to change my profile pic but that was about as far as I got.  Thanks for the response Sue.  Saw a post by someone I finally recognized (Froggi Donna:)) and was able to respond to that.  I did type a message into a box asking if anyone had any easy suggestions on understanding the program response:((  I remember years ago how long it took me to figure out the concept of Blogger.  After half a dozen tries at trying to understand what Blogger was and how it worked I was finally able to fit a couple pieces of the puzzle together and gain an overall understanding of the whole picture.  I probably had the same problem understanding the concept and setting up Picasa and Facebook years ago as well but can't remember.  I will try Google+ again and maybe again......and maybe again.

On our walk this afternoon I couldn't believe how fast Pheebe nearly ran down a Squirrel in a large grassy field area.  Had it not been for a large Walnut tree the Pheebs would have caught the Squirrel.   Pheebs does not appear to have a mean bone in her body so I have no idea what she would have done had she caught up with the little fella.  Probably smothered it in smooches and knocked it out with her big strong wagging tail.  

As much as I sometimes complain about CNN news with it's giggles gang in the morning, seemingly never ending commercials and their tunnel vision focus on repeating things over and over and over.....I'm going to miss the gang.  The TV package we have with Star Choice while on the road does not include CNN so it will be next Spring before I tune in to Wolf Blitzer and the crew again.  But, CNN is a treat compared to the aggravating morning network news program we get while traveling.  More about that annoying noise when we are on the road again.

DSC_0020GROANER'S CORNER:((  My wife still uses curlers in her hair after she washes it. She came into the Family Room as I was watching TV.
I guess I stared at her funny because she said, "I just set my hair."
The last thing I remember saying was, "Oh, really? And what time does it go off?"

-Tourists see the world, travelers  experience it.
-Until one has loved an Animal, their  soul remains un-awakened.
The only thing better than right now  will someday be the memories of
right  now...AL.

Sunday, November 06, 2011



We took advantage of another great weather day and moved a fair few things to the Motor Home.  Kitchen items and clothes being the biggies.  Well, Kelly's clothes anyway.  Checked all the solar batteries and tires.  Double checked the oil level again as well and fired up the generator for 20 minutes.  Water pump checked out OK as did a test firing of our Legacy Blue Flame heater.  We are traveling with a new Shaw/Star Choice TV receiver this year as well as a new tech savvy dish and LMB.  Of course I am leery about the new equipment but Kelly feels confident we will be alright with everything.  I just remember too many frustrations and 'tearing out of hair' with all that satellite type stuff from a few years ago. 

Kelly's patience and computer skills never cease to amaze me.  She just keeps working away at a problem and goes that extra mile until she figures it out and wrestles it to the ground.  If it wasn't for Kelly's computer smarts I would probably still be in pencil and paper mode.  Our neighbour Monica, who recently went to Florida for the winter found that once she got there she could not access the Bayfield Bunch blog with her different service provider, Comcast.  Kelly had Monica download a program called LOG ME IN which enabled Kelly to gain permitted access to Monica's computer in Florida from our computer here in Bayfield.  Kelly then determined Monica’s problem and changed the DNS servers on Monica's computer.  As soon as she did that Monica once again had access to our blog.  Kelly first set this up for her Mother's computer as well over in Spencerport New York about a year ago.  At any time if her Mother has a problem with her computer Kelly can just log in from wherever we are and have a look at her Mother's computer.  We have that 'Log Me In' program on all three of our computers so theoretically if our desktop was on here at home all winter we could access it any time if we had to from anywhere we are.  And, this ‘Log Me In’ is a free program too:))  



Oh, and Kelly just straightened out my iPod as well.  She was able to figure out how to stop it from shuffling between playlists.  Right now she is tracking down a problem on her work cell phone.  Incoming text messages have stopped leaving an audible alert.  I'm sure she will have that all straightened out right quick.  She has been trying to get me straightened out for over 18 years now but of course that's proving to be a bit of a bigger challenge for her.   But, with a bit of patience……………………:))   

Weather is not looking good for our Saturday departure at the end of the week.  Rain predicted for Thursday, Friday and Saturday with daytime temps dropping to the mid 30's.  Big change from today’s 60F.  We will definitely want to have the rig completely ready for travel by the end of Wednesday.  Don't want to have to be loading things in freezing cold rain.  Oh well, at least it's not snowing.  And at least we are not stuck sitting here for the entire winter.  Despite all my complaining sometimes, we are truly fortunate people:))

Occasionally there are times when I sit down here at the keyboard and am totally void of any inspiration to write anything. There are always interesting things to write about of course, but it is just sometimes I question what it is I write about every day. Are my posts too personal at times, too repetitive perhaps, too predictable. The topics are interesting to me of course but are they really of that much interest to others as well. It seems I sometimes hit the nail on the head and as often as not I feel like I have missed the mark by a country mile. Anyway, just wanted to get that off my chest simply because it was on my mind today.  My head just kinda works like that sometimes…………………………..10-4




-Tourists see the world, travelers  experience it.
-Until one has loved an Animal, their  soul remains un-awakened.
The only thing better than right now  will someday be the memories of
right  now...AL.

Sunday, October 07, 2007


MONDAY NIGHT Oct 8/07 9 P.M. SUCCESS:)))))
Well, it's been quite a learning curve these past couple days here at home. We nailed the satellite right on with our very first set up in the driveway shooting through the pine trees & were able to get on the internet ok, but.........we could not get a Star Choice signal at all. Fought with that all week-end until to-night when we drove out into the countryside, found a totally clear patch of sky & set up again. Lots of little problems but 98% of them were all mine. Having the oval dish tilted to the left & not the right was the biggest thing I had wrong plus not taking the time to go through the set up steps in sequence with the laptop was another problem I created for myself. Luckily Kelly's patience, perseverance, & determination won out in the end & she finally had us cooking along on the internet & Star Choice. Now we know all the equipment works fine & it's just Al that isn't functioning correctly & needs a major overhaul:((((

Saturday, October 06, 2007


Let me begin by saying that we are happily enthusiastic but challenged internet people. We use it everyday & think it's gotta be the greatest invention since sliced cheese so it was a top priority for us when planning our future RV adventures. The last couple of trips into the American southwest showed us we needed to make improvements in some areas including television reception & internet communications. We do carry a cell phone but it's only used in case of emergencies. We just aren't yakky phone people. Last winter we had to look for computer savvy libraries or hit & miss wifi hot spots here & there. Our internet use was spotty at best. Not what we're used to.
Kelly spent a lot of time these past 6 months researching & reading forum discussions on what people on the move are using for television & internet services & what kind of cost is involved. It's a real mine field of ideas, theories, personal preferences, practical applications & solutions. Star Choice or Bell Express-Vu, Direct, Dish, etc. etc. Internet via telephone, WiFi, or satellite, etc. etc. Seems everyone you talk to has a different way of doing things or ideas as to what's best & what isn't. Every system has it's own unique pros & cons. Also depends on how much money a person wants to spend. Cost is directly related to priority. Tech support is a big consideration. Did we want help from someone in North America or somebody on the other side of the globe somewhere. A big megalith of a company or a firm that's smaller & more personable, maybe even close to home. Decisions, decisions.
To make a long 7 month story short we finally decided on a company that was first recommended to us by another RVing couple, Peggy & John McDonald.
Over the summer months Kelly had been on the phone talking to
this company in Lindsay called, Tech Mobile Communications
The two fellows on the phone, Todd & Armand were always patient with our questions & took time to explain things for us. They weren't our only iron in the fire but in September after going around in circles & suffering from severe information overload we decided wireless satellite was the way for us to go so we firmed up a deal with Mobile Tech. We knew we couldn't afford the automatic roof mounted DataStorm set-up so we opted for the more manually operated & affordable tri-pod system.
Arrangements were made for us to travel to Lindsay & take part in the installation & computer set up of the program. A perfectly clear, concise, & practical manual comes with the package but both Kelly & I felt it would be better for us to be there in person for a hands on lesson. I'm not real mechanically inclined & my short term memory repeatedly lets me down trying to follow written instructions. It's sometimes difficult for me to get a concept in my mind of how all this is supposed to fit to-gether. Being there in real time helps bring all the pieces of the puzzle to-gether in a much more practical way.

We spent four & half hours at Tech Mobile on Wednesday October 3rd/07 as both Todd & Armand alternately walked us through everything out in the parking lot from physically assembling & setting up the tripod & dish to installing the modem, router, running wires, etc. Todd programmed our laptop with all the necessary software while Armand made a few technical adjustments to the tri-pod & dish. We were shown step by step how to find the satellite & make the necessary adjustments using the laptop right outside at the dish. Longitude & Latitude were explained, Another fellow helped set up our Star Choice feed & before long we had a crystal clear picture on the television set. Huge improvement from last year when all we could get was a couple snowy channels here & there in the southwest. Outside, despite a bit of rain, Armand continued his adjustment work on the dish under an umbrella. They encouraged us to stay, take the system down & then set it up by ourselves again but by that time we were just too beat. We had come to Lindsay the night before, dropped a rear wheel in a ditch & then didn't sleep most of the night. We just wanted to head for home & get a good night's sleep. I think we were also suffering a wee bit from information overload. Actually, in the picture where Todd is programming the computer you can see Kelly standing there with her eyes closed. I think she was sound alseep:))

All & all though despite our tiredness it was a good day & we learned a lot. Todd & Armand, despite being in the midst of re-locating their offices to a larger facility, & being overwhelmly
busy, were very gracious with us & at no time showed any frustration at our ineptness or slower learning curve. Not the norm when younger folks are teaching older folks as a rule.

We are home now & plan to work at setting up the system sometime on the week-end. Unfortunately we live in a pine forest & the Star Choice satellite is totally blocked from us by a band of dense pine trees but I'm sure we'll figure something out. I'll update the blog with our progress as we get things up & running..............................................