Saturday, February 18, 2006

Internet access

Mom and Dad have a Datastorm automatic roof-mounted dish to get online. It runs about $6000 for the hardware and installation. I could be off by $1K, but that’s about it. Our internet access is via a dish with a tripod. Normally it is really easy to setup, but sometimes not. Course, with the roof-mount, when a tree is in the way you have to move the entire vehicle; I remember Dad doing this when we were in Teacapan last year. Sometimes setup can be frustrating…

I don’t really have a technique other than setup where I think the trees won’t bother the dish. I always, and I mean ALWAYS manage to setup the tripod in direct line of sight with either a tree, if one is anywhere within a 50mile radius, or a mountain. I think yesterday, my problem may have been a mountain. So I set the thing up, deal with the kids a bit, forget things and go back and forth finding them and remembering what I forgot (usually the card with the numbers; I take it outside and leave it by the tripod and think I don’t need it inside and then go to get OPI readings and realize the damn card is outside, so back I track outside to get the card, or I forget that I need to convert degrees and minutes to decimal and since we don’t have a GPS I use the ontheroadin guide or Church’s book as they have GPS readings for different campgrounds in Mexico) or one of the kids is having an EMERGENCY and needs WATER or ZEBRA or HORSE or FOOD RIGHT NOW. Where was I? So I get distracted a bit setting up the tripod.

So yesterday I setup, thinking tree wouldn’t be a problem but something was, so I drag the tripod (all attached, natch, to make it especially impossible to drag anywhere) to a new site, then scream for Jamie as the dish is about to dump, splat on the earth and he comes to help and we drag it somewhere else (but now, I think I put the mountain in the way) and setup and damn but I still can’t find the friggin bird (satellite), so I drag a chair out of the van and sit for a while and stew and think about the 2nd to last dark beer I have waiting under the dinette but decide one more time to move the tripod. (think I’ll try something new and END a sentence) So THIS time, I disassemble the thing and move it out from under or around or near any tree and set it low incase the mountain is the problem and WALA I find the bird.

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