Shootin' the Breeze

and random targets

The Satellite Disaster

Last night threw me off my routine.

At our home on the range, we are out of the reach of cable TV and DSL internet.  Instead, we have satellite dishes.

The dishes are only about the size of large pizzas.  We have two — one for TV and one for internet.  In the nineties, we had a huge satellite dish that was maybe 8′ across and moved slowly to search the skies for connections to television stations.  Then, with no kids at home, we discontinued that and just rented movies.  We even read books.  Eventually, I removed the dish and dug up the steel supports set in concrete and took the iron to Aragon Iron and Metal for scrap.  Then we were without TV.  It was rather a freeing experience.  I had DSL internet at the office.  That was all I needed.  It also had the advantage (or disadvantage) of preventing me from doing law office work at home.  I could not read emails.  I could not do on-line research.

Two years ago, Sugar and I re-joined the general public by getting a pizza-sized satellite.  Then, a few months ago, we got the other one for internet.  (For awhile we had just a “hot spot” from Verizon, but we had to be close to it.  The Dish dish allows us to hook on throughout the house, even in my study.  When it works, that is.)

Usually the only times we have connection problems are when the weather is bad, such as when snow and ice accumulates on the Dish dishes.  Yesterday was a beautiful day, so we were surprised that the thing-a-ma-bob by the modem only had three blue lights rather than the required five.  What I did next is very technical.  Those of you without engineering degrees probably won’t understand the significance of what I did to fix the problem.  I unplugged the deal-ee-o, waited a minute or so, and plugged it back in.  That usually works.  It did not.  Still just three lights blinking.

Sugar unpacked the trusty hot spot and went about her internet use in the dining room.  She also called Dish and tried to fix the problem but to no avail.  She is a doer.  She then scheduled with Dish for a technician to come out.  I agreed to her plan for altruistic reasons.  It was not because I myself could not analyze and solve the problem, it was for an altruistic reason — I do not want to hurt the American economy by causing unemployment among Dish technicians.

So, without internet, I thought about reading a book, perhaps a text on organic chemistry, but the TV was still working so I watched The Voice, which furthered my desire to get on the internet.  I will say that Cee Lo is a snappy dresser.

In the morning, we had five blue lights again and a good connection.  Apparently, I fixed it in my sleep.  I fixed it with my eyes closed.  Next time I will even try unplugging and replugging the device with one hand tied behind my back.

I am sorry we had to cancel the technician’s visit.  I hope they have other work for him today.

Hey, Sugar —  You’re welcome!

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4 thoughts on “The Satellite Disaster

  1. As much as it grieves me to say it, I probably would miss TV if I didn’t have it. We have cable (and have had every since Hurricane Wilma blew the dish off of my house and through the screen enclosure over the pool), and the bill seems to get larger every few months. I sometimes wonder if I’m getting my money’s worth. I just want CNN, The Weather Channel and Animal Planet – if I could just get a bundle of those 3 I could survive quite nicely.

    • When we lacked TV, I missed watching football and basketball so we would go to a sports bar to see certain Bronco games. I prefer watching at home to watching with strangers. What I liked about renting movies is that we don’t have to scroll to find something we want to watch. We already picked it.

      • Sometimes we go out to watch Dolphins games, but usually it is preferable to suffer at home than in public. But since I do like to watch football (about the only sport I follow), I guess I need TV for that reason alone.

  2. We used to have satellite Internet, but it didn’t work well at all. I can relate!

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