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.


  1. The satellite observation reminds me of something folks will say when they've managed to win some money at Vegas. They never want to admit just how much they've lost to get to that point. There's always more losing than winning. I'm beginning to come to the opinion that a satellite set up would frustrate me to no end. I'll just sit and read a book.
    Speaking of opinions, I never apologise for mine, but then I tend to not offer one too very often. But of course, that's my opinion.
    Enjoy your day.

  2. Hey Al no apologies needed,you are who you are, and to hell with anyone that doesn't like it.I have added one of those automatic satellite domes to the priority list before we go full time, just got the generator, next is the Pressure Pro, and then The dome with auto lock on , maybe I will still have some hair left when it is all said and done. Rigg's says to tell Pheebs he is in love with her. Be safe out there. Sam & Donna...

  3. Well about all I have left is experience,,,,,I have a lot of that gained over the years,,,, I set up satelitte dishes for both TV and Internet for years. I had troubles just like your having until I finally had an old boy that knew what he was doing tell me that the most importand item to have if your gona have a dish of any kind is a STABLE BASE!!! Get a good stable tripod,,,one like the surveyors use that has been converted for use with a dish.... Believe me you will be glad you did... Next is a good meter to find the Satelitte, but thats another story....

  4. Lovely photos, really enjoy the blog no matter what kind of mood, emotional state, wishy washy stance you take! It's honest, it's real and it's great!

  5. Here is what I'm talking about:

    You already have the "Claw" the best hold down made....

  6. satellite finding can be the most frustrating..but you know when you have the view of the mountains and sunrise who needs tv!..the world will still be there when you come back to the land of mindless tv!! the four blogging cliches..interesting!!

  7. Al, most of us will have issues with ourselves, so you shouldn't worry too much about yours. We love the way you write and take pictures and the huge number of followers and visitors you have are there for a reason, don't you think?

  8. McGuyver has a 12-14" square piece of board, about 1 1/2" thick, and has the dish mounted on that board with 4 bolts ...We will send you an email with the photo..We NEVER have any can't blow around...If you can't open the attachment let us know,I will blog it.

  9. The first year we came south I was totally frustrated with setting up our Shaw Direct Dish, having all kinds of problems getting the signal right! I hated it!!!!! I was ready to give up on it all, but then I decided to buy a "First Strike" Satellite Meter... now it takes me less than 30 seconds to find a perfect signal every time... no more frustration, no more fighting... just nice TV so I can watch the Leaf's! It does help to have a good tripod system, and I bought one off the internet that works good for us. Only problem with the First Strike Meter is that it cost $250.00. However in my books it was worth every penny and I now guard it with my life! Nobody screws with my meter! Take care Al.

  10. Al, love the photo of the elusive Desert Teddy Bear Fox. LOL! Love your humor. Your blog is an inspiration. I look at your numbers (followers, site meter, etc) and am in awe!
    We can all only wish our sites get as popular as yours. You're doing it right. :)

  11. Blogging to please everyone is a fool’s game. It’s just not possible. I write about the comforts and amenities of our RV resort in my blog because that’s the RV lifestyle I enjoy. Others, like you, prefer boondocking and that’s just fine too. Each RV’er makes his/her choices.

    A reader’s choice is to read my blog or not. I can’t control that and don’t care to try. Constantly trying to explain myself would wear me out to the point of wanting to quit. Folks who don’t like what I write can start their own blog and tell me all about it.

  12. Al
    You have a great blog. Everyone is entitled to a rant now and then so don't apologize. It is your blog and no one is forced to read it; obviously, the number of your followers is a great indicator of how many of us do like to read it. I agree with Rick--it is your blog. Rick's blog is different from yours--that is why I love to read both! Keep up the great work and the wonderful photos.

  13. Just keep doing what your doing, just like your doing it....Your readership goes up, so their must be some of us who agree with your insights and opinion....

  14. I certainly can understand your frustration with your satelllite set up. Here is a blog post for your from our friends Bill and Leslie and what they did. I hope you find the information helpfull.

    Happy trails...

  15. Al we so enjoy your please don't apologize for anything...the purpose of blogging is to share with fellow RV bloggers the ins and outs of the day...I look forward to reading you blog daily, its informative and funny, and serious all at the same time...

    Rick has our sat dish mounted on plywood and we've never had a problem..I tease him all the time he doesn't even use a meter to set up..I tell him pretty soon you'll be able to just open the window and throw the rigging out...

    As for anonymous-I see you've reared your ugly head once gutless wonder..hiding behind the name anonymous..I often wonder about people like you who lurk in the must find Al's blog interesting if your still here after 'a few months'...if its so tiresome to you I wonder why you'd even bother to post...

    Have a great weekend Al and Kelly!!

  16. I'd bet that most people waffle about something now and then. You do what everyone else does to some extent, except that you write about it and express your line of thinking as you go along. As for a lack of self-confidence, that is the way you are. You are a very appealing and intelligent person, whether you believe it or not, and many folks have learned a lot from you. Hang in there, and we will continue to enjoy your blog.

  17. Satellite systems were invented to keep men busy!

    What is on TV that is worth so much frustration and time?

  18. I hate setting up our DISH network dish and have been tempted to buy the 'automatic Qube type' but $$ is a factor. Enjoy reading your blog, in T or C freezing with snow flurries today!