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The Resort 2006 Season, Part 4

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July 28, 2006: Last year about this time I took a long bike ride looking for lava. Tonight, on a long drive back to the trailer from White City, I came across a large patch of lava. There are actually mounds of lava in different locations in these mountains. It makes for difficult hiking in some places.
Escapees Chapter 37 Rally
August 4, 2006: Our Escapees, Chapter 37 rally at Howard Prairie Resort turned out to be pretty small with only four rigs (including ours) attending but we did have several drive in visitors. This evening was a social dinner time at the resort restaurant with Gwen doing the cooking. Starting with Yvonne in the white sweater and red shirt and going to the left around the table are Doris, Tom, Pat, Dick, Dale and Joe. We are having a great time. It seems the thing you do at a rally is tell stories and I've heard some good ones.
Tony Installs the TV Dish August 5, 2006: After living at the resort for two years without television, we decided to try satellite TV for an 18 month contract. This way we would know if satellite TV is one of those expenses we would want to continue with after retirement. We chose the DISH Network system only because it was about $10 per month cheaper than DIRECTV. Remember the day I went to the county fair? While at the fair, I found a DISH booth and ordered from this booth to get the "fair special". From that point on, nothing has gone right with whatever company should have completed this installation. I was told that the installer would call me to confirm the installation day and address. I did get a call on my voicemail but when I returned the call, the lady who answered the phone could not find the order but took down the
information anyway. She also told me the installer would call to confirm the installation day and time (Friday, AM). When I had not heard from the installer by Thursday afternoon, I called the original sales office and learned that the installation was scheduled for the next morning but at my mailing address in downtown Medford, not here at the lake. I asked that this be corrected and the salesman said the installer would call to confirm. I did not get a call from the installer until 12:30 the following day (Friday, remember, the dish was to be installed on Friday morning). The installer reported he would be arriving in "twenty minutes", I said, "great, where are you?" "I'm in Medford" he replied. "Then you won't be here for 45 minutes." I said. I learned he was headed to our mailbox for the installation. When he learned he must come to the resort for the installation, he replied it would "have to be later that day". Two hours later I got a call from Adams Communication (apparently the installers company) wanting to reschedule the installation for Monday (one of my work days). "It needed to happen before Monday." I replied. He would have Tony, the installer call me. That Friday evening, about 8 pm, Tony called to say he would install me at 6 am the next morning. Since Gwen had to be at work by 6 am, this was not an inconvenience so I agreed. Tony arrived on Saturday morning at 6:15 am. We immediately pulled the cable through the conduit I had installed for my Internet cable. I had installed a nylon cord with the dual RG6 coax so I could pull through another cable if needed. Once the cable was pulled through, the dish and receiver were connected and it looked like everything was going perfectly. Tony learned that I had ordered a DVR with the system but it wasn't on his order page (another mistake) but he happened to have one he could install. When Tony ran an on-screen test, it failed because there was no signal. He retested the dish and found a very strong signal. I suggested he test the signal strength at the end of the cable but he decided that wouldn't help. "The problem is that the cable run is too long." Tony suggested. I pointed to the DISH network system right next to mine and showed him that this installation had a longer run than mine but was successful maybe because of the inline signal amplifier this fellow has installed. Tony felt that was the solution to the problem but he did not have a signal amplifier. I agreed to sign the paperwork and drive myself to a Radio Shack in Ashland to get a signal amplifier to fix the problem and complete the installation myself. I completed that task by 1 pm but found that the screen test was the same. Now I went to my neighbor with the DISH Network system and asked for his help. He came over with a signal strength text meter of his own. Tony had installed a splitter behind the receiver so two coax cables could attach to the receiver. The signal strength from the splitter gave me zero signal strength. I removed the splitter and tested the signal from the incoming cable which showed a signal equal to that coming right off the dish, no signal loss from the length of the cable. The problem was the splitter, not the loss of signal from the length of cable. I reported all this to Tony who said we would not be able to program the receiver unless we had two cables attached to the receiver. He wanted to meet me in Medford on Monday to give me a new splitter but I insisted he fix the problem himself. As it stands now, he may return on Tuesday to complete the installation. Had Tony tested the cable as I had suggested, he would have found the same problem I found and we might have TV now. So ... this has been one mistake after another, dealing with these people. After nearly 2 years we decided to try satellite TV and seem to be dealing with incompetence. We wonder if this is an omen and we should ask to cancel our contract and forget about TV. Everyone around us seems to be successful, so we'll continue the project for now and see what happens on Tuesday.
New head and separator Look at that ... CNN Live on MY television
August 8, 2006: Continuing with the on going saga of satellite television, Tony called on Monday morning wanting to give me parts rather than drive back to the resort. I agreed to try the parts. He felt it was not the separator (I thought it was called a splitter) but the head that was causing the problem but gave me both replacement parts. It took about five minutes to install these two parts and turn on the TV. Hurrah! There is CNN Live on my trailer television. I will have to say, after seeing pictures of the war in Iraq and in Lebanon, I wondered WHY I had ordered DISH Network, but then I found very old re-runs of Twilight Zone and I knew there was still something worth seeing. Next, I must find football, anyone know whose playing this Sunday?
August 9, 2006: Today was a day to plug some large holes I discovered when looking for a foul odor a few months back. I'm using "Great Stuff" Big Gap Filler. It comes in the black can, the red can is the regular gap filler. These are the holes made for the heater vent tubing going into the holding tank areas. I just don't want cold air and odors coming into the coach from this area. This stuff does a great job of filling and blocking the holes. I'll bet it will help keep out critters too. There is also another gap around the area of the hot water heater but I currently have a satellite cable TV cable running through that hole and will wait to seal that gap until I have a permanent location for the cable.
Sample map August 14, 2006: I added a new feature today. I've added a link at the bottom of the "What's New" page to find where we are. Right now we are pretty stationery at the Howard Prairie Lake Resort but we won't always be here. We'll be traveling again in December and January so this map will be more useful then. This map is provided by the DatastormUsers group which maps the location of those satellite Internet users who bother to register at this site. It's a great way to meeting new people who are also connected to the world by satellite. When you get to the map, scroll down then click the (-) to zoom out for a larger view of our location.
August 30, 2006: The early morning sun is trying to break through the clouds. No rain but coolest day in August so far.
September 2, 2006: I'll bet this seems like a strange photo for an RV site. This photo is from my favorite series which was shown over a five year period on HBO. I didn't see the series when it was televised, instead I watched
it on DVD beginning last year and finished the series early this year. The series is Six Feet Under. If you look at the Website, you'll see it listed as a comedy/drama but although there are scenes that will make you laugh, there are many more that will have you crying. The reason I'm showing the photo today is because I've rented disc one of the first season and intend to watch the entire series again. This series has become my all-time favorite for many reasons, primarily the talent of the actors. The acting is superb, combined with the talent of the writers, the series for me was gripping, extremely sad, creatively funny, frightening, realistic, educational and finally, entertaining. The director, when narrating the pilot describes the series as a show about death. I would describe it as a show about grieving, about life, about making, surviving, and changing decisions and about relationships. If you choose to start the series, you must start with the pilot. If you can watch the pilot, you'll probably be able to continue with the rest of the series. Don't skip ahead, you'll need to watch each episode in order. A final warning, this show is not for every viewer.
September 4, 2006: This is the day the Howard Prairie Resort staff has been looking for. Labor Day is traditionally the last day of the heavy camping season. The restaurant reduces hours today and the resort becomes quiet again. These folks are lined up to use the dump station. There is only one dump station so at the end of a busy weekend, the line can grow to as many as a dozen rigs. Last year was our first experience at the Labor Day exodus so we knew what to expect this year.
September 9, 2006: Morgan's pillow bed is just too big for the inside of the trailer so we bought her a pillow. This is the way we find her each morning and she is not anxious to move outside.
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