Wednesday, November 16, 2011
Last Wednesday (the 9th of November) I took the BW to Costco, where we bought an assortment of toiletries, groceries, supplements, etc. and a 21.5 inch Samsung television, which was the smallest we could find, and which she had thought about for a week. When we got home, my Roku2 was in a box on our doorstep, delivered by the mailman five days after I ordered it.
I started with the Roku2, which I had ordered because the original didn’t do closed captions and between the British movies and television and modern US movies and TV, where people talk too fast for either of us to understand them, the closed captions are a real luxury. I didn’t expect any trouble, so I started with the Roku, and all went well until after it updated the software. To start, it found our router, I entered the password, it connected with our signal, net, and the internet, and it downloaded the software. After that it could never connect to our signal again.
I tried the on-line chats, and after about an hour the technician lost interest and I gave up after waiting 15 minutes for a reply. Then I wrote a long e-mail to the Roku technician describing my problem, and sent it. I was supposed to get an answer within 48 hours.
Thursday I set up the new television, and we got a beautiful picture, 1080 lines, incredibly sharp and clear, and (I thought) great performance. I called in the BW, and she asked if the sound was as loud as it would go, which it was, and immediately had a fit and said it was no good. She normally listens using my best pair of headphones, but she was determined that the colors weren’t right, and the speakers weren’t loud enough. I wanted to buy an amplifier and speakers, but she was determined that it should go back, but finally decided to wait a day.
Friday we took the television back to Costco after I put everything back as best I could. The television was in the box and padding, but everything else was packed up and in a one gallon zip-lock bag. They gave me cash back without blinking an eye. Costco is the best place to buy things because if you have any complaint they do just take it back.
I waited through the weekend, and Monday I found a telephone number. I called Roku, and got an Indian lady who once again tried to tell me that my router was at fault even though the old Roku and my notebook think it’s just fine, and the new unit thinks it’s fine until the update is installed. I must have done 10 or 15 hard resets on that thing during the negotiations. I went through a total of four Indians, one in some other country, and one American in California until I finally found out that they do have a problem with the D-Link routers, and especially the 601, which is the model that I have. I spent more than three hours on the phone (more than an hour each with three individuals), and spent $75 to change the time zone on the D-Link router because the technician claimed that changing the time zone on the Roku wouldn’t solve the problem but changing it on the Router would. Of course it didn’t.
Finally, I got the word that a Netgear router would be OK, but a D-Link wouldn’t, and the last Roku technician fixed me up so that if I shipped the router back they would give me back what I had spent on it. That was Wednesday night.
Thursday I took the old Router that I had, and found that when I did a hard reset on it I couldn’t get the computer to connect to it. That reminded me that I had hurried too much, and that was when I bought the D-link router to get the wireless link secure. The old Netgear (in the clear mode) worked like a charm and the new Roku set up, showed closed captions, and worked great. I finished up by buying another Netgear router from CompUSA for $53.79, set up the new router, and did one last hard reset on the Roku2.
Last night we watched a 90 minute “Inspector Lewis” with captions.
Today, while the BW was out shopping, I set up the original Roku in her room with the conventional TV and VCR/DVD player. When she came home and wanted to lie down she was thrilled, and even had me get out the headphones so she could watch in private (a “Rockford” show.
Being stubborn is a key to a lot of things. I won my first boxing match because the other guy quit first, I had a football coach kicking us in the butt for five years yelling “Charge” and “Get your head up,” and I worked in the QRC division (Quick Reaction Capability) and the Naval Avionics Facility for the first few years. We did things like design, build, and deliver 30 jammer pods in 90 days. I remember working all night for two nights in a row and only going home for a half hour for a shower. Everyone in the division was on that one – even the Secretary and the Janitor were putting nuts on screws and helping assemble hardware. We have closed captions and I didn’t send the thing back. Of course, the $60 Roku2 actually cost me more than $225, but in the end it is working.
It’s too bad that I had to deal with all the helper learners who just wanted to blame my signal and not consider that there was really a problem.
Monday, November 14, 2011
12/4/93 Saturday – Day 6 – I started the day by catching a “to-your-door” RV repairman at 6:50 AM – he came to the trailer and determined that the piezoelectric spark was too weak to light the furnace. Since I started using a match it lights in 30 seconds instead of 7 (or infinite) minutes. He also found a thermocouple bent out of place in the oven, bent it back, and got that working. He charged us $40 for 20 minutes of his time. He was probably laughing all the way to the bank, but we were happy (new stove about $350; new furnace about $500 to $600).
We made it to Benson Saturday, but the CCC resort in St. David was full for at least two days. Then you showed up at 6:30 AM to get in a line that went out to the road and up the hill.
We went back to the SKP Co-Op in Benson (Saguaro) and stayed four nights for $30.10 plus $5.60 for electricity. The Saguaro Co-Op was so neat we almost got on their “hot” list – there was Alpine glow on the eastern mountains (the Franklins?) a couple of nights. It was dry, in the 70’s in the daytime with lots of sun – 3800 feet altitude.
I got burned by accident – it was cool at night and balmy in the late morning and afternoon – a lot like Heaven, I suppose. During Saturday, Sunday, Monday and Tuesday we did laundry and I bussed with the CB – installed the new one, still had 2/1 VSWR, cut the right cable again – Still had bad VSWR – then watched it change from time to time. So I went to radio Shack and got a $110 antenna on sale for $47 – very fancy dual intended for the big trucks. I mounted it (still 2/1 VSWR) and tuned it so I got about 1.5/1 on channel 1, 1.o05/1 on channel 20, and 1.1/1 on channel 40 when the truck sits still. At 50 mph it reads 1.2/1 on channel 1, 1.05/1 on channel 20, and about 1.5/1 on channel 40. As good as could be expected.
Then the spring in the base of the right antenna was loose. I knew the Radio Shack people had only one of these antennas, so I epoxied the base back together – and it worked.
Sunday, November 13, 2011
This was a lost Sunday. The BW has decided that the house needs to be painted, both inside and outside. It looks fine to me, but I know that it is going to be painted. Other than that, we did a dry run to the place where she will get a blood pressure monitor to wear for a day domorrow, so she can find it and be there on time. Then we stopped at Home Depot where she got new plants and three paint chip folders. Etc. It was a perfect day if you only look at the weather.
Saturday, November 12, 2011
12/10/93 – Reprise – We got to Van Horn, TX, but there were no 7.00-15LT’s to be had. The fourth place (semi-truck service) I tried mounted my spare new Goodyear tire. We went on to El Paso and stopped at a tire store (“40,000 Tires In Stock”) which had 5 new 7l0-15 LT 8 ply tires in stock – only because they had special ordered them for a customer who hadn’t picked them up for a week. The Firestone from Abilene was 62.99 and these were 63.44 each. Those prices made $81.70 for the Goodyear in Indianapolis look bad.
Anyhow – I bought three and had two mounted. That left we with four 8 ply rated tires on the ground – the original spare and three new tires, and 8 ply on a wheel on the back of the trailer (new), and an 8 ply under the back seat of the van (new) and a six ply on the roof, along with two unmounted spares for the van.
Friday, November 11, 2011
Note: I edited yesterday's entry a little based on recollection. Then I read today's, and realized that my memory of something that happened nearly 18 years ago wasn't quite correct, so I have put back the exact words I wrote back then. Sorry. Today and from now on, it's verbatim.
12/3/93 – Friday – The second tire on the left side went with a bang. I never heard or felt anything with the first one – just some trucker on the CB saying "That little camper has a flat". Then, “That little camper pulled by a van” – as it started to dawn on me, it was – “Indiana plates.” There was nothing left but the bead and a little bit of sidewall rubber when I stopped with the first flat. The second one was intact up to the tread that touched the road. The center of the tire was gone, and there was a big hole in the carcass. The trouble with this flat was that I could not get the lug bolts loose. That particular wheel had left hand threads, and the Mark’s guy (Wayne) had put the wheels back on with an impact wrench. If they have any torque limits for right hand rotation the certainly don’t for left hand. It was totally impossible for me to break them loose with a lug wrench, so I got out a socket, extension, and torque wrench. The handle of the torque wrench broke, and cut my palm deeply in two places. The wounds are gaping open now (12/7) so I suppose I should have had stitches. Meanwhile, the lug bolt specified torque of 85 to 85 foot-pounds was obviously grossly exceeded since the torque wrench is calibrated to 200 foot-pounds.
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