Wednesday, November 23, 2011
Otherwise, we’re here in Santa Ana, Sonora with no hook-ups for the night. For $6.00 it seems a little steep – especially for Mexico. My dinner, 4 beers, and tip came to $18.00 US, which is maybe OK but not extremely cheap. Maybe things will be later.
It’s 9:20 and I’m going to have a shower, clean my teeth, and go to bed. The TV is set for 6 AM tomorrow because the B froup will go first and the A group won’t leave until 8:30. With 186 miles to go tomorrow, we should get there in good time.
At dinner the Shapiro’s, late of Long Island, said “Go to Alaska – don’t miss it.” They are full time now after two years of retirement – sold their house to one of their three kids.
PS – I bought a battery powered electric shaver at the Walgreens in Nogales, AZ yesterday. It’s a Remington, runs on two AA batteries, and cost $13.88 with tax. I just tried it out and I get a better shave with it than with foam and a blade. Since I use almost as much water to shave as to shower, it could help stretch our boon dock time to nearly double. We both had showers and I did the lunch dishes and pots (from soup) today. The BW washed her face a couple of times. Probably used no more than eight gallons – maybe six. With a 24 gallon water tank it’s no wonder we go dry in less than a day when the BW just lets the water run. But we have gone for four days on one tank of water. More later.
Saturday, November 19, 2011
12/10/93 – Up at 5:00 – ready to leave by 7:30. John McArthur had a CB with hum but (it turned out) no reception capability. This was as Charlie was directing us to pull out. He was talking to me, but I went the wrong way because there wasn’t room enough for me to turn right, and eventually got into the line near the end.
With the CB on channel 13, we had good r exception at all times. We crossed the border, got visas and import permits for the car, and made it to fill up for the first time and dry camp for $6.0. Gas was $1.34/liter ($ is peso here) or $1.7196/gallon US. At our gas mileage, that’s about 21.5 cents per mile for fuel. Awesome. I had a couple more attacks of euphoria today after we got here. The sun shone until late afternoon, and it was great! Warm, dry – Saguaro and Ocotillo next door in an empty field. I can’t remember ever being so happy! This is like being on a business trip to an exotic location without the stress of business. With our little house on wheels, we’re at home wherever we go – and we go for a whole lot less than most of the crowd.
We had a Spanish lesson today – then supper at “the best greasy spoon in Mexico” according too Charlie. I had the Rancher’s steak (Steak Ranchero) but the BW passed. In her opinion, this was even more authentic than El Sol (the most authentic Mexican restaurant in Indy) and El Sol was too authentic for her.
We are parked in a vacant lot, with a freezer, refrigerator, hot and cold running water, and both 12V and propane lights. The TV won’t get anything (no channels) and the microwave and VCR won’t work at all. I need about a 600 watt inverter – maybe 1,000 watts to be safe.
To be continued.
Friday, November 18, 2011
12/9/93 – We met at 10:00 to buy books, pay off Charlie, get VISA application forms, and sign up for the Copper Canyon trip. We bought “The People’s Guide to Mexico,” and I wish I had bought it sooner. I also gave Charlie $325 for the Copper Canyon trip on the way back.
At 1:30 we learned how to count down, which group we would be in, and our number. I am “Eckstein, No. 7” in Group A. Group A leaves the campground at 7:15 AM on the. 10th. The BW made me set the TV for 5 AM to be ready.
Also, for $15 I had the trailer and van inspected. Bill found a broken brake wire, a broken shock bracket (on the trailer) and an old power steering belt on the van. I fixed the broken wire (and a pinched one) but let the shock go until we get to San Carlos.
Thursday, November 17, 2011
12/8/93 - Drove to Benson, checked into Mi Casa, unhitched and went shopping. The BW was a little put off by Nogales. Had a happy hour with Charlie and most of the caravaners.
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.
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