Friday, May 21, 2010

A Little R & R

As I told you last time, I took a trip down to Rancho Almost-South-of-the-Border to see my parents. ESM couldn't join me, as she is working and taking good care of our little diabetic, Hubbard.

The drive down was good. Got to take the new Buick on it's first "road trip." Nice road car! It sure eats up the miles! When I left my driveway here, the outside air temperature showed as 38 degrees. Later that day, on a lonely two-lane blacktop in southern NM, the temp showed as 83 degrees. I think that is the first time in my life I saw a single-day temperature "flip-flop". *grin*

Had a great time down there. The weather cooperated for the most part, with only a couple of what I would call "windy" days. Temps hovered in the mid-eighties for the most part. And I took full advantage of that! The shorts and sandals definitely made an appearance!

I helped my folks out with several technology issues they were suffering from. The house they built is made from steel and has a fair amount of insulation, including a double-sided reflective layer. Between that and the low-E coated windows they used, they cause all sorts of havok with TV/wireless/cellular signals coming in. I helped them get their new HDTV set up, including installing a new HDTV antenna on an outside mast so they can watch TV again. With the changeover to digital TV, they have been having a devil of a time getting watchable TV. The new antenna and new LCD TV helps a lot! They actually have several decent digital channels down there, including the local educational station...which makes my mom very happy!

They are also having Internet provider troubles. They were using a point-to-multipoint wireless unit provided by a local ISP to get their Internet. The provider seems like they are running on a shoestring budget, and recently lost their primary backbone connection for their wireless customers. It took them over two WEEKS to get it fixed. This is not the first time my folks have had trouble with their provider, so my dad decided to try something different. Satellite doesn't work for them, as they run VoIP for phone service, so they decided to give 3G cellular a try. They went out and got a 3G USB device from a very well known provider whose name begins with "V" and immediately found that using it inside their black-hole of a house didn't work really well. So, after spending an afternoon working with it myself, including taking their laptop outside with the 3G card and making sure the signal wasn't too bad, they are going to opt for a cellular booster to get better signal inside. Should work, but is a little pricey. When it is up and running, they should have a much more reliable connection. Time will tell...

So, after rewiring their entertainment center, helping with the TV and cellular wireless woes, and fixing several other smaller techy type things, I did manage to get some time to relax as well! *grin* Got to ride the ATVs around a of my favorite things to do down there! Their property backs to BLM land, so there is plenty of space to ride around and have fun. There is also a great trail that goes up to the nearby mountains. Takes about an hour or so to go up, but the view is spectacular! I took some video this time, and I'll embed it at the bottom.

I am always very sorry to have to leave. It is so quiet and peaceful down there...when my dad isn't out shooting his shotgun, or I'm tear-assing around on the ATVs! *grin*

The only bad part of the whole trip was that ESM had caught my cold I had earlier in the month just before I left. I felt bad leaving her, however this was my only good opportunity for some R & R for the summer. She almost had to push me out the door to go. I hate leaving her when she is in distress like that. She thankfully survived and was on the mend when I got home.

We are now looking forward to a visit from ESM's parents sometime early next month. I have not seen them in a while, and they have not been here since we bought the new house or adopted "the boyz." I know ESM's mom is going to just fall in love with Leo. He has that effect on some people, especially the cat-people kind! I think we may have to frisk her, and check her luggage before she goes home...she may try to steal him away!

-- Sundown, Out

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