I tried to keep the site up to date in July, but had typically slow response working through our Hughes satellite connection and had to resort to going to town to use our daughter's wifi and high speed lite connection. This was the final straw and we cancelled our Hughes connection through Galaxy Broadband effective the end of August. Dealing with Galaxy was difficult at times especially their tech support, although the one experience with their accounting people rivaled that. FAP'ing was a major annoyance (FAP stands for Fair Access Policy an Orwellian term if there ever was one). If you ever got what you paid for in bandwidth (I think 250 Meg in one day) they then, without warning, cranked you back to dial-up speed for the next 24 hours, effectively robbing you of most of the next day's 250 Meg. Hughes in the States gives subscribers free reset tokens and will allow you to buy more if you need more than a few a month. That wasn't an option with Galaxy even though they are a reseller of Hughes' system.
In 2005, when we went off-grid, satellite was the best option. It gave us relatively high download speeds at home and up at camp and in the orphanage in Mexico. There was no other option with that ability, albeit moving the dish to other locations was at best a don't-ask-don't-tell situation. The provider knows exactly where your dish is on the surface of the earth, but as long as we never asked for help in setting it up elsewhere they pretended it always stayed ten miles south of Meadow Lake.
Seven years later, technology has moved on. You can get much higher speeds at significantly less cost per byte and with much more flexibility on off season rates and VoIP without the latency issues of satellite. You need to be in a cell phone coverage zone, so there are still places where satellite would still be the best option, but that doesn't apply to our known future plans.
As we were moving ourselves away from Galaxy Broadband and Hughes, CBC moved away from us. They had announced shutting down analog tranmission in our area. "No biggie!" we thought, "we'll just hook up the digital convertor".
They apparently decided that our area was one of the ones that wasn't worth the investment in a digital upgrade so the only over the air television signal went off the air overnight and stayed off forever. They did switch to digital in the major markets where they are competing with private commercial television stations. It doesn't make sense to me to spend portions of my tax dollars toward an organization that is only going to be in markets already served by tax paying businesses that would pay more taxes if they weren't having to compete against a government subsidized organization.
Maybe you feel your tax dollars are okay going there. But then again maybe your routine of recording "Wheel" and "Jeopardy" and watching it before bedtime hasn't been disrupted. Goodness knows there is nothing else worth watching on CBC. I guess we will see how our new internet connection handles television. Perhaps there is a serrendiptious synchronicity here!
Non Rant Section
The time off from the refinery carried over from July into August. This was characterized by early mornings and late evening trying to get all the work done on the house.
The drywall taping and filling was completed. At least as much as it will be for some time. As somebody once said about removing the rust from an old axe, at some point one starts thinking that a few pits give it character. I thought I had sanded everything perfectly smooth. It certainly wasn't for lack of elbow grease or dust, but after the first coat of primer and then the first coat of paint a few minor imperfections became apparent. Torn between "if you don't have time to do it right. When are you going to have time to do it over?" and "If you spend all your time getting it perfect it will never get shipped." I opted for succumbing to the dread of breathing another lungful of drywall dust and resolved that those things that are really apparent and really bug me after a year I will fix. Painting proceeeded.
We installed the kitchen upper cabinets and doors without murder or divorce (although it was close once or twice). We installed the flooring and all the baseboard and trim. There remain a couple of pieces of threshold (both fussy, custom pieces that involve a bit of time and thought and which shouldn't be done while one is in the blitzkreig mode). The bedroom carpet remains to be purchased and installed. The piece we had stored in the crawl space looked a lot less viable than it did when we stored it and there was nothing we liked in stock in town. Not even a day's work remains once the materials are purchased.
Outside, on the house, some vents were added to prevent moisture build-up in the insulation in the crawl space walls. The soffits and fascia were completed on the water shed and siding was installed on the front side and one end. Looks good if you only come so far down the driveway. Some fire wood got gathered that had been cut up last year, but left in the bush for the winter.
Travel, so far, in August has consisted of returning from Meadow Lake to Regina with the truck, the fifth wheel and the car.
On Friday the 10th at 3:27 we gave up doing "just one more thing" and locked the gate and left the property, heading south in convoy. Everything went well. We stopped at the Red Bull for a break and a piece of pizza and then carried on to Saskatoon. After filling up the fuel tanks at the Flying J and parking the rig in the lot there we took the car and headed downtown to meet up with Debbie and Ernie and kids. They were in town for a violin workshop. Some of them participated and some of them watched, but they all seemed to be enjoying it and learning things. We had ice cream cones and walked in the park south of the Bessborough Hotel before returning to our respective digs. Our rig is normal to us so it is not like being away from home. We could have done without the loudspeaker calling truck drivers to their shower appointments, however. That died down about the time the wind and the thunder and lightning came up. The wind rocked the trailer pretty well. Most times we weather storms in more sheltered spots than open parking lots.
The morning dawned bright and after a leisurely breakfast we got ready to get back on the road. Juanita had some errands to run so she headed off while I did the circle checks and checked the trailer wheel nut torques. By the time I got to the meeting spot south of the city and spend a minute checking things over she had arrived and was ready to go.
On the road.
Pull over to close the handle bar by the door. It is not meant to stay sticking out on the highway. Other than that things were uneventful. We stopped at the scales north of Regina for a break before the Regina traffic. I noticed that the scale readouts were working even though the staff was not there. The truck and trailer hadn't changed more than a couple of kilos since the last time they were weighed. Everything is still within limits. And that is within the limits of the ratings for the original trailer tires not the more heavy duty ones added last year.
We arrived at Kings Acres RV park where they were expecting us and backed into the same site we had left on July 7th. A few miles and a lot of hours of work on the house and property ago. Becky and Ezekial showed up to supervise the set-up and to visit. Later we went over and visited with them and Nick when he got off from work. Then they headed out to meet some co-workers for pizza and we went to Union Jack's for fish and chips. The best fish and chips I have had in Saskatchewan. Next time I will skip the deep-fried Mars bar.
Sunday we went to church and then to a church picnic and then later to Nick and Beckie's for leftover pizza.
Monday it was back to work at the refinery. It was like I had never left. Juanita said the same about her volunteer duties at the MCC thrift store, as well. The hours were shorter than we have gotten used to while working on the house, though.