Sunday, October 7, 2012

What I Did Saturday

Way back in 2008 when I saw that the economy was going south and the company I worked for was starting to struggle, I cut out all unnecessary expenses.  My satellite TV service was the first to go.  I used to love watching all the DIY shows, but HGTV had become real estate TV and it just didn't do a thing for me.  All my craft shows were pretty much gone too, so it wasn't a big sacrifice.  Since getting a permanent job over a year ago, I've been very tempted a few times to sign up for the service again.  I get really irritated at the frequent freezing and stuttering using only rabbit ears, but being the practical person I am, have tolerated it...till now.

One of my neighbors has a large TV antenna in his yard and he say it works great.  I started looking on line for TV antennas and found a very small one through WalMart on-line and ordered it a couple of weeks ago.  With taxes, it only cost $43 and I thought it was worth a gamble ordering it.  I started looking for instructions on how to install a TV antenna on-line (don't you just love how you can find any instruction you need on the WWW?) and watched a couple of videos.  I was a little intimidated by what I learned and started looking for somebody to install my new little antenna professionally.  Well, I spoke to a real nice man locally who sold those huge antennas and he told me he'd install mine for $100.  I really don't like paying anybody to do something that I can really do myself and told him thanks, but no thanks.  During our conversation he gave me three important pieces of information that I didn't have - that my antenna did not need to be grounded, make sure there is a direct connection from the TV to the antenna and I just needed to point the antenna east/northeast.

My coaxial cable was still connected to my small satellite dish that I used to use, so up onto the roof I went.  I'm not crazy about crawling around up there was determined.  So, I removed the old dish and disconnected the cable.   Then I bolted the base for the mast to the roof and connected to cable to it.  This took many trips up and down the ladder - I was very slow and deliberate while up that high with nobody around to help if I should fall.  Next, I connected the coaxial cable to the antenna with the other end onto the back of my new flat screen TV I bought with part of my raise last month.  Then I had to let the TV go through setup again and search for all the stations.

OMG - it worked!  And the picture was incredible!  My neighbor explained to me that that is because the signal is pure and sent at a much higher frequency than satellite or cable uses.  Last evening, I was able to watch my British sitcoms without any freezing or stuttering.  Was I happy or what?!?  Now some people wouldn't want this on their roof, but I don't care - it's very small and looking at my house from the front, you can't see it.  All that climbing and crawling on the roof was exhausting.  I was so tired and sore last night and still am today.

My next purchase will be something called a Roku - a small device that I connect to my TV that will turn it into a computer.  Any free service like Hulu or Crackle, will stream straight to my television set.  I think I'm going to subscribe to NetFlix and those will stream directly to my television too.  I don't sit down to watch movies very often so may not do that, but I love all the old cartoon shows on Hulu and now I'll be able to watch them.

There isn't much in my yard to take pictures of right now except weeds and a few straggly flowers.  My asters aren't in bloom yet but I did find my black eyed susan vine had recovered from being eaten by the deer.

 A close up of my jasmine tree.  It has fragrant white flowers on it in the summer and they turn magenta in the fall and hold a beautiful blue berry in the center.  I don't know the name of it; it was given to me by a friend.

There are always critters though like my old girl, Princess, waiting to go inside.  Pete (my foster) is inside looking out. And you can see another set of eyes in the lower left corner of the door.  That's Topaz, one of my black cats.

Beauty - my crippled little rooster.  He sleeps in the garage at night!

Big Rooster - the sweetest bird!

And my little goat family eating their dinner.  Lola is the one with her nose in the air - she doesn't miss anything!

It is very chilly and overcast today.  I'm glad I got some mowing done yesterday after installing my antenna.  This week is going to be brutal at work so I think I'm going to cook myself a nice dinner and relax for the rest of the day.  I hope your week is a good one.