rancherwriterpoet

Poetry, musings, reflections, life

Archive for the month “October, 2015”

The Satellite Dish

Several years ago, I wrote a weekly column for a local newspaper in Eastland County, Texas.I lived on Lake Leon and since that was my residence, I titled my column, “Puttering Around Lake Leon. I have since moved on to East Texas, however, ”In re-reading some of those columns, I decided to publish a few of those that seem to continue to have relevance today. I have listed a category on Rancherwriterpoet that I have named “RETRO”.

In my column, each week, I attempted to make certain comparisons to life’s circumstances by using a bit of humor as well as reminiscing about the “Good Old Days.” They also include my opinions concerning Christian Life. I confess, I am not theologically trained, thus I choose not to engage in any back and forth discussions. I accept your comments gratefully and appreciate them very much.

This first “Retro” post seems to fit right in with the most recent rains we have had lately.

Puttering Around Lake Leon

Satellite Dish

Satellite Dish

During the recent rains and for that matter every time it rains, my satellite dish goes on the fritz. The box tells me the signal has been lost. It occurred to me that no matter how far technology has come in my lifetime, I am still technologically (I can type it, I cannot pronounce it) challenged.
When I was a kid, I think thirteen or fourteen; I was a huge fan of the rock and roll music during that era. Actually, I still am. Maybe you remember those records, “Wop Bop A Lu Lop… Good Golly, Miss Molly… Move Over, Beethoven…”  If you do, then you are as old as I am and maybe as technologically challenged as me, but who am I to throw stones.

Anyway, I lived in a small town in East Texas and as I recall, the local radio station never played such “outlandish” music, “music of the devil” I was told. That would be my dear grandmother, God rest her soul. It was left up to us boys to find it wherever we could. I had a small radio with a dial that required very fine-tuning to locate a station. This is when I began my technology training.

The radio station, WLAC, Nashville, Tennessee, played MY kind of music. The only problem was I could not pick it up until very late at night. That time of night as well as the type of music was unacceptable to my mother. I failed to see the enormity of it. But, then, I discovered that if I tied a wire onto the window screen and attached it to the back of the radio I could pick up the station more clearly and thus I could play it more softly, thereby not disturbing my mother. It worked! Soon my friends around town were attaching wires to their radios and we were dancing the night away to Little Richard and Bo Diddley. That is, until my mother confiscated my antenna. I suffered a jolt to my system from which I never fully recovered. Lest there be any misunderstanding, though, I carry no grudge or ill will concerning my mother. I simply moved on with my life and got my music fix down at Buddy’s Dairy Bar.

Fast forward to modern days. Time moves on and with it, advances in technology. I was left in the cold; somewhere back in Eight Track Days.

I received my first cell phone in 1985. It was called a mobile phone in those days and weighed about three pounds. It certainly wasn’t very mobile. It was more like a suitcase. But, I never learned to program it. I enlisted my enlightened co-worker to accomplish that task. Newer phones became smaller and smaller, even fitting into my shirt pocket. I retired in 2006 and retired the phone as well. After all, I never did learn to use all the features that came with it. And today, we have txt msgs, whatever that means. LOL.

I got my first computer in 1990. I almost ruined it the day I plugged it in for I knew nothing about a computer. I have not advanced much since then, either. I am in awe of the meteoric advances in technology, today, even though I have been left far behind.

Programming the VCR was a hindrance to me as well. My son in his early ages conquered that problem. Then came the DVD player. My grandson accomplished that task. The digital camera was next. My granddaughter was responsible for that programming. On that subject, I fail to see how those pictures come out when there is no film inside.

Last year, my house flooded and I had to replace the electric range. It had to be programmed as well. Fortunately, the customer service technician was very helpful. It required only two phone calls, thirty-seven minutes on hold and about an hour later, I could boil water.

However, my most serious problem arose with the satellite dish. This thing sets on my roof, facing the southwestern sky and when I turn on the television, (which I might add, I needed the assistance of my eight-year-old nephew to program), I usually receive a picture.

Except of course, when it rains. The screen tells me the signal has been lost.

rain
There is absolutely nothing I can do to retrieve a picture until it quits raining. Then the thing does it completely without my help. I am thankful for that.

This thought occurred to me. You see, all these other devices, the radio, the camera, the VCR, the DVD, the telephone, the electric range, my computer, the vacuum cleaner, the washing machine, the microwave oven, all electronic devices for which I needed help to program, ALL of these items continued to work in the rain. But not my satellite dish.
This is the only device I own that must be pointed to the sky in order to work properly. I know that signals must be received from that orbiting contraption if I am to view any program on my television.

Human intelligence, human ingenuity, although given to us by God, nevertheless, is hampered by our reluctance to acknowledge the Creator and His total creation. These magnificent devices that we cannot do without, pale in comparison with the wisdom that comes from God.
On good days, the signals from the satellite are received without a thought. It seems that way in our ordinary life. Only in the rain do I complain. Yet, God’s signals are never lost. We may tend to ignore them, to turn the set off, but they are not lost. In fact, it is a two-way communication system with Him.

The Bible is the complete communication device. The only programming I need to use this device comes from the Word itself. “For whoever calls upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.” Romans 10:13.

If I point my heart to the heavens, communication is instantaneous. I may be technologically challenged, but God is my programmer. He can be your programmer. Just point your heart to the heavens and ask. More information can be found in His Instruction Book or through Customer Service.

Biblr

I cannot pick up WLAC, Nashville, Tennessee. Not even with a copper wire tied to the window screen. Besides, they don’t even play MY kind of music anymore.

Pete Robertson, August 2008
Lake Leon

That’s How My Day Went

Various situations have occurred the past two months, preventing any posts to my blog. I will not elaborate on those circumstances. I am just picking up the past two weeks, starting with how my day went.

Day One.

So the “Rancherette” and I are sitting around discussing what new projects we can accomplish around the old homestead. Having constructed the last of three chicken coops, our attention turned to some, much needed, repairs to our little farmhouse.

“It needs new paint”, I said. (The “Rancherette” moonlights as a painter.)

“It needs a complete makeover”, she said. We should hire someone to put new siding on the house, she said. “You can supervise”, she said.

So, the plan began to take shape. Except, I said, “I can do it, myself” (not the staining part). Famous last words”!  she said.

I immediately sprang into action. Got out my measuring tape, my quarter-inch scale pad, a sharp pencil, and engaged my brain. Must have a materials list, you know. I walked around the house, measuring and visualizing the steps that will be required, writing down the information as I went. That was how the Sunday afternoon went.

Day Two.  

Pardon me if I go off subject for a moment.

Around our little Silkie chicken ranch, we have several roosters. They all have names, Mick Jagger, Rod Stewart, Dust Mop, Bloopety Blue, Goldfinger, and Tallyho. Goldfinger was once Goldilocks and Tallyho was once Tallulah, until we heard them crow. And speaking of crowing, they will crow on command, Seriously! Except for Mick and Rod, who refuse to crow at all.

So after my morning session with the “boys”, I turned my attention to the “running” of the dogs. Their daily constitutional is of utmost importance. It requires less attention to the sanitation of the kennels if they are allowed some freedom each morning.

While I am closely monitoring the canines, the “Rancherette” is tending to the “girls”, the female gender of chickens, who also have names. Just to name a few,  Sassy, Beauty, Baby Splash, Frosty and Rag Mop, who coos when the “Rancherette” sings R-A-G-G… M-O-P-P…, RAGMOP.

The “Rancherette” visits with each little hen every morning andthen  turns her interest to the two groups of baby chicks. They are kept in separate pens, the “Pre-K” chicks that are about two weeks older and the “Toddler” chicks, kept in their toddler pen. They do not have names as yet.

So, Monday morning, after the chores of tending to the chickens and running the dogs, I suggested we make a lumber run to the big “Blue” box lumberyard. I grabbed my list and off we went to the big “Blue” box lumberyard. Did I mention I also needed a new air compressor? 

After spending a couple of hours (and X-amount of $$$), we returned home, feeling exhausted and exhilarated at the same time. That was how Monday went.

Day Three.

Bright and early Tuesday morning and very excited to get started, I rushed through my chores with the animals and turned to the process of transforming the exterior of our home. I began by unloading some of the lumber and arranging the siding for the “Rancherette” (AKA, painter-deluxe) to start the process of staining prior to installation. She was spending her “girl-time” with the very friendly little Silkie hens and waiting on me. Sorry to say, I had to interrupt her session, as you will see next.

At this point, I will not go into describing each and every step, however, the first step of demo involved removal of some rotted wood. This being accomplished, I set up the table saw to rip a board into what is called a “water table trim”. This item can be purchased, however, it is quite expensive. Thus, I decided to manufacture this trim myself. About 10:30 A.M., The world changed dramatically. Without noting the graphic details, I was ripping the “water table trim”, and my little pinkie and ring fingers on my right hand, made contact with the table saw. Fifty plus years I have been around power tools, never having an accident of this nature. I must tell you, no matter how experienced you may think you are, it definitely is not enough if you do not remember to be SAFE!

Thanks to the “Rancherette” for her driving skills to the emergency room, the doctor thinks I will not lose my fingers, or perhaps only the tip of my pinkie. I will know for sure next week. It would appear that I am lucky  to keep the digits on my right hand. It has been quite a Summer to remember, what with new skin (Skin Cancer removal),  new eyes (cataract surgery) and now in the Fall a couple of finger repairs, I feel sort of like the “Bionic Man”. Rebuilt and even better than new.

And that was how Tuesday went. I can’t wait until Day Four. It will be here before I know it. In the short-term, I think I will go spend some time with the roosters. They may give me something to “crow about”.

Be safe out there.

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