Friday, June 19, 2009

I've decided that I hate trees

Longtime readers might recall the living hell I went through a year or so ago trying to finally get my beloved DirecTV with TivVo connected in the new digs. (Quick sampling here). Long story short:
  • Management promised I'd have a perfect view of the sky for the dish.
  • Signed papers, had furniture moved from another state.
  • Installers came, said my balcony missed the view of the satellite bythismuch.
  • Much complaining to everyone.
  • Got waiver from management, got a more creative install crew, who installed the dish on a pole 3 stories down and ran the cables up wall and in.
  • DirecTV bliss.
  • Until Tuesday.
I noticed my signal strength diminishing last weekend, until Tuesday, when it got so low I couldn't get reception at all. Thought it might be the multiswitch. Replaced the multiswitch, and it had no effect. Called for service, and today they come to visit and tell me it wasn't a mechanical problem, but rather a foilage and sightline problem:

click to embiggen

The technician told me there wasn't anything he could do, but that his manager would come out either tomorrow or Tuesday for a second opinion. I'm no satellite expert, but it would seem there could be a few possible solutions:
  1. First guy was wrong, and we can get it working without too much trouble.
  2. We find a way to trim the branches on the tree in the foreground (how? I have no ladder nor any clippers), and hope the tree across the street isn't the problem.
  3. We get a longer pole, and hope raising the height of the dish works.
  4. We move the dish to another location, providing we can find one on this tiny copse of grass, with an unobstructed view of the sky, and hope A. management doesn't bitch about it, and B. we can sufficiently bury the cable so that the maintenance crew doesn't chop it half when groundskeeping.
  5. I give up and kill myself.
  6. I call Comcast and retreat back into the dark ages of dysfunctional and undependable cable and their Commodore Vic 20 ripoff of the real, true god TiVo.
Now, seeing as I have 400+ blog labels relating to "television," you might correctly surmise that the tube is VERY FUCKING IMPORTANT. The past few mights, I've watched programs previously recorded. I've watched DVDs. I've read books. I've listened to podcasts. Early this morning, I watched last night's Burn Notice on Hulu (and of course, starting next week, online showings go to a 7 day delay). But this can't go on forever. Despite it being the summer TV season, there's still good and must watch stuff on, not even including news and sports, and all the dinero I paid last year for the privilege of watching the Braves get their asses handed to them nightly via MLB Extra Innings. I did everything the "right" way and played by the book. Taking my television and my TiVo is like taking my air. Or my whiskey. Or my coffee. Or my ciggies. This can go no further. The line must be drawn here.

In searching for that clip, I ran across this one, which is completely unrelated, but just made me giggle:

We'll know in a day or three how this all turns out, but if you see a story on the news (assuming, you haven't been fucked in the ass by the miraculous growth spurts of neighborhood trees and can actually watch TV) about a killing spree, where the perp had a handgun in one fist and a useless satellite dish in the other, you can probably figure out what happened.

Unless of course, the trees read this blog post and decide to get me first. Then I can stare indifferently into space like a constipated monkey, just like Mark Wahlberg.


  1. Dude...that SUCKS.

    Look at the bright side...if this had happened a month ago, during season finale I can't even comprehend what the fallout would have been.

  2. Having not read the other post, I'm assuming FIOS isn't an option? My Comcast contract is up soon and I need to make the decision whether to save $50+ and go w/FIOS or stick w/Comcast and therefore keep the many hours of wonderful programming stored on my beloved DVRs.

  3. Scott: I cannot imagine the horror of having things go dark during finale weeks. Shudder.

    Jen: My situation here is rather....fluid. So I'd prefer not to set up an entirely new service provider. However, if we can't work it out with DirecTV, then my hand may be forced, as going TV-free really isn't an option. And if we don't get things fixed in the next couple of days, then I'll probably burn though my "saved" programming anyway. Sigh.