Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Is there a dishwalla in the house?

One day while going thru the mail, right between a Limited Too catalog and a letter from the Scooter Store, I found an advertisement for a satellite television service. Basically, they offered twice as many channels for the same price I was paying for cable. It all seemed simple enough.

I was tired of being bamboozled by the cable company and watching my favorite channels--SoapNet, Game Show Network, etc.--slowly be taken away one by one. So I called. An appointment was made for someone to come out Friday morning between 8 AM and 12 Noon.

Ah yes, the four hour window. That always slightly irks me. How did we get to this point in society where we place the satellite, and cable guy on such a pedestal that we'll wait hours for them? Even a doctor can usually get you in within two hours of your appointment. But because these people hold the keys to Stephen Colbert, Dancing With The Stars, and Steve Wilkos, we'll wait all day.

Anyway, the lady at the satellite place said I would need a letter from my landlord giving them permission to install a dish. Well, that didn't sound like such a big deal, until I got the letter. Among other things, it stated that the dish couldn't be mounted on the building or the fence. But... that's all there is.

I actually considered mounting it to my car. I thought, if I just park in the exact same spot every day... I mean, I was gonna put tape down where my tires were supposed to go.

The letter went on to state that the dish must be mounted either on a tripod or on a pole in a five gallon bucket. Uh, does that seem odd to anyone but me?

However, after doing a bit of online research, I found other people had actually done these pole-and-bucket installations. Well, giddy up then! Welcome to Redneck Satellite Installation 101. I was fairly certain there was going to be some duct tape involved in this at some point.

So off to Lowe's I went. Allow me to say here that I love going to Lowe's. There's something about walking thru aisles of laminate flooring, two-by-tens, and high performance toilets. It's akin to opening the hood of a car. I feel like I'm really accomplishing something, even when I have no clue what I'm doing.

I procured a couple of bags of Quikrete and a six foot iron pole and was on my way. The pole was a joy to fit into my mid-sized American sedan. I'm sure some of you are wondering, what about the bucket Bone? Nice to see you're paying attention. Actually, I found someone who said they would give me a bucket. When you start asking people if they have a five gallon bucket, you might be surprised at how many actually do.

I poured the concrete and put up the pole on Thanksgiving. I'm sure the neighbors probably thought it was just another one of my strange holiday observances, as they already know I celebrate Festivus. Then I took the day off work Friday, woke up at 7:45 AM, and waited. And waited. And... waited.

That's right, the four hour window wasn't quite enough for Satellite Joe. He finally came rolling in around 1:45 PM. Nice. I handed him the letter. After looking it over for between sixty and ninety seconds, he said, and I quote, "We can't do this."

Apparently, the company is not allowed to mount a dish to a pole in a bucket. Have you ever heard such nonsense! So basically, my landlord has placed so many restrictions on how and where a dish can be installed that it's next to impossible to do within the rules. It's kinda like giving a kid a car and saying you can't use keys to start it, you can't put gas in it, and the tires can't touch the ground.

After a few minutes of discussing and explaining, Satellite Joe departed, despite my protests of "I saw them do it on the internet!" Now I have a bucket and a pole on my patio for no apparent reason. And no way to watch the Dallas/Green Bay game Thursday night.

So if anyone out there has NFL Network, I'm not above inviting myself over. I'll be there between 2 PM and 6 PM.

"He's got thirteen channels of wrestling comin' in strong from a satellite send. A two hundred function remote control. Big screen TV with stereo..."


  1. Poor poor Bone being bamboozled by the cable company and that dreaded 4 hour window--and no dice or satellite

    Think the pole will serve you well for Festivus. Not sure what your neighbors think of you--my guess, well, uh....

    I didn't have cable last night--don't even like Monday night TV--ended up watching a football game on somebodies big screen TV across the courtyard

    I need TV before going to sleep and am proud that it bores me so much I can use as sleeping medicine---even the shows I love

    Who the heck is Steve Wilkos?

    Love that you considered mounting it to your car. Had me laughing outloud

    Is that a Southern thing?
    Signed Soon to be trailer park....

  2. But now you have your festivus pole ready.

  3. There's a game this week? I think I'm the type of person your landlord loves...the one that doesn't watch tv. You, on the other hand, are also the type your landlord loves: loves to drive crazy.

    Happy Festivus to the Restofus!

  4. You gotta be kiddin me... although I really know you're not. I can't believe you're not a murder suspect at this point either. After going to all that trouble to get the pole set up then taking off work to wait on the guy after getting the required paperwork in your hand...

  5. Oh man that so sucks! So satellite man wouldn't do the tripod either, huh?
    Looks like you now have a permanent festivus pole...does this one take tinsel? ;)

  6. TPT in training: Watching somebody's TV across the courtyard? Boy, you really are a voyeur.

    Steve Wilkos is the former shaven headed security guy on the Jerry Springer Show. He now has his own talk show. Wiki him.

    Yes, I think that would be a Southern thing. We tend to be more "creative" with things like that :)

    Hotpink: Yes, I suppose I could have an outdoor pole and an indoor pole. I'll check, but I don't think there are any Festivus rules against that.

    Charlotta-love: Yes, there's a game this week. It's like the game of the year in the NFC.

    J-Mo: Hmm, now that you put it that way, I really am starting to get upset. That was like three days out of my life!

    Renee: No, there is to be no tinsel on any Festivus pole! I find it distracting.

    Why can't I just find some illegal satellite hookup like a normal person?

  7. It's not being considered a voyeur when there's a 60 inch--at least screen--open blinds etc. It's called being a nice neighbor or something

    Thanks for the info

  8. omg how do you even KNOW what Limited Too is and why pretell are you getting the catelog?

    Hummm this Thurs??? Sure come by. You can hang and watch the game with my hubby! Better leave a bit early... its a bit of a hike to Orlando! How funny would that be... 'oh honey, a friend of mine, a guy named Bone... ya well he is coming over to watch the game with you Thurs...?" What kind of beer do you drink?

  9. Can't you just have them send you the stuff and you do it yourself??? I remember you putting the stereo in your car!

    Ugh, I hate when people tell me I can't do something after I have my heart set on it.

    I don't have the NFL network, but you're always welcome!!

  10. I am so sorry you couldn't get your satellite hooked up after all the trouble you went through. You would think that satellite Joe would have made some other recommendations for installing your satellite. But, I guess customer service isn't what it used to be.

    Even though I know this isn't a laughing matter you had me in stitches. Thanks for sharing.

    Looking forward to 3WW.
    Have a nice night.
    And, tell Gabe Kaplan I said,"Hello!"

  11. well, if you celebrate festivus, the pole can still come in handy right????

  12. What a busy thanksgiving, Bone..! With a bucket and a pole and Lowes, yikes! Sorry, I dont like any of the three. And at the end, no satellite. Poor you, my sympathies..

  13. hehe, good post, Bone. And I'm sorry the cable guy wouldn't light your festivus pole. Even plumbers come quicker to tell you what they can't do--geesh.

  14. TPT: I guess you have a point. If the blinds are open, then it's free viewing for all.

    Kate: Well I didn't, until they started sending me catalogs. And I have no idea why they started.

    Carnealian: Maybe. I'm pretty sure I've heard of people doing self-installations. I'll have to check around and see. You're right, I should be able to do it. If I can install a car radio in under five hours, this should only take a couple of... days.

    Michelle: Besides being very late and unable to install the satellite, he was actually very nice. He suggested I call Radio Shack.

    Thanks. I will pass the message along to Gabe Kaplan :)

    DCChick: For sure. Sigh. All this talk about Festivus just really puts me in the holiday mood!

    UL: Oh no worries. I spent the rest of the weekend being lazy and watching football.

    Actonbell: Thanks. And that's OK, it just means I'll have another grievance to air this year at Festivus :)

  15. But you got a pole in a bucket out of the deal! What more could you possibly want out of life?!

  16. That sounds like BS to me. I see satellites on poles all the time. We're redneck around here too. I'd call the cable company again. Maybe he's just uninitiated in the redneck ways.

  17. Hi, I can't find any contacts on your blog. Can I ask you to leave a note for me? My email is in profile.
    Thanks, Chris

  18. My desk is across the room from my cable jack in my bedroom. Along the wall is the door to the bathroom. When the cable was set up, the cable company sent two people out to my house for some reason. The first guy cut a length of cable and set the modem on my dresser like 10 feet away from the computer. They apparently can’t run a cable across a doorway for liability reasons. When guy 1 went to the truck, the guy 2 gave me a 15ft cable and said that what I did when they left didn’t matter. Yes, I occasionally trip over the cable late at night stumbling to the bathroom, but the internet is running.
    Check and see if you can install it yourself. It shouldn’t be that hard. You can always have a service call to double check the box and set up. They probably just can’t be the ones to “install” the dish on the pole. Good Luck!

  19. I am so laughing my butt off... that was a good one. We have the tons of sports channels, a big screen and two kids you can have fetch you a beer. You aren't to far away... Come on over! ;)

  20. The “four-hour window” makes me think of Kramer trying to escape the cable guy over and over again. You just have to be like an episode of Seinfeld, don’t you, Bone? :)

    I'm sure the neighbors probably thought it was just another one of my strange holiday observances, as they already know I celebrate Festivus.

    I think I’d love to be a fly on your neighbors’ walls once, just to hear them talking about you O:)

    Another hilarious post.

  21. Hey, we got great cable... but we're even further than Florida, so I bet it's not any help, either.


    Festivus. Now what the heck is that?

  22. Geez, after going through all that trouble, I hope you got to watch that game, either on your own tv or someone else's.

  23. At least your Festivus pole is ready.

    Surely you can do the mounting yourself. We're looking into satellite for tailgating, that can't be a permanent mount. Good luck...

  24. Joe: Ha. I can't imagine.

    Lass: Maybe I could try the "other" satellite company. Else I guess I'll have to look into installing it myself.

    Chris: Oh, sure thing. Are you going to introduce me to a black market satellite guy?

    Melanie: Yeah, there's obviously some way to do it, as two other people in my building have a dish on a pole.

    Shayna: Thanks. Count your blessings. If it weren't so far, I'd be watching all the big games at your house :)

    TC: That's definitely right in line with Kramer's frustrations with the cable guy. I looked for some quotes from that episode to include in my post, but none really seemed apropos.

    Gay: Here is my Festivus 101 post :)

    GirlFPS: Thanks. I did! My sister has a satellite, so I invited myself over to her house :)

    Kontan: I know I've seen dishes on motor homes at the football games.