Friday, September 10, 2004

The satellite installer always rings twice

I'm sure you are all curious about how the installation of my second satellite television receiver went yesterday. Well, while I waited patiently yesterday during the 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. window of opportunity DirectTV graciously provided me, the phone rang at 3:30 p.m. and I was informed that my window of opportunity had just expanded to between 5 and 5:30 p.m. Nevermind that I had to take a half day off work to be there (though the housepainter did stop by to give me an estimate on painting my house, but I'm sure that will be the subject of another, more dramatic blog because I've become very jaded when it comes to hiring contractors these days).

Being the pragmatic person that I am, I took the service delay with a grain of salt and went to the store to buy some new Fabreze air spray to cut down on the decaying animal smell that continues to come up through the air vents from my contaminated crawl space. But I've decided to spare you all and lay that subject to rest.

So, the satellite installer arrives at about 5:45 p.m. and apologizes for stealing from me four hours of my life that I will never see again. He is a nice enough fellow and doesn't mention the smell as he outlines his plans for installing my new TIVO system and shifting my old receiver to the den. This proceeds relatively smoothly until he gets everything pretty much hooked up and I'm still not receiving the premium channels that I am paying through the nose for because the signal is too weak from the satellite dish. Then Mel, or whatever his name is, proceeds to blame it on my neighbors lilac bush that has presumably sprung up to block the dish after I, yes, may the lord have mercy on my soul, had the two trees cut down in my back yard. His suggestion was that I do some covert pruning to eliminated the problem.

Well, not being too keen on neighbors, I've never really got to know any of them and especially the ones that live behind me. So, faced with the prospect of pixilated premium channels and being a fairly resourceful chap, I grab a hoe (garden implement for those thinking I'm using street slang) and a pruning shears. I hook the offending lilac bush over my fence and give it a crewcut that I hope my neighbor will not notice.

And Mel tells me that the signal is still weak. He then suggests I might have to shimmy up my Cedar tree and trim some of the upper branches. Okay, I've had enough bad karma for butchering trees lately, so I suggest to Mel, that it could indeed be a problem with the dish being misaligned, perhaps, and I only suggest this a possibility, perhaps the tree service crew did knock it about a bit while they were killing my conifer trees. Because they did pull apart one of the cables after all.

So skeptical Mel gets some equipment and messes with the dish for awhile and low and behold a miracle! The signal is restore and HBO, Showtime, Cinemax and Starz return in all their glory to my television. I feel the rapture! I shake Mel's hand and thank him for his genius (though it was my idea to actually check the dish). I wasn't even upset that I then had to spend another 45 minutes on the phone with DirectTV on hold waiting to talk to a technical representative to iron out bugs with the access card (I ended up having to talk them through what they needed to do, by the way).

Thus ends that saga. I spent the rest of the night walking back and forth between my family room and my den changing channels just to make sure I was getting all 210 of them and my money's worth.

I live a full and productive life.

No comments: