Is There Anything This Stuff Can’t Do?

Our DirecTV satellite system went down yesterday afternoon about 4:20 and we didn’t get it back until I got home about 5:30 this morning. Turns out that it was partially DirecTV’s fault and partially mine.



Jan and I were watching the news a little bit before I went in to work when suddenly the video froze and we got a ‘Signal Loss’ error message on the screen.

And when I checked the ‘Signal Meters’ on the receiver, I had nothing coming in. Figuring something had maybe bumped or moved the dish, I checked outside.

Nope it was still there and still upright. So just to be safe I checked DirecTV’s website to be sure they weren’t having any problems. And Nope on that.

So as a last-ditch effort since I had to leave in just a few minutes, I unplugged and then plugged power back into the dish. This started it rescanning the sky to lock onto the correct DirecTV satellite.

But when I got to the gate, Jan emailed me that she still didn’t have any signal.  On a hunch I once again checked DirecTV’s website, and found that they now said they had had problems starting at 5:20pm ET, exactly when our problem occurred. But the problem was now fixed.

So now I knew what had happened. When I reinitialized the dish, it started scanning for the correct satellite. But couldn’t find it, so it shut down.

I tried to email Jan on how to fix it but about that time I lost the phone signal here at the gate, so I wasn’t able to tell her. But when I got home this morning, all I had to do was to reinitialized it once again and in a few minutes we had TV again.

After I posted my map graphics showing our possible travels the rest of this year, several readers asked me what program I was using. It’s called Delorme Street Atlas and I’ve been using it since the DOS days.

I have it on my desktop where I use it to plan our travels. But it also runs on the laptop I have by the dashboard. Then it acts as a GPS mapping program guiding us as we travel.

The really neat thing about the program is the overlays it lets you do.

Like this one.

Delorme Map

This shows the location of all of the 290 parks that we’ve stay in since we started RV’ing.

Delorme Map TT

And this one show all of the Thousand Trail parks that are available to us.

I also have a number of other overlays, PassPort America parks, Pilot/Flying J locations, and even Places to See.

It’s very easy to use, and let’s you quickly map out a route from Point A to Point B in just a few seconds.

That’s the good news.



The bad news is that the program seems to be falling by the wayside. For years every January I would get a notice that the latest version of the program was available for purchase.

But last year, along about March right before we were ready to travel for the year, I realized I hadn’t gotten my update. And going to the Delorme website told me why.

Pretty much everything concerning the Street Atlas program was gone. All the blogs, support forums, FAQ’s, everything just ‘poof’.

Turns out that in January 2016 Garmin, the GPS manufacturer, had bought Delorme lock, stock, and barrel. And supposedly the only reason they wanted Delorme was for their highly-regarded satellite phones, so most everything else has been dropped.

So as it stands now, the only version of Street Atlas still available is the 2015 version, which is the one that I’m still using.

At this point, since Microsoft dropped Streets and Trips a few years ago, as far as I know there is nothing else available that will do what Street Atlas will.

But I’ll keep looking.

Looks like our frack is winding down tonight and they should be finished around 2am. Then they’ll start rigging down and moving out with coiling tubing coming in in the next day or so. When I asked one of the Company Men this evening he said we’ll definitely be busy until Jan and I leave here next Wednesday.

Coffee: The Magic Elixir

Coffee helps Jan sleep better. At least when she drinks it at the right time of day.

Jan’s a morning person, usually getting up around 7am. I’m a night person, normally going to bed between 2 and 3am, and getting up around 10-11am.  So this gives Jan four hours of computer access, and time to watch HER shows she’s recorded, i.e., cooking shows and contests, shows about families with a lot of kids, and shows about polygamist families.

Then she starts to doze off around 7:30 in the evening, and later I get her up about 11pm to send her to bed. But after now having had 3 or 4 hours of good sleep, she sometimes has a problem getting back to sleep.

Every since we’ve been RV’ing I get up at 11 and make coffee. I make 8 cups, 2 cups for Jan’s large mug, and 6 cups for my 34oz Bubba Keg. And that’s it for the day.

But since I’ve been working nights on the gate, I’ve been fixing our coffee about 4 in the afternoon, giving Jan her cup then and taking mine into the gate with me.



So now, after having her coffee in the afternoon, she has no problem staying up until 10 or 11 before she goes to bed, and then no problem falling asleep. She’s actually added several hours to her day.

Is There Anything This Stuff Can’t Do?

Guess we’ll be having afternoon coffee from now on.


Thought for the Day:

Charlie Chaplin once anonymously entered a Charlie Chaplin look-a-like contest . . . and lost!

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5 Responses to Is There Anything This Stuff Can’t Do?

  1. Larry says:

    I too use Delorme Topo for my travel planning and it is no longer supported also.   I tried this program last year and like it.  Main issue is you need a internet connection and it is $39.00 a year.   Uses google maps as a base.   Works pretty well.

    http://www.rvtripwizard.com/

  2. Michael says:

    Let me know if you find a replacement for Delorme that you like. I still run the most current version of Microsoft S&T but that is a 2013 version. I was going to transition to Delorme – had their 2009 version and now have the 2015 version. Like some things in Delorme over S&T, but got a lot of trips both taken and planned stored in S&T.  Looked at a stand-a-lone GPS, but I really like the 10 inch screen on my setup. Can’t find anything that big in a stand-a-lone.

  3. Rich says:

    Hi Greg, been enjoying your posts a lot. My wife and I a fully on board with the Magic Elixir, and we really enjoy our afternoon coffee ritual, when time permits.

    What version of Delorme are you using?

  4. Linda Sand says:

    I also use Delorme Street Atlas and like it. Mine is not the most current version but it does what I need. My computer is a Mac so Dave put a Windows partition on it so I can continue using Street Atlas and CadRail as I am not willing to give up either of those programs. It’s really nice having an in-house systems programmer. 🙂

  5. Linda in NE says:

    Coffee is God’s way of telling us he loves us. It’s surprising someone hasn’t made it illegal.

    I rarely comment, but I do enjoy reading your posts. Just call me an armchair traveler.

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