wireless über alles

8/3/04

It has taken me three years of work, but we’ve finally done it. Anyone who knows me can vouch for my wireless fetish, but at the farm, we have truly raised it to an art form. A place like this, with fucked-up floorboards first fastened in 1830 doesn’t take well to internet cables, so the first thing we did was install some Airport Expresses to beam the internet everywhere.

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Then we got tired of having only 14 channels on cable TV (three of them QVC-related), plus I wasn’t getting the Heels games on television, so we jumped on the satellite bandwagon.

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Of course, both Tessa and I have cell phones that kinda sound like shit up here, but they still work, goddammit.

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And then our land-line phones started sounding like a squirrel was being constantly electrocuted, so I went on eBay and got us five refurbished 5.8 Ghz cordless phones from Panasonic for cheap.

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Then Chopin the dog turned 14 years old – yet was still more than happy to sprint out of our yard at 45 mph en route to the dumpster next door. Biting the bullet, we had to get an Invisible Fence that administers what the trainer called a “correction” but what he calls a “ghastly ordeal.” Training him to respect the invisible line has been a little twitchy, but I confess there’s been a little sadistic joy in it too.

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And now, with some healthy tax incentives and a middle finger directed straight at Dick Cheney and his henchmen, we have decided to go solar, which I suppose is the ultimate wireless solution. Sharp makes these awesome dark blue solar panels that come in triangles so you can follow your roof line exactly.

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Pretty soon, we’re not going to have one wire in the house, and we will all be in a state of gamma ray bliss.

Oh, except for Chopes, who will continue to get zapped every fortnight or so to keep him honest. Yay!

0 thoughts on “wireless über alles

  1. Annie

    Ian dear! FBO myself and everyone on this site, I wanted to ask you to tell us a little bit more on a) how you knew your house was a good solar candidate, and b) how you found your solar panels (i.e. how did you know which company to use, etc). I too would like to go solar but Mom says there is too much shade here at 100 High. I dunno.
    Also, is anybody out there familiar with biodiesel? No offense to the hybrid Toyota, Ion, but I have gotten very interested in the advent of biodiesel (diesel fuel made out of recycled vegetable oil) as an alternative fuel, and it turns out there is a biodiesel production project going on here in Orange County, NC! I guess I’m asking for two reasons: one, to just let everybody know how awesome biodiesel is (no adjustment to a deisel engine necessary! And several gas stations already carry a 20/80 bio blend in their diesel pumps!), and two, to see if anybody could point me in a direction (government incentives, alternative energy orgs) to find out more about how to help these guys get such a project off the ground. In case anybody happens to be familiar with the alternative-energy world.
    Can’t wait to see pix of the farmhouse with big blue solar panels on it!!

    Reply
  2. Michelle

    Dude. I’m stuck on dial-up and use needle-nosed pliers to turn my shower on every morning. My town is too small for a mailman, and our power goes out for hours at least once a week.
    I was thinking how funny it would be to use one of those invisible-border things on my cat, but since he’s currently got his Elizabethan collared-head stuck behind the vacuum, I think I’ll lay off him for a while.

    Reply
  3. Just Andrew

    oooh, oooh, technology, must talk now….
    what’s your Internet connection? Do you have DSL or cable there? You can do the satellite connection with DirectTV, but it ain’t perfect.
    Which one of you has the Treo? Want some software for it?
    Looks like you’ve done your research on solar – wondering what your going to do to condition it? Seen entire house lose all their electronics due to a poor conditioning schema.
    Oh and if you were really a geek, you’d have gone with a VOIP solution instead of cordless phones.
    Now start looking at the BlueTooth stuff – control your house from the Treo.
    Tesla would have been in heaven ‘eh?

    Reply
  4. Ian

    Just Andrew- Tessa has the Treo, and though she loves it, it has given her no end of trouble. She had it replaced, finally, and it seems to be working. I’m waiting for the Treo Ace to come to Sprint:
    http://www.gizmodo.com/archives/treo-ace-please-be-legit-016820.php
    We have DSL at the farm, and it is pretty frickin’ slow (for broadband). It tops out about 55K per second in real-time usage. But it does go out every time it rains, leading us to contemplate satellite broadband. Any leads on that?

    Reply

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