Thursday, October 30, 2008

TV on My Computer!

I love TV.

There, I said it, it's true and I admit it freely! I like all kinds of TV and am always interested in new technology.

With this whole high definition, digital thing that's coming next February, we had some decisions to make. While we have a really nice Sharp Aquos TV in the rig, unfortunately, it is not a digital, high definition television. For a while, we thought we would just get a new high def TV. At least that was the plan until we started shopping and realized how expensive they are.

So on to plan B, which is a small box that allows you to receive digital signals over the air on your old analog TV. We were going to get the coupon from the government that gives you a $40.00 discount on the set top box (available here if you need one), but one day I was out visiting various yard sales and I found one for just $10.00. This sure seemed a lot easier than going the whole coupon route, so I bought it.

Fortunately I have many good friends and one of them, my friend Brad, who is very clever electronically, agreed to hook it up for me. While I am pretty good at things electronic, not being one to look a gift horse in the mouth, I took him up on his kind offer. And it's a good thing I did, because he not only installed the digital converter but also rewired my whole television, satellite, DVD/VCR combo setup. Whereas before, I had to get up and change several settings at the television, now, everything works off of the remotes. His work is meticulous and I owe him a big Thank You for his conscientious, neat work.

Once all this over the air digital TV was all set up, I was pretty impressed, and I found myself wishing for something that would record the programs that I sometimes miss on regular broadcast TV (we don't get local channels on our satellite).

So I ordered a small device called a Miglia TVMini HD Express. It's about the size of a pack of cigarettes, and comes with software, a USB2 cable and a portable television antenna and cable. All you do is install the software, plug in the device, raise the antenna and all of a sudden. you get HD and digital over the air television on your computer. And not only can you watch TV on your computer, but this device acts like a Tivo! You can record, fast forward past commercials and back up if you miss something. Then, if you like, you can record shows onto DVD and show them on a regular large television set, or save them to watch again on your computer.

Pretty cool, huh?

After I was convinced that this device was the coolest thing since sliced bread, I went ahead and did a permanent installation, hooking it up to the batwing TV in the motorhome, so now my installation is solid, and I get super reception from a fixed antenna on both the cab over TV and on my laptop computer..

I got the Miglia TVMini HD Express off of eBay for $60.00 delivered. For that price, it's a great deal so I just thought I'd share.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008


Apologies, once again I've fallen behind.

You know, I have a TON of pictures that I mean to post as blogs (like my second set of 2008 Balloon Fiesta pictures) but when time gets away from me, I just seem to go on to something more current.

Like this post!

We are currently back in Manzano, so I have pictures of this area to share.

I loved the way the leaning cowboy shadow fit right into the landscape.

After the massive fires last year, they are having prescribed burns. This shot was taken from the highway heading into Manzano. Remember you can always click on any photo for a larger image.

Fall is in full swing here and the colors are stunning. Added to this is the smoke in the air, and the light is pretty spectacular.

Yesterday we went to Quarai just before closing. The sun was low in the sky but not yet setting, so it made for some nice light. Right now with the foliage, the landscape is luminous, it really looks like a renaissance painting, especially against the turquoise sky.

Here's a shot of the church ruins at Quarai.

The setting sunlight was perfect through the leaves of the trees, I took several pictures.

This is a picnic are at Quarai, it's really the perfect spot.

This one looks much better enlarged.

The smoke was kind of intrusive here, but I liked the composition of this photo.

Doesn't this just beg you to stroll down this path?

More leaves.

One of the great things about Quarai is that you can walk all around the ruins and see it from many different angles.


This is just a shot of some weeds,
but again,
the light seemed
to transform them into something else entirely.

The Chapel


Inside the Chapel,
looking up

These are buffalo gourds.
They grow wild all over New Mexico.
The leaves smell like skunk, so Beware!

From inside the Chapel
looking out

More landscape.
Sorry but I just love this country


AGAIN, sorry.

Terry, walking out at closing.
We would have stayed longer,
but they were closing the gates

As we were heading home
so was this cow

And here we, home again.

Do you like our spare tire cover?

We thought it was just perfect!

Monday, October 6, 2008

Balloons 2008!

We're here! Actually, we've been here for close to a week and we're having a ball!

While this isn't an exciting shot, it's the very first balloon we saw this week.

The weather has been off and on,
not great for the balloons,
but it sure makes for beautiful skies.

As always, remember you can click on any photo for a larger image.

We have a large number of Lazy Daze this year, we're expecting a total of thirty four rigs, but not all will stay for the entire event. It's a great group, very friendly and we have AMAZING pot lucks.

A you can see here, we park three rigs in a U shape which gives up a nice large area for get-togethers. This year we are on one side, Mariel is on the other and Chris and Frank complete the U.

One more shot of a potluck, that's Mariel (who arranges the Lazy Daze get together) in her silly balloon hat.

This is a photo of Lia, one of our favorite kids. Lia. along with her Mother Tessa, and her brother Charles and sister Jazy are on an 18 month around the world trek with the Lazy Daze. So far, they've visited the arctic circle, Canada, Alaska and a good portion of the Pacific Northwest, for a total of 17,000 miles in just a bit over four months!
The other night we had a pretty serious rain (at least it was serious for New Mexico). The place where we're parked is pretty much a flat lot which has been covered in good ole New Mexico clay. Of course when you mix water and clay you produce a kind of slip that is unbelievably sticky. While some areas remain fairly dry, if you're unlucky enough to be in a low spot, look out!

Mariel is in a low spot . . .

Take a look at her shoes! Her company has dwindled to almost zero, I wonder why?

Finally, this morning (Monday, October 6), we had a mini Mass Ascension. While not as many as years past, it was nice to sit in bed and see some balloons. This was taken from our bedroom window.

I finally hauled myself out of bed to take a few pictures. It seems that this morning, the Albuquerque Box is not up to speed, so rather than flying over us, the balloons are drifting off to the east over the mountains. I know the sun is really blown out in this shot, but what the hey . . .

Balloons over the Lazy Daze.

I thought the clouds sitting on the mountains was pretty cool.

There were very few special shapes this morning,
but here's a few shots
of some of the balloons I liked the best.

The colors are pretty impressive against the blue sky.
A few clouds would make for much better pictures,
but I decided not to cheat
and post them as they really were.

Here's a shot of Armando on top of his rig,
admiring the balloons.

I liked this color combination.

More balloons

This is one of my very favorite balloons.
We've been attending the Fiesta for four years
and this particular balloon
is always one of my most favorite.

Here's my favorite floating in the sky
as our friend Linda pokes her head out of her hatch.

And because the box isn't working properly,
here's a shot of the balloons floating away to the east . . .

Hopefully I'll post some more shots as the number of balloons increase, but you know what? Even if we don't see any more balloons, we're having a great time.

Life is good!