Making Technology Progress into the Wildblue, in the Midst of an Economic Crisis and Bailouts

  • Advertise with us
Blog entry by Mark A. DeCou posted 12-04-2008 04:30 PM 5153 reads 0 times favorited 11 comments Add to Favorites Watch

I was tracking back hits to my website this morning, and one of them came from my previous blog. So, I read my own blog again, since I couldn’t remember exactly what I had written.

In that Blog, I talked about two things:
1. My lack of communication technology to run my business
2. A visit from a commissioned customer

Well, I’m still working on the commissioned project. Might be able to finish it up next week. I’m a little behind on it, but the drop-dead deadline is the 13th, so I have a few more days.

And, I have made some monumental progress in technology since my last blog. Not the kind of progress that the rest of you techno-wizards are doing, but for a “hick” in the back-hills of the tall grass prairie, I’ve made some good long steps this past couple of weeks. I still can’t get cell phone coverage where I live, but that’s ok.

To start the transition into the year 2000, a couple of weeks back I bought a new telephone, with an answering machine that works well, and has a separate hands-free unit. I also hooked up a phone in the woodshop, so I can hear when someone is calling. That has helped quite a bit, as we haven’t missed a message since we did those things.

And, I’m pleased to say that the guy I wrote about in my last blog that tried to call me, did indeed call back, wanted a Rounding Jack, and so I have cashed his check and mailed him his walnut tool. So, that story had a happy ending.

Ok, now for the drum roll please…........I’m off of dial-up internet service. Hooray.

Yes, I’m now a Wildblue subscriber, the cheapest plan they offer for satelllite internet service.

We couldn’t get DSL where we live. There is no wi-fi system around here. There is no cable system. So, satellite is the only other option.

Trying to understand how my keyboard strokes can go up in the air into outerspace, and return to land in Martin’s lumberjocks computer system is way beyond my ability to comprehend. After all I’m a Mechanical Engineer. I never did understand electricity, or electronics. BUT, I like that it works. And, it works very well.

So, for the first time this week, I could scan through Lumberjocks and see projects at full clarity. To deal with dial-up, I had to use an accelerator program which made all the photos fuzzy, really fuzzy. It took me about 6 months to figure out that Thomas Angle’s projects were tooled leather, not carved wood. Can’t tell with fuzzy dial-up photos to look at. Now, with full clarity, I can see, I can see, I can seeeeeee.

Even with fuzzy photos, it still took so long to move between LJ screens on dial up, that I would just grow tired of sitting and thumping the desk with my fingers, and I would decide to go do something else productive. In the Summer I can pick ticks off of the dog while waiting for screen changes. In the Fall, I can pull cuckleburrs out of his hair. But, in the Winter, there isn’t anything to do while waiting on dial-up.

As a side note, my LJ time has been “productive” as almost all of the work I’ve been commissioned to do this year has come as a result of my LJ postings. So, that LJ time at the keyboard has been paying off. I can’t wait to see what happens in 2009. With the economic crisis, I’m prepared to do something else if the business all dries up for me, but I don’t yet know what that would be. I have 6 acres so I could put in a garden I guess. I’m hopeful that enough people will still buy from me to keep me going next year.

The new Lumberjocks “experience” with Wildblue satellite is so much better, that I actually sat up until a half hour after midnight on Tuesday night looking through the last 102 pages of projects. Wow, some great stuff has been posted. My wife woke up finding me out of bed, and came running to the computer, sure that I was watching porn. She had a hard time believing that I was sitting here looking at woodworking projects after midnight. Oh well, I am 44 now. She decided that she had better sit and make sure I was on the up-and-up, so she sat on a stool and watched me look through projects for about a half hour until I finally decided I had better get some sleep. Gotta love an accountability system like that.

That dial-up life is all behind me now. I can now imagine what it was like for the pioneers when they got running water in the house, or a toilet inside, or a telephone without a party line. Hey, wait a minute, I can still remember growing up with a party line-phone. Sorta got you off the phone faster knowing that “Marge” up the street was listening to your conversations. But, I digress. I was a kid then, without much to say on the phone anyway.

I am so pleased with the Wildblue, that I even watched some “Videos”, the first time that it has ever happened here at the DeCou Studio. I can’t really see what all the fuss is about with Youtube, seems like a lot of wasted time posted over there. Both doing the videos, and watching them. I’m sure there is some good stuff there somewhere. I was also able to listen to some music, another first. I added David Cook’s new CD to my Christmas wish list. I’m an old “rocker.” An overweight, bald rocker, but one nontheless.

I enjoyed going through some of the Lumberjocks Videos also. I hope to see that segment of our website community grow over time. I don’t have a camera for that, so it’ll be up to the rest of you LJ’ers to do the videos I guess, at least at this point.

Ok, so the Satellite installer was to be here on Tuesday morning this week. So, I spent most of Sunday afternoon, and Monday night cleaning my office. It was way over due, but I couldn’t imagine having someone else see it, so I had to clean it. I really like having a desk top again. I did have to haul 4 trash bags of stuff out of the office. I still need to spend a day filing all of the papers that are in “that” big pile over there on the other desk top, the one my dad made in walnut when he was in school. We are trying to make room for the Christmas tree this year in the living room, so I need to move the kid’s computer into my office, so I need to clean off “dad’s” desk for their computer to sit on through the Holiday season. Maybe later this week I can get that done. Having the kids constantly nagging about needing the “tree” put up keeps the pressure on me.

I also installed a new computer Monitor, that is 2” bigger than what I used to use. It was a gift from a friend when he upgraded his computer. I was also able to install a new keyboard, and mouse, and they are both cordless, which is also beyond my ability to comprehend how they work. But, I like it.

The old key board was so dirty, that really the only solution was to throw it away. My neighbor is a computer genius, and she stopped by here a few months back with a pickup load of computer parts headed to the recycling center. She picked through it and found a couple of good printers for me, and the cordless key board and mouse. I guess I’m sort of a computer recycling center myself.

I’m still using the old Computer, although I’ve added a couple of external hardrives to keep all of my data on, and provide a backup filing system.

So, in just a few weeks, things have morphed around here to where I feel like I maybe have stepped over into the new Millenium now, just 8 and 11/12ths years behind. I still don’t have a vehicle that was built in the new Millenium, but they all four run, and so there’s no need for a new car at this point.

So, hurray for me.

Now, back to work on the commission project. I won’t see daylight on my backlog until the end of January at this point, which is another big hurray.

I’ll be watching the CSPAN hearings of the big-three auto makers today as I work in the shop, should be interesting. I’m betting that a “bailout” happens. Too bad the “DeCou Studio” isn’t too big to fail. Well, it is to me, so I need to get back to work.

Thanks for reading along,
Mark DeCou

-- Mark DeCou - American Contemporary Craft Artisan -

11 comments so far

View Russel's profile


2199 posts in 4448 days

#1 posted 12-04-2008 04:45 PM

Welcome to the New World.

-- Working at Woodworking

View Mark A. DeCou's profile

Mark A. DeCou

2009 posts in 4914 days

#2 posted 12-04-2008 04:46 PM

thanks Russel. Every time I see your avatar picture, I chuckle. Even with “fuzzy” dial-up it was sure cute.

-- Mark DeCou - American Contemporary Craft Artisan -

View Russel's profile


2199 posts in 4448 days

#3 posted 12-04-2008 05:15 PM

That little guy has been with me for twenty years. It was a quick picture of me drawn by a friend who is a rather successful muralist. I scanned it in with a little hand-held scanner. I’m betting that your dial-up had nothing to do with the fuzzy.

You’ll want to be careful now that you’re off dial-up. You’ve had a taste of what you can see and I’m sure you’ll realize how much you can find (when you don’t have to wait so long). It’s way easy to get addicted to speed. ;-)

-- Working at Woodworking

View BassBully's profile


261 posts in 4605 days

#4 posted 12-04-2008 05:24 PM

Welcome to my world Decou. I write software for a living and can’t seem to get away from the computer which is why I never get a chance to post here anymore. So, beware of fast internet.

Aside from my day job I’m completing a website for a construction company which has been a mixed blessing. Once I get that finished, my wood carving instructor requested that I take a look at his website to make enhancements. Maybe I can exchange work for free classes.

-- There are three types of people in the world, those who can count and those who can't!

View Thos. Angle's profile

Thos. Angle

4444 posts in 4471 days

#5 posted 12-04-2008 05:53 PM

Mark, I’m glad you got this going. Now you can sit at the computer like the rest of us instead of making all that nice stuff. By the way, I remember when we got running water and a bathroom in the house all on the same day. As I remember it, we weren’t quite sure it was sanitary!!! The best part was that I never again heard, “Tommy, go get me a bucket of water.” I think I was 10 before I realized that my last name wasn’t “Go Get”.

-- Thos. Angle, Jordan Valley, Oregon

View dennis mitchell's profile

dennis mitchell

3994 posts in 4823 days

#6 posted 12-04-2008 06:43 PM

...I was just thinking the other day that my granddaughter would never know of a time that you could not take a video with a phone. My daughter sent me a video she took on her phone and I was just tickle pink that I could figure out how to watch it! Welcome to the year 2000 Mark.

View Karson's profile


35201 posts in 4909 days

#7 posted 12-04-2008 08:06 PM

Welcome to the big time. A big time waster. Can spend lost of time in front of the moniter if things run fast.

Welcome back.

-- I've been blessed with a father who liked to tinker in wood, and a wife who lets me tinker in wood. Appomattox Virginia [email protected]

View Douglas Krueger's profile

Douglas Krueger

416 posts in 4232 days

#8 posted 12-04-2008 08:32 PM

Mark, I can identify with you regarding the waiitingggggggggggggggg for a page to load, it was only within the past five years that Thailand found out about DSL and is still only available in the populated areas .still have a drawer full of obsolete modems.

Being an even older rocker, first thing I did when the DSL was connected was to fill the hard drive with music to saw by. Enjoy the new millennium.

-- I can so I wood but why are my learning curves always circles

View scott shangraw's profile

scott shangraw

513 posts in 4578 days

#9 posted 12-05-2008 12:26 AM

Welcome to the “new millenium!!!!Don’t stay up to late you have work to do!!!!!

-- Scott NM,

View mmh's profile


3679 posts in 4231 days

#10 posted 12-05-2008 04:47 AM

Welcome to the 21st century, well at least you have the 20th century technology. It’s nice to have all the fast and fancies of the metropolis, but I can bet your neighborhood is pretty peaceful compared to some of ours. I live in an older suburban neighborhood, typical 1950’s, and the average lot is about 1/4-1/3 acre so neighbors are pretty close, but not as bad as the city. The neighborhood is pretty quite considering the population so the noise factor is not too bad, but kids, dogs, cars, trucks, sirens are all a part of life here. We even have lots of wildlife, but I know it’s not as quiet and serene as the “sticks”.

-- "They who dream by day are cognizant of many things which escape those who dream only by night." ~ Edgar Allan Poe

View lightweightladylefty's profile


3393 posts in 4221 days

#11 posted 12-06-2008 08:01 AM

Well, Mark, it looks like now I’m the only LumberJock left back in the last millenium with dial-up. At least you can justify (and deduct) the expense of Wildblue since you actually make money off the internet.

There is no DSL here either and there are no deals on satellite so we have opted to eat instead (satellite costs as much here as we spend for two weeks of groceries!) No cable, no cell phone, no high-speed internet . . . we may live in the middle of no where, but we love it! And one day we, too, may enter the new millenium!

-- Jesus is the ONLY reason for ANY season.

Have your say...

You must be signed in to post the comments.

DISCLAIMER: Any posts on LJ are posted by individuals acting in their own right and do not necessarily reflect the views of LJ. LJ will not be held liable for the actions of any user.

Latest Projects | Latest Blog Entries | Latest Forum Topics