Just what I wanted!

Spike greets the morning.

What a beautiful morning here in the Anza Borrego Desert in southern California!

Okay, enough about the beauty!  Get to the point, woman!  What is in the mystery box?

Thank you, Mick, from me, the crew, and all my blog readers for this generous and thoughtful Christmas present.

It’s a Wilson antenna!

A wide band directional antenna (700 MHz-2700 MHz) to be exact.  What does it do, you ask?  Here’s what the installation guide says:

“Wilson Electronics Wide Band Log Periodic Directional Antenna will collect the cell tower signal and send it through the cable to . . .  a cellular data card.  When the cellular data card transmits, the signal is transferred to . . . the antenna and broadcast back to the cell tower.”

In short, it will help me get a stronger internet connection.

It should cut down on the hours of torment brought by frequent interruptions while trying to write blog entries and post photos.  Not looking for sympathy here, but there have been many times when I’ve spent several hours, off and on, throughout the day, trying to finish my blog post in coughs, gasps, and spurts, depending on when the signal is strong enough.  In fact, this very post you’re reading now was delayed by three hours due to a weak, two-bar, come-and-go signal.

I’m really excited about what this thing can do!

My friend Mick from Tennessee (whom I only know online) serves as my technical advisor for which he receives zero payment, unless you count email clutter and a never-ending stream of questions as payment.

I’ve asked him more than once how I can get better internet service.

I salivated over my keyboard reading about a Wilson antenna!

Mick not only sent the antenna with mount and hardware, but also he included the tool and ties I need to set it up.  He translated the installation guide into a form of English I can understand, drawing diagrams, too, and gave me a description of the ten foot piece of PVC pipe I need to purchase.

The antenna mounts on the back bumper. 

A wire goes through a window and connects to my air card with an adapter plug that Mick also included.  That big, white, weirdly shaped item will stick up higher than the BLT.  I imagine it’ll make the BLT look like a little spaceship! (The cuteness factor is important.)

Mick told to me more than once that this gift is not just for me and the crew.

It’s also a gift to those of you who add to my writing with your interesting anecdotes, opinions, questions, advice, empathy, and encouragement.  He appreciates, as do I and I suspect many readers do also, the value of your comments, both for entertainment and information.   I’m hopeful this antenna will cut down the number of days I’m unable to post and provide this forum of sharing for all of us.

So from all of us, a great big hug and a sincere thank you, Mick . . .

“Spikey! Get out of there, you little bubble-wrap head!”

. . .  and have a very Merry Christmas!

rvsue

P.S.  A few hours after posting the above, I’m sitting at my laptop in the BLT when I hear music.  Hmm .. . what IS that?  It sounds like chimes.  I follow the sound outside to the PTV to discover the source.  The wind is blowing through the supports of the tilt mechanism which holds up my solar panel, making a lovely mix of tones.  That tilt mechanism was designed, built, and shipped to me and the crew by Mick back when I was having solar installed.  It’s still “singing” your praises as I type this, Mick!

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85 Responses to Just what I wanted!

  1. Bee says:

    What a great idea Mick! Thanks for thinking of it….and sending it!

  2. Daisy says:

    This brought tears to my eyes.

    What a wonderful gesture from Mick.

    Xoxoxo

  3. Mark says:

    What a great gift… Thanks Mick, from all of us.

    Mark
    Salina ks

  4. Mary Ann says:

    Glorious sunlight, Sister Moon, and a golden present! Thanks be! I think Spike wants the box…

  5. Gabrielle Becker says:

    Spikey wants to be wrapped up in the box and sent to…… ME!
    That is the cutest picture I have ever seen. Spike the Christmas elf.

  6. Michelle says:

    That was so nice of Mick! I so look forward to getting the email that tells me you have written in your blog. So sending a big hug and thank you to all!
    Michelle, Utah

  7. Crystal says:

    Thank you, Mick, from us….Sue’s readers 🙂

  8. Jim says:

    Hi Sue! First of all, thanks to Mick for his generous gift to you and us all. When I read that you were going to slop city (spelling as intended), I was tempted to advise you against it, but then I got to thinking after my advice about the stink at Salton Sea and you’re finding it not objectionable, I thought better of it. I didn’t want to be negative but that area you were in is a real downer. Still, life is made up of experiences and you got another one out of your visit there, so all is well, I reckon. I continue to enjoy your journal and really appreciate it. Best wishes, Sue…

    • Billy Bob says:

      Jim your comment “slam’n” the slabs and surrounding area was uncalled for. Is “slabs city” not “resort” enough for you? It may not be your cup of tea, but thousands of RV’ers visit there every winter. If you fail to see the good in your travels and look only for the bad, then make a comment such as above, I feel sorry for you.
      The slabs is a unique place…..top priority on most RV’ers bucket lists. I could sit here and tell you of the beauty and adventure you missed, but I won’t waste my time in trying to convince your set negative mind. As you did trying to convince others to stay far away from the slab because it didn’t suit your fancy. I take offense in comments such as yours. Especially since I spent 3 straight winters at the slabs, having an extremely wonderful time.
      If my comment is deleted by Sue, I pray she will also delete yours.

      • rvsueandcrew says:

        Okay guys. Let’s remember that we all experience things differently. The Slabs depressed me. Apparently just the opposite is true for many people. I saw many happy faces, heard laughter and music, and saw people chatting together. The Thanksgiving dinner shared at the clubs was a highlight for those who attended, I’m sure. People return to the Slabs again and again each year to join in the activities and get together with good friends. I’m glad you’ve had three wonderful winters there, Billy Bob.

        My friend Ken enjoys the Slabs because he has friends there with whom he enjoys playing poker.

        At the same time, those of us who aren’t involved in the social life of the slabs and who look at things from our own experiences (which, of course, are unique to each individual) find the environment depressing, especially when the poverty of Niland is thrown in.

        I don’t think Jim means to offend those who enjoy the Slabs. (Neither do I.) He stated his reaction to it and surmised that mine would be the same, too.

        • Donna D. (CT) says:

          Whew, Sue. Thanks for intervening. Hate to see any flame wars flickering. 😀

        • Jim says:

          Sue, feel free to delete my comment. I did not mean to offend anyone. Knowing how you prefer “insulation” from the crowds and are, like me, subject to bouts of depression I thought you might not like the area. Maybe I was too candid. I hope you understand.

          • rvsueandcrew says:

            Your comment is fine. I don’t want to become so nervous about people disagreeing with me or my readers that I start deleting perfectly valid points of view presented rationally. You were not offensive. I didn’t delete Billy Bob because I know he tends to be a bit cantankerous sometimes and I figured, you’re a big boy and can take it! 🙂 Now, Billy Bob, don’t get mad at me. Go fishin’ or sumpthin.’

  9. Sandi says:

    Thank you for always bringing a smile to me face through each and every blog. Safe journies to you and the crew.

  10. gingerda says:

    what a special person Mick must be to think of you (and us too). Pretty cool !!!
    Love the picture of Spike in the bubble wrap

  11. Kim says:

    Thanks Mick! That’s a gift all Sue’s readers will benefit from!

  12. Barb Brady says:

    What a great photo of Spike. Of course, he knows how handsome he is. That just makes it even cuter. Mick, thanks for such a thoughtful and generous gift. What a way to spread the love. You rock. Sue, I’m so glad you are back in another beautiful setting. Next year, I hope to visit some of the places you’ve been. Just have to sell the business first. Reading your blog is the highlight of every day.

  13. Cheryloftwomanyadventures says:

    Sue-Loved your post today! Seems like happiness is back at full speed. Loved the photos of Spike, makes me miss my old rattie. Mick-Thank you-you solved a problem not just Sues, mine also. I wondered how to get better internet on the road. Problem solved!

    • Ed says:

      I think ‘problem solved’ is a bit too optimistic. The Wilson Antenna will certainly help but will not ‘solve’ the problem of having great Internet on the road, better Internet in some situations but it is certainly not a cure-all.

  14. cinandjules says:

    The suspense is over!

    WOW!!! What a wonderful gift from Mick! How thoughtful of him to send it and include the tools to hook it up. Not to mention deciphering the installation instructions. Thanks Mick from TN.

    Looks like Mr Spike assisted with the unpacking of it!

    What is your hummingbird feeder hanging on?

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Somewhere – don’t remember where – I found a white vinyl-covered rod (like shelving is made out of) lying on the ground, obviously without an owner. It’s bent into a circle on one end (you can see this a bit in the photo if you click on it). I figured it was something I could put to use someday.

      I took a bucket and filled it with rocks and sand, inserted the wire pole, and wedged it into a creosote bush growing in front of the BLT.

      It was very windy during the night. I expected to see it and the feeder blown over, but it’s still in place and we have a regular visitor!

  15. cathieok says:

    We all will definitely benefit from this generous gift. Aren’t friends grand?

  16. Pat says:

    Good job Mick and thanks!!!!!! You have made s lot of people very happy. Sue, have fun with your early Christmas present.

    Pat in Sunseeker

  17. Kitte says:

    Luv you Mick..and Sue..and Bridget..and Spike….!
    :-))))

  18. Sherry says:

    What a terrific gift! I can see now how much I need a techno godfather in my life. Way to go Mick! Not just a gift but every single thing needed to make it work. That’s super thoughtful.

    I think Spikey was just trying to get in on the attention given the stuff in that box………..but he sure is a cute little devil.

  19. earthdancerimages says:

    St. Mick !!!! Thank you for the wonderful gift! You are kind and generous and appreciated by all of Sue’s followers! BubbleHead Spike is a real showoff !!! LOL!

  20. Bob says:

    Hello Sue, a new follower here, Bob. I’m just beginning my full-time Boondocking adventure and look forward to learning all I can from your posts. I had to laugh when I read your slab city story, you are a true survivor Sue, you made it out with all your solar still attached, :-).

    I’ll be waiting to hear if your new gadget does the trick, I feel your pain, I build and maintain websites, many are vehicle sites where I have to upload dozens of images almost daily.

    I am also touring the southern California deserts, my dream home on BLM.

    Take care of yourself and family,
    Bob

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Oh dear, another Bob! How will I ever keep you all straight!

      Never mind that … Welcome to my blog, Bob! I clicked on your name which brought up your new blog with a profile of yourself. Sounds like we have a LOT in common! Great beginning for your blog. I wish you well as you travel and, I assume, as you tell the world about it!

      • Bob says:

        Thank you for the welcome Sue, now that I’ve read most of your blog I see we do have much in common. I just threw that blog up this morning, still need to straighten it out. I think that site is number 70 or so, the things we do to occupy a busy mind.

        I also wish you well and continued joy and peace as you travel.

        Now you can go back and listen to your musical solar harp, LOL.

        Bob

  21. Pauline says:

    Of course Mick is special…..he was raised in Cambridge NY, graduated from good ole CCS and has the same birthday as I do (except he is older) I am so glad he sent you that gift!! Thanks Mick!!!

  22. jean says:

    Spike looks like he owns the world in that first picture, but I know who is the real owner, Bridgett. Behind every good man is a good woman. Thanks Mick for the wonderful gift to Sue and all of us. I will probably never get to travel like you Sue, I am living it thru you. By the way, you said you like to know where we are, I am in Southaven, MS. Just over the line from Memphis, TN.

  23. rvsueandcrew says:

    FYI to readers: I added a post script to today’s blog entry. It’s funny how this music is being made on the same day I blog about the gift from Mick.

  24. mickent says:

    I am elated by all the “Thanks”. Giving is truly a blessing to all parties.
    BUT … Does it work?

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi Mick,

      It’s a very windy day here. I haven’t picked up the PVC pole yet. I’m going to the farmer’s market in Borrego Springs tomorrow. I’ll pick up the pole then. I want to photograph every step of the process for the blog and, as you advised, no photos in the wind! Sorry to keep you waiting… Coincidentally, I’ve been on the phone with Verizon today working on an air card issue which I think has been resolved.

  25. Chuck says:

    Mick, thank you and Merry Christmas.Chuck n Geri n the Hound Herd

  26. Donna D. (CT) says:

    Sue! I am SO happy for you! I rely on internet everyday, for communication, entertainment, research, shopping, etc. and I still live in a stick and brick! I’d rather do without my TV and phone than be without the internet.

    Mick, I want to add my thank you to all the others. It was so nice and generous of you. I really enjoy reading Sue’s posts. I want to be just like her when I grow up. LOL (I’m only a few years younger and will NEVER grow up.) But I do want to do what she is doing so I am learning from her wonderful example.

    Thanks again to both of you!

  27. Pgh Marcia says:

    Birds of a feather flock together. Sue, you have great friends… Thanks Mick!

  28. Becky says:

    I am thrilled about the Wilson Antenna!! Thank you Mick for sending this to Sue and the crew. 🙂
    I have read on other blogs how helpful they are in getting a signal and will definately have to get one when we hit the road full time.
    Michelle, I have to agree with you. It is exciting whenever my e-mail tells me Sue has posted a new entry. I have to admit to even reading it here at work.

  29. Glenda Cornwill says:

    The heart gladdens when we are on the receiving end of such generosity. So thanks Mick for your wonderful gift to Sue which is really a gift to all of us. If we can get more of Sue and her crew each day it makes us all happy. My day is not complete without my fix of Sue and her buddies Spike and Bridget. Way to go Mick!!!

  30. EmilyO says:

    “The wings of angels are often found on the backs of the least likely people.” Eric Honeycutt. Mick, you are our angel.

  31. Brian says:

    Merriest of Christmas to you RV Sue! I read your postings daily, but rarely comment. I will say that Anza Borrego seems like a much better fit for you than Slab City. You sound great, and I wish you continued safe travels.

    brian

  32. Ingrid says:

    Congratulations on receiving such a wonderful gift. I’ll be interested to hear how big a difference the antenna makes. I got really frustrated with my internet connection when we were boondocked at Lake Powell. Since then we’ve been doing research on how to boost our connection.

    Thanks for sharing your adventures and YOUR opinions. I’m afraid I may have the identical reaction to the Slabs as you did. Diversity….thank goodness we’re not all the same. Happy Holidays and safe travels….Ingrid

  33. cozygirl says:

    MICK – thank you, thank you…now our hearts will be filled with more cheer from “the crew”! I love to hear stories of such generosity…just so super cool! Now I have to go Google details….I want one!

    • cozygirl says:

      P.S. Can you post somewhere what exactly you need to purchase for the setup and how to do it…I’m putting it on my Christmas list.

      • rvsueandcrew says:

        Do you need the list right away? I’ll include the items when I do the post on assembling it on the BLT’s bumper.

        • cozygirl says:

          Oh that would be perfect…Jerry has 4 new projects coming from the those sweet folks at Casita Little Customs shop to put in right now. We are going to have to cover CozybeGone up soon! But I’m all over this antenna setup…I want all the power I can get for our take-off :O) Good luck with the setup Sue!!

  34. Rita says:

    So long sad times, go long bad times
    We are rid of you at last
    Howdy gay times, cloudy gray times
    You are now a thing of the past

    Happy days are here again
    The skies above are clear again
    So let’s sing a song of cheer again
    Happy days are here again

    Horray to St. Mick!!! RVSue’s blog is like turning on a TV series….can’t wait for the next episode 🙂 thank you St. Mick.

  35. Shawna says:

    Whoa Mick! What a wonderful, super, special gift. You have not only given this to Sue and the Crew, but as she said, to all of us who read this blog. Super special blessings to you!!! Oh, and to you, too., Sue……………….we loves ya! You and the Crew are the bestest!

  36. Katy in NH says:

    Katy in NH

    Wow, a reader from Southaven MS. I lived there for 10 years, Hi Jean!

    Thanks Saint Mick!

  37. PatrickA says:

    So does that mean I can eat this Porterhouse Steak? Congrats on your new Wilson set-up.

  38. Lisa says:

    Mick, you are a true example that there are still good and thoughtful people in this world. And the same goes for you and your crew, Sue! I look forward to hearing of your adventures every day. If you are ever in the area I would love to meet you for a cup of tea! And I will tell you of all the good places here to see! Lisa in Branson, MO

  39. Wonderful idea and thank you, Mick!

    I have a similar model of Wilson antenna. I absolutely need it to maintain my job, since I work remotely, including submitting payroll (I don’t think the employees would appreciate not getting paid because I had spotty internet, lol!)

    One thing I should say, Sue – When I first got my antenna, I don’t think I had realistic expectations about it. Yes, my antenna does amplify the signal and it’s a great thing. But when there’s no signal, there’s no signal. And my little antenna can’t create it at that point.

    Now I’ve been the total bummer here and I’m sorry. If the signal is shakey, which is what it sounds like, the antenna will do wonders. And every little bit of improvement is appreciated, yes?

    Enjoy!!

    Lisa

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      You didn’t tell me anything I didn’t know about the Wilson antenna. I realize it can’t perform miracles. It can only amplify signals. Thanks for mentioning this anyway so readers are made aware of it.

  40. Janet Johns says:

    Thanks Mick! I’m another one who doesn’t post but does read. But a Thanks is needed!

  41. Marcia GB says:

    Wow – what a great gift and a great day! Angels come in many forms and Mick is one.

  42. geogypsy2u says:

    Thank you Mick for this marvelous Christmas present to RVSue and all of us too. I’ve heard rave reviews about the Wilson and look forward to how if works for you. I believe in Santa Mick.

  43. suburbanlife says:

    What a generous fellow is Mick! A big thank you from me, too. Sue, you blog is a contemporary version of “Travels with Charlie” in technological form. Happy Christmas. G

  44. Anne H says:

    Hey – I just bought a Wilson ‘Sleek’ cell signal booster and Antenna. I’ve tried it once or twice from the car and it does seem to do the trick!

    Hope yours works out well for you too! I know it’s hard to be out-of-range for long – makes me a little antsy.

    I’m thinking of having the antenna permanently installed on the roof of the trailer since with my setup I need a DC connection for the signal booster (which will be available inside to plug into a DC outlet, or carried out to my car with a portable antenna).

  45. Kimzoph says:

    Spike the Bubblewrap Head! Love it, Sue. And I can’t help wondering where dear Bridget is in the midst of all this joy? She seems a bit too serious to partake in the craziness. Many thanks to you and Mick for the anticipation of great travel and camping stories to come!

  46. Kellee says:

    When I start to lose my faith in humanity – I will think of Mick. What an amazing gift! One of the favorite parts of my day is your blog, so I appreciate you and Mick for allowing all of us to continue to peek into the lives of you and the crew!!

  47. Bob Giddings says:

    That looks like a Yagi-type antenna, and if so it is extremely directional. I’ll tell you about a problem a friend of mine had using it. It was a little finicky in the wind. He used an app on his Iphone to read the signal, and would raise, lower, and turn it for the best signal. The problem was that the screw down compression fitting linking the two poles would always vibrate loose. It was annoying. Last I heard he put a pin in it so the height wouldn’t change, and that also seemed to keep the fitting tight longer. Do you have a drill with you? Do you have some kind of signal meter?

    All this was last summer, during a one day visit in Colorado. If you want I’ll email him and see what the final solution was.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi Bob . . . I haven’t put the antenna up yet. I’m confused by “the two poles would always vibrate loose.” Mine doesn’t have two poles. Mick put some product on the fitting (I don’t have the name at hand) that keeps things tight.

      Let’s see how this plays out. If need be, I’ll ask you to email your friend. Thanks for alerting me to potential problems. Yes, I have a drill. One of those things that fills up the back of the PTV!

      • Bob Giddings says:

        Well, I emailed him, and he doesn’t even remember the conversation. So if it was a problem, it was temporary. The two poles were one inside the other, and allowed the antenna to slip well above the top of his motorhome and then lower for travel. Apparently you have a different sort of mount entirely.

        This is the sort of mixup that often happens to me when I am trying to remember stuff that happened to other people months ago. Sorry about that. Please proceed on.

  48. Tamara says:

    A big “thank you” to Mick from a fairly new follower. 🙂

    Sue, a little note about how those “ripples” of yours are continuing to spread . . . I clicked on the blog link of one of your followers, another full time RV’er like yourself, and in a happy coincidence, it appears we booked the site directly across from the site they are wintering in as camp hosts at San Elijo State Beach here in California. We would have simply passed like two ships in the night had it not been for your blog. Instead, we’ll now have the pleasure of getting to meet them, and hopefully, learn a little more about their very interesting lives.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      All of us make “ripples” that touch other people’s lives… some good, some bad.

      Enjoy your new friends… I’ve found camp hosts to be really nice people.

  49. TXBX says:

    I bought one of the Wilson antennas from Amazon.com also! I hated to put out that much money, and had only heard about them, but it sure was worth it, and it greatly boosted my cell service on the road, especially in Montana and Wyoming! Then when I got back to my stick house, I could put it in the window and it boosted all of my Verizon products! Well worth the money spent, even though I thought I couldn’t afford it at first! How wonderful to be receiving something so nice! I know you will greatly enjoy it, and it will make all of your travels so much more enriched!! I just love these special toys!! Congratulations on receiving something so nice!! Evidently there really is a Santa Clause! What a nice gesture from your unseen friend! So glad your friend saw your need when you wanted to do the solitary camping and acted on his observations! Your life will be so much nicer now!! Kudos to your internet angel. For those of us who thought people no longer care about others, perhaps there really is a Santa Claus! Great fun ahead! Now you can continue to write no matter where you are located. Yeah! Lucky you!
    Hugs,
    Becky

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      I’m glad yours works well for you, Becky. Sounds great! Yes, I’m very fortunate to have such a good friend. I love the responses from readers… Mick deserves all these thanks!

  50. Tamara says:

    A second comment suddenly seems called for today . . . thank you again for sharing your delightful words, and allowing us all to follow along on your journeys. Reading your blog is one of the bright spots of my day, and reminds me how much I love being out in nature in my trailer.

    Hugs too also, just like from Becky above, and remember you can’t cure crazy! 🙂
    Tamara

  51. Roger Norris says:

    Very cool!

  52. Hi Sue,

    I think I’ll make a second comment as well…please enjoy the joy and love in your life. Turn down any servings of things that are toxic – its a health choice!!

    Enjoy, enjoy and give those two crew-pups extra hugs today! Dontcha know, they always need them!! 🙂

    Lisa & Trotters
    Jekyll Island, GA

  53. Kathleen Hoover says:

    Hi Sue! I have been reading your blog since last April. Went back and read all your previous posts and have been following since. My husband and I started full timing two weeks ago. Your posts have been very helpful and encouraged us to forge ahead. We didn’t wait until retirement. We decided to take a two year sabbatical. Life is too short to risk waiting! We are currently in Florida and struggling with a weak signal. Just discussed getting a Wilson antenna. Opened your blog and there was your post about Mick’s generous gift. Anxious to read about the installation. Time to stop lurking and let you know how much we appreciate you and your blog. I share your postings with my husband when one really strikes my fancy! I have never been a dog person, but I have fallen in love with your two crazy beasts! Thanks for enriching our world!

    Kathleen from Maryland

  54. Carol says:

    if it fits, it ships!TellMick much as Gracias,this old cougar ain’t ready to give him a hug yet, I might enjoy it!!

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