Jul 052011

We have met some wonderful people in our years on the road, and it’s always a treat to make new friends or to put a face to a name on a mailing label in our subscription base. We got to do that here in Bremerton.

Longtime subscriber and faithful blog reader Dona Clayton lives just a couple of miles from the Elks lodge where we are parked, and she e-mailed to welcome us to town, and to ask if she might come by to say hello, and to renew her subscription at the same time. I’m always happy to meet one of our readers, or to cheat the post office out of a stamp, so I told Dona to please stop by.

After church on Sunday, Dona and her son Larry stopped in to visit, and what a treat that was! At 88 years young, Dona is an absolute delight, a funny, charming lady whom Terry and I both fell in love with instantly. And Dona and I have something in common, she’s also a published writer! She brought along a boating magazine with an article she wrote about one of her sons’ voyage across the Pacific Ocean, and a copy of a Mike Shayne Mystery Magazine with one of her short stories in it. How cool is that?

Dona and Miss Terry both like to crochet, and they talked about that a while, and Larry told me a little but about his career working in naval shipyards, from Mare Island to Bremerton. All too soon, Dona and Larry had to leave, but later that evening she came by and left a box at our door with a beautiful throw rug she had made for our entry. What a sweet lady! Thanks for the gift, Dona, and for making time for us.

My buddy Greg White uses a portable satellite dish to tune in in his DirecTV signal, and over the years the darned thing has gotten banged up, knocked over by the wind, and generally abused to the point that it finally gave up the ghost. So yesterday afternoon, Greg and I drove into Tacoma to shop for a replacement dish at Camping World.

The last time I was up in this area, the Tacoma Narrows Bridge was a rather intimidating two lane structure that was both high and narrow. I drove over it once in our MCI bus conversion, and while I didn’t freak out, I sure didn’t like it. But since then, they have built a second bridge right next to the first one, and now each bridge, one northbound and one southbound, have three or four lanes, high rails, and even I could drive over them without sniveling. Okay, maybe just a little sniveling! 🙂

Tacoma Narrows bridges

After looking over the the choices available, from standard tripod style TV dishes, to all sorts of fancy automatic types, Greg settled on a Winegard Carryout portable automatic domed antenna. This thing is pretty neat – it only weighs 11.5 pounds, works for both DirecTV and Dish Network, and all Greg had to do was sit in down, hook the cables up, and it was ready to go.

Winegard dish

There are some high trees here at the Elks lodge campground, and most folks here can’t get a signal. The first place Greg tried didn’t work, but the Carryout comes with 50 feet of cable, so Greg moved it over in front of our motorhome, and bingo, it was locked on in less than a minute! If you need a portable dish that takes all of the work out of finding your TV satellites, this would be a great option. I was sure impressed!

Miss Terry has been wanting to get some cooking done, so while Greg and I were gone, she fired up her Orion smoker and cooked up a huge batch of baby back ribs and a pork butt. The convection smoker does an excellent job, and can handle a pork butt and six racks of ribs at once.


Ribs in smoker


Pork butt

The ribs were fall off the bone tender, and Terry made some black beans with rice and pico de gallo to go along with them, and we were sure eating good! It was all delicious, and we topped that off with a yummy apple cake that Jan made for dessert. I ate so much that I may never be able to walk again. And we still have the pork butt left to go!

Since I was too stuffed to function, after dinner, Bad Nick took over the computer and posted a new Bad Nick Blog titled I Take It Back! Check it out and leave a comment.

Thought For The Day – I can’t choose how I feel, but I can choose what I do about it.

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Nick Russell

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  10 Responses to “New Friends & Great Ribs”

  1. As a piece of trivia, the Original Tacoma Narrows bridge, opened in 1940, was a major engineering blunder. It collapsed in November of that year, dumping one car into the water. Fortunately, the driver was able to get off the bridge before it collapsed, but his dog was lost in the accident. There is a movie of the collapse.

  2. The ribs and Pork butt look pretty dam good, how long does she smoke them for.

    As to the new Winegard, that’s a pretty steep price to pay just to save a few minutes time in adjusting it. I’ll stick to my new Ebay dish that I got for $20 and pay myself the other $580 to do the set up and adjustment myself.

    P.S. he might want to lock that thing down so it doesn’t disappear in the middle of the night.

  3. As you are allergic to onions Nick how does Terry make her pico de gallo without onions, does she use something else to flavor it?

  4. That Greg White is wise beyond his years. We, too, have the Winegard Carry Out. It is affedtionately referred to as “Dome Boy.”

  5. We got the Winegard Carryout last month. Yup, easy enough to set up. We keep it chained and locked to the rig. That is not to say if someone wanted it bad enough and had bolt cutters it wouldn’t disappear.

    Now – about the smoker ……. if only we had a bit more storage room in the basement of our fiver.

  6. We purchased a Winegard Carryout several months ago. Tommy did not have the patience to find the signal and I was fine with that because TV is not that important but we went and bought the new dome and we love it . We have set it up so quickly and it is so simple to work. Sure helps on the patience.

  7. Love my carryout. One thing I learned about it is that if you have to search for signal due to power going out, of if you move it a little. I have to unplug electric for a second so it will start a search. In a minute back up and runningl. Don’t know if I will replace my dome unit when it dies.

  8. We also bought the Winegard Carryout and had it installed as a ladder mount on our fifth wheel. It works great! We didn’t have to put a hole in the roof which always scares us. If we need to get it down because of the trees, it is very easy to do.

  9. I make the Pico de Gallo separately, so that us regular eaters can enjoy the onions and other vegetables that Nick can’t (and won’t) eat. 🙂 I can spice up the beans with herbs and spices for flavor, but I love the extra kick from the Pico.
    In the Orion smoker ( http://www.theorioncooker.com/products/ ), which is a hot smoker, it takes an hour and a half to smoke the three racks of ribs that I did this time. The butt takes three and a half hours, but because I did them together, then interrupted (cooled the process when opened) the cooking, it added another half hour, plus, to compensate for the heat loss. Check out Greg’s blog ( http://www.ourrvadventures.com/ ) to find out if it was worth it. 🙂

  10. I haven’t read much about the Winegard Carryout, but was curious if it (1) handled Hi-Def and (2) if it two signals can be brought into the coach simultaneously? We have used an older Winegard portable dish w/1 LNB (?) but could split the output at the dish connector and run one “out” to our Winegard switch box to run off the “satellite” button for our living area tv and the second output we plugged into the “cable” coax input in our outside bay. We then could run the bedroom tv off “cable” and be able to control the channels independently (no mirroring required). Helps when we want to watch different programs.

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