Around Mr Papa’s World

Recently, several of my friends in other states had commented that they wondered where the Winter was. They live in states that this time of year are pretty cold and snowbound. I think the winter must have moved here to Sonoita, AZ. We have been having a pretty strong cold front lately. Morning temperatures have been in the 10 – 20 degree level. Luckily, it still warms up during the day into the 50’s. We have even had a few dustings of snow this year here in Sonoita.

We are scheduled to get a new internet service provided tomorrow. About this time last year, broadband internet service was finally provided to our rural community in the forum of wireless access. When the service was announced by DTG Wireless, I immediately signed up. I think I was the second person to get it installed. About two weeks later, another company, Sunncast, announced a similar service. So, we went from no broadband to two providers.

I have been pretty happy with my DTG service for the past year except for one thing. They allow you to run wide open at 1 MB/sec for only a MB or two before they throttle you back to 256k/sec. This burst mode operation works fine for normal internet browsing and even for gaming (like America’s Army). It really stinks for sustained downloads though. Now, 256k is much better than we were getting on dialup but its barely qualified as broadband. And with downloads sizes growing, it can be time consuming.

Recently, HD Movies have become available for download on Xbox Live. These are fully quality HD movies in 720P/10880i and thus much better quality than standard DVDs played on HDTVs at 480p resolution. They are comparable to either the Blu Ray or HD-DVD movies. The price for the download is the same as a rental. We wanted to experiment and see whether it was an option vs our Blockbuster rent by mail program. The Blockbuster program is standard def DVDs only as I havent sprung on a HD disc solution yet. Anyways, the file size for the download was 4.5GB. You can do the math at 256k, but it was a long time to tie up my connection waiting for the download.

I finally called the other guy, Sunncast to inquire as to their service details. Turns out that I know the guy that owns/runs the service. He is a local Sonoita guy vs the out of town DTG guy. I instantly became interested in his service. No burst mode and more bandwidth. He is also tied into a major county wide plan to bring large bandwidth to the area. Today, I will get more than 1MB/sec of bandwidth and soon will have access to as much as 5MB/sec. Hooah! He also has plans for VOIP and other interesting stuff. I scheduled the Friday install. Hopefully, the actual performance will be near his claims, but if not, I know where he lives. :whistle:

Savannah sure is enjoying her new room. I don’t care for the colors or patterns, but I don’t live in the room. One very good aspect of the redecoration, is that since she likes the room now, she is even making her bed everyday and doing a pretty good job of keeping the room clean. It was like pulling teeth to get her to do that before. Suzanne is hoping to post here some before and after pictures.

As mentioned before, we are often to Kartchner Caverns this weekend. The kids are excited. It should be fun as they caverns are quite amazing. As a kid, we visited a bunch of caves/caverns. I don’t remember any even coming close to the beauty and wow factor of these living caverns. I wish I could take some pictures, but they just don’t like that.

Suzanne had some excitement recently with her car. Since she has the SUV, one of her jobs is running the garbage and recyclable stuff to the dump. Evidently, she had an extra passenger hitch a ride on one of the trips. She found some mouse droppings in the SUV and the kids reported seeing or hearing one. She put some passive sticky traps in the SUV like we put in the garage. She loaded em with some cheese, but they were unsuccessful as the mouse managed to get the cheese. This went on for several days. I don’ she or the kids were too happy driving around with a mouse in the SUV. She declared war and put one of those metal bar snap traps in the SUV. That night, she caught her mouse. I think the mouse must have gotten in on the bag of recycled cans as that sits on the ground. The garbage is in cans and sealed, so it would have been harder unless Sean left the lids off one time. Guess we will have to take a little more care now.