Saturday, April 28, 2012

Verizon MiFi Mobile Hotspot

Well I finally went out and did it. After reading so many bad things about the Verizon MiFi device I held off on switching from my USB 760 Aircard with the Cradlepoint Router until yesterday. We had a call from Verizon earlier in the week advising I qualified for a free update and they wanted me to try their new Verizon Jetpack 4G LTE Mobile Hotspot MiFi 4620L. They assured me this device was a big improvement over their older unit.

So, yesterday we went into town to visit the local Verizon store. They demonstrated how the device worked, went over the menu options, and demonstrated how simple it was to connect to WiFi. They did this by setting up Sandy's new IPad and my IPhone 4 with the MiFi password and that quick we both had a WiFi signal on each device. We happened to be in a 4G area and the device was fast. The salesman explained since we are in a 3G area at base the device would not be as fast but it should be faster than the USB 760 Aircard.

One of the things we were told was to make sure the MiFi would recognize our wireless HP printer. The salesman said depending upon how old our printer was (about 5years old) it may or may not depending upon it's driver etc. We told him it worked with the Aircard and Cradlepoint router so why shouldn't it work
with the MiFi. He said we could return it in 14days if not satisfied.

So, we walked out with the MiFi and headed home to try it out.
Since it has it's own battery we were able to connect to WiFi as we drove around in Longview and on the way home. We also understand there is a 12 volt charger available. For the most part it kept a pretty good signal until we started home. The 32 mile stretch does not have a lot of towers. Upon arrival we connected our laptop computer to the MiFi without a problem. Once we typed in its password it connected us to the Internet. As to the speed it may have been a tad bit faster than the old Aircard but not enough to have a big impact on me.

Our next project was to check our wireless printer to see if it would find the MiFi hotspot. This is where the fun and aggravation started. The printer did not find the hotspot. Called Verizon they weren't much help but suggested we call HP. This is where I remembered the name of the salesman at Best Buy that sold us Sandy's new IPad. Called him and after going through different steps he advised the wireless printer being over five years old and outdated would not recognize the MiFi. So, now what do we do?


I said lets take it back and stay with what we had originally. Sandy on the other hand said" I like the smallest of the device and the fact if we wanted to we could take it along on trips away from the motorhome." Also she wanted to AirPrint from her IPad or IPhone and the printer we had would not let us do that. Yep, we piled back into the Jeep and headed to Best Buy to look at wireless printers that would do all these techie things. They had several wireless printers that would do what we wanted and they were guaranteed to marry up with the MiFi. To be sure we carried the MiFi with us and would try connecting to imagetheir floor models on display.

After looking at several models the HP Envy 110 e-All-In-One printer D411 series struck our interest for several reasons. One being it was on sale and the size particularly the low profile. I have limited space on the slide out tray under our computer/dining table and the low profile would allow better opening of the top lid when copying or scanning. Another selling point was it had mostly good reviews and it connected to the MiFi right away.

After getting back to home base we had the printer up and running in no time. It recognized all devices and Sandy did several AirPrints from her Paprika Recipe App on her IPad. She even printed a recipe from the Food Channel from her IPad.

She is one happy person. Just think four years ago this gal did not know that much about the computer world. She was afraid to even touch my laptop but thanks to her using first her IPhone and then her IPad she's come along ways. She quite a techie gal. She also drives huge tractors and big motorhomes.

Until next time. . . .MtnAire Travlers.

Friday, April 20, 2012

One Of Those Days Should a Stayed Home


It started raining here this morning and literally rained all day. Lots of lighting, rolling thunder and small hail a couple times. It's suppose to get down to 46 tonight with a high tomorrow of 68. Burrrrr

We had to make a trip to Mt Pleasant and this is where we should a stayed home. We left in heavy rain and just this side of Dangerfield we ran over something that really sounded bad. We drove on about 100yds and our low tire pressure alarm (TPMS) sounded and the idiot light came on.

Naturally it was just pouring down rain and I told Sandy to pull off the highway. Got out in the rain and walked around the Jeep looking at each tire. They all appeared to be up so we continued on. Hardly went another 100yds and we heard this thump, thump noise indicating we had a flat. The sound was coming from the drivers left rear. Sandy asked "what do you want to do?"

I saw a quick lube and tire place on the other side of the highway and told her to go there. We thumped and thumped into their drive and a young man greeted us. He asked us to pull into one of the bays where two other young men took the tire off. You could see where something punctured the tire right in the middle of the thread. In fact one of them said he could hear something rolling around inside.
I asked if they could boot or patch the tire and they said lets take it off and see.


When they dismantled the tire from the rim they found of all things a welders cutting tip inside. They said they thought a patch would work. I said I would feel better if you put my spare on and I would use the patched tire as a spare. So, $10 later we were back on the highway headed to the bank.

About 15 miles out our low tire pressure alarm (TPMS) sounded again and this time I said"oh no not another flat." Got out in the rain walked around no evidence of a flat or low tire. Headed out again and about three miles from Mt Pleasant the alarm sounded again. I spotted a car wash and asked Sandy to pull in one of the bays. Took my tire gauge checked all tires including the spare and they checked okay.


What we think might be setting the alarm off is the sensor of the ill fated tire might have been damaged by the cutting torch nozzle that was rolling around inside. Finally made it to the bank and back home without further incident Even the low tire pressure idiot light (TPMS)finally went out and did not come back on. The rain has finally let up. Snuggling weather tonight.

Until next time. . . .MtnAire Travlers.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

My First Solo Drive Into Town In About Five Years

As several of you know due to a loss of quality vision in my right eye Sandy has been our primary driver. She drives the motorhome and Jeep everywhere we go. Up until recently I could drive around here in Lone Star and felt pretty comfortable in doing so. My big problem has been my right side in passing, turning and particularly backing up. She nor I were comfortable when I drove in congested traffic in larger cities like Longview. I don't know who was the most nervous in these conditions, her or me.

Today I had a Doctors appointment at the VA Clinic in Longview. Since Sandy has been tied up helping her brother she wasn't able to drive me into town. It takes a while to get Doctor appointments with the VA and when you do you don't want to miss them as getting another might take months.

So, Sandy and I debated what was the best thing to do. It was decided that I would drive into Longview for the appointment. Don't know who was the most nervous but this morning I soloed into town. Since I haven't kept up my driving skills starting out was a little rough like my braking and acceleration but the further I drove the more comfortable I became. The only worry I had was the right side. I made a point to stay in the right lane, no passing and selected the most direct route. Well I made it there and back without incident and looking forward for the keys to be taken away from me at least until the next time the situation presents itself. However, the motorhome driving I will strictly leave to her.

imageYesterday the other tractor got big time stuck. They could not pull it out with the other tractor. They had to also hookup the big one ton four wheel drive Dodge Ram and in tandem they finally got it out. If I'm not mistaken this is the eight time this particular tractor has been stuck and imagehad to be pulled out. I don't know if it's the area they have assigned Sandy to mow or what as she has yet to get stuck. It could also be the driver. You can't see it but I'm knocking on wood........ the old noggin.

Until next time. . . .MtnAire Travlers.

Sunday, April 15, 2012

BIL Mike and SIL Pam Come To Our Rescue


Sandy and I where setting around getting ready to watch the NASCAR race at the Texas Motor Speedway on TV Saturday evening when the phone ranged. It was her sister Pam who informed her they were headed to Home Depot to pickup 20-25 more of those patio blocks and were headed our way. Mike has a Ford Ranger pickup and could handle that many. What a great SIL and BIL!

They arrived about 7:45pm and we unloaded the blocks near where we are building our small 10x10 patio. After unloading the blocks they wanted to start laying them in place but due to darkness settling in we all moved inside and watched the race. Gregg Biffle was the winner. Hendrick Motors had all four of his cars finish in the top 10.

Thanks to Mike and Pam we will need only about 16 more blocks and at eight per trip we're looking at two more trips in the Jeep.
If it hadn't been for the rain today we would have placed the blocks they brought Saturday. We will do it some other time as Sandy returns to the oil patch for some more brush hogging Monday. However, as I write this Sandy was looking at one of her weather apps on her IPad saying " its raining down in the Longview area and hopes she doesn't get rained out."

Sandy made a Mexican Lasagna for dinner tonight it sure was delicious. She got the recipe from a friend of mine. Thanks Kay for sharing. For those interested here is the recipe posted from Sandy's Paprika app from her IPad.

Mexican Lasagna


Prep Time: 0 hr 0 min | Cook Time: 0 hr 0 min | Servings: 1 serving | Difficulty: ---

  • 2 lbs ground chicken or beef
  • 2 tbsp chile powder
  • 2 tsp cumin
  • 1/2 red onion
  • 1 cup med Taco sauce
  • 1 can black beans
  • 1 cup frozen corn
  • 6 (8" spinach tortillas) quartered
  • 2 1/2 cups shredded cheese
  • Black olives & green onions or sliced jalapeños on top

Brown chicken or beef. Sauté onion till cooked thru. Then add taco sauce, black beans, and corn. Season with salt & pepper

Layer meat, tortillas, cheese then repeat.

Bake at 425° oven for 12-15 minutes

Source: Kay Cale

Sent from Paprika Recipe Manager

Until next time. . . .MtnAireTravlers.

Saturday, April 14, 2012

What's Going On Here?

Yesterday after Sandy got back from mowing we made a quick trip to Mt Pleasant for groceries. On our way through Lone Star we saw where gas had dropped from $3.89/gal to $3.79/gal. We said on the way back we would fill up the Jeep. Gas prices in Mt Pleasant where $3.89/gal.


Before going to Walmart we went to Lowe's and Home Depot. Sandy wanted to look for some flowers for the flower bed and patio blocks. The area where we have the flower bed gets very little sun and she had a hard time finding plants to her liking. She finally settled on Impatiens. We also picked up six patio (approximately 16"x16") blocks for the making of a patio out under the four oak trees. To do a 10ft x 10ft area we will need about 42 more. Since we care to only haul six to eight at a time in the Jeep it's going to take quite a few trips. We also broadcasted some centipede grass seeds to the area directly behind the current grass planted last summer.


Sandy's first week of brush hogging was non-eventful even though she had to pull out the other tractor from being stuck on at least five occasions. One day alone she had to pull him out two times. I've asked her to take pictures but she says she keeps forgetting. Humm

Oh, she did run the fork lift into a mound of earth and it came to a screeching halt. She said she first thought she was going to fly through the windshield. When mowing she keeps the fork lift on the front of the tractor about 18" to 24" above the ground. This way she will be alerted to anything like tree stumps in front of her that if ran over could damage the brush hog.

Now to get around to "What's going on"? When we drove back through Lone Star the posted gas prices where back to the $3.89/gal from the $3.79/gal we saw when we left. This all happened in less than two hours. Then today on our way to the drug store these same stations were still $3.89/gal but driving through Dangerfield six miles to our North, we noticed there prices had dropped to $3.77/gal. Let's hope this downward spiral continues. Is it perhaps that the election coming up in November have anything to do with it?????

Until next time. . . .MtnAire Travlers.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Sandy Comes To Aid Of Her Brother James


James, Sandy’s brother dropped over one evening last week for a visit. During our conversation he was telling us how busy he was in the oil patch. One big project coming up was the brush hogging of one of the oil field leases. A brush hog is a type of rotary mower. Typically these mowers attach to the back of a farm tractor using the three-point hitch and are driven via the Power take-off (PTO). It has blades that are not rigidly attached to the drive like a lawnmower blade, but are on hinges so if the blade hits a rock or stump, it bounces backward and inward, and then inertia makes it go outwards again. The rotary blades are not sharpened in the same way as a conventional mower blade. They are usually quite dull so they whack through dense plant growth, where a sharp blade will get stuck or slowed down. The blades are very heavy, up to an inch thick, so the momentum pulling out is stronger than the forces of the vegetation bouncing in. They are made of heat treated high carbon steel that can withstand strikes with hard objects such as rock sand stones.

He said it was about 360 acres of mowing and would require the use of both of his Kubota's one with a batwing brush hog (cuts about a 15ft path) and the second a single 7ft brush hog. He has one of his brothers running the batwing brush hog and he would normally run the single but he couldn't because he had some other big project going on.


Then out of the blue I heard this come from Sandy's mouth "I would like to help you if you think I could run the mower." I nearly fell out of my chair and said "honey do you realize what you are asking you've never mowed with a large tractor with a brush hog." Her response was I can learn can't I.


imageSo yesterday Sandy received mowing lessons from her brother about what all those levers, pedals, PTO and switches were inside the cockpit of the Kubota. It wasn't long and she was mowing the back three acres to the south of our motorhome and she did an outstanding job. I am so proud of her........oh me of little faith.

While sandy was mowing I helped her brother’s pickup old dead tree limbs and lumber. Had us a good fire that evening. It burned well into the evening and we set near by enjoying our BL and stories of yesteryear.  


So, this morning she was up at 4:45am and left for the oil lease to help brush hog the 360 acres. Her brother figures it will take about three to four weeks for this project. Can't wait to hear how her day went.


On anther note Sandy’s sister Pam and her husband Mike dropped over after Easter Services Sunday and brought about six azalea plants they had dug up from their flower bed.  They worked all afternoon transplanting those into our flower bed. Wow! what a difference it makes around our place. Thanks Pam and Mike for your efforts.


Until next time. . . .MtnAire Travlers.