Saturday, September 25, 2010

Civilization at Last...or Not - On Our Land Day 14

Despite the insanity of the past two nights, I have to get up at the crack of dawn. The TV guy is supposed to be coming today, which means I have to crawl out of bed and drive into town to contact him regarding our 8am-12pm appointment. Since obviously he still hasn't emailed us.

As soon as we pushed open the door, the damn thing completely collapsed. "Ah ha!" Quantum said, "now do you believe that it wasn't fixable?"

On the way into town I see something flash into the road. It looks like a small rottweiler. As it gets to the middle of the road, I realize it's a bobcat (or maybe a lynx?). The critter is huge. Easily larger than my 55lb or so puppy. It's fur is dark and mottled, perhaps spotted, but in the morning sunlight and shade it looks almost like stripes. I lose sight of it for a moment as it makes it to the other side of the road, and then it comes in sight again, right behind a bunny, tail flashing white as it tries to escape. I'm in awe.

I call the Direct TV folks again. For some reason they have very little note of our very specific needs regarding the driver. I grab some coffee, read a little, then decide to head up to the apartment for a shower. Just as I begin to do that, the guy calls me. I head back and meet him and he follows me out to the house.

On the way home, I pass some vultures hovering over the corpse of a bunny on the road. I guess the bobcat got his meal and left the rest for the birds.

The driver is surprised that I think the road's so impassable (in summer?) but once we drop off his truck and I ferry him up to our property and over the numerous ditches, he begins to understand.

Looking around our land, the way someone else might see it, Quantum notes our piles of possessions laid out on tarps, our tired looking little trailers our shanty-camp propane stove surrounded by the accoutrements of cooking. We seriously look like hobos or redneck trash. "It takes a lot of money to look this poor," he quips.

Three hours later the TVs still don't work. I head back to town, having never gotten a chance to do the running around I needed to take care of, and call the Direct TV people. Of course I get some chick who barely speaks English and who can't be made to understand that "no the technician didn't do anything wrong" and "no, he couldn't finish the installation while he was here because he couldn't get cell reception," and "no, I can't push button X while you're on line with me because I'm 20 minutes away from my house," "no, the technician can't come back to my house because he can't get up my driveway." Finally I get a supervisor and we mangage to work things out. He'll reauthorize the boxes. When I go home I can try these various steps and cross my fingers.

In town I get a brief but blissful shower, then head to the Loaf & Jug. There I meet a very nice guy with a very sweet dog. He wants to, "buy me a soda or something (with my card) and get $5." Its a great line, however he put it. But the store doesn't give cash back (one would think he knows that) and I offer to buy him a sandwich or some dog food. He takes me up on the dog food.

Next stop is "Walsenburg Walmart" a you-name-it junk shop, with shelves and tents stuffed with everything from ferret food to fold up shovels (I think they're called "entrenchment tools" in the army) to low-rent votive candles, an odd assortment of clothing, kitchen tools, and so much more that my brain hurt by the time I'd walked through the main building and two tents.  The place is organized chaos and I don't have the slightest idea what the organization method is. I don't find the belt pouch or oil lamp I'd hoped for. I'll try to see more of the place another day.

On the way back I see the turkeys again. They're on our side of the road. A tom, several hens and a passel of this year's babies. "Go to our land," I encourage them.

When I get there, Quantum and CK have the new door half finished. They manage to fix it (cobbed over with some temporary plywood) just as dark is falling and the moon is coming up. I also managed to finish tonight's split pea soup before dark.

With our day's work accomplished (or at least what we could do before it got dark) we decided to try turning on the TV. CK's worked fine. Ours, of course not. For some reason it isn't activated. Not only that, but I learned that the guy hadn't given us DVRs, but just normal boxes. So much for almost having civilization. Tomorrow I've got to drive out to cell range and scream at them again.

Ah well, at least we have a door.

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