Posted by on June 23, 2021

         Sometimes things actually do work out OK.  After last week’s rant about the failures/complexities of modern technology, perhaps it’s time to give thanks for the little victories that come our way from time to time.

         As I write, the Missus and I are away for a few days of camping in NJ.  It’s a lovely, privately-owned campground that’s a cut above the state park types.  This one has many amenities not usually found in run-of-the-mill campgrounds, for example, an inflated bouncy-“bubble” for the kids, an 18-hole mini golf course, a room with a couple of video games (I couldn’t in good conscience call it an “arcade,” but it’s a nice diversion for any kid who likes to play video games), and a pool.  While this campground does not offer full hookups (it lacks sewer), it does have a pump-out service which is available upon request.  For all intents and purposes, the provisions are ideal for anyone who wants to get away but still have options for occupying their time.  Had we brought our car, we could have taken advantage of being close to the beach, but when Evelyn injured her ankle last week, there was no way she was going to navigate the sand.  So we’ll be content to read, play golf, swim in the pool, or watch TV.

         Ah, yes.  Watch TV.  When we arrived I went to the office to confirm our reservation and was asked if I wanted a cable TV box (cable TV – another service not found in most state parks).  I said sure.  Once we got situated in our site, I got busy hooking the cable service up to our TV (fortunately, I carry a length of coax cable for just such an occasion).  I used my coax to connect the outdoor service to the RV and attached the remaining cables per instructions from the campground.  AND … nothing.

         Well, not exactly nothing.  A message box showed up informing us that the signal had been interrupted.  We could call Xfinity for guidance.  The problem, of course, is that the service is in the name of the campground, and we have no information on their account.

         So, I disconnected the cable stuff and reattached the antenna (over the air) service.  Since we were in a different location from our last camping venture, I thought it would be a good idea to re-scan the channels for whatever ones were available here.  Bad idea.  After scanning, we ended up with two (count ‘em) two channels, each of them a PBS station out of Trenton.


         Then, some time after all this, a revelation struck: there’s a tiny button in the wall behind the TV.  It was coming back to me.  That button switches the input from antenna to cable!  So I reconnected the cable equipment (which, by the way, is not easy in this RV.  I have to swing the TV as far from the wall as possible, then position my butt on the back of the bench so I can reach the coax input behind the TV).  I pushed that little button and – voila!  The full complement of Xfinity channels was instantly available for our viewing pleasure!

         Evelyn and I have some shows we like to watch if we have the time: Judge Mathis, Judge Hatchett, Jeopardy!, the news, etc., and now we can do so, as this service carries the same Philadelphia channels we have back home.  I can even call up Music Choice for background music, should I wish to do so.

         It’s absolutely amazing how one tiny button can make the difference between success and frustration.  And to think – I was ready to return the cable box to the office the next morning!

Posted in: Writings