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Satellite TV: Dealing With Guilt

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The weather (wind, snow, rain) has trapped me inside my trailer for up to a week at a time. Every time I wish I had TV!

I have been considering getting Satellite TV for a long time, but it is a pretty big decision and I do things pretty slowly. So I’ve been putting it off and just doing the research. Today I finally broke down and signed up. They haven’t come out and set it up yet so this is a preliminary post on it. I know many of you are going to be surprised and maybe even disappointed with me for getting it. And of course you may not want an explanation (and I’m not obligated to give you one) but still my goal here is to be open and honest and so I feel like I should talk about WHY I am getting it. Later I will tell you about the details of what I got, how it works and how much it costs.
The bizarre thing is, part of me feels guilty about getting it, like I will be letting you all down. After all, only bad, lazy people watch TV. I know that for Vandwelling Purists, True Minimalists or people who live a life of Voluntary Simplicity, the idea of paying for Satellite TV is sacrilegious. But hey, I’m just looking for a happy life, not prove a point or live up to other people’s expectations. If I wanted to live up to other people’s expectations, I would still be in a house trying to keep up with Jonses’. I became a vandweller to become happier, not to rebel against a system or prove something. I just want to be happy and sometimes mindless entertainment is just the thing. Let me explain.
I guess the main thing is there are 24 hours in a day and I sleep 8 of those leaving me with 16 waking hours per day. So what should I do with all that time? The truth is, I am amazingly busy all day with several different things:

  • Walking with Homer: I love walking and Homer and I walk about 4 miles every day. Usually 45 minutes in the morning and another 45 minutes in the evening.
  • Writing and reading: I get lots of emails from people interested in vandwelling and I answer all of them. I also write posts for the blog, twitter and the forum. So I type at the laptop a lot each day. I have several ideas for another book but the last one was so much work I am a little burned out and have not been working on it. I am also generally a reader, especially since I have a Kindle eReader, but that goes in spurts and right now I am not reading much.
  • Visiting with other people in camp: For the last year there has been at least one other person camping with me (and generally more than that, up to 8-10 other people). I visit with them daily and help them with their projects on their vans. I hope that doesn’t sound like a complaint because it is not! Just the opposite, I love having other people here and I am always looking forward to more people joining us.

The bottom line is I am busy all day, so when evening comes all I want is to be alone with some mindless entertainment. With the time change, evening comes very early! The sun is setting at about 5:00 PM now, and in the desert when the sun sets, the temperatures drop dramatically. For the most part, I am in the trailer by 6:00 pm. Since I usually go to sleep between 10:00 or 11:00 pm, that means I am in the trailer for about 4-5 hours most evenings. That’s a long time. I usually make a simple dinner of some kind which takes me about thirty minutes, but that still leaves me more about four hours before bed.
For the last four years I have been buying TV series on DVD and watching a show or two at night. But that is expensive and I am tired of spending the money. It occurred to me that I could have Satellite TV for about the same money I am spending now but it would be available 24 hours a day, seven days a week and not just an hour a day which is what I have now with TV on DVD.
Part of me feels guilty that I am not working at night. I should be working on a new book or writing new posts for the websites, but I am so busy I simply can’t bring myself to do it. I think I am risk of burning out, so I don’t want to push it. So, I have signed up for Satellite TV.

Sometimes I am literally in the middle of nowhere, far from town. TV can be a welcome relief in those times.

I think feeling that guilt is fairly common among vandwellers. After all, we are rejecting society’s normal demands and choosing to live (what they call) a very selfish life just because it makes us happier. It’s a very strange thing that there is nothing in our society that tries to teach us how to be happy. It’s written into the Constitution that we are guaranteed the right to pursue happiness, but then there is never another word spoken about what happiness is or how to find it. If you look at the training that is given to children, it all revolves about how to be good, not how to be happy. We are constantly trained on being well-behaved and productive but practically never anything about how to be happy. If we fail to learn, to get good grades on tests, or produce more and more work, we are labeled as bad and punished. That’s when the guilt is pounded into our heads and our hearts. Our teachers and parents are not evil for doing it; they are just doing what was pounded into them. In America we can trace it back to the Puritan Work Ethic, but really it goes much further back to when we stopped being hunter-gatherers and became farmers. Life stopped being joyful and became drudgery. Today, a life of mindless, eternal drudgery is the normal American life.
The dominate thought in America is the idea that if we grow up to be good productive citizens, happiness will automatically follow. But when I look around at society as a whole, and most people I know personally, very few of them appear to be actually happy. In fact depression seems much more common that happiness. The more people work, the more they have, the more they want. So they work like slaves to get constantly more.
From the cradle to the grave, Greed and Guilt are society’s main tools to keep us in line. The media is constantly bombarding us with messages to buy, buy, buy!!! Right beside that message it’s the idea that if we fail to go to work and buy more stuff, we have failed our main mission in life and we will be punished. We are branded as losers and failures in life, homeless, crazy bums.
My primary goal in my websites, forum and now the blog, is to encourage people to insist on being happy. Do not settle for a mediocre, barely-surviving life driven by greed and guilt. For me, TV is part of being happy. Of course for many people it is not part of happiness; it is a distraction from doing the work necessary to be happy. The last thing they should do is get a TV. That isn’t true for me. Watching TV is just another piece of the puzzle in my life so I must consciously reject the guilt that comes with it. I am productive enough and I can reward myself with mindless entertainment.
In my next post I will report on how it is working out. Bob


  1. Darrell Borland

    hi bob. Darrell and Gita here. Enjoying your blog and will try to make the rtr. I used to live in yuma and now we live near portland. Have talked before on site. Take care.

    • Bob

      Looking forward to actually meeting you Darrell! I can’t wait! Bob

  2. HoboBerg

    Another great post Bob. The world is definitely controlled by greed, and guilt. In my 3 years of VanDwelling I cant count the number of times I’ve been pulled back towards society’s greed. Every day that goes by I become more unschooled from what society’s have pounded into my head for decades, and post like this kick me along a little bit further. Ohh and satellite TV is not such a bad thing in my opinion, after 6 I am a bit of a Netflix junkie myself:)
    Be well!

    • Bob

      I’m not sure I will ever be free of the power of greed!! Walking around Quartzsite I see so many things I “just have to have!” All the extra room in the van keeps calling out to me to fill it up. Like the Borg said, “Resistence is Futile!” But Picard always won out in the end and so will I.
      Love the new ramp into your van. We are on a very similar path, my beloved Homer was having a very hard time jumping up into the front seat of my old 4×4 pickup. A few times I had to pick him up and put him in it. That was a big part of why it is gone and I now have the van. I hope you are handling the fact that Candy is getting old better than I am. Sometimes the thought of loosing him will pop in my mind and it is tremendously upsetting to me. I sure hope it is many years away. He is one of the main reasons I survived this last year, I owe him my life.
      Amazing how much we love our dogs! Bob

  3. John Lamb

    I truly hope you have better luck getting your sat tv installed in the desert than I did last year!! I was at a LTVA outside Q-zite and had made arrangements with Dish to come out and hook me up, but when the tech arrived, the BLM hosts would not let him in!! Apparently, they have an “approved” list of vendors at the gates, and Dish was not on it!!
    I went several rounds with the hosts, and then a few more with one of the BLM rangers, to no avail!! It cost me $105. to get the tech to come out, and even though no service was allowed I did not get that money back!
    Just a word of caution—-CHECK to make sure the tech will be allowed access to the area BEFORE he gets there!!

    • Bob

      John, I had no idea the LTVAs are that strict. I have never stayed in one, I only camp on free 14 day land so I know very little about them. Because I am not in a LTVA, I won’t have any problem. I went through one of the local dealers here in Quartzsite, and they are full-time RVers themselves so they know all the ins-and-outs of having it in an RV so I am expecting everything to go smoothly. I’ll know tomorrow! Bob

      • Linda

        It varies place to place; the littler LTVAs are more mellow and you need only chat to the host to get someone let in. I suspect La Posa (Q) and Yuma are the strictest.

        • Bob

          I’m sure size has a lot to do with it. Probably varies by campground host also. I’ll never know, it’s against my religion to pay for campgrounds!! Bob

  4. Edie

    We still live in a house but for a while did not have a TV. We finally succumbed and got one and since we live in the woods, satellite is the only option. Joe loves the golf and history channels and I go for the cooking and a couple of shows. I think it’s worth the money. It’s our form of entertainment, better than the bars….so enjoy….and no guilt feelings are necessary.

    • Bob

      Thanks for the encouraging words Edie! Like you, I think it is by far the best and most entertainment you can get for your money, especially when you live in remote areas. Be happy! Bob

  5. Kitty

    Dear Bob,
    Wow, thanks for the post. It couldn’t have come at a better time in my journey. Lately I have been feeling a bit guilty about living with so little and not being “a productive member of society”. One of my friends (whom I love dearly) will say “you always do what you want” and the tone is that I am doing something wrong. Then I stop to remember why I choose this life. I am disgusted by the waste of resorses (and lives, human and others) it takes to maintain “the American life style”. I was unhappy and lonely, owning and caring for a house all by myself. I was unable to be gainfully employed to be able to afford said house. When I sold the house, cut ties to the grid, the water system and the heating companies I discovered I was freer, happier and able to earn a modest living by pet sitting. And I now remember that by buying gasoline, I am paying taxes. So enjoy your TV. Sometimes when I am house sitting, I watch it also. By being an urban van dweller, I have more resorses to enjoy, such as the local libraries, parks and volunteering at a historic theatre.

    • Bob

      Thanks Kitty, very wise words! You have set an example many more people should follow! You and I both need to fight off those feelings of guilt. Being happy isn’t a sin.
      One thing I have noticed is that sometimes women are more susceptible to feeling guilty when they aren’t “productive” enough. I think it is part of the nurturing urge. Almost like your friend expected you to “nurture” society by working a job, paying taxes and buying lots of stuff. For men it is wrapped up in the need to “bring home the bacon.” If you aren’t living in a constantly bigger house and collecting more stuff, then you must be a failure as a man.
      Be happy! Bob

  6. Cedric

    Good for you Bob. I like my TV and am definitely looking forward to your report. TV is no better or worse than reading a book or surfing the web for entertainment. ENJOY!

    • Bob

      Thanks Cedric! I think more vandwellers would like TV but don’t even know they can have it. I’ll cover that in my next post. Bob

  7. Dan

    Good for you bob. We photographers a very visual people. I love music, but would rather watch a movie. I think getting satellite in your trailer is great. I hope to do that myself. See you soon bob.

    • Bob

      You are very right Dan, I am very visual!! If someone tries to describe something to me I just can’t get it, but draw me a map or diagram and I get it instantly. It makes sense that would be true of photographers in general. I’ll let you know how it works out for me. If you are thinking about doing it, Quartzsite is the place to do it since there are dealers here that do nothing but work on RVs. Bob

  8. Tammy

    Reading your posts inspires me to be HONEST with myself. I, like many others, wish to live life without the strings-of-greed-society-has-imposed, but sometimes (esp. in winter)we can find ourselves bored, lonely, isolated, etc. and reach out. Then the guilt of succumbing to that urge to focus on something other than being alone, sets in. Humans are naturally social…we need contact. Your honest insight is inspiring to me to be honest with myself, despite using “a self-imposed-ruler” to measure myself to. Thank you.

    • Bob

      Tammy, I think you are very right that loneliness is one of the main reason I love TV. The characters in the shows become “friends,” people I check in with every week because I like them. Just saying that does sound pathetic, but we shouldn’t be ashamed to say it, I know it is true for me. It can become a crutch we use to avoid real contact with real people, but as long as we are aware of it we are fine.
      I like this phrase you used: “a self-imposed-ruler” to measure myself to.
      Sometimes we take the voice of guilt in our head and use it punish ourselves for not living up to societies standards. I hope this post helps you to be determined to be kind to yourself! If you and I aren’t good to ourselves, who will be? Bob

  9. Linda Sand

    I didn’t get a TV in my new van. Thought I wouldn’t miss it. But you are right about those long, dark nights. I’m thinking about upgrading my data plan so I can watch NetFlix movies and/or TV on my laptop. Sometimes we need mindless as a break from mindful.

    • Bob

      Linda very well said:

      Sometimes we need mindless as a break from mindful.

      I wish I had said it that well! Would it be okay if I used that as a quote?
      I considered getting more data for entertainment, but Satellite TV is actually a much better deal. The first year it is $30 a month, and that is 24/7 entertainment. By comparison, how much more entertainment will $30 buy in extra gigs per month? If you are mainly going to be in towns, then nothing beats a good antenna and over-the-air broadcast TV. Bob

  10. TERRY

    Another great post Bob. See you soon. Terry:)

    • Bob

      Thanks Terry, I’m sure I will see you at the RTR, any chance you can make it here before then? Bob

      • TERRY

        Im down the street in Laughlin with my mom and Aunt. Is tomorrow soon enough. I look forward to catching up. Terry:)

        • Bob

          Terry, yes! please! There are directions in the sidebar and it is very easy to find. Right now I am planning to go to Blythe today (Monday). Let me know when you expect to get here so I can be try to be here. Even if I am gone, Bill and Judy should be here and you can meet them. Bob

  11. Rob

    I just started reading your blog and I was feeling a little guilty about getting the TV antenna to crank up & down….
    Good timing!
    There is (generally) nothing wrong with living your life in a way that makes you happy.

    • Bob

      Rob, I’m so glad the post was timely. I love it when the Universe arranges things just right! Serendipity helps me to know I am on the right track! Bob

  12. Kandy S.

    Hi Bob,
    I love reading your post.
    I am wondering if you ever thought about your solar panel on the roof, did you ever think of making it that you can raise the side for the snow to slide off and for the better direction of the sun?

    • Bob

      Hi Kandy, the first panel I installed I had on a tilting mount so I could tilt it. I found I am just too lazy to go and tilt it so none of them can tilt now. However, that was when the panel was on my pickup so everytime I needed to drive the truck I had to put it back down. Now in the trailer I can put it up and leave it up for as long as I am in one spot. Hmmmmm, maybe I should reconsider.
      I don’t think I would try to tilt the panel with snow on it. I would be afraid of the weight of the heavy, wet snow might twist the frame. I just go up with a broom and sweep it off. In the 4 years I have had solar panels, I have only had to sweep snow off 3 times, so it isn’t a common occurrence. Bob

  13. Calvin R

    Bob, you could ditch the guilt. The way I see it you are living up to an ideal–not rebellion against society but living an “authentic” life. That just means making a life that suits you to the core by being honest and doing what works for you. Anyhow, the guilt of settled peoples does not fit nomads.

    • Bob

      Very well said Calvin! I agree: “the guilt of settled peoples does not fit nomads”. Bob

  14. Joy

    Naw…don’t feel guilty. I am a serious movie person. For me….Netflix is the answer. I have successfully gotten it on my puter with only 2 bars reception on the internet. So for those of you that have puter access in your vans…it’s an $8 a month extra. Soooo worth it to me. I love it, because you can watch a Tv series from beginning to end, without waiting week by week…no commercial interruptions…pause, as you like. It saves your place for those times something acts up and you must restart your puter.
    I am in a stick n brick location right now, but still watch my flix on the laptop. I do have an hdmi cord , I can hook to a Tv, when one is available.
    When I am set in a stick n brick location with router access, I can hook my media player direct to the Tv. My Tv broke about 6 mos. ago, and I am not really suffering just watching on the lap top….that would just be one more thing to have to sell when I eventually hit the road full time once more.

    • Bob

      Joy, Netflix is a great option!! But I only have 5 gigs per month and one or two movies would eat that up. So Sat. TV seemed like my best option. The first year it is only $30 a month and that seems reasonable to me. Bob

  15. shelly

    Not to worry! All creatures have the common goal to make themselves happy. Conscious choice is the important thing because then we are aware of the need we are meeting. Every persons needs are different so you are the only one who can say what is important to you. I salute you and your conscious choice!

    • Bob

      Shelly, thank you for the insight! The very fact it was a conscious choice means I shouldn’t feel guilty. I thought it over, weighed the pros/cons and made the best decision I could. In time I may decide it wasn’t a good choice but still not wrong, simply not the best. You are very wise! Bob

  16. Dan

    Hey Bob, or anyone that knows the answer to my question. I am one of those strange people who dosn`t have a cell phone. Never have and mabey never will. I know you can get TV and movies on the internet now, so I wonder wich is cheaper, satellite internet or satellite TV. Thanks in advance for any answers.

    • Linda

      Satellite TV. The cheapest satellite Internet plans begin at $59.95. Also, unless you’re highly techie, installation and equipment can run into the thousands. And also, those cheaper plans aren’t anywhere near fast enough to do streaming, nor do you get enough bandwidth to watch movies (unless you like to be awake after 11 pm or so).

      • Bob

        Linda, that’s good to know! If it were simpler it would make more sense to get Satellite Internet because you would get both data and entertainment in one bill. But can you imagine that huge dish on top of a van or my little trailer? I’m afraid it would roll over going around the first corner!! And, unlike your wonderful hubby, I know next to nothing about electronics so it has to be very simple for me to understand it. Satellite TV really is the best option for me and probably most people. Bob

        • Linda

          You could actually set up an outside-of-van satellite for Internet, i.e. tripod, but yes, your roof probably wouldn’t bear the weight (IIRC it’s about 80 pounds). We bought our system used rather cheaply but like you say, if it were me alone I likely would never have gotten involved with it. The dish does stow flat you know. 😉
          We have a 7″ TV with OTA antenna and it’s saved many a dull evening when we just want to go to bed and lie flat. I figure you’ll have fun with your TV and envy you the history channel. 🙂

          • Bob

            Linda, it’s good it stows flat, or you would never make it under the overpass!! I’m just kidding, it isn’t that big, but it sure is the first thing you see when you look at your rig! yeah, the History Channel is probably my favorite, but my first night was all Pawn Wars, which isn’t my favorite. Bob

    • Bob

      Hi Dan, my good friend Linda posted a comment in this thread comparing Satellite TV to Sat. Internet (she has Sat. Internet). She gives very good info so check it out. The bottom line is that for most people, Sat. TV is by far the best option.
      You don’t have to have a cell phone to get interent though. I have a Mifi device which works on the Verizon cell phone network. It is the size of a credit card and get the interent for me and then transmits it to my laptop as a wifi signal. It only works where there is a Verizon cell signal, but that is nearly everywhere. Very rarely do I not get a signal. it costs $50 for 5 gigabytes of data. It is data only, and does not do voice. Bob

  17. MichaelinOK

    Because you’ve received so much good support and positive response to this post, and don’t need me to offer more of that, I’ll gently offer some “pro and con” feedback.
    First I want to echo what others have said–that your honesty and openness is admirable, and a gift to your readers.
    On substance: Simplifying, as we know, is a balance between comfort and security on the one hand, and stoic self-restraint and freedom, on the other. The “right” balance for one person is very different than for another…or even for the same person at a different stage or circumstance of life. And we all need some pleasure and delight and diversion.
    Sometimes, the only way we know we’ve gone too far…is by going too far. Most of us have start to simplify only after having felt trapped or disgusted or overwhelmed by how complicated and burdened we allowed our lives to become. And so we simplify. But sometimes we simplify too much, and life feels too bare. And we might discover that only after we’ve gone too far in the simplifying direction. Yet when we go the other direction and begin to establish more obligations and expenses and busyness–like getting Sattelite TV–sometimes the only way to know whether we’ve again gone too far away from freedom and simplicity is to see how it affects our life, our peace of mind, our sense of satisfaction. And that only comes with time and experience of the new arrangement.
    One further point: TV, as with any tool or capacity, will affect us differently, depending on how well we control it. If its pull over us is so strong that we find ourselves using it so much that we neglect other activities we find more meaningful or healthy, we will regret it far more than if we keep it in its place–as a servant and not a master.
    I absolutely agree with you, though, on the point that guilt based on society’s expectations (or the expectations of the smaller society of van-dwellers) is unwarranted. As long as we aren’t impinging on the legitimate rights of others, each of us has the sacred responsibility, and certainly the right and privilege, to shape his life in a way that works for him.
    And even though our “ideal” self may envision us saving the world and writing poetry and philosophy (or curing cancer or helping old ladies across the street) all day long, in the real world we can’t be in theh mode of saints and philosophers all day long. (Or, to state it better, even saints and philosophers don’t stay serious and noble all the time.) We do need some down time, even some lazy time and “silly” entertainment time. In time you’ll know whether Sattelite TV is good for you in your current lifestyle.
    Bob, I’m sure you know all this. But I thought it worthwhile to review these points.
    And thanks again for your honesty and open communication.

    • Bob

      Michael, thank you for this very, very wise post. Very well thought out and very well said. Lots of good food for thought there. Bob

    • Bob

      Michael, you have so much good stuff in here, I need some time to process it. I really liked this:

      Sometimes, the only way we know we’ve gone too far…is by going too far.

      Very wise! My goal in life is progress, not perfection. progress for me is generally in fits and starts, two steps forward, one step back. But, I’m very glad to say there has been steady progress. I think this will be the same. Bob

  18. dave

    I gave up Dish Network in 2008, after realizing I was spending 120 bucks a month to watch two channels: BBC America and Fox Soccer Channel. I did not, however, give up on televisual entertainment…I just watch most of the stuff I paid for for free (mostly) online now. In addition to interent (50 bucks a month-wife works from home so its a necessity) I pay for a VPN (60 bucks a year) that tricks the BBC into thinking I am in the UK. Soccer highlights are plastered all over the internet now, no reason to pay 1400 dollars a year for those. Still being a housedweller I also have 20 MB/sec internet, something no vandweller can reasonably expect to have anytime in the near future.
    Guilt is for Catholics. I say enjoy your Dish, enjoy your life cause when its over, its over.

    • Bob

      Right, Dave, home owners have lots of options vandwellers don’t. if I had a land-line I would just watch TV over the internet as well. But with a 5 gig limit, it just isn’t an option for me.
      I also am not anywhere near as sophisticated as you are, I like my TV to be truly mindless (although I do love the History and Discovery Channel) and I am not a sports fan. The basic package is fine with me, and cheaper! Bob

  19. Don McKee

    Hi Bob,I don’t blame you at all,If you have to set in that small space for a long time it could get on your last nerve.
    So do not feel in the least bit guilty for making your self

    • Bob

      Don, thanks for the encouragement! Oddly enough I don’t mind the small space at all, in fact I like it; but only because I have the great outdoors to spend my day in. At night, or in a storm, it does start to close in and the TV is a huge help. Bob

  20. Pennie

    I really enjoy your blog and esp your honesty. When we first started full-timing we went 3 years without satellite and we found we missed it. So we went back with Dish Network. We recently thought about disconnecting it a but after going 2 weeks without and trying to watch the digital stuff that comes in and out we remembered why we went back to satellite TV.
    I will be curious how it goes for you with living off grid, we plan to be in Quartzsite this winter for 3 weeks and i’m not sure how it’s going to go for my tv addicted hubby. We do not have solar as this will be a trial period for us to see if living off the grid is our cup of tea .. the past 6 years of full-timing we have never went more then a few days without hookups.
    I would love to meet you this winter when were in Quartzsite.

    • Bob

      Pennie, we spoke by email, but if you have a budget for solar, we can get you some while you are here. I understand being addicted to TV and we will see if we can’t help your husband out!! Worst comes to worst we can run an extension cord and coaxial cable over to your coach! See you soon!! Bob

  21. Bob

    Hi Bob
    Been reading and enjoying your blog for a while. I’m a recent widower and plan to retire in a year and live in a RV and see the country. I recently signed up for Huluplus and watch other TV series. For example they have all the seasons of the X-Files etc but it may be impractical for your situation. Like you some mindless entertainment helps to break up the day. See you on the road – Bob

    • Bob

      Hi Bob, I’m sorry for your loss, I’m sure that has made life hard. I envy you your internet connection in your house. Like you said, it wouldn’t work for me. See you out there somewhere! Bob

  22. JanaR

    Bob, don’t you dare feel guilty!!!!! Leaving a simple life doesn’t mean giving up everything!!!! And I hope that no one who reads your blog will make you feel guilty either. You are certainly NOT letting ME down. I’ve always thought that if I were to give up the “traditional” life and live full time in a small RV, there would still be creature comforts I’d want, and Satellite might be one of those.
    You have every right to live your life the way you want. I think the majority of your readers will support your decision either way. Putting satellte in does not make you any less of who you are. :0)
    Just a few words of encouragement.

    • JanaR

      OOPS I mean “living a simple life”…..not leaving…. sorry :0) Got to excited when I was typing! hahaha

      • Bob

        Jana, I’m not planning on leaving it anytime soon LOL!! Bob

    • Bob

      Thanks, Jana. Everyone has been so kind, it is very encouraging. My first advice to everyone considering a mobile life is to know what they need as a comfort level, and find a vehicle that will give it to them. I can easily do without a shower and poop in a bucket, but I need my Satellite TV! We are all different. Hope to see you out here one of these days! Bob

  23. Dan

    This is one of my favorite of your posts! I think I speak for all who stop by in saying that you have not “let us down.” On the contrary; your openness, humility and honesty is what makes us treasure your posts.
    Everyone needs his/her “mind-candy.” Besides, I don’t want to feel guilty about reading your blog from my livingroom Barca-lounger!

    • Bob

      Dan, I am surprised by the very vocal reaction to this post. It does seem to have caught every-bodies imagination. All my life I was very quiet and reserved. I sub-consciously thought if people knew me, they wouldn’t like me. Then in my 40s I had a mid-life crisis and part of changing my life was the decision to live as openly and honestly as I possibly could. Every since, I have tried really hard to live that way. To my total surprise, the more honestly I lived, the more people liked me.
      Deep down we are all full of fears, pain and loneliness, and when we find someone who is willing to admit it, it is such a relief we feel a connection with them. There is an episode of Buffy the Vampire Slayer (yes, I have the whole series on DVD and I love it!) where she is cursed with the ability to hear peoples thoughts and she is overwhelmed and crippled by all the pain and loneliness she feels in the people around her. That really spoke to me because I know it is true. Being authentic in this blog is my tiny little part of helping others. Bob
      PS No need to feel guilty about the Barca-lounger, if my trailer weren’t so tiny I would have one too!

  24. CAE

    Wow. Look at all the comments. Looks like you hit a nerve.
    I don’t know about you… soda and sat TV!!
    I can’t decide if you’re a Bon Vivant or a slave to guilty pleasures.
    I’m a sucker for public TV. I think it’s the lack of commercials.

  25. Sam (squire)

    This blog is called “cheaprvliving”, with “living” being the most important part. As for me, I don’t understand what people have against being entertained.

  26. Gary Stern

    The most common regret reported to hospice workers is that the patient felt “they spent their life living out others expectations, rather than pursuing their own wants and desires”. I don’t think you need a diatribe on the genesis of “guilt”. That leaves the simple conclusion – that it is best for Bob to explore the life he feels will bring him the greatest pleasure. The hell with what everybody else thinks.

    • Bob

      Gary, that kind of says it all:
      “The hell with what everybody else thinks.”

  27. Fred

    Hi Bob,
    As you well know, a matter of choice. But I also will be going with Dish but using the “Tailgater” antenna. I like it for several reasons.
    1. It is automatic in that it searches for the satellite signal when you set it up on a flat surface be it your roof top, a table, or a big rock. You don’t have to do any aligning or finding the best signal strength which can often take a considerable amount of time.
    2. It is much smaller than the “normal” Dish and there is no tripod to set up.
    3. Unfortunately there is one drawback and that is that it does cost $399 or thereabouts. But it is yours for life and works anywhere in the US as long as there is a clear view of the southern sky. Dish does send you a 211k receiver as well, it’s the one that can record shows.
    4. What I find to be especially helpful is that you can put you subscription on hold with Dish for up to 6 months without any penalty except a $5 keep your account active charge. Just tell them where (what zip code)you are in and they will have you up and running normally within 30 min.
    I am NOT a spokesman for Dish…LOL but this setup works for me. I had mine stolen recently (a $500 deductible with the insurance co means I have to pay for it) and am saving the funds for another one. It works like a champ and except for the initial upfront cost, I enjoy it very much. I don’t think you will regret it at all.

    • Bob

      Fred, I condisdered the “Tailgater” but it cost $650. Where are you getting it for $399. I didn’t know about being able to put the account on hold, that would be a big plus and might have changed my mind. It’s too late now since I am all set up and running. See you soon! Bob

  28. Fred

    Go to amazon and search for “dish network vq 2510 tailgater” It’s now 499 it was 399 because I was already customer. Amazon has plenty of good deals on this product.

  29. joey


    • Bob

      The same to you Joey, and to everyone reading this. My wish for us all is an “Attitude of Gratitude”! Bob

  30. JanaR

    Bob, I Hope you have a wonderful and blessed Thanksgiving day today in your own unique way!!!!!

    • Bob

      Hi Jana, thank you for your well-wishes, and I wish the same for you! Bob

  31. Mom

    Want to know what i’m thankful for? That I have a son who is living the life that makes him most happy and a daughter who is happy with her job and lifestyle. And that I found my life mate, even if it was in my twilight years. I do question this being the best thanksgiving meal you’ve ever eaten. How about all those chocolate pies I made before I discovered it wasn’t a favorite of yours. I love your blogs but sometimes with a bit of sadness thrown in becuse I would like to see you. Much love.

    • Bob

      Mom, you will have to forgive me a little poetic license! NOTHING will ever be better than the meals you made me!! I’m very tentatively planning to be in Florida next Thanksgiving, so I’ll see you then!! Your son Robert

  32. michael wilkerson

    Guilt—I have met you and been in your camp since you got satellite. No need for guilt! I like to think of tv as a modern campfire to some extent. You can share if your a mind to or enjoy it alone. You have such a full life, You may be one of the most plesant people I have ever met. IMO tv will never harm or change you. So, tell us about the pilot you’re working on?

    • Bob

      Thanks for your very kind words Michael, I’m very glad to have met you as well! I do agree about TV being a modern campfire. In our alienated world, it can become a common bond. Pilot? I don’t have time to clean my house much less start a new project. But, I have to admit with the cast of characters I have around me I could do a great sit-com! Bob

  33. Scott

    We use Excede, it works pretty well in most areas. Setup takes about 30mins. TV is a great distraction in the middle of nowhere too!

    • Bob

      Scott, I see where they offer a bundle with Direct TV, that might be a good deal for me. I’ll keep them in mind! Thanks for telling us, I had never heard of them before.

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