Wednesday, July 08, 2009

The Tree Frog Song Video

Like they say in "Sweet Home Alabama" ...


This is the tree frog video from last week. I dropped by school today and took advantage of their multimegaboops broadband connection to upload a few videos.

My buddy, the delightful and newly athletic Miz S, asked me about froggyfoto technique in a comment, so, ... here's what I do.

  • Walk quietly and don't turn on the flashlight too soon.

  • Zap the frog with your light beam so they sit pondering this bright apparition from above... "Is it god? Is this the bright light at the end of the tunnel? Is a Florida East Coast Railroad locomotive about to run over me?"

  • The light of the flashlight should give your camera's autofocus a chance to hone in on the scene.

  • Shoot alot of pics and have extra batteries in you pocket, not back in the house.

Speaking of broadband and my lack of it at the house, I have been experimenting.

Remember now, I live too far away from civilization for cable, fiberoptics, or dsl to reach. That means I do almost all of this Pure Florida posting by 49.2 kiliboops dialup.

So ... don't whine to me about how hard it is to post daily, ...'cause I might just come through the screen, grab you by the neck, and shake vigorously.

Anyway ...

Experiment Number One has been completed. I purchased a clever little USB Air Card from Alltel (now Verizon) and have been using it for one week. Here's the data:

  • It is better than dialup ... duh.

  • The signal out here on the edge of their coverage fluctuates maddeningly. Strong, weak, strong, weak ...

  • I need a connection strong (fast) enough to hook a wireless router to, so multiple users can jump on at the same time. The cellular signal just can't cut that out here.

  • I'm taking it back and turning it in to Alltel after I post this.

Experiment Number Two begins on Friday. That is the day the Hughesnet Satellite Internet Service folks will come out and install their system. I will let you know how that goes.

If it works well, I'm going to sever my relationship with MaBellATT and drop our land line as the only thing we use it for is dialup internet connectivity. For some reason that feels really weird ...

Have you done that ... gone totally cellular?


Anonymous said...

After reading your blog and all the things that you post and now knowing that you have been posting them with an arcane system like dial-up gives me the utmost respect for your blogging and patience, especially with video.

Keep it up!

threecollie said...

Wish you luck with satellite. Hope it works out. I was on dial up until two years ago and it was mighty frustrating. Just getting pictures up is a job. Hope you find a good solution.
The frogs sound like little motorcycles. I would never have figured out what they are!

Val said...

We went land line-less a few years ago. Then again we live in the big city and have fiber optic. We piggy back high speed internet off of cable. I hope satellite works for you! My friend Bernie over at is in rural TN. She uses satellite an is often without internet:( That's tough as she does most of her fundraising via internet. Hope you have better luck! On the up side, you are blessed to live out where you do. I know you wouldn't have it any other way!

Sharon said...

We are a frog-hair away from going landline-less. We dropped down to the $13.00 plan recently, just to keep our security system on it. It is weird to think about being totally without it.

pablo said...

We haven't pulled the trigger though we've each had cell phones for years. We still have a land line to the house, and the only thing we use it for is the phone that only gets calls from not-for-profit outfits (and those other outfits that pretend they are not-for-profit).

I'm really eager to see how your satellite internet works out. That's going to be my path to the world when we move to Roundrock.

LauraHinNJ said...

Are there toads singing there, too?

Or do your southern tree frogs say, "Waaaahhhh" too?

Mark said...

Too bad the cellular modem didn't work. We switched to it from dialup a year or so ago and it has been great for us. Our cell reception used to be bad, despite being able to actually see many, many towers from our little mountain, but these days it's good. I had actually ordered satellite but backed out due to some dish mounting issues. I hope your experience is good. Dialup is torture.

Cathy S. said...

So that is what is making that aweful noise outside my kitchen window. I wish they would shut up and eat some mosquitoes!

Kimberlee said...

I remember my first at-home internet experiences with a whopping 14 kbps connection. Ugh! I used to type a destination address into the browser, hit enter, and go start dinner. :)

I've looked at the HughesNet system, but it's way too much trouble for the expense up here. I'd have to pay round-trip for the installer to fly up as well as all the new equipment. If I KNEW it would be a dependable service, I might still be tempted. So, PLEASE, do report the outcomes of your research!

P.S. The frogs are great. I just love those sounds. I have a pond CD that I listen to often. It's similar, but not nearly as POWER-PACKED as your singers.

lisa said...

Wow, that is some song.

Anonymous said...

I have used the USB card from verizon for a while now... find it pretty niffty because it travels with me and my laptop. While covering lots of miles driving I only had a few locations where it zipped on reception. Of course I spend a lot of time in the southern end of the Everglades and that is one verizon dead zone other than that its good for me.

Miz S said...

We haven't been able to bring ourselves to get rid of the landline, even though we use our cell phones pretty much exclusively. I don't know why it's so hard to take that last step...I guess I just don't want to hurt Ma Bell's feelings.

Bill said...


If the hughesnet thing works, and it should work very well. You should consider using the magicjack for a landline. It costs $19.95 per year and you can have local and long distance. If you like it you can sign up for 5 years for $59.95. You have to buy the jack thingy for $39.95 to start. Just some food for thought. The frogs are ok, but I have plenty of my own to listen to. Thanks for keeping us in the loop.


Floridacracker said...

Thanks! Hopefully things well speed up around here by the weekend.

Loud aren't they?
I remember the day you got high speed!
Oh the envy...

Hey thanks for that input! I have heard good and bad, but at this point need to make the jump and find out for myself.
Whatever happens I'll let y'all know the results.

It is weird. I suppose it won't even be an issue for today's kids because they will never have a landline.

I'm all about profit...2.5 kids in college...
Remember Hal? He gave me a great rundown on Wildblue once. Sounded like it wasn't too bad, and Hughesnet is the more established company, so ... I will keep you posted so you will be ready for RR living.

Good ears! Yes, the toads were just up the slope at the koi pond.

Alltel is switching to Verizon and during the transition their coverage has gone spotty where it used to be solid. A month or two from now, it might have worked fine, but I was itching to try the satellite anyway so ...

Cathy S,
They will, but first things first ... :)

I can imagine the hassles any type of service call presents up above the arctic circle!
I'll let you know how it goes.

Isn't it powerful? I love it when they do that. They were everywhere that night!

I'll give Alltel this, the signal stayed up all the way, coast to coast on the 4th of July trip to St. Aug.

Miz S,
She's always been there for us ... it seems ungrateful somehow.

I could, but with everyone using cells exclusively, I don't even see a reason for that.
Glad you have some frogs of your own!

S N B said...

We keep the landlines in case of disaster. Sometimes there is no power but there is phone service. The cells could go out, but the phone lines continue. It is our backup plan to be able to check on family and get help if we needed it. Ours is tied to our internet and we have the bare-bones phone service.

Anonymous said...

We've been totally cellular for around 2 years now!

- Jonathan

Caroline said...

My daughter lives in rural SW Minnesota and "telecommutes" as her job for a software company doing quality assurance on new progams. Dial-up was nightmare some days, satellite large improvement to her being able to work with her programmers. Ability to upload pictures and videos quickly means we get to see the antics of our grandson who lives 8 hours from here as well.
Hope yours works great!

robin andrea said...

What a froggy cacophony. Wow, quite a sound.

I'm looking forward to your assessment of the satellite connection. We've wondered about that over the years. We still have a landline, but that's because we only use our pay-as-we-go cellphone when we travel.

ChrisC and JonJ said...

We still have a house phone,even tho we never use it.We're lucky enough to have FiOS and absolutely love it!!!We just don't have Verizon for cellphones.We just can't seem to break away from the house phone.Why?I have no clue.
Have you tried PdaNet for internet access?You do have to have a smart phone(and a data plan),tho,for it to work.We use that on vacations with our netbook,and it's great!

Floridacracker said...

That was a concern of mine too, but when I think about the decades here and the tropical storm/hurricanes that have come through, there's been outages of both, but neither cell nor landline was out for long.
I think I can live with just cell if this satellite works.

Who can keep up with you?

Yes! I need to hear good, reassuring news about this service!

Those frogs are great aren't they? Love that sound.
Stay tuned for an honest assessment of sat in the following days.

Chris and Jon,
I think it's ingrained in us as an essential part of a house. How long will that be I wonder? Never heard of pdanet.

Deb said...

Wow, your treefrogs sound a lot different than mine!

Good luck with the satellite service. We have our land line because we don't get good cell phone reception way out in the boonies here, yet we are just close enough for DSL. Go figure.

Floridacracker said...

Lucky you. DSL sounds like the most trouble free and economical deal out there.

Thunder Dave said...

We've got DSL right now and it's pretty good, but we'll obviously need to get a different service down there! Keep me posted on the Satellite link!

Thunder Dave said...

Oh, I forgot to add that we've been totally cellular for phone service for several years now and just have the land line for the DSL.

TROLL Y2K said...

Phone/High-Speed Wireles/Digital TV package from Bright House. Seldom-used cell-phone with NO GHEY APPS from Trac-Fone.

Haven't had to deal with Verizon and the like for land-line or wireless in a decade.

They ALL suck eggs but Verizon's the worst.