Ignore The Man On The Roof

If you happened to be cruising through my neck ‘o the woods recently, you might have caught a glimpse of a guy yelling while standing on his roof.

image by brady lea via flickr creative commons

(Confessional note: this guy may have been me)

I’ve been working up the mojo to cut the cord with my satellite provider and stick it to The Man at the tune of a hundred bucks a month. I ordered an HD Antenna and planned out my assault. I did a test run, plugging in the antenna inside–before going up on the roof to attach the Freedom Antenna. You see, I named the antenna in joyful anticipation of the freedom from the monthly satellite bill. Everything worked great. I was pulling in more channels than I knew existed.

On the morning of the assault against the satellite, I waited until my wife left the house. For some reason she doesn’t like me up on the roof. I have no reason to earn such mistrust. I’ve never fallen to my death.

She pulls out of the driveway, the car exhaust is still hanging in the air and I’m up on the roof. I creep my way over to the satellite dish and I go to undo the connection. I see more than one…

There is a splitter with one line going to the upstairs television, another going into the house distribution block and another line, which I have come to understand goes to the dark lord himself.

So, off the roof and a quick drive to the hardware store for a splitter and a short length of coax cable to run from my Freedom Antenna to the main distribution block. I’m feeling pretty chesty–I’ve got this figured out.

Back home and back on the roof. I carry the new Freedom Antenna out of the roof and the wind is beginning to pick up and the small dish of the Freedom Antenna is acting like a sail on a clipper ship–pulling me toward the edge. I fight it off and get it to the position I want. I connect one end of the new cable to the new antenna and start to attach it to the pole used by the satellite dish. I have half the clamp on and I drop the second half. The metal clamp bounces off the tile roof shingles and lands in the backyard.

So, off the roof I go again. I find the runaway clamp and trudge back up on the roof once more. I attach the freedom antenna (note the use of lower case here–I’m beginning to wear down) and connect the splitter to the new cable. Now what? There are two lines going God knows where…

I do the little follow the little cable routine and they both disappear into a dark abyss in the distribution block, mounted on the side of the house–at ground level.

I attach the cables to the splitters and and go back inside the house to check the reception. Upstairs in the loft I get a good signal and good picture…but for some reason a few local channels are not coming in. Downstairs and the master bedroom I have no signal. So I open up the distribution block and switch the cables around until I get the signal going in the right loop.

Back up stairs to check it out…

No change in the loft, I have a signal downstairs, and nothing in the bedroom. I refigure the cables again and I fail to solve the rubic’s cube of wires to cables to outlets. But I’ve also lost some local channels on the sets that did have a signal. I pick up San Francisco stations, but two Sacramento area stations are unavailable. I can’t cut the cord and stick it to The Man without my local channels.

I have failed.

I go back on the roof and this is that point that you might have heard me screaming profanity laden outbursts directed at the heavens. I take down the antenna (no longer referred to as freedom anything) and part of the clamp falls in the rain gutter. After fishing that piece out of the gutter, I take the antenna back down and put the old satellite connections and splitter back together.

I swear I heard a faint brimstone scented laugh coming from distribution block.

Another half hour of putting all the cable connections back together and I’m right back where I started. Everything is in the same condition with the possible exception of my dignity.

Damn The Man


  1. Dorothea Verplancken · · Reply

    Good work

    Sent from my iPhone


  2. Dee Quenemoen · · Reply

    Ah, I’m so disappointed. I was going to ask you the brand of “freedom” antenna etc. as I too have about had it with the constantly rising costs. So, I’m very, very disappointed. I’d be willing to pay someone else to do the install if it released me from my addiction to the satellite dish which I started in 1994.

    Please keep us posted with any updates. Bravo for your efforts; I’m impressed.

    1. I’m down, but I’m not out. I’m planning a new roof venture and WILL have my Freedom Antenna.

  3. I just had my own battle with Comcast. Totally a waste of an hour. Be careful up there on the roof!

    1. My Evil Nemesis in this case is Dish Network. I shall prevail! (If fall from the roof under suspicious circumstances, Dish is responsible)

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