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Surfin' the (air)Waves

My spring abundance

I had  a crew come in late yesterday to clean up the containment left over from the recent flowback.  Containment equipment is put in place to keep inadvertent spills from contaminating the ground.  Think a kiddie wading pool around a well head or storage tank and you got the idea.  They came rollin’ out about dark and said they would be back in the AM.  Seems every dam or ground cloth they picked up was hiding a rattlesnake and it got too dark to see.  Doesn’t surprise me much since we had a warm, wet winter and we are in the midst of an abundant life cycle.  Dealin’ with buzztails is baked into the cake in the Pucker Brush.  You don’t get extra pay or comp time.  It is what it is.

*****************

You folks catch the deal up in Maryland where the two HS students raped a fellow student?  Mebbe not since the MSM failed to pick it up. Oh snap! I didn’t mention the alleged rapists were illegal aliens. Oh wait! The father of one of the alleged teen rapists was arrested by ICE on immigration charges as well!

Another antenna added to the NO Princess Palace

OK, we got two things goin’ on here………  One of them is the failure of duly elected officials and legally appointed law enforcement officers to honor the oath they took when they started their jobs.  They swore to uphold the laws of the land – not selectively enforce them.  Baltimore is one of those Sanctuary Cities that has chosen to thumb their noses at immigration enforcement. Now correct me if I am wrong but isn’t a democratic form of government supposed to reflect the will of the people?  Polls show the majority of us in deplorable flyover-land want the immigration laws enforced as written yet these smart folks deem it acceptable to determine what is “good for us” ?!?   That is the definition of a nanny state friends and neighbors and I am tellin’ ya right now I don’t need no nanny.  In my way of thinkin’,  those officials and law dogs that chose to not enforce the immigration laws are culpable in the rape of this 14yo high school girl and they should be charged right along side the two teens.  If the cat has kittens in the oven, you don’t call ’em biscuits!

The second point is the failure of main stream media to duly report this crime.  A growing trend among millennials is to receive their news online.  I quit social media years back because I found the narcissism distasteful.  Facebook et al are all about “Hey, look at me! Look at how cool I am!  Look at me now dammit!” and it didn’t suit me at all.  Yet,  most of these special snowflakes get their news on Facebook .   Wait, say what?

OK, connect the dots………… if the media is controlling what news they show you;  what happens next?

I guess I saw this censorship coming down the pike a few years back and decided I needed a Plan B to make sure I could find out what was truly happening in my world.   Plan B was a HAM radio and I was in the process of gettin’ my license when Little Blondie blew out down south. Oh, I got the HAM radio along with all the antennas and cables and such — even set it up and test drove it but I never did get that license. Call me a procrastinating sumbitch because here it is almost 3 years later and that radio and all its’ accoutrements are all packed up neat in a box.

Well sir,  the world has not become safer nor saner in the last few years and the radio thing just sorta nagged at me at low simmer.  I knew I needed to do something but I couldn’t figger out just what until a few weeks ago.  I was outside drinkin’ coffee and watchin’ Vela Von romp in the sun when it came to me that what I really wanted to do was listen to what was going on around me.  Actually talking over the radio was not a requirement.  I just wanted to be aware of my surroundings – nada mas.  Maybe a radio scanner would fit the bill?

Uniden BCD536HP scanner in action

I spent the next few days researching scanners and ended going the Buy Once – Cry Once route. Though not cheap, I settled on the Uniden BCD536HP Base/Mobile Scanner as being the most suited for what I wanted.  In two weeks of use,  I am very convinced I made the right choice but let me offer a caveat.   This radio stuff can get about as hard as Chinese arithmetic.  It is complicated magic to me anyway and the learning curve can be damned steep.  The good thing is this Uniden scanner can be just as simple as you want it to be.  Straight out of the box, you can hook it up to an AC or DC power source,  attach the telescoping antenna to its’ backside and plug in your zipcode and the scanner will do the rest.  I betcha I was picking up the sheriff, ambulance, DPS and CB channels within a 20 mile radius 15 minutes after taking it out of the box.  It really as that easy.

Discone scanner antenna and my runnin’ buddy

I did not spend all that money to be satisfied with the simple plug ‘n’ play option.  I wanted more so it was back to the internetz for more research in order to wring every bit of performance I could out of my scanner.

The limiting factor on any radio is its’ antenna.  The little telescoping antenna supplied with the Uniden BCD536HP worked fine for what it was but this cadillac scanner was capable of so much more!   After due diligence and some more Buy Once – Cry Once soul searching I added these items:

Diamond D-130J Vertical discone antenna ,

30 ft LMR-400 premiom low loss antenna cable. Made in the USA

BNC To SO-239 Adapter to connect cable to radio

Wooster Extension Pole 8-16 feet

The Uniden did pretty good with the little telescoping antenna but when I hooked up the external antenna, my God did it come alive!  During the day I am picking up a 4 county radius -maybe  25 miles-with no problems.  At night is when things get interesting!  I am picking up aircraft comms in Corpus and Monterrey,MX,  I can hear DPS all the way out to Kerrville to the northwest and Falfurrias to the southeast – that is 125 miles!  I pick up 6 adjacent counties at night instead of the 4 during the day!

Grace Slick ca. 1966

When I set out to find my radio I wanted it to pick up the following traffic:

  • Weather Radio/Emergency Broadcast System
  • Local Law Enforcement and EMS Services
  • Texas State Troopers (DPS)
  • ICE/Border Patrol (see below)
  • Aircraft and ground control
  • CB radio
  • HAM Bands
  • FRS/GMRS/MURS radios – think the Wal Mart blister pack sets
  • AM/FM broadcasts
  • Military

I  am doing everything noted above with a good range with the exception of ICE/Border Patrol.  Those transmissions are encrypted and all I hear is clicking static on those channels.  However,  I do hear ground agents talking to their air units at times!

I can say another piece of my puzzle is now in place.  I get some entertainment listening to the scanner on weekend nights when things are popping!  Mainest thing though is how valuable this radio will be during some catastrophic event when normal means of communication might be interrupted.

End Note:  This is an odd one and something I was ignorant of until this week.  I remember the Dick Cavett talk show well from back in the day.  What I did not know was he did a very special show the day after Woodstock (8/19/1969).  On that show, he had performers that had been at Woodstock just the previous day.  Joni Mitchell, Jefferson Airplane (not Starship!), Stephen Stills and David Crosby.  Live TV folks the likes of which we do not see these days.  You gotta watch the youtubes!

Stephen Stills impromptu, unrehearsed music magic and guitar goodness…….

Jefferson Airplane with Grace Slick jamming it out………….

 

 

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5 comments to Surfin’ the (air)Waves

  • Rob

    Some years back I remember reading in Rolling Stone that Baron Wolman called Grace Slick “the sexiest and most sensual” of all the women musicians he shot.

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  • Michael Barnett

    Andy, you seem to be working for toys! LOL. I have a brother that is big into the HAM radio sector, if you like I could hook you up with his contact info.

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    • Andy

      Hi Michael!

      You betcha! 🙂 I am listening to the scanner as I write this. Severe weather rolling through this morning and probably a good thing y’all are out of here. Thanks for the offer on the HAM hookup but it is (again) on the back burner.

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  • Michael Barnett

    Oh yes we are. Great times not in the patch. will be back sometime when the weather is a little cooler. Even though I am from Dallas, that South Texas heat during the summer is just something we would rather not have to endure!. But we sure do give it to you guys that do! As we see it, those that are gateing should be receiving an additional stipend for just enduring the heat. If ever you decide to move the HAM to a higher level, let me know. As the offer still stands. Be careful down there and keep VV safe from the snakes.

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  • Get that Ham license. I just kept taking the online tests until I passed. It’s real good to be able to listen to what’s going on around you. Real good. But when the poop hit’s the air blowing machine it will be even better to be able to talk to someone, ask questions. “Which way are the zombies headed?”

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