Monthly Archives: May 2014

Weather Radio Programming Events

Welcome to another Wednesday. This weeks weather post is about Weather Radio programming events. What are they exactly? How long have they been happening? Are they usually in the spring, the same time that both CANWARN and SKYWARN training sessions are taking place?
I have just heard about them through Twitter and Facebook and I have made some deductions as to what they are and how they work.
My theory is that they are events held at various places where Weather Radios are sold. Usually the receivers in question are SAME or Specific Area Messaging Encoding radios. I have discussed it in detail in an earlier issue.
A whole croud of people all buy them and someone representing the store or the manufacturer either programs it or shows people how to do it. Then there may be food and drink available during the event.
I don’t know if what I just said is true but it sounds logical to me that it happens like that. If anyone knows just email me at blindgordie@gmail.com and let me know if what I said is correct or not.
Unfortunately there isn’t an event like this in Canada, that I know of and I would think it would be silly of me to travel out of the country to go to one of these events.
Anyway, that is my blog post for today.

Happy Birthday KK

Hello and welcome to Monday. Here is another rare post outside of my usual Wednesday and Sunday posts.
Today I’m going to celebrate a special birthday of an old friend, who also happens to be a radio personality. Her name is Kristy Knite but she is also known as KK. She currently works the mid day shift at 97.7 HTZFM and has a following of devoted listeners.
I first came across Kristy 28 years ago, when she worked at Q107 in Toronto. I called up in either late January or early February to request a song and she put me on the air. I was surprised to hear myself an hour or so later and I recorded it. Unfortunately the tape is long gone but I remember that I said during the call that I wanted to be a rock star when I grew up. Just for the record, the song in question was Leader Of The Pack by Twisted Sister.
In April I had written a letter to her in brail and she responded favorably. All though she did tell me that she couldn’t understand what the dots were, but there was the printed text of what I said between the brail lines.
At the time, my favorite band was Twisted Sister and I asked for them to be played in regular rotation again. This was despite their latest album at the time, Come Out And Play, being a significant stiff, compared to their breakthrough album Stay Hungry. Unfortunately it didn’t work out but I started calling and she would talk to me and explain all about how everything worked at the radio station at the time. For some reason I had this thing about wanting to hear the ID’s and she thought it was strange too but she explained the proper terminology and she played the ones I wanted to hear. I remember the cart machines and having the opportunity to take a tour of Q107 and playing with the carts. They would store all the ID’s and commercials and there were about 6 cart machines in the control room and 3 turn tables for all the records. When you cued up a record you spun it backwards to the beginning of the song and wen you would play the song you just hit a button and it fires up. The same thing is with the carts but to cue them up just run them to the end of the ID. When CD’s became the normal format of music to be broadcast on radio, it wasn’t vary obvious to me because it sounded the same as the records did, minus the pop and clicks. In a way, the compact disk brought a radio stations method of playing a song to you. You just press play and the song starts.
I was also amazed everything we here comes out of a board. It had so many buttons on it that if I was to work at a radio station I would have to know where they were and what to push when. Otherwise, I would probably screw things up badly. Everything is controlled by buttons: the music, the carts and even the microphone switch. It also had sliding nobs for the volume, in case the announser wanted to do a sweep. This is when the announser would talk until the vocals start on a song. Some people refer to it as nailing the post. This is used in Top 40 radio a lot but not as much in rock radio.
She also took me to a famous recording studio in Mississauga Ontario called Metalworks Studios. The studio is famous because it is basically owned by the rock band Triumph. It is also where Guns n’ Roses recorded parts of their Use Your Elusion albums and other bands have also recorded there as well. Once again, I was to see another board, which also had buttons and sliding nobs, which were faders and also controlled how much reverb came out on the music.
I also remember the session I was in on was for an unreleased song by Kelly Partland and the song was called someone to hold. We were there when the drum tracks were being recorded. I was given some of the recording tape to take home with me and I was surprised that tape as wide as that existed. Oh, it was what was called back then real to real tape. Basically, you would thread the real into the spool and the tape would be in another spool. You put the two of them on a tape machine meant to play reel to reel’s and it would spin around untill one spool was empty and the other one was full of tape. Then you turn it over and do it all again. This was the standard tape for: radio stations, schools and recording tape before cassettes, digital audio tape and compact discs came along.
During the week I would go to school and on weekends I would look forward to going home from school and waiting for her shift, so I could call her and talk. I would sometimes get on the air and get a chance to show off some of my talents with my voice or request a song. I could always make her laugh when I did other voices and I enjoyed doing that and still like it to this day. She also realized how much of a fan I was of the music I liked and I would comment on some of it. When Def Leppard released Hysteria in 1987, I got a chance to comment on it and I said that I liked it. I even did the beginning of the song Excitable on the air. If you know the album and the song itself, you know what I am talking about. Once again, I made her laugh.
In February 1988 I finally got the chance to come to Q107 to go on the air for an hour and I loved it. I even got to pick what songs I wanted to be played that night. I remember that the last song I played was the original version of Tear It Down by Def Leppard. I even played I’m The Man by anthrax. The show I was on was called The Power Factory and it specialized in hard rock and heavy metal. That is what I was a fan of and always have been.
In May 1988 Kristy moved on to 97.7 HTZFM and I tried to stay in touch but life got in the way. At first it wasn’t a problem and she even took me to see Def Leppard in concert on June 11th at Exhibition Stadium in Toronto. After that we lost touch because I became wrapped up in my own life.
Despite the lost contact I have always tried to listen to her show when I could and I was happy when she became Music Director for HTZFM in 1995. I knew how honest she was and I had all the confidence in the world that she was going to do a good job.
When she left radio in 1999, I was not happy because I didn’t get a chance to say goodby and it really hurt for a while. However, 3 years later she came back in 2002. I gave her a call and she remembered me and we talked for a couple of minutes and that was it for a while.
During 2003 she also started calling me Blind Gordie and obviously it stuck with me because of the name of this blog and my future email address. She has made me aware of some of the machine of the music industry when I was young and I never forgot it. I will always remember the days of goofing around on the phone and just being silly.
She is working at 97.7 HTZFM and still is as entertaining as ever and as she turns another year older I am also going to turn a year older in exactly a week. I will have more on my own birthday next Sunday.
Anyway, happy birthday KK. I have never forgotten the old days and I’m glad life is good. Hope you keep rockin for many years to come and keep having as much fun as you can.
K

Simpsons Sunday – Homer’s Enemy

Hello and welcome to another Simpsons Sunday. This week I am going to talk about one of my favourite episodes over the last few weeks, Homers Enemy. I have been reading up on it after watching it for the first time last June and it really amazes me that Homer would actually have someone who cannot stand him. I think Homer is a real goof but I wouldn’t become his enemy over who he is. Anyway, let’s talk about the episode.
The main character besides the usual cast is Frank Grimes, who had to work hard for everything and he is forced to work alongside Homer, after Mr. Burns gives his original executive position to a dog.
He gets more and more irritated by homers stupidity and finally declares that him and Homer our enemies. Homer invites Frank to dinner to try and become friends with him. Frank is disgusted that Homer has seemingly the perfect family and the perfect life, despite his work ethic and he storms out of The Simpsons home.
The next day, Homer tries to act more professional but Frank Grimes doesn’t buy it. He tricks Homer into entering a contest for kids, to design a model of the nuclear power plant. He wins over: Ralph Wiggum and Martin Prince. Frank see’s this and finally snaps, running around the plant mocking Homer and while doing so, touches high voltage wires electrocuting himself.
I find this episode to be one of the best that isn’t available on iTunes yet. It shows us how Homer would work with someone who is unlike him in every way possible. Unfortunately it also teaches us that sometimes you just can’t win over your enemies. It also makes me think about if Homer had a new friend at the plant instead of an enemy. Would that be just as funny? It probably could if this person was like Grimes, in that he was a hard worker but also had Homer’s love of food. He could help out Homer and have his back when things got hot. It’s not a script idea of mine but it’s just a thought I have. Really, do we want Homer and Frank Grimes any other way? The episode is fine the way it is.
On another note, Hank Azaria did the voice for Frank Grimes and I didn’t pick up on that until after I read it on the internet. Yes, Hank is that good to even fool me. I thought it was another guest star who voiced him. According to Nancy Cartwright’s My Life As A 10-Year-Old Boy, they were going to have a guest voice the roll but Hank was so good that it was decided that he should do it. Bravo, Hank.
Well, Season 25 is over and now we are looking forward to Season 26. I have a feeling that we won’t know which episode will be the premier until soon before, some time in September. That is the one where a character will take the durt nap.
I will keep my ears open for updates, despite the strong possibility of misinformation about the premier episode and what it could be. There are titles that have been released and some look like they could be the one. If you want to find out about Season 26, just google it and you will find some articles on the up coming season.
As usual to end each Sunday post, check out both Chris Ledesma and Yeardley Smith’s blogs respectively. http://simpsonsmusic500.wordpress.com/author/simpsonsmusic500/
http://gobbingoff.tumblr.com/
Also, you can follow Al Jean on Twitter. In case you are new to both my blog and The Simpsons, he is the current Show Runner. His Twitter Handle is @AlJean.
If you have comments you can make them here or you can email me at blindgordie@gmail.com and I will respond to each one I receive.

Slipknot Saturday

Hello. It’s Saturday, which is not a normal day for my blog post but today is special. I’m going to talk about my favourite Heavy Metal band Slipknot. I will talk more in depth about why I love them so much and what I think about the current state of the band.
They are from Iowa and they have consisted of 9 members untill their bass player Paul Gray passed away 4 years ago today. Their long time drummer Joey Jordison parted ways with the band. They have released 4 albums and they are all good and have different personalities to make them stand on their own. They also ware masks and coveralls, which are numbered for each member. This is the most striking visual feature of the band. Lastly, their fans are called maggots and yes, I am one proud Maggott.
In an earlier post I mentioned how I managed to meet them at an autograph session at a local record store in Toronto. They were nice to me and one of them shook my hand and I think he didn’t want to let go of it.
In another post I talked about how they and The Simpsons speak to me. Slipknot brings out the beast in me, who is much different from my main personality, which is very shy and quiet. They say things I couldn’t say to the world but sometimes feel in my heart.
As a teenager I was very angry, especially in my mid teens. I hated school and I was also bullied. I wanted to murder everyone of my nemeses but I’m too much of a coward to do that. Slipknot reminds me of those feelings and they seem to say to me; “dude, you’re not alone. We know how you feel about all the crap you went through. We had some of the same shit dropped on us at that age.”
The only thing wrong with them is that they came along in my mid 20s when I was no longer in school but I still had some of the same feelings about how I was picked on because of my size.
Slipknot also came along at a time when the New Metal trend was near its peak and things just exploded when they released their first album back in 1999. When I heard Eyeless for the first time I was blown away by the energy and rage that came out in the song. I went out and bought the first CD and I loved it and still do to this day. Their next 3 disks: Iowa, Vol. 3: (The Subliminal Verses) and All Hope Is Gone, did not disappoint. The first album is mainly rage but there are hints of what is to come, with some singing on songs like Wait And Bleed and No Life. I love the original and the 10th anniversary edition of the CD, which includes a bonus DVD, wich is surely something to watch.
If I had to pick a favourite it would be Iowa, hands down. Eyeless appeared on the first album but Iowa’s 14 tracks just rocked my world the first time I gave it a spin on the morning of August 28th 2001. I had bought it at midnight and I went home and played it on my diskman and it became my album of the year, along side Lateralus by Tool. This album showed a progression in the sound, which also incorporates dynamic’s. The title track is especially creepy because it has moments where there is no guitar and the bass is the first instrument you hear, which plays a musical note in the song. The last bass note you hear as the song ends is a low g natural and this happens after Corey says “you’ll live forever” and laughs that that classic horror movie evil laugh, which he does so well. He talked about recording the song during one of his q and a sessions during one of his solo shows and it is in sain, what he puts himself through. He strips naked and while singing the song, he throws up all over himself and cuts himself up with broken glass, which he says are the result of each scream you hear on the almost 15 minute song. It reminds me of The End by The Doors, in that they both have quiet spooky sections and also parts where the band plays loudly. All though in Slipknot’s case it is amped up tenfold.
I also like the first real song on Iowa, People = Shit, because it sets the tone musically, for the entire album while the first track 515 has the same affect on it atmospherically. The track Heretic Anthem is another favorite of mine, because of the original rough mix which was released before the first single Left Behind came out to Radio. This time, you hear breaking glass and Corey coughing at the end of the song, after his last scream. The rough mix actually has another grown from Corey before the song fades out. The entire CD is just gripping from start to finish and the loud quiet contrast is what makes this album stand out from the rest.
I bought Vol. 3 when it came out on May 25th 2004 at midnight too. I liked how the band grew and expanded from just plain rage to melody. It reminded me of Corey Taylor’s other band Stone Sour and how they have songs which aren’t all rage but have melody and some spoken word tracks too. The only things I didn’t like were the production, particularly the sound of the drums and the guitars. They weren’t phat enough or me but everything else was okay, even Corey’s vocals. I didn’t really mind them that much, even if his scream was a bit too high.
The first single Duality should have received more radio play then it did, on active rock radio or mainstream rock radio. The track Circle is the first song in the Slipknot cannon not to feature electric guitar and sounds more like a folk song, rather than a hate filled rant against life in general. I don’t mind when they do that because it adds another element to their music. Plus it makes you wonder what they could do for the next album.
Another feature which also stands out for me is the addition of guitar solos. In fact, they sound a lot like the same kind of solos which you would hear on a song by slayer. The Blister Exists is the first track to feature one and there are a few others.
Another thing which also sets it apart is the lack of profanity. At first I thought that the band had went soft but later I found out that Corey Taylor made sure not to include it so he could prove to critics that he doesn’t rely on cussing throughout everything he does.
With All Hope Is Gone, it was a return to form and it also had the melodic elements of Vol. 3 as well. I was so happy when I heard it debuted at the number one position on the Billboard chart. I had hoped Vol. 3 would have done the same thing but Avril Lavigne’s Under My Skin album got in the way of that. I wasn’t happy and I had a real hate on for her for a long time after that.
With this album, Corey’s vocals are back to a sound similar to Iowa but he also sings a lot more and almost every song includes some melody. Also, the guitar solos are there again and they were just shredding like on Vol. 3. I like the song Dead Memories because it reminds me of both Stone Sour and other side projects that other members have been involved with, such as Murderdalls. It brings both sounds together and it is fine, even if it isn’t necessarily fueled by rage and anger.
The only thing that surprised me is the track Snuff was released as a single. If you notice with each song released by Slipknot as a single, they are usually placed in the same track sequence on each album. For example: track 4 on every album has been released as a single. Track 8 has also been another track number for single releases, both in Slipknot and Stone Sour. Just check the discography of both bands and you will understand what I am getting at.
One more thing about All Hope Is Gone I should mention is that during the sessions there was a song that wasn’t released, which sounds like a later Stone Sour track called Hesitate, which appeared on Stone Sour’s 2010 album Audio Secrecies. This early version appears on the bonus DVD of All Hope Is Gone and when the track in question came out, I immediately recognized it from that period of time.
I have also seen the band twice: once in Mississauga on January 13th 2005 and in Toronto at the Air Canada Centre on October 25, 2005. The first show was short and they didn’t play Eyeless. Another problem with it was one of the opening bands Killswitch Engage’s singer blew out his voice and they played only 3 songs before they left the stage.
One of the main features of the show is during the song Spit It Out, Corey tells everybody to get down on the fucking ground and I actually flopped down and a lady who was with me helped me up and asked are you alright?” I told her I was and just doing it because I knew it was coming. I had watched the DVD Disaster Pieces and I paid attention to everything, including the part when Cory tells everyone to “get down on the fucking ground, right, now.” I think that the fans shouldn’t be told to do it during this part of the show because it is a permanent feature. However, there are some stupid kids who just stand up and don’t listen to Cory, thus they get pelted by bottles or something and are thus thrown down on the ground, right then and there. If you are at a Slipknot show, you should expect it when the song is played.
Anyway, the second show was just great. The only think missing was Jim Root, who injured himself, while mountain biking. In fact, Cory said during the show that he got an email from Jim with this news. They did play Eyeless and the croud was freekin loud. I unfortunately haven’t seen the band since then.
On May 24th 2010 bassist Paul Gray was found dead of an overdose of morphine and fentanyl. I remember it because it was a week or so after Ronnie James Dio passed away. Actually, Corey Taylor recorded a cover version of Dio’s Rainbow In The Dark for a tribute album released in 2014. I think it is cool that he did that and I found a vidio on Youtube of the two of them in the same room together at The Golden God’s Award’s. I’m not sure if it was in 2008 or 2009 but I’m glad they had a chance to meet.
Now in 2014, the band are working on their 5th album without their main song writer and drummer Joey Jordison and guitarist Jim Root was fired from Corey’s other band Stone Sour. What does that mean? Will Jim be dismissed from Slipknot at some point too? That scares me more than anything. Jim is a great guitarist and if he’s gone from Slipknot and Stone Sour that would really really suck. I’m sorry but Corey Taylor has some explaining to do for his fans.
It is the 10th anniversary of the release of Vol. 3: (The Subliminal Verses) and I have a feeling there may be a rerelease at some point, with an extra CD and a DVD with live or studio footage. I wonder what they haven’t given us from those sessions that appeared on the 2005 Special edition that they could release now. They gave us the full-length version of the song danger keep away and a couple of tracks which were released as bonus tracks on CD Singles and Japanese import versions of the album. I guess we will have to see.
Anyway, despite all that is going on inside Slipknot I am holding on for what promises to be a kick ass new studio album and hopefully a tour to support it. I can’t wait to hear what they are going to do this time that they haven’t done before.
If you would like to comment you can do that here or you can email me at blindgordie@gmail.com/. You can also follow me on Twitter at @BlindGordie and I will follow you back, if I am not following you already. “Stay Sick.”

Whether Wednesday: BC346XT Scanner

Hello and welcome to another Weather Wednesday. This weeks post is all about another Weather Alert Radio, which I love. It is actually a Police Scanner and the Model is BC346XT from Uniden. It is a handheld unit and is a pain to work with, if I want to use it as a normal scanner. However, I am only interested in using it to hear the same things I can also hear on my amateur radio transceiver, which is also a handheld unit. I just use the Various search options to hear a bunch of different frequencies. These include: Marine, amateur radio, railroad, public service frequencies, air band, CB radio, GMR S/FRS radio, racing and miscellaneous.
As for Weather Radio, there is a WX button you need to press and hold after tapping the FUNC button, in order to hear the weather broadcast and or turn on the Weather Alert options. You can make the scanner either: a SAME radio or a TONE ALERT radio. You can make the weather alert a priority by tapping FUNC then tapping the WX button, which is the 0 key. You can only activate this function while on another frequency or channel.
The scanner can generate an alarm which can open up the Weather Radio to either a 1050 Hz tone or a Specific Area Message Encoding tone. I use the latter, with the option for it to go off for all counties. I don’t program individual codes because I like to travel and I also like to be alerted to severe weather where ever I am going. The other thing I like is that all the alerts can be heard on this unit and other scanners with SAME. Some standalone WX Radios don’t allow for the weekly test or certain advisories to open up the receiver and that isn’t good enough for me. I do have some but I have them around as main receivers anyway.
The other nice thing is that the BC346 also has great ears, in that it is sensitive, particularly to VHF and UHF frequencies. Unfortunately, this can generate birdies, which are annoying sounds which you may hear on some frequencies which are of narrow FM transmission. Sometimes attenuating the frequency solves the problem. In the case of a continuous broadcast, such as Weather Radio, don’t do that. It will only decrease the range.
What I didn’t mention is that this unit is best on the stock rubber ducky antenna. I don’t know why but I found that after a couple of weeks of using it the longer whips I used didn’t cut the mustard. I thought I would be able to hear more in my apartment but it turns out that if I am mobile or outside they are a great help. This is particularly true on the WX frequencies and those are what I listen to most often on this unit.
You can purchase it on the internet or at any specialty store, which cels this type of receiver. I recommend such stores as: Durham Radio, http://www.durhamradio.com/ Radio World http://www.radioworld.ca/ and Universal Radio http://www.universalradio.com and you will be in another world of radios altogether. Another store I recommend is http://www.weatherradiostore.com and you may find it there too. There are others but that just scratches the surface. There are other scanners out there but this one is and has been a friend to me over the last couple of years since I bought it in 2011, just before Christmas.
If you have any comments you can leave them here or you can email me at blindgordie@gmail.com and I will respond. Feel free to follow me on Twitter @BlindGordie and or @VA3WXA and if I’m not following you already I will follow you back.

Simpsons Sunday – Homer Simpson VS Me

Hello and welcome to another Simpsons Sunday. This week let’s talk about Homer Simpson. Shall we? I think so! I am going to both compare and contrast Homer to myself in this post and you will learn more about me through all the random facts about the two of us. Ready? Okay, here we go.
Homer is overweight and balled; I am skinny, short and I have a shaved head. Homer likes food that is bad for him and I do too. Homer has had a triple bypass: I have been lucky enough not to go through this, yet. Homer has a temper and sometimes gets enraged by Bart quite easily. I was a hot head back in Grade 9 and I have mellowed to the point where I am a big suck.
Homer loves donuts and I love donuts, especially from Tim Hortons. I even love their coffee so much that it is the only coffee I drink now.
Homer loves chocolate and I also love chocolate. Give me a chocolate donut and I am in donut Heaven. “Mmm! chocolate donuts.”
Homer can play a musical instrument and I can also do that. I play: guitar, bass, drums and I can sing. Also, homer has even written songs and had successful music careers during the series and I have written my own songs and one is on CD. As for my own career in music, it was dead before it even got started. Some things in my life conspired to kill my dream and I had no real chance of it ever getting off the ground. I should mention that I did try.
Homer can be very stupid and he does some really dumb things. Sometimes I can be just as much of a dolt as him but I am lucky enough to have a pretty good head on my shoulders.
Homer can be child-like and sometimes acts like one in certain situations. I also have that side to me and in an early post I mentioned how much I missed being a kid again. Homer can be very affectionate and so can I. In fact, I love giving and getting hugs.
Homer has been married to Marge from the start of the Simpsons. I have had bad luck with finding a long term relationship with a woman.
If Homer was blind, would he be like he is now? or would he be more like me? I think he would have to tone down some of his personallity traits if he was suddenly made blind, without being attacked by crows or some other comedic method of using blindness as a plot device.
Well, I feel bad for missing an important birthday in Simpsons land but happy belated birthday to Russi Taylor, who was born May 4th 1944. She is 70 and still voices: Martin Prince, the twins Sherri and Terri and German student üter Zörker, among others. She has done a lot of voice work for various cartoon series over the years,. One that stands out for me was Muppet Babies where she voiced Baby Gonzo. For more on her career, just Google her.
Tonight is the finale of Season 25, entitled The Yellow Badge Of Cowardge. It sounds like an interesting plot, as Bart wins a race on the last day of school. We’ll see if this will be a turning point in the relationships with certain characters in the series or not.
Also, don’t forget to check out Chris Ladesma’s blog at http://simpsonsmusic500.wordpress.com/author/simpsonsmusic500/
As usual, I also recommend checking out Yeardley Smith’s blog at http://gobbingoff.tumblr.com
She of course, voices Lisa Simpson and both of these Blogs are interesting to me, both because they are associated with The Simpsons but you get a peak into their life outside the show as well.
You can also comment on my post here or you can email me at blindgordie@gmail.com and I will reply as soon as I can to all messages I receive.
Also, you can follow The Simpsons Executive Producer Al Jean on Twitter. His Twitter handle is @AlJean and at this time he has 947 followers. He will be tweeting live during tonights Simpsons episode. I will surely be there for that and I will give him a mention when I can.
Anyway, that is it for this weeks Simpsons Sunday post. The show may be done as far as Season 25 but I will continue this as well as some other topics I have yet to dig into starting this week. After all, it is based on anything that pops into my little head.

Weather Wednesday – Weather Radio Listeners Newsletter

Hello and welcome to another Weather Wednesday. This week ‘m going to talk about my own creation, The Weather Radio Listeners Newsletter. I will take you through the thought process and how it came to be, up to today.
It all started way back in 1988, when I was 14 years old and living with my parents in Toronto Ontario, in the borough of East York. I was serfing the channels, looking for something to listen to on TV. I accidentally found a channel with continuous weather information and it seemed to be coming from the Toronto Weather Office. This was a few months prier to the launch of The Weather Network, formerly known back then as Weather Now on Cable TV.
I found out years later, what I had actually found was a channel which displayed a radar site just north of Toronto in a town called King city Ontario. I became a fan and learned that this was Weatheradio Canada Station XMJ225 in Toronto and it was actually broadcasting on a VHF frequency of 162.400 MHz. This was also before I knew what: VHF, HF or UHF even was. This was new for me and I had no idea that it would lead me to becoming a Ham Radio operator 21 years later.
In 1991, the channel I had monitored went off the air during that summer and I had no other way besides the telephone to get my weather. The other option was The Weather Network but it wasn’t what I wanted. Despite this I would sleep with it on because of the music that would play through the local forecasts, when people weren’t talking.
Fast faorward to 2000, I had discovered that a service called Talking Yello Pages had the weather from Environment Canada on it and I was hooked again. This time, I was determined to eventually get a Weather Radio of my own. I did on February 7th 2001. It was a piece of junk and it paled in comparison to my later receivers. It was an AM/ FM receiver with 3 WX channels. It also took 3 aaa batteries and there was no AC jack for power. To top it off, the reception of my own local WXR was less than bad. I had to put the radio in a certain place in my apartment and I had to extend the telescopic antenna all the way to hear it.
In 2002, I upgraded to a much better desktop model from Radio Shack. It had a tone alert feature and was much more reliable than the previous model. The only problem was that it was a desktop and not a portable unit. I would have liked to have bought something to take with me while traveling.
That came in the form of the ESP2100 from Eton and it was my first SAME radio, before I knew what Specific Area Message Encoding even was. I had purchased it in 2004 and it was alright but something was still not right.
In 2005, I had purchased my first crank radio from Eton, the FR300. That was fine but again, there was no AC power plug for it. All though, I finally purchased an adapter in 2008, which was suitable for this model.
In 2006, I had bought a handheld Marine transceiver from Cobra, the MRHH100VP and I was just happy with it. I was able to weather dx a bit but the only thing was that the audio was distorted but not so much that I couldn’t hear what was being said.
In 2007, I had finally purchased a SAME radio which actually had everything I wanted, which was the Oregon Scientific W-R108, now the W-R602. I loved it but it had a clock and calendar, which required site in order to be able to change said options. I also liked that it had a feature on it where I could set it to change channels on its own, when one channel became too week, while traveling.
My next model was the W-R300 from Midland and this was a perfect unit for me. It had a siren that went off when an alert was issued and it also had an AM/ FM radio which I could use. This is still with me to this day.
My next handheld model was the HH54VP in 2010 and this is exactly what I needed out of a handheld WX radio. It had the siren that went off when a SAME alert is issued like the W-R300 and it also had the Home/ Travel feature of the W-R602. This is the model I take wen I go out of town on long trips and it has been reliable to this day.
Since 2008 I had also purchased a few handheld scanners which also have the Weather Radio on them. My 2 favourites are: BC246T and the BC346XT. I like them because I can not only use them as scanners but I can also use them as Weather Radios and they also have been helpfull to me, when I needed them. I also purchased 2 more desktop WX radios to round out my collection. They are: Midland W-R120 and the Sangean CL-100. The latter is also a great AM and FM radio, with great sound and a very good FM receiver. I listen to my favourite rock station, which is in St Catharines Ontario and it comes in full quieting.
Now to get to how it all started; In 2011 I started searching for some sort of newsletter that was all about Weather Radio but the only one I had found up to that point was the NOAA All Hazards Weather Radio Newsletter. I had enquired about it and I was told that there were no mailing lists for it. I had also offered my own idea’s and they were received warmly. I was also recommended to take what I had been thinking and put it into action, possibly creating my own newsletter.
That August I had sent out an email to friends of mine, who are in a Ham Radio group I was and still in, pitching the idea of creating the newsletter. I had some responses but I also did some traveling north of Toronto to do some pitching and more people came forward and said they would like to join.
In November 2011 a friend of mine had put together a webpage for me, which was partly for my Ham Radio friends and interests but also was meant for my new Weather Radio Listeners Newsletter. It came out on November 4th 2011 and the first issue consisted of articles in newsletters I had written that year and some old emails and other things I had wanted to put in a newsletter.
Since then there have been 10 more issues and the mailing list has expanded to about 120 plus members and most have contributed something to varius issues. These include: ham radio operators and people who work for both Weatheradio Canada and NOAA Weather Radio. I have even included The Simpsons in the last couple of issues and of course, on Sundays I have my Simpsons Sunday posts.
The latest issue has just came out and people who have responded to it like it. I am working on Issue 12 right now and I am always looking for more people to put on the mailing list. If you would like to be put on, just let me know by sending me an email at blindgordie@gmail.com and I will put you on and send you all 11 issues. I think you will be surprised at how much the weather has played into our lives, much more than we think of every day. If you would like to take a look at what you will be in for, here is the link to my QRZ webpage. http://www.qrz.com/db/va3wxa
Well, that is this Wednesdays post. Talk to you later and I hope to hear from you in some form or another.