Progress during 2013
Work on my second novel, The Day The Rain Came Back, continues, although I have again fallen out of stride and the process has slowed. (It's remarkable how easily Caffeine had come together. You'd expect a second project to go faster than the first, but the opposite appears to be true.) In my effort to spur progress I've made a few workflow changes, such as eliminating the 10-10-10 chapter structure. (I hope to bring it back in a later draft.) For now the second part is only shown with eight cha...
WYUU 92.5 near Tampa became my 100th FM station on Monday night (not counting tentatives, of course). This catch was HD-only since I have a local 92.5. As annoying as IBOC can be it's pulling its weight so far: four of my catches are HD only, and a couple others were IDed by the analog/HD audio matching. HD so far is at least as helpful as RDS, at least on the Sony. Anyway, my total since Monday night stands at 109. Two months of FM have surpassed years of TV DXing (93 analog, 62 digital) and...
New Bandscan Videos
Getting some use out of my new HD camera, and my new (for me) Sony HD radio.
Ten Years of Stuff
Back in my senior year of college, when I was still establishing a direction for egrabow.com, I started an informal "stuff" page for me to post about current events in my life and whatever else was on my mind. Such events included my college graduation , the sale of my first car , and my move to Florida . It quickly evolved into a blog and after college, when I was searching for my first job in TV, I kept my feet wet by making it a video blog. 2004's Video Stuff lasted only six episode...
Hard to believe I've only been DXing the FM band for four months (counting from the time I got my Sony HD radio). Now that I've entered the season for Gulf tropo and had my first openings to the Keys, Bahamas, and up the Gulf coast, I feel my logbook is already broken in. In fact my number of DX catches is about to overtake the number of locals (this is much more impressive for my 71 FM locals than it had been with 9 TV locals, LOL). The best opening so far was the night of February 16th, w...
Mobile is the New Norfolk
March was a slow month for the most part, but this season's second excellent tropo swept in last week and dealt more damage to the old records. I'm really glad I took up FM DXing. :) Not one, but four more Texas FMs now grace my logbook. Austin's KGSR held onto its 1,639km record for now, but a San Antonio station came within just one kilometer of tying it, with New Orleans and Houston doing a good job filling the gap between Mobile and Austin. This was also the first opening I was prepared t...
My New Mobile DX Setup
Channel Master 4220HD 12 foot light stand Phillips PT902 digital TV 2003 Chevy Cavalier to get there :) Really I just wanted a portable antenna to put on the other side of my apartment building and run a cable from during openings to Miami and Cuba. But I'll certainly be taking this around with me. My Digital TV Page
Putting Lamar on the Map
2008 was the year I retired from DXing and was the last time I'd logged e-skip catches (analog TV stations). In 2013 I'd un-retired, but my monitoring for digital TV signals was unfruitful. Enter 2014, and FM DXing with it. Still analog. Still e-skip friendly. Propagation is picking up as summer begins, and last week I logged my first e-skip catches in six years! (But wait. There's more.) As the season begins I've been keeping a radio tuned to 88.5, my lowest open channel. The Sangean ATS-909...
Time For Me To Subscribe To Something
The "What I'm Watching" lists for Music and Movies have been updated for 2014. Music is always a big deal because I only do it every three years; and I only do it every three years because the process is much more involved than for the other lists. TV Shows is supposed to be updated every year, but I decided not to for the first time since that list began in '06. The last network TV show I followed was Lost, and its been four years since its finale. Ditching cable in 2011 didn't help. ...
Farthest North, Farthest West
My mom's been eager to take another cruise to Alaska since she first went eight years ago. This being the year I pay off my student loans she thought a good celebration - and birthday present - would be to treat me to one of these cruises. Me and my land-loving stomach didn't know what to think about spending a week on-board a cruise ship, but I gratefully accepted the chance to experience this. And to make Alaska the 33rd state I'd set foot in (Washington picked up 32nd along the way). This...
Now that we're in August it's safe to say my first e-skip season as an FM DXer is over. There were ten openings during the last couple months: most at home where I have my Sony XDR-S10HDiP and yagi, and the rest during my breaks at work. The Sangean ATS-909X definitely pulled its weight, and some recordings were even made on my car radio (the only of the three that isn't new). The results are posted on my FM DX page . For a first season I don't think this was half-bad. Other DXers tell me it ...
I announced a goal in 2010 to visit every county seat in Florida. This was a cheaper short-term goal to compliment my lifetime goal of driving all fifty states. This goal kicked off with Blacktop Classic 2010, during which I visited every county in our western panhandle (the farthest ones from Fort Myers). Although I intended to work on this goal while I was still paying off the student loans, only six more counties have been clinched since then (with a seventh planned but cancelled). I've now ...
Enemy Shields Failing!
I'm down to my last three (maybe even two!) payments on my primary student loan. After ten years of crippling monthly payments , the balance is now below a threshold where I'm eager to throw all the money I can at it and watch it vanish ahead of schedule. Lord willing that'll be real soon. And it'll be real satisfying. Here's an analogy for my sci-fi friends: "Shields" would be all the zeroes that allowed the loan to last this long, and now I can hammer away at it with my tor...
My YouTube Channel Becoming a DXing Channel
With the end of my student loan payments rapidly approaching, I went out last November and bought my first new desktop computer in eleven years, and also added new video editing software: Sony Movie Studio. This was a turning point for my YouTube channel, which until this year was mostly my old work from school and a book trailer for Caffeine . First my old TV DX clips were taken from their DVDs and posted for all to see, then came a wave of brand-new 720p bandscan videos covering AM, FM, and T...
A Defense of Scheduled Broadcasting
A piece of modern American culture died last week: the Saturday morning cartoon. It's a tradition I shared as a kid to wake up after a long week of school and do nothing but watch hours of cartoons at the start of my weekend... no cable or internet required (streaming wasn't even a thing yet). By high school I was growing out of it and was soon sleeping too late to watch anything anyway. Years after college (and my discovery of anime) I decided to start waking up earlier again, and back came the...
The Harder They Fall
♫ Ding Dong! The Loan is dead. Which old Loan? The Migh-ty Loan! Ding Dong! The Loan is really really dead! ♫ The long awaited day has arrived: I've paid off the larger of my two student loans. What a great feeling. Praise the Lord! Perhaps you've noticed, among all the road geek stuff I put on this website, the "distance in days" graphic I keep on EG Prime . It's been a staple of this website since 2005, and the "Great Expense Crash" has been a staple of that graphic...
Last week I made my first, long overdue, trip down to Key West. Only a few months after going farther north and west than ever in my life, Key West is now the farthest south. Several meters farther south, in fact, than the "Southernmost Point" monument. Until I book a plane ticket to Hawaii or the Carribbean this record is unlikely to be broken. Farthest east - last broken in 1996 - will be tackled next year. Key West was part of RRR&R TTK (Tallahassee, Turnpike, Keys), the first i...
The Book Isn't Cancelled, Just The Rush
Clearly my second novel, The Day The Rain Came Back , is coming along more slowly than I'd hoped. The original release date was December 2012 (LOL), but two near-total rewrites of the story outline made short work of that. Pen went to paper again in June 2012 (or rather fingers went to keyboard, since it's not the 19th century and my handwriting is terrible anyway)... momentum stalled out after a few months, picked up again in mid-2013, and finally drained away by the end of the year. The outli...
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