Thumbprint Radio, Pandora and a friendly, but snidely jab

| January 8, 2017

This WAS going to be a positive and upbeat post about enjoying Pandora’s Thumbprint Radio feature … UNTIL a "friendly" text message came in from my Florida (soon to be Savannah, Georgia)  sailing friend Mark telling me he had a cold beer in the fridge waiting for me. How nice to have friends anxious for […]

Testing HTML5 Compact Audio plugin for WordPress

| November 14, 2016

As part of getting a handle on the Amazon S3 costs, it is finally time to move into the 21st century and eliminate the old-school audio player on MyDesultoryBlog. I attempted to go with an HTML5 player a few years ago, but struggled with using it especially with different browsers. A few years later, everything […]

R is for Robert, or is it Roger … or maybe Romeo?

| November 7, 2016

A learning game we played while traveling by car was to spell things out using the NATO phonetic alphabet. Both Katelyn and Taylor did a great job learning it … and I think to this day they remember it. Give it a try if you need a way to pass the time AND practice for […]

A battery hack has revived the analog Triplett meter

| April 27, 2016

A leftover weekend project was to see if I could get my dad’s old Triplett 630PL meter back to working shape. As a boy, I remember "carefully" using "his" meter when I was in junior high school and attempting to build Heathkit projects … like my shortwave radio. Thankfully I never has to depend o […]

Pandora celebrates 10 years with an ad free day on 9/9/2015

| September 4, 2015

Pandora has announced that it will celebrate it’s 10th anniversary on Wednesday September 9th and will offer those who are non-paying listeners with an ad free day. According to a Forbes article, free listeners still make up 95% of Pandoras’ active users and maybe hoping that a sample of what the premium paid-subscriber tier is […]

What a fun time flying a quad copter or #drone

| August 19, 2015

Well … one of the positive things that happen at funerals (and weddings) is that families get together. Taylor took a funeral day (plus weekend) from his job and Katelyn and Drew drove home from Wayzata (Minneapolis, MN) and brought along his “new toy” … quadcopter with a camera – what a great distraction.

HAMing it up with HF radio and Winlink Pactor connections

| October 7, 2014

Summer has passed without giving much of a thought to turning on my HF rig or making any amateur radio contacts. The recent Last Man Standing amateur radio event had me firing my ICOM IC-718 and connecting my upgraded SCS PTC-IIe Pactor modem. Obviously using it for “slow” Winlink email is not a priority when […]

Finding some new music—both streaming and recorded

| May 16, 2014

One of the advantages of spending a few hours more than most on the road each week is that there is usually time to switch from business news radio, to my in-car amateur 2-meter radio to even streaming a little music. Since my trip this week took me “near” Ohio Northern University in Ada, Ohio […]

Tired of playing games with media subscriptions services

| January 31, 2014

It’s depressing to be back from a few days of sun (and rain), after a long drive from Florida yesterday, but also good to be home. It has been a morning clearing a few bills and accumulated mail off my desk and a light work day before Superbowl XLVIII weekend. One piece of mail, a […]

Why amateur radio operators say “73”

| January 18, 2014

Those who spend any amount of time listening to amateur radio hear operators closing their exchanges with a polite and concise “73” … meaning “best regards” … but where did it come from? From what I’ve read, it goes back to a convention in 1859 where telegraph operators discussed saving “line time” by devising a […]

A few amateur radio updates including my new call: K4RDC

| December 14, 2013

My older SCS PTC-IIe Pactor modem came back from Farallon Electronics after being updated with a new electronic serial number and Pactor III update – faster speeds using the HF radio (still very slow by modern Internet standards). A Winlink account is now active and seems to be working over Telnet, so the step is […]

Playing with our Baofeng UV-5Rs and contemplating antennas

| November 30, 2013

My friend Jeff and I had a chance to get today Friday afternoon and catch up on life. We enjoyed our semi-regular Mexican lunch and talked about work, church, family and our mutual amateur radio hobby. He’s been a Ham (N4XKJ) since we went to our first HamCation back when he was living in Orlando […]

Amateur Radio WordPress widget and vanity call signs

| November 26, 2013

Short on time for today’s post although I did add an Amateur Radio HF Propagation widget to my WordPress sidebar. I’m not sure cluttering up the screen with more data is a wise thing, but for now it helps to know which HF bands are open. Continuing with the radio theme, I applied for a […]

Catch all catch up weekend post and Amateur Radio

| November 24, 2013

It has been a semi-busy and semi-cold weekend for yard chores, but I’m tackling them just the same since waiting for a dry “warm” Saturday and Sunday doesn’t look promising. I started Saturday early and started to tick off the simple indoor items on my chores list thinking that it might warm up, but I […]

My first amateur radio emergency Tactical Net

| November 16, 2013

This morning was spent working on the leaves again, but I took a break this afternoon to be part of the Butler Country Amateur Radio Association’s (BCARA) emergency communications network (W8WRK). One of my “senior” contacts in the amateur radio club asked if I could do some volunteer community service and represent the Middletown area […]

Powering up a Yaesu FT-2900 on a dark and dreary night

| October 31, 2013

This Halloween evening is indeed dark and dreary as the wind is whistling and blowing rain nearly sideways. The garage door was left open (by me) and has puddled to the point Tootsie’s cushions (bed) is damp … which makes the entire garage smell like wet dog. But that’s not the point of this evening […]

Can Sprint pull off the gigahertz strategy in the U.S?

| October 31, 2013

Because I’m in the midst of studying the next level of amateur radio theory and hoping to gain access to more HF Ham radio frequencies (ARRL PDF chart), a recent WSJ article regarding Sprint’s gigahertz frequencies made complete sense to me. The gist of the article is that Sprint has a “giant trove of high-frequency […]

Obamacare–Dave Ramsey suggests doing the math

| October 20, 2013

Last week Dave Ramsey attempted to simplify the Affordable Care Act on his financial advice radio program for his listeners. He asked listeners to take off the political blinders – be they those of the supporters of Obamacare or those who want the law overturned. In a “tough love” Dave Ramsey kind of way, he […]

The shutdown is over and the FCC issued my Call Sign–KD8VSB

| October 17, 2013

The good news from my end is that the FCC is back in business and processed some of their backlog today. One of those items was my new amateur radio call sign … KD8VSB. I’m legal to be on the air. Woohoo!

Tom and Ray Magliozzi from NPR ‘Car Talk’ are retiring

| June 10, 2012

Although I’m not an “every week” listener, I’ve heard enough shows and shared several “puzzlers” to become a fan. I’m going to miss their sensible nonsense regarding life and sometimes helpful car advice. I’ve often thought these two guys were able to attract a steady audience of both liberals and conservatives in a way that […]

Politically liberal Dan Baum and “Happiness is a worn gun”

| July 29, 2010

While traveling this week, I enjoy a point of view and odd story for NPR which had self-proclaimed “liberal Democrat” Dan Baum about his Happiness is a worn gun article in Harper’s Magazine on the radio. (currently a PDF version of the article here) He addresses the subject of the love of guns from the […]

Win a New 2009 VW Jetta TDI Clean Diesel

| January 16, 2009

During a business call this week, a fellow who listens to streaming  radio and knows my interest in Volkswagen TDIs, mention that a station he listens to was holding a sweepstakes offering a  New 2009 VW Jetta TDI Clean Diesel as their grand prize. The station is  KCPW in Santa Monica, California and features “an […]

Desultory - des-uhl-tawr-ee, -tohr-ee

  1. lacking in consistency, constancy, or visible order, disconnected; fitful: desultory conversation.
  2. digressing from or unconnected with the main subject; random: a desultory remark.