Randumb Thoughts for September

***I've often wondered if all those Canada Geese that temporarily reside in this country are here legally?

***Nutley in North Korea is at it again. Trying to start trouble. For those of you that have not figured it out yet, the diminutive leader of that Dwarfdom is trying to goad the USA into a war with China. Don't expect it to happen because China will not support Nutley if he makes a first strike against the USA or one of its allies. And thankfully our leaders have enough sense to realize that as long as we don't initiate a strike against the Dwarf and his Dwarfdom, we will not be held accountable if we have to retaliate because Nutley attacked the USA or one of its allies first.

***Nuke power. Great idea but flawed. While the power is efficient to use, eliminating the waste from the spent reactors is a nightmare. No way to destroy it. And merely containing it for tens of thousands of years ultimately will lead to a catastrophe thanks to a event from Mother Nature that impacts the spent fuel rods where they are stored. Just a matter of time. While it may not happen in our lifetime, eventually it will happen and will make Fukushima's constant leaking of radiation look like small potatoes.

***Now that the Alt Right and Alt Left are fighting with one another in the streets perhaps it is time for those of us that prefer a smaller and less intrusive centralized government to start a new movement. I think it should be called the Alt Center. And the platform shall weight heavily in supporting the Constitution and Constitutional Law in the USA and limited big government. Self empowered people are always the most productive and law abiding people that you will find.

Radio Notes

Over the Labor Day weekend I am going to do some updating to The Low Power AM Radio Network website. In addition to finally having the time to update the existing list of AM Part 15 stations I will be adding Part 15 FM stations to the lists. The current format of listing stations by state will continue. I won't have time to work on updating the other content right now. But with some luck I will have time later in September or the early Fall.

Randumb Thoughts for August

***Why is it that so many drivers on the highway clog up the passing lane by going below the speed limit and don't allow cars or trucks behind them an opportunity to use the passing lane to pass slow moving vehicles in the right lane? It is maddening to say the least and can and does lead to accidents.

***And also, on the subject of driving, why do people in some cars sit at your rear quarter panel in a two lane road or highway while going in the same direction as you and seemingly don't want you to be able to see them in your mirrors? This problem is really bad in some of the Midwest states. When I try to speed up or slow down in an effort to get the other car in my mirrors they will then speed up or slow down and stay in the adjacent lane in the blind spot where I still can't see them.

***From time to time I watch professional golf. Have you ever watched women's pro golf and noted the caddies are always men and never women? Funny but true.

***Kiplinger has published some studies about small towns and cities that may interest some of my readers. Here they are:

10 Cheapest cities to live in the USA

10 Small towns with big Millionaire populations in the USA

10 Big cities where Millionaires live in the USA

***Another important note about home stereo listening and equipment. I mentioned that I own a pair of Castle Conway 3 Tower speakers. When I first bought them i was using an integrated amplifier that only put out 35 watts per channel. And this did't change until a couple of years ago when I purchased a 60 watt per channel integrated amplifier when running into 8 ohm speakers. I noted an improvement in the sound of the Castle speakers with the higher wattage output. But they still didn't sound the way I envisioned they should especially for the money they cost. But now that I have the 80 watts per channel Yamaha receiver and Bi Wired the speakers they not only sound like a whole different and much improved speaker but most of the recordings sound as if they have been remastered! In other words the extra wattage found in the higher powered amps are really making the speakers sound the way they should and bring out the details in the music that were not there previously Moral of the story? Before you dismiss your speakers as sounding lousy, be sure you have enough power running them especially if they are tower speakers. You don't have to really crank up the power really high to ear splitting levels either. Just give them enough juice to get the loudness to a moderate level and you will likely find your speakers were never the problem.

***I make my own pizza at home. Have a pizza even that will reach 675 degrees that allows me to make real NY Style pizza. Have that perfected. But I am wanting to learn how to make Greek Pizza. If anyone has a recipe for the dough for an authentic New England Style Greek Pizza can you please email it to me? A friend gave me their family restaurant recipe for the sauce but apparently the dough is a secret and he would not divulge that info. And I can't find much of anything in the internet that appears to be authentic either. Thanks.

***Quote from Joseph Goebbels who was one of "Dolph Hitler's henchmen.

“If you tell a lie big enough and keep repeating it, people will eventually come to believe it. The lie can be maintained only for such time as the State can shield the people from the political, economic and/or military consequences of the lie. It thus becomes vitally important for the State to use all of its powers to repress dissent, for the truth is the mortal enemy of the lie, and thus by extension, the truth is the greatest enemy of the State.”

July Update

Consolidating all of my notes this month into a single post. Been away from home for work a lot as usual and also been busy at home doing work with what little spare time I have.

Radio Update. Another setback has occurred that I could not have foreseen when I bought my home here in the Cincinnati area. Our local electric utility installed some new Smart Meters in the area including my own home and the end result is a tremendous amount of noise on most of the AM broadcast band. I've found that the two frequencies that I favored to use for my Part 15 AM station here are exhibiting the most noise. 1630 and 1640 are unusable now. While the noise extends into the power lines at the street and going into homes I have found that when walking around my house with my portable radios there are some spots that are pretty quiet with some of the available frequencies and that should make it possible to listen to my own station. But what is really shocking is that even some of the full power licensed AM stations in the area that usually have moderate signals inside my home are even impacted to some degree until I move the radios into a better spot.

I have five portable radios that I will be using over the next few weeks to periodically check the upper end of the AM dial to see if I can still find a frequency that will be usable for my Part 15 AM station here. Based upon what I've heard on my own property it may still be possible to broadcast here and possibly get some indoor reception of my signal in most area homes within a mile of the station provided the people can move their radio to a better spot inside their own home if noise is present on the frequency. I suspect the Smart Meters are being used in most of the homes and businesses in the area and this is going to be a widespread problem.

The other potential problem is not going to be determined until after I purchase a new transmitter. If I find the noise actually finds its way into the audio chain of my station then I will have a major problem to try to resolve. Aside from solar power I can't think of a way around this unless there is some kind of filtering devices that I can purchase to clean up the noise. Will research this issue and hope I don't have to deal with this at the outset, if I can get on the air here. With all the other problems that already exist here (taller buildings all around my property, puny yard and limited space and poor siting choices for the transmitter, trees and no access with a lift to tune the transmitter correctly while it is in a stationery position in the air) I am at my wits end. No chance now that I can purchase a second property here either thanks to quickly rising home prices and brisk sales. Without that second property to expand the reach of the station and also offer a better signal from a better location, I really have one hand already tied behind my back even before getting on the air! Not giving up the ship just yet and I am going to try to get the noise problem resolved by next Spring. If I can get around that I should be able to get the station on the air and then at least find out if it has a chance at succeeding. One possibility that may help is to change the proposed format to News/Talk from the Smooth Jazz I had planned. Some noise on the signal for Talk will be much less of a problem than with Music.

Work Update. Work in Indianapolis is still generally slow and only occasional busy weeks have kept me afloat. Fortunately I have the green light to transfer again. Provided that I can come up with the money I need to transfer in a few weeks (fairly close now) I will be heading to our St. Louis office where we have a lot more work. I will plan to be there for a few months and then see if an opening becomes available in our new Cincinnati office. We have a lot of new offices around the country thanks to our new owner but so many of them are essentially just starting up that there are not any openings at this time outside of New England (can't go back to Hartford due to fiscal issues with the city and state) and Nashville. I won't be able to handle the heat and humidity of summer in Nashville. Kansas City is about the most extreme summer climate that I can handle.

At this point if the money is there, I will move to St. Louis in September. I WILL NOT BE SELLING MY HOUSE here in the Cincinnati area. That is a very last resort and will only happen if I can't get the radio station to work here. In St. Louis I can get the money I need to use towards getting the radio station on the air and also hope that I can resolve the noise problem. And I will cross my fingers that we have a opening in our Cincinnati office by next spring and Ithen stick with my current employer of more than eleven years with many more years to come. A job change is also a very last resort.

Personal notes. Sinus problems? Have mentioned some things in the past to help alleviate suffering in the upper respiratory area. Have found that taking Zinc, Golden Seal, Echinacea, Coconut Oil, Olive Oil extract, and Turmeric also help a great deal. Head to your local vitamin and herb aisle at your store of choice and give these a try. They really work.

I've been on the Kentucky side of the Cincinnati metro area now for about seven months. So far aside from the major problems with the location and other issues with my proposed Part 15 AM radio station, life here is not that bad. Service in the local stores and restaurants has been good and most of the meals I've purchased in the local restaurants have been fine. And I am definitely having very few problems with the people here compared to a few other places I've lived over the last fifteen years in the lower Midwest. Not all of course but nearly half have been pretty bad or downright awful. So far, so good here probably due to the southern influences despite this being the very far northern part of Kentucky.

Spell check is abysmal on my Mac. If you ever see a spelling error or the wrong word in place of a correct word in any of my posts please be assured I do know how to spell but the way the Spell Check function works on this software, it fills in a word it "thinks" is correct and not necessarily the one you type or want. Example: Their becomes There. Or To becomes Too. Ugh.

Home Stereo

I would like to pass along some tips for people that are looking for ways to improve the quality of the home audio listening experience. Just basic things and modest priced upgrades can really improve the quality of your music through your stereo.

Here are some things I've done that have really helped. I changed my amplifier. For years I used a Cambridge Audio amp which I found to be too sterile sounding. Bass replication was not that great and it almost sounded cold. Changed to a inexpensive Qinpu A3 for a few years and that was an improvement. It is a integrated amp which combines a tube stage that leads to the solid state output stage. Only problem is that it has only two audio inputs and I need three right now and ultimately four when I add a turntable. It also only has two speaker outputs but I have four speakers. To add insult to injury the Qinpu amp broke during my move to the Cincinnati area. Have been using a Dayton T120 which is a D Class integrated amp Very nice sound but again, only two audio inputs and only capable of handling two speakers, not four. I decided to purchase a 15 year old Yamaha RX 596 Receiver which runs at 80 watts per channel into 8 ohm speakers. This unit has several audio inputs and can handle all of my gear now. What I thought might be a temporary fix may actually be a permanent solution after the results I am seeing with my current gear.

The first upgrade that I did after buying the Qinpu and Dayton amps was adding Audio Quest Type 4 Speaker cables. After the speaker cables included buying Audio Art Interconnect cable (IC-3) for my CD Player (Yamaha S300). Also added a Pangea AC-9 MKII power cable to the Yamaha CD player. These two upgrades yield immediate improvement in the sound stage which became wider and gave better separation to the instruments in virtually all recordings. And it also results in less noise in the audio. And another noticeable difference was to be heard in some of the instruments in some songs actually becoming more layered. Sustains in guitars and piano licks were now more discernible than before. Keyboards sounded a bit "fatter" and bass in some songs became a bit more prevalent than previously.

Fast forward to today. I decided to Bi Wire my Castle Conway 3 Tower speakers (also 15 years old) with some Audio Quest Type 4 Speaker cables to the Yamaha RX 596 Receiver. Still using the Yamaha S300 CD player and all the aforementioned cables. I can't believe the sound I am hearing. As good as the Dayton sounded the Yamaha along with Bi Wiring has brought up the sound quality another full notch. Bass is now much tighter in the Castles than when they were wired with a single pair of cables. And I am definitely hearing more details in the music than before and the separation of the instruments has improved a bit more!

I also have a pair of Mirage OM 10 Tower speakers that are about 17 years old. They still sound great. I am ordering some Blue Jeans Cable Speaker Cables to hook up to this pair of speakers with the hope that it will help improve the sound in these from the regular 12 gauge speaker wire I have been using. Had used Type 4 speaker wire with these at one time but the Spade connectors did not fit the speakers properly. They need pins or a larger spade connector or bare wire. Having learned that Blue Jeans Cable can custom build cables I am going to purchase cables with Bananas on one side and either Pins or bare wire on the speaker side with the hope that they can sound the way they were intended. Also have just ordered a pair of the Blue Jeans Cable LC-i Interconnects to use with my cassette deck with the hope that it will improve the sound of my old cassette recordings.

Hope some of these suggestions will help some other people out there improve their home stereo listening experience. You don't have to spend thousands to see an improvement in you home audio system if you put your mind to it.