Monday, January 25, 2010

Digital TV without cable

Here in Bellingham, it works if one has a clear view toward the mountains north of Vancouver, BC. I get 4 digital TV stations from Vancouver.

Bellingham also has 2 commercial channels from the top of Orcas. KVOS, Channel 12 and a shopping channel called KBCB.

Out of Vancouver, there are 3 commercial stations and the CBC (Canadian National Broadcasting Network). I like CBC Radio, so now I get CBC TV.

Why bother? It's mostly all on the web anyway.

Just thought I'd try out my handiwork and see if I could follow the instructions. I haven't watched TV, but now maybe I'll watch some.

There's good instructions on a web site found from Google search. Make your own antenna with things many folks have around the house, like coat hangers and aluminium foil.

It works, only I used chicken wire instead of aluminium foil. I happened to have some and it's less apt to tear. Still provides the reflective background for TV signal.

Also, on my version of the antenna, the coat hanger elements can be moved closer or farther from the chicken wire. Don't know if that helps or not. It's strapped together with bungee cord and can slide back and forth along two dowels that are perpendicular to the chicken wire square.

Here's CBC television.

Most of the time, I listen to radio and use the Internet.

Making the antenna might be more interesting than what's on TV, most of the time. At least it's something to do.

Now I can watch a bit of TV and not pay for cable which is not common in Bellingham. Almost all of Bellingham is on cable. We are behind the Chuckanut Mountains from Seattle TV signals.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Laser technology celebrates 50 years

According to NPR Science Friday show which I listen to on the web.

In my childhood days of the late 60s, lasers were revered in the media for their violent power. Ability to cut through thick walls of steal, ray guns, warfare.

Little did we know, back then, of the more peaceful application for laser beams; transmitting gobs of information. Quietly pulsing under our feet through cables of fiber optic, lasers carry the conversations of the world. Millions of Youtube videos, e-mails, Skype calls, television shows and internet radio; the laser has made it possible.

Yes, it can still cut steel, can even be used in warfare, but information technology is what I see most often in 2010.

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Pat Robertson and the local GOP

Pat Robertson is getting a lot of deserved flack for his comments about Haiti in 2010.

Imagine, in 1988 Robertson was nominated as the Presidential candidate from the Republican Party of Washington State. His followers packed the party caucuses that year.

Washington didn't have a presidential primary, but used the neighborhood caucus system to field delegates to the state and national party conventions.

It was said that an "invisible army" of Christian conservatives dominated the state Republican caucuses and Robertson became the nominee that year.

Only in Washington; not Washington DC. of course. West coast state of Washington.

Most of the other states went for Bush senior and he became the Republican nominee who then ran against Democratic candidate Michael Dukakis.

The GOP in Washington had to be different that year. Oh well, it's variety.

I went to the Democratic Caucus and put in a vote for Dukakis that year.

It almost rhymes.

Go to the caucus and vote for Dukakis.

Remembering 1988.

Saturday, January 09, 2010

Bellingham based Horizon Bank first FDIC takeover of 2010, so I hear

There's got to be a first bank failure for 2010 somewhere. Might put Bellingham on the map, for 15 minutes at least. 15 minutes of fame.

Horizon Bank is now part of Washington Federal. The FDIC is doing it's thing and supposedly that transition will be seamless for customers and most employees except for the top, so I read.

I haven't used that bank so it's still, basically, just a news item to me.

I felt like I should do a blog entry about this even though I don't have anything significant to add. Not hard to get some images. This momentous news item is just a few blocks away.

Notice old sign covered over with new name on plastic tarp. (Tarp, like TARP funding?) No pun intended. They'll likely mint new signs later.

I have a lot of thoughts about economics in this blog, but not much related to this bank.

Several years back, I wrote about the proposed development on Chuckanut Ridge that Horizon Bank was involved in.

Thursday, January 07, 2010

From my slide collection

Microwave antennas on Mount Spokane in the late 1960s, or real early 1970s.

From my collection of slides. I just got a slide scanner to turn slides into digital images. More childhood memories to come, but many of them might not be worth sharing. The camera I used, back then, was fairly blurry. I think most of the shots where from a Kodak Instamatic. Childhood trips as a passenger in my parents car and more.

Sunday, January 03, 2010

They used to say, "Look that up in your Funk & Wagnalls." Now they say Google it.

My image is a dictionary rather than an encyclopedia, but that's what's handy to photograph right now. Similar concept.