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The Blare Blog

Center of the Bla Bla Galaxy

All Things to Some People

July 2021

Saturday July 31, 2021 2:00 PM CDT -- What Happened --
The Blare Blog was offline for awhile but it was a close one. As we watched Lightning Maps the briskly moving storm front veered and started moving straight south which would have skimmed the outermost edge of our location, but two lightning bolts struck within about a mile which triggered a decision to shut down. By 11:32 AM the storm was sufficiently distant that we began full restoration of website and broadcast services.

Much of the past week while the website was closed under our part time summer schedule we spent installing and learning the new expansion card for our RF Explorer Spectrum Analyzer and there is a lot to learn. After the mechanics of installing the card I poked at the 7 buttons but couldn't figure out how to activate the card. It took a bit of scrolling through the manual but we found the trick for selecting the card which gives us a look at a swath of radio frequencies spanning from 15MHz all the way to 2.7GHz! Each click of the left or right arrows travels increment by increment across this massive expanse. So we dug in and learned a few things. We discovered that it is possible to define particular limited views of whatever part of the spectrum we want to observe and save the setting as a preset! The first test of this was to establish a window from 89.3 to 90.1 MHz so we could see our two FM channels at 89.5 and 89.9 completely apart from the many high power FM signals in the area. The next choice was to view our cordless phone band up around 1.9 GHz and we were very puzzled by what we observed. We placed a call to Free Talk Live's Listen Line (641-793-0191) and did not see any significant RF activity even as the connection was operational, except that at intervals a carrier would appear for around 1-second and then be gone. How can that be? How can a solid telephone connection exist with a very sporadic RF carrier? Finally we wanted to find out what our newly installed Smart Meter was putting in the 900 MHz region. There's a YouTube video claiming we are being pelted with deadly microwaves coming at all times from the Smart Meters, but all we found across the entire 900MHz band was background noise. There's more to learn. 

Saturday July 31, 2021 9:04 AM CDT -- It's Coming Fast --
This is a Storm Update from KDX Control Side-Table inside the Internet Building. We have been monitoring an intense electrical storm front moving southeastward with US (we) in the bullseye! It's now about 40-miles out and moving steadily. I don't think we're going to miss this one.We are preparing to shut down.... LISTEN! Did you hear that? Is that thunder?

Saturday July 31, 2021 7:50 AM CDT -- Why It Looks So Dark --

Weather is likely in our area today, with an 80% chance of thunderstorms. As a safety precaution to reduce the possibility of damage to critical equipment, KDXradio.com and Streaming Station KDX-OGG will go offline if lightning approaches.

Saturday July 31, 2021 6:23 AM CDT -- What Does the Microphone Do? --
We talk about the many operators of low power radio stations under the Part 15 banner, and can't help but notice the big-boss microphones appearing prominently in photographs of their control setups. Yet, upon a closer look, we discover that none of those radio folk do their own announcing. It isn't clear whether they are shy or somehow unable to mouth words, yet those microphones hang there like a fake steering wheel on a kid's wagon. At most, many of the stations use 'voice tracking', the use of either artificial computer synthesized voices or voices-for-hire provided by semi-professionals by special recording. I got to thinking about this after reading the July 26th blog entry by Artisan Radio titled "Voice Tracking".

So what kind of hypocrit am I? I use synthetic announcers on KDX courtesy of ttsmp3.com where the choice of voices and audio quality are acceptable for our purposes and I can sit back and be my lazy self. Having been an actual radio, tv and recording announcer over a long career I consider myself too professional to sit there reading scripts on a small mini-Watt radio station even when I own it. I realize it's a bit pompous of me to criticize other stations, but I think it's funny that they go so far as to have microphones all hooked up and foremost on display, yet shirk announcing duties.

Sunday July 25, 2021 9:35 PM CDT -- Closing the Place Down --
This is the Master Control Desk where this international radio station and website have their technical connections, and my job will be to shut it off until next weekend, but I'm wondering if I need to wait until midnight to give you all a full dose of the Blare Blog. It could happen that in the next 2 & 1/2 hours I might write something that makes it all worthwhile and you'd get the big payback for having waited until the last possible minute. While I'm sitting here 'Sterling On Sunday' is playing on the TECSUN PL-310 radio, and he opened with a little radio play about a large TV control room during the Olympics of a former year, and one of the cast members is the voice that played Flash Frizbone, an even older series of mini-dramas about radio DJs. I happen to know who that actor is, and I know that he's a big shot in the radio industry. I know a lot, in fact, but I'm not going to share any of it right now because I'm only killing time until this Blog and Website close shop until next Saturday morning. Now I'm hearing a commercial for 'curing ED' and I'm thinking, it's become standard practice to blame the male for ED, but I know the truth. ED is the result of women not being 'into it'. When women are 'into it' a man is able to detect it on a very visceral level and everything kicks in without pills. Frankly, the real cure for ED is a different woman. What? The rich donor lady is complaining on line 1? Turn down her donation. That's what I said. I'm in charge of this radio station and no rich society women are going to tell us what to do. In fact, get her husband on the line. He and I can set up a pact and cut off her checking account. That'll cure any man's ED. What time is it now?

Sunday July 25, 2021 12:40 NOON CDT -- Naming Rights in Times of Extinction --
On this week's program Reverend Billy of the Church of Stopshopping reported that his new series "Extinction Talk Radio" has been asked to forego the title because extinctionradio.net already has claim to the title. In a very civil way Rev. Billy accepted the loss and began searching for a new name, inviting listeners to submit their ideas. Here inside the Think Tank we came up with a suggestion and sent it to Reverend Billy, and we'll stand by to find out what he decides. If he doesn't choose my proposal I will be bitter and spiteful for months to come.

Sunday July 25, 2021 10:04 AM CDT -- The Inner Snob --
I have never liked snobs. Probably no one likes them. In school snobs get beaten up everyday on the way home. In the military, snobs are 'accidentally' shot in 'friendly fire' incidents. In prison snobs are 'turned out' as sex slaves.
Understanding What a Snob Is

Classical music radio is home to several types of snobs who don't like each other. One of them went around telling people that 'Carl Blare only knows 80% of the literature'. When I became aware of this I was puzzled, because knowing 80% of the classical catalog would be an unusual achievement because there's so much to know. But I realized he was just outsnobbing me. But I soon learned that anti-snobbery can be fatal if practiced amidst snobbish peers. I'd go on the air and make fun of snobbish affectations such as phony foreign accents, almost a prerequisite for American symphony conductors. That was over the top and caused the rich donor ladies threaten to cut off their fund-drive contributions, which drove the weak-spined manager to notify Carl that he was canceled. The ultimate snobs were the rich donor ladies.

So then, you'd think I'd know better than criticize the part 15 low power radio hobbyists for their conformity in programming a single kind of music in a world with a wide array of choices. Tens of thousands of 'top hits' radio stations and virtually nothing else. The point that needs to be made is that I'm not criticizing the music. What I find significant is the uniformity, the sameness, the clone-ishness of everyone doing exactly the same thing. In my view copycats are redundant and the world doesn't need them. Humans are born with potential individuality, yet somehow cut off the blood supply to their brain by obeying one and the same way of doing everything. Pickup trucks, Christian belligerence, ecologically barron lawns, dislike of other races and nationalities, and top 40 hobby radio stations. And of course there's the hatred and risk of mobbing up to do something about the Blare snob.

Sunday July 25, 2021 8:36 AM CDT -- Sports in Space --
Watching Jeff Bezos and his crew mount the 7-story high staircase up to the Blue Origin passenger capsule we were especially tensed over whether 82-year old Wally Funk would be able to survive all those steps, but she completely aced the climb and joined in the gravity free tossing of Skittles and ping-pong balls while the capsule was hurtling across the edge of space. Thus Space Sports was born!

Meanwhile, down here on earth surface radio station KDX is already preparing to introduce Space Sports as a new broadcast format starting with the launching of thousands of balls into geo-stationary orbit consisting of foot balls, base balls, soccer balls, soft balls, bowling balls, basket balls, ping pong balls, tennis balls, croquet balls, beach balls and some ball bearings, with future plans to get our teams up there for some competition. The definition of an athlete is someone who competes by running, jumping and throwing, and now we'll be doing it in zero gravity.

The Japanese Olympics are floundering badly due to the pandemic, but Space Sports will put the Olympics where it belongs.. way the hell above the clouds!
The Blue Origin Story
- CBS News

Sunday July 25, 2021 6:34 AM CST -- Now What: A Quick News Brief --
First responders Boomer and Artisan Radio comment on the new hours:

BOOMER:  I thought taking the weekdays off was because the Artisan Blog had returned and you were giving the lectern to him, going by the note on the offline page. I was thinking it was a back room handshake deal, maybe some money in an envelope.

CARL:  Not even an empty envelope. Here's what Artisan wrote when he noticed our shortened Blog schedule:

ARTISAN RADIO:  I was a bit disappointed to see in your blog that you're cutting back. I totally understand, however.  This pastime can be a lot of work for very little reward (and, in fact, a lot of abuse).

Ironically, it comes at a time when I'm starting to ramp up. I've done some proof of concepts, broadcasting without a
computer (over the air, of course) and may go that way - I'm slowly gathering up equipment to do it 'old school'.  Interestingly enough, I find that audio quality doesn't suffer, and, in fact, may be better.

I intend to play music on FM (I'm getting 400-500 meters range from an MS-100 I recently purchased new), and OTR on AM (mainly for myself, I doubt I'll get much range from my current residence).  I will be streaming the AM feed only , due to copyright concerns re music.  I also intend to put the blog back up, probably by this weekend.  I've gone through several incarnations of it, all the while agonizing over its content (should I concentrate on radio only, am I being too negative,
etc.).  I've decided to just let my opinions go wherever they end up and see what happens.  One of the ongoing topics in the blog will be an unexpurgated history of the ALPB, another my adventures in moderation over at Part15.us (now .org).

I just enjoy writing too much to give the blog up.

Anyway, hope things are OK with you, and maybe you'll regain your energy
and enthusiasm again.  I certainly have! -- Artisan Radio

CARL:  I wrote back to Artisan to assure him that I have not become weary or discouraged and in fact am simply 'playing with my radio toys' by experimenting with part time hours. Of course money in an envelope could change things immediately!

BOOMER:  I'm used to the convenience of a website being available 24 hours a day, and mostly having fresh news on the weekdays, but it might be good to counter-program and do weekend operation. It's what I've thought radio hosts could do. They all seem to take off at the same time, but some lone wolf host could try a live show when everything else on the dial is highlights. I wonder how listeners would react?

CARL:  There is a lone wolf who understands the weekend vacuum on commercial radio, and his name is Walter M. Sterling. You can probably hear him in your area over the radio.
Sterling On Sunday

BOOMER:  I'll agree it's a crime that people don't listen to classical music. Even for me, as a big music fan, I don't immediately go to classical when I think of music, and I blame that on growing up in the era of rock and roll. Kids tend to listen to whatever is fed to them on popular music stations, and don't really like that old music their parents listen to.

I heard classical through the 'Pops' that my mother would listen to, beautiful music stations with their instrumentals, Lawrence Welk's orchestra, 101 Strings records and movie soundtracks. Really, classical motifs have been used in many rock songs over the years.

CARL:  Over the years I've developed a belief that many people literally suffer from hearing damage which naturally ruins their ability to enjoy the sonic beauty of acoustical (non-amplified) music. Rock concerts, loudspeaker volumes in bars, power lawn equipment, jet engines around airports, firearms... many causes of permanent hearing loss.

BOOMER:  I guess you do have weird programs, not the names you hear every day. I get that with the less heard music I like to play in the freeform style. I like to ask what kind of music you think we should be playing, maybe it's something we don't know about.

CARL:  My programming on KDX is mostly talk, but I have drifted away from my core mission of exposing organized religion and religious superstition as the most harmful causes of human downfall in the world. Instead, I've been carrying a lot of journalistic programming which keeps me informed about world events and the political games that go into it. News stations are not uncommon in the realm of licensed radio, but for some reason the part 15 little stations mostly incline toward the same limited forms of music, the same way all Republicans prefer red hats.

BOOMER: As for selling a transmitter without talking about what antenna it will need, that could be it, keeping things simple, so the station operator will stay focused on the dream, not the amount of work it will take to get the best range.

CARL:  After years of touring the depths of my own imagination, I now have a clear idea of an antenna design I'd like to try, but it will require the dimensional shaping of metal. That's the tricky part I am not trained to master, but like a dog who knows there's something in the hole I will keep digging.

Friday July 23, 2021 6:39 AM CDT -- Post Card from Vacation --
The Blog has been off all week because the entire KDX-dot-com website has been offline, making us perhaps the only website in the world that keeps part time hours. What I've noticed, and something I didn't expect, is that I'm far less inclined to write new blog entries everytime an idea pops into the head. That is a benefit, because despite the fact I enjoy blogging there are other tasks and projects taking place that require time and attention, so there's a good argument in favor of disconnecting from the web during the week.

By great fortune our colleague Artisan Radio happened to choose this very time to re-start his Blog, Website and Streaming Radio Station, providing low power radio followers with a constant connection 24/7. His opening blog makes a concise statement as to why he chooses to open his radio service and the Bowen TV video adds an excellent welcome greeting. Make a stop at Artisan's site. Check out the Blog, Program Schedule, and enjoy original oldtime radio shows:
Artisan Radio

Wednesday July 21, 2021 9:55 AM CDT -- They Call It a 'Break' --
Coffee break. Cheese break. Maybe the original idea was to think of it as a 'brake', a stopping of rigorous activity to do something more relaxing. Caller lines are open.

Monday after dark we closed the KDX Website for the rest of the week, me thinking that a 7-day a week hobby website might be overdoing it. It seems quieter around here without it, even though the radio station is still on everyday because I enjoy hearing other people tell me what they make of it, with yet another variant entering the frackus.. Lambda is it?

I wore a mask this morning to take the bagged yard waste down to the street. Six bags packed with dead bamboo branches that took me six weeks to load. Whenever I do something strenuous I wonder if the resulting dizziness foresignals death and wonder if I should make a phone call or dash off a will, but I was more interested in the coding problem we were having with the KDX-OGG stream. I even watched some YouTube Icecast videos at 5 AM and couldn't find one presentation that wasn't annoyingly nerdish. One guy said he was about to do a tutorial on streaming with Icecast, but added the caveat that "If you don't know how to load an encoder you shouldn't be doing this." Somebody should tutor him on what tutelage is.

If you don't know it already Artisan Radio is streaming some great OTR, just go to Demand Radio on the above options menu and visit Artisan Radio. Take a brake.

Monday July 19, 2021 1:06 PM CDT -- Here's the Thing --
When a person finds a radio program weird, he has the right not to listen. However, how can anyone know a program is weird if he doesn't hear it?

Monday July 19, 2021 9:19 AM CDT -- KDX Home to Weird Radio Personalities --
During a recent conversation with a reader of our Blog, we were told "I don't listen to KDX because of the weird programs." All at once that reader rushed away before explaining what he found weird about it. Taken aback by the criticism, we reviewed our program schedule and have yet to recognize whatever 'weirdness' might reside. Following is a partial list of journalists and personalities heard on KDX (in no special order):
          Ralph Nader           Jesse Ventura          Thom Hartmann             Michael Moore            Al Franken
          William Shatner      Harry Schearer        Holland Cooke               Maria Gilardin             David Swanson
          Seth Andrews          George Hrab           Reverend Billy Talen     Seth Shostak                Peter Anthony Holder
          Adam Curry             John C. Dvorak      Chris Hedges                  John Kiriakou              Jeffrey Blankfort
          Lee Stranahan          Dan Barker            Annie Laurie Gaylor       Heidi Boghosian          Michael Steven Smith
          Glenn Hauser           Steve Gibson          Janine Jackson                Dr. Steven Novella      Cara Santa Maria
          Jeremy Scahill          Leo Laporte           Kirk Harnack                  Julie Amacher              John Perry
          Dan Roberts             Ian Freeman           Alan Herrick                   James Underdown       Tommy D. Mischke
          Steve Skrovan          David Feldman       Sam Mulvey                   Dr. Ginger Campbell    Dennis Miller

Monday July 19, 2021 6:22 AM CDT -- Your Attention Please --
Effective Tuesday July 20, 2021, this kdx.com website will be available on Weekends Only. For more information refer to 'Minutes of the Meeting'.

Monday July 19, 2021 5:57 AM CDT -- Minutes of the Meeting --
Over this past weekend the Board of Misdirectors of Worldround Radio met at a disclosed location for their Summer 2021 Meeting and called for a financial report from managing actor Carl Blare, who said that for yet another year the Website and Radio Station have cost a "lot" of money and earned "next to nothing". Asked "Well then why do we do it?", Mr. Blare answered, "Because I like it". The Board passed a Resolution to discontinue some weekday services effective ASAP. When asked "What are we cutting?" the Board told Blare "Cut the Website. Just do it on weekends." Blare said, "I know three people who will be disappointed." The Board concluded, "We've got to have some semblance of reality around here. What's the restaurant situation?"

Sunday July 18, 2021 12:28 NOON CDT -- Gender Fluidity --
At its roots the genders of a species are limited to those combinations capable of reproducing that species. Fundamentally, in the human species the limit is binary and dependent on male and female fertility. But we've entered a time when impotent genders by the score are claiming equality on a scale figuratively represented by the color spectrum as personified by the rainbow flag. The freedom to 'wear' gender as a changeable costume has come to be protected as a rightful expression following a dark age when gender gaming was hidden in shame, denial and in ways banned by law. Trying to describe the state of gender is going to take more work on the part of Wikipedia, which threw this color streaked paint against the wall.
Gender Splatter
It's sort of like trying to glean meaning from the phrase 'critical race theory', but the main thing is that cosplay has been taken away from the theatre stage and become available to private individuals to play act as they will, giving us bearded cheer leaders, fully lipsticked eye-lined soldiers in high heels, husbands married to husbands, and middle grounders on dating sites that await unwrapping to know for sure. Will we need birth control? Your guess is as good as mine.

Sunday July 18, 2021 5:51 AM CDT -- Let Me Get This Straight --
So I was wondering. If you go to college and get a 'master's degree', what is that? Does it mean you can keep slaves? It isn't a title that people seem to post on their door, so, um...

Alright, so, word is that reopening restaurants and other businesses are having difficulty finding workers, and blame seems to suggest people are getting handsome unemployment benefits and mostly loafing at home. But what about the fact that over 607,365 people have died from the virus? Might some of those have been workers now lost to the work force?

And you got people smacking their lips over the ridiculous rise in property values, they could have close to $400,000 for their ordinary homes. But wait. Then where would they live? Oh, they could purchase a different $400,000 home. But since they have one already...

Over in England they're going to build a batch of satellite dishes for tracking space debris and be able to predict when massive objects the size of city buses are going to fall toward earth. We envision an entire new industry opening up known as 'junk trackers'. Probably junk already on earth needs to be tracked so it doesn't fall into space. I'm new at this.

Sunday July 18, 2021 5:06 PM CDT -- Advantages of Advanced Age --
As a rule the girls don't pay attention to the older men which leaves the men plenty of time to build and operate personal radio stations. A dramatic exception is when the old man is considered to have substantial means which makes him all at once an object of great interest based on the question, "how much do you think he's worth?" This can be avoided by occasionally letting it be known that the guy was rich but lost his fortune in a divorce. The divorce doesn't have to be real for this to work.

Saturday July 17, 2021 4:09 PM CDT -- When I Think About Radio My Antenna Goes Up --
Boomer understands about antennas.

I think that's right Carl, so much attention is paid to the transmitter, that box of parts you see by itself on an advertisement, but the antenna is rarely discussed in detail, and that's something that could make or break the radioman's experience on the air.

Radio broadcasting is really a system, transmitter, antenna, a ground that's just as important as the antenna, and the audio being fed to the transmitter. The receiver is also part of the complete system, which many broadcasters don't think about because it's an unknown factor, and listeners will use whatever radio they have.

Looking at it, the transmitter is always at the focal point when people think about starting home broadcasting. It's the high tech centerpiece of the project, and the item that would make sellers the most profit, unless you plan to buy an Isotron antenna for your system! The Isotron is a premium built-to-order antenna.

Could it also be that sellers are trying to comply with the 'kit' rules in home building? You could say that a transmitter by itself is only part of a kit, because it can't go on the air without an antenna and ground.

- Boomer

Mister Boomer, I agree on every point, and would add that perhaps the transmitter sellers are worried that the already scarce transmitter market might balk at the fear of spooking the potential buyer by bringing in the complications posed by constructing a proper antenna. That's why we need a simple 'out-of-the-box' antenna. I know that even I, a dedicated broadcaster with technical experience, have yet to construct a serious outdoor antenna. I can understand the hesitancy.

Saturday July 17, 2021 7:36 AM CDT -- All Kinds of Things Go On --
WOMAN:  This surprises me. I thought you were gay.
MAN:  I make exceptions.
- An original radio play by Carl Blare

Saturday July 17, 2021 7:30 AM CDT --
Freethought of the Day --
"Religion is such a medieval idea. Don't get me started. I have thought
about every facet of religion and I can't buy any of it."
- Phyllis Diller, comedian, actress, author
- ffrf.org

Friday July 16, 2021 4:36 PM CDT -- Rain, Working from Home --
Every time we don't look the weather forecast changes. What was to be several days of storms is all at once reduced to a 40% then 30% chance of rain until 7 tonight, then nothing for the next week. Which reminds me of a call I had in which I was lucky to reach a human regarding inability to log in to an online account to find out the next payment deadline. She was very professional and after we'd talked I freely fantasized that, working from home during COVID, she'd been disappointed when we said goodbye and had a visceral hope that she'd finally encounter a man like me. It's all for the best because she would have eventually realized that streaming radio came before her.

Friday July 16, 2021 4:25 PM CDT -- Setting Up in a Shipping Container --
Sounds Like a Plan

Friday July 16, 2021 3:16 PM CDT -- Coming Next --
The 'intentional radiators' allowed under FCC Part 15.219 (pertaining to the AM band) are genuine micro radio transmitters legally permissible for operation for hobbyists, religious purposes, or small business ventures. The transmitters themselves are easy to handle, install, connect, but the bugaboo is the need for an efficient yet rule-compliant antenna. Until somebody invents a small managable Part 15 antenna the entire application of this otherwise fertile potential is bogged in technicalia that exceeds ordinary do-ability. It is therefore that Carl Blare continues to ignore the usual critics who insist that antenna theory is written law not subject to change. He prefers to believe that there's something else tucked in the laws of physics so far overlooked and waiting to be found. It's not that he wants to get rich. It's only a desire to solve the final puzzle in bringing personal AM radio into common grasp.

Friday July 16, 2021 2:32 PM CDT -- How Can You Explain It? --
I clearly remember
That I don't have a very good memory.
- Carl Blare, not sure of what he's talking about

Friday July 16, 2021 2:03 PM CDT -- We're Already In Space --
It's a very interesting space to live in,
where you're living in the questions
and the universe is slipping you answers.
- Jason Sudeikis, actor, comedian, screenwriter, producer
Taken from tvtech SmartBrief
While on the 'space' subject I'll give my small-change viewpoint, during this time when reports of UFO's are now UAP's and billionaires are jumping like grasshoppers up through stratospheres and ionospheres to see what space is like when down here we understand that there is nowhere to be other than space. Where do they think the earth is? On the other hand the tourist in us goes exploring places on far earth, around the hemispheres, so by that measure taking a jump skyward is only a variation of the same old thing. No one understands that better than RoadShow host Tommy D. Mischke who pursues his own travel plan.
The Final Frontier
The car broke down so I'm taking out the spaceship

Friday July 16, 2021 10:56 AM CDT -- If You Think You Know What's Going On You're a Silly Goose --
That being the case, here's what I think has gone on here this morning. As we've been writing about, some new approaches to radio streaming were given a try and the results not totally encouraging, so we shifted back to the regular setup but found nagging failures involving some of the operation. Eventually we resorted to the favorite cure-all used by computer users everywhere - the full re-boot. This seemed to repair the problems we were having so we decided to check the e-mail and found a message from the ISP notifying us that "Some users are having trouble logging in to their e-mail accounts". Evidently this included us because the e-mail never came on display. Well think about it. If the ISP is having one problem, they might be having any number of other problems along with it. Don't you get it? What if none of the problems we encountered earlier were ours, perhaps the ISP was gumming things up. What if everything in the universe is the result of one mistake at the beginning of time. Oh wait, come to think of it, that's exactly what the Bible says. It has to do with snakes. Small snakes get eaten by geese. Large snakes eat geese. The Bible doesn't say that.

Friday July 16, 2021 8:19 AM CDT -- Internet Interferences --
Following our early morning stream experiments described in 'Storms and Streams' we have detected a number of internet anamolies following a return to normal streaming operation. The situation places doubt into the accuracy of earlier observations during experimental exploration, rendering those outcomes indefinite.

Friday July 16, 2021 6:06 AM CDT -- Storms and Streams --
Another several days of storms is moving through the KDX operational area, starting with thunder last night that had us disconnect and enter security mode. The arriving storm had the potential of intense wind gusts, but by luck the path of fury skimmed the very eastern edge of the population area and moved into another state. The night was pleasantly quiet with a hardly noticeable heavy rain around 3 AM. At 4 AM it was time to give StereoTool a test drive as a stream encoder.

Right away we were able to relay audio to the Icecast Server by way of the StereoTool Streamer, and we learned a few things from the documentation. StereoTool utilizes the VLC Player's streaming capability which of course requires having VLC installed. The relationship between StereoTool and VLC is entirely 'under the hood' and does not require opening or adjusting the VLC Player. And, although MP3 is selectable as a stream format, StereoTool recommends using the OGG/Vorbis format because of known defects and limitations within the MP3 codec. Using a chorale for organ by Cesar Franck as the test music, we were streaming, but the meta data information showing the current program title was not transferring to the Icecast Server and the directory listing facility was not posting to Xiph nor Steamcast. The worst discovery was that turning off the StereoTool Streamer caused StereoTool to crash. Restarting it came up with the Streamer turned on. Trying to close the streamer caused the program to crash. This went on for quite awhile until somehow we took charge, not sure what we did that broke the cycle. The experience brings heightened appreciation for the B.U.T.T. (Broadcast Using this Tool) Encoding Utility.

Thursday July 15, 2021 9:45 AM CDT -- Techy Tinkerings --
Streaming from an Icecast Server we have found that if the server is turned on too early in our startup procedure it does not register itself at the Steamcast Directory. When this happens we are able to stop and restart Icecast, but turning on the stream server later in the sequence avoids the problem. The string of inter-operating softwares that open our website and radio servers number about nine.

We are experimentally streaming in the MP3 format under the callsign KDX-MP3 after previous operation in the OGG/Vorbis format as KDX-OGG. It appears that MP3 remains the most popular audio format despite apparent efficiencies achieved in AAC, OGG, and OPUS formats. It may be a moot point given that most audio players respond to all of the formats.

We have reason to be somewhat inquisitive about the status of Icecast, its XIPH Directory and the OGG and OPUS formats since activity by the developers has been at a standstill for a long time.

The trouble recently experienced with the B.U.T.T. Encoder update may have an easy solution according to instructions in the manual; we'll be putting our hunch to the test possibly today.

The audio processor StereoTool contains a section noted as an experimental Stream Encoder, and we'll be giving it a trial sometime soon as a possible substitute for B.U.T.T.  

The highly versatile VLC Audio Player also contains provisions for streaming and we'll be delving into what possibilities it may offer. We presently utilize VLC as a kind of virtual audio cable to monitor our radio stream over the designated hardware chain.

Wednesday July 14, 2021 11:23 AM CDT -- Net Neutrality is On the FCC Do List --
Acting FCC Chairwoman Jessica Rosenworcel fully hopes to bring back net neutrality.
Biden's Got to Get Off His Duff and Appoint a Commissioner to An Empty Seat

Wednesday July 14, 2021 9:40 AM CDT -- Why Do People Lie? --
William Shatner sets out to learn the answer.
I Don't Understand - Episode No. 1
RT America is a video network giving viewers the choice of watching William Shatner, and if you 'scrape' the audio then it becomes a radio program, as heard on KDX.

Wednesday July 14, 2021 6:58 AM CDT -- That Coffee's Not Real --
Mister Carl Blare is thinking about launching a new daily radio show free for all radio stations. If he decides to go with it, the tentative title will be "Morning Coffee with Carl". As he sees it, the show will be a quick 5-minute coffee break in between musical segments on most stations, or a time-filler for talk stations so the talker can grab a bathroom break. On this show Blare will share things he thinks about like his idea concerning what the UAPs are (Unidentified Aerial Phenomena), lingering questions about these vaccines we keep hearing about, time-fillers used by Carl to fill his time-filler, such as episodes of Flash Frizbone, a hero of radio from the 1970s who moved from station to station because of instabilities on everybody's part, an in depth probe of human psychology to explain why people always want something other than what's happening, a continuing observation of the latest research in the science of sleep and dreaming, sharing emails and phone calls from listeners, small chit chats with staff members including impersonal assistant Flotilla DeGlued and her sister Dissaray who doesn't work here but stops by for coffee and the hope of meeting Brooce whom she once spoke with on a phone call that Carl was having, legal advice from lawyer Stag Pinstripe, medical opinions of Doctor Proctor Cavalier, wildlife expeditions in our lovely wooded campus to see if any birds or rabbits have survived the black cat that lounges here all day while its owner is at work, and any other subject or topic. Carl says, "I don't know. I might do it. I think about it. It would be a good idea. Probably the stations would like it. Getting top rank programming free is what they all look for. Eventually I'd resent not being paid, but that's only human. Maybe we could get a coffee sponsor. But they don't need the promotion. Coffee is already a major part of peoples' lives. Still, there would be a good match combining coffee with the Blare image. Let's just play it one ear at a time."

Tuesday July 13, 2021 2:37 PM CDT -- Reduce Sound Between Rooms By 1/2 --
The Sound Screw

Monday July 12, 2021 4:04 PM CDT -- We Are Kept Going By an Illusion --
Deep thinkers are able to realize that biological attraction is an absolute illusion
often manifesting as a full blown delusion,
but without it there's no way our species would reproduce itself.

- C. Blare, following considerable introspection

Monday July 12, 2021 3:15 PM CDT -- We Can't All Survive This --
While hoards of spoiled adults crowd back into 'normalcy' or 'normality', however you wish to say it, reality is following a much larger script in which the pandemic is every bit still in full force regardless of popular belief that it has ended, and the planet is determinedly flexing whatever shakes off the pests that are threatening it's continued life in the universe. The vast majority cling to faith in superstitious 'god planning' and trust that air conditioning and streaming movies will see us through.

Monday July 12, 2021 3:09 PM CDT -- It Took the Rest of the Day --
After failing to solve the defects in the new B.U.T.T. (Broadcast Using This Tool) update, we spent hours back-setting our computer to the last functioning version, got it streaming, and then accidentally 'hit something', which means we inadvertantly tapped a key on the keyboard and the volume level of everything dropped to a whisper. It took another hour to fix that, but still don't know what caused it. The always changing webscape improves things until failure is reached, and there we sit.

Monday July 12, 2021 11:48 AM CDT -- Out of Service Announcements --
KDX-AM has been off the air much of the week because of a string of electrical storms that's been passing by; we disconnect from the ground radial system to avoid giving lightning a path into the transmitter room. We noticed a major tree down across the roadway about 700-feet up the way as a probable indication of a windstorm overnight.

KDX-OGG is not streaming due to audio defects in a new B.U.T.T. stream encoder upgrade installed this morning. Before we revert to the previous version we'll spend some time scrolling around to see if anyone else is having the same result.

Opening and closing our large network of servers and transmitters to avoid dangerous storm damage is time consuming and will more often be met by leaving services offline for longer periods of time.

Saturday July 10, 2021 6:16 AM CDT -- I Don't Understand --
William Shatner is set to host a new series of weekly programs from RT America in Washington DC.
Captain's Log

Friday July 9, 2021 7:24 AM CDT -- What All is In the Air --
invisible radiations
By R. Kreyser - Moved to Commons from the English Wikipedia., Public Domain, Link

Brooce is located near the Atlantic Ocean somewhere in Pennsylvania and reports receiving KSIV-FM a St. Louis station with 85,000 Watts. As radio scouts know, the game is to fish out the rare and distant signals, it makes no difference what those stations are sending by way of program.

Meanwhile, from practically within sight of the St. Louis city limits and very much near the master antenna that carries KSIV-FM, I, Carl Blare, have taken up a renewed interest in the Wi-Fi neighborhood of frequencies ever since the electric company installed their Smart Meter on the side of our Internet Building. We took a look at the 2.4GHz version of our RF-Explorer Handheld Signal Analyzer which provides a screen view of the entire Wi-Fi band of 13 channels showing signals jumping all over the place with bustling activity. For comparison we next took a look at the Wi-Fi Adapter Stick on our desktop and noted that, for the early 6 AM hour, Wi-Fi channels 6 and 11 were handling most neighborhood traffic, indicating that a lot of what we saw on the Spectrum Analyzer was other than ordinary Wi-Fi internet traffic and might be cordless phones or video doorbells.
hand spectrum Far from satisfied we obsessed with curiosity over what was happening at other nearby frequencies used by cordless phones and Smart Meters, such as the 900 MHz and 1 GHz spectrum, and sent away for an extension card for installation in the RF-Explorer, which will expand the available view of RF signals sharing the air around us.

Thursday July 8, 2021 1:01 PM CDT -- Shure Wants FCC to Do Something About Vacant TV Channels --
White Space Business

Tuesday July 6, 2021 1:45 PM CDT -- A Person of Recent Acquaintance --
The performance artist who worked under the moniker 'Like a Villain' turns out to be a singer, composer named Holland Andrews, now entered in our personal directory of favorite composers.
Holland Andrews

Tuesday July 6, 2021 1:28 PM CDT -- The Gary Davis Story --
Martin Sheen will be appearing in a documentary about the concept of naming the World as one's country.
The World is My Country Website

Tuesday July 6, 2021 11:07 AM CDT -- Treats Today --
Thom Hartmann is back from holiday and has a special guest today during the 3rd hour when actor Martin Sheen will talk of a new film about being a 'citizen of the world' and what it means.

Also, I've researched the composer named below as 'Like a Villain'
('A Song About Romance') and come upon a most interesting musical personality about whom we hope to learn more. We'll post later today with more facts.

Tuesday July 6, 2021 7:05 AM CDT -- Money for Short Paragraphs --
This morning's broadcast of Cory Doctorow's podcast talks about 'Self Publishing' and mentions offers seen around the internet to earn real money for writing short paragraphs. I, Carl Blare, write short paragraphs everyday under the banner of The Blare Blog, and if I could get paid for it how much would it take to get rich?
Self Publishing

Monday July 5, 2021 6:19 PM CDT -- On the Borderline Between Beauty and Inspiration --
A wonderful peice of music from a creator called 'Like a Villain'.
A Song About Romance

Monday July 5, 2021 1:09 PM CDT -- Cultural Distancing --
This week's SymphonyCast from American Public Media features two exceptional works performed under novel circumstances. Rachmaninoff's 2nd Piano Concerto and Shostakovitch's 7th Symphony, performed to an empty hall in Minneapolis during the height of COVID. The Minnesota Orchestra made the decision to carry forward with the concert given they'd rehearsed and were prepared, so they served a radio-only audience, the musicians clad in full concert black.

Melodies from the Rachmaninoff Concerto have been borrowed for many romantic songs and heard as theme music in motion pictures, gloriously beautiful, and having been composed following a several year depression brought on by the disastrous premier of his 1st Symphony when he was 19-years old.

The Shostakovitch 7th was a radio hit in the early 40's when scores of European broadcasts were followed by the U.S premier under Arturo Toscanini and his NBC Orchestra. It became an anthem of the Second World War which was still raging as Nazi troops marched toward Leningrad, Russia, in a relentless quest to conquer the Soviet Republic. The composer's photograph appeared on the cover of Time Magazine wearing the hat of the fire brigade where he volunteered amidst the tension of air raids and oncoming battles. Spare moments were spent composing what stands as a portrayal of imminent war mixed with bitterly wistful emotions.

When I think of so many people who ignore this music and have no curiosity to explore it I wonder if perhaps there've been more lobotomies than surgical records indicate.

Monday July 5, 2021 5:55 AM CDT -- Critical Race Theory --
An entire jello spill in three words.
Critical Race Theory
There. Now that you've read the link you can explain to us what is meant by those words 'critical race theory'. Go ahead. Explain it to us. We're all listening.

Sunday July 4, 2021 2:31 PM CDT -- In the Words of An Independent Man --

As the central activity this 4th Holiday in the U.S., KDX is sending out some Blare OnAir programs so we can recall things we got away with saying in previous years. The one linked here was a response to being violently ejected from the hobby radio club that was totally demolished when a failed chairman lost his mind and started pushing furniture out the window.
Blare OnAir Rules for Listeners

Sunday July 4, 2021 2:13 AM CDT -- Beer Belly Blogs --
Looks like we've stirred Boomer!

You know what, Busch has a beer for dogs, made from bone broth. It was given a push during the pandemic, being that people were at home with their dogs more, and now you could have a beer with your best friend.

If you want to know interesting facts about beer, there's a book called 'B Is For Beer', a coffee table reader.


Next we'll have dog taverns and routy dogs howling sea shanties until all hours.

And while looking forward to reading B Is For Beer the next time we're near a coffee table, the question needs to be begged, why is 'B' the second letter of the alphabet? I mean, why are the 24-letters of the alphabet taught and recited in a standard order? We won't have true independence until we can recite the alphabet in any order of our choosing! I like to start out with the letter 'G' and go from there.

Saturday July 3, 2021 12:48 NOON CDT -- Introducing Powdered Beer --
Powdered drinks have always seemed to me, Carl Blare, like a modern efficiency that avoids the costly transportation of water as part of conventional beverages. Imagine attending a ball game with a pocket full of light-weight powder-packs. Water would be easily obtained from a public fountain and a little stirring would give you all the beer you'd need to make an event of it. For me the daily infusion of morning coffee comes from powder crystals which provide all the boost desired from coffee but never interferes with sleep, an unexpected side benefit. Not so long ago we read that someone was developing a powdered alcohol of some generic variety, a whiskey of sorts, and we have fantasized about being the inventor of powdered beer, but we waited too long and the Danish have pioneered the world's first!
Powdered Beer from Denmark

Saturday July 3, 2021 -- The Nature of the Medium --

What we have here is one medium speaking of another medium. We've got media reflecting on it's selfs. There's the written medium represented by the blog form, but tasked with a discussion of radio as a medium, especially its technical under carriage, which at its best works transparently in delivery of speech and music.

As writer of this little essay I became stalled over the difference between 'speech' and 'speach', briefly losing confidence in all the writing of my entire past life in which I may have confused the two. I mean, we 'speak', we don't 'speek', so 'speach' seems appropriate but look at the 1st Amendment about 'Freedom of Speech'. Why wouldn't I think the whole thing is a lawyer's trick in which we end up not having freedom of 'speach'. Certainly the July 3rd Holiday Weekend would seem an inopportune time to question our independence, even though it would apply only to United Statons. All it took to settle the fuss was a consult to Wicktionary dot org to learn that 'speach' is an obsolete form of 'speech'. But come to think of it you'd think the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, adopted in 1791, would contain the 'obsolete' version, the history of American English not having much history prior to that time, but I'm thinking aloud.

The voices and instruments coming out of the radio can be heard clearly if the electronics in the delivery path are well tuned by artful technicians with the common objective of making given stations loud enough to stand out on the dial. But take the moment for the sake of grins to tune down the line from station to station and there will probably be a few of them that sound weaker than the others. While this could be a sign of poor engineering, it sometimes flags a 'purist' engineer who strives to match the dynamic range of a real concert hall.

A concert hall might represent a medium in itself, but can generally be assumed to consist of a quiet indoor space in which the lowest volume of musical performance might be very quiet compared to maximum velocity which is known to cause hearing loss to some musicians over the course of their career. From pianississimo (very very quiet) to fortississimo (very very loud), the dynamic range of an orchestra is huge, ranging perhaps from a low of minus-60dB to +5dB, (estimating), and the purist engineers who try to shoe-horn this vast range of volume levels into the limited confines of a radio carrier invariably end up with a signal that sounds very dim on average, and only becomes well defined at the loudest moments of musical transmissions. Most listeners do not have their radios in concert halls but most usually are in cars and homes where ambient noise conceals quieter audio coming from the radio.

It is for these reasons that Pierre Linear, chief engineer of KDX, adjusts our audio levels actually while noisy air conditioning equipment is turned on full force, setting the knobs so that whispers can be heard as clearly as blaring crescendos, making our station easy to hear.

Thursday July 1, 2021 8:20 AM CDT -- The Electrics --

In between bouts of electrical storms all the fine programming heard on KDX Worldround Radio is dispensed from a chain of electronic devices which require constant care and attention from our chief engineer, Pierre Linear, a figment of myself. Between the one of us there are continual high priorities that skim the boundaries of catastrophe and defy being written about. Take for example the percieved emergency when our RF Explorer Signal Analyzer became locked in an on/off flashing mode requiring an entire day of urgent software surgery to bring it back to life so we could resume watching waveforms across the 2.4 GB Wi-Fi Band. We were prepared to blame the electric company's new Smart Meter on suspicion of overloading the delicate antenna circuit, but installing a firmware upgrade restored the Analyzer and spared the reputation of the meter.

Youtube radio reviews recently brought our attention to comparisons among various TECSUN models as we foresee the aging of  our PL-310 which serves as an essential test and measurement tool with its on-screen signal-strength indicator, providing eyes on the power levels of our radio transmitters at varying distances from their antennas. A convincing case was made that the newer PL-380 sported several improvements, and there was also a competition between the larger PL-660 and PL-880. By taking the matter further to Radio Jay Allen's radio review website, complexity and confusion entered the exploration by his reviews of PL-330, PL-365, PL-660, PL680, PL-880 and PL-990, in addition to a number of sets with other numbers not pre-fixed 'PL'. Indecision is a status.

Thursday Jul 1. 2021 7:12 AM CDT -- Franken FM Granted 6-Month Stay of Execution
(Nothing to do with Al Franken)
Channel 6 Radio Life Extension

Thursday July 1, 2021 5:43 AM CDT -- Upon Starting a New Month --

From the center of north america, smack in the middle of the United States of America, KDX Worldround Radio begins another month of blogging and blabbing. It's raining steadily which will cause the grass to grow, and we're already finding ways to avoid the inconvenience of mowing it.
Plan A

June 2021 August 2021 Exit to Entrance