Monday, October 18, 2010

I just bought

a weather radio and I think I have found a winner.

As yor have probably found out, I like simplicity. I have posted that I removed the power steering, air conditioning and a few other things from the Miata and I have made an entire post extolling the virtues of the P-38 can opener.

I like to check the weather from time to time and in the summer it's good to have an idea of when the periodic thunderstorms are due. While I have cable TV and as a result access to the Weather Channel, it seems like a lot of extra work to fire up the TV and have to wait seven munutes and fifty-nine seconds for 'Weather on the 8s' because you always seem to turn the tube on the instant they have just finished with the 'Weather on the 8s'. It can't fail.

Now, I am not one of these guys that needs to see the Doppler Radar photos and see what is happening in Outer Slobivia and how it creating a front that is pushing a series of storms into Inner Mongolia that is going to effect the Festival Week coming up in Bumfuck, Egypt that is eventually going to create a storm that will push through to Canada and down to the Great Lakes which will work it's way south to Pittsburgh. I couldn't care less.

What I want to know is if it's going to rain, shine or snow later on in the day so I can figure out if the hot dogs in the refrigerator are going to be fried inside or if I can fire up the grille. I also want some heads up time for any aharp storms passing through the area.

For this I don't need a television and the commercial radio stations will make you wait until their scheduled news, weather and sports program comes on. This takes up more time than the TV does.

What I need is a simple NOAA VHF reciever with an on/off switch.

I used to have one until someone borrowed it and decided that they apparently needed it more than I do so they kept it. It was an old Radio Shack weather cube and they don't make that style anymore, but they do make one that's close.

I snagged it for under $20 on line and I think it's going to be OK. All I have to do is set the frequency and the volume one time and then when I want the weather, I just push a button and Presto! Instand local NOAA weather. When I have heard what I want, I press the button again and it shuts of, ready for the next time I want to hear the weather.

It is a simple setup with no alarm clocks, AM/FM bands, lights, built in cameras, keypads and the like. Just an on/off switch.

Although not heavily advertised, it was fairly easy to find which surprised me because slmost every time I go looking for sommething simple it becomes an exercise in futility. Things this simple are like the P-38 can opener. They work well, do the job, are inexpensive and generally do one thing exceptionally well.

They are also like red capes in front of bulls for every dweeb of an engineering type that wants to improve everything he sees. These mental midgets never seem to understand simplicity. Hand one of these geniuses a simple P-38 and he will redesign it with 2 battery packs, 4 computer chips, 974 moving parts and a per unit cost of $8762/ unit with a weight of 8 pounds and it won't open a can worth a tinker's damn. I wanted to avoid the product of this mentality.

When I went looking for this VHF radio, I saw dozens of different kinds out there with all sorts of different features.
There were multi band radios, radios with alarms, radios with flashlights built in, AM/FM radios that had the NOAA weather band installed and a whole slew of others. I was pretty quick at eliminating these.

I went straight for the simpler models available.

Somewhat to my surprise there were a couple of them out there, and reasonably priced, to boot.

The Weather Cube I had bought from Radio Shack years ago was available, and had been updated only by changing the style of the case and by a little internal polishing to keep it from 'drifting', which is a plus. With the old weather cube I would have to reset the frequency every several months because it would drift off frequency a little.

So I went this route, and it is sitting at home now resting on a table ready for me to checl the weather with the touch of a finger. Not bad for $20, delivered.

I guess this lousy little $20 radio may not sound like a whole lot, and I suppose the techno heads of the newer generation may scoff, but I feel this is worth the post because this entire blog really is about the little dopey things that add up to be a part of a complete life.

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