Radio Update for May 2019: Bluebonnets, a Tower, and an Ode to Radio

radio tower in Carl's Corner, Texas
Tower in Carl’s Corner, Texas, as seen from I35.

As I research radio-related topics for the novel, I find myself noticing antennas more now as I’m out. On a recent trip from Dallas to central Texas, my partner joked that I had pointed out all the antennas along the way, though it may have been more like three that I said anything about. The most fascinating? The massive structure in Carl’s Corner, about 45 miles north of Waco. I thought I’d read something about it, and I had, at the SWLing Post: “Scientists studying wireless electric transmission in Central Texas“. While the technology itself isn’t relevant to my protagonist and her husband, I can imagine them driving up I35 just to see it some April weekend, stopping their car in the shoulder and finding the perfect spot among the wildflowers to get pictures of themselves with the bluebonnets and the tower in some strangely sweet “only in Texas” scene.

Shortwave news: Given that I’ve spent most of my free time of late working on the launch of Small Waiting Objects and working on the poems for my second collection, I haven’t spent much time outside with the Tecsun PL-380. I did manage to hear the Cuba relay of China Radio International’s English broadcast yesterday morning, but the weak signal and interference meant I didn’t catch much of the content beneath the static and other voices. After the news, there was a radio drama, which reminded me of those “Best of Old Time Radio” shows I’d listened to on weekends in the late 1990s and early 2000s. One of the (many) complaints about shortwave is the lack of content, and the ease with which we can get solid content that we want streaming online or through podcasts (See also: the success of podcast dramas, etc.). This underscores part of the fascination for me, though, since shortwave listening takes work. I’ll come back to this later in another post, from the point of view of a listener and to examine what I want that concept to do in the novel.

And ham news: or, Once an English Major, Always an English Major. I decided to request a vanity call sign for a few reasons, and the FCC granted the one I asked for. So, henceforth, if you hear KI5ODE on the air, that’s me. And, yeah, I (write) ODEs.