The end of AM radio?

boy tuning transistor radio
Photo by Victoria Akvarel on Pexels.com

Did you know that EVs interfere with AM Radio waves?

I read yesterday in the Wall Street Journal that Teslas have already gotten rid of AM.

Here’s an excerpt from “Sadness and Static as AM Stations Fade–Space aliens, UFOs, the supernatural—all grist for radio shows” by Peter Funt.

Several European car makers, including Audi, BMWPorscheVolkswagen and Volvo, have stopped putting AM radios in certain models. Trendy EVs and hybrids have electrical systems that interfere with AM audio. But rather than moving a few parts around, or shielding the equipment better, manufacturers are cutting out AM.

American automakers are taking a more cautious approach, but Tesla has already eliminated AM radios, and Ford plans to drop AM from its electric pickup trucks. It’s no small matter, since about 47 million Americans still listen to programming on the AM dial, according to Nielsen data.

https://www.wsj.com/articles/sadness-and-static-as-am-stations-fade-electric-car-airwaves-radio-host-ufo-media-auto-drive-soundtrack-11675023531?mod=hp_opin_pos_2#cxrecs_s

The article also said that those of us who grew up with AM radio view it as the soundtrack of our lives. I grew up on the west coast of Washington State. KJR AM radio was the top 40 station. One of my best friends signed up our high school for a competition where we saved our Wrigley’s gum wrappers and made a chain with them. The school that built the longest chain won a concert downtown Seattle for the band WAR — free for the entire school.

We won. I always wondered if we really won, or if it was my friend dating a DJ at the radio station?

I used to listen to the wacky Art Bell at night when I couldn’t sleep. People would call in with tall tales of UFOs and abductions, mysterious discoveries of crystal skulls and assorted weirdness. I found it entertaining.

I’d also tune into talk and news shows while I drove. It sort of was a soundtrack of my life.

Now with Sirius in the car, we rarely tune in AM. We listen to music of our preferred decades.

Do you think that AM will fade away? What AM stations have you listened to and what was their format?

Time flies!

Wow! How can this be?

I was watching a terrible football game yesterday (we are 49er fans) when this message popped up on my phone.

If you’d have asked me, I’d have said I’ve been blogging for five or six years. Time does indeed fly when you’re having fun.

As for the Eagles winning the game instead of the 49ers, I’m excited because of a player from my daughter’s university, Britain Covey, who is on the Eagles. I’m a big Britain Covey Fan.

Britain’s grandfather is Stephen Covey who wrote “The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People” and owned Franklin Day Planners. Britain played football at the University of Utah while my daughter swam. Although 5’8″ tall, was quick, smart and returned punts for touchdowns, up to 98 yards I believe. He was a team leader of the Utes.

I never thought he’d make it into the pros, let alone to the Super Bowl as an undrafted rookie!

If you follow football, who are you rooting for in the Super Bowl?

How many years have you been blogging? Does it seem longer or shorter than the actual time?

A Tip to Fall Asleep Quickly

A firestick plant at a neighbor’s house. They are beautiful but toxic succulents.

Lying in bed each night, Andy Buelow often finds himself thinking one thought over and over: How awesome it was to ride the ferry across Lake Michigan as a kid.

Mr. Buelow pictures himself back on the ship, imagining the whir of the engines, the smell of steam, the rushing water and the cold spray on his face.

“When I remember the feeling, I am asleep within minutes,” says Mr. Buelow, 61 years old, the chief executive of a symphony orchestra in Muskegon, Mich. 

https://www.wsj.com/articles/a-happy-memory-can-help-you-fall-asleep-if-you-know-how-to-use-it-11674527348?mod=life_work_lead_pos4

That is the opening of a story from the Wall Street Journal by Elizabeth Bernstein called “A Happy Memory Can Help You Fall Asleep, If You Know How to Use It.”

According to the article, sleep researchers say what we think about before we fall asleep is as important as having a relaxing routine, turning off our screens, etc.

Here’s another excerpt:

They recommend that as we prepare to drift off, we practice something called savoring, which is imagining a positive experience we’ve had in great detail.

Savoring is well-studied as a strategy to improve our general well-being. A considerable body of research shows that it can boost mood and help reduce depression and anxiety. Now, psychologists believe it can help us fall asleep and have better sleep quality, and are starting to study its effectiveness.

https://www.wsj.com/articles/a-happy-memory-can-help-you-fall-asleep-if-you-know-how-to-use-it-11674527348?mod=life_work_lead_pos4

So here’s the question, if you choose to try “savoring” what memory will you be thinking about?

Feeling powerless

Gila woodpecker
A gila woodpecker loves the Bird Buddy.

I’ll keep this short. We have a planned power outage today for an upgrade to our electrical panel. It’s four to five hours without electricity. Who knows? That’s why I’m powerless today. I’m using my iphone as a hotspot to write this post. I want to conserve my iphone and laptop battery until the power is back on — so I won’t ramble on too much. FYI the upgrade has to do with solar panels.

As far as my Bird Buddy goes, I haven’t been posting any photos lately because a covey of quail jumped on it all at once and the bird feeder flew off the fence into the wash. The solar panel roof hit hard on the ground, popped off and the usb-c connection broke in half.

I contacted Bird Buddy to see if I could get a new cord, but they said I needed to order a new solar panel roof. They sent me a code for a discount, but the solar panel roof isn’t expected to ship until late February or early March. Also, we need to find a better place for the Bird Buddy so it’s stable and can’t be knocked over by wind or greedy feeding birds.

If your power is out, what’s do you miss using the most?

When you don’t have electricity, do you find yourself forgetting the power is out and try to use something like the microwave? I found myself hitting the lights in the dark bathroom.

It’s cold out there!

Teddy Bear Cholla

Teddy bear cholla down the street.

Monday we had snow. Tuesday it was 30 degrees when I got out of bed. I skipped golf on the snow day and I was feeling sluggish due to lack of exercise.

My husband and I bundled up Tuesday and took our usual walk around the neighborhood. Although it was so cold, it was bright and sunny and we didn’t die! In fact, I felt so much better after getting out and moving araound.

This is about the Teddy bear cholla or jumping cholla:

Teddy bear cholla, or jumping cholla (C. bigelovii), is native to northwestern Mexico and the southwestern United States and is sometimes cultivated as a desert ornamental for its showy golden spines. 

https://www.britannica.com/plant/cactus

I guess they’re called Teddy Bear because they are fuzzy looking. But they are not cuddly. They are a hazard. They’re called jumping cholla because they throw off little bundles of spines. If you accidentally step on one or brush them with your shoe, they may go all the way through your shoe to your foot.

My husband spotted this teddy bear cholla in front of a neighbor’s house. He pointed it out to me because of this:

In the center of the cholla is a bird’s nest. What a perfect place to keep eggs and chicks safe!

What’s the weather like where you are? Is it colder than normal?

What do you think of birds choosing a cholla for their nest?

Days gone by of golf and joyrides

A golf course in Palm Springs.

A neighbor asked me to go to a driving range. We set a date to go yesterday. When I woke up it was 33 degrees.

And look at this:

The weather on my first day back to golf.

I haven’t golfed in years. I think it was my ski accident and knee surgery that put golf off my radar. That was 2018. Of course the day I make plans to golf again we get snow?

I grew up in a golf family. At least my dad was an avid golfer, my mom wasn’t as serious. He started playing when he was a kid and still plays. He’ll be 91 this week.

My first golf tournament I was five or six years old. I’d stare at the beautiful first place trophy in the clubhouse after Dad signed me up. I just had to win.

It was a three-hole match. I tied for first place with another girl my age. We went on to sudden death. The fourth hole I scored 13 to her 12. The match was over and she took home the trophy.

I had one friend growing up who also golfed. Her older brother was friends with mine and they were on the high school golf team. They’d take us out on weekends to golf (not with them, but following them one hole behind.) At least they’d give us a ride to the golf course.

In high school, my friend and I asked to join the boys’ golf team. They didn’t have one for girls. They let us go to daily practice, but we never got to play in a tournament or match. I think we were as good as a few of the boys.

My friend and her brother got jobs at a local golf course. Once the patrons were gone, we’d grab the golf carts and joyride. Our brothers and a few other employees made a race track in the woods. My friend and I were stationed up high on a hill next to the woods. If we spotted the owner’s car coming, it was our job to yell to the golf cart racers.

One day it happened. The owner’s station wagon was driving up the long gravel drive. We yelled, then floored it back to the clubhouse. We got there before the station wagon was parked and tried to act nonchalant.

The owner said, “What’s up?” He pointed at the golf cart we were in.

We looked down at the engine and it was smoking. Oops.

Then we wondered what happened to our brothers. They didn’t make it out of the woods in time. I think they either flipped a golf cart, or got one stuck in the mud. I can’t quite remember.

In the end, my friend and her brother kept their jobs at the golf course, but that was the end of our joyrides.

What sports or activities did you do when you were young that you enjoy today? Or look back at with great memories?

More good news

Sunrise
Sunrise in our backyard.

When I went to lunch last week with a ladies group I recently joined, I sat at table with three of my neighbors. One is a board member for the group and the other two are my friends and new members also.

This group is fundraising for The Phoenix Dream Center, which is a facility to rescue and help victims of human trafficking. I wrote about that HERE.

The board member/neighbor at our table said “You’re the one with a background in PR.”

I thought to myself, “Did I really need to share that on my membership application?”

She slipped a spreadsheet and a press release across the table to me. “Can you help me get out our press release?” It was for an upcoming fundraiser.

“Sure,” I said.

“I just need you to fill in the blanks on the spreadsheet. I haven’t been able to find the contact information for some publications.”

The next morning I googled the publications with missing contact info. I was able to find some of them and I either filled out online forms or sent emails to them with the press release.

Within 30 minutes I got a response from a magazine publisher who has high end magazines for high end neighborhoods.

“I’m sold. I love The Dream Center. Can you take a call in two hours?” his email said.

I quickly texted the board member/neighbor to ask if she’d take the call. I’ve been to two meetings in two months and don’t know much about this group — like how long it’s been around, how many members there are, if they have a budget to buy ads, etc.

“I’ll be at the dentist,” she texted.

“Okay. I can do it,” I replied.

Later I got a phone call from the president of the group who said she’d take the call. Whew!

Fast forward and the president called me back to say they had an excellent call and then had a meeting the next day. They are getting free advertising from now on each month! They are getting a VIP listing and perhaps a feature article.

I’m so thrilled I helped open the door. I’m also relieved I didn’t have to take the initial phone call. I was smiling the rest of the day.

What has made you smile recently?