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?

An atmospheric river

Weather alert on iphone

I’m visiting my mom in the Pacific Northwest. This is what my phone blasted to me on my first morning when I woke up.

I’ve never seen a hydrologic outlook on my phone, nor an atmospheric river.

I’m staying with my BFF from college and I asked her what it meant.

She said, “Oh I hate this. It’s a huge amount of rain and flooding.”

I pictured the atmospheric river as a massive body of water running through the clouds above my head.

My friend also told me that she thinks the weather forecasters and meteorologists work too hard to find new terms for long-occurring events.

Here’s the rest of the alert I received:

Severe Weather Alert on iphone

I was pleasantly surprised to have cloudy skies with blue peeking through. It’s absolutely gorgeous here and such a contrast from the desert of Arizona. I love spending time with my mom, although she’s not doing as well as during my last visit. More on that after I have time to process my thoughts and emotions.

tree line lane in Redmond WA

The drive to my mom’s assisted living.

blue skies in WA in November

I loved the light in the leaves of this tree at my mom’s assisted living.

What strange weather alerts have you seen? Have you heard of hydrologic events or atmospheric rivers before?

They’ve gone too far!

A painting my grandma made for me at our cabin when I was around five years old.

i wrote this post in August last year when I discovered extended family were building on my property. I have added an update at the end.

Question: What would your reaction be if you were looking at Facebook photos posted by relatives and noticed a deck had been built on your property?

Here’s the story:

My brother and I have owned a piece of property jointly since 1995. Our mom quit claimed it to us. It’s in Robe, Wash. It’s been in the family since the 1930s. My grandfather bought 10 acres along the Stillaguamish River and gave parcels to his three kids (my mom was one) and to his sisters.

Robe is a beautiful, magical place. It’s pristine. There’s no running water or electricity. My dad designed a cabin in 1959 before I was born. My mom and dad, with their own two hands, built the cabin that has given me some of my best childhood memories. Fishing at dawn for breakfast trout. Snuggled into our mummy bags listening to the roaring fire at night. Floating down the rapids with friends. Jumping off the giant rock into the deep swimming hole.

About 15 years ago, my brother and I had the cabin torn down. It was falling apart. Someone had trashed the interior and lit the floor on fire. The roof was leaking. It was a liability and was inviting trouble. We left the fireplace. Some relatives hauled it off in exchange to access to our property which my brother arranged. I thought he had paid a service to do it.

cabin in the woods
The cabin in the 1970s.

Although the extended family — I have no clue who most of them are these days — have their own lots, ours is where they gather for an annual reunion. I go from time to time. They prefer our lot because our property faces the swimming hole in the river with a big rock. There used to be a sandy beach, too.

Now here’s the question of whether someone has gone too far. I was glancing at photos on facebook from the recent family reunion that I was unable to attend. This is a photo of a deck on my lot. I’ve never seen it before. Nobody asked me if they could build it. Apparently it was for a distant relative’s wedding — that I didn’t know about. My brother knows nothing about any of this either.

deck near the river
Our property at Robe now has a deck.

What are your thoughts of somebody building on your property without your knowledge or permission? Or holding a wedding?

fishing in the river
I caught one! Me in my 20s.
My aunt gave me this painting of our cabin. It was painted by my grandma.

UPDATE:

Our extended family has an entirely different vision for Robe than we do. They have hired a logging company to come in and remove trees on their adjoining lots to ours. They are going to park RVs on the property and install a manufactured house.

They aren’t going to touch our property, but having this destruction right next door affects us.

My brother and I think that keeping the property natural is what is magical about it. It’s an hour and a half from Seattle and the river, trees are beautiful. We are 100% against removing hundred year old trees for a little cash.

I’m devastated.

Remembering a friend on her birthday

One of my closest friends from childhood passed away unexpectedly a few years ago. I woke up realizing that today is her birthday. The pain of losing her has lessened over time. But I still miss her.

Rebecca with my baby girl
Rebecca with my baby girl.

I learned via Facebook that my dear friend Rebecca had passed away.

She had a huge personality, was fearless, beautiful and brilliant. I received private messages from her on Facebook constantly, and I noticed I didn’t reply to the last one which I received on a Saturday afternoon—the day she died.

I wonder if she knew she was leaving us? I had no idea that she was ill, but I’ve since learned that she had diabetes and died from DKA (Diabetic ketoacidosis).

The first time I met Rebecca was at my own house. Her older brother Paul had been hanging out with our family for a few weeks that summer before seventh grade. One day, Rebecca decided to come over to our house with him because she wanted to meet me. We went to different elementary schools but for junior high the town’s elementary school students would all attend the same school. I was shy and wouldn’t leave my bedroom to meet her. Finally, my mom coaxed me out to meet Rebecca Coombs and our friendship of a lifetime began.

grandmother kissing grandchild
The last photo she sent me of herself. “When my baby grand wants a kiss, I oblige. Sir-Mix-Alot this as good as I can get! lol.”

She was the opposite of me in so many ways. She was bold, outgoing and not afraid of anyone or anything. Her long straight black hair hung past her waist and she had a huge smile. Some of my fondest memories were her introducing me to Taco Bell—which I still love today. I got a burrito supreme today in her honor. Also, because of Rebecca, our entire high school won the local radio station KJR’s competition for a free concert—which was the first rock concert I ever attended, “WAR.” I went with her to see Natalie Cole at the Paramount in downtown Seattle, too. She introduced me to so much music and laughter. I remember always laughing with Rebecca and her sister Mary. Mary became as close of a friend to me as Rebecca.

Rebecca was one of a few students from our high school that went to the University of Washington with me. I remember spending the first night in the dorm, with Rebecca in a sleeping bag on my floor.

Me and Rebecca 24 years ago.
Me, Rebecca and my baby girl.

My sophomore year Thanksgiving weekend, I was home and I went with Rebecca and Mary to a concert at a local Grange. I was going to ask a family friend who was there to a Tolo (a dance where the girls ask the boys for the date). We were crossing the street on the Bothell Highway when I panicked at the oncoming lights of cars. I froze in the middle of the street. I grabbed onto Rebecca’s parka hood and she wasn’t able to escape the oncoming pick-up truck either. I shattered my pelvis and Rebecca lost a kidney. We became connected by that one experience forever.

Later on, she married the family friend who I was going to ask to the dance. The marriage didn’t last that long and she did find someone she said was the love of her life, who sadly died a few years ago. Also, her brother Paul died years ago as well as Mary’s husband. Her life had so much tragedy, yet she stayed positive and filled with joy. Near the end, she moved to Hawaii to be close to her son Jake, who she was so proud of. She posted pictures of her new life and her grandchildren whom she called “the grands.”

I will admit she was much better at reaching out and staying connected. Throughout our lives, she’d call me and during the last few months send me private messages on an almost daily basis. One funny story I remember about Rebecca was she called me up and asked who Bill Gates was. She had attended the Microsoft Christmas Party with a friend who worked there and met Bill Gates. She had no clue who he was. It was well known in Seattle that Bill was looking for a wife. He had asked her to Sunday Brunch and she said no. She told me that he was kind of a geek and she was felt awkward and made up an excuse why she couldn’t go.

I miss my dear friend and how full of life she was. God bless you and RIP, Rebecca.

rebecca 2
Rebecca, her husband Andrew and son Jake plus my kids.