Showing posts from January, 2019

Blogfading and podfading and what comes next

One of the blogs I follow in Feedly appears to have wrapped it up today and that makes me wonder yet again if this format, this medium (an appropriate word if we are treating this as a creative outlet or art), is slowly fading away.

You could argue that the blog concept has been ruined by marketers that use the term blog to promote their products or their lifestyles or products that support their lifestyles and that might be true. When I think of the word blog in 2019, even I think of ending up on a site where the first thing that happens is a pop-up pleading for my email address appears and I can close it out only to have it pop back up before I can even read half of the article I am there to read.

Personal bloggers like myself are becoming extinct. And, personal bloggers that became personal podcasters also appear to be heading in that same direction.

I'm intrigued by newsletters. I've toyed with that idea before but never got it off the ground. I subscribe to a few and I…

Blergh Monday

Every time I got close to doing something even slightly creative today, I got stopped.

There seemed to be no end to to-do’s today.



Phone calls.

Even one place still in the dark ages where I had to choose between mailing and faxing papers.

Email? Nope, they can’t accept emails. So much for the technological revolution.

And it appears we’re going to miss out on the snow which is a shame because my hopes were up for a lot of things I have to do getting cancelled this week. I was looking forward to spending that free time reading.

Now I get two nights of pipe watch instead.


I guess this post counts as something creative, kinda, sorta.

Twitter is putting raisins in the salad

Twitter is about to force out the annoying Home/Recent Tweets toggle out to the browser interface. It's already on my iPad and iPhone and it's frustrating as all get out, especially when I am opening Twitter to see weather information via the various sources I follow and the timeline has switched itself back to Home so it's all out of order.

Sadly, there is no good alternative (yet) to Twitter. Instagram suffers from an algorithm that seems to be even worse and Facebook is a steaming pile of crap.

I wonder why Facebook stinks so much? Maybe it's because the people we are "friends" with are or were real former friends or they are relatives or acquaintances and we're more reluctant to unfriend them so their trash posts seep through while we can be a bit more selective on Twitter. I don't know.

Back to the new Twitter deal, at the moment, I think I still tweet about as much as I ever did but I find myself only opening the app when I have something to sha…

What's my mission?

I have no defined, guiding mission for this site.

Same with the podcast.

Should it be light, entertaining fluff and a diversion from the ups and downs of your day?

Or should it be a real-life snapshot of what's on my mind during the moment that I press record?

Episode 415 of the podcast, coming out later today, is a bit of a departure (as was last week's episode) because in the past I have leaned towards the light, entertaining fluff and that has resulted in many deleted recordings or moments when I considered recording but I just didn't and then I felt resentment when eventually recording and posting light, entertaining fluff.

Episode 415 is filled with real-life snapshots of what has been on my mind. There is no light, entertaining fluff. It's me and my frustrations with our government and our society and myself and my inaction, etc. etc.

Episode 415 will have some of you scratching your heads. If you want me to be a far-left liberal, you'll be disappointed. If y…

The reluctant shopper

I am doing my best in 2019 to avoid shopping and I won't say that it's going great but it is going OK. There is improvement!

I'm staying away from stores as much as I can but I still have to go to Walmart where I am always tempted to go down the clearance aisle and I got unfortunately validated by this by finding a pair of shoes in my size for half off after blowing out my poor old Sketchers during the last marching band season loading and unloading the truck.

But then, in a light bulb moment, I searched for the exact same shoes I had just tossed that were so very comfortable and bam! I found them on eBay from a liquidator for $20 NEW shipped while they cost $70 in the store. BUY IT NOW! They are currently on my feet.

So, I have two new pairs of shoes, both at bargain prices.

Still, I'm trying to get out of the habit of just going to Amazon and eBay at the slightest whim but I needed something so THE SEARCH WAS ON and I found what I needed on Amazon at what seems like …

Winter break comes to an end

Everyone is back to work and school today and I am holding fort here at the house in the home office with the three dogs. It's oddly quiet around here today and I typically find that silence hard to get used to at first but not this time. I think I have been ready to get back into the normal routine. I can turn off the radio or podcasts I am listening to and there is silence - GLORIOUS SILENCE!

Another winter afternoon on the deck with the radios

It was even warmer today (around 65 degrees) so I decided to spend a bit of time out on the deck with just the shortwave radios, the Tecsun PL-660 and the Tecsun PL-606 and this time I did remember to use the extended antenna on the PL-606 so the results were much better.

First, I ran an ETM scan across the shortwave bands and looked up each of the ten stations it put into the ETM memory. Then, I went up both the 31 meter and 49 meter bands with the PL-660 to see if it pulled in anything that the PL-606 did not.

Here are the results:
The usual suspects (high power locals) were back again today - WRMI in Miami, WINB in Red Lion, Pennsylvania, WTWW (which is only a few miles from my house) and Radio Martí but the Cuban jamming was not making it up here hardly at all today. Radio Exterior de España made an appearance today on 9690, transmitting from Nobejas, Spain at a distance of 4,339 miles. That was the furthest away catch on the PL-606.The Cuban numbers station was whirring away with …

A Winter afternoon on the deck with the radios

It was a beautiful day here today with a high way up around 60 degrees and sunshine and I had nothing planned so I grabbed an Americano from Starbucks, my notepad and pencils and my radios and spent about an hour and a half out on the deck tuning around the shortwave and medium wave (AM) bands.

I started off with an ETM scan of the shortwave bands on my Tecsun PL-606. If you're not familiar with ETM (Easy Tuning Method), ETM scans the selected band and puts decently strong signals into temporary memory so you can quickly tune through what it found.

Unfortunately, I forgot to attach the antenna extender that came with the PL-606 so it did not pick up a whole lot but that's ok. I normally scan the bands quickly with the PL-606 and then slowly tune up and down the bands with the PL-660 which is quite fantastic on shortwave.

Some of the interesting catches I found on shortwave on my Tecsun radios today included:
Radio Martí on 9565 and 11930 and both frequencies were being jammed q…

Welcome to the Word Hut

I finally got around to completing my template tweaks for this site for 2019. I had a few ideas in mind and I've managed to get back to a template that looks fairly uniform across phones, tablets and laptops. Blogger does you no favors in this regard - there are not many choices template-wise and customizing things is a bit of a pain.

But, the price of Blogger can't be beat. To have a Wordpress site with a custom url would cost about $100 a year plus the price of the domain. Here at Blogger, I can post for nothing! And that's about what these posts are worth so it all comes out even.

Since I went to using a subdomain, I also now have the freedom to change the title of the blog regardless of the url and picking a name was probably the most difficult thing about the whole process. I finally ended up with Jason's Word Hut because I'm Jason, of course, and there are words here, not to be confused with the podcast, and hut is reminiscent of Pizza Hut which was a fun pla…

Communication breakdown

I can't think of anything that frustrates me more than lack of communication. I think a lot of folks live in their own little worlds where they are the star of their own show and they don't think any of their plans or needs impact anyone else. So, they forget to or just don't bother to:
Put their events on the calendarAdd what they need to the grocery listTell anyone what they are doing until the very last secondEtc. etc. etc.

What I do and what I need to do and what I need to have bought for me (if I am not the one suffering through the weekly shopping and it's quite rare that I get a pass on that suffering) impacts the other people in my house. Of course, communication breakdowns can happen at work or in other parts of our lives also and the results are the same.
A little planning goes a long way to reduce confusion and avoid frustration, at least for me. 
I do everything I can to clearly communicate with everyone around me, often asking questions and repeating inform…

Refuse the muse

As I stated on the latest Garbagecast when talking about resolutions, there were several times over the last week that I had an idea for something to write here and I resisted the urge, fulfilling my declared vacation from this site and from the podcast from Christmas Eve until, well, today.

It's tough for me to refuse the muse because I know there will be droughts in the creative life from time to time that can last days or longer so I always feel like I should give in to the creative urges when they come because there is no guarantee that those urges will come again anytime soon.

But I also know that breaks are needed and I haven't been all that great at committing to breaks in the past and eventually I have suffered the consequences by really hitting the creative wall after exhausting myself to the point of frustration.

I certainly wasn't productive at all during my break which was exactly the point. I put a few of the ideas I had in Todoist so not all was lost and here…