July 30, 2006

Where Is My Antenna?

Posted in Uncategorized at 12:00 am by dgcombs

Yes – Friday was a very noteworthy day, the day the antenna finally came down.

I remember back in 1991. I took a long lunch hour at the local Radio Shack (back then THE place to buy high tech gear!) near work looking for a way to get better reception. Linda and I had discussed Cable, an then up and coming technology. We concluded that it was a very expensive given that it only provided you with few benefits over an antenna. Typical of my usual misguided line of thinking, I thought it was a flash in the pan. No one would actually shell out hard earned dough for something you could pick out of the air for free. In fact, the cost for that single antenna would only pay for one year of cable.

Of course that was way before USA brought us Monk, Discover brought us the Myth Busters and Jimmy Neutron appeared on the scene. And well before cable Internet – the real killer app.

So a couple of years ago… we got cable. But the antenna stayed; as a backup. Just in case. You know, that antenna and the pole it stood on was installed in early 1990's. It withstood Hurricane Opal which blew over in 1995. The guy wires stood up to the neighborhood kids running through the yard on Halloween after Halloween. Even the morning glory vines couldn't knock the thing down.

I checked over the tool marks where we used to twist the antenna in one direction to get UHF channel 46 and in the other direction to get VHF channel 11. And if we got really adventurous, we twisted it to the West and slightly north toward Mount Cheeaha in Alabama (Central Time) to pick up the PBS station and catch the show we just missed on the Atlanta station (Eastern Time). Finally, I pulled the whole thing down, collapsing it into a "short" twelve feet (it used to stand 36 feet tall – well, before its battle with Opal).

Finally, I got up on the roof and took apart the antenna, cut the wires and unscrewed the wall brackets. Of course, I didn't shed much of a tear when I took the post, antenna and all over to the recylcing center. I felt good that I was helping the environment and beautifying my neighborhood at the same time!

Then I headed on home. I fired up my computer, checked my e-mail and clicked on the History Channel. Ah – the story of Einstein's formula, "E=mc2."

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