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Not Radio … Not Technology

Dan’s first helicopter …

So I write this little blog about once a week for Radio World and have been doing it for over a year and a half. I really enjoy it and find the internet (and social media) to be fascinating, especially for a guy who was born in ’63 and didn’t touch a computer until the Air Force “told me” to learn them in 1987 (P.S. Thanks U.S.A.F… I’m GLAD you did!).

If you haven’t learned about me, I was born a nerd. Absolutely true! By (honestly) age 3, I can remember being interested in electronic communications.

There was a closet at the bottom of the landing in our house. My dad had a speaker in the top of that closet which was wired to an amp somewhere. I recall as just a toddler going down the steps from the second floor to first floor being amazed by the sound coming out of the box. Oh, and yes, in 1966 a three-year-old could go down steps (sure… sometimes falling) without safety devices, restraints, crash protection, etc. God knows how we survived!

I digress … so by 3 years old, I was amazed by technology. Our BIG TV, as I recall, was a 25-inch B&W; only to be replaced in about 1969 by a BIG 25-inch RCA color TV!

At 11, I was trying to build and fly my own helicopters — very unsuccessfully as you can imagine. Luckily, there were no extension cords long enough to even allow me too high had my “creation” actually worked! By about 12, I had taken over the family garage and turned it into a radio station using an old Knight Kit tube-type audio amplifier that just happened to radiate a few AM signals all around our block.

So that was my “start” in radio, TV, and being “the crazy neighbor kid with his own helicopter,” but for this “Off the Beaten Path,” I’m going to completely shy away from any radio/TV related links or info. For the next two, maybe three blogs, it will be all about anything BUT radio or TV.

Sometimes you just need to step away from the daily stuff, whether it’s complaining about politics on social media or just burying your head in the back of a transmitter finding a “gremlin.” So this is my break from radio and TV to share with you.

By the way, if you watch nothing else today, watch the video from “And Finally”… about the teacher. He’s an incredible person!

Rising from the Ruins
I caught this on line and thought … “Dang! Now THAT is cool!” I’m always fascinated with cool architecture and design … plus I just hate to see old buildings get demolished without possibly being reconsidered for reuse in a different capacity. Here are old ruins of some very old buildings (in the U.K., Spain and other places) that have been “grafted” to become new building by preserving the old and combining with the new. Seeing this makes me wonder how much further we could take this with buildings and structures around the world.

Fun Periodic Table
Both of my daughters (ages 12 and 15) are home-schooled … so my wife and I are always looking for educational ideas outside the normal school teachings. In school, we learned about the periodic table and elements, but grasping what all that was didn’t really seem to apply to our life. Maybe if we would have had this periodic table, it might have helped us understand better the connection between the elements and our real world.

How to Read Sheet Music
Or maybe more appropriately … “How to Be Confused Even Further by Sheet Music!” Created by “an unqualified individual,” here’s a funny look at how to read sheet music.

Successful Kids
From Business Insider comes these successful kids and things they have in common. As a parent, future parent or grandparent, I found this an interesting article and worth consideration when it comes to my own kids. A lot of it is either things that we refer to as “when I was a kid” … and others are just good, old-fashioned, common sense.

And finally …
I like to end with something that might inspire or make you feel good, at the least, end with a “Gee, whiz.” In this case — an incredible teacher, for many reasons. This is a man who makes a difference to so many kids in his life… including his own. A man faced with so many challenges … yet has time to make a difference in other people’s lives. Hopefully watching this inspires you to be better or do more.

If you stumble across a good or unusual web site that might be of interest, please don’t hesitate to send me the link and any info you might have about it. My email address is [email protected].