Radio Boy

There are certain personal interests one is wise not discussing during courting. One of mine is the habit of listening to long distance radio in the middle of the night. I have about ten radios including a real nice wind-up model originally designed for third world listeners to BBC World Service, a Sony ICF-2010 as well as the little Sony I got in grade 4 with which I listened to reports of the raid on Entebbe in ’76 from my bed in the Annapolis Valley care of a New York all-night news station, hockey and baseball games from the US Mid-West fading in and out on waves of propagation, coal miner shift bulletins from WWVA, Wheeling West Virginia.

It was not until 20 years ago that local all-night radio was becoming common in the Maritimes. CBC’s night service started with the old CBC Stereo service’s Brave New Waves which used to be formatted in the early 80’s with increasingly obscure and hardcore music as the show moved deeper into the night. By four in the morning, during a King’s campus police shift, we would be well beyond Bragg, past punk and listening to Berlin industrial an hour and a half before Mac Campbell came on at 5:30 am with the Maritime Fisheries Broadcast with an update of conditions on the Sable, Fourchu and Banquareau Bank.

During really nerdy phases, I have even been a member of DX clubs like CIDX, BBC World Service Listeners Club and ODXA. Meeting other members of such groups in person can be quite uncomfortable. Once a guy on vacation driving around the Maritimes listening to every broadcast band transmitter – AM to the uninitiated – stopped in at the manse at Bible Hill. All I can remember about the event was that he wouldn’t stop picking at his ears. I was something of a celebrity at the time having logged in the CIDX monthly news letter and confirmed via a casette tape of my reception of a local East German am station on 1044, just above CHUM. [Are you starting to get the point about not talking about this before she says ” i do??].

Since Archimedes, radio is the second most important technological advance after the harnessing of electricity. With the growth of the unfortunately named WiFi – with its echoes of 1960’s suburban rec-room parties around the stereophonic Hi-Fi and Mitch Miller sing alongs – the internet is catching up. I came across the term RLAN last week, radio local area network. Now I want a dedicated RLAN internet radio player so I can listen at work where Bell apparently has a public hot spot. Something with good sound for about $59.99 would be good, thanks.

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