Monday, July 31, 2006

Sunday morning... (I'll explain the picture later!)...Threw my clothes on and rushed to church. In the parking lot turned my cell phone down (it's really loud!)...


About 10 minutes into Will's sermon I heard this loud ringing in my pocket. Stunned, I grabbed my pocket and totally embarassed found my way behind the curtained off area that helps convert the gym into a "church".


Whispering I answered and it was Wally on the other end..."we got problems with our remote connection at the mall for the Kyle Petty/Bryan Littrell event coming up (at Hanes Mall.)...can you come help?".

STUCK BEHIND CURTAIN and i ain't coming out anytime soon!

I answered "yes" but there was one little problem. The exit door behind the curtain is locked...I don't have my glasses, my flashlight or any of the other stuff I carry. And I'm NOT going back into that auditorium after having my phone rudely interupting the service.


So I just sat behind the curtain for about 25 minutes waiting for the closing prayer. I quietely bowed my head and slipped back beside my wife, Judy before the AMEN. I gave her the word and we left in a hurry. (If you happen to be in that service you must have thought I had a death in the family!)

NOBODY DIED but my heart did flutter a little...

No, this wasn't life or death but we really did need to get on the air from Hanes Mall by noon so people coming out of church could hear what was ahead for the big event at the Mall that the station was a big part of.

So all went well and I was able to join the Bryan Littrell concert and all the events at the Mall...Even got to ride on Webbie's HONDA, Lovely wife, Grandma Judy at the wheel.

Had picture made with Bryan..went shopping at the dollar store...and all lived happily ever after. (End of Story...comments welcome)

Sunday, July 30, 2006

Next thing you know...Saturday....starting 7:30 am, the amateur radio event (it's like a flea market of electronic junk) got started and got rained on all morning ...good news we all set up in a cattle barn ...for the most part business as usual.


About 5 o''s all over, all packed up and time to head home. My friend packed up a little early and was about 30 minutes a head of me. I told him I'd try to get up with down the road for supper break.


Got through Asheville ok and then down Black Mtn... noticed my van engine was starting to cut out when I gased it. Got to Marion and the engine conked out. Called my friend on his cell...he back tracked about 30 miles to help me figure out what's wrong.

When he finally got back we decided we need to use his truck and a tow strap to get me off the road and to the next exit so we could work and not get run over...good move on our whizzing within a few feet of the van.


That went ok except I scorched the brakes a little riding them to keep the tension on the strap...I was real nervous... Finally got off to a parking lot...we checked everything and deduced I had a bad alternator.

"Lord, what in the world should I's Saturday night and most mechanics don't work again till Monday."

Called Triple A and went through about an hour of back and forth with them on what to do. Towing 120 miles seemed a little riduclous and could get expensive even though they would take care of a lot of it.


Called wife and told her of my predicament...then went to the sagebrush reastaurant nearby to chow waiting for the AAA wrecker...


Getting dark...a little before eyes fixed on the window view...wrecker arrives and says if we can determine what kind of alternator I need and get to the parts store real fast he can put it on and get me on my way...


I thought it might turn out to be a $500 job under these circumstances but I said let's go for it. Got in the tow truck and rode about 8 miles to a somewhat remote totally dark, dead end street.


We finally got there and it was a real garage...another guy met us with the new alternator. Seemed like everything was ok so my friend decided to head on home in his truck.


Called wife and told her all was going well and I would be really late getting home. She cheered me up...good mates do that.


By 11 o'clock the new alternator was on and I was waiting for the bill.
I was going to pay with my credit card... but I really felt led to give him a $20 dollar bill as a tip...

Then I thought he'll probaly overcharge me anyway, why should I add to insult to my misery. But It was a very strong leading..."Give him $20, not a dollar less or more, even if the bill is obviously ridiculously high and you feel totally ripped off!" OUCH!


Bill total: $290...gave him the extra $20...thanked him....drove away happy and blessed.


Funny thing...caught up with my friend before getting back into Winston and passed him and waved right before he got off his exit! (I did the speed limit).

Got home about 1:30 am, took a shower and hit the sack.

Life comes at you fast! My weekend: headline form..incomplete sentences, incomplete thoughts, and all! (it started Thursday night since I took Friday off and it's still going on)... Wild!


Thursday night...showed grandkids the video of papa and grandma's wedding...main observation, "papa you were so skinny then and you had dark brown hair"..."grandma, you still the look the same as you do now".

Then showed them the video of them when Hannah was 3, Josh 2 and Audrie had just been born...they were playing, laughing, crying and fighting all at the same observation, "you guys haven't changed a bit either".


Friday...kissed grandma and kids goodby. They headed for the neighbors pool... I headed for Asheville for a next day ham radio event...A buddy was driving separately and was to catch up with me on I40 since I knew the way.

the now famous WEEKEND BEGINS...

Ten miles out...a call from Tami from the radio station..."go back home have locked Judy and the kids out of the house". Went back, opened up the house, kissed wife again and ran. Called buddy and told him to drive slow and I'd catch up with him.


Gased it good trying to catch my friend who was 12 miles ahead of me. Overdid it...I passed him in Hickory and didn't even know it. He then spend the next 20 miles trying to catch me. Finally got it all together by Ashville and made it ok up to Waynesville...ok...not bad so far..


Thursday, July 27, 2006

I promised...all the kids would make it to the radio station.

Well, after we all had Chinese for lunch, Audrie decided she would spend the afternoon with papa.

I caught her beside my grandchildren brag board at my desk...

it's almost 4 so gotta go get the lazyboy chilled for the afternoon drive home...

Quiet....Men at Work!
Day Camp Day 3...SciWORKS! AWESOME!

Took the day off (wednesday) to spend the day with grandma and the grandkids.

Spent the afternoon at SciWORKS in Winston-Salem. If you have never been you ought to take the kids. We go there about once a year.


They have all kinds of hands on stuff for the kids and a check-your-blood pressure machine for the grown-ups. (after a day with the kids out in the real world I'm sure blood pressure could get dangerously


The planetarium is my favorite part. They have a neat presentation called WSKY "Station of the Stars"....just great! I'd love to see it's that good!

Then on the outside there are the lovable Molly and Ollie... the river otters.

Great trip..survived and was actually able to dip in a neighbors pool. Pizza for supper... went to bed earlier than usual....goodnight and goodday!

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Infinity and Beyond!!!

Blogosphere...more to come!

Stay tuned!

Last nights papa project after work... The grandkids are proud of their Cherokee heritage on their dad's side. So when I spotted this flat stone in a pile of rocks about a year ago I decided to save it for a tomahawk for Josh.

Like a good pack-rat I have lost and found this rock several times trying to hang on to it to someday make that tomahawk. Well, last night after we got home we finally did it. we couldn't find any good animal sineuw for the wrap so we used tie wraps and string and dipped it in elmers glue.

Monday, July 24, 2006

Did the kid swap at lunch!

Grandma took Josh and I brought Hannah back to work with me...and as usual she gravitated to "Uncle" Eric and the AM Control room. Uncle E is a little more lenient than I am. I think she became the AM weather girl today.

Audrie gets her turn later this week.
And just in case you are monitoring,Wally (boss on vacation), hope you don't mind us using your office as a rec room for the kids...they are loving your cd collection...sorry about the peanut butter and jelly on your cd's... most of it washed off already...

PS...I think you'll love the murials the kids did on your walls..they rock

Grandma's Day Camp is now open. Yep... we have the grandkids with us this week. You might even hear them now and then...they love to find reasons to get on the radio with me. Can't blame them, though. As shy as I was as a kid, I was always trying to get my voice on a loud speaker.

Josh is with me at work this morning. He is wrapped up looking for a game to play on my laptop. He is not allowed on my office computer (just in case you are reading this Wally). ((Picture Date Code...2001? Where have I been the last 5 years?-gotta fix that)

Wally on vacation...that's for another day! LOL.

Got go meet grandma and the two girls for lunch. We'll probably swap kids for the rest of the afternoon.

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

Translator 104.9 got a check-up today...we've been having problems with it and today while Larry our "chief" engineer from Charlotte was in, he and I decided to ride up to Sauratown Mountain and try to improve reception...

Our antenna is near the top of a tower that is home to several paging services in the area. Thankfully the problem is usually on the ground equipment and not the tower because I don't do towers if you know what I mean...

First thing we did was to remove the old unit and get it out of our way. I had already installed the new one a few weeks ago but reception has still been poor.

Larry brought his fancy gadget (spectrum analyzer for those who want to take this to another level lol)so we could see what the translator unit was seeing. And what we saw was not good. We are getting "legal" interference from an adjacent station channel that has just gone digital. So our translator signal is basically getting neutralized.

We tried to use a filter but it didn't help. 104.9 was still filled with "hash". So we came home disappointed. (Also hot and sweaty...was great to get back to the AC and the Lazyboy!)


There are some less-than-simple things that we can try and we plan to do just that. But it's going to take time and some trial and error. I know this is an inconvenience (and worse) but if you are in 104.9 land know you are not forgotten.

Email me any comments or questions about this or any reception problems, .

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

I'm trying to stay awake. I give up! I've got a lot on my heart but I can't fight the Zzzz's.....sorry!

Sunday, July 16, 2006

Saturday afternoon I saw something really neat (but scary) on I40 Near Burlington... I was on my way back home from Cary and as I approached that truck weigh station on the right I saw this small young deer and her ( I mean little-barely big enough to walk) baby brother looking like they were ready to bolt across I40...

I immediately slowed heart sped up... all kinds of things began to go through my mind..."Lord, please don't let them cross...they'll never make it...there's no way they'll be able to clear 6 lanes of roaring I40 traffic and a barracade in the median... and with all this traffic there will be a major pile up...many could be hurt or killed".

As I passed, I could see that the little deer seem to be frozen in their tracks and as far as I know they figured they were too far from mama and turned around and went back into the woods...


Though they were just animals and not people, I still couldn't help feeling so sorry for them.(and really glad they didn't cause any accidents).

They looked so lost and confused...

I thought to myself... we are so much like those young deer. We sometimes get too far from "home" and wander too far into the "highway"...

Reality hits...we are stunned, lonely, and confused...we are so lost. In the twink of an eye find ourselves at the edge of the roaring 6 lane with stuff coming at us from all directions.

That's when it's time to come "home"...the prodical son did that...and the father met him on the road with open arms...

Heaven will be filled with broken and confused prodigals, reclaimed from the "highway"...

God is good all the time!
Matthew West was just on the radio!

Actually he is getting ready for his concert in Greensboro tonight after the Greensboro Grasshoppers game. Tami, Verne and Kurt are at the ball park right now and I am here at the radio station to make sure their live broadcast from the stadium gets on the air.

Everything we do is a team effort and if you've listened to the station long you know it's a great team.

Greensboro Grasshoppers great team, too!

Wednesday, July 12, 2006 it's been months since I "blogged". I was waiting for the new WBFJ web site to get on line so you would know where to find me.

Now that you know I'm here, I hope you will check out my headlines every now and then.

I'm here at work early today. At about 6:30 got a call from the morning crew here at the station. "John, sorry to wake you but we don't have power on half of our equipment and we are not on the air."

Anyway, I'm here and we are back on the air waiting for Duke Power to come and replace the giant "fuse" out on the power pole. Those doggone birds keep trying to nest on our power pole...they get zapped... and we lose electricity in part of the building which means "no radio" till we get everything plugged into a working outlet.


It's really bad for the birds, for us and for you when you tune in. It's also bad for me personally since I drag in here way too early...and this same thing has happened several times this year!

Actually I'm heading back home to shower and then come back at my regular time which is around 10:30 (am). Then I crawl into the WBFJ lazyboy at 4 and help you navigate the traffic home.


By the way, if you ever have questions about any technical issues with the station just email me ...that's part of my job, too.

I'll see you around the radio this afternoon at 4 or back here real soon...I've still got to tell you that story about how I ended up in the Caribbean before coming to WBFJ.

PS...thanks to Bev here at the'll be seeing some wild pictures!