Friday, December 28, 2007

For a special treat make sure you listen this week 

Those of you who read the blog on a regular basis know that I have become an avid listener of web casts or "podcasts". Podcasts being a term that I try to minimize since it implies that you need and Apple iPod to listen to them which you do not. Web casts are simply audio files usually recorded in the MP3 format that are available for download from various web sites. For a complete explanation see the WikiPedia entry for "Podcast".

Being an amateur radio operator I gravitate to web casts that bring news and information about one of my favorite hobbies also known as "ham radio". Of the ones available out there, and there are many, This Week In Amateur Radio is one of the best. Produced weekly by a bunch of dedicated hams in what I consider a very professional manner. I originally wrote in the blog about TWIAR in 2005 and I try to never miss an episode.

The program is played each week by other amateurs on various frequencies around the country mainly on repeaters that cover a very local geographic area. Here in Pittsburgh Dan KB3FCZ feeds This Week In Amateur Radio through the Greater Pittsburgh VHF Society repeater system each Thursday evening at 08:00 PM. (146.610 mHz) If for some reason I can't be around for Dan's broadcast I download the MP3 file from the web site and listen when it is convenient. One of the great things about podcasts, you can time shift the content so that it fits your schedule.

Now the reason that I'm bringing this topic up yet again is because I just listened to this weeks episode ( # 767 ) this evening and I enjoyed it immensely! A good deal of the time this week was dedicated to a recording of Jean Shepard discussing ham radio on his talk show broadcast by WOR of New York. For those of you who don't know of Jean Shepard was not only the author of "In God We Trust, All Others Pay Cash" which became the impetus for the now classic movie "A Christmas Story" but was also the narrator heard though out the movie. I really enjoyed listening to the replay of that show and it brought back many memories of my own childhood. For additional information on Jean Shepard and his interesting life follow this link to an entry in Wikipedia on him. Enjoy!

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