Scanner Drama

It was a stormy Friday morning in the Port City of Melody. Grant West, an eighteen-year-old senior at Melody High School was getting ready for the day. It just so happened that on this day his parents decided to take a weekend vacation and he would be home alone for the weekend. His dad was a port security officer and got him a part-time job under the table at a maritime supply warehouse near the city dock. Grant planned to help with inventory for the weekend and make extra money. He was a lonely teen who mostly worked and didn’t have much of a life outside of it. He knew his trade well and planned to work full time for the warehouse upon graduating. From handling the various goods on his job; he realized their use. For some time now he made it his business to carry a police-style flashlight everywhere he went. He also carried a portable scanner and a pocket tool where he legally could. He had saved up some money and purchased a restored army surplus Jeep for his transportation. Due to all of his mannerisms, Grant seemed militant, uptight and weird to most of his peers. In reality; he was actually a kind and genuine person, who was misunderstood easily.

Grant drove off to school just making it in time for the first bell. The first class, Trigonometry was difficult, but in time the class period was over. His second-period class was a course on how to be prepared for the workforce. Naturally, it was a breeze for him as he already had a job and knew what to expect. The third class was gym, but there were no sports being played because of the stormy weather. He kept to himself for that period, until he saw Adrianna Parker. He had admired her from a distance but was hesitant to make a move because he was afraid of her rejecting him. She passed by and he just watched her, then smiled. She smiled back at him and made his heart skip a beat. Adrianna was a very friendly and pretty girl of seventeen going on eighteen. She was a very caring person but did not care for most of the people at this school. She was not a loner at all but did keep herself away from the ones who tended to be fake or cruel. She was in a clique all of her own, a free spirit. Adrianna spent her free time writing, though she never showed anyone her work. Many guys wanted her, but she was waiting for the right one to come. She wanted someone like one of the characters in her stories. She was sitting in the bleachers reading one of her stories from a composition book and noticed Grant was staring at her. She looked up and smiled at him. He smiled back and continued to stare.

“Would you like to come and sit with me?” She asked.

Grant answered, “Sure, I guess.” She motioned for him to come, to which he did.

He asked her, “So, why do you want me to sit with you?”

She giggled and replied, “Because I think you are cute and you remind me of some of the characters I write about.”

“I don’t see how.”

“Everything thinks of you as weird and you do scare people off. I, on the other hand, see you as a potential hero. You remind me of someone who could save a damsel in distress.”

Grant blushed then said, “Sure I guess, I don’t know.”

“I know,” Adrianna answered.

Grant then asked, “So what makes you think like that?”

She replied, “I am a writer and in the stories I write; male protagonists are just like you. I have them all written in here.” Adriana smiled and held up her composition book.

Grant blushed. There was a brief silence and Grant asked, “Well, could I see what your stories?”

Adriana smiled and said, “You may, but I would rather read them to you instead.”

Grant nodded and Adriana began to read aloud. The story came to a very sensual part. Both were beginning to feel romantic stirrings and both started to blush. Their eyes met and they prepared to kiss when, suddenly, the girls’ gym teacher saw them and shouted for them to separate.

“Let’s meet up later,” Adriana said and Grant nodded in agreement. About a minute later; the bell rang.

Grant began heading to his next class, carrying his gym shoes. They were a coveted pair by many that he purchased over the summer with some of the money he made while working. Suddenly; four guys from his gym class surrounded him and attempted to take the shoes. Lance Johnson, Benson Porter, Joe Price, and Bruce Gray.

Lance had made trouble with Grant ever since freshman year. He was a 17-year-old bastard and had no clue who his father was. Many admired his athletic skills, despite the fact that he had taken advantage of many innocent freshman girls.

Benson was not a problem for Grant up until recently. Mostly he was a show-off and had picked a few fights with him in gym class. Grant tried to ignore him, for the most part. Benson would get in Grant’s face and scream, just to mess with him. He was a lean muscular completely shaved 18-year-old football star.

Joe was also a football player and a tall well built red head of 18. There was a story going around that he was shot while trying to buy pills. The only reason for him not being expelled was that he was a star athlete. He survived the gunshot wound, but many students would make fun of him by saying “ready, aim fire”. This would anger him further.

Bruce was a short skinny and rich 17-year-old. He was not built like the others but still was a mess maker. From day one he had harassed Grant, and would make fun of him. He loved pointing out the flaws of others and also being a busy body. His weapon was that of a coward-spreading gossip.

Suddenly; Bruce took the shoes. Grant shouted, “Who the hell do you think you are? You have no right to take my shoes.”

Joe replied, “What are you going to do about it?”

Grant kicked Bruce in his instep and then in his groin, sending him to the floor, as he said, “That is what I am going to do.” He then took the shoes back.

Joe then attempted to take the shoes from Grant as he grabbed him and said, “I had a pair like these , but they were stolen. I’ll take these.”

Grant yelled as loud as he could, “Ready, aim, fire! You let me go or it will get ugly!” Grant thought that the scream would disorient his opponent. The opposite happened, Joe in a greater anger slammed him to the hard cement ground, then punched him in the face while the others kicked him from all sides. The bell rang and at the same time. Lance stomped on Grant’s groin.

Bruce licked Grant on his side and said, “That’s for kicking me, by the way no one likes you.” Joe handed the shoes to Benson and Lance kicked Grant once more. They left him there as he lay there weakened from his injuries bleeding slightly.

Adrianna was walking by and called out, “Oh my God. Grant are you okay?”

Grant answered, “Yes I think I’ll be.” She sat down next to him, and rested his head in her lap then asked Grant as she held him, “Who did this to you?”

Grant answered “I was attacked by four stupid jocks. ”

She rubbed his face gently as she said “Typical idiots. You didn’t deserve that. Grant looked up at Adriana, smiled and turned a little red. Adriana giggled and smiled back. Grant choked a little as he looked up into her eyes. There was an awkward silence for a moment then Adriana asked: “So what are you doing this afternoon?”

Grant said, “Oh I was thinking of doing inventory at my job.”

Adrianna pouted slightly and said, “Oh I see.” She paused and then said, “I was hoping we could do something together?”

Grant smiled and said, “Are you asking me out.”

Adrianna giggled and replied “Sure, you seem like a really wonderful guy. Would you say yes, if indeed I am asking you out?”

Grant smiled and said “Well I don’t exactly have to go in this weekend. My boss would understand, so yes I would love to.”

Adrianna smiled from ear to ear then threw her arms around Grant and kissed him. The tardy bell rang so they quickly programmed each other’s phone number into each other’s phone and then walked off.

The next two class periods went by slowly. Finally, the lunch period came and Grant met Adrianna in the quadrangle. Immediately after; they moved to a secluded area on the campus where they thought they would have privacy.

Soon they were deeply engaged in conversation, not realizing the four boys were listening in.

Grant answered Adrianna “…Well, I could drive you to the park and we can hang out there.”

Adrianna nodded and then said in disappointment “But what about the rain.”

“We could wait it out in my Jeep. I heard that this weather would be clearing out by the late afternoon.”

Adrianna giggled, then said, “While we are in the Jeep, would you like me to read you some more of my stories?”

Grant replied, “Sure, I can’t wait to hear them.” With that they passionately hugged each other, sharing several kisses, until Bruce secretly tattled.

Almost immediately, they were stopped by a duty teacher and both issued a Saturday school. The punishment did not stop their newly found affection for each other. Soon after the bell rang and they said their affectionate goodbyes then headed to class. They had no idea that Grant’s four attackers had been eavesdropping on them and planning to ruin their evening.

The rest of the day was filled with an excited anticipation of what was going to happen later that day. Finally, the dismissal bell rang and both Grant and Adrianna walked to the Jeep.

Grant opened the door for Adrianna to which she kissed him and said: “Thank you.”

He then sat in the driver seat and drove off, little did they know they were being followed. They arrived in the park and sat there in the Jeep as the rain was pouring. Out of habit, Grant looked out of his rearview mirror and saw that there was a pickup truck, pulling up close to them. Grant’s militant instincts kicked in and he said: “I think we are being stalked, that truck is parked awfully close to us.” He paused and then said, “Lock yourself in, I am going to try and neutralize this situation.”

Adrianna said, “Be careful Grant.” Just as he was about to get exit his vehicle and confront whoever was stalking him face to face, those four boys swarmed around Grant and Adrianna.

Benson getting closest to Grant’s side window. He punched Grant’s glass window open and attempted to pull Grant out. Thinking quickly Grant pretended to let Benson pull him out, but then took his 5 D sized Maglite flashlight from under the seat and whacked Benson in the head, knocking him out. Upon seeing this, Bruce fled the scene like a coward. Grant saw that Lance was invading on Adrianna’s side, climbed in and was trying to have his way with Adrianna. Grant got back in the Jeep and started it. He put it in drive and then gunned the engine. As he reached a high rate of speed, he then slammed his Jeep into an oak tree, causing Lance to be ejected from on top Adrianna and then through the windshield. Joe was angrier than ever before as he went to pull Grant from the wrecked Jeep and planned beat Grant to a pulp. Grant knew he was coming, again thought quickly and pretended to be injured. Joe crawled into Grant’s seat over him and Grant knew it was time to strike. He took his flashlight and stuck it into Joe’s throat, crushing the windpipe.

Grant and Adrianna were then put into a deep predicament, they knew the police were probably coming and their getaway ride was totaled.

Grant soberly said “I don’t want you to go down with me, Adrianna. Please get out of here while you still can.”

Adrianna shook her head, feverishly and told him “No, I will stand by you. You are a noble hero and you saved us.”

Grant said “Damn it we need to get out of here.” He took his flashlight and scanner, then removed the vehicle plate from his Jeep, then continued, “I can hide in the culvert outside of the park. Bruce fled the scene and won’t know where I am. The other three are incapacitated.” The sky began to turn blue, once again. Grant said “You need to get out of here Adriana. Is your house far from the park?”

She replied “My friend’s house isn’t.”

Grant replied “Good, then go there and see if she can take you to yours.”

She replied, kissing and hugging him passionately “All right Grant. If we don’t see each other again, know that I love you!”

Grant crawled into the culvert and Adriana left.

Not long after, Adriana made it to her friend’s house and then called Grant. He instantly picked up. Adriana said, “My friend is driving me to my house and I will get the family car and pick you up. I will then get you to safety.”

Grant replied and then said, “Thank you so much Adriana, and, just so you know; I love you too.”

“You didn’t have to say it because your actions already prove it!”

They hung up.

Minutes seemed to pass like hours.

Finally, Adriana came in her family car and picked Grant up. He stepped in the car just a the lightning flashed. Grant lied down in the backseat and Adriana said in a sultry voice, “Where to Mister?”

Grant replied “To freedom, Madame, to freedom!” He paused, then continued, “I took the plate off my vehicle, so I don’t think they will be able to figure out it’s mine, at least not for a while. Therefore, we can go to my house, you know just in case they see yours. With that, they rushed to Grant’s house and arrived just as the rain had begun to fall it’s hardest.

“What will they do when they find it it’s your car?”

Grant then said pointing to his scanner, “That’s where this wonderful device comes in.”

He turned it on. Chatter came in on the scanner “Melody 911 to Melody EMS; we have a report of three medical emergencies in the municipal park. Several males were involved in a 103-F. PD is already en route. Stand by for further traffic…” “Dispatch to Officer Nick…” “Go ahead…” What is your 10-20 and ETA?” “Melody Expressway and 2 minutes…” “Roll Code 3.” “10-4.”

Officer Nick turned on his lights and sirens and gunned his car, however, the road was very wet and he lost control. His car fishtailed off the road and crashed into the pillars of an overpass. He keyed into the radio which was picked up on Grant’s scanner “My unit has crashed, please send backup to Melody Expressway at Exit…My unit is on fire it just burst into flames…” And the scanner went silent. Then the Dispatcher came in on the scanner and said “Dispatch to Officer Nick.” No response was heard. She tried again “Dispatch to Officer Nick.” There was another silence.

Grant said, “As messed up as this may sound, I think we have bought us some time.”

Adrianna drove them in the rain to Grant’s parent’s house. As soon as they stepped out, they were soaking wet. Quickly, they entered the house they locked the doors. It was somewhat chilly in that house, so Grant took off his wet shirt. Adrianna threw her arms around him, as he was cold and wet. Grant was overcome by the feeling of Adriana’s gentle arms wrapped around his wet skin. He kissed her wildly. They fell onto the sofa and snuggled together. Adriana lay there with Grant up against her.

Soon their hormones began to get the better of them and Adrianna was starting to unbutton Grant’s slacks, when the scanner crackled in, “Dispatch, it turns out that a subject named Grant West was the assailant. I believe he is the son of Mark West in port security. I am on my way to search his house. He is probably hiding out there.” “Affirmative Jack. I’ll also notify the chief.”

Thinking quickly Grant removed the battery from his phone, to disable the GPS so he would not be tracked.

Meanwhile back at home Grant was in distress over what he had just heard on his scanner. Nervously, he said, “Did you hear all that Adriana? We have to get out of here now. Are you ready to leave?”

“Yes let’s do this thing baby!” She answered him and laughed a little.

Grant went into his room and grabbed his Leatherman Multi-Tool, along with his scanner and flashlight. He explained to Adrianna “I didn’t want to get caught with this Leatherman at school, but I don’t think I will be in school for a while.”

Ever so quietly they crept out of the house silently shutting the door behind them, then walked down the steps of the porch, then to Adriana’s family car. Adriana drove Grant to her house and they walked into her bedroom.

The weather had now cleared out and Grant said “I know how I can get away from the police. I will sneak out of the country but I will have to leave you here. I want to spare you this drama.”

Adriana began to sob and said “No, I want to come with you. I don’t care about any of this drama. Anyway, I feel like I am living out my stories.” She paused and then asked Grant “How will you be able to get out of the country, though?”

“That’s easy. All I have to do is get on a supply boat that is headed towards Archangel Island. There is one that is leaving tomorrow morning in fact.”

Adriana then asked “How do you know it will let you on?”

Grant answered “I work in the maritime supply industry so I have connections.”

Adriana smiled and then said, “Well I wish I could board the boat with you.”

Grant asked “Do you really want to be with me that much?”

Adriana nodded, as she spoke, “Most surely I want to be with you that much and more. I’ve never met anyone like you!”

Grant then said “I could possibly have them take you as well. But you will have to defect. The only problem is you are not yet 18.”

Adriana replied, “But I will 18 be in just a few days.”

Grant reluctantly agreed and then said, “All right then; are you ready?”

Adriana smiled and then said “Yes. I am ready.” Immediately she packed and then they left. They walked to Grant’s workplace under the cover of darkness holding hands and shivering.

Finally, they made it to the warehouse and Grant unlocked the door. They entered then locked the door behind them. Grant and Adriana sat down on the floor and there was silence. Not long after; hormones once again overtook them.

Grant whispered. “Adriana, you are the sweetest person I have ever met in my life. I know we haven’t been together for that long. Even with all this drama, being with you has made me happier than ever.” Grant then gently kissed Adriana on top of her head.

Adriana wrapped her arms around Grant and kissed him passionately as she said. “I never thought I would find someone who would treat me right, but then I find you. You are so sweet Grant, and you are very loyal. I am glad to have found you.”

They kissed each other once again and held hands.  Handholding led to cuddling.  Cuddling led to removal of clothing.  Totally naked, they began to loving caress each other genitals.  Caressing led to lovemaking. Passionately they became intimate in that storeroom. There was a silence but they were in pure bliss, as they both lost their virginity. After hours of lovemaking; they fell asleep snuggling next to each other for the rest of the night.

Early that next morning they stepped out of the warehouse. The cargo ship bound for Archangel Island was preparing to leave. Grant went to the captain, who was standing on the dock smoking a cigar.

He then spoke, “We need to get out of the country and I know you can help us?”

The captain answered, “I will get both you out of the country if you agree to pay me.”

Grant handed him the cash he had on hand, and his scanner and finally his G-Shock wristwatch.  Adrianna also handed him her diamond-studded earrings. The captain then said “All right come aboard.”

Grant and Adriana looked at each other, then agreed to go. They climbed aboard the ship and went below the deck and into the engine room to hide. After getting comfortable Adriana held his hand and kissed him passionately. Soon heard the engines of the cargo boat fire up and they started to move. All through the night, they kept moving. They spent several days and nights at sea, with Adrianna turning eighteen during the course of the voyage.  Finally, the boat docked. They climbed onto the deck of the ship and ran off.

Both were quickly detained and interrogated by a security officer.  Grant explained the situation saying “We are on the run from the American law and I know you’re government harbors defectors.” He paused then continued “I will be charged with second degree murder, but I assure you it was all in self-defense.” Grant paused and then said, “And I assure we will not cause trouble on this island.” The guard said “Self defense, huh?  Tell me how it happened.”

Grant replied “Well I would love to. Three guys surrounded my Jeep, with my girlfriend in it. One punched my driver’s side window in and pulled me out. I thought quickly and struck him in his head with this flashlight, Grant showed him the 5 D sized Maglite. He fell to the ground and did not get back up. The next one tried to have his way with Adrianna and came in on the passenger seat and climbed on top of her. I started my engine gunned it and then crashed it into an oak tree, sending him through the windshield and into the tree, he didn’t get up. Finally I pretended to be injured in the crash as the third one came to me. He thought I was knocked out and was about to kill me when I again used this flashlight again and struck his windpipe. He fell to the ground and did not get up. I learned these tactics working in the maritime industry. The company I worked for supplies your island’s government with tactical gear.

Impressed the security officer replied “I assure both of you, do not worry about anything. Our government will not allow extradition. You are safe here. Furthermore are constantly looking for security forces. I would be more than happy for you to work under me.” He paused then continued, “You see, we have much trouble with pirates and insurgents, constantly trying to invade.”

Grant smiled and said, “My dad works for port security back in the States so I am that much more familiar with the trade.”

The officer continued, “I promise you top pay and protection from any foreign entity if you agree.” Grant nodded his head, then spoke, “Sure, I’ll take the job. What other choice do it have?” He then looked at Adrianna, and she smiled at him.

The security officer then looked at Adrianna and said, “And for you, young lady, we are in constant need of nursery workers.”

“Sure, I’ll do whatever you need me to do,” Adrianna answered.

“Good. Now both of you will be escorted to the refugee camp until a dwelling can be built for both of you.”

Contact Me

Back to “Works of Fiction”

Confessions and a Storm-Talking in the Loft

“Lead the way,”  Liam said.

At once, Aubrey led Liam onto her parents’ property and then into the barn.

She walked to the breaker panel and turn the lights on, then they walked to the loft, where they sat and talked.

“So, Liam, tell me your long story,” Aubrey said with great interest.

“Well,” Liam replied, “I’m nineteen years old and I want to make sure, first of all, that you’re not jailbait. I did enough time in juvenile detention and I definitely don’t want to go to men’s prison.”

“I’m twenty-two actually, but I’ll take it as a compliment that you thought I was younger!” Aubrey said, blushing.

“Okay, then here’s my story:” Liam continued, “From an early age, my parents beat the daylights out of me for anything and everything. I grew up in a small conservative town where such parenting styles were encouraged. One day, my dad was beating me and I fought back. I was fifteen years old and couldn’t take it anymore. So, I gave him a bloody nose. My mom called 911 and I was arrested. While I was in custody, the sheriff raped me multiple times. And when I attempted to report him, he beat me with his club and threatened to kill me if I ever spoke of it again. I got raped twice more in the juvenile hall where the judge ordered me to stay until my eighteenth birthday. As soon as that time came, I left that town and never looked back. So for the past year and a couple months, I’ve been freight-hopping to travel and doing odd jobs for cash. I’ve been all over The States and even parts of Canada. I just got off of a train at the marshaling yard outside of this town and now I am looking for work.”

Aubrey embraced Liam, cradled his head in her lap and played with his hair, as she told him, “Wow! I wish I could have rescued you because you’re so sweet and didn’t deserve any of that horror. I too have a past, so I can somewhat understand you, that is if you want to hear it.”

“Well you’ve heard mine, so I definitely want to hear yours,” Liam replied.

“Well, I was engaged to marry my high school sweetheart. I thought he truly loved me and that he would stick by me no matter what. Then one autumn evening, we were having a bonfire and he was drunk and passed out. Three boys gang-raped me. I kept it to myself for the longest time, but because of the trauma, I started gaining weight. He became less and less attracted to me. I know I had gotten fat and he distanced himself from me because of it, but we still planned the wedding anyway. Well, he jilted me at the altar and now I’m basically a spinster living on my parents’ farm.”

“I think you’re beautiful, weight included!” Liam said as he looked up into her eyes.

“Thanks. You’re so sweet.” Aubrey replied, wrapping her arms and legs around him.

“I feel so safe in your embrace. I never want to leave it.”

“Then don’t leave it, ever!” Aubrey told him as she kissed him.

“Where will I find work though?”

“There’s lots of cash jobs here. Why even on my daddy’s farm!”

“Farm work is tough, but I’ve done tougher!”

“Yes, it’s tough, but I can get you guaranteed work, especially if you have any future with me. I mean would you even want me?”

Liam smiled from ear to ear, nodded and then said, “I sure would. You’re so pretty and you’re being so kind to me. I think your weight makes you sexy and I too have a past, so I think we would understand each other and be an awesome couple.”

“Oh, Liam, you’ve made me so happy. I never thought I would find anyone else ever again!”

“And now there may be some very needed stability to my life as well.”

With that, a bolt of lightning hit the transformer and the barn became totally dark aside from the light from the window.

Liam reached into his pants pocket and pulled out a Mini Maglite. He then put that flashlight in candle mode and lit up the barn, as he said, “Best eight dollars I ever spent right here!”

Aubrey smiled and said, “It’s cute how you’re so prepared!” She then kissed him.

“I try my best,” Liam replied, blushing.

“That’s a really neat backpack.  I’ve never seen one like it.”

“Thanks.  I bought it at a high-end shop in Uptown New Orleans.”

“What else do you have in that backpack?”

“A Uniden Police scanner with its charger, some Winchester hobo tools, a couple of tee shirts and slacks, my canteen and some freeze-dried food and my backup flashlight a Streamlight Stylus Pro. A railroad bull sold it to me, little did he know, I had just snuck off a freight train in the yard he was supposed to be patrolling. I made up a story saying how I was interested in the yard because I was interested in buying his flashlight and he believed me then sold it to me!” Then Liam reached into his other pocket and pulled out a Case Trapper pocket knife and said, “I’m really proud of this. An old man that I briefly stayed with gave it to me for helping him around his house. He was unfortunately then committed to a nursing home and he gave it to me. That old man was the closest I ever had to a family.”

The weather began to get really dark.

Liam looked at his G-Shock and then said, “Might be a tornado, it normally doesn’t get this dark around three in the afternoon.”

“Can’t you get weather band on that police scanner you have?”

“Yes.”

“Then tune it in!”

Liam turned his scanner on and then accessed the Weather function. Seconds later they heard the warning tones and a tornado bulletin.

“That’s this county!” Aubrey said nervously.

She pulled a Midland two way radio out of her dress pocket, turned it on and keyed up saying, “Daddy, we were just issued a tornado warning. Come to the storm cellar.”

Her dad’s voice crackled in, “I’m coming right now, baby girl. Just make sure your mother knows as well.”

“Where should I go?” Liam asked.

“In the storm cellar with me and my parents, where else?”

“Thank you!”

“Thank me later, let’s just get down there!”

Aubrey and Liam rushed down the loft stairs and then out of the barn.

Though it was around three in the afternoon, the sky was ominously black.

Aubrey’s mother was walking outside calling for her daughter by the light of a vintage Eveready Commander Lantern.

Liam shined his Mini Maglite as he was following Aubrey to the cellar door.

“Aubrey, who’s this young man?”

“I’ll tell you once we’re all safe, just let him in he has nowhere to go!”

“Fair enough, Aubrey.”

Moments later, Aubrey’s dad pulled up on his John Deere tractor, parked it, then by the light of a Rayovac Workhorse flashlight that he kept in the cab of his tractor, also rushed to the cellar.

Once all were inside, the door was bolted.

The storm raged on with its fury…

Back to “Talking in the Loft”

The Beginning-Talking in the Loft

April 29, 2006
The train was slowing into the yard. Liam Hartford was hiding in an empty closed hopper and knew that he must get out quickly, without being detected.

He kept a listen on his portable Uniden scanner for the whereabouts of railroad personnel.

Liam placed his scanner into his Wenger backpack, along with the rest of his belongings, then peered out of the hole of the hopper car.

It was a slightly overcast day and the yard didn’t have much activity going on.

Through communication intelligence gathered on his scanner, Liam knew the train he was on would be broken down that night and wasn’t familiar with as to where the car he was hiding in was destined, so he decided to get off in this yard and find a barn to hide in. He knew there was a farming community within walking distance of the railroad yard.

Liam left home the day he turned eighteen, which was a year and some months ago.

He had a rough childhood and knew he had to get out of his town as soon as he could. For the next year and some odd months, he supported himself taking odd jobs for cash and purchasing items to help him in his transient lifestyle.

He had traveled all over the United States and even into parts of Canada, usually riding illegally on freight trains.

The train was now at a dead stop as Liam kept watch from the hole in the hopper car.

There weren’t too many people in the yard, so he grabbed his backpack came out of the hole and disembarked from the train.

He made a beeline for the yard exit, just as the sky was getting darker.

Finally, he was on public property and escaped the yard without getting caught, as he had done dozens of times before.

Now, it was time to find shelter and work.

Liam began walking along the main highway, then through town.

He filled up his canteen at a water fountain in the park and also relieved himself in the park restroom.

Afterward, he left the park and headed on foot towards the more rural parts of town.

He admired all of the quaint farmhouses as he walked past them.

The sky was getting darker and darker.

Liam looked at his Casio G-Shock and saw that it was around two in the afternoon.

He knew his time was fairly accurate because he synchronized his watch with a sympathetic train conductor just days ago.

He saw a US Mail truck delivering packages and letters to homes along the main highway. He soon was past the mail truck

Liam then came upon a two-story wooden farmhouse with a large red barn. The house appeared to be one of those houses that were offered in the Sears Catalog in days gone by.

He thought about hiding in the loft of that barn at least until the storm passes.

As Liam stood still, a beautiful young lady stepped out of the house, to check the mail.

They briefly glanced at each other, smiled then both blushed.

She was dressed in a knee-length, plaid blue dress, brown work shoes and had long strawberry blonde hair. The young lady was ever so slightly chubby, but it made her all the more beautiful

She walked up to the mailbox and opened it, but there was no mail in.

There was a look of some disappointment on her face.

“The mail isn’t here yet, but it’s coming. I just saw the truck,” Liam told the young lady.

“Thanks. How far is it, do you know?”

“Oh, a few houses back. If I was able to pass it up on, foot, it can’t be too far.”

“Okay, I’ll wait out here, then.”

There was a brief silence, but then she said, “You’re cute. I’ve never seen you in this town before.”

“Aw, thanks. I’m not from around here, actually. By the way, you yourself are quite lovely as well!”

“You’re so sweet to tell me that. Will you be here a while?”

“As long as I like!”

The young lady’s eyes lit up, then she said, “I’m Aubrey Gables, by the way.”

“Liam Hartford.”

“What brings you here anyway?”

“Looking for work and shelter. It’s a long story actually.”

Suddenly there was a bright flash of lightning followed by an ominous roll of thunder.

“Durn it,” Liam said in distress.

“Why don’t you come up in the loft of my daddy’s barn where you’ll be safe and tell me your long story?”

“Thank you. I’d be more than happy to, but what about the mail?”

“The mail can wait, let’s get you safe from that weather…”

Back to “Talking in the Loft”

A Review of the Oregon Scientific WR601N Handheld Weather Radio with S.A.M.E.

For the record, I do not own the featured image on this page, rather I downloaded it from eBay and I give credit to whomever credit is due.

As you, the reader, can probably tell, I have an strong interest in Weather Radios.

I first read about a NOAA Weather Radio in the Summer of 1997 at the age of ten and a half whilst reading a hurricane preparedness pamphlet.

I wouldn’t actually own a NOAA Weather Radio until December of 2001 at the age of fourteen going on fifteen.

However, once I owned one, I would be completely fascinated.

My parents thought there was something wrong with me because of it.

Well technically there is something wrong with me, but when I was a teen, I was the only teen I knew of that was interested in radio electronics.

Nowadays, there are plenty of teens who are interested in radio electronics, especially weather radio, and sites like YouTube are living proof.

Sometimes I feel like I was born in the wrong generation and should have been born ten to fifteen years later.

It was in my mid-twenties that I began to collect weather radios.

Now at the age of thirty-two-going-on-thirty-three, I am frequently visiting thrift stores, flea markets, antique shops, and hamfests to purchase gently-used vintage weather radios.

On November 2, 2019, I had some cash on me and went to my local GoodWill.

It was as if God Himself was telling me to go there because I would find a weather radio.

And in the electronics/appliances section, I found an Oregon Scientific WR601N in very good condition, but selling for only $1.97+tax.

I had been wanting one of these for a couple years but didn’t want to pay the MSRP.

This piece will be a review of that aforementioned weather radio.

What I purchased at GoodWill only included the radio, battery door, and lanyard. There was no manual, cradle or AC adaptor.

Still, for $1.97+tax, I’m not going to complain.

Performance-wise, this radio is a true winner:
The size is very compact and can be carried on your person or in a backpack without weighing the user down.

The antenna is short and stubby, but is rugged and pulls in the Weather Radio broadcast very well, even from forty miles away!

The speaker audio is clear and crisp but can be annoying when there is noise in the signal.

The radio runs on 3 AA batteries and the runtime seems generous.

There are a clock and calendar which I must say keeps time very accurately, like +/-1 second in a week!

There are two separate alarm times that can be set and the alarm is loud enough.

The radio receives all seven weather radio channels.

The radio is equipped with S.A.M.E. technology and can store up to six administrative divisions or monitor all six.

The blue backlight lights up the display brightly and evenly. It is activated by pressing the snooze button.

The housing seems to be built very well and could probably survive a few drops.

Also, the face of the radio is yellow, meaning it can be easily found in a dark room or cluttered baggage.

There is an external speaker jack.

The display can be expressed in English, French or Spanish.

There are only three real [albeit minor] complaints I have and they are:
The radio can be a bit tricky to program and operate and takes some getting used to.

The radio also has trouble standing by itself, even on a flat surface.

The radio should have better noise limiting circuitry since it will not work well near any source of electrical noise.

However, at the price I paid, I’m not going to make any case about the complaints.

Even though I didn’t buy it brand new and I don’t have all the right accessories, I have been EDCing this radio for the past week and I am totally satisfied.

While Midland is my favorite brand of Weather Radios, I’ll admit they could learn plenty from this model.

What I like most are the rugged and compact build and clear crisp reception.

It is good to have S.A.M.E., but I could take it or leave it since I would use this for traveling or outdoor activities, where S.A.M.E. isn’t always necessary.

Like other compact portable models, the WR601N would be well suited for an EDC bag, a bug out/bailout bag, or a safe room, all for monitoring the progress of the weather, without needing line current.

I’m really impressed all in all and this is a vast improvement over the Oregon Scientific WR-8000, which actually was the first weather radio I had ever owned.

I give this product a 4.7 out of 5 stars!

Back to “Product Reviews”

Depression with Affection

…Depression With Affection…

…February 2006…

…Melody, USA…

This is a love story between eighteen year old aspiring writer Owen Sullivan and twenty year old schizophrenic Ellie Pritchard.

Here it is, without further ado:
On a cold and sunny afternoon in the city of Melody; Owen Sullivan was walking home. He was a senior attending an extremely strict roman catholic school. Owen’s dream was to be a writer and he would frequently walk around Melody, to get inspiration for his mind and exercise for his body. By his peers, he was considered a wonderful writer. He had written several love stories and many girls were turned on to him. His work made it to the point that some of his male peers were jealous and they began to spread false and disgusting rumors about him. This caused him to be admired but undesired. Many of the girls that were turned on to his work were also afraid of him. In turn Owen was a very affectionate but lonely person.

As he went on walking; he thought about all this: his loneliness, his dreams, his works and his school. He attended Seven Hills Catholic High School. Life at school was especially hard on Owen, because the teachers and administration knew of his writing talents. They felt angered and even intimidated by his potential influence. Many times the school president had found his works on the Internet severely punished him. This was an attempt to make him conform and break his spirit.

The sun was shining brightly in the winter sky that day, as Owen was wandering around the north side of Melody. While out walking, he came upon a low income housing complex. There was a beautiful girl, staring down at him from her balcony and sweetly smiling at him. He looked at her and she looked at him. Both were happy in the moment. Time seemed to stand still. Owen was greatly attracted to her and could hardly believe that she was looking at him, much less smiling. The girl waved at Owen and he waved back. Again they stood for an awkward moment until Owen looked at his pocket-watch and was shocked by the time. He realized his parents would be worried and that he needed to get home. Sadly, Owen made his way home. He walked in the door and headed to the loft. Upon entering, he pulled his penlight out of his side pocket and a composition book from his backpack. He began to write down all the inspirations that occurred during the day, which became notes for his love stories.

In the mean time the girl, Ellie Pritchard, began to cry. She was riddled with hurt from what she assumed was rejection. Here she was, very lonely and finally someone pays attention to her. But, then he leaves suddenly. The reason for Ellie Pritchard living in a low income apartment was that she had been declared disabled. She suffered from severe schizophrenia and received an SSI check each month. She took medication to keep her said illness at bay, but it had caused her to gain weight. This combined with fact that she was alone in life and struggling to make it, brought on depression in her. Ellie spent the whole night crying, wondering if that boy would ever come back to her.

Meanwhile, Owen was writing in the loft by the light of his penlight about the day’s events. He was also working on fantasies about the girl he saw. He wrote until the batteries in his penlight died. While walking down the stairs from the loft; he looked at his pocket watch. While looking at the time, he thought of that girl. In anguish, he pondered how he might have just thrown away a chance at happiness. Many thoughts were racing through his head such as if that girl and him could have been an item or if she was upset because he walked away. Owen’s night was completely restless; until finally the next morning came. He grabbed his backpack, put new batteries in his penlight, placed his watch in his pocket and headed off to school.

The day at school proved to be excruciatingly slow. Owen was feeling the urge to go walking, in hopes that he would see the girl again. Finally, 2:53 pm struck and the dismissal bell blared. He grabbed his backpack and once again headed to the north side of the city. He prayed over and over for another chance to see the girl.

Meanwhile, Ellie was sitting up in her bedroom and noticed that it was now afternoon. She too prayed over and over again to see the boy again. Ellie went outside and sat down on the bench in hopes that he might come back. Like clockwork, Owen came through the grounds of the complex. This time she said softly and shyly to him

“Hello, I have seen you here before.”

“Yes, I came here yesterday.” Owen replied as he blushed

Ellie asked “Why do you come here?”

Owen answered “It gives me inspiration for my writing.”

“This place? Why?”

“Not just this place but the whole city. Mostly just the motion of walking inspires me.”

There was a brief uneasy silence but then she motioned for him to sit with her.

As she did, Owen asked, “So, what is your name?’

The girl answered “Ellie Pritchard.”

Then said, “And yours?”

He answered her “Owen Sullivan.”

Ellie, feeling more confident, asked “Would you come back tomorrow?”

“Sure, I would like to see you again.” Owen answered as his voice shook slightly. Ellie blushed. Owen continued “I am so sorry I left you yesterday, its just I didn’t want to worry my parents.”

Ellie nodded understandingly, then asked “Do you live around here?”

Owen answered “Yes, I live in Melody.”

There was a brief silence, then Ellie asked “I think it is awesome that you are a writer. Why don’t you tell me one of your stories?”

Owen replied “Sure, I would love to share my work with you.”

Immediately he pulled a composition book out of his backpack, and began reading. He got to a very sensual part of the story which caused Ellie to tingle and twitch throughout her whole body.

Uncontrollably she lunged over to Owen, threw her arms tightly around his body and kissed him. She giggled and said “Let us re-enact this story!”

Owen, filled with a mixture of infatuation and lust, said “Your wish is my command.”

They began to hold and kiss each other with strong affection. Ellie made several passion marks on Owen’s neck. Owen rubbed Ellie’s face and played with her long strawberry-blond hair. Ellie kissed Owen’s forehead and petted his curly, dirty blonde hair. Owen then rested his head on Ellie’s soft belly and she put her hand in his shirt and rubbed his bare chest.

For the first time in what seemed like forever; Ellie felt happy again. Owen felt completely ecstatic. It was as if he was living out one of his written stories, but it was much more fulfilling than he ever imagined. They continued to caress each other with great affection, all while Owen was still in uniform. Soon, the winter sun was setting.

Owen became filled with anxiety, looked at his pocket watch, and spoke with passionate sadness. “I need to go now, but I promise I will be back tomorrow.”

Ellie spoke sadly and with an affectionate pout said “I wish you didn’t have to go. How old are you anyway?”

Owen replied “I just made 18. And you?”

Ellie answered him with happiness “I’m 20. Hey, since you are 18, you can legally come stay with me.”

Owen replied “I would definitely want that too, but the school president would expel me if he found out I was shacking up. Then my parents would have lost a lot of money they paid for my tuition.”

He paused and continued “It would be worth it all for you.”

Ellie smiled and said “Just consider it.”

Owen nodded his head then kissed her goodbye.

She happily remarked, “I’ll be waiting for you.”

Owen walked home and once again went up into the loft. He wrote again, until the batteries in his penlight completely died. He then went to bed and dreamed many beautiful dreams about Ellie. On the other hand, Ellie felt sad, yet hopeful, as she prepared her dinner. She ate, took her medicine and then went to bed dreaming of Owen. Both woke up in great pleasure and prepared for the day ahead. Ellie had truly fallen for Owen, and truly wanted for him to stay with her. Owen had also genuinely fallen for Ellie and wanted to stay with her, but was afraid of repercussions from his school president. He lay in bed sometime between twilight and dawn, wrestling with idea of moving in with Ellie. Finally, dawn was breaking and Owen made up his mind. He loaded his back pack with several changes of clothes. He also packed his writing tools, composition books, penlight, and pocket watch and set out on his way to school. Owen was now set to go anywhere and do anything pertaining to his situation.

A half hour later, He walked into class just before the morning bell rang. This day seemed like the slowest day yet. Owen was filled with anxiety and he did not pay much attention to the teachers. The only thing, or person rather, on his mind was Ellie Pritchard. After what seemed like the longest school day ever; the bell finally rang. Owen headed straight for her apartment. Upon arrival, she greeted him lovingly. She grabbed him and kissed his face repeatedly. They sat down on the bench, holding hands.

“I’ve decided to come stay with you.” Owen said with great affection.

Ellie was ecstatic as she replied “You really will?”

“Of course I will.” Owen replied with assurance.

Ellie held him even tighter and said “And you’ll be my one and only!”

Owen nodded and began to read to her. “I wrote this for you!” He said.

When he finished, there was another uneasy silence.

Ellie felt tingles and twitches throughout her whole body.

Soon, the winds from the north began to increase. They were just enough to make both Ellie and Owen uncomfortable. Both were shivering from the chill in the air and Owen reached for his pocket-watch.

Ellie broke the silence as she offered “Why don’t we go inside.”

Owen simply nodded in agreement and followed her.

As they walked inside, Ellie walked to her portable heater and, bent over turned it on. The light blue jeans and a white cotton shirt she was clothed in showed off her curves. Owen stared at her with admiration and lust. She then motioned for Owen to come sit with her.

He asked “You mean we get to snuggle? It would make me most happy to do so.”

Ellie giggled then said “Sure, that is very sweet of you. I am overjoyed that you want to snuggle with me.”

With that being said, they covered up in a dark blue blanket. The sunset faded through the window of the apartment, and soon they fell asleep in each others arms.

At seven pm they were awoke to the gurgling of each others stomachs. Ellie fixed a simple meal of canned white beans for both of them. When the food was prepared, they ate on Ellie’s coffee table. After their first dinner together, they sat on that convertible sofa and conversed with each other. All was going great until the subject was Ellie’s illness.

She said “I ran away when I was 18. I went to a shelter and then was committed. The doctors diagnosed me with schizophrenia. After my release, I was set up with this apartment. I’ve been all by myself ever since.” Ellie paused then said “I hope I don’t scare you off by talking about my illness. It is well controlled with my medicine.”

Owen reassuringly replied “It doesn’t bother me at all. I read many times that people with that illness are very kind and creative. You’ve already given me plenty of inspiration with just your touch. I can only imagine what’s in your beautiful mind and soul. You could help me write many amazing things!”

Ellie then asked “How will your parents react when they find out you have decided to move in with me?” I hope they wouldn’t be too worried and I pray that they will understand and accept me.”

Owen replied “I will try my best.”

Ellie then said “Of course, if they don’t, you are legal and you can stay with me anyway. I want you to keep me company and love me.” ‘

He spoke to her “Wow, you make me feel overwhelmingly blissful. I have wanted you ever since I first laid eyes upon you.”

Ellie blushed and rubbed her face against his.

She then replied “I never thought this would happen to me, but I am glad it is.” She paused, and then continued “I never thought I would find that special someone.”

Owen simply smiled and said nothing. Ellie continued, asking him “You truly want us to be together right? I pray your answer is yes.”

Owen smiled and sweetly replied “Of course I do. I can envision us, together, against the world. It sounds wonderful to me. I want to be with you and I hope my parents accept that. If not, I will still stay with you.”

Ellie threw her arms around him with a joyful smile and twinkling eyes. She then asked “So you really will stay with me tonight?”

Owen replied “And tomorrow night, and every night until the end of time if you wish.”

With a great excitement Ellie wrapped her legs around Owen, then sucked his mouth.

Owen said “You know one day I will pay both our ways with my writing.” He stood up for just a moment looked at his watch. It indicated 8 pm. He then began to pace around the room.

Ellie cried in distress “Please stay here.”

He rushed himself to her and “Of course I will stay; and forgive me for upsetting you. I just need my uniform washed. I still want to finish school you know.”

Ellie replied “Sure I can have that done.”

With that, Owen removed his shirt and was feeling quite chilly. He pulled another tee shirt from his backpack. Ellie gave him a pair of unisex sleeping pants. They then walked out of her room and down to the laundry room, with their hands on each other’s back side. Owen and Ellie set their clothes in a washing machine and turned it on. While waiting for the clothes to wash, they decided to sit down on that same bench where they first talked to each other. Ellie sat up straight while Owen rested his head in her lap. They cuddled affectionately together until two athletes from Owen’s school arrived. They came to the complex to buy prescription pills. When they spotted the couple, both decided to make trouble.

Owen became nervous.

He said “Those are two boys from my school. Austin Dupont and Al Hardy. They make trouble with me all the time. What are they doing here?”

Ellie replied with a whisper “Coming buy pills. There is a pusher who lives in this complex. They meet with him all the time.”

“You don’t say. They could be expelled for that.” Owen replied. He paused then continued “Actually no, forget it. It would get someone like me expelled, but the school president would allow them to do it because of their athletic skills. Not to mention their families are filthy rich.”

“Just keep quiet.” Ellie whispered.

But it was too late. They had been spotted.

Austin said loudly “Look at Owen, with his nut case girlfriend.”

Al followed with “That’s probably the best he could do.”

Ellie was reduced to tears, when Owen said in anger “Get the hell out of here or I will call the cops.”

Austin mockingly said “Oh look he’ll call the cops. My family knows the police chief they won’t do us anything.” Ellie handed Owen her mobile phone and showed them the digits 911.

Owen then said “I’m not playing, if you two good for nothing excuses for human beings don’t get out of here right now, I will have you thrown in jail.”

They continued to mock and taunt.

“Wait, you’re both going to catch a disturbing the peace charge for sure. I know you’re both dirty as well , so probably a drug possession charge.

They attacked Owen and he dropped the phone.

Ellie picked it up, pressed the send button, was connected and explained the situation to the dispatcher.

Austin and Al continued attacking Owen.

In a short while, a unit from the Melody PD arrived on the scene. At first the policeman tried to make the two boys leave. They refused and explained their connections.

Owen told the responding officer “Check them for drugs, they came to buy pills.”

Austin cursed the cop lower than a dog and spit at him, to which he was arrested. Pills were found on him. Al also was found to be dirty and punched the officer during the search. Additionally, Owen pressed assault and battery charges on them as well. Al and Austin were eventually detained and dragged off.

After the two troublemakers were taken from the scene, Ellie was still in tears as she spoke with grief “I’m not good enough for you, I am a nut case.”

Lovingly, Owen wrapped himself around her and kissed her tears off of her face.

He spoke “I think you are wonderful and I don’t give a durn what anyone thinks. Please let me stay with you.”

In total comfort she smiled and gently hugged him, then said “Of course you can stay with me! I was just afraid you would be turned off to me.”

Owen replied “If anything, I am very turned on to you. You saved me from serious injury by calling the cops. I am in debt to you!”

Another silence came upon them until Ellie said “I love you Owen. Do you love me?”

Owen gently replied, kissing her “Ever since I first laid eyes on you, I’ve had feelings for you, but now I can honestly and truthfully say that, yes, I do love you Ellie.”

She smiled sweetly and kissed him with a great passion. The temperature had dropped even more, so they decided to go inside.

Both, began to physically express the feelings of love towards each other as soon as Ellie closed and locked her door. Owen gently rubbed her breasts and she moaned with pleasure. He then rubbed her sides and belly and she began to suck on his neck.

She then said “I want to make love to you, but I’m a virgin, so don’t break my heart.”

Owen replied “So am I. You must know I would never dream of breaking your heart. I want you until my last breath.”

Ellie grabbed Owen and pulled him to her with great strength. They then began their lovemaking. After many hours of cuddling and intimacy; they went down to get their laundry. Upon arriving back in the room Owen checked his watch, which indicated midnight. Momentarily he felt distressed, but then felt the stronger his feelings of his love towards Ellie.

Owen set his alarm, then said “Let us sleep now, as it is a school night for me.” Ellie nodded her head in agreement and kissed him. They climbed into her convertible sofa and lovingly fell asleep in each others arms the whole night through. 5:30 am came all too quickly and Owen woke up in Ellie’s arms. He began to kiss her until she woke up.

“Please come back to me today.” She said with a cute smile.

Owen replied “Not just today, but every day until the end of time.”

He then looked at his watch and said “I have to go now.”

“Just come back as quickly as you can.” Ellie replied.

He then put his penlight in one pocket and watch in the other then kissed her and headed off to school. He made it just in time for the first bell.

Owen was sat down in class was daydreaming about Ellie. Suddenly, the school president came in over the intercom and said

“Excuse me.”

“Yes?” the teacher replied.

The president continued “Please send Owen Sullivan to my office with his books.”

“He’s on his way.”

The teacher replied and motioned for him to leave the classroom. Owen grabbed his backpack and headed for the office. He was filled with anger because the administration had harassed him many times before. Knowing this was about him and Ellie and the boys that were making trouble with them; he was going to stand up for himself this time.

When he arrived, the president spoke with a very disturbing anger “My sources are telling me that you are the reason some students were arrested. Start talking-now!”

Owen replied in an irritated voice ¨Yes, it is true. I had them arrested because they were harassing my girlfriend and me. Then they beat the daylights out of me. Not to mention they also bought prescription pills illegally.”

The president backed him into a corner and said angrily “Those two boys come from families that keep our school functioning financially. They are also fine athletes.”

“Yeah, they probably take those pills because of all the injuries they sustain. Their coaches probably encourage it.”

Owen remarked. “Shut your mouth. That is none of your business.” He paused, then continued “Furthermore, I have witnesses saying that you and that girl were carrying on in a lewd way, while you were in uniform. I can expel you on the spot for that. I will, however, give you another chance and let you graduate, if you drop the charges and break up with that girl. It is up to you.”

Owen said in distress “You don’t understand, I love her.”

The president replied with anger “I don’t care, so save it for your counselor. You have misrepresented this school and you must be punished.”

“What about Al and Austin? Will anything happen to them? They beat me up you know.”

The president answered “How dare you question me. They and their families contribute plenty to this school. What do you contribute? All you do is write those trashy love stories that disrupt the learning process and reflect negatively on this school.”

Owen said “I may write them and you may not like them, but many people do. For whatever unjustified reason you are obsessed with control.”

“Regardless of what you say or believe, you will break up with that girl and drop the charges if you want to graduate.”

Owen said “I can drop the charges, but that is unfair. However I can’t break up with her. I love her and she loves me. Not to mention she is a schizophrenic. If I did leave her she might harm herself.”

The president then said “Good, then that would mean one less moocher that my tax dollars have to pay for.”

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Notes on Weather Radios

I first discovered Weather Radios in December of 2001 when I was 14 going on 15. That previous spring and summer I had begun to cultivate an interest in all forms of radio communications. As previously stated, I always had a fascination with weather. So, to me, a weather radio seemed to be a pretty cool device.

I wrote these notes on Weather Radios in the composition book I had been EDCing on October 3, 2018. The main source for these notes I have taken that I will cite is Wikipedia.

Without further ado, here are the notes:

A Weather Radio is a special radio receiver that is designed to receive the signals from government owned radio stations that broadcast weather observations continuously.

Routine reports are interrupted when a weather emergency arises.

Some non weather emergency information may be broadcast such as a natural disaster, civil emergency or terrorist attack.

Broadcasts occur on the VHF High Band.

Two varieties are sold: Home and Portable.

Portable models come with features such as crank power in addition to grid current and batteries for use in an emergency when the power is disrupted. Smaller portable/pocket models do not typically feature Specific Area Message Encoding, but allow outdoor enthusiasts to get weather information in a compact device.

Modern Home models have in addition to Specific Area Message Encoding, visual alert features such as text displays and multi-colored lights. They also have connections to add peripherals such as pillow shakers or bed shakers, strobe lights and loud sirens for people with sensory disabilities. There peripherals can be connected via the weather radio’s accessory port.

NAVTEX gives Global Weather alerts for ships at sea. It is a Low Frequency Teletex broadcast.

In the United States NOAA Weather Radio is a nationwide network of automated weather broadcast stations giving weather information from a nearby Nation Weather Service forecast office. A broadcast cycle lasts between three and eight minutes.

Specific Area Message Encoding activates radios based on the Federal Information Processing System codes and radios equipped with that said feature will only activate when the corresponding administrative division programmed in the radio has an emergency.

Weather Radio Channels and Frequencies:

Original Number…..Frequency…….Marine Number……New Number
WX01…………….162.550 MHz…..39B…………………….7
WX02…………….162.400 MHz…..36B…………………….1
WX03…………….162.475 MHz…..97B…………………….4
WX04…………….162.425 MHz…..96B…………………….2
WX05…………….162.450 MHz…..37B…………………….3
WX06…………….162.500 MHz…..38B…………………….5
WX07…………….162.525 MHz…..98B…………………….6
WX08…………….161.650 MHz…..21B…………………..N/A
WX09…………….161.775 MHz…..83B…………………..N/A
WX10…………….163.275 MHz…..113B…………………N/A

Notes on the Barometer

I have been fascinated by the weather since early childhood.

I have also had a keen interest in sciences of all kinds, throughout my life though I am not very good at it. I mean I am so terrible at science that I don’t even hold an Associate’s Degree.

However, I do spend a good bit of my time engaged in independent learning.

In this page, I will post the transcript of notes I had taken in my composition book that detail information about Barometers.

Without further ado, here they are:

These notes were taken on October 1st and 2nd of 2018.

The main reference that I will cite is Wikipedia as that is where I got the bulk of this material from.

Notes on the barometer and its inventor(s).

Barometers are used in meteorology to measure atmospheric pressure.

Pressure tendency detects short term changes in weather.

Measuring air pressure within surface weather analysis is helpful in locating surface troughs, high-pressure systems and frontal boundaries.

The term “barometer is derived from ancient Greek words which literally translate into words that mean weight and meter/measure.

Evangelista Torricelli (October 15, 1608-October 25, 1647) an Italian physicist and mathematician are credited with inventing the barometer in 1643.

Italian astronomer and mathematician Gapardo Berti (1600-1643) may have also unintentionally created a water barometer sometime between 1640 and 1643.

French scientist and philosopher Rene` Descartes (March 31, 1596-February 11, 1650) described the design of an experiment to measure air pressure possibly as early as 1631 but no evidence is there to suggest that he actually built such an instrument.

On July 27, 1630, Italian mathematician, physicist and astronomer Giovanni Battista Baliania (1582-1666) wrote to Italian polymath Galileo Galilei (February 15, 1564-January 8, 1642) describing a failed experiment in which he made a siphon led over a hill ~21 meters high. Galileo replied explaining that the power of the vacuum held the water up but at a certain height the amount of water was simply too much and the vacuum could not hold anymore, like a cord that can only support so much weight. This was a restatement of “horror vacui” or “nature abhors a vacuum, a theory which dates back to ancient Greek philosopher and scientist, Aristotle (384-322 BC.) Galielo restated this theory as “resistenza del vacuo.”

These theories were published in Galileo’s “Discoursi” and they reached Rome in 1638.

Raffade Magiotti and Berti were excited by these ideas and sought another way to produce a vacuum besides a siphon.

Magiotti devised the experiment and Berti carried it out sometime between 1639 and 1641.

A simple model of this experiment consisted of filling a long tube with water plugged on both ends, then stood up in a water-filled basin. The bottom plug was removed and the water inside the tube flowed into the basin. However, only a portion of the water flowed out of the tube and the height of the water inside the tube stayed at an exact level, which happened to be 10.3 meters or 34 feet, the same height that Galileo and Baliani observed to be limited by the siphon.

The most important detail of this experiment was that lowering the water in the tube left a space above it in the tube with no immediate contact with air. This suggested the possibility of a vacuum existing in the space above the water.

Torricelli, a pupil, and friend of Galileo interpreted the results of this in a novel way. He proposed that it was the atmosphere and not the attracting force of the vacuum that held the water in the tube.

Followers of Aristotle and Galileo thought air to be weightless.

Torricelli questioned and challenged this belief and suggested that air indeed has weight and it was the weight of the air which pushed up and held the column of water.

Torricelli believed that the level of which the water stayed at in the tube (10.3 meters of 34 feet) was reflective of the air’s weight pushing on the water in the basin, thus limiting how much water can fall from the tube into the basin.

Torricelli viewed the barometer as a balance or measuring instrument instead of a device to merely build a vacuum.

Because pf Torricelli being the first to observe this, he is credited as being the inventor of the barometer.

Torricelli’s gossipy Italian neighbors spread rumors that he was engaging in sorcery and witchcraft. Torricelli thus decided to keep his experiments a secret to avoid being arrested by the Roman Catholic Church.

In order to be more covert, he needed a liquid denser than water, to which Galileo suggested he use Mercury. As a result, he only needed a tube that was 80 centimeters long as opposed to 10.5 meters.

*SIDE NOTE*: While I was initially taking these notes on that evening in early October 2018, I decided to take a few sips of Wild Cherry Pepsi in an attempt to temper the sting of depression which I frequently suffer. Soft drinks, while extremely addictive do indeed help me write better and they do help fight depression, at least for me. Wild Cherry Pepsi is my favorite soft drink.

Decreasing atmospheric pressure was initially postulated by French physicist Lucien Vidi (1805-April, 1866.) He later invented the barograph, a device which records the pressure readings of an aneroid barometer.

German writer and polymath Johan Wolfgang Von Goethe (August 28, 1749-March, 22 1832) invented a water driven barometer based on Torricelli’s principles. It is known as the weather ball barometer and is comprised of a glass container with a sealed body half-filled with water. The narrow spout is open to the atmosphere. When the pressure is lower than it was at the time the body was sealed, the level of water in the spout will rise above the water level in the body. When the pressure is higher, the water level in the spout will drop below the water level in the body. This device is known as a “weather glass” or a “Goethe Barometer.

Mercury Barometer:
A vertical glass tube closed at the top sitting in an open Mercury filled basin at the bottom. The Mercury’s weight creates a vacuum at the top known as a “Torricelli Vacuum.” The Mercury in the tube fluctuates until the weight of the Mercury column balances the force of the air pressure bearing down on the reservoir. Higher temperature levels around the instrument will reduce the density of the Mercury, thus the scale must be calibrated in such a way to compensate for this effect. The tube must be as long as the amount of Mercury in addition to the headspace as well as the maximum length of the column.

Torricelli observed slight changes each day in the height of Mercury in the tube and concluded that this was due to changing pressure in the atmosphere.

On December 5, 1660, German scientist, inventor and politician Otto von Guerricke (November 20, 1602-May 11, 1686) observed that the air pressure was unusually low and predicted a storm which struck the next day.

The Mercury barometer’s design made the expression of atmospheric pressure in inches of Mercury popular. The range is typically between 26.5 and 31.5 inches (670-800 millimeters) of Mercury.

One atmosphere is equivalent to 29.92 inches or 760 millimeters of Mercury.

On June 5, 2007, the governments of the European Union restricted the sale of Mercury, effectively ending the manufacture of new Mercury barometers in Europe.

An aneroid barometer uses a flexible metal box instead of any liquid to measure air pressure. It was invented in 1844 by Lucien Vidi. The box is known as an aneroid cell or capsule made from an alloy of Beryllium and Copper.

The evacuated capsules are many times several stacked together to add movement and are protected from collapsing by a strong spring. Any change in the surrounding air pressure causes the capsule to expand or contract.

This movement drives mechanical levers in such a way that their changes are amplified and displayed on the dial face of the instrument. Many models also feature a manually set needle to mark the current observation and compare with previous and future observations so a change can be seen.

Microelectromechanical systems (MEMS) barometers are extremely small ranging size between 1 and 100 micrometers. They are manufactured using photolithography or photochemical machining. These can be found in miniature weather stations, electronic barometers, and altimeters.

Certain smartphones such as the Samsung Galaxy Nexus, Samsung Galaxy S3 through S6, the Motorola Xoom, Apple iPhone 6 as well as higher end Casio and Timex watches have built-in barometers using MEMS technology.

Formulas:
Pressure in atmospheres Patm=p*g*h
Where p=density of Mercury=13,595 kg/meter cubed (sorry I don’t know how to do sub and superscript on here) g=graviation accelaration=9.807 meters per second squared, h=height.
1 torr=133.3 Pascals or 0.03937 inches of Mercury.

My personal commentary:
Most weather predictions for civilians are obtained through the mass media and government run forecasting services. Should our enemies hit us with an EMP all of this will come to a grinding halt.

Personal maybe even homemade barometers may make a comeback should this happen.

After all, we would still want to know when will storms be headed in our area so we can spend time cuddling with bae.

A barometer could possibly give some advanced notice of incoming foul weather.

However, all modern conveniences will be gone so will we actually have the time to cuddle with bae?

The weather might be the least of our worries as I’ve stated before and cuddling with bae might be highly frowned upon because cuddling sometimes leads to intercourse and intercourse ultimately means more hungry mouths to feed…

A Review of the Midland WR-120EZ Standby Tabletop Weather Radio

Before you read, please know that I do not own the picture featured in the piece, but Midland USA does.

I know I am several months late with it, but finally, I’m writing my review on the Midland WR-120EZ Standby Tabletop Weather Radio.

I’ve been planning and wanting to write this positively since August 16, 2018, but have had several distractions.

I guess I am better late than never.

Anyway…

I purchased this awesome device at my local grocer, Rouse’s, on December 26, 2017, and have been using it on and off since.

I say on and off because back then I lived with my wife, now ex-wife, I kept it on a table next to the sofa in our living room.

However, I left her a few weeks later on January 18, 2018, and thankfully was able to keep it and most of my other valuables.

I moved in with an older friend that same day and I applied for a new apartment a little over a week later.

While living with this friend, the radio was pretty much picked up.

I moved into my apartment on May 1, 2018, and this weather radio has been a bedside companion ever since.

My divorce was finalized on October 11, 2018.

Okay, enough about the details of my divorce and other personal details, I’m just thankful that all of it is behind me and now.

Now, let’s focus on the product review at hand once again.

This awesome radio cost me $29.99+tax, when I purchased it. By the way, that is cheaper than Wal Mart, who sells it for $32.99+tax and not every Wal Mart carries it either.

By the way, the MSRP of this radio is $39.99 according to Midland’s website, so I got it for roughly $10 off the MSRP.

Especially in the South and the Midwest, many grocers frequently sell Weather Radios and usually for very good prices.

Case in point, earlier in 2017, I got several of the portable standby Midland Weather Radios, the HH54VP2, on clearance for either $5 or $10 apiece at another location of my local and favorite grocer, Rouse’s. I gave a few as gifts that year.

The Midland WR-120EZ is Public Alert certified, which means it will only activate alert when the emergency occurs specifically in the area it is set for. Not only that though, it can also be connected to adaptive devices so people with various disabilities can still be successfully alerted to an impending emergency.

The Midland WR-120EZ is a slight variant of the WR-120.

The main difference is that the EZ model doesn’t neccessisarily require one to know the FIPS code, rather it comes preset for every Parish, County, Borough or other administrative division pre-programmed in it.

All one must do is select his or her geographic and administrative location and be done with it.

Also, alert selections are customizable, meaning that the user can turn off alerts for most emergency events that do not pertain to them except for a Tornado Warning.

The alert siren is very loud and distinct and will indeed get every the attention of every user on the floor of a residential unit.

The speaker has a very clear and crisp audio provided the signal reception is on par.

The blue backlight on the LCD display is bright which is great for low light conditions, but thankfully can be turned off to conserve energy and make sleep more peaceful.

The buttons are easy to press and are quite sturdy, plus the button beep feature can indeed be disabled.

The telescoping antenna pulls in signals from about forty miles away, but does need adjusting from time to time, especially at greater distances from a weather radio transmitter.

The radio is powered by line current but also can be run on 3 AA batteries as a backup or to take the radio into a safe room for monitoring the progress of severe weather.

There is also a switch to turn the radio off for leaving on vacation or conserving the batteries during an extended power failure without messing up the clock.

This radio has a very loud alarm clock which wakes me up on most days.

The clock keeps time pretty accurately but is a little difficult to synchronize properly.

There are three LED indicator lights on the unit to allow the user to determine if the bulletin being issued was a Warning (Red), Watch (Orange) or Advisory (Yellow.)

The cabinet is made of no nonsense white.

My one complaint about this radio is that it should have a better signal amplification circuit to pull in weather broadcasts easier. And maybe better noise limiting circuits for those who live in close quarters with their neighbors. One of these, either the noise limiter or amplifier doesn’t work well enough and that frequently gives me problems with reception every now and then and I have to move the radio around the room to correct the problem. If I had to guess, I would say it’s the noise limiting circuits, because I do live in an apartment complex and yes, myself and all my neighbors have WiFi and other stuff that generates significant amounts of electrical noise.

Other than that, I would recommend this radio to be used in every single residence, business and institution that is located within range of a weather broadcast, yes I do believe that weather radios should be equally common as smoke detectors.

By the way, I give this product a rating of 4.8 out of 5!

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A Review of the Radio Shack® Touchscreen SAME Weather Radio with AM/FM

As stated before, I have been both afraid of as well as fascinated by the weather since I was a toddler.

I’ve also been fascinated by all sorts of technological devices since then.

I’m not sure if this interest was acquired or is it in my blood.

All in all, because of this interest, I frequently shopped at Radio Shack, until I no longer could.

In February of 2015, the Radio Shack in Southland Mall was shutting down and going out of business.

I went there to see what sales I could find.

I found an $80 for around $8, a Radio Shack 12-996.

In September of 2018, this radio is still going strong.

This particular model gets the AM (Medium Wave) and FM broadcast bands in addition to the Weather Radio channels.

It is “Public Alert” certified, meaning I can program the SAME code for any County or Parish and have it only go off for when there is an alert for that specific administrative division

It also has an alarm clock.

For power, it runs on either four AA batteries or an AD/DC wall adapter.

The front firing speaker on this radio has superb audio quality.

The entire controls on this radio are controlled by a touchscreen interface, something which required me getting used to. At the time of purchase, I didn’t even have a touchscreen phone.

However, once I had gotten accustomed to this device, it has become a faithful companion.

When I lived with my wife, this was a very useful bedside radio.

After her and I split up, and I moved out, I kept it and it became an equally useful kitchen radio.

As of now it rules my kitchen counter and keeps me entertained and informed while cooking, washing dishes or doing anything else that requires me to be in my kitchen.

Aesthetically, it reminds me of one of those kitchen radios that housewives had during the Golden Age of Radio. Granted it has an integrated circuit instead of vacuum tubes, a touch screen instead of knobs and buttons and a PLL tuner instead of a dial tuner, but the form factor still reminds me of one of those antique radios from that era. I’ll go as far as to say how I frequently think of a woman walking home with her family from church on December 7, 1941, then going into her kitchen and listening to the radio as she prepares Sunday Dinner. Soon she hears about the Japanese bombing Pearl Harbor, then walks back to her church to pray for the victims and her country.

The radios of those days only received AM, however, this radio also gets FM and Weather.

Hopefully, it will keep me entertained and informed for years to come.

It faithfully picks up every weather alert I have programmed it to and blares a loud siren.

It also picks up every AM and FM station within reason and range.

This is one [recent] Radio Shack product that, I feel still has a superior quality.

There are only two things I don’t like about this radio and they are:
I wish the backlight could be turned off when the radio is on standby.

I wish the AM and FM tuners could have an international mode where FM tunes in 100 or 50 KHz steps and AM could be set to tune in 9 KHz steps while in other countries, but have the default 10 KHz when being used in North America.

I know the radio isn’t really designed for AM DXing, a better AM antenna should have been internally installed, but I myself am an AM DXer, so that is why I suggested this feature.

I would have never bought this radio at its MSRP, but since I got it on clearance, I do not regret my purchase at all.

These are a bit hard to find brand new these days, but eBay frequently carries them.

If you can get one, you will enjoy it.

All in all, I give this product a 4.5 out of 5 stars!

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A Review of the Midland HH50 Pocket Sized Weather Radio

I have been both afraid of as well as fascinated by the weather since I was a toddler.

That is since about the late 1980s and early 1990s.

In the Summer of 2001, at age fourteen, I had become interested in all radio communications.

In December of 2001, at the age of fourteen going on fifteen, I discovered Weather Radios. I purchased my first Weather Radio at that time and have been listening to them ever since.

Fast forward to March of 2006, when I was nineteen, I had discovered a certain Weather Radio being sold at Academy Sports and Outdoors. I had decided to take a break from exams and go shopping.

The radio in question was a Midland HH50 and that will be the product reviewed in this piece.

At the age of nineteen, however, I couldn’t justify spending $25 or so on a very basic Weather Radio, though I wanted it.

For years I had seen videos of it on YouTube.

It wouldn’t be until June of 2015, at the age of twenty-eight, that I had actually purchased one for myself and at a discounted price of $10.

Unfortunately in December of 2017, my then-wife, now soon to be ex-wife, broke that radio in a fit of anger.

I had quickly ordered a replacement a day or two later. I was a few days shy of turning thirty-one.

It arrived on my doorstep a few days later and I have been carrying it in my EDC backpack ever since.

This Weather Radio does indeed have a Standby Alert feature which will allow it to remain Mute until an Alert is broadcast.

However, it lacks the S.A.M.E. feature, which means it will trigger the alarm regardless of what Parish, County, Borough or other Zone the alert pertains to.

It is an entry-level model and does not have all the bells and whistles that higher end weather radios have.

The Midland HH50 runs on three AAA batteries and should be able to receive any Weather Radio broadcast within forty miles.

I would recommend this model to anyone who is a pilot, mariner, hunter, golfer, farmer, hiker or anyone else whose activities are affected by changes in the weather.

It is also perfect for use traveling in areas where one might not know the S.A.M.E./F.I.P.S. code of the area in which he/she is currently located. It would be a decent item for the glove box of your vehicle when traveling out of state, but make sure the passengers, not the driver operate this radio.

I would also recommend one of these for the safe room of anyone who lives in tornado-prone areas, to monitor the progress of severe weather when grid power sources have failed.

As I stated before I carry mine either in my pocket or in my EDC backpack everywhere I go, but this would also be a staple for your bailout or bug out bag.

I would not recommend this as a main standby Weather Radio, however, I would recommend it’s bigger brother the Midland WR-120EZ, for that purpose, which I plan to write a review on very soon.

There are three reasons why I would not recommend this as a main standby Weather Radio:
1. Doing this will run down the batteries quickly and unnecessarily.
2. The alarm is probably not loud enough to wake a heavy sleeper.
3. It lacks an S.A.M.E. feature so, it will create plenty of false alarms which will do nothing but aggravate the user.

Here are the features of this neat little weather radio:
It has a decent front firing speaker that is clear and loud enough despite its tiny size.
It has a removable belt clip on the back, which is held on by a Philips or + screw.
To the left, it has up and down volume buttons and a Test/Scan button.
To the right, it has a three position switch of Off, On, and Alert, which is for Standby Mode.
On the top right it has a telescopic antenna and on the top and back left if has a nylon lanyard.
On the back of the radio is the battery compartment with a battery door that slides off.

To operate the radio:
After installing the batteries properly, extend the telescopic antenna all the way out. Then move the switch to the “On” position. The radio will then begin to scan for the strongest Weather broadcast available. This may take several seconds. When it locks on a strong enough broadcast, it will be heard on the speaker. If there is more than one broadcast available, press the “Test/Rescan” button to change channels. Holding this button down for a few seconds will test the alert siren. Pressing that button once again will return the radio to “Scan” mode. To use Alert Mode, have the first go to On mode and allow the radio to lock on to the strongest broadcast signal it can find. Then flip the switch to Alert and keep the radio in an area where reception is decent. When n alert is broadcast, the siren will go off followed by the broadcast information.

What I like about the radio:
It is compact and rugged for the most part and will give its end-user vital weather data when needed most.
It is fairly simple to operate.
It is most affordable to all but the lowest income brackets.
I wish Midland would build a passive VHF Hi Band and also a passive VHF Air Band radio in the same form factor as this Weather Radio.

What I don’t like about this radio:
My one complaint is that the belt clip should have been more rugged and maybe on a hinge.
Maybe a more rugged rubber duck antenna could have been installed instead of a telescopic antenna.
An earphone jack would also be nice.

All in all, I give this Weather Radio a 4.25 out of 5 stars.

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