My first AI generated YouTube video

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From the totally obscure department

I grew up in Pittsburgh Pennsylvania.  The Pittsburgh Railway company was owned by Andrew Carnegie’s empire.   An important aspect of the streetcar system was that it allowed the workers to get to his steel factories.

This map was for sale at what originally was called the Arden trolley museum.   It went from being a non-profit organization to a museum operated by the state of Pennsylvania.  I scanned this a very long time ago, and then created a KML file for Google Earth that showed all of the routes and to the extent possible where they ran.

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Silent Station List

It’s been many months since I’ve looked at the data the software downloads from the FCC each night. As long as this website has existed, which is almost 20 years, the FCC has maintained a list of radio stations that have officially applied for and received silent status.

Normally, if you believe your radio station is going to be off the air for more than 30 days, you need to notify the FCC within 10 days and get permission, in theory.  You have to state a reason why you’re not fulfilling your obligations as a radio station’s license holder. It used to be that it had to be something that was beyond the control of the licensee, like a hurricane, tornado, a truck accidentally toppled your tower, your building burned down, etc.

During the Obama years, the FCC relaxed these rules very much and would accept reasons like we have no money, all our employees quit, the owner died, we don’t have any source of programming, we can’t get spare parts for our ancient transmitter.   I noticed the pattern that they’re especially lax on stations with minority owners or women owners, as the FCC and Democratic politicians have been trying to solidify the notion that everyone is equally capable of running a radio station.

If a station fails to resume broadcasting in one year, they automatically forfeit the license, unless there’s some really extenuating circumstances.  A few examples of that are that the license is tied up in bankruptcy. Bankruptcy judges are the most powerful people in the federal government and can override other government agencies.  Sometimes the licenses get tied up in probate Court when an owner dies.

Lots of games are played with this rule, especially as it relates to newly issued licenses. Despite the efforts of the FCC, people get awarded licenses who have absolutely no intention of ever actually building and operating a radio station.  They get the licenses on the hope that they will be able to resell the license at a profit.

When you’re awarded a new license, you have three years to build the station and begin operations.   People have been known to take a portable 10 watt transmitter in the back of a pickup truck, go to the theoretical Tower location, turn it on for 10 minutes, and then declare that the station has been on the air, then immediately request permission for the station to be silent.  People might transfer the license to their wife, with the idea that now it would be a woman owned station, that would reset the clock. A federal judge shut down that way of beating the system sometime after 2008.

The FCC has stored its information related to radio and TV station licenses in a thing called the CBDS database.  This reflects the organization of the FCC, where the licensing of broadcast stations was one of the very earliest activities when all the information was maintained on index cards and filing cabinets.  Prior to the creation of the FCC in 1934, licensing was handled by the Commerce Department in the federal radio administration (FRA).

But the FCC has gained a lot of responsibilities over the years. In addition to broadcast stations, the FCC licenses amateur radio operators, CB radio operators (no longer), business communications, paging services, state and local government radios, airport radios, train communications (like PTC), cell phone towers, microwave relay towers, satellites, etc.

Over the years, there have been multiple efforts within the FCC and their beltway consultants to create the Nirvana of a single Central database of all licenses, which is total nonsense. While an AM radio station has data related to the power of its transmitters being reduced at sunset, that has nothing to do with the height of a TV station transmitter or the specific frequencies used by a cell phone tower.

Starting several years ago, the most recent attempt is called LMS (License Management System).  I wrote at the time that this conversion would doom this website because streaming radio guide was built around the cdbs database extract each night.  That update has not stopped, which is sending a huge signal that the FCC decided they can’t turn off their old database because it does so many things that the LMS does not understand.

So now to the point! The FCC has maintained a list of officially approved silent radio stations.   I used to pull that data down about once a month to find out what radio stations had asked for silent permission, and those that had been silent which had returned to the air. The FCC had a 2-month delay before a station would appear even appear on the list.  Most legitimate silent stations try quickly to return to the air and never appear on the list.

So here is the caution you now see when you visit the list:






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Personal update


The handful of people who have been here for a long time may remember that I left this website up primarily as a way to keep in touch in the event that society fell apart.

Well, unfortunately, it looks like my instincts were correct. We are on the verge of World war 3 with a president who can’t string a sentence together as our leader. We’re still dealing with the damage caused by the shutdown of our society by the government with covid as the excuse this time.

Monkeypox!  Monkeypox!

Some of you will remember that I met my wife from this website. I don’t regret doing it, but the marriage did not work out.  After about 2 years, there were too many problems to believe that it could be fixed, so I decided to end the marriage.

I used to joke about people from New Jersey who moved to Charlotte North Carolina with the idea that they were going to fix it and make it more like New Jersey. That’s a fairly good summary of the problems we had. She has returned back “home” to  New Jersey.

We sold my condo in Charlotte North Carolina, and I moved to Greensboro North Carolina, which is about a hundred miles up I-85 toward the Northeast. The cost of living here is much less, and a lot fewer people have moved here from somewhere else.  Greensboro is much smaller than Charlotte, and the people are infinitely more pleasant.

Basically, I spent the next two years in isolation waiting for the covid thing to sort out, and taking vitamin D3 to deal with the fact that I was getting no sun.

I got vaccinated using the Johnson & Johnson vaccine in May 2021, which I wrote about previously.   To the best of my knowledge, I have not been infected with covid. My brother caught covid over in Spain, and my former wife caught it up in New Jersey about 2 months ago. My next door neighbor caught covid in the summer and was still infectious after 8 weeks.  None of them have died.

I’ve hired a woman to help me 2 days a week. She is 64 years old and does not have the mobility problems that I do.  She is a CNA and caught covid during the alpha wave in 2020.  It wiped her out for almost a year. She just recently told me that the turning point for her was she started taking vitamin B12.

I don’t really know what her politics are other than she absolutely hates Joe Biden, because “he made me get the covid vaccination after I’d already recovered and had natural immunity”.  She is a very smart, well informed woman.

In the event you missed it, the White House advisor on covid just blurted out the other day that there was never any evidence that masks actually do anything to stop the spread of the disease.   Now that we’re getting all of the inside information from Twitter, we see how just complicit the FBI has been in limiting public discussion of this virus, and other things like suppressing the Hunter Biden story.

My brother was adamant that Donald J Trump was a fascist.  He probably still believes that.

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Scott Shannon retires

Inside Radio

Scott Shannon was a legend with ABC radio, based out of New York City.  After Cumulus took over ABC, Scott Shannon was kicked loose and landed over at wcbs- FM, which is where he finished his career.   His audience followed him to CBS  which devastated the ratings of WPLJ.  He also produced the syndicated true oldies channel, and for a while was the overall program director of the ABC/Cumulus radio network.

Following their chapter 11 bankruptcy in 2021, Cumulus has been busy selling off the legacy ABC radio stations including WPLJ FM and WABC-AM.  None of this should be a surprise when you put a person in charge who had absolutely no radio experience.



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Decision Day

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“You’ll own nothing and you’ll be happy!”

World Economic Forum

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Milk and Bread!

Must buy milk and bread!

Don’t Panic!

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The Future

It should be apparent to everybody that I have lost 99% of my interest in radio, and this website is sitting here only to transition to something else.

This is still very much a work in progress, and no guarantee it will ever amount to anything, but with the sudden interest in the breakdown of the supply chain, I’m accumulating and documenting my knowledge about the shipping business.

If the page appears to be empty, change the orientation of your mobile device to be horizontal.  The section on the Port of Los Angeles is the most complete and probably of the most interest currently.


Port of Los Angeles

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Fuck Howard Stern

Continue reading

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