Thursday, September 30, 2010

Central NE TV viewing

Forgot to mention this in the last post but I did take the trusty laptop and DTV stick with me to Kearney. It's been many months since I've taken a view of the local stations (heck, it's been many many weeks since I have even last used the DTV tuner--not since late July when I had some curiosity about what I could get in the Ardmore Oklahoma area).

A little has changed. First I still could not pull in KHAS, channel 5 (yes, they use RF 5 for their digital signal for reasons unknown to me). Given the frequency is in low-band VHF I almost have to be within a few blocks of the tower to receive it adequately with my low grade rabbit ears. The other two major stations were no problem, KGIN on 11 and KHGI on 13. Both high-band VHF, both towers were much closer to my location, and both have sufficient power for a constant signal. KGIN still broadcasts The CW on its .2 subchannel with a low-grade SD picture in contrast with the HD CBS sports programming I saw on 11.1 (a SEC matchup).

The biggest surprise was KHGI. Not only do they have ABC programming in HD on their 13.1 channel but they now have Fox on the .2 subchannel. Fox also was in HD.

That's right. Two 720p signals on one frequency. Now that's a good use of bandwidth!

With Fox programming now on KHGI I noticed the previous Fox affiliate, KTVG, is off the air. For good most likely. Interesting. I wonder if this is a harbinger for some other markets particularly where there is a duopoly. If you can move programming to subchannels then why continue to burn electricity and deal with the high overhead if you don't have to?

By the way, I got quite a few legal ID screen capture pictures from my summer journeys. I'll post them soon over at my companion blog.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Alone At Last

This past Saturday I ventured to Kearney. By myself.

I cherish my alone time. I am an introvert (every time I take the Myers-Briggs I score as a very strong "I") and as such I derive strength and stamina from taking a break from interacting with others, even my own family.

Therefore I took the 90 minute or so journey (one way) with a little cash in the pocket. Ironically I was engaging in a very un-manly-man activity: clothes shopping. I only did this because I had to. A couple of my professional dress slacks had finally had their day and I needed to find replacements.

First stop was Cabela's, but not to buy sporting goods. Yes they do carry mens causal clothing and I have in my closet two pairs of Cabela's-branded slacks that are holding up well. Even before I hit the road I knew my purchases would not be of the "fun" variety. Still, that didn't prevent me from browsing and doing the lookie loo with the hope I can always return in the near future and procure myself an upland hunting vest or a box of turkey-load shotshells.

That day the inside of Cabela's was populated with reps from various hunting and outdoor-related groups (Ducks Unlimited being one example). Several times the guys at the different tables apparently felt the need to "out-call" one another and engaged in loud use of different calls, the dominant ones being duck and turkey. They did this so often even I got tired of the noises.

But never mind that. Turns out the Kearney Cabela's store doesn't carry the pants I'm looking for. Must be due to their very limited floor space (it's easy to contrast this retail location with their behemoth in Buda, Texas).

Aaaaggh! God why must you be cruel to me?

(The above only took place in my mind. When you're alone you don't talk out loud to yourself in a public place.)

My pragmatic self kicked in and I headed to J.C. Penney. Found and bought what I needed. Mission accomplished.

On the way back home I made a stopover at the Fort Kearny State Historic Site. There's a state park-type campground nearby and I figured a reconnoiter was in order. Nice campground, spacious and plenty of trees. Then I notice a cornfield just off of the park property. Not exactly in the wilderness, are we?

Then it dawns on me. This might not be in the wilderness but it sure beats having to bear-proof your campsite. (It's what one has to do while in or near Yellowstone.)

Works for me! Maybe we'll head here with our friends one of these weekends.

I then head home. Alone is good but it is definitely a time-limited activity. Can't have too much of a good thing.

Sunday, September 19, 2010


Over the past couple of weeks we've seen warm, Indian-summer type weather here on the prairie. Temps in the 90's, no rain, low humidity, windy.

Yesterday, though, we woke up to gray skies, a chilly breeze, and a whole huckuva lot of moisture in the air. The thermometer was near 50.

Winter's coming.

The leaves are falling, the squirrels are loading up on the black walnuts, and hunting season for certain game gets ever closer.

As a reminder, just last week we began seeing the annual wildlife festival in our own backyard. Turkey hens ambling along as nicely as can be. Little Geoana got a chance to use her turkey call (Christmas goodie from Santa) and see the gobblers react.

I won't be hunting only pheasant this fall and winter. In fact the Remington 870 should do quite well for turkey hunting considering I can use 3-inch shells. Might just need to get a camo kit for it so the sun hitting a new shiny gun doesn't tip off my prey.

Winter's coming.

Monday, September 13, 2010

Mumbling the musings

Short bits:

Summer's pretty much departed (it will exit officially next week) and so too goes the camping season.


Talked to a friend yesterday, he asked if I was ready to put the camper in mothballs for the winter months. I paused, then replied: "Maybe not. Perhaps if the right opportunity presents itself." I'm not sure what that would be, but since the rig proved itself worthy over the past few months (both in hot and cool temps) I'm not above taking her out again before the snow falls.

Besides, I can see myself using the pop-up to go on a hunting trip one of these years....


Fall means football! Cooler temps! Getting ready for hunting! And...

Green chile.

The real deal. Hatch real.

I was on my feet most of Saturday, roasting those peppers 'till the skin is nearly off. My soles ached big time by the end of the day but the effort was worth it. I've already made chile verde (pork roast seasoned to perfection, cooked in the Crock Pot until falling apart, then add chile as desired, serve with warm flour tortilla) and green chile salsa. I'll make my specialty dish, simply called "green chile," sometime soon. Very soon.

Camping in Yellowstone was fun, both in challenging and relaxing ways. As in most National Parks, we were "off the grid." Question: Geoguy, how'd you make your morning coffee without being able to use your trusty Krups?

Answer: Plan ahead and use what you can.

How'd I do it? I bought whole bean coffee at the Albertson's in Cody (last civilization stop before entering the park). Brought my French press. Brought my coffee bean grinder. And bought a power inverter on the drive out there.

Set up Coleman stove, boil water. Turn on truck's engine, plug in inverter. Use electric grinder to break up the beans coarsely. Dump beans into French press. Add boiling water. Press. Let sit. Enjoy.

Good java.

That, my friends, is how you get creative if you don't have 30 amp or your own generator.


All of my readers know I'm hoping to take down a few pheasants this fall and winter. Here's hoping preparation makes a difference this time around. For last year, I did the hunter education, talked with a friend once or twice, took the shotgun to a gunsmith, got ammo, got an orange cap, and set out.

This year? Learn about habitat. Talk to experienced hunters. Practice practice practice. Get a new shotgun. Practice. Learn about shot size and what load works best for which game. Peruse 2010 Kansas Hunting Atlas. Make plans to scout out areas beforehand. Talk to more hunting friends.

Here's hoping I'll serve a pheasant dish to the family sometime before spring.

Maybe turkey as well.