At the risk of sounding like a cranky old man.. Friday night was trick or treat night in Allentown.
Every trick or treat night here in the Westend of Allentown we get inundated with trick or treaters. I have no problem with the Halloween handouts. What I do have a problem is the huge numbers of them. There are a total of 4 kids who live in our half block on both sides of the street. So let's say there's as many as 15 more or so kids living to either side of our half block.
How then do you account for all these kids?
Video was taken from one of my surveillance cameras while we were away.
We go to our own kids houses each year for the last five to hand out our treats. One lives in Whitehall Township. The other in Coplay where both their neighborhoods have 10x's as many kids and yet 1/5th the number of trick or treaters. You may ask what accounts for this number of kids and why do we leave?
Well we used to burn through 15 bags of candy in the first hour alone even though we only handed one piece out to each. That's over the top. I've watched SUV's and/or vans pull up and unload 5 or 10 kids. They'd hit the houses, then pile back in the vans and go down to the next block. Then the next.
It's quite obvious downtown parents set about to go hit up the richie's in the Westend. I certainly can't blame parents for wanting to come out here where's it's safer. BUT on the other hand, we can't go through 12 lbs of candy in one hour either. It's taking advantage.
Blame it on the parents, I suppose, but I AM NOT WEALTHY. I AM ON Social Security and so are about 5 of my neighbors. If you will note in the video the guy handing candy out across the street on his front porch ran out about 45 minutes into this (around 6:45 PM).
So no hard feelings, but this is the choice we made for ourselves. It's a shame for the kids who actually do live in our neighborhood. But it does speak to the kind of attitude that seems to pervade in the culture of Allentown, does it not?
One of the grandest gem of all the theaters in all the world is back in business.
The Boshoi Theatre in Moscow.
The condition of the theatre back on July 2, 2005 was deplorable. It was closed since that time in order to make over 700 million dollars in renovations.
One of the most beautiful of all theaters has been completely restored over the last 6 years and last night (Oct. 28, 2011) had it's grand gala reopening.
The theatre's first performance was on January 18th in 1825. The restored theatre removed a couple of hundred seats in order to expand it's huge stage. All the lightening and audio systems installed are now the latest state of the art.
The creme de crem from all over the world were fortunate enough to bear witness last night for the first gala performance after the completion of the renovations.
Wired.com reports that on this day, September 13th in 1899 was the first time a pedestrian was killed by an auto in the United States. It happened at West 74th Street and Central Park West in New York city.
Since obviously there were no specific laws written, because it never happened before, what charges do you think were applied to the cab driver who hit him?
My most favored alterative energy producer is the solar panels. Starting years ago I would have liked to have seen, as all new homes were being constructed, these installed on their roofs. I'm not talking about big shiny panels that are eyesores and reflect the sun into the neighbor's windows, but rather panels that nearly mimic today's shingles. Your neighbors would hardly even notice them AND YES THEY ARE ALREADY OUT THERE.
Consider this, on the hottest sunniest of days is when the solar panels do their best work.
This would not only lower one's electric bill but help relieve the power company's generators when they are running a near peak capacity. These are also the conditions under which a power company is sometimes forced to buy more expensive electric off the grid to fulfill their needs.
In addition this would allow power companies to downsize their generating capacities. Less generators means less cost both to build and maintain for conditions that occur only a few times a year. A yes, less generators means more profits for them.
There's even a greater bonus to this. The solar panels shield the roof from the sun's grueling temperatures that find their way into a home. Some figures place it as high as 20% less need for air conditioning in such a home.
I can see no faster nor more efficient way to reduce our fossil fuel consumption in this country. Some will argue it takes ten or twenty years to recoup the cost. I'd counter that by saying if there would be a mass need for solar shingles, inevitably manufacturers could find less costly and more efficient ways to manufacture them. Another cost to factor in is the cost for electricity itself. Rates have been going up about 5%- 30% (sometimes more) while the cost of solar panels have dropped about 18% over the last few years.
Whatever it cost to produce a kilowatt from the from today's solar panels will remain locked over the next twenty years. Meanwhile your electric bill in that same amount of time could easily go up 300% (6% compounded yearly increases over 20 years).
Let's use this example-- Your rooftop panels produce 20kw's of electric a year (that's average for a 2,000 sq. ft. roof). At 9 cents a kilowatt (today's cost) times 20,000 watts equals $1,800. Thus you can save $1,800 a year... BUT in 20 years from now electricity could very well cost 27 cents a kwh and your savings per year would be $5,400. AND I wasn't factoring in the AC savings or considering increased taxes on commercially generated electricity.
I came across this video while doing research for another project. It refreshed my old electronic repairman days. Those were the days when you actually repaired radios and TV's rather then chucking them out.
They would manufacture about 100 tubes or so which were the only ones used in every other electronic assemblage. Unlike today where it is not even possible to get a hold of schematics or even the ICs (Integrated circuits) numbering in the 1,000's.
Today's electronic manufacturers order a couple 1,000 batches of IC's, then discontinue their usage in their next model. So it's impossible to replace them. Great for the consumer, but wiped out the repair business entirely.
The following video describes how to test vacuum tubes. It also is just about where my knowledge of electronics left off many years ago :-)
Video Courtesy of 67 year old Bill.. the "old64goat"
While many consider the following just to be fun little mind teasers, to the intelligence community they are a must.
Lateral thinking is nothing more then thinking outside-the-box. An invaluable asset to an agent working in the field. A true measure of intelligence over just the ability to memorize things.
See how well you do. The answers are in a drop down box below each one.
* 1. The last person took the basket with the egg in it.
* 2. All the other card players were women.
* 3. Pour the juice from the second glass into the fifth.
* 4. The recluse lived in a lighthouse.
Anyone interested in reading about the inside workings of the NSA would enjoy reading 64 year old James Bamford's book, "The Puzzle Palace".
Even though I read only his first book (written in 1982), I found it fascinating reading. He wrote an essay type example similar to those above. His gave you a few pieces of information that seemed to have no relevance, but indeed they did.
This 2007 mother's day video comes your way by long time YouTube vBlogger, Christine. I've enjoyed her sincerity, humor and singing talent over the hundreds of videos she posted. She began almost four years ago starting in August of 2006.
If you wish to see Christine's vBlog documenting her entire trip.. CLICK HERE
A quick look back on the 60's though the 70's. These are some of the radio stations I'd tune in and listen to here in Allentown, Pa.
Began operations in 1949. They were sold to Rust Broadcasting in 1957, employed a Top 40 format, and was known as Music Radio 79 WAEB.
Began operation in 1923 with the call letters WCBA on 1470 kc
Began operation on 1320 AM in 1948. They were owned by Rahall Communications.
WEEX AM 1230
Signed on in may of 1956. They were owned locally by Easton Express Broadcasting
Began broadcasting as a full-time station at 1230 AM in 1948. Founded by the Allentown Broadcasting Corporation. A suit was immediately brought by a competing applicant, Easton Publishing Co., owner of the Easton Express newspaper, charging that the FCC erred in granting a fourth license to Allentown while Easton had only one radio frequency.
They played rough in those days. In fact the Morning Call drove Allentown's 1st TV station under. It was located at Grape & McArthur Road. The Original Channel 39.
The FCC reversed its decision in favor of the Easton Express. The case eventually reached the U.S. Supreme Court, which in 1955 ruled the FCC had acted properly.
The Easton Express was subsequently awarded the 1230 AM frequency for a new full-time station, WEEX, while WHOL moved to 1600 AM as a daytime only station.
No longer able to broadcast after sunset, WHOL lost its prominence as one of Lehigh Valley's leading AM stations.
WGPA, "Sunny 1100"
Was formerly owned by Chadwick Broadcasting. Originally, it was a part of the Bethlehem Globe Publishing Company. The station, along with sister WGPA-FM 95.1 began February 16, 1946 and was headquartered in studios and offices on Brodhead Avenue, next to the Globe-Times daily newspaper building.
Began operations in 1936. In 1973- 96.1 became WLEV and began offering a Soft Rock/Adult Contemporary format that was very automated.
Today WEST (1400 AM) and WHOL (1600 AM) are radio stations broadcasting a Spanish Tropical format, emphasizing Tropical music from the Tropics and Spain. They are owned by Matthew P. Braccili., who operates the radio station from Cheltenham, Pennsylvania
WIBG (formerly 990 AM.)
It used to be a powerhouse broadcasting at 50,000 watts in Conshohocken, Pa.! The call sign was changed to WIBG in 1978. The some of the original DJs have been reincarnated into WOGL (98.1 FM)
The former WIBG AM is now known as Life Radio 1020, a news talk radio station with Christian programming from Ocean City, New Jersey.
WIBG-FM (94.3) Is licensed in Avalon, New Jersey, USA. The station is currently owned by WIBG Limited Liability Company broadcasting an Oldies music format..