It came from Switzer Canyon

After several days of having my heart rate monitor mysteriously shut off while out riding my bike, it occurred to me when I got home yesterday that it was happening in the same general area each time - somewhere in South Park.

The monitor is narrow band I wear around my chest, with the display on my wristwatch, connected to each other wirelessly. I have the watch set to beep if I exceed a rate recommended by my doctors; it also will beep to let me know it is shutting off, which it does automatically if it's not getting a signal because I've taken off the monitor.

This lack-of-signal-thing made me think that there is some kind of interference blocking the radio signal from my monitor to the wristwatch - a cell phone suppressor, or secret military technology, probably, hidden among the cafes and taverns.

So today when I went for my ride, it was with the intent of tracking down where this is happening. The ride became a walk as I went back and forth, doing laps around blocks, hoping I'd be able to triangulate the source of the interference. I started recognizing people as I went looping around. I can't imagine what they might have been thinking as I wandered around, walking a bike while staring intently at my watch, but clearly not in a hurry.

This map shows a bit of what I found. (You can view the Heart rate monitor interference map a bit larger.)

While crossing Switzer Canyon between the northernmost marker and the middle one I had no signal, but only while on the west side of the road. When traveling on the east side, there was no problem.

The marker to the south had just a small area, maybe a few yards, where I couldn't get a readout. I'm pretty sure there's a larger patch a couple blocks south of that, but I'll figure that out later.

No mysteries solved today, but now I'm thinking about finding my way into Switzer Canyon.

Apparently I missed something at the opening ceremonies

I can't remember the last time I missed the opening ceremonies of the Olympic Games. This is not to say I have watched them, just that I haven't *missed* watching them.

But this? This is weapons-grade musical goodness. And fortunately for me, there are these internets, so I still get to appreciate it.

Apparently the Tatars are a Turkish ethnic group that was once part of the Mongolian Empire.

Buddy and his former label guy

Out of respect for the amazing loss of musical talent 51 years ago, here's a phone call that Buddy Holly recorded while talking to his former label representative, trying to get back the rights to a couple of songs.

"That makes me feel a little bit bad."

Seems that labels have a long tradition of being weenies.

On Halloran's departure

Earlier tonight, I shook hands with Michael Halloran. He had just finished cleaning out his office.

He said, "I'll see you later."

I responded, "Yeah, see ya."

I know, it doesn't seem like much of a deal, but it was mildly surreal. The casualness of it shook me a bit. I can't imagine when we might see each other again, but I'm pretty sure it will happen.

If you listen to FM 94/9 or follow the goings-on of radio in San Diego, you know by now that Halloran was let go from the station. I don't understand exactly what happened or why, but it did. It upset a lot of people - listeners, as well as everyone here at the station, including myself.

When I found out, I talked to my wife about it. "He was a big part of why I got into radio." I corrected myself: "No. He is entirely why I got into radio."

Of course, like a lot of folks in San Diego, I was aware of him from his time at 91X, which was some pretty good radio when he was there. That wasn't what did it though. It was KUPR. It didn't last long, but it made a huge impression on me.

It was the middle of the 1990s, I was working in a comic book store. I don't remember how I became aware of the station, but I know that it hooked me immediately. My work day was helped immensely by the sounds funk, surf guitar, classic country, the occasional crooner, some techno, swing... genre didn't matter. What mattered was that the music was good. Nobody else was playing Johhny Cash on the radio. Or Los Straitjackets, alongside James Brown and Frank Sinatra next to Beck and Jamiroquai. Ashley MacIsaac and Wilco. Come on! This was how radio should be. This was the work of Michael Halloran.

I don't think the dial on the shop's stereo changed once I found that station.

Until one day I unlocked the doors to the store, went to the back to turn on the music (before turning on the lights - priorities!), and out came something country. Okay, KUPR played all kinds of stuff. But then it played another country song. And another. I was confused at first. Then a bit concerned. Slowly, I became upset; more than I'd ever been in my life, about anything.

The good music. Was gone. That... How... Why... I got lost in my own head trying to come to terms with it. The best radio station ever to have been in San Diego was gone. The music, gone. I was livid. My life would never be the same, having experienced that. How could I go back to listening to classic rock or "alternative" ever again?

It might sound a bit exaggerated, but I assure you, I had trouble getting anything done that day, I couldn't think correctly, I was tense. I couldn't remember being that passionate about anything, ever.

I had to be a part of correcting this somehow.

That day, the day Michael Halloran's KUPR shut down, was when I decided to back to school, take some classes, do whatever it took to get into radio.

Mathilda to take on some zombies!

Somwhere around here I talked about the zombified version of the Jane Austen classic, Pride and Prejudice and Zombies.

Well, Natalie Portman is set to star in the film adaptation, according to Variety:

Portman will star in and produce “Pride and Prejudice and Zombies,” a film that is based on the bestselling book written by Seth Grahame-Smith and Austen.


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