Thursday, February 23, 2012

Eye Ball, Eye Ball.

" many pounds am I pushing you, good buddy ? "

Eh ?

Oh come on now. CB radio ? You never tried it ? No ?

Well I did. Back in the 80's of course when it had a very brief introduction into the UK. Like with most things in the UK though, it was quickly ruined by those who didn't have it so didn't want YOU to have it and also by those that had it but spoiled it for everyone else.

I know that in 1983 BC (Before Cellphones), I had my mobile rig and twig for my car. The rig was like a car radio and was fitted near the gear stick so you could fiddle with the knobs (!) and the twig, or aerial, was on the car roof. Naturally.

It was this aerial that was prone to being removed by those that did not have a CB radio and felt that if they didn't, no one else should. It's a British thing. Try setting up a nice ornament in your front garden and see how long it lasts !

Anyway after a couple of years and having to replace 2 twigs, I gave up on CB radio and so did the rest of the nation. I'm sure that was just a coincidence. The kids had taken it over with bad language and stupidity and now they've moved on to doing the same with cell phones but at least only the other party has to hear them. Unless you're on a train or a bus, or in a queue/line, in a restaurant, theatre, supermarket............sighhhhhh. Then you ARE the other party.

So why am I rambling on about CB radio ? Well yesterday I finished my library book and last night, in a moment of bedroom boredom, I downloaded a scanner app on my phone. I installed this particular app a year or more ago but removed it when I needed the space. Now I have the space and just fancied listening in on the exciting worlds of the police, emergency services, airports and radio hams ! Everywhere.

Not surprisingly, despite uninstalling the app a year ago, a list of those stations I'd added as favourites came up after installing it again. So much for a clean uninstall. Anyway it did save me a bit of time and so I was right into the local police "station" from the get go.

I listened. I kept listening. I could hear static but little else. Clearly being in a county where the vast majority of the residents are in bed by 9pm, I wasn't going to hear anything exciting at midnight !

This morning though has been another matter. All sorts of excitement going on.

First up was a report of violence at the local McDonald's after a woman was told she wasn't being given a job after her interview. I found this a bit unbelievable actually.

I'd no idea McDonald's did interviews !

Whilst numerous police officers (and no doubt the local SWAT team) were on their way to stop a possible (sesame) bun fight, there was more excitement. Someone reported a youth firing a BB gun at birds and squirrels and so part of the McDonald's SWAT team had to deploy elsewhere and protect the local wildlife.

It all goes on in Highlands County !

Then came real drama. A car had gone into a ditch (I'd better not say where) and a woman was in serious condition. There were no witnesses to this accident but there were reports of a man fleeing the scene. When the police arrived, the woman had only a faint pulse and the officer was concerned to find a child seat in the car. He reported in that he was now looking for the child.

In the end there was no child and the air ambulance was on route to take the woman to hospital.

UPDATE : just this second had an update that a white male and an Hispanic male were seen exiting the car and leaving the scene on foot.

But I think I need to uninstall this phone app......again. Not because I need the space but because......well I guess it's like watching those tv shows about extreme hoarders. It's a bit sick. Those hoarders need help and not just help to clean up their houses. They clearly have medical issues and why should tv shows be made about them in the guise of "entertainment" ? It's voyeurism on a grand scale.

Having the technology to listen in on police and emergency services around the world is all well and good but it's a bit voyeuristic too. The police aren't usually called to 'happy' events. Same goes for ambulance and fire crews. So when we listen to scanners, we're mostly listening to the personal problems of others. Often light hearted of course but sometimes extremely sad.

As the app doesn't have a 'no traumatic reports please' filter, I guess it has to go. I could just choose to listen to planes landing at obscure airports or listen in on radio hams across the world but unlike with CB radio, scanner listening is just that.....listening.

Now if I could TALK with the pilot as he's landing at JFK, that would be cool. Kinda dangerous, but cool.

"Hey, y'all. Fly me to Cuba."

"WTF !! Who is this and how did you get on this frequency ?"

"Oh go on, fly me to Cuba.....please."

"Get off the air. I'm trying to land this plane."

"Then will you fly me to Cuba ?"

"Are you nuts ? Who ARE you "

"Ahhhhh only joking, man. Land your little plane and we'll talk again later, ok ? "

"Tower.....tower.....TOWER !!! I think I've just been scannered."

So no, the scanner app, like CB radio, is not for me. Been there, done that, liked it for a while.

UPDATE : the woman has been airlifted to Tampa Hospital and the police are actively searching for the two men.

Well I never said I'd uninstall it app today !


Daphne said...

I never tried CB radio though a friend of mine, then a respectable married woman aged about forty, had a great time pretending to be sixteen and chatting up the local young men by simpering at them on CB. Nowadays people use the internet for that kind of thing and it doesn't have comedy overtones any more.

Jay at The Depp Effect said...

Wow ... yeah, I suppose I'd feel pretty much the same as you. Suckered in, but feeling a mix of guilt and horror and distaste.

One of our neighbours listens in. He's been a radio ham ever since we lived here and has an enormous radio antenna up over his garage. He talks to people across the world, but quite often just listens in. It's quite useful actually, because we get reports from him about what's happening where, and why the by-pass is closed this morning and perhaps even when it will re-open!

Katherine said...

Did they ever get the two guys?

Silverback said...

I've no idea, Katherine. I actually DID uninstall the app and anyway, I'd never have found out using it.

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