Sunday, December 27, 2009

The More

...things change, the more they stay the same, goes the old saw. BajaBabe emailed me a critique of my Christmas Blog asking if I was short on sleep because she detected a "whining undercurrent" in my screed.

Did you read the 23rd's Blog I countered? The one about my glorious fleet all broken down before I even got to work?

This has been my beloved world for most of Three Decades! I've seen the industry grow and evolve, everything about Ski Slope Grooming has changed, but one thing remains the same...the Achilles Heel of my Perfect World, the Bane of my Snowcat Existence! 2-Way Radios hate me!

It's the same thing every season. I get into my trusty old steed, or every three years, my brand new machine, and I key the mic to brag on air, and ...nothing...

Grooming is a Team Sport, I'm the Player/Coach, and my job is to talk my crew through the shift to insure maximum productivity and safety! That's Job Description in a nutshell.

So why is it that I have the radio that won't Transmit every single year? The Gods don't favor me? Bad karma from a previous life? All of the above and the petty stupidity of People in General? Yes and Yes in Spades!

This year's new Bison has a sweet, brand new Kenwood 2-Way GMRS Radio, the wire leads out of the back to the Antenna, the antenna is mounted atop the shiny new bright yellow cab, but the Radio Tech failed Antenna Installation 101, so the thing can't 2-way itself out of a paper bag in a pouring rain!

These beautiful yellow fiberglass cabs come stock with a molded-in Ground Plane (or Counter-Poise) to mount the 2-Way's Antenna on. Electronically, a transmitting Antenna needs the help of the Ground Plane to get the signal out. This Radio Tech missed the spot, so the radio is useless farther than you can shout.

Last year's new Bison had a perfectly good Motorola 2-Way and a decent antenna...but no cable connecting the radio to the antenna...Arrrggghhh! How does a Radio Tech miss that? Enquiring Minds want to know...

I could go on, and on, and nauseum, but this record has been stuck for almost 30 Years! I can't belabor the point one more can't speak for itself unless I'm parked right next to your cat!

That's no Undercurrent, Bajababe...that's what's known as a Tsunami! I don't surf, but I can imagine just what a ride this series of failure waves would make! The Big Screen Epic Story of My Career!

Hello? Testing 1, 2...

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