Oklahoma City FM Radio

Every time I turn on the radio here in Oklahoma City I am confused because there is another station on the air.  Being an amateur (HAM) radio operator, I tend to think that we are having a tropospheric episode bringing in distant station but my ears are not fooling me.  It appears that our local stations are experimenting with creating HD1, HD2 and HD3 stations that are rebroadcasting their stations on low power stations around the metro area.  One of the highest profile stations to do this recently was KRXO 107.7.  They have taken their high power classic rock station and turned it into a new sports station called The Franchise.  They have taken their classic rock station and moved it over to 107.7 HD2 and simulcasting it over on the analog 104.5 on a much lower signal.

It looks like they now have an HD3 station called Generation Now 96.5 playing hit music.  This is another low power station that does cover the metro pretty good considering its lower power.  They play the same type of music as KRAV-FM in Tulsa so it was only natural that I would think we had Tulsa booming in this morning.  Also I’ve noticed a couple new stations on 92.1 and 92.9.  The 92.1 seems to be simulcasting KRMP Heart and Soul on AM 1140.  The 92.9 station is simulcasting KEBC, the comedy station on 1560 AM.  In each of these cases, the stations are owned by the same company, Tyler Media.

I like the new additions and hope they last.  I am really liking the new 96.5 station.  I live out in the far eastern part of the metro and still able to receive all of these stations in the cars and in the house.  Since I live so far on the East side, I get many of the Tulsa stations as well so the FM band is completely filled.  I sure wish car manufacturers would start installing HD radios stock so that people will get use to the extra stations.  I also wish that portable and home stereos would come with them stock.  I’ve run across people that have no clue what HD radio is.   I will scroll across the band and document what is available as I have time.

The FM radio band is a constant, ever changing place so putting up a list of all stations becomes obsolete nearly as soon as you do it.  Also you have to deal with low power stations all around the metro giving you a false impression.  You may be hearing a powerful station on one side of town and be weak on the other side.  Once you get to the other side of town you hear a whole list of other stations that are weak on my side.  It is a good thing that I find this sort of thing interesting or I would get frustrated making these lists :).

My Hometown

I spent many years in the Air Force and over my lifetime been to 24 states and six countries.  With all the great places that I’ve seen, there is no place like home.  I would never want to live anywhere but Oklahoma City.  I’ve experienced much of what this video speaks of first hand and know what a great place it is.  Everywhere I’ve been, I’ve run into people that thought we were still living in The Grapes of Wrath or still living in the cowboy days.  Of course in some cases they are making a swipe at the wide spread conservative values that we are fortunate enough to still have.  To some, they see our values as being backward and to them, I am happy with that.  I have been very fortunate to witness what a turnaround our city has had considering what it use to be.  Now if we can just end this multiyear drought, we’ll have our paradise back. 🙂

Droughts and Floods

This year appears to be a normal year in Oklahoma in that the weather continues to be bizarre.  Last July we were working to sell our house and we had two four inch rainfalls back to back in three days.  It seems like ever since then we have been in a drought.  We have received a few rains in that time but they are very small and certainly not enough to meet the needs of keeping the reservoirs full and keeping our lawns green.  I have no idea how far below normal our rainfall was back in December when the weather people reset the measuring stick.  This drought carried over to this year and as of a week or so ago we were more than eight inches below normal for the year.  It was looking like we were going to have a very hot and dry year with all the vegetation dying off.

A couple weeks ago we started to get some well needed rain though it was all at once.  We had 5.8 inches of rain in one day and then a few days later we had another inch and a half of rain.  Currently we are about a tenth of an inch below normal though it is worse than it shows.  Since we received all of our back rainfalls in a couple days we did not get the benefit that we could have received.  I am not complaining because we really needed the rain.  To give you an idea of how the rain came all at once, look at the picture below.

OKC Thunderstorm 5-24-2011

This picture is of the Joe B. Barnes Regional Park in Midwest City.  In addition to the tree that was blown down you see that everything is under water.  The nearby creek that goes through this park came out of its banks where the entire park was covered.  This is the same storm that produced the seven tornadoes that killed 11 people.

OKC Thunderstorm 5-24-2011

In this picture you can see the water under the bridge on Reno Avenue coming from the park across the street.  The water is all the way up to the street level here.  To give you an idea of what it normally looks like, you can normally stand on someone’s shoulders under this bridge.  The water was very deep at this point.

OKC Thunderstorm 5-24-2011

In the picture above it is hard to see but if you click on the picture it will take you to the Flickr site where you can make it full size making it easier to see.  To give you an idea of how hard the rain was coming down and the raging water was running  you need to see that there is a duck trying to hid in the hole of this tree.  You always hear people referring to rainy days as being duck weather.  In this case the duck was trying to take refuge in this tree.

OKC Thunderstorm 5-24-2011

As you can see in this photo we had our share of hail where the ground was covered.  I never thought to get the camera out until the storm was over.  The tornado sirens were sounding for over an hour.  As you may have learned reading my blog, I love severe weather and long for the day we get a wild storm.  For some reason, this storm shook me up because I was stuck in an apartment where I could not see what was coming.  There was no place to take refuge if needed and also that we suddenly had such a hard wind that I was seeing tree branches flying by my back window.

OKC Thunderstorm 5-24-2011

This is one of the branches that I saw fly by my back patio window.  This was accompanied with heavy hail, rain and very low clouds.  The TV was showing live shots of tornadoes on the ground on the Western edges of Oklahoma City and since we were on the Eastern edges I did not feel too threatened.

OKC Tornado

The above image of the radar taken as the storm approached showed what was headed our way.  As you can see to the West, Northwest of Oklahoma City there is a dark red area.  This was the storm that caused the longest lived tornado that was on the ground for more than 70 miles and killed a few people.  Thankfully it was in a mostly rural area where there was not a lot of population to be injured.

Many people tell me that I am crazy to love storms so much.  It is difficult to describe the excitement of a thunderstorm.  I can remember the first time I went to the cellar at five years old.  It was at 3:00 AM when a tornado hit near Tinker AFB.  From that day forward, I have been fascinated with storms.  My love for thunderstorms should not be confused with wanting people to get hurt or have their property damaged.  I just enjoy the thrill and excitement of a powerful thunderstorm.

Devon Energy Tower at nine floors

Devon Bldg at 9 floors

When Devon Energy announced they were going to build a new 50 floor, 850 foot building in Oklahoma City, I decided that I would find a vantage point and take a picture of it once a week so that I could show the status.  Since we have been so busy trying to sell our house, I have lost some time.  The above picture was taken with the building at nine floors.  The first six floors are taller than normal buildings because they had a large grand floor.  I took this picture at SE 15th Street on the West side of I-35 on September 9, 2010.  There are four larger cranes though you can only see three of them in this photo.  The problem the I have is that when you get very close to the construction, then there is no place to stop and then you cannot fit the whole building into the picture.

Devon Bldg at 9 floors

In this picture you can see it a little more zoomed up but from the same vantage point.  The building has not surpassed the Colcord Hotel as you can see the white building just to the right.  In this picture you can see the fourth crane but only barely.

Devon Bldg at 9 floors

In the third photo you can see from a slightly different angle.  This one was taken on the SE 15th Street bridge that goes over the Oklahoma River.  This building is no different than others in that it takes quite a long time to build the foundation.  I was so use to not having any visible progress on the building that I did not take any pictures of it for a while.  They started construction on October 6, 2009 and most of the work was building the foundation.  Hopefully as it climbs a floor every eight days, I can post more often.  The CEO Larry Nichols spoke in a press conference that it will be about the same height as the Chase building on the right by Spring 2011.  The building is supposed to top out by August 2011.  I will try to keep everyone posted on the success of the construction as time goes by.

Devon Tower at 9 floors

T-Mobile 3G in Oklahoma City

3G

I would like to thank Shawn Wright for Tweeting the post…

“@tmonews can you confirm 3G in OKC? My phone just started indicating 3G…”

It was his Twitter post that made me check to see if it was true.  It looks as though our T-Mobile has finally turned on 3G for most of the Oklahoma City metro area as you can see from the map above.  This image was taken from the T-Mobile site.  I am both happy and disappointed by this map.  Happy because it is finally here and sad because the metro area coverage is very poor, even missing Norman completely.  I am going to believe based on previous examples of T-Mobile’s 3G deployments that this is just the first wave of coverage that is expanded within weeks.  I have seen this happen in other cities around the country as well.  I do think this is a positive step and I thought it was important enough to share even before leaving for work.  Since neither T-Mobile, nor Tmonews.com has announced OKC’s turn on yet, it leads me to believe this is not even official yet.  Let’s keep our fingers crossed and hope that T-Mobile does a massive expansion over the OKC metro real soon.   This is great news for the T-Mobile faithful.

Summer in Oklahoma City

Summer in Oklahoma City

 

I guess it is that time again.  The photo above shows the temperature as 109 degrees while the National Weather Service only listed the high as 105.  Oklahoma gets a little of both cold and hot.  This is fairly common temperatures to get in summer though it only happens about two weeks each year.  The average high on the hottest day of the year is 94 degrees though we have periods of much warmer like this.  Just thought I would share this.

Holy Cow! What an Announcement!

Today was a big day in Oklahoma City with a big announcement from one of the biggest local companies.  There were a lot of smiles around town with this announcement.  This morning Devon Energy presented their proposal to build a new corporate headquarters here in Oklahoma City.  This new building will be 54 floors at 925 feet tall easily making this the tallest building in the state.  The predict this project will cost $750 million and begin construction late 2009 and be complete in 2012.  This was big news for OKC and with the addition of the new NBA teams arrival it is even bigger.  I am hopeful this project will be completed on time as the new I-40 relocation project is also forecasted to be completer in 2012.  Devon Energy is 221st on the Fortune 500 companies according to Forbes.com.  Of course the authorities at the Oklahoma City Urban Renewal Authority (OCURA) gave unanimous approval for the project.

 

Below you can see a model drawing of the height and design.

As you can see from the image above this is a very large development and will certainly change the appearance of Oklahoma City from every direction.  The image below shows a scale model that was revealed at the meeting this morning.  I must say that I am pretty excited about this.

With this building reaching 925 feet tall, it will be about four feet taller than the Bank of America building in Dallas, Texas.  I have already heard some skepticism that this project will never happen and I can understand the sentiment except this time with fuel prices between $3.00 and $4.00 per gallon, this company can afford this easily.  I read a report that they made $5.2 billion profit this first quarter of the year.  This project is less that $1 billion.

First Signs of Life

Heroes to save the day

Welcome OG&E!  I cannot tell you what a welcome sight to see these trucks on the next street over from mine.  We lost power on Sunday, December 9, 2007 and as of today, the 14th we are still without power.  This is the first time this week we have seen the electric company in our neighborhood.  I do not wish to imply at all that I think they are doing a lousy job but the contrary.  If you could drive around my neighborhood and see the damage and the abandoned houses you would see what an unbelievable job that OG&E has to deal with.  I want to express my gratitude for the hard work these people are doing.  In this picture you will see an auger truck with a crane lifting a cable.  The other end of this cable is attached to a power pole behind these houses.  The pole was leaning at a 45 degree angle before being pulled straight with this crane.  There are currently three workers on that pole disconnecting the wires.  I can only assume that auger will be used to dig a hole for a new pole.  I am so thankful we bought this generator on Wednesday so at least we have a couple lights, TV, and the laptops.  I did not bother trying to reconnect the desktop computers because there are so many cables to disconnect, it would not be worth it.  I did get the DSL modem, and wireless router connected so we can get on the Internet.

Patience has been running low around here since we are all stuck in one room.  We had to block all the bedrooms so we could keep one room warm with an electric heater.  We normally use a central heat and air unit but that does not work real well with no electricity.  Since my dad is also still out of electricity, both of our repeaters are obviously still out of power.  I am not to confident with the condition of the antenna for the WIN System either after the tower taking a hit from the neighbor’s tree.  The tower is not being held up by the guy wires right now because they are very very loose.  I can sway them three or four feet in any direction.  I need to get some better anchors for the guy wires.  I will keep you up to date on the conditions.

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