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DXERS' KINDERGARTEN

By Jack "Mr William" Bradbury

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The big news from here this month is that Ginny the DX Gerbil has gone to that Big DXpedition In The Sky. But she was faithful to the hobby to the bitter end. The unfortunate incident happened when she tried to use her razor sharp teeth to shorten my antenna lead-in to resonate on .2 meters, but accidentally bit into the power cord instead. Although traumatic, her death has been a learning experience for me. It's true, you can't flush a gerbil. I tried to explain Ginny's significance to the plumber, but he just muttered something about sane hobbies, like hang-gliding. I don't think I would ever want to do that. I feel much safer climbing 60 foot trees with 20 lbs of wire dangling from my back. I replaced Ginny with a new pet, Benny the DX Boa, to help me DX those rare Amazon stations. Unfortunately, he makes Henry the DX Hampster very nervous. I really don't want a repeat of what happened between Fanny the DX Feline and Peter the DX Parraket. Candy the DX Canary and I still have nightmares.

Well, on to this month's questions. Clarence Rogers of Bent Creek, VA wants to know what the numbers after station names in the QSL column stand for, e.g. "Ecos del Torbes 4980". Well Clarence, the answer should be in your official BLANDX membership packet, but obviously you must be one of those self-centered semi-literates who don't bother to read such things. I'm only going to tell you this once. Each SW broadcast station has been assigned one or more random numbers by the UN QSL Regulatory Board, with cooperation of distinguished SW academics at Reynoldsburg DX University. The intention is that DXers will memorize these numbers and cease refering to the stations by their real names. As it is now, if you're sitting in a bar and say "Ondas del Orteguaza", the waitress might misunderstand and bring you a rare tropical mixed drink made of fermented fish innards. This has happened to me on numerous occasions. Now I just say "4975". Other DXers know what I mean, and the waitress copies it down because she thinks it's my phone number.

Luigi Sadowski of Feeding Hills, Massachusetts asks "What do you do while you're waiting for an ID to roll around?" Now that's a good intelligent question, which is very unusual for this column (some people say intelligent answers are even more unusual). Personally, I like to do my laundry, unless I'm busy sniffing strange lampshades. Other DXers, however, prefer less technical chores like picking the lint off the carpet. At least one DXer I know of practices sticking his head out the window and yelling. Other possibilities include trying to figure out how to open aspirin bottles, counting the little holes in the ceiling tiles, thinking of fun things to do with canned tuna, and, of course, the ever popular ignoring your spouse and family. Just do whatever turns you on!

Pete Peasley of Indian Neck, CT wants to know what the abbreviation "ECNA" stands for. Well, Pete, obviously if no one has told you by now, you're not the kind of person who should know. Only a few of us are priviledged enough to have that information. Besides, you're probably the kind of person who actually enjoys listening to press reviews. So buzz off, OK?!

Duane Baldwin of Bad Axe, MI says that he sees the term "Local Music" a lot in the log columns, and wonders what it is. Well, Duane, for that question I decided to ask SASWA's chief Latin American DX aficionado, Dan Muir. Dan's reply:

"To understand what local music is, first you have to realize rural stations in Latin America (and also Indonesia, Africa, Arkansas, etc) are frequently too poor to buy an extensive library of LPs. Yet, they still want to air a variety of music. That's where Local Music (locally-produced music) comes in. Using a long extension-cord, the announcer takes the microphone out into the street and gets passers-by to sing their favorite tunes. If there's a bar next door, this can be highly entertaining! Local school children are another good source of local music. Of course most stations are smart enough to keep a cassette recorder running the entire time, so that they can replay the real gems later. Local Music is easily recognizable by the "boomy" live sound of the recording, not to mention the donkeys braying in the background. At several of the stations I visited, I was asked to do my part to expand their tape library of Local Music. The most memorable time was at Bolivia's Radio Veriloco, when I joined an announcer to do a bilingual acappella version of "Satisfaction". I like to think Mick would be proud of it."

Gee, thanks Dan! Did you do Love Me Tender when you visited Radio Honda Azul? It sure sounded like you the other night. Anyway, that's it for this month. Next month we will answer a question from Stanley Ryskamp of Magnolia, Iowa who asks "What makes an island virgin?"

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The above article appeared in the 1990 edition of BLANDX, the DX bulletin parody magazine. More information about BLANDX is available from Don Moore.

What were once vices are now good DXing habits. (BLANDX 1990)

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This website is maintained by Don Moore,
Association of North American Radio Clubs
DXer of the Year for 1995
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