Neville hears a dog he likes
Sunday, May 3 2020
It was another beautiful sunny day, full of the sounds of birds and toads (as well as various chuckles and tweets from the local members of the squirrel family).
I took advantage of the conditions and got a fair amount of exercise, repeatedly climbing up the ladder to the solar deck to make various adjustments on a cheap yagi antenna mounted to narrow pole (a piece of steel conduit pipe) whose base I had placed in the lower portion of the old solar deck's antenna mast. This arrangement allowed me to raise the antenna very high while also allowing me to rotate it easily (though manually). To get the antenna as high as possible, I'd start with the narrow conduit pipe as low as possible, telescoped within the larger pipe. I'd attach the antenna as high as I could on the smaller pipe, then raise that pipe up out of the base as high as I could (so long as there was still enough pipe in the base to support it). This allowed me to exceed the height of the old television antenna by several feet.
Unfortunately, though, the cheap yagi was proving very unreliable, as if it had some marginal connection inside the plastic box from which the F-connector protruded. Tantalizing, a scan would reveal a few stations I'd never seen before. But then when I went to view them, they'd be gone. I wasted a lot of time in pursuit of better over-the-air possibilities. But, as I said, at least I got some exercise.
In the middle of the afternoon, Gretchen had arranged a Zoom social call with her family (my in-laws). This included her brother's family in Arkansas (which included Linda, her brother's mother-in-law) and her own parents at the Watergate in Washington, DC. As always for such social videocalls of late, conversation was mostly about life in the pandemic, with occasional in-depth discussions of such things as Remdesivir, the drug that screws with RNA replication and that has shown modest promise in treating Covid-19. Our in-laws in Arkansas have a dog, and that dog occasionally barked an insipid little bark. Neville overheard that and didn't think anything of it. But when a bigger dog next door (in Arkansas) responded with a meatier woof, Neville (here in New York) responded by cocking his head. He did this repeatedly, and I eventually managed to snap a photo.
Both our niece and nephew performed music during the call, and I was particularly struck by our niece's cover of the Regina Spektor song "On the Radio," for which she both sang and played yukalaylee. Her timing was bit halting, but her voice was beautiful, and when Gretchen later played me the Regina Spektor original, I realized I much preferred my niece's stripped-down minimalistic cover. Partly this was about the lyrics, which are amazing. I could clearly understand them in my niece's singing but not in Regina's.
Today's Zoom call.
Neville cocking his head to hear a real dog who lives next door to his canine cousin.
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