Musings About MHR Canada: Excerpt #13

Written by on November 7, 2021

What happened to the Emergency Alert Signal (EAS): that piercing tone that would, without notice, disrupt a program being aired? I haven’t heard it in a long time. When we used to go to the Cape Vincent station once per week to record the Community Bulletin Board (see last month’s E-Newsletter) we would also have to twiddle with the computer to make it sound the Alert. It always bothered us that the EAS had to be done with no way of avoiding the fact that it was pre-empting about 30 seconds of most essential dialogue of the program playing at that specific time. Oh well, it was what had to be done.

(photo courtesy: Wikipedia)

Once in a while we would meet a volunteer at the station that lived in Cape Vincent. Did you know him – Bernard Beck? Naw, you probably wouldn’t. He was a wonderful man of over 90 years and as spry as a grasshopper on hot ashes. Every day, he would drive up to the station, having collected the mail from the post office and, once there, he would read the transmitter data and log it. Now I understand this can be monitored directly from Syracuse. Technology amazes me.

Did I say technology? This was an area of profound professional interest of friend, Bernard. Back in the 90’s there was a mouse problem in the WMHI building. I’m sure that it was the good fundamental Bible preaching and fine Christian music that attracted them! As the common traps just couldn’t eradicate them, this called for Mr. Beck to tackle the problem. Well, he brought in a 5-gallon pail and drilled two holes at the rim through which he threaded a wire with a coke can in the middle. Peanut butter was smeared onto the can and a board led from the floor to the top of the pail. When a mouse jumped from the board to get the peanut butter it would land on the coke can, which would spin on the wire and drop the mouse into the pail, too high to climb out of. If I remember it correctly, he caught 43 mice over a couple of weeks. I just love modern technology!

Submitted by Hank Blok, Secretary-treasurer, Mars Hill Radio Canada

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