2017 Solar Eclipse Point of Totality Part 2-Podcast 658

Seeing a complete solar eclipse at the point of greatest totality is a peak experience. Getting there might be a challenge. But it’s worth it. I take you all the way through it in 2017 Solar Eclipse Point of Totality Part 2-Podcast 658.

Path To The Eclipse

We start about 40 miles south of Chicago, Illinois. Taking Illinois 1 all the way down to US 45. Then onto the Shawnee National Forest. Our target is a place called Makanda. This is the location for the longest point of totality for the solar eclipse of 2017. This is a town very close to the southern border of the Land Of Lincoln.

Little Town At The Edge Of Illinois

Lots of talk about about Carbondale, Illinois as the point of totality. Truth is, the longest period of totality at a little more than 2 minutes occurs in Makanda, a little town about twenty miles south of Carbondale. During Part 1 of the eclipse podcasts we talked with some locals and spectators. In 2017 Solar Eclipse Point of Totality Part 2-Podcast 658 we experience it.

A Peak Experience

With all the media these days it seems like people want to experience everything through media. I can’t emphasize enough how important it is to actually go to an event and experience it in person. In 2017 Solar Eclipse Point of Totality Part 2-Podcast 658.

Eclipse energy is a real thing

On the trip and at the event we saw people struggling with pre eclipse issues. We were pushing so hard to get everything perfect it made for a very stressful trip. At one point my friend Steve said, “We’re in the path of totality now, so it really doesn’t matter where we see it”. Twenty minutes later we found the perfect spot.

Hope To See Everyone Again

Especially relevant is the real feeling of camaraderie we experienced with all the people in this little town, who came to experience the total eclipse of the sun. I think it’s fair to say we all want to come back in 2024 for the next total solar eclipse. In April of 2024 the path of totality runs through Makanda, again. In 2017 Solar Eclipse Point of Totality Part 2-Podcast 658.

Sponsored by Brush Studio in The West End Saint Louis Park Minnesota

2017 Solar Eclipse Point of Totality Part 2-Podcast 658

 

 

 

A Southern Ohio Mining Town Decays-Podcast 640

A Southern Ohio Mining Town Decays-Podcast 640 hits home, for me. Glouster Ohio is home to most of my family on my dad’s side. It’s been a long time since I visited. You hear a lot of talk these days about how towns like this are struggling. I’ve seen a lot of towns and cities on America’s back roads. Seems like this is one of the most challenged places I’ve been to.

King Coal

For over a hundred years it’s been all about coal mines in this part of the country. Back in the day, the idea was to get the coal out of the ground. Period. Companies didn’t care about the environment in those days and I would assume they didn’t care too much about their employees. This part of Ohio is the scene of mining disasters and pitched battles when the unions began organizing workers in the early twentieth century. My grandfather told me people carried guns in Glouster like the old west. My dad and uncle confirmed that story. In A Southern Ohio Mining Town Decays-Podcast 640.

Better Days

The Buckingham Coal Mine still exists a few miles from Glouster. There’s talk about opening a mine closer to town. I imagine there are still miners here. On the other hand, Glouster has been better days. I know there are people in town working to save it. As I walked the streets I wonder why this town decays while other small towns a few miles away seem to thrive. In conclusion, now I understand my Grandfather’s drive to get to a better place.

Sometimes Things Don’t Work Out

One thing you learn from travel is things don’t always work out. Glouster is already on a list of America’s most forlorn places. Especially relevant is the idea that this is the kind of town hit hardest by movement away from coal. Maybe that will change. In A Southern Ohio Mining Town Decays-Podcast 640. (Editor’s Note: In this podcast I refer to the location of a mining disaster as Mill City. It is, in fact, Millfield. A few miles away from Glouster. My apologies.)

Sponsored By Brush Studio.

A Southern Ohio Mining Town Decays-Podcast 640

Storm Chaser Valhalla-National Weather Service Norman-Podcast 636

Blue skies and sunshine on this Storm Chasing Trip. With no storms, it’s a good time to visit the National Weather Service Storm Prediction Center at Norman, Oklahoma. The National Weather Service Storm Prediction Center is where where all severe weather predictions and updates originate. We’ll go in inside, In Storm Chaser Valhalla-National Weather Service Norman-Podcast 636.

Storm Chaser Valhalla

Storm Chasers use information that originates at Norman. Why? Doppler Radar was developed here. Scientists in Kansas City spent springs here back in the day, to research storms. There was a naval air station here. So, there was plenty of room to locate a brand new radar system.

NEXRAD

Doppler Radar has been a game changer since its inception in the 1990’s. NEXRAD changed and continues to change how the world learns about severe weather. In Storm Chaser Valhalla-National Weather Service Norman-Podcast 636.

Secure Facility

The radar control center is in a secure building shared by several government agencies. One of those agencies is the department of defense. Needless to say, I could not get into this facility. Persistence pays off and after a few calls, NOAA Public Affairs Specialist Keli Pirtle invited me to come over to the National Weather Service’s Storm Prediction Center. Storm Chaser Valhalla-National Weather Service Norman-Podcast 636.

Weather Geek Out

It’s all about weather geeks. Thanks to Keli Pirtle for inviting me in on short notice and for the history lesson. How did the radar system get built at Norman? Finally, Warning Coordination Meteorologist Patrick Marsh gives us complete rundown of how the National Weather Service Storm Prediction Center works. Plus some stories about what it is like in this center when major weather is breaking.

Storm Chasers

The idea behind tax payer funded NEXRAD is data products should be available to everyone, and this is one of the reasons we get radar and other NWS products on our smartphones. However, severe weather can be unpredictable. A town, person or chaser can be right under a tornado and not be able to to see it until it’s too late. While the National Weather Service does not have an official position on Storm Chasing Even the National Weather Service is not immune as you will hear. Be Safe.

Sponsored by Brush Studio in The West End, Saint Louis Park, Minnesota

Storm Chaser Valhalla-National Weather Service Norman-Podcast 636

 

Podcast 612-Behind My Decision Canceling Radio Show

Behind My Decision Canceling The Bob Davis Podcasts Radio Show

Big day at The Bob Davis Podcasts. Decided to stop doing my syndicated radio show; The Bob Davis Podcasts Radio Show. Podcasts only from here on. Pure Play Podcasting. Find out why in Podcast 612-Behind My Decision Canceling Radio Show.

Mission Creep

The Bob Davis Podcast Radio Show has been on the air for seventy weeks. I started podcasting in 2009. After so many years I thought bringing content from my podcasts back to radio would be a good idea. Eventually I started posting the radio show as a podcast both to monetize it and because I wanted people to hear the show in the digital quality the Internet enables. In the end though, the show was beginning to take over the podcasts.

Podcasting vs. Radio

Pulling back the curtain for podcast subscribers starts with thanks, first of all, to Lee Michaels at Salem Broadcasting in Minneapolis and Saint Paul for believing in and airing the show. In the end, though, I came to realize radio and podcasting are two different mediums. For me the radio format has become too restrictive. I do not like what I sound like when talking about politics in the radio format. Plus podcasters can talk about other things that aren’t political. Like a trip to a motorcycle rally, an air show, or storm chasing.

Digital Marketing

Podcasters think having a radio show is a big deal. People think radio is a big deal. I don’t think it is anymore. Truth is digital marketing works better to build an audience for a podcast than radio. Podcasts have younger audiences more willing to take a chance on unique content. In Pure Play Podcasting we do not have to talk about issues the same old way. Hear about it in Podcast 612-Behind My Decision Canceling Radio Show.

Political Climate

Another factor is the political climate and mainstream media’s role in it. These days something true on Monday is proven false by Friday. Every media personality seems to be fighting to convince the audience of a certain point of view. Choosing a side and promoting that side has become the norm in modern ‘talk’. I don’t want to do that. I’ll tell you why in Podcast 612-Behind My Decision Canceling Radio Show.

French Revolution

Podcasters who only do podcasting may be the antidote for a discourse in this country that has come to resemble the French Revolution, as far as I am concerned. Thank you to those who helped me with the radio show. Thanks to the few that listened to The Bob Davis Podcasts Radio Show on the radio. Welcome to The Bob Davis Podcasts!

Sponsored by Brush Studio in the West End, Saint Louis Park.

 

Podcast 569-Final State by State Round Up

Podcast 569-Final State by State Round Up. Where the state polls stand for presidential candidates right before election day 2016. This podcast does not endorse a candidate. I will not make you feel good or bad about your vote, or non vote. I will not attach ‘indexes’ and ‘percentage probabilities’ to potential wins or losses for the candidates. In Podcast 569-Final State by State Round Up, how candidates fare in each of the states according to existing polls. Partisan and advocacy journalists don’t provide insight on survey research. I do. What you’re getting from the cable news channels and advocacy news ‘websites’ are charlatans pushing their point of view. Fact is, no one knows how the election will play out in any of the so called battleground states. That’s because despite all the best effort, even the best political researchers are challenged to determine who is actually going to show up to vote especially when the polls show a close vote, within the margins of error. Elections are made on who votes. Not the number of signs. Not the number of people who show up at rallies. Not who ran the best TV spots. It’s all about getting the vote out. Once the vote is in, it’s all about counting. Is the election rigged? In a sense, yes. The United States is a representative republic which elects its executive not by the popular vote but through an institution known as the Electoral College. Some states’ electoral slates are proportionally chosen. Some states select electoral slates by party. The electors themselves have already been chosen. They will actually select the President of the United States on December 15th, 2016. In some states the popular vote determines how the electors are ‘supposed’ to vote. In some states it depends on which party’s candidate wins the overall vote. No so called ‘rogue elector‘ has ever been prosecuted for voting outside the state statute guidelines. In the event of an electoral tie, the election will be decided by the US House of Representatives. One thing is true, the republicans are the ones talking about ‘rigged’ elections right now, but if Donald Trump wins the presidency they’ll stop talking about that immediately and the democrats will start talking about things being ‘rigged’. The only thing coverage of these kinds of conspiracies do is reduce the faith Americans and the rest of the world has in the electoral process. In reality, ‘rigging’ a national election is a difficult task, despite what movies and conspiracy theorists say. If you are concerned about your candidate winning the election, the best thing you can do is turn off the TV and get out and help them win by driving people to the polls or making last minute calls, poll watching, or if you’re qualified, volunteering as an election judge. Thankfully we’ll be looking at election night results in the next podcast. Sponsored by Hydrus Performance and Brush Studio, in the West End, Saint Louis Park.

Podcast 558-Pipeline Protest

Podcast 558-Pipeline Protest. Back road tripping across the Northwestern United States. First stop is The Dakota Access Pipeline protest at Standing Rock. A few miles north of Cannonball, North Dakota, about thirty miles south of Bismarck, North Dakota. DAPL – as it is known – is an explosive issue for the Standing Rock Tribe of Native Americans in this region, but pipelines have huge implications for the rest of the United States. As some celebrate the newfound energy independence US Oil Exploration brings, it also brings problems. The biggest is the issue of how to transport the oil out of the state of North Dakota which cannot refine the crude pulled out of the Bakken Reserve. For now, oil is transported on trucks and trains, which may be more unsafe when it comes to accidents and spills than pipelines. At issue is whether the pipeline will rupture, sooner or later, and contaminate ground water. The people at the Standing Rock Protest say yes. The oil companies say no. It’s very hard to get a clear idea of who’s right and wrong. Myron Dewey joins Podcast 558-Pipeline Protest from the protest, which he does not call a protest (as you’ll hear), and for balance an oil company employee and lifetime North Dakotan Eric Nelson joins the podcast not as a spokesperson for the company he works for, but as a concerned citizen. Also check out Standing Rock Fact Checker, and this from Inforum, on Doug Burgham, one of the Republican Gubernatorial candidates in North Dakota. The Standing Rock pipeline protest (sorry Myron but that’s what everyone’s calling it) has certainly focused worldwide attention on the issue. I’m going to take you inside the protest, which is in itself educational. Whenever I cover public events, I am rolling the minute I get there. This time I caught some interesting and educational audio. (Editor’s Note: You might have to strain a little to hear some of what went down, so use headphones. I will be worth it.) Like many local issues, it is filled with emotion and an ocean of ‘facts’ designed to persuade the listener to come to the ‘right’ conclusion. What do you think? Sponsored by Brush Studio in the West End, Saint Louis Park.

Podcast 545-Bob Davis Podcast Radio Show-42

Podcast 545-Bob Davis Podcast Radio Show-42. It’s labor day weekend, and as people head to the lake or to the State Fair, Podcast 545-Bob Davis Podcast Radio Show-42 is almost an hour of brand new content for the trip, and for your extra long holiday weekend. We start with a review of the week’s political landscape. Despite better national presidential preference numbers for Trump, state by state polls have not tightened appreciably in key electoral vote-rich states. Hillary Clinton continues to pace Barack Obama’s averages from the 2012 presidential election. Of course the state by state averages can change so we’ll revisit this polling at the end of September and again just before the election at the end of October. Meanwhile, neither of the two mainline presidential candidates is talking about permanently reducing the size, scope and power of governments, federal, state or local. In Minneapolis and Saint Paul we have had yet another example of government overreach in the form of an unelected body of Dark Lords known as the Met Council. After the Minnesota House decided not to fund the controversial South West Light Rail Project, which Minneapolis’ richest and most liberal precincts fiercely oppose, the Met Council decided to issue their own bonds to the tune of more than a hundred million dollars, and ask metro counties under its control to issue tens of millions in debt as well, all to end run the legislature and green light the project. Much has been made of the republican’s distaste for the council, but when they had a chance to drive a stake through its heart earlier this year, the legislature rearranged some of the terms of the councilmen and women, and some of the funding. A local mayor found a way to kill the Met Council last summer by empowering local municipalities to say no to them. Yep, local towns and cities – by state law – cannot say no to the Met Council. This law can be changed by the legislature. Why haven’t they done it? This is just one example of government overreach. In this Labor Day weekend’s radio show the dangers and costs of too much and too powerful government; something neither of the mainline candidates and their parties are going to do anything about. One wants to hand out free education and health care, and the other wants to spend billions to build a wall. Both will increase the size, scope, cost and power of the federal and state governments. This is a discussion we aren’t having now because we’re too busy arguing about whether one of the candidates should go to jail and whether the other one is a fascist. Meanwhile the advocacy media just keeps on covering politics like sports, and people keep watching and listening, all the while complaining about it. This podcast closes with something fun, a throw back podcast to the Minnesota State Fair from the early 80’s; an audio montage done then, just for fun. It’s amazing how much the fair and the people have changed. Sponsored by Brush Studio in the West End and Hydrus Performance.

Podcast 532

What I think of Election 2016. Getting emails and calls from people political analysts would consider ‘low information voters’ asking what I think and who they should vote for. So in this podcast I am going to tell you. First thing? When you consider the low quality of all reporting on election 2016 everyone is pretty much a low information voter. In 2016 the country is facing decisions on major issues in economics, immigration, trade, foreign policy, military, diplomacy, social issues and more. Almost no one fully understands the contours of these issues well enough to discuss them. Instead what we have are tribes of people who are very emotional about these issues. They know the latest meme. They know all about the latest scandal and the latest ‘story’ evolving concerning who said what about who, and the reaction to it, but when they’re asked to discuss any of the key issues of our time with clarity and depth, as they say in the windy city; “fergitaboutit”. Who do I think should be president in 2017? None of them. Repeat. None of them. If you include the so called independent candidates and the mainline party candidates they’re nothing but placeholders. Someone needs to lay out what the potential outcome of this election will be, regardless of who wins the office. I start – repeat start – to do that in this podcast. I realized about twenty minutes in, this is going to take more than one ‘talk’ podcast (with no editing) to lay out all the possibilities and outcomes. Bottom line? None of the potential outcomes bode well for the future of the United States. We’ve had a series of placeholder presidents, and it looks like we’re about to have another. Meanwhile, the country is getting closer and closer to what I call a ‘clarifying’ event that will wake people up from their media induced hypnosis, and reinvigorate the political process. Maybe. Maybe not. Meanwhile, if you expect to get information from television and radio, and from the standard websites these days, I feel sorry for you. If you guess you’ll find “the truth” on You Tube’s conspiracy channels, and the Drudge Report, guess again. In What I Think of Election 2016 you’ll get my read at the present time, which sets up future podcasts specifically on the issues in the hope of giving listeners to the Bob Davis Podcasts a little more substance and depth than you’ll find anywhere else. Meanwhile, it’s on to the motorcycle rally at Sturgis from here. Sponsored by Hydrus Performance and Brush Studio in the West End, Saint Louis Park.

Podcast 521

Stormy Weather. In a surprise only to ‘conservatives’ who listen only to ‘conservative’ talk show hosts, watch ‘conservative’ TV shows and go to conservative websites, the FBI decided not to recommend criminal prosecution of former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton over her use of a personal email server while she was in the Obama Administration. Why? The short answer is, intent is a key consideration in cases like these. The long answer is, Mrs. Clinton played her ‘Benghazi Card’ better known as ‘If I go down, you go down’ and she got action from the administration. At least that’s one possible explanation. In the past few days President Obama suddenly closed ranks with the Clintons (despite all the rumors of the rancor between the Obamas and the Clintons). Attorney General Loretta Lynch had a now famous ‘tarmac meeting’ with former president Bill Clinton and President Obama allowed Hillary Clinton to ride Air Force One with him to a campaign event, where they walked, hand in hand, down the steps. “If I go down, YOU go down”. Now it’s a matter of politics. He said, she said. He said she’s a crook. She said he’s an anti semite. Congress releases a damning report on the administration’s conduct regarding ‘Benghazi’…Democrats say it is a partisan document. Republicans say it’s the ‘truth’ about Mrs Clinton and her boss, President Obama. “If I go down, YOU go down.” More fodder for the campaign trail. They were asleep and the switch, says one side. They’re partisan dividers, says the other side. Meanwhile the world’s leading economies are drowning in a sea of paper money and deficit spending, and economies are faltering. Do you really think this election is going to fix anything? We live in interesting times, with the great potential of a new technical industrial revolution and all that portends, and a personal challenge to change the way we think and how we work, and what we demand of our political institutions. Too bad our sclerotic politics delivers a statist who wants to spend and tax more, and a statist who wants to wall the country off from the rest of the world. We could have this technology revolution now, or we can languish for another thirty years while these idiots we call presidential candidates stumble around in economic darkness. Yeah sure, go ahead and talk until you’re blue in the face about Hillary’s email server, or about the Star of David on Trump’s twitter account, while the printing presses debase the currency, governments spend themselves into the poor house, the media puts on cartoons and calls them news, and we hurtle toward our destiny, whatever that may be. The US is now a country that’s happy about revised economic growth from .5 percent to 1.1 percent, with 95 million people out of the work force, a media that writes gossip and calls it news, and a population that believes Russian Propaganda and You Tube conspiracy theories because…what’s the difference? The Earth is hollow, you know and there’s a whole civilization down there, right? And you wonder about moral hazard? Sponsored by Karow Contracting and Brush Studio in the West End, Saint Louis Park. (Editor’s Note: In this podcast I refer to former CIA Director David Petraeus’ offenses regarding passing classified information with intent, and engaging in a coverup after as occurring while Petraeus was on active military duty. I wondered whether he would be under the Military Code of Justice in this case. This is incorrect. Petraeus was director of the CIA when the offenses occurred and not on active duty. For comparison to the Clinton question, one should refer to the FBI director’s congressional testimony regarding the differences between the Clinton question and the Petraeus case.)

Podcast 509

Final Primary In South Dakota. A gonzo talk podcast from the driveway aboard Mobile Podcast Command as we load in and run through the checklists before final departure to the Mount Rushmore State. Why South Dakota? First it’s been awhile since a road trip. Second, coverage of the Presidential Preference Primaries and Caucuses began with Wisconsin Governor Walker’s candidacy announcement last summer, continued into Iowa in February, onto South Carolina, Georgia, Florida, on through to Texas and back home in the first couple of weeks of March. So it is a fitting end that one of the states with the latest primaries, as opposed to the earliest, is South Dakota. While all eyes are focused on the June 7th primary in California, because Bernie Sanders is giving Hillary Clinton fits there, do you think anyone is going to cover voting in South Dakota? That’s why I am going. Aside from the fact that South Dakota is awesome, from the Sturgis celebration to Deadwood, Mount Rushmore, Rapid City and more. Even with the contest between Sanders and Clinton in the Golden State, the media still seems to be focused on finding some negative way to define ‘presumptive’ republican nominee Donald Trump and by extension, the Republican Party. First it was Trump the authoritarian. Then it was Trump the fascist with his incitements to violence – which as an aside seems to be on the other side, with ‘anti-trump protesters’ spitting at passive Trump supporters and my sense is this gets the New York Developer more votes and may just put him in the White House but I digress. Suddenly Trump is Zachary Taylor, 12th president of the United States, and the Republican Party is the Whig Party. Is this an apt comparison? Maybe, even with the scare quotes to describe Taylor and Whigs, but then again, kind of not really. Politics feels like heavy metal, the energy is so low and the results so negative. It’s gonna be good to get out on the road. Sponsored by Brush Studio and Hydrus.