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The Automated DJ Has Left the Building

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Located at Point Iroquois Lighthouse, Lake Superior

Located at Point Iroquois Lighthouse, Lake Superior

The other day I turned on my weather radio so I could listen to it (or zone out, as is usually the case) while I folded laundry, as I usually do.

I was in for a rude awakening.

The voice on my weather radio was just not the same.

Now, let me give you some background, some history.

I have a habit of obsessing about the voices that come out of my radio. For more background, click here. Listening for a DJ I like to back announce a song is sometimes just as good as waiting for a favorite song. I still remember the names of some of them I listened to 25 years ago. I have looked up their Facebook pages and befriended them. One of them even stalks me (who know who you are). This phenomenon was partially responsible for me studying radio and TV production in college. I have a story outline based off of one of them I wrote years ago, and someday soon I will fill it in with actual nouns and adjectives and verbs and junk. When a favorite DJ would leave a station (which they frequently do, a good reason for me not to go into that line of work), I would get very depressed.

This is what happened with my weather station.

Well, sort of.

I had gotten used to the old voice. He was friendly and reliable and reasonably easy to understand…for a computer.

Yes. I admit it. As I felt depression crushing me as I listened to the stranger on my radio station, I realized it was true. I had become attached to a voice coming through my radio that I was fully aware was automated all along. When I was first researching a weather radio before I purchased one ten years ago (Ya, I’m a giant nerd.),  I found on the NWS website where they blatantly tell you all about the various versions and upgrades on their voices.

I don’t like this new voice. It is too smooth. For a sample, click here. I liked that the old one stumbled over a few words now and then, sort of a digital pixelated hiccup. Even computers are allowed to mess up sometimes. We are only human, right? Oh, wait…

I even messaged my local weather service office in Pontiac, MI to find out what they changed. Their response:

We switched over to a new digital broadcasting system. The old system was the Console Replacement System (CRS) and the new one is the Broadcast Message Handler (BMH).

That means they went from the voice named Tom to the voice named Paul (There was also another Paul several years ago.). I am sure it is faster and will save more lives in an emergency and blah, blah, blah. But I will miss Tom dearly.

Unlike other DJs, it is unlikely I will find him up and down the dial.

Oh, did I mention that I am watching WKRP in Cincinnati these days. Probably the rest of the formula to why I wanted to study radio.

Have you seen that Dr. Johnny Fever?

Johnny freaks out over a tornado on WKRP in Cincinnati.

Johnny freaks out over a tornado on WKRP in Cincinnati.

Follow the romantic entanglements of The Riley Sisters in my books:
Be Careful What You Wish ForAVAILABLE NOW!
When You Least Expect It THE CONTINUING ROMANCE!
The Wind Could Blow a BugWHERE IT ALL BEGAN!

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