When I was

up in the attic a week or two ago, I discovered my old satellite dish. I bought it back in San Francisco in the early 2000s. I drove down to my favorite store Surplus Computers one day and bought an entire satellite system, which consisted of a large dish, a stand for it to go on, an LNB and a receiver. The LNB is the antenna that sits on the dish. The dish gathers the signal and focuses it on the LNB which amplifies the signal and sends it to the receiver box. All up this system cost me maybe, $200? I don’t remember. It was mounted on the roof of the fortress for years until the weather eventually destroyed the wooden base that it was attached to. In North America alone There are as many as 100 North American Ku & C Band satellites in what is known as the Clarke belt, also known as a geostationary orbit. It is a stationary orbit about 36,000 km above the Earth, where satellites travel at the same speed as the Earth rotates. It was named after Arthur C. Clarke, a writer and scientist who proposed the concept in 1945.

The crowded Clark belt..

That’s a short explanation of what it is, but the fun part is that a lot of these satellites have programming that is free. One of my favorite satellites is called Galaxy 19. It has many different channels, most of them free. There are a lot of Arabic channels, crazy religious channels, (Swaggart is on there somewhere, as well as the venerable Dr Gene Scott), Chinese channels, African channels. It’s very diverse and inclusive. I’m watching something called CGTN right now. It’s a Chinese state run TV news channel. It’s really no worse than the legacy media here. IT may even be better. Of course the news reader is from England. Everyone knows that the news is more believable when it’s read in an Oxford accent. That why the BBC news on PBS is always spoken in a posh accent. It’s to fool people that it’s the truth. Watch the BBC in England and it’s nothing like that. They’re really bunging it on here on Chinese TV though. It’s quite comical. Anyhoo….it took me hours, days in fact, to locate Galaxy 19. Trying aim a dish at these satellites is the equivalent of trying to hit an suv in space from a distance of 36,000 kilometers away.

The late, great Dr Gene Scott – married a hot, former porn star. Winning!

It’s fun when you get something though, and there’s no cable fees, no subscriptions and very little advertising. Sometimes you will find on other satellites things called “wild feeds” and “backhauls” which is programming that is being delivered to commercial stations off air, or live news feeds for example. Fascinating. That’s the story of Free To Air satellite TV for today. Nobody reading any of this is going to go out and buy a satellite dish and do this, I know. At least you’ve learned something new perhaps. Useless information. but information nevertheless.

I had another dream about the same girl last night. She handed me some kind of vintage recording device, and then I lost her again. I don’t know what this means. Frustrating it was. Can’t wait for part three. Now on the Chinese New show, they’re talking about acupuncture. Try getting that on CNN. You ain’t. The other good thing that happened this morning was that I managed to cancel my Friday dentist appointment. Friday is not a day that I want people x-raying my molars. It looks like the Brazilians are including acupuncture in their health care system. It would be great if they did that here. Big pharma can’t make a buck out of it though. This is good stuff. It may become my go-to news channel from now on.

He’s right you know.