I battle the Hurricane

Today is October 28th 2012 and New Jersey is under state of emergency due to Hurricane Sandy.  I have been following this news since early this week. There was never a question that New Jersey would be hit with the storm it was a matter of how bad it could become.  I have been through hurricane and storms before so these warnings are nothing new but as the week went on you can see the weatherman on TV change. Their curiosity of the storm colliding with 2 more “storms” was making them giddy with the “what this could become”. The giddiness comes from the fact that these monster storms are rare. So rare in fact that a book and movie was made about the last one. Their giddiness changed as the week progressed. That same weatherman this morning is reporting with stern warnings and a tone of dispar in his voice.

As someone who recently went 4 days with no power during Hurricane Irene I know what I could be in for. My neighborhood is fairly safe from flooding though we are near creeks and streams that make up the Manasquan River. Another comforting thought is that my house is located at a high point so most of the water runs away from the house and down the street. The biggest drawback is that the water has to go somewhere and that somewhere is the road leading into my development as seen here.  My biggest lesson learned during Hurricane Irene and the aftermath is that I need power. After 4 days of no power my refrigerator began to leak. Needless to say that the picture began to look bleak. More so that I have a fridge full of food that would go bad. Just as the first drops began to emerge from the freezer door a friend of mine sent me a text that generators would be arriving at a local hardware store. I was fortunate enough to nab a 5000 watt “portable” gas generator. It’s a beast! Big, Heavy and perfect in every way! That is plenty to run many of the necessities in my house but a bit extreme to take camping….well maybe not for a guy with power needs. So for the impending Hellfire and Brimstone that “Sandy” will bring I will be ready with power. The comfort in knowing that I will have power is unreal, hell it make me sleep better at night. I am fully prepared and ready to take on the challenge.

Like every other person in NJ on Saturday I was cruising around shopping for supplies. I have nice stock of goods ready just in case. Your basics water, milk, eggs and bread can be found in my fridge. By the way that’s the ongoing joke is that in bad weather the shelves in NJ become cleared of these good quicker than any other. I guess French toast is “comfort food” for bad weather. Aside from the great breakfast foods I do have items that will not perish in a couple of days. Canned goods, dry cereal, Parmalat and plenty of drinks. Now what sets me apart in my store visits was my inner tech side. While at the stores I searched for , what I thought was an elusive item. On a side note I had to stop and play with a touchscreen pc with Windows 8 … pretty nice.

Back to my mission…

I was probably the only person in the store looking for “rabbit ears”. Rabbit ears are no longer used but i refer to the term so that the Analog man working in the electronic section of “Big Box & Stuff” could point me in the right direction.

I made my way to the isle where I could find my modern-day “rabbit ears” the Amplified Indoor HD antenna. I figured if I have power I might as well watch a some TV. After much debate i picked up a basic HD antenna to help me catch some local channels. And by the way there was plenty of HD antenna on the shelves, I guess plenty of people have them already. As I made my way home with my secret treasure I thought to myself this will be key especially since my local cable provider has a hard time handling overcast days let alone the “perfect storm”.

I should have pulled out the camera unboxed the antenna on YouTube just to see my reaction. I tear through the packaging like a kid on christmas. I throw the instructions to the side (I am a trained AV person so do not try this at home) and begin working with F-connector like its 1999. So here it goes…I set up the antenna and ceremoniously plug-in the power adapter. Drum roll please….Actually I really felt like Ralphie’s dad in “A Christmas Story” when he plugged in the infamous “leg lamp”.



This can’t be. I redid the channel search and repositioned the antenna.



Choosing not to be beaten by this cheap antenna I began running through the house unplugging the cable boxes and connecting the antenna. While I in the process i received a call from my cousin Pete ,who had purchased the same antenna. He called to tell me that he was only able to pick up a single useless channel. Not what I wanted to hear. As a matter of fact it made me more determined to make this work since I’m the video guy. I ran through the house pulling every HDMI cable and replacing it with the “rabbit ears”.


Not a single channel. I even hung out the window with  the antenna in hand.  Bring on the Lightning and Flux Capacitor!

This is not over.

I will find a way… or call in backup.

Stay Safe,



  1. What?! no mention of which products?  The HD Antenna issue must have you really flummoxed as not to get those tags in!  

    I ask as I have not made the investment of a backup generator and most likely will be online Wed to see what pickings arrive.  (by the way did you see Jim Cantore rail at Home Depot, Lowes and Ace Hardware for not having enough generators in stock?  He chided them for not having trucks at the ready to bring more in!  LOVE that guy)
    Which HD Tuner are you using? It almost sounds like you are in a valley?  

    Good Luck buddy – see you on the other side of this mess. 

    • It was a GE HDTV tuner from the “big box store. I took a shot and lost. Funny thing it clearly states on the box  “reception range: best”. Go figure. Good Luck George and Stay Safe!

      • I have learned a great lesson today.   If the Box states “Best” anything it obviously will not be.   You know – “if you have to talk about how big it is… ” 

  2. Andy Wander says:

    you can’t plug the antenna in in place of the  HDMI cable…:)

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