My new Radio Shack Pro-106 digital trunking scanner arrived a few days ago.  So far, I’m very happy with it!

I’ve been using my trusty old Radio Shack Pro-93 scanner for over 10 years now.  I still use it daily at the office, and it still works great for listening to the local Amateur radio repeaters and the Franklin County public safety radio system.  I expect that I will get many more years of service out of it, but, it was also time for an upgrade.

You may wonder why I would buy a new scanner if my old one was still working well.  The answer is that my old scanner won’t track the digital voice channels that are used by public safety personnel in Delaware County, Ohio.  Most of the police and Fire departments in Delaware county are on the Central Ohio Interoperable Radio System (COIRS).  COIRS is an APCO 25 digital trunked system.  Sadly, my old scanner doesn’t do me much good when I’m at home.

In the past few days, I have learned how to program and operate the Pro-106.  They have changed how the scanner’s memory is used.  I prefer the new object oriented programming model over the older traditional channel bank model.

To make programming easier, I decided it was best to organize my thoughts first.  I sat down and mapped out exactly what I wanted to program in, and how I wanted to organize them into the scan lists. This proved to be the best way to go, because it made programming the radio pretty simple.  I have shared my Google Doc, so you can take a look at my scan list configuration, and my trunked system frequencies.  These files will change over time as I modify my radio’s programming.

I used the Radio Shack programming software to program my radio.  If you buy one of these advanced scanners, I highly recommend buying the programming cable and using the software.  You’ll save yourself a lot of time and headaches.  I saved my scanner configuration to my public drop box folder.  If you live in Delaware, Ohio and buy a new Pro-106, you can download my configuration file (If your browser displays a bunch of text, right click and save the link).

It might not be exactly the setup that YOU want in the long run, but it will get you up and running quickly!

I apparently still can’t seem to get myself to update my site regularly.  It has been a few months now since the biggest change of my life occurred.  My son Warren was born in September.  Becky and I couldn’t be happier!  It was a wild ride, but things have started to settle down, and I feel like we’re finally starting to get into a pattern.

This chunky black bean salsa is easy to make, and tastes great!  I know, my photo doesn’t do it justice.  Whip up a batch for yourself, and grab some baked “scoop” shaped tortilla chips.  It also makes a great addition to other dishes, like tacos or burritos.

Chunky Black Bean Salsa

One word of warning… to keep yourself from eating too much, don’t eat the chips directly from the bag.  Instead, pour a serving of chips into a bowl.  Eating healthy foods doesn’t help if you eat 2-3 times as much as you need!

1 can petite diced tomatoes
1 can black beans
1/2 can sweet corn
1 onion (~2.5 inches diameter)
1 tsp. minced garlic
Dried Cilantro*
Crushed Red Pepper*
Chili Powder*
Black Pepper*

1) Drain and rinse the diced tomatoes, black beans and sweet corn, and place2 them in a large bowl.
2) Peel and chop the onion.  Place it in the large bowl.
3) Add the 1 tsp. of minced garlic.
4) *Season to taste with dried cilantro, crushed red pepper, chili powder, black peeper, and salt
5) Mix all of the ingredients together.  Cover, and allow to sit in the refrigerator  for a couple hours for the flavors to mix.

Another way I like to enjoy this salsa… scramble two eggs (only use one yolk if you want to make it a little healthier), and add a helping of salsa.  Cook it up for a nice hearty breakfast!!

It’s been almost a year since I wrote the post about making some changes in my life.  Its been a crazy year, but I’ve made some progress.

Last year, the company I work for was acquired.  It was a little scary at the time, since Becky and I both work there, but it has turned out to be one of the best things that could have happened to us.  Most of the “crazy” in the last year has been directly related to the amount of work that I’ve had to handle with the integration into the new company, and the aggressive release deadlines that our team has been under.

So, since that post, much of my energy has been poured into work, but I have been able to make a couple of big changes.

First, Becky and I have changed the way we think about, and manage our money.  We’ve made a commitment to get out of debt, and we are making good progress.  I’m very proud of myself for making this change, as it was one that was much needed.  The growing sense of freedom is motivating us to continue working towards our goal.

Second, and probably most importantly, I have made a commitment to myself to pay more attention to my health.  I have changed the way I think about food.  We now do the overwhelming majority of our grocery shopping around the perimeter of the store, buying almost all fresh foods.  I’ve stopped eating fast food, stopped buying pop, and also stopped buying beer.

Don’t get me wrong, I still love great food, and will eventually allow myself the occasional beer as a special treat when we go out, but I am paying very careful attention to making sure that I am getting the right nutrition, and most importantly, appropriate quantities of food.

In addition, I have also starting making sure that I engage in physical activity at least 15 minutes EVERY day, and most days 30-45 minutes.  My next step is to join a local gym this week.  The one I plan to join is right on the way home, and I look forward to stopping and working out regularly on the way home after work.

What have these changes done for me so far?

I’m not stressing over money, and I’m coping with stress form work more effectively.  I’ve already dropped about 15 pounds (with a total goal of ~50 pounds), I feel better, and I have more energy.

Yes, my friends, change is good.