Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Look up in the mountain , it's a tower!

Ever wonder what those signs on the side of the road are that say:
Microndos Cerro Negro,
or other road signs that say Microndos something else??

There are lots of them on almost any road that you may be on for more than an hour.
There are at least 20 from Nogales to Morelia. I know exactly when they are going to pop up, kind of an obsession with me or rather just being observant.

You can't teach on old dog any new tricks so to say and you can make me take my eyes off of mountain tops no matter where I may be.

The US, Mexico, Honduras, Spain, Italy, any where that I may visit, my eyes naturally gravitate towards the mountain ridge lines.

There are some nice ones between Morelia and Guadalajara. The best one is by Los Moches.

There just outside town there is a ridge that has over 30 towers on it..... interesting, right?
Sure, I'll bet no one besides me ever gives them a second look!

Down here I am close to Cerro Burro, which is east of Patzcuaro. It happens to be the site that is used partially to blanket a majority of Michoacan.

Kind of sick , eh?

People ask me what I use to do, so here is a tiny part of how and what I spent the last 40 years.

I started out as a photographer for a daily newspaper in San Francisco, then did TV News for a few years and then got into radio and communications.

One of the benefits of that vocation was to be one of the lucky few to visit and have access to some of the most beautiful and peaceful places in the country.

One of my duties when I stared out in the radio business was to install and maintain two way radio equipment which was located high atop mountains in places located all over California.
Two way radios (before cellular phones) were used by businesses to communicate with their offices and other trucks in the field for dispatching and coordination.

Police and Fire services as well as public safety still rely on those types of systems even today because of their fast direct unit to unit operation.

Traveling to these mountain tops was the high point of my days.
Ask any old radio man and they will all tell you that it was the most rewarding part of the job.

No one wanted to stick around and sit at a bench working on equipment when it was possible to hop in the truck, usually a 4 wheel drive and go up to a mountain.

Quiet, serene, undisturbed, you would be privy to views and locations the normal person would never have access to.

Every half hour or so, if you were inside a building you would come out and sit in the truck or walk around gazing on the beauty, see some eagles flying around, views that often would span 50 to 100 miles on some days.

The only bad thing was when you had to go up there during winter. Often we would get about a quarter of a mile off the main road and we would be stuck in a foot or two of snow drifts.

Once I had to get a pair of snow shoes and hike up about 5 miles to the top of one mountain, that's something that I wouldn't consider doing nowadays....That was back in the early 70's.........Interesting what one will do when they are young and adventurous......

Once you left the office you usually were gone for at least the rest of the day. Most of these locations were a 2 to 4 hour drive, one way!
Depending on what the problem was it was either a real easy fix, something like a blown fuse or circuit breaker or perhaps a backup generator would not start, those calls usually always seemed to happen during storms or 2 am on Saturday mornings.

When I first got into the business, I was the one that had to respond to those after hour calls........ I saw to it quickly that there was someone else hired to get that responsibility......real quick.

Funny thing is I talk to lots of friends that depending on what they did in life they still have a habit of noticing things. Friends of mine who is an architects looks at building, shapes and styles. Another friend who was in construction looks at heavy equipment, structures, roads and foundations.
I look at mountain tops, radio towers and satellite dishes.

I can always tell you which direction is south.......

Oh, and if you click on the photo, you will see a high resolution image, that way you can see all the great detail in the antennas, feed lines and even identify the manufacturer of the antennas and frequency..........oooooouuuuu!


Bob Mrotek said...

I have spent 35 years in the Railroad Industry and am still so employed. I have been all over the U.S. and Canada and portions of Mexico wherever there are tracks. For almost one third of that time I had my own business inspecting and assessing railroad equipment and to do that I had to spend a lot of time on foot in the wide open spaces. It was probably the best work I ever had even though it was dirty, cold, hot, lonely, and dangerous. I still look down the tracks whenever I see them and start to itch. Waiting for trains to pass at a crossing is a pleasure. I can read them like a book :)

Steve Cotton said...

You can take the boy out of the profession, but not the profession out of the boy.

Felipe said...

Constantino, last time I drove to Texas, in early April, they were installing lots of really high antenna poles of some sort along the highway that parallels the border northwest of Nuevo Laredo. The Mexican side. I wonder what they are for. Went on for miles and miles.

Bob, trains are a pleasure for everybody, thank God. Unless you ain´t got no soul.

Steve, I was about to say I have left my profession far behind, and then it occurred to me that it would be inaccurate.

Constantino said...

Well Bob, I am glad I am not the only who keeps looking at work related items over and above the call of duty..... I have always loved train also, I did a documentary on Amtrak long ago, spend two weeks on them, now that's would have been a great job!

Steve, too bad you will not have any shingles to hang down here! Except one that says "retired".

thanks for the heads up, we are going to go up to Texas later this year, I will keep on the look out for them!

Lulu... said...

Perdon si te comento en español...
Me encantó este post y la foto, al parecer que las nubes bajaran para alguien en especial.

Muy hermoso!

Gracias por compartir tanto.

Un abrazo!

ac said...

So Ken,
but you really miss the deep snow drifts and sub-zero/wind chill temps?
I envy you guys. My profession is people. People that don't have good mental health. Mi profesion es con gente quien no tiene buen salud mental.
I hope I can leave them behind when I retire to Pazcuaro? How does Mexico deal with the mentally ill? [look! a question about mexico that doesn't involve where a gringo can buy peanut butter and why can't they sell skippy?]
great photo

Lulu- como sienta la gente de Mexico sobre personas que no tiene buen salud mental?

Constantino said...

¡El buen día Lulu, naturaleza es hermoso mientras paremos y notemos! ¡El español está muy bien especialmente para mi práctica! ¡Saludos!

Constantino said...

My first reaction to our comment would be to say that there is a great deal of mental illness in Mexico, but that would not be fair to the mentally ill.....It is all perspective my friend, truly we define our surroundings by our own attitudes. I don't see that many outward mentally ill down here, perhaps most are being nurtured by their own families. On the other hand one must try and figure out why up north there seems to be an abundance of that crop.
Maybe just maybe the NOB society creates some of those victims by not exposing them to reality from an early age.....perhaps at least some......you think?
Life is more simple here, therefore there are less reasons to alter ones self. Also possible there is not the "business" of your industry made into such a profit center.....but that is my opinion only....Seems we didn't have only but one village "idiot" in the old days, now we have many subdivisions and country clubs with them....all popping Prozac.
No disrespect to the people that really have a problem....
We will have to sit down and philosophize about this once you are down here.

ac said...

It's very interesting that you report a low visibility of the mentally ill there in patzcuaro. You may be right, families may take care of them more than they do here in el Norte. Just as the elderly seem to get a better deal there. the stigma [generated by our society] of the illness may lead Americans to push family into institutionalized treatment.
I agree, it's very likely that our stress ridden society generates more illness or that children are not raised with same values and experiences. It's likely that American children are sheltered to an older age than their Mexican counterparts.
Also big pharmacy and big medicine also have habit of keeping people unwell, if they did keep them well there would be no profit.
But yes, there will be ample time to discuss this at length.
thanks for the info!

Constantino said...

I heard a report the other day on a radio broadcast that there has been a 70% increase in the use of drugs to medicate the American population in the last 5 years. Especially kids that 30 year ago would get a lashing either tongue or belt, now are simply medicate into semi zombies. It is a huge profitable business, and for some reason no one seems to try and do anything about all the drugs to the school kids to keep them in line, etc.....teachers cannot discipline the way we were, so I guess drugs are their only answer, I feel sorry for the dependency and habits it creates. Not even considering the illicit drug issue, that's another profit center for the prisons and other institutions.....Mexico seems not to have that kind of dependence on it, maybe because the majority can't afford it, only the upper class......They don't have any medicinal outlets like they have in the states...how foolish, just think of how many people are locked up for having grass...not much different than alcoholism but that is ok, must be because they have a better lobbing group in DC.