Posted on May 17th, 2013 No comments
I awoke this AM with some energy and guts. First think I did was drill a 1/4″ hole in the wall, inside to outside, and it was in the wrong spot – of course – so I drilled one in the correct spot. Then I got out the 1.75″ hole saw and drilled a bigger hole on the inside and it was OK. Next, I went outside in PJ’s and drilled a 1.75″ hole using the pilot hole and it too was OK. Finally, I inserted a 7″ long 1 1/4″ PVC pipe through the whole and capped both ends so it was captivated without too much movement. (Now I was almost done except for the RTV to seal everything).
Time for breakfast —- Ok, after breakfast, I drilled a couple of more holes and holesawed them to the 1.75″ OD and inserted PVC plus captivators. Later came the RTV and now I am finished and ready for the LMR400 run from the antenna to the radio inside. With that I can talk to Auburn, Angola, Lagrange and other repeaters. Yea!
Now, I await dinner and kudos for a job well done. Remember – making an antenna is easy but the new cabling, through wall penetrations and the connectorization is much more difficult. Remember that when you dream of APRS, Echolink and IRLP all of you HAMS out there.
Posted on May 15th, 2013 No comments
Finally, after 40 years I went down to see Lester, my old aviation mentor & EAA motivator, and today became just like yesterday. The afternoon flew by just like the years that have overtaken me. What can you say about the influences upon your life that forever change the way you think? This afternoon, here was Lester again showing me a pristene, perfect Luscombe 8A and a 1936 Coupe that is very close to perfect in pain and chrome detail and the Cessna 140 we worked on together in 1970 still sporting the fabric we worked on night after night until late hours. What can you say except Thanks, Lester. In truth, Lester will probably never see this blogline but it is my diary and record of good things past. At the time I was helping with the C-140 rebuild I was in my mid 20′s with a young son, Marc, and a soon to arrive daughter Beth. Nostalgia reigns just now.
On the way back, I stopped by Harbor Freight to look at the parts degreaser that I have wanted most of my repair life career only to find that mineral spirits is not allowed with the pump. Only water based solvents can be used. What a let down! Now I have to regroup and try to make one using an old wash tub and a to-be-found pump compatible with mineral spirits. Here we go again – designing a device that is decades old that meets my criteria.
A very wonderful day. Thanks Lester.
Posted on May 12th, 2013 No comments
I awoke early today, the 12th day of May, feeling surprisingly rested, and immediately went to Facebook where I wished SAM a “Happy Mothers Day”. I then ate breakfast and made a 5 cup pot of half-caf. The temperature up here on the hill read 39°F and the airport temperature was 36°F -burrrr. Our newly planted tomatoes have a slim chance of survival because tonight’s expected temperature of 30°F is quite low, even when covered, and the plastic tent appears to be bending them over. However, we shall see Monday morning what our efforts wrought. Remember – no matter how warm it is the last day of frost is still May 15th and the prudent had better keep that in mind.
Church consisted of message and communion. The message was not the traditional mothers day venue but consisted of a compiled delivery of biblical scriptures. There were a few teary eyes and later, after communion, all the mothers were distributed a red rose. I took picures of SAM and Karen Beck which I will put on Facebook.
Posted on May 11th, 2013 No comments
Thanks to Sam Adams we had our first pilots club outing today on this cold day in May. The climate was cold but the people had a good time and met people who had not been seen for some time. Couple that with the hotdogs donated by Dr. Weaver and the Taco Salad donated by SAM plus Sam Adams & wife cooking the dogs, we had good time and a warm interface session. Hangar flying included Randy Striebig who really was the only fly-in, float planes and all the usual pilot stuff. Good times!
Posted on April 1st, 2013 No comments
Last Saturday SAM & I drove down to Dayton for the family Easter celebration. My brother & I messed around cleaning some of the firearms he has and later everyone went out to eat. I decided to watch an episode of “Wild at Heart” on Netflix. I have been drawn into the TV series since I worked in South Africa for a while. I went to bed early while everyone else stayed up to talk – I am not good with the late night hours. On Sunday we spent the morning making dinner and then ate about 1 PM. After dinner it was time to go and we left around 3 PM and were back home by 6 PM.
Right now I am killing some time before my Doctors appointment for an annual physical.
Posted on March 14th, 2013 No comments
I went to Harbor Freight to make the last purchases this seasons: 4 jack stands, voltmeter, expanding pole to use to fish wires, slingshot to shoot wires across ceilings. I shopped for about and hour, having previously dropped SAM at Salvation Army, and then drove to the Salvation Army on 66th Street. I spent time walking the dog twice after lunch and dinner because I have found it helps to pund down the food. If you eat then sit the food just seems to sit there too.
A bit cool today but the sun was out and radiated heat right down on you. All-in-all it was a very nice Florida winter day. Well, I had better go as West Central Florida Eagle Net is going to start in a few moments.
Posted on March 13th, 2013 No comments
We started to prepare for the trip back to Indiana this morning. The itch is starting to itch more and I am ready to head back. I tore down the tower computer, which failed to boot lately, and have it sitting in the front room ready for packing. The Tower goes into, as the very last item, the truck cab since it can still get cold enough to give the HD problems.
(Just took out time to dry the dishes from breakfast)
Pulling the Civic around on the car dolly (or flat 4) is a pain. Neither way allows you to back up. Thus, planning ahead for not getting boxed in is a real issue. Additionally, with the car dolly you cannot turn too sharp because the dolly fenders come very close to the doors of the car. I could visualize that turning very sharp could dent the doors. In order to fully pack up here in St. Petersburg we must first pull all the vehicles out of the driveway, back in the Honda Civic, position the dolly for a straight runup of the Civic, back in the truck and connect the dolly and finally pull the Ciciv onto the dolly. Then we are ready to go. All this effort takes about a half hour – but what the heck – we are retired so time is not an issue We then fully pack the car, truck and camper.
I have a very new-found respect for my Mom & Dad, in the fact, that they spent months and months in their 11′ camper. The departed Indiana and went all the way to Alaska and back. Wow, I am impressed. Our camper is just too small being only 8′ long. It is good for overnight and long weekends but not much more. I also have new-found respect for motorhomes in the 24′ to 29′ class. Perhaps this is the way to go? Still a boat in the 42′ class has appeal too.
We have pretty much finished the work around Martha’s house and I have organized my tools in the living room so that they can be packed in the truck in the next day or so. I usually put these in the cab of the truck, behind the driver’s seat since they weigh a lot and I do not want more weight in the camper. We do have a strategy: (1) Tools, Tower, dog stuff and snacks are in the cab, (2) very light bulky items go in Civic trunk, (3) other bigger items and even bulkier items go into the Civic passenger compartment and (4) eating and sleeping items go into the camper. The loading booklet that comes with the car dolly says not to load the towed vehicle with excess weight.
OK, enough boring things for now.
Posted on March 4th, 2013 No comments
We just returned from the Keys via Marco Island and Miami. We stayed in Naples for three days to look at John Meyers Youngsun 43 Pilothouse sailboat. John was a gracious host and we had a good time talking with him. From there we went to Miami for three days to see Roger Sanders (and wife plus all the family). Rogers wife is having a baby very soon so he is in for a lifestyle change. While we stayed in Miami at the Larry and Penny Thompson RV Park. What a great RV Park; however, you need a vehicle to travel around Miami and we only brought the truck with the camper. Our bikes helped in getting around locally but still no shopping for SAM.
From Miami we drove down to the Keys to visit with Steve Bennett. Steve is now retired and living in his small but very nice ocean front house. We had a good visit with Steve and got to see a locals view of Marathon Key. On Saturday we went to a nautical flea market plus sever others in the city of Marathon. We returned to St. Petersburg on Sunday afternoon 3/3/2013 in beautiful but cold sunshine and very high winds.
Upon arrival after a 6+ hour return trip we found the Magic Jack computer was left on but the internet was not working. After a trouble shoot session and a reboot of the computer nothing worked. More troubleshooting only to find the router wired ports were all inop. The tablet, note book, android phone and Nook all connected ok wirelessly so we went to bed. In the morning the computer would not boot beyound the windows wallpaper screen so did a safe mode boot and fell back to a restore point a few days earlier. After a few reboots Windows XP worked again so we installed the wireless usb access point to make a wireless connection. By 1030 we were all good to go. Yea. Moore later.
Posted on February 5th, 2013 No comments
Ok, so today is my birthday and I am pretty old in years – not ancient but old. We went out to Sawgrass Park and walked a couple of miles – it was nice and we saw an Armadillo, A few Alligators and the usual ducks and fish. Yesterday, we rode our old style cruiser bikes down Pinellas Trail for 5 miles and of course that meant riding 5 miles back. This was accomplished with little fanfare. We worked at Tampa Bay Watch the first week and had a good time doing this. We intend to work some more but later in Feb.
We have been in St. Petersburg, FL now for about a month. The weather has been mostly good with clear skies and moderate to warm temperatures. So far we have caught 6 squirrels, who are intent on robbing the Macadameon Nut tree of its mother lode, and deposited them more than 10 miles away – Martha says if they are that far they will never make their way back to the property. We have done some work on Martha’s place like cleaning the eves trough, trimming the beaugavilla and the pool work. The weather has been very dry and all the bird baths are dry as a bone. Sundays are our days of rest and replenishment and we attend the SunCoast Cathedral on 62nd Ave where we enjoy the services.
The trip down in our Truck Camper was non-eventful and we pulled our Honda Civic on a car dolly. The car pulls real easy but you cannot back up with it attached so this leads to some exciting one way trips while getting gasoline and other necessities like camping places. We stopped twice on the way down – once in Southern Tenn and once in North Florida and enjoyed the restful, leisurely trip down.
I found a good deal on a new ham VHF radio and bought an antenna at a local hamvention. I have been having a good time contribuiting on Eagle Net and other nets using the new radio and my older HT dual bander. I am also utilizing Echolink to talk with people up North. SAM & I are going to the Orland Hamsphere this Friday and will stay just the day, unless we find something real interesting to do over there.
Posted on December 30th, 2012 No comments
Today, Sunday, it was a beautiful, sunny winters day. The kind that warms your heart if not your body. It was the kind of day that you just want to look outside and relish the sunshine and the vision of temperatures warmer than reality. I put on my insulated underwear, medium weight coat, hat leather gloves and headed outside to clean the part of the driveway that had snow that re-deposited itself overnight. The job was quickly done so I broomed the snow off the truck windscreen and spent some time tgetting ice off the drive too. It felt great to be outside and moving like nature intended. Now as the sun is well below the horizon, I reflect on a day well spent.
Yesterday, Saturday, Dan came over with his truck and we filled it with hickory and oak from downed trees of seasons past. There remains several truck loads on the ground but at least two piles near the driveway are gone. The trunk and top of the stately Ash tree that seccumbed to the Ash Borer remains on the ground where it crashed this summer after being felled by the arborist. Unfortunately, I have 7 more to go. That is a lot of cords of wood. I started up the snowblower that has not run for more than 2 seasons and used it to clean the 2″ of snow off the driveway. I could have used the shovel but the blower beckoned and it is always fun to walk behind and see the snow shoot out the two stage spout. That just about killed the day but I finished with disconnecting the + terminal of the battery on the tractor after having it on the charger for a week or more: it is ready for spring.
My new dual band HT ham radio is a pretty cool device that has great audio and transmitter. I now have all the local area repeaters programmed into it plus all 7 NOAA weather channels and Marine 9,16,21A, 22A, 23A, 68,69,71, 72 Channels. It is a very versitile radio and all for $58. It is made in China, of course. I enjoy the occasional chats, of course, but really the device is a means to program new adventures like APRS, EchoLink and other digital comms. Someday I will have the pictured Kenwood D710A that I can use to reach out and touch someone.