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Noah

JULY 31, 2022


Noah

07/30/22 06:55 AM

I'm publishing this early because the Snow family lives 17 hours ahead of us.

What a great memory of a time with Noah back in 2015 when we first lived in Florida. And how fun was it to utilize our picture on my ham radio page back then.

I can't think of a more worthy post than celebrating the birth of Noah Grant Snow. He's our first and oldest grandson and today is his birthday! He becomes eleven years old!

Noah is a techie through and through and is going to do well in the techie world. I have no idea where he is going to land in that world, and I'm not sure what he thinks about it, but I would be quite surprised if he doesn't land deep in technology somewhere.

Allie and Josh get major kudos from me for the great job that have done and are still doing with both boys. It's quite a different dynamic from the one that Patty and I had, in the old days, and Allie and Josh have navigated the whole thing wonderfully.

So, Happy Birthday Noah! We are excited to celebrate your special day and as I type this post, the clock and calendar are turning over in Kwajalein and it has just now become midnight of the new day and your birthday.




Home Address Sign

JULY 30, 2022


Address 3

07/29/22 02:50 PM

Our street number sign gave up the ghost shortly after we moved in and, ever the creative spirit, Patty ordered a metal address sign to be added to one of the boulders in the front yard up against the street. It's like the boulder was made (and placed) for just such a sign.

On the technical side, we purchased a masonry drill bit and 2 screws that were suggested by one of the hardware guys. That drill bit may work well on concrete, but it went nowhere on that boulder.

And so, we decided to go back to the hardware store and purchase an effective adhesive bonding agent that would lock the sign to the boulder. We used it and it did the job and the rest is history. I like the way it shows and when we place an up-light on it, the thing will look even better - especially in the evening!




Field Trip

JULY 29, 2022


Neely Henry Dam

07/29/22 10:43 AM

At the urging of my good (ham radio) friend, Bob, Patty and I took a delightful field trip to the Neely Henry Dam and Ten Island Park. They were only about 4 miles away and well worth the time and the trip.

Ten Island Park

It was pretty interesting that the road actually passes over the dam. I'm glad we were also introduced to the park. It's got nice everything, including a boat ramp, fishing piers, picnic areas, and plenty of parking. We'll have to pack a lunch and go back one day to further enjoy the experience.




More on Gas Prices

JULY 28, 2022


Gas Prices 2

07/28/22 01:23 PM

Well, back on July 16th I posted this picture as a footnote for the day. The picture was taken back in Spanish Fort, and I believe that $4.79 is as high as the price got in that area. I also think it hit that price somewhere in the June 2022 timeframe.

Gas $3.79

In the past day or two, I've seen gas prices down a whole dollar from that. Not sure what to make of it other than the anticipation of the Fed's action to raise rates. Everyone was expecting the market to drop and instead, it did the opposite and the price of gas dropped!

They're calling it a trap.

I agree.




More Repeater Stuff

JULY 27, 2022


Repeater 2

07/27/22 06:55 AM

I made some more changes to my repeater page based on new repeater research. There is now a 'notes' section that explains what I'm doing and what I'm finding.

The repeater page can still be accessed via the left-hand menu near the top.




Changing Times

JULY 26, 2022


Bob Dylan

07/26/22 09:53 AM

Bob Dylan said it best: The times, they are a changin'.

Based on my own experiences, it really does seem that times are changing. It's not unusual to need a service and have to wait for it. It didn't used to be that way, but it sure seems to be that way now.

Whether it's medical, appliance servicing, landscaping, or whatever, times they are indeed a changin'. I could have never imagined calling for service and not even having a phone call returned. Worse yet, was the unfulfilled promise of a visit from a service company. Hard for me to imagine, but it really happened.

The old saying is more true than ever. You really do get what you pay for.

I really feel for the service people who are treated terribly by their clients. It seems that clients have unrealistic expectations for this new environment in which we now live. And, as a result bad attitudes by service providers become a self-fulfilling prophecy. Providers are treated poorly and they just naturally respond in a very negative fashion.

Is there any end in sight? I actually think there is. Treat providers well and try to win them over with a positive long-term relationship. I agree, we shouldn't have to do that, but what/who does it really hurt and isn't a positive end result worth it?




Ham Logs

JULY 25, 2022


Ham Logs

07/25/22 10:42 AM

We've made several moves in a relatively short span of time and with each move I've had to create a new logbook for QRZ.com. I've also had to start over with logging contacts for each of the locations since they are more than 50 miles apart.

It all started in early 2014 when we landed in the townhome on Perdido Bay. I was so sure I was giving up the ham radio hobby in favor of the ocean at my back door. Boy, was I ever wrong! We stayed there for two years and then moved inland to Cantonement, Florida where I once again picked up the ham radio hobby.

I created my first QRZ log in Cantonement, Florida and also logged 646 QSO's in just under a year between April 16, 2016 and March 18, 2017. These were all 20 meter SSB (phone) and made with an attic mounted 20 meter dipole.

Next, we moved to Crawfordville, Florida where I logged 5,230 contacts in just over four years between May 7, 2017 and July 13, 2021. On January 18, 2019 I swapped over to digital modes (FT4 and FT8) and never looked back. That's where I made most of my contacts and earned most of my awards including DXCC and WAS.

Next, we moved to Spanish Fort, AL where I spent just under one year on digital modes - mostly FT4 and FT8. That was between October 1, 2021 and June 14, 2022 and I made 1,526 contacts during that time for a total of 7,402 contacts in the previous six years.

We landed here in Ohatchee, Alabama on July 9, 2022 and I was active on two meters by July 14 and logging two meter calls by July 25. I plan to remain inactive on the HF bands for the time being and look forward to all there is to discover and log on the two meter band.




Catastrophize

JULY 24, 2022


Catastrophize

07/24/22 10:57 AM

Catastrophize.

I got introduced to this term by a close family member. I honestly didn't realize it was a real word until I went searching online.

Catastrophize: to imagine the worst possible outcome of an action or event. To think about a situation or event as being a catastrophe or having a potentially catastrophic outcome.

In past years, I've never thought of myself as a negative person. I've always looked at my tendency to catastrophize as a good thing. Good because I was preparing myself for the worst possible outcome and how I might deal with such an outcome if and when it became a reality.

More recently, I've begun to find myself avoiding things due to my inability to avoid catastrophizing. If I don't see a clear and doable path for something I just write it off and don't go after it.

I always admired my father's ability to launch into something without seeing how it might work out, only to find that it always seemed to work out. I know other family members who work with the same perspective and enjoy the frequent successes that seem to accompany that perspective. Meanwhile, I seem to be always looking for the reason(s) I shouldn't go after something.

It may seem safe, but can also be a very sad and unproductive way to live!




Success

JULY 23, 2022


Success

07/23/22 06:26 AM

I've had excellent success with my new laptop and large screen monitor, so we went ahead and replaced Patty's computer with the same configuration. She's considering going back to writing and it just seemed like the right thing to do. She's published 14 novels and seems ready to get back at it again after a nice break. Even if she decides to further extend her break from writing, it was a good thing. That old computer was truly getting older by the day.

We also added an external solid state hard drive to the mix so she could port everything that she wanted to save over from the old machine, including all of her novels and related items. I inherited a solid state drive when I retired from IBM and it has been an important part of my configuration as well.

We're getting familiar with the new place and learning what needs to be done in order to keep the place up. We've got a couple of projects on the horizon and the challenge is to take them one at a time and in a logical order. It's a new life and a new place with new challenges.

Gone are the days where we behave like everything has to happen at once. This new life and new place comes with a new perspective and that involves sort of an 'everything in its time' mentality. We're learning how to live like retired people and we're also discovering what's important to us.

It's all good...




Credit Where Due

JULY 22, 2022


Jesus

07/21/22 05:48 PM

I love this picture of Jesus. It was painted by Akiane Kramarik, whose story was featured in the movie Heaven is For Real. We purchased a copy and it hangs in our home.

Now, I need to provide credit where credit is due. I wish I could take the credit just to know that I'm capable of controlling what I need to control and when I need to control it. However, I can't. That's all there is to it.

Patty and I prayed consistently that the Lord would go before us and clear a navigable path for us to travel with all that was involved in this move.

And, He did!

Looking back at all the challenges and the stress that wanted to accompany those challenges, it's clear that God was in charge. Every step of the way He was raising up valleys and chopping down mountains and making our path straight!

There was so much that could have gone wrong and we were living in a just-in-time world with the move. So many things had to come together and they did in such a way that I could never have accomplished or even imagined.

Thank you Lord for taking the lead. Please help me to always turn that lead over to you and to trust in you for your highest.




Fireplace

JULY 21, 2022


Fireplace

07/21/22 07:16 AM

In our move to this new home (not new, but new for us) we've been introduced to ventless fireplaces. The entire concept seems strange to me, but I'm not going to argue with more simplicity.

Apparently, the fireplace runs on propane and does not require a chimney or, more specifically, a flue. We inherited an underground tank that contains propane and is used to fuel the fireplace without the need for a means of allowing anything, like gases, to escape.

It's difficult for this old dog to get comfortable with a new trick like ventless fireplaces, but now that I've been educated I'm fully onboard!

Foot Note

07/21/22 11:33 AM

Just finished doing some weekwacking and taking a blog break to cool down a bit. Also added another repeater to the list. Turns out I wasn't hitting it because I didn't have the negative offset indicator. It typically comes up automatically but didn't (I suppose) because the frequency was so close to a band edge.

07/21/22 12:35 PM

Need to give a big shout out to Bob, KE4QCY, for finding the problem with my Icom 2300h. I was getting 'low audio' reports from hams and it turns out there is an audio setting, under the 'set' command, to alternate between LO and HI. Apparently mine got swapped over to LO and is now back on HI, and a quick radio report confirmed my audio is strong, once again.




Adventure

JULY 20, 2022


Adventure

07/20/22 01:36 PM

Well, we closed this house on the 8th of this month and moved in on the 9th. That means we've been here over a week and soon to be two weeks. I remember when it seemed like the days for packing, closing the sale, closing the purchase, and unpacking the truck, would never get here. The kids had all made their way home or to their next adventure and we were playing the hurry up and wait game.

But now, that's all behind us and here we are in our new home, in our new town, and with a new adventure. Honestly, the entire experience seems quite surreal.

We both are amazed at how much we've accomplished in the less than two weeks we've been here. But about the time we decide to sit down and catch our breath it seems another to-do item shows up on the list. Still, that's okay because the things that keep showing up were pretty much expected and pale in comparison to some of the to-do items we left behind and that no longer show up on our list.

It's a new life. Let the adventure continue...




Three Things

JULY 19, 2022


List

07/19/22 08:18 PM

This post will be short and sweet since it's late. I spent most of the day 1) moving the j-pole antenna outside and 2) completing the building out of my list of all the repeaters that I can hit and 3) adding a new feature to the website to present that repeater list.

On the left menu right near the top, I've included a new menu item for the repeater list. Feel free to check it out.

I was quite surprised at some of the repeaters I was hitting and especially for Cullman, which is quite a distance away.

I was also pleasantly surprised at getting the hole drilled through the outside wall of the house where I could feed the coax to the antenna from the rig. The difference was night and day!




Moving

JULY 18, 2022

Moving

07/18/22 10:10 AM

I don't mind admitting that moves are stressful. I felt myself constantly seeking to turn everything over to God (and then constantly attempting to take it all back from Him - even though, deep down, I didn't really want to.)

We had already made plans to host the Snow family and it turned out that their week with us came shortly after we had an offer made on the house. We accepted that offer and as such, it worked out well that we didn't have to show the house while the Snow family was here visiting. In fact, toward the end of that week we also hosted Jonathan and Amy. Let's see... Six adults, 2 kids, and four animals including Lily, Charlotte, Sherlock, and Watson.

Gabe

At one point during the Snow family visit, Patty, Gabe, and I played cards. And, as can be seen in the picture, Gabe was the big winner with 4 aces in a poker hand. Of course, he may have had a little (magical) help from the dealer. :-)

Oh BTW, did I mention that Gabe demonstrated his video game prowess for all of us while he was visiting. I don't know about everyone else, but I was blown away. Over and over again he played like a master. He defeated all 100 opposing players more than once. Wow!

And speaking of grandsons, did I mention that Noah G. was the swim master for the week? His swimming skills amazed everyone! And he also bravely stepped up so that Josh and I could throw him up in the air and on into the pool. That sure brought back some memories of Allie and Jonathan and their cry of 'to the moon!'

Move

On Friday, July 7, we loaded the truck in Spanish Fort. Early the morning of Saturday, July 8, Patty and I made the trip up to Ohatchee and closed the Ohatchee house. That evening, we stayed at a hotel in Lincoln, AL. On Saturday, July 9, we unloaded the uhaul trucks into our new home.

Team

We had used Griner Moving Services to move from Crawfordville to Spanish Fort and the great team we used for that move highly recommended the Mobile, AL team to us. Well, that came to mind and we called on them to move us to Ohatchee. I couldn't imagine the Mobile team being as good as the one we used first from Crawfordville, but the Mobile team was truly amazing. It was a group of four of the nicest guys I could ask for in addition to Alex (a young lady) who facilitated the entire move.

Piano

Not to be left out was moving the Baby Grand Piano. What a job! We had worked with Broussard's Piano before (there in Mobile) and they came out to break down the piano. Our Griner team got the piano carefully loaded on the truck. The team also unloaded the piano and moved it into the house where Mike (pictured above), from the Piano Barn, put it back together, made some long-needed repairs, and also tuned it. The piano moving fees were all quite reasonable and it's good to still have that piano and to be able to enjoy it in our living room.




Repeaters

JULY 17, 2022


A Repeater

07/16/22 07:15 PM

I've been methodically investigating Alabama county maps, repeater books, and city/county relationships to determine which repeaters might be close enough to serve as prospective points of contact. I've had good success discovering activity on 146.52 and 146.58 simplex along with 6 repeaters in Anniston, Gadsden, Talladega, Moody, Oneonta, and on Cheaha Mountain in Cleburne county. This has turned out to be a pretty exciting ham radio day.

Here's a table of what I found and that I can reach:

NumberFrequencyToneLocationCounty
1147.09131.8Cheaha MountainCleburne
2147.16100.0GadsdenEtowah
3147.375077.0OneontaBlount
4146.74131.8TalladegaTalladega
5146.62146.2MoodySt. Clair
6146.78100.0AnnistonCalhoun

Foot Note

07/17/22 07:50 PM

Enjoyed jumping on 2 meter simplex (146.52) with Bob (KE4QCY) and Ernie (AA4CW) this evening. Started around 6:30 or a few minuntes before and bowed out shortly after 7 PM to enjoy some of Patty's porkchops and rice and some great string beans.

Patty has been bragging on the local butcher and provided him with the credit for those wonderful chops, although I give Patty all the credit for the amazing way she prepared everything. Yum!




First Contact

JULY 16, 2022


First Contact

07/16/22 10:53 AM

When we prepared ourselves for the pro's and con's of making this move, I was pretty confident that internet was going to be on the down side of that list. I couldn't imagine anything but wireless internet opportunities and I've gone that route before with all of the challenges that come with it.

However, I must say it was a pleasant surprise when I discovered that they ran coax up on this cliff and that I can get all the high speed internet I can stand and with that plenty of streaming. What a delight!

I should also note that I just made my first 2 meter contact and that was with Bob, KC4QCY on 146.52 simplex. Based on our QSO, he's on the other side of the river from me and down just a bit. He was also running 25 watts like me and was full quieting. That's very encouraging as was his comment that a lot of the guys up here meet on 52.

Foot Note

Gas Prices 2

07/16/22 05:01 PM

It's been interesting to observe the changes in gas prices over the past few months. Prices are definitely averaging down here in our new location. I think the highest we saw it down and around Spanish Fort was $4.80 and up here we saw it at $4.03 when we arrived and it's already dropped to $3.99 since we landed here about a week ago.




Ham Radio

JULY 15, 2022


Icom 2300h

07/15/22 02:51 PM

Well, my better half and I keep getting things done and watching our post-move to-do list grow shorter and shorter. With that in mind, I ordered a 2 meter rig yesterday from Ham Radio Outlet of Atlanta and to my surprise it arrived today.

The handy talkie wasn't hitting anything so I decided to get back to my roots and purchase an easy, dependable, more powerful, and affordable Icom 2300h mobile rig. I pretty much grew up with the Icom 2200h so it was a natural step for me. I'll run it in the house until I see what level of success I'm going to have.

Then I'll make a decision about possibly moving it to the car and picking up an Icom 9700 base station. So far, things are looking good for going in that direction, especially with all of the driving I have to do to get anywhere beyond Ohatchee.

A Twitter friend put me onto the amazing Cheehaw mountain repeater and I'm able to hit it with the new rig sending only 10 watts to my j-pole antenna. The rig has four power settings 5, 10, 25, and 65 watts so I've got a strong reserve for other repeaters.




We've Moved

JULY 14, 2022


moved

07/14/22 02:50 PM

We've moved and I didn't really want to have this site active during the process of selling a house, buying a house, and tring to squeeze in a move. First off, there was simply too much to do. Equally important, I didn't want to publish anything that might jeopardize the process of buying and selling.

Now that it's all behind us, I'm looking forward once again to getting active in the blogosphere and recounting some of the adventures that brought us to this new season of life.

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