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NOVEMBER 30, 2022

Storm 11/30/22

11/29/22 09:20 AM

I didn't take the time to look at my watch, but we had a major storm accompanied by some serious thunder, lightening, and wind sometime in the middle of the night. One crack of lightening must have hit right outside of our house because it started a (our?) car honking and the shock wave traveled through the house.

It sounded like it might have been our car but it turned off after just half a minute and I don't remember our car being able to do that. That's why I'm thinking it may have belonged to someone else.

From all I can tell, the ham antenna did just fine. I will probably have Justin come by sometime and inspect it just to make sure. He offered to do that anytime and I think I will take him up on his kind offer.

The picture above is what remains from the storm as it is traveling from northwest toward southeast. It appears that there are still a lot of warnings around it. From what I see on my phone, we had both tornado and flash flood warnings last night.


NOVEMBER 29, 2022


11/29/22 09:20 AM

I woke up to a beautiful layer of fog this morning. This is the view I had from the back porch.

It got down in the 30's last night and is supposed to reach 70 sometime right after lunch. That's quite a swing in temperatures.

We have a 15% chance of rain starting at 10 AM and proceeding until 3 PM when moderate rain is slated to move in. That is supposed to lead up to thunder storms which are scheduled to arrive around 6 PM.

We're still supposed to pick up groceries at Walmart around 1 PM although there seems to be a problem with our order. We may have to take a list and go in the store to get the things we need. We'll see.


NOVEMBER 28, 2022

14 Day Forecast

11/27/22 08:50 PM

I haven't written about the weather in a while and it looks like we have some interesting things coming up. The graphic above shows the 2 week or 14 day forecast beginning today, Monday, November the 28th.

Patty and I have moved our Wednesday grocery pickup to Tuesday at just about the same time. The forecasted storms for Wednesday are something we would like to avoid it at all possible.

The plan is to grab an early lunch at our favorite buffet and pick up our groceries immediately thereafter and then head home to unpack. The hope is that we'll be done with everything and tucked in at the house before the forecasted rain moves in.

Wednesday is one of those days with a big temperature swing and an associated storm to go with it. Our plan is to be nestled inside and away from the excitement.

Looks like we will wrap up the week and move into the weekend with milder temperatures before ending the weekend with a move to cooler temperatures and the start to a rain-filled week - assuming the forecast holds together.

Our 46th anniversary falls on Sunday, December 11th, and if the forecast for morning showers proves true, perhaps we will be able to get out and celebrate somewhere later on. A lot can change between now and then so we'll see.

Atlanta Trip

NOVEMBER 27, 2022

Atlanta Traffic

11/27/22 07:05 AM

Well, it's good to be home but it was also great to visit the family in Atlanta. The drives were long and the ride through Atlanta is not something I want to do very often, but the visit was great and it was so good to see everyone in what turned out to be a very big crowd.

We had to drive through the downtown area as is pictured above. And it looked just as busy as in the picture! This picture was featured on the front page of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution news paper and the associated headline read:

Gridlock Guy: Thanksgiving travel will be familiarly busy and dangerous

It was great to meet Josh and he and Liz did a stellar job of hosting the get-together at their place. A lot of us gathered around the TV to see the Georgia Tech versus UGA game - a Thanksgiving tradition! When I stepped away to say hi to some more people Tech was leading. However, I knew that wouldn't last long and it didn't.

Taking a moment this morning to check the final score revealed what I expected. UGA won handily with a final score of 37 to 14.

There were a number of people I had never met before and some I still didn't get to meet while there. But it was good to see and talk with those I knew and hadn't seen and talked with in a very long time.

We managed to stop by the old house in Douglasville on the way home, and while it looked very much the same, it was shocking to see that the horse stables were gone and had been replaced by an extension of the Catholic church. I had read about it, but still wasn't prepared for what I saw. Wow, what a difference.

The overcast afternoon made for some excellent driving conditions on the homeward bound trip. No sun in our eyes. However, even getting home well before sunset meant it was starting to get dark with those overcast conditions. I'm so glad we made it home early.


NOVEMBER 26, 2022


11/25/22 02:35 PM

We have a long-standing tradition of meeting with family the Saturday after Thanksgiving to sit down to a meal and enjoy some good food and fellowship. Unfortunately, Patty and I have been quite a distance from the gathering for almost a decade and unable to join in the festivities.

We've moved closer than we were before but we're still further than we need to be for a reasonable drive to join the crowd. For that reason, this year's trip may be one of a kind. We'll see.

Still, Patty has worked hard in the kitchen today and it taking quite a bit to the gathering, including dressing, gravy, and everyone's favorite - banana pudding. There will be plenty of good food for everyone and the fellowship should be equally good considering how long it's been since everyone has seen one another.

This year's get-together promises to be quite a bit different. With one exception, the previous generation is all gone. That's going to make things quite different in ways I probably can't anticipate. Should be interesting!

Considering the possibility of evening storms we are planning to leave early. In fact, the sun sets not long after 4 PM and it's pitch-black dark at 5 PM. With that last 1.5 miles of curves, hills, deep ditches, no lights, and potential weather, we want to be sure we're home before it gets dark.

We haven't tried that road in the dark and are not interested in giving that a shot. With a two hour drive each way, we'll be on the road more than at the gathering. I'm grateful for my wife's wonderful attitude and gracious heart in making the trip and seeing everyone on my side of the family.

Lord, we pray for your blessings on our time together and safe travel for everyone to and from the event. And we thank Josh and Liz for opening their home to us.


NOVEMBER 25, 2022


11/25/22 07:05 AM

In some ways, Patty and I are about as traditional as two people can be. Our culture is a good example. In other ways, we defy tradition. Our Thanksgiving meal would be a good example.

While others feasted on turkey and dressing with all of the trimmings, Patty and I feasted on her special recipe sliders. That recipe called for the main ingredient which was roast beef. Also included were Krystal hamburger style buns, creamy horseradish, Worcestershire sauce, butter, brown sugar, poppy seeds, and white American cheese.

A picture (above) is indeed worth a thousand words, or in this case, one thousand moments of pure feasting joy! We started out with 12, but as can be seen in the picture, they went fast.

Mixed in with her maple flavored fudge for dessert (that tasted just like pralines fresh from the French Quarter in New Orleans, Louisiana) we experienced a real treat for the senses. It was so good and made for a wondeful Thanksgiving!

Happy Thanksgiving

NOVEMBER 24, 2022


11/24/22 08:25 AM

We had a wonderful time on our visit with Jonathan and Amy yesterday! We had lunch at a very swank Italian restaurant and then went over to see their new home.

What a fun day that was! Lunch was amazing and we also visited a very swank jewelry store afterward and Patty picked up a bracelet for Amy. Very cool!

As early as it gets dark these days we were shooting to leave around 3 PM and get home by 4 PM. We left on time, but arrived around 4:15 PM and the sun was already setting.

Looks like the weather is going to hold up Saturday so we're heading to Atlanta for a Thanksgiving lunch with family at Josh and Liz's place. It will be nice to meet Josh, see his and Liz's place, and see the family (and Forrest) once again.

We're shooting to leave for home around 2:30 PM and hoping that will provide us with an opportunity to make our way up that last winding 1.5 miles with the benefit of some daylight from the setting sun. It's pitch black by 5 PM at our place, so the amount of time it takes to get there will have something to do with the time of day that we leave for home. Especially with holiday traffic.

We're praying for safe travel, good weather, and a nice time with family!

When God Shows Up

NOVEMBER 23, 2022

When God Shows Up

11/22/22 09:25 PM

This is what happens when God shows up!

For me, it was the take-away from the movie, Woodlawn. That line was delivered more than once in the movie, and each time it brought something special to the story. The Holy Spirit was featured and I'm confident the Holy Spirit was felt and experienced by audiences across the nation and perhaps the world.

The story occurred in the early to mid-seventies and the Holy Spirit was moving in an amazing way back then. I had neither seen it nor experienced it so vividly up until that time. But with the powerful move of the Holy Spirit in that season, my life was changed forever in an instant. After God called me and called out my name, I would never again be the same.

Innocent, naive, vulnerable, childlike, call it whatever you want to. But through the power of the Holy Spirit, God showed up and He changed my life. And for what He has done and continues to do in my life, I remain truly grateful.

God's got this.

Let Him have it.

Elon Musk

NOVEMBER 22, 2022


11/21/22 04:30 PM

News coverage of Twitter has never been so entertaining as it has become since Elon Musk purchased the company and took it private. Lots of his employees have bailed on him but he seems to be taking it in stride as he executes his plan.

According to the news feed on Twitter, Elon has reinstated former President Donald Trump's Twitter account. Conservative Twitter account holder, Diante Johnson, posted a funny and creative tweet (seen above) in response. It's funny and deep at the same time.

Unlike many, I like Twitter and have developed a singular focus on all of the ham radio operators and everything to do with ham radio. There are a lot of us there. But even if I don't talk about it on Twitter, I still tend to check in and see what Mr. Musk is up to. And, he's always up to something interesting.

Busy Day

NOVEMBER 21, 2022

Busy Day Today

11/20/22 08:25 PM

Another short post today. Lots going on and lots done!

No workout scheduled but got my run in today. Also broke 100 entities on my DXCC effort. Wrapped up the day with 102 entities including India, which was a major shock and provided a big vote of confidence for the hexbeam.

Will now move to earning the Master of Asia award. The plan is to follow that up with the Master of Oceania and finally the Master of Africa.

Although that's the plan for the order of awards, I suspect band conditions will have a lot to say about what order actually occurs. It should be fun to see how everything unfolds. I'm still in awe of contacting India when I haven't even heard or seen evidence of them before the hexbeam!

Afterward, I'll take a break on digital and swap back to voice for a season - maybe in time for 2023 field day. Should be interesting to put the 600 watt Ameritron amp back in line with the new antenna for voice.

In fact, when I spoke to one of my ham buddies earlier this week, he indicated that he hadn't even needed his amp with his hexbeam in line while doing voice operations.

I will schedule a new mic and mic stand when that new voice season rolls around. The plan is to quit working with the hand held mic at that point. I suspect going back to voice operations will feel a bit like going back in time. Hopefully band conditions and the sun-spot cycle will work with me on that transition.


NOVEMBER 20, 2022


11/20/22 06:35 AM

Just a short post today because I want to jump into day three of the new ham radio antenna. Should be another great day.

As the post title and picture suggest, in two short days with the new antenna I've made 54 DX (long distance and outside of the USA) contacts. Pretty amazing!

Some are duplicate countries of each other or others that I've worked before. And as usual, not all are confirmed. Still, it is quite exciting to be able to call someone and often secure the contact. With the old dipole antenna I called and called and often never secured the contact.

The new experience has been to lookup the contact I want to call, find the bearing to that contact from my location, and turn the rotor to that position before making the call. I've have often seen that function yield a strong improvement in the signal report before even making the call. That's something I've never seen before and very exciting!

Here's to another day full of ham radio fun!

Ham Radio Day

NOVEMBER 19, 2022

Ham Radio Day

11/18/22 07:45 AM

Today is the big day. World Ham Radio Day is actually April 18th, but for me it's today!

Today is the day we raise the antenna mast and rotor and mount a hexbeam on it. The 75' coax is going to be a close fit and may require that I change the shack up a bit to add an extra few feet to the feed. We'll see on that one.

There's a lot of other things that have to go well today to make it all work. The key piece will be getting the assembled antenna up on the roof. The other key piece will be avoiding one tree limb.

At some point I will probably have to have it cut down but that would require a tree climber and none were available to suit my timeline. I think we're okay on that one. If not, I'll delay the ultimate mounting of the antenna until I can get that limb cut down and will get everything else done in the meantime.

So, here goes...


Antenna and Me


11/18/22 04:55 PM

I confess, it has been a stressful season in prepping for this antenna project. Lately, I've felt uncomfortable about my ability to get things done and particularly to get them done well. I'm not sure where that came from, but I need to send it back and be done with it.

I prayed last night and again this morning about the project. In my prayers I gave the project to God and I did it over and over again. At lunch I asked my prayer warrior wife to pray for the project. She confirmed what I already knew, that she had been praying for a successful result, and then went ahead and prayed with me about the project. It was so good to hear her kind and wise words.

All I can say is that the project went perfectly. I could not have asked for a better result. Everything went according to plan and Justin (the help that I hired) was amazing. I could not have even dreamed of doing all that he did and he deserves much credit for the success of the project.

I got my workout and run in today but everything else centered on doing the ham radio thing with the new antenna. Wow! What a great experience. And what a blessing to have such a supportive wife. I am so blessed and so grateful!

Not Again

NOVEMBER 18, 2022


11/16/22 07:40 AM

This story is about Trump. I missed the big announcement yesterday, but my wife filled me in and apparently he's making another run for the presidency. Really?

I honestly thought that with a Senate controlled by the Democrats, Trump would not be able to deal with the resistance and would pass on the opportunity. It appears that his family has already seen the wisdom in one term only.

I'm also not sure that Trump has a strong base left. In other words, I'm not real sure he is electable. Despite his childish and narcissistic behavior, I think he accomplished a lot of positives. But without control of both the House and the Senate, if he were to be elected I fear he would be at best a lame duck.

Trump's bid may bring with it some real problems for the Republican party. If they don't get behind him, we may be looking at a split ticket that serves to provide us all with Biden or another left leaning president. And if they do get behind him again, there's still the ever looming question of his electability.

So despite its appearance, the title of this post was not meant to proclaim disbelief. It was meant to present a potential statement of fact. I have serious doubts that he can do it all again.

Had Republicans taken control of the House and the Senate, then I believe electing Trump could and would make a difference. But that opportunity doesn't exist anymore.

In my humble opinion, Trump should step aside and let DeSantis take a swing at it.


NOVEMBER 17, 2022


11/16/22 07:40 AM


It's the term I use for how I feel. It's my personal slang for the dizzy state that I seem to experience quite often.

It's not vertigo. I have dealt with that too, but have also been able to verify vertigo's direct relationship to dehydration. Or, perhaps just not staying well hydrated. That's been very consistent in my experience.

Either way, vertigo is completely disabling. With it, the room spins and I cannot get from point a to point b, or even walk for that matter.

What I have experienced with being wonky is something with which I can and have had to live. It's not fun, but so far I have been successful in dealing with it.

I have been through a wide ranging battery of tests and nothing has shown up on the radar to substantiate my wonky lifestyle. It seems I am far from alone in both my wonky state and the inability of all of the doctors to come up with a viable reason for it.

I've had an MRI, check for Parkinson's, inner-ear check, heart evaluation, and on and on. There are a lot of online articles that would love to provide a diagnosis, but so far most are just deeper dives into that which has already been tested.

I'm still reminded of what my father always said. Apparently, it's a variation on a quote credited earlier to Betty Davis:

Getting old is not for sissies.


I should add...

11/17/22 07:20 AM

I should add that the good news is I'm never wonky while seated. It's only when I'm standing or moving that the problem occurs. Seated includes driving and even while eating. No problems there, which is very fortunate.


NOVEMBER 16, 2022

Hexbeam 2?

11/15/22 03:25 PM

Well, it's official. The assortment of hexbeam related items, including the hexbeam, are all here. And, I met with my help on a rainy morning today to discuss the installation process.

Based on his schedule, we're going to try and get the thing completely installed this coming Friday. I'm doing all of the lead-up work, including assembly. And with the good results I've had so far I'm thinking this should be doable. It's going to be cold but I can live with that.

I've got a lot of the work done and still a bit more to do before Friday gets here. It's going pretty smoothly and I'm holding my breath for a continuation in that direction.

I actually have more time to assemble the antenna than I planned for and am pleasantly surprised at how many of the other things are done. The biggest challenge remaining will be to get the antenna up on the roof and installed on the rotor. Brackets are all installed so once the antenna is set down on the rotor, it will simply be a matter of tightening things down.

With the mounting bracket (the one that holds the antenna on the rotor) bolted to the antenna and ready to receive the rotor, there shouldn't be any bolts, nuts, washers, and lock washers that are dropped as I initially feared. Everything is already positioned and, as I mentioned, it's just a matter of putting the two pieces together and locking things down.

I purchased good rolls of coax and rotor cable and have already attached the rotor cable to the rotor. I temporarily attached the other end to the rotor controller and enjoyed a successful test. Next steps will be to run the coax and the rotor cable from the office, through the wall, and out to the antenna location. I'll also connect the rotor cable back to the rotor controller on my desk.

We'll wrap things up by applying a balun to the coax, connecting the coax to the antenna, and sealing everything up with silicone (waterproof) self-fusing tape.

Can't wait to try it all out!

Says Who?

NOVEMBER 15, 2022

Says Who?

11/13/22 05:35 PM

These days, it's quite difficult to determine who and what to believe. I'm amazed at politicians and so-called journalists alike, who pedal their stories with all sorts of objectives and I'm equally amazed at those who willingly consume and get behind those stories without the slightest idea of the truth or fallacy upon which any given story is based.

So, where should I go to discover the truth behind any given story these days? We can't even trust the fact-checkers. Even those with whom I would most often tend to agree get caught from time to time in stretching the truth or omitting facts to suit their purpose. Fortunately for them, stories grow old and are quickly forgotten and/or replaced with an even more shocking story.

Some folks want to be the first to break a story. Unfortunately for them, they also wind up taking a position on the story just by the nature of their report. And they may wind up regretting the taking of that position as things start to pan out in the story. That seems to occur with great frequency these days.

And then there are those stories behind which I suspect we'll never know the real truth. It will often remain someone's truth positioned to cover up what really happened. The recent news on Nancy Pelosi's husband comes to mind as a possibility for that one.

Either way, I'm shocked at how divided we are in this country and I'm particularly surprised at the level of support on each side. If voting outcomes tell the tale, we are about as equally divided as one could imagine.

How did we ever get here?


NOVEMBER 14, 2022


11/13/22 10:10 AM

As I write it's Sunday but this will publish on Monday and may seem a bit mistimed. That's okay, though. It still applies to the life I'm living no matter when it's written or published.

I don't attend church. Admittedly that's a struggle for me. But so is attending something that seems so disingenuous to the things I read about the church in the New Testament.

I can really relate to the story of Lot and his wife and daughters in the book of Genesis. However, I don't want to use that and similar stories to justify my actions. I will have to face God one day and give an account for my actions. And, that is always my litmus test for those actions.

Can I do XYZ and still face God about it? If I can and believe it's good, I do it. If I can't, I don't. That's where I'm at with Church.

We have gone to so many churches over so many years and I really relate to the old saying that it's the people that make churches so messy. And, that makes it so easy to see why the institutional church has evolved to the place that it has evolved in today's environment. It's trying to work around all of the problems which people often unwittingly bring to it.

But, in working around those problems I fear it has become what it was never intended to be. And I fear that's why people like me are leaving it in droves. However, we're not leaving God. It's the litmus test thing I was talking about earlier.

Yesterday (Saturday) I received a copy of a church's Sunday program/bulletin. On the back page, it listed all of the prayer needs. I was astounded and burdened by the number of people with serious ailments and immediately started lifting them up to the Lord in my heart.

For a moment I wanted to visit that church just for that particular need, but a moment later I realized the struggle it would create plugging in and then unplugging from activities with so much unproductive busywork.

My struggle with church is not something I'm proud of, nor do I take comfort in it, nor am I excited about standing before God with it somewhere down the road. But, here I stand; (and I believe) I can do no other.

God help me.

Antenna Project

NOVEMBER 13, 2022


11/12/22 08:35 AM

Well, I started working on the Antenna project this morning. I'm staying true to my focus with lots of planning and a slow and steady approach. I've already read through the entire set of antenna construction instructions to ensure I have everything I need, can do the work, and that there are no surprises.

Right off the bat I ran into a snag but was able to get around it and make some measurable progress. On a humorous note, I thought I was going to be able to pull the car out of the garage and build the antenna in there to stay out of the weather.

Unfortunately, the antenna is too big, even for that two car garage! The antenna is round and when put together will have a diameter of almost 22 feet. I think I will also have to trim a limb or two on one of the trees in order to install and rotate it as needed.

Looks like building the antenna outside will force antenna construction to come later in the schedule of events. I can't afford to leave it out and on the ground where it could be damaged, or worse yet stolen. I doubt either would happen, but I don't think the revising the schedule will hurt the project either.

My plan calls for a four-day schedule. Day-one will be focused on any tree trimming that I decide is necessary, laying out the mast and setting the length, mounting the rotor, rotor cable, and three-foot extension. It will also include running the rotor cable and coax from the office to the antenna mast and installing the rotor controller and coax in the office.

Day-two will be focused on having my helper here to raise the mast and get it mounted against the house. Day-three (the next day) will be focused on antenna construction and day-four (the next day) will be focused on having my helper mount the antenna on top of the three-foot extension pole, hooking up the coax and ferrite beads, applying water-proof tape to the coax connector, and working together to finalize proper orientation of the antenna.

Not quite sure when all of this will happen since we're moving into a period of less-than-desirable weather combined with Thanksgiving weekend travel to see the crowd in Atlanta and a visit to go and see Jon and Amy and their new house.

Since some of the schedule includes the necessity of back-to-back days, and since I will need to work with my helper's schedule, I haven't yet nailed down a start date. But it should happen pretty soon, weather permitting.


NOVEMBER 12, 2022


11/11/22 07:30 AM

If you want to discover whether or not you are a venter or are prone to venting, start a blog! You'll find out very quickly.

When I started this blog, I wanted to keep everything positive and on the up-and-up. But at the same time, I wanted to keep it real. Trying to accomplish both can be quite a challenge.

Add to that challenge that I wanted to be able to blog about topics that tend toward offenses such as spiritual matters and politics. Even my view on things like health and fitness could turn out to be divisive and stir arguments if I'm not careful with my words.

For that matter, a misuse of words can create offenses or lead to venting on just about any topic. I wonder if I wanted to use this blog to vent without the appearance of venting? I suppose I would only be fooling myself on that one.

Am I prone toward venting? Probably so. I suppose it's part of our selfish human nature. I'm guessing most, if not everyone, has a tendency toward it. Some are just further along than others in dealing with it and learning that it NEVER helps or solves anything.

Maybe a blog provides a good window into the soul and offers an opportunity for those of us who want to see how we're doing in our handling of venting.

Mental Health

NOVEMBER 11, 2022

Mental Health

11/10/22 09:15 AM

Writing about project management yesterday was a healthy exercise for me. And learning how be honest with myself and to approach life with a healthy perspective must always remain an important goal.

There's no challenge in knowing what I know. The challenge comes in not knowing what I don't know.

I've always taken life through the filter of the way I'm wired. But now I'm learning that some things can be rewired, even if other things can't.

I hope I can learn the difference in those two, so that I learn what I can rewire and am able to draw benefit from it without trying to rewire that which cannot be rewired.

One of the things with which I struggle most is my tendency toward an all or nothing approach. It seems to me that those who are neuro-typical don't have that struggle. But it seems to be hard-wired into my life and things slip through the cracks for me if I try to behave in a neuro-typical fashion.

I suppose the interesting things here are the changes that have come about due to the changes in my season of life. In this senior period, I'm not sure I know how to adapt and adopt. Add to that the changes in culture and influences out there and I could become easily distracted.

But failing to adapt and adopt could be equally dangerous. I've got to always be a student of life, and I've got to recognize that the role of student brings with it a responsibility to change for the better.

Lord, help me to see the changes I need to make and help me to ensure my journey always has me adapting and adopting when and where it's needed.

Project Management

NOVEMBER 10, 2022

Project Management

11/09/22 10:50 AM

Well, I'm heading into project management mode. I've got a lot of things ordered to support this ham radio antenna project, including the primary item - a K4KIO hexbeam. In addition, I've ordered an antenna mast, a rotor with rotor controller, coax, the rotor cable, mast clamps for attaching the mast to the house, and plenty of other stuff I need to make this work.

I don't mind saying this makes me a bit nervous, as do all big projects. Wanting and hoping and praying that everything goes well it just part of the process. And taking the challenges and working through them becomes part of the process as well.

I also don't mind saying that the attributes of my temperament do not align well with project management. That's because a good project manager recognizes that he's not in control and that challenges are simply part of the process. Wanting to control things and make sure challenges don't arise seems more my style. And that's not necessarily a good thing!

One additional challenge is that I can't do some of the stuff myself. I've got to hire some help. That alone is enough to make me want to abandon the project. Stay conservative and live without the excitement of new ham radio adventures, both installing and using the antenna. Those options are simply not acceptable.

My wife introduced me to a new quote a short while back. It's a great mantra that she found and I'm following through on it.

Go! And if you're scared, go scared!

Pushing the Enter key on that order was a big deal. I knew that once I pushed it there was no turning back. I don't normally deal with anxiety but pushing that Enter key opened the floodgates.

The trick to manage both the project and the anxiety will be twofold:

Plan a lot and execute slowly and carefully.

Here goes!

Leo Shoemaker

NOVEMBER 09, 2022

Leo Shoemaker

11/07/22 07:50 PM

I put out a call for ham radio help on Twitter recently and had a gentleman reach out to me in response. As such I had a short phone call today with Jim (K8CXM) about his experiences with his K4KIO Hexbeam, and particularly about the performance and installation process.

He was very helpful and had some great insights to share. He reminded me that the founder and owner of KIO technology, from whom I also had ordered a hexbeam today, was located down this way, so I went searching.

I remembered the call sign and that he had a Florida address. I didn't know he also had a Birmingham address. I just finished reading about Leo Shoemaker (K4KIO) and all that I have read makes me even more excited about my purchase today of one of his KIO Technology Hexagonal Beams or Hexbeams as they are more commonly known.

While I'm writing this on the evening of November 7th, it won't be published until November 9th. By then the election will be over and my focus will likely shift more in the direction of Ham Radio and my preparations for receiving and installing my K4KIO hexbeam and all of the supporting equipment.

I'm so glad there are smart people like Leo who make this technology available to the rest of us. I've been reading about this antenna for many years and only now have felt right about expanding my ham radio station in that direction.

If you haven't been reading and keeping up with me, we're both retired and have retired to a beautiful place here in Ohatchee, Alabama. Everything seems right to go ahead and upgrade the ham radio hobby and station and I'm very excited about all that's up ahead on this journey.

It was great to read about Leo's life, marriage, and particularly his faith and walk with Christ. From that, it seems we have more in common than just the ham radio hobby.

If you are interested you can learn more about Leo's at his blog, which is located at


Election Wrap-up

11/09/22 07:40 AM

Well, we went into the morning hours with vote counting and I could not understand the situation with Herschel Walker and Raphael Warnock and why there needed to be a runoff. Where was the other 80k votes or the missing 2.1%?

Turns out there was a third (Libertarian) candidate who received those votes and that missing 2.1% of the tally. So, now I understand the process as I read about it and studied it late last night. There were actually more than two candidates, but the run-off will include only the two candidates and should be held in December.

Some states only allow ballots to be cast (in the run-off) by those voters who voted in the main election. I'm interested to know if that will be the case for Georgia? Online reports suggest that it has been extremely rare for as many votes to be cast in a run-off as were cast in the preceding election. It seems Alabama was the exception in the past. Interesting!

I'll need to do some homework on to find out exactly where we stand in the Senate. From what I'm reading in early articles, it seems Democrats may have picked up a seat.

It does indeed seem that Republicans captured control of the US House by a very slim margin. That will make a very big difference in things going forward, but the anticipated red wave never occurred.

I wonder how many Republicans didn't vote due to the expected red wave? Not placing any blame since Democrat voters might have done the same thing. Just curious.

Election Day!

NOVEMBER 08, 2022

Election Day!

11/06/22 08:55 AM

The countdown is over. It's election day.

Patty and I will grab some takeout this evening and sit down in front of Fox News for a long night of election returns. Watching election returns with a takeout meal is a big tradition at our house. This will be the first time in as long as I can remember that we've had Fox News hosting the event for us.

We're grateful for our Sling account and the opportunity it provides us to avoid the liberal slant with which we've been confronted in past years. It will hopefully be a very pleasant and interesting evening of election returns for us with Fox News.

I'm particularly intrigued with the last-minute conservative come-back we are seeing in so many gubernatorial and state senate races. It will be very interesting to see how many of the conservatives cross the finish line and enter the winner's circle. Equally interesting, at the end of the evening, will be the number of seats held by our Republican conservatives in both houses of Congress.

One Day

NOVEMBER 07, 2022

One Day

11/06/22 07:10 AM

For the record, there is now one day in our countdown until the 2022 mid-term elections.

As I type, there are still a full two days left. But as I publish, one full day is all that remains until folks start casting their ballots.

As a conservative, I'm holding my breath that the red wave my community is expecting does indeed come to pass. A majority in either house is really all it would take, but a majority in both would send a message that liberals would not want to hear and likely would not hear.

It will take a replacement of the president in 2024 to really get things where we want and need them to be, but I'm beginning to realize that a majority in both houses of Congress would position us to get some very important investigations underway.

First things first. Let the voting begin tomorrow and I pray it will bring about the much needed-change that will get our country back on the right track.

Two Days

NOVEMBER 06, 2022

Two 2

11/05/22 08:40 AM

For the record, there are now two days in our countdown until the 2022 mid-term elections.

I found this on a fellow ham operator's web page. I thought it was incredibly funny and, at the same time, there's probably some truth in there.


Three Days

NOVEMBER 05, 2022


11/04/22 09:00 AM

For the record, there are now three days in our countdown until the 2022 mid-term elections.

I'm thinking seriously about adding another category to my list over in the left-hand menu. Weather! I really enjoy it and have posted a good deal about it (especially during hurricane season and in previous locations.)

I get weather pop-ups from Google all of the time (as can be seen below) and, in addition to the local report I get on my laptop and my phone, there's a lot to be posted.

In fact, the pop-up below mentions today's report to our west which is coming this way. It's likely to be our report tomorrow based on what I'm already seeing.

This is going to be a big project so I suppose I better get started.

Update: I'm amazed at how fast that effort went. I guess it wasn't as big a project as I had anticipated.

A new weather file consisting of almost 50 copied and pasted posts and an updated menu are in place. With two hours invested a new Weather category of all previous weather posts is ready and available!


Four Days

NOVEMBER 04, 2022


11/03/22 01:35 PM

For the record, there are now four days in our countdown until the 2022 mid-term elections.

Today, I was handed a big reminder of what happens when I don't take care of myself. In particular, I haven't been consuming fluids and let myself get dehydrated. I have an as of yet undiagnosed and ongoing bout with dizziness. But, when I allow myself to get dehydrated, I can have severe bouts of vertigo and had one today!

My dizziness feels like I just stepped off of a fair ride - the kind that slings me around pretty hard. Vertigo on the other hand creates a spinning room sensation and will last until I rehydrate. Once I'm hydrated again, the vertigo is gone and then I'm left only to contend with my ongoing and undiagnosed dizziness.

I've been tested from top to bottom and they can't figure out the cause. It's not heart related, inner ear related, or even head/brain related such as a tumor. I've been tested for each of those.

It's possible that it has something to do with Parkinson's since that runs in my family. However, the Neurologist says he doesn't see enough symptoms to confirm such a diagnosis.

I run every day and lift weight four days a week and the doctor says all of that may be preventing an onset of Parkinson's. It's apparently well documented that such exercises can and do tend, not to heal Parkinson's, but to prevent it from taking hold.

Consuming liquid does not come natural for me, but needs to be a regular part of my day if I intend to avoid another bout with vertigo.

Five Days

NOVEMBER 03, 2022


11/02/22 09:30 AM

For the record, there are now five days in our countdown until the 2022 mid-term elections.

Hard to believe we've had our Cappuccino machine almost three months now. What a wonderful way to start each day, with a double cappuccino all frothy and warm.

I trained myself off sugar in my morning drink back when we were still doing our morning brew in a coffee pot. The quality of our new morning drink makes that decision so much easier.

The fact that our Phillips 2200 grinds the coffee beans and froths the milk makes the drink far more fresh and enjoyable. And it's a cappuccino delivered in the comfort of our home first thing in the morning.

Such a simple pleasure.


Six Days

NOVEMBER 02, 2022


11/01/22 02:40 PM

For the record, there are now six days in our countdown until the 2022 mid-term elections. Based on what I've seen, the heat is getting turned up.

And now for the rest of the story.

Tonight, Patty made an amazing dessert called a Rustic French Apple Tart. (Picture below) It involved something that resembled a slice of Apple Pie, homemade ice cream, and an amazing caramel topping. All I can say is, wow!

When put together, the taste was off the charts good. Left to my own desires, I could have done some serious diet damage, well beyond whatever damage I did do by casting guilt aside and enjoying myself.

I doubt my two-mile run did much to thwart the dark side of that lusciously incredible dessert. But you'll hear no complaints from this guy. It was a dessert to which a diet must give way and which the dieter must plan around.


Seven Days

NOVEMBER 01, 2022


10/31/22 08:40 AM

For the record, Snow White had seven dwarfs and there are seven days in our countdown until the 2022 mid-term elections.

Today also marks our entrance into the new month of November as the end of 2022 draws ever closer. Are we ready for 2023? I hope so because it's just around the corner and will be here before we know it.

Cats seems to be the recent topic. We have several of them palling around on our property and our Lily doesn't like it at all. If you want to see something quite entertaining, watch cats fight through the windows of a French door with Lily inside and the other(s) outside. It's quite a sight to see and can get very loud at times.

It's also Tuesday (Monday as I type) and the new week is off to a solid start. Hard to believe we're approaching the four-month mark in our new home. That's equivalent to 1/3rd of a year. Amazing! My how the time flies!


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