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Website Updates

JANUARY 31, 2023

Website Changes

01/30/23 07:25 AM - #615

As I write, it's Monday, Jan 30th, Patty's Birthday, and we've got a lot of celebrating to do. As I publish, it's Tuesday, January 31st, and time to carry out some of my new monthly website update responsibilities.

As I mentioned several weeks ago, I removed a couple of my web features in order to speed up the process for publishing and to allow for more focus on my writing. Those changes have accomplished exactly what I had hoped for.

Not having a section for recent posts or a search feature have given back a great deal of time to the daily and monthly processes. I'm so glad to have that time back and no longer dread those processes as I did before.

Patty's got a doctor's visit this afternoon, but I suspect the day will involve a lunch out and some birthday shopping at one of Patty's favorite stores. It might even include takeout and a movie for supper to keep Patty out of the kitchen for the day and to keep us off our dark road this evening. We'll see!

Important Addendum:

01/30/23 6:20 PM

I guess I'm allowed to change my mind. After all I have said and written, I've decided to add back the search feature. I really didn't want to get rid of that one and it was not eating up as much time as the recent posts menu.

I've also discovered a quick and easy way to update the file so I've invested the time and effort to resubmit all of my newer posts into the search file. And now, all data (content) from all posts should be searchable.

This will also be the last post where I provide a post # since that data is presented anytime a search is performed. In other words, if the reader wants to find out how many posts are in the blog, simply perform a search and that information will be provided. I also like the other data that a search provides and (for that reason) am glad to add back that feature.




Happy Birthday to my Patty

JANUARY 30, 2023

Happy Birthday Patty

01/26/23 02:45 PM - #614

Happy Birthday to my Patty, my Soulmate, and the Beautiful and Wonderful Love of my Life!




Irondale Pickers

JANUARY 29, 2023

Pickers

01/28/23 06:15 PM - #613

When Jonathan and Amy mentioned they wanted to take Patty to an indoor Antique Mall for her birthday, I had no idea just how significant that trip would be. But Irondale Pickers is an incredible place!

The mall covers 120,000 square feet of space and boasts over 500 vendors selling Antiques, Art, Furniture, Home Decor, Jewelry, Unique items and much, much more. I took full advantage of the sitting areas and left the shoppers to do their thing. And that's just what they did.

Jonathan and Amy went one way and Patty and I went the other. It didn't take me long to recognize that I was a fish out of water and needed to drop out and let Patty take things at the speed with which she was comfortable. When she drags me along, she rushes for my sake and no one has a good time. So, I went for a seat and the video games on my phone and she went for the shopping.

The goal was to arrive at Jonathan and Amy's around 11:00 AM to grab a BBQ lunch at Saw's just down the street, and then to spend the rest of the day at the Antique Mall leaving just enough time to get home before we would have to make a dark drive up that curvy, hilly, bendy, scary road that leads to our house. By the time we pulled in the driveway, the sun had indeed set but we were still left with some residual daylight.

Great timing guys!

Addendum:

01/29/23 12:40 PM

I purchased the movie The Ten Commandments on my iPad last night and watched the first half until I couldn't keep my eyes opened. I watched the second half this morning. That's such an incredible story and the production is like none other. It inspires me every time I watch it, and there have been many times.




Celebrating Patty's Birthday at Saw's BBQ

JANUARY 28, 2023

Saw's

01/26/23 03:25 PM - #612

Well, if all goes according to plan, we're celebrating Patty's birthday a couple of days early with Jonathan and Amy. They're taking us out to a barbecue place called Saw's.

We've been to a Saw's before with Jonathan and Amy, although it was a different one. From what I can tell, they have a pretty good and long list of Saw's out there.

This one is walking distance from Jonathan and Amy's house and very casual, just like Patty likes. Oh, and they make this delicious white barbecue sauce that Patty and I really like and that she found the recipe for online. Hard to believe it's mayo-based since it tastes so good and so barbecue-ish.

After lunch, the plan is to spend some time shopping at an indoor antique mall before we make our way back home. I hope Patty finds something she can't live without while we're there.

Addendum:

01/28/23 - 07:40 AM

Two things. Number one, Patty and I binge-watched an entire series last night that we obtained from the library. The series was entitled Dark Winds and was an intricate story that involved a community of Native American Indians. What an amazing tale it was!

Number two, my Icom 7600 arrived at the Icom Repair dock in Kirkland, WA yesterday at 1:20 PM. I'm hopeful that the repairs can be performed and can be done in a cost-effective manner. Looking forward to a call from the repair center, probably early next week if I had to guess.




Health and Fitness Update

JANUARY 27, 2023

Health and Fitness Update

01/26/23 03:15 PM - #611

It's been a good start to the year in terms of my workouts and my runs. However, I've been a bit lazy when it comes to my diet and eating habits.

I've consumed way too much sugar and have experienced the leg cramps that come with that decision. I've also consumed too much food in general and have experienced the weight gain that comes with that decision.

I'm still within my goal range, but moving from the lower portion of that range to the upper portion. That's why I know it's time to get back on the wagon and do a better job with both of those.

I've done quite well with the 8 cups of water per day and that's due in part to the water bottle that holds 4 cups. I'm pretty focused on finishing the first bottle at or by lunch and the second bottle at or by supper time.

Every now and then I only take in one bottle of water for the day but with coffee in the morning and a different drink for supper I've still managed to avoid any symptoms of vertigo, even though my wonkyness remains a consistent part of my life.

I've got an appointment with a new neurologist in Anniston on Feb 8th to revisit that issue and see if there is a solution to be found. I need to have my MRI sent over from my former neurologist in Spanish Fort. Since my former neurologist could not find anything, I'm not real optimistic, but giving it another try has to be a good thing and I'm prepared to live with the issue if my new doctor can't find anything.

My primary care physician may want to run me back through the entire regimen of specialists and that could be a good thing. Sort of a second opinion effort. We'll see.




Survey

JANUARY 26, 2023

Survey

01/24/23 12:55 PM - #610

I had a great chat earlier today on two meters. For those not in the know, two meters is a VHF (Very High Frequency - local - direct line of sight) form of communication. That's as opposed to HF (High Frequency - 10 meters through 160 meters) which is not often used for local communications.

My HF radio has been shipped off for repair so I'm basically restricted to the two meter VHF form of communication. And, that's just fine with me.

I ran a poll on Twitter trying to see which of the two forms is most common within the ham community with which I hang out on twitter. Looks like 50.8% of the 67 respondents opt for HF, where as 16.9% go for VHF or UHF and 32.3 go for both. That was an interesting finding for me.

I have over 2,000 hams in my community so the numbers above are far less than representative of the majority. Still, it was interesting to hear from those who chose to participate.




Patty's Design

JANUARY 25, 2023

Patty's Mirrors

01/24/23 04:25 PM - #609

Patty has quite a way with great design and decorating ideas. Just give her some time to think and let her look at what she has to work with and she will discover the best possible approach and a way to make it work.

What makes it so cool is that her designs are unique and not something you'll see in most homes. She is an original thinker.

Instead of taking our three mirrors and placing them on a wall somewhere in the house, she found a way to turn the mirrors on their side and fit them between a staircase and a guest wash room located on the main floor and just inside the front door.

As usual, I wasn't sold because I had no ability to envision what it was going to look like. But, I've challenged myself to let her take the lead in these kinds of situations and offer up my labor and math skills to make her design a reality. And, when all was said and done, Patty designed another winner!




The Write Time

JANUARY 24, 2023

Blogging1

01/23/23 07:25 APM - #608

I've probably mentioned it before, but it probably warrants repeating. That's because some days I write the post well ahead of the point at which it is going to be published.

It may be confusing to any readers out there, so knowing the difference between the date and time I wrote a post and the date I published it can help the reader understand any date and time related context for the post.

Yesterday's post is a great example of my point. As can be seen immediately below the picture, I wrote it at 9:15 AM on January 22nd.

So when I mentioned the term yesterday I was referencing Saturday, January 21st. When one considers that I published it on Sunday, January 23rd (as can be seen at the top of the post) that could be quite confusing to any reader who wants to know exactly what happened and when it happened.

Another good example would be the January 20th post that I actually wrote on January 18th, two full days ahead of the publication date.

I used to add a footnote, but now I just call it an addendum. I always add the date and time to the addendum to avoid similar confusion. That's because addendums may be written at a different date and time from the post and are more likely to be added on the date of publication, and sometimes even later in the day where it might not be as likely to be seen and read.

So if you didn't know about the write time, or better yet the write date, now you know.

Addendum:

01/24/23 08:15 AM

Well, it looks like we got our first snow of the season last night. Lows were slated to be in the 20's so I'm not surprised. I was on my way out to the mailbox this morning to mail our HOA dues and saw what I thought was a heavy frost. That is until I saw something heavier and more serious on our roof and those of our neighbors.




Rainy Weather

JANUARY 23, 2023

Rainy Weather

01/22/23 09:15 AM - #607

Well, I worked hard and fast yesterday to get the leaves piled up and down to the bottom of the back lot before the rain arrived. I had several very large piles to deal with, which all came from the trees we have on our lot. And the amount of leaves in those piles, all I can say is wow! I was one very tired camper by the time it was all done.

The rain arrived sometime late yesterday and as of 9:20 AM this morning we had 1.25 inches. I just dumped it out of the rain gauge. Looks like we have a forecast for more rain arriving early this afternoon and staying with us until sometime late tonight or very early tomorrow morning.

After that, the rain stays away until Wednesday and then not again until next Sunday. That means we have a clear day next Saturday for our trip (for Patty's birthday) over to see Jon and Amy and join them for a lunch out and a visit to the indoor Antique shopping mall close to their home.

It promises to be a great day for all of the obvious reasons.




Icom Repair

JANUARY 22, 2023

Icom Repair

01/21/23 03:25 PM - #606

I couldn't let my Icom 7600 sit in a box unable to function. So, Patty and I went to the UPS Store and I shipped it to Icom Repair in Kirkland, Washington. I knew it was going to be pricey to ship it and pricey it was. All total it was $117.82 from Ohatchee, AL to Kirkland, WA. Weight with box included was rated at 35 pounds and totaled out at 33 pounds on the UPS scales.

It's going to take the better part of a week to get there and is scheduled to arrive next Friday, January 27th. I'm guessing I'll receive a call, TXT, or email early the following week with the repair estimate that I requested.

I've already got to pay for the return shipping. So, if the cost of repair is outlandish I may opt for a new Icom 7300 and store away the non-working 7600.

The last repair I had to deal with was for the power supply that I use with the rig. Shipping back then was only $60 and repair was something like $35. As I recall, with that company I didn't have to pay a high-priced return shipment so that was a pretty good deal. With a rig that won't tune and fights high SWR, I fear that things won't be so sweet on this deal. The return shipping is going to be bad enough, but repairing that SWR problem could also be costly. Again, we'll see.

Addendum:

01/22/23 - 02:35 PM

Found out a bit earlier that the arrival of my radio to Icom Repair in Kirkland, WA has been moved out from Friday Jan 27th to the following Monday, Jan 30th. Guess it may slow things down just a tad but I can live with that. No worries.




Quotes

JANUARY 21, 2023

Quotes

01/18/23 03:15 PM - #605

I enjoy good quotes and I particularly got a blessing from one that was a line in a movie Patty and I were watching recently. It basically said:

God doesn't put us in situations to change the other guy.

I could argue the point because God does use us in the lives of others. But, I think the point behind the quote was that most often God places us in situations because He wants to change us, and not someone else.

It was one of those Wow! moments for both Patty and I. We both made a groaning grunt kind of sound when the line was offered. I wouldn't even know how to spell that word or sound or whatever it was but, whatever it was, we both did it.

Smiley 2








Cultural Distractions

JANUARY 20, 2023

Cultural Distractions

01/18/23 08:00 AM - #604

Have you noticed lately with whatever you are doing in your life, that there's someone out there who is doing it on social media and doing it better than you?

If we're not careful, it can put us in a competitive state where we wind up trying to accomplish something for all of the wrong reasons. And when the wrong reasons are our motivation for anything, we're destined to fail at it.

It's like when you see someone who is very good at what they do and think to yourself that you could do that too. When you discover what's really involved and that you can't, frustration sets in and a sense of failure is sure to follow.

This idea of Do what you love is new to me and not part of the culture in which I was raised. My experience was more to the point of doing what provides well, and always keeping the end target in mind. That felt good and right to me since I had a wife and two kids and believed in that which was traditional to my faith.

It seems to me, in this season which we now live, that faith has taken a back seat to other things. Those of us who live by that faith must be able to keep our focus and avoid the cultural distractions that want to take us in other directions.

Lord, let me never fall victim to cultural influences that would cause me to take my eyes off of you.




Running with a Playlist

JANUARY 19, 2023

Playlist

01/17/23 04:15 PM - #603

Just finished my Tuesday run (no workouts on Tuesdays) and am enjoying the playlist I put together for my running. After YouTube grabs its take to cover the advertisers, my favorite four Peter Cetera songs carry me through my two mile run.

The run starts with One Good Woman and Even a Fool Can See and somewhere very early in mile two, after another ad, Amy Grant joins Peter with Next Time I Fall and then Cher joins Peter to bring it home with After All.

Such great songs and such incredible performers. Soon enough I'll get tired of those songs and will look for others from one or more of my favorite bands and/or performers.

I love it when old songs become new again. That always seems to happen when I build a playlist and take it out for a run.




I'm Not Him

JANUARY 18, 2023

I'm Not Him

01/17/23 08:05 AM - #602

I've been watching a lot of movies on Pureflix and last night I watched another good one. The name of the film was I'm Not Him.

The write-up says it's a story about a man on a quest to see if he was saved by a miracle. I'm not sure if that description truly captures the story but who am I to say. I would say it's a story about a man who quits his job in order to use the gift God had given him to pray for folks and see their lives changed. Perhaps that doesn't sound as riveting.

One has to dispense with their theology in order to ride along with the writer, but I like the twist that occurs in the court room near the end of the story. All in all, it's a story that caught my attention and kept me captivated. And the acting and production values were strong enough to provide me with an enjoyable experience.




2 Meter Ham Radio

JANUARY 17, 2023

Icom 2m

01/16/23 01:45 PM - #601

Well, I've officially retired from the world of HF Ham Radio. I will stay active on 2 meters but am officially off the air for 6 meter through 80 meters. See you somewhere between 145.00 and 147.50!




Post Number 600

JANUARY 16, 2023

600 Posts

01/14/23 11:00 AM - #600

I normally use my former search tool to keep up with the number of posts I've placed here on the blog. With the search capability removed, I'll have to take a more manual approach if I intend to keep up with that count.

I happened to note on my phone calendar that today was going to be post number 600. Here forward I'll add that as a column on my fitness log just to have a location where I keep up with it. It's a numbers or counting thing and I have a real propensity toward that - probably due to my Asperger's or being somewhere on the Autism scale, if that is indeed the case.

As I've said before, imagining I'm on that scale just answers so many questions about my life. I've never been formally tested, but it just makes so much sense and fits in with so many of my life's tendancies.

And as I've also said before, it really does seem like a super power from my point of view. I may have become aware of some of the negatives associated with being on the scale, but overall it still seems like a super power to me.

Addendum:

01/15/23 9:10 AM

I've decided to add the post count here on the blog. Here forward, I'll keep up with the count on each post.




Weight Training

JANUARY 15, 2023


Weights

01/13/23 11:00 AM

Well, I'm wrapping up another weekend and the first week of the new weight training regimen. Dividing everything out over three days with a day of rest in between each workout has proven to be a very good choice.

I'm also encouraged by the dividing of my exercises over three workouts instead of two - even if those two were performed twice per week. The day of rest is helpful and adding exercises to my week but reducing the number of exercises per day is making a real difference.

I'm used to my running, but not sure I'll ever get used to this new weight training. It's not something I enjoy, other than the results.

However, I'm pretty used to making these types of decisions and staying with them. I'm only able to stay with it because I can rationalize how little of my day is actually invested in this direction. When I think of everything in those terms, it all becomes doable.

On the weight management front I'm learning a lot about how the mind works. It's funny how staying in my targeted range doesn't bring the emotional high that staying at the bottom of that range brings. I went from a target to a range to get away from the emotional struggles I was having. It's funny how I am able to replace those former struggles with new struggles.

On one hand the daily weight check helps me avoid a lot of work catching up when I've gained weight. But, on the other hand it makes weight checks a daily emotional struggle. And wasn't that what I was trying to get away from?

Addendum:

01/13/23 2:00 PM

I've decided to replicate my Monday workout to Friday and just finished that workout. I'm still doing three workouts per week but the workouts on Monday and Friday will be the same.

I like that approach because those workouts favor muscle groups that I consider most important and they are also giving a smaller workout to minor muscle groups.




Politics Makes Strange Bedfellows

JANUARY 14, 2023


PMSB

01/13/23 07:20 AM

According to my Google search, in The Tempest, Shakespear wrote, Misery acquaints a man with strange bedfellows and in more recent years, Google says that phrase has been reworded to Politics makes strange bedfellows.

Also according to my Google search, the literal meaning of that quote is that people with nothing in common may come together solely because on shared political interests. I suppose that says a lot about why I still like former president Trump.

We have nothing in common except that I believe he made good choices on behalf of our country. Of course, he also made a lot of bad personal choices and is about as morally bankrupt as they come. It's hard to get past that except when I consider the possible alternatives in the party of the Democrats, and their platform in general.

I can't wait to see what becomes of the 2024 presidential election. I know it's way to early to make a reliable prediction, but I'm sure I know those who I don't want to win that election. I'm just not sure who my choices will be when the 2024 presidential election presents itself. There's still a lot to be done between now and then and I'm sure that a lot can and will happen while we wait.

Addendum:

01/14/23 11:30 AM

On the ham radio front, my hexbeam took a real soaking from the recent rains (two days ago) and that seems to have had an incredibly negative effect on my SWR. In fact, it's basically made the antenna unusable.

Despite reading the possibility that things will revert back to normal once the antenna dries out, it is really taking a big step of faith for me to wait it out. I'm even imagining that the temperature swings and overcast skies have slowed down the drying process.

I've performed all of the tests (e.g., continuity testing on the coax) and everything looks okay. The sun has come out so I guess we'll see.




A Special (DX) Ham Radio Day

JANUARY 13, 2023


DX

01/11/23 06:55 PM

Today was one of those day where everything I touched turned to gold. Or should I say (in ham radio language) everyone I called answered me and then confirmed our contact - or at least it seemed that way.

Better yet, most everyone I worked was a super good DX (long-distance) station and I could not be more pleased with the overall results for the day. I finally worked Thailand, which is about the farthest station I've ever contacted and one I've been trying to reach for sometime now.

I also worked other new countries including Angola, Namibia, and even Equitorial Guinea which I contacted (and which confirmed) all on three different bands - 20, 17, and 15 meters. The awards we can earn are based on confirmed contacts and a contact with the same station on a different band counts as an additional contact. So with one station, I actually earned three contacts. It's a rare treat for me, but not bad!

I also made over 30 contacts for the day. All of those contacts were made using the digital FT8 technology that I have grown to enjoy. It involves my computer logging a contact with another computer in another location, both through our respective ham radios and ham radio equipment, which perform the heavy lifting to make the contact over so many miles.

All of this has only become truly possible with the directional multi-band hexbeam antenna I installed and wrote about recently. It takes my power and sends it all in one direction and also tends to pull in signals in a similar fashion. It sure adds a new twist to the hobby and brings new excitement I never imagined.

One of the really cool aspects of the hobby with which I have only recently become familiar involves a website. That site provides me with a bearing in degrees where I can set my rotor to point my antenna in the direction of the station I am working.

I've always used omni directional antennas and never had to know such information. Pretty cool that it considers geography, the shape of the earth, shortest path, and overall distance between us.

It also provides me with a bi-directional approach (short path and long path) in case I am actually transmitting and receiving via the long path to the location. Pretty cool indeed!




The House versus the Senate

JANUARY 12, 2023


House of Representatives

01/10/23 02:55 PM

I've been reading up a bit on the U.S. House of Representatives and the U.S. Senate. If I reading things correctly, the House has sole power (without the U.S. Senate) to impeach the president of the United States.

With Kamala Harris waiting in the wings, I wonder if they will consider that route? I tend to doubt it. I would imagine most see that as a true picture of jumping from the frying pan into the fire. I know I do.

Ironically, Kevin McCarthy (who finally won the speakership for the house on the 15th ballot) would be in line behind Harris to become president if it were called for.

There's so much going on that it's difficult to get a bearing on which way things will proceed from here. There's the whole president thing - including Biden, Trump, and an assortment of other players.

And there's a large contingent of players at lower levels who also tend to keep things quite interesting. And don't foreget the non-political who still can take center stage when they want to - like Elon Musk.

Of course there's always those instances where I'm sure they would prefer not to take center stage, but when you do wacky things that's where one is likely to land. Trump and Musk have proven to be very good at it.



WX 011223

WX 011223

WX 011223

A view toward the north.



WX 011223

A view toward the south.



WX 011223

A view toward the north from the lower back deck.



01/12/23 10:00 AM

Looks like we're on the edge of some serious weather today. We're also currently under a tornado watch.




Seasons of Gray

JANUARY 11, 2023


Seasons of Gray

01/10/23 10:55 AM

Before I dive into the topic du jour, I wanted to mention another thing following up on yesterday's post about the website. No more updates to the menu also means that I'm no longer limited to the length of the post title. Previously, I had to keep it to a manageable length that would fit in the menu. I'm pleased that limit is now gone.

I watched a great movie last night entitled, Seasons of Gray. I quickly recognized the similarities to the biblical account of Joseph, but was pleasantly surprised to discover at the end of the film that it was indeed intended to be a modern day retelling of the story of Joseph.

I've watched several Christian movies lately from the PureFlix library and have been pleasantly surprised at how much better each one gets. I'm used to having to show a lot of grace for Christian films, but that's quickly becoming a concept that no longer applies when one considers the budgets, production quality and quality of the acting in today's Christian themed films.

I'm particularly growing to be a big fan of those films that don't sugar coat the story, but are very honest about the challenges we face in the Christian community. Like the bible says in Matthew 5:45, the rain falls on the just and the unjust. In other words, God provides no special promises in His word that our lives will be free from pain. He only promises that He will be with us in those moments and that He will never allow us to face more than we can handle. (Psalms 9:9,10 and 1 Corinthians 10:13.)




Website Changes

JANUARY 10, 2023


Website Changes

01/09/23 04:55 PM

Well, this is not quite what I had in mind, but I went for some website changes that would save me a great deal of time with each post. It involved the removal of two things.

First, I removed the Recent Posts feature. One would not believe how much time was involved with supporting that feature for each new post. It's going to be an incredible time saver to have that feature gone. No more daily changes to the menu for example.

The second feature that I removed was the Search feature. Yes, I liked it but decided (as my son always likes to say) that the juice just wasn't worth the squeeze. The amount of effort required to add each post and make it searchable was far more than I needed to invest for so little return.

I still have a test page where I perform my initial work for each post and review before anything gets published. And now I only have one place to copy that post for publication unless it is to be added to one of the categories, which means I have two places to add it.

Even the monthly work is greatly reduced. There is, however, just a bit of it that remains in supporting the archive. And that I can live with since I consider that feature to be a critical piece of the bigger picture.

I will enjoy a smaller amount of effort and it sure makes the whole thing a lot easier and more enjoyable. Now, almost all of my time and effort will go toward content production.

I'm also planning to be a bit more careful about any associated overhead work required for updates or added features. Things that don't add much (or any) overhead work will be the first things in line for any new features I might choose to add.

Oh, there's one other thing that is worth a mention. Now, anytime I find a mistake in a post or want to make a change, it's going to be quick and easy. One place to test it and one place to publish it. It's that simple, as compared to the incredible amount of work involved in past fixes and changes.




New Website Stuff

JANUARY 09, 2023


New Website Stuff

01/08/23 06:50 PM

I have to admit, I decided to make some changes to the infrastructure of the website and did not think them through very well. By the time I had made the first changes, I realized that the current system design was not going to let me complete those changes. I guess I had sort of out-smarted myself with the initial design such that my new design was going to force a deeper rebuild of things than I was prepared to face.

The whole idea was centered around two things. First, I wanted to dramatically reduce the time it took to create a post since there are a lot of things that happen behind the scenes and that take a good deal of time.

Second, I was hoping to reuse some of the existing code instead of doing what amounted to duplicating it. The old infrastructure design was not going to be very easy to convert over to the new design I had in mind. I had confirmed that my new ideas would indeed work, and just proving that was a very cool and positive experience.

Unfortunately, the new design brought with it some serious road blocks that I had not anticipated and basically shut me down. Too bad because the new design had some very cool things going for it.

I've even thought about deleting some of the technology, such as the search functionality, but I realized that may be a valuable piece of the product further down the road. And so I left it in place, with all that it demands each time a post is offered.

I really like some of the ideas I came up with that would have capitalized more upon the include functionality and will see if there is any opportunity I might be missing to expand the use of that capability.

In the meantime, I'm back at the drawing board working on a new plan.




Logfile Problems

JANUARY 08, 2023


Log File X 2

01/07/23 05:10 PM

Earlier in the year I mentioned potential topics for the new year. I included in that list some posts on technology. But I was thinking website technology. It never dawned on me that I might be writing about computer technology and the issue I battled recently in the (ham radio) QRZ.com and Log of The World (LoTW) spaces.

It all started out with my contacting the QRZ.com helpdesk for assistance with a LoTW update that wouldn't transfer over to QRZ.com. Unfortunately, I was misled and there actually was no LoTW update. That's why I couldn't get the confirmation to transfer over. It simply wasn't in LoTW to start with.

But I had been assured it was there and wasn't exactly sure how to verify that for myself, so I had to trust the guy who told me. Looking back, that was a mistake and it led to a bunch of headaches.

In order to correct the problem, the QRZ help desk guy decided to reset all 1,670 of my records as if they hadn't been loaded from LoTW to QRZ in the first place. This was done in order to force the (non-existent) confirmations to transfer over.

Unfortunately, neither he nor I knew how long that was going to take and it turned out to be a very long time. To add to my troubles, the LoTW system was going down very often and would force my already long-running jobs to crash each time it went down.

The jobs ran and crashed many, many times and none of us had any idea on each restart if the jobs were starting over or were able to pick up and run where they had left off after the last crash. And, to make matters even worse, it was clear to me that no one at the help desk really knew enough about the functionality of the system to correct my problem.

Fortunately I was motivated and hopeful that I could get a run in that would complete the entire task. Considering that one particular job had run for 7 hours before it crashed, I feared I was being a bit optimistic about my chances for success.

Turns out the job was indeed picking up where it had left off after the previous crash. On day five of the incident, after countless hours of running the job, it finally finished successfully.

It was a great feeling to see that job finish successfully and upon its completion I notified the QRZ help desk and was immediately back to normal operations.




Jesus Christ

JANUARY 07, 2023


Jesus Christ

01/06/23 10:15 PM

I am so grateful to God for His Son, Jesus Christ. I'm grateful that Jesus died on the cross for my sins. I'm grateful that He rose on the third day, is alive, loves me, cares for me, guides me day by day, and is waiting to see me join Him in heaven one day.

For my walk on this earth, I'm so grateful that He provided inspirational movies to strengthen me, inspire me, and teach me things I needed in my life.

I just finished watching such a movie, the night before this post will be published on the internet. The movie was, Running the Bases.

Thank you Lord for those who wrote, directed, filmed, edited, and acted in this movie. Lord, I thank you for the entire cast and crew who made it possible for me to watch, be inspired by, and see life-changing ministry take place in my heart, my mind, and my soul. And Lord, I thank you for the impact that all of this will have on the day-to-day life that is still ahead of me.

Thank you Lord, that you cared enough to point me to this story and for the many other movies that you have set out before me in recent weeks. And thank you for what they are and all that they have brought into my life. Let me not miss your message or fail to respond as you would have me respond.




Diet Plan

JANUARY 06, 2023


Diet Plan

01/04/23 07:15 PM

Any discussions around diet have usually grow out of a discussion on grocery shopping. It's been one of those What do we want this week? kind of things.

But new changes have come directly from our interest in aligning our diet plan with the positive changes we've been making in the other areas of our lives. I have learned that lesson the hard way by running too many distance races with a much heavier body than I should have ever had.

Only in my more senior years have I finally decided to do something about that and got my weight in a great range where I intend to keep it. It sure makes for a better everything, including runs, workouts, and just generally looking and feeling better than I used to.

And my oh my, have I learned a lot about myself in the process. I've come to the painful realization that some of my struggles will be life-long battles, such as the tasty temptations that are always calling my name and the appetite that seems to never shut down.

This has got to be about (and remain about) priorities and not about comfort. The priority is to be fit and healthy, including managing my weight, and comfort has to remain a distant second to that. There are no alternatives.

Addendum:

I mentioned somewhere else that I'm on a water only diet for all of my liquids. And, I'm taking in two, 32 oz. water bottles a day - both with meals and as a supplement. It's helping to curb my appetite and to ensure I'm well hydrated.

The idea behind staying well hydrated is mostly to avoid vertigo, which I have clearly identified as the cause for any and all vertigo. I've also proven that the vertigo and wonkyness are unrelated. The latter I still have regularly. The former is completely avoided when I stay hydrated.




Weight Training

JANUARY 05, 2023


Weight Training

01/04/23 05:55 PM

Well, I've made a big decision and decided to change up my weight training routine. I'm doing it for two reasons.

First, I'm a bit concerned that I haven't been doing some of the lifts in a proper fashion. That can be a real problem when trying to isolate the effort to a particular muscle or muscle group.

Second, I'm also a bit concerned that I'm working the same muscles without an adequate amount of downtime between workouts for proper muscle growth as well as proper muscle replinishment.

So, I'm going to try and correct both by moving from two workouts (each performed twice per week) to three workouts with each being performed only once. I'm also going to change up the lifts so that I do a better job of avoiding muscle fatigue caused from working out a particular muscle (or group) multiple days in a row and without a proper recovery period.

I'll be moving away from a schedule where I do two workouts, each twice per week, with some muscles being worked two days in a row. And I'll be moving toward a 3 day workout (Monday, Wednesday, and Friday) where the possibility of working a muscle too often is greatly reduced, if not completely elimnitated.

Because I'm an avid runner, my weight training is focused solely on my upper body. And a 3 day regimen, with a day off between each workout, enables me to do more in less time and with less risk of injury. I'm looking forward to the change starting next week.

Patty and I have also decided to make some big changes in the diet area. More on that later...




Running Music

JANUARY 04, 2023


Running Music

01/03/23 07:45 PM

Years ago, I wrote a letter to the editor of Running Magazine defending my desire to run with music - even with the dangers and risks involved and despite the general prohibiting of such at most races. I know all of the reasons it's not a good idea, but the occurrence of any one of those reasons would be so rare that the rules just seemed a bit impractical to me.

It's odd that I would take such a position and then abandon it when I retired from races and continued my basic training runs. But that's just what I did, or didn't do. I hung up my ear buds - until very recently!

There's just no possibility of doing my training runs outside in this vicinity where we now live and hope to stay for the balance of our retirement. The terrain is much too hilly and unforgiving.

As such, I've moved inside and hit the treadmill in our home gym. And yesterday, mostly due to my hatred for treadmills (read: dreadmills) I pulled up my playlist on my cell phone and enjoyed the good company of great musicians and their songs - just like I did years ago.

I've got a My Top 100 playlist on YouTube which contains what I believe to be the best songs ever written and recorded - all by some of the best musicians in the world, in my humble opinion. Since they only do covers and I stick to the originals, I've got to put in a plug for Leonid and Friends (a Russian Covers Band) who bring covers to a new level. If you haven't heard them on YouTube, I urge you to give them a listen. You won't regret the time invested.




Spiritual Stuff

JANUARY 03, 2023


Spiritual Stuff

01/03/23 08:55 AM

Patty received a call from a family member who mentioned some spiritual stuff. As a result, we both talked about it. And, once again, we both came to realize (from our discussion) the importance of faith in our walk with the Lord.

What I continue to learn is that what's important is the basis for my faith. Those who have no basis are quick to throw in the towel at the first sign of trouble. Or, as was the case with her phone call, some have drawn very different conclusions based on their experiences.

But, all we have is our faith and the basis for that faith. The basis that Patty and I share is built upon strong evidence in favor of Jesus Christ and a lack of strong evidence in any other direction.

Sure there are days where my experiences cause me to question my faith and the basis for my faith, but a quick revisit always realigns me with a solid basis and no other direction in which to turn. I'm good with that and I'm quickly becoming okay with those who see it differently.

I'm not okay that they might think they have their truth and that I have my truth for I believe there is only one way and one truth, but I am okay when someone does their homework and draws a different conclusion.

I have to be okay with that or I would go crazy with debate after debate over something that is so faith-basis-dependent. That has been a major discovery for me in my walk with Jesus Christ. Fortunately, the basis for my faith rests upon what I consider the strongest possible evidence and I have indeed done what I consider the best job possible on my homework in that direction.

Grateful has been a key-word for me in my walk with Jesus Christ and I do indeed remain grateful for all of the signs he has placed on my path that serve to strengthen the basis for my faith. Only through a lengthy journey have I become able to see what He is hoping to show me. Thank you, Lord.




6 Meters

JANUARY 02, 2023


Antenna and me

01/01/23 02:20 PM

Well, kicked off 2023 with my favorite hobby (ham radio) and made my first ever contact on 6 meters. I was using FT8 and linked up with a station (W4IMD) in my neighboring state of Georgia. I have a six band hexbeam and made the contact using the smallest (6 meter) element. Pretty cool!

I didn't even pay attention to the beam setting but was positioned southeast around 130°. Probably not the best direction for a CQ and the band was extremely quiet until I rustled up a contact.

Turns out the contacted station was located in Dacula, GA which is roughly 40 miles northeast of Atlanta and out I-85 just past Gwinette Place. It's also just over 120 miles from the house as the crow flies and roughly 150 miles by road. It's pretty much due east of my location.

I also received an email from Junior, my contact in Malawi, Africa, indicating he would take care of my contact confirmations. Patty and I are excited to be donating a well to a needy city over there. We're making the donation in memory of her Mom and also as a thank you to Junior and 7Q7EMH for putting us on to the Embangweni Mission Hospital. Patty put her Google research skills to work and found a wonderful donation opportunity associated with that location.

Nice way to start the year!




Happy New Year!

JANUARY 01, 2023


2023

12/30/22 08:25 PM

Happy New Year!

Well, the new year has arrived, complete with rain and milder weather.

Today I start back with running and weight training kicks off tomorrow. I'll also get a bit more focused on weight management as well and hope to finally set a practical and realistic weight range that I can maintain over the long-term.

As for the blog, whatever the day brings is what I write about. It may be a simple journal/scrapbook entry or it may be a post on one of the topics in my Categories Menu over on the left-hand side of the page. I hope to provide a good balance of both with a bit more focus on topics and a bit less on the daily activities and the associated journal and scrapbook entries.

Hope to expand the technology a bit this year as well and will certainly write about it when it happens. No big ideas on what technology I want to introduce, but I'll be sure to let you know when it happens.

The fitness schedule will be the same as it was last year. That means a two mile run each and every day on the treadmill, with minor holiday exceptions, and four upper body weight training workouts. Workout #1 will be Monday and Thursday, and workout #2 will be Tuesday and Friday. Wednesday, Saturday, and Sunday will be weight training rest and recovery days.

I'm still working on my three awards in the Ham Radio arena and hope to complete those awards in the new year if possible. When I do complete them I anticipate moving away from digital and back to voice every now and then. Should be fun.

Stay tuned!

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