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Bible Reading

MARCH 31, 2023

Bible Reading

03/30/23 06:50 AM

As I mentioned before, I'm currently reading Romans, Psalms, and Proverbs, a chapter a day. After careful evaluation, I do indeed believe in God's word and I do indeed believe that the Bible is the inspired word of God. I took the long way around to get there, but it was a good exercise.

I must take care here in not throwing out the proverbial baby with the bath water, just because others have impacted my life by their misappropriation of what they found in scripture.

I believe that scripture paints a clear picture when it comes to our obedience to God's chosen authority. To rebel against that authority is to rebel against God. I find that point made in Proverbs and I am fully onboard with it.

There needs to be discretion exercised when it comes to anything that resembles an anti-authority approach. While we are not called to be rebellious, we are also not called to act out in error because authority has pointed us in that direction.

That's a difficult dilemma to navigate and one that calls for great wisdom and much discretion. Too much focus on what I/we don't believe is dangerous for it can lead to a lack of focus on what I/we do believe.

I am seeking to ensure that I do not fall into that trap. And, if I do fall into it, that I don't spend much time entangled there.

I have been so blessed in this life by our Lord, and my life is full of the comforts he has provided. Alongside these comforts are the commands he has set before me to carry out a focused plan of care for life and living.

Included in this list are plans for exercise and diet and so many of the other topics found in this blog. In fact, I see this blog as a means of staying focused on what he has set before me.

I could say this next thing is wired in my DNA, and maybe my passion for it is, but somewhere along the way I learned that the only way to keep track of progress, and to get things done, is to measure. As such, I tend to do a lot of that kind of thing and measuring and tracking come pretty easy for me.

Lord help me to respond appropriately when the way I'm wired conflicts with your plan for my life. Help me to be a student of life and living and help me to be one who is willing and able to adopt any changes you desire for me to make in my life.

Handyman Project

MARCH 30, 2023

Back Deck

03/29/23 07:25 AM

Yesterday we had handyman Mike and Kim, his assistant, over to do a project on the lower back of the house. The project involved finishing off the concrete deck that was added to the back of the house.

The deck is about 8' deep and as spreads across the width of the house. Mike and Kim provided more concrete beneath the current deck, where it was washing out, and a wooden trim to hold everything together.

Now when it rains, we shouldn't have any more wash or erosion taking place beneath the concrete decking. And it's nice to have things looking and feeling safe and solid too.

I remember when Uncle Johnny and Aunt Beryl (mom's sister) lived out in the West End area of Atlanta. They had steep slopes like we have and fought the same types of problems with run-off from the rain.

I vividly remember the large black hoses attached to the gutter downspouts to carry the rain water away from the house. And, here we are in the same situation with our place.

We've got six gutter downspouts and hoses attached to each to carry the rain water away from the house. Almost a deja vu situation for me considering my experiences growing up at cousin Johnny's house.

I've got some bags of top soil and need to fill in some small gullies that were created by rain water before I added the hoses. And, we've got some other small gullies that have formed out in the back on the steep slope that need a bit of dirt as well.

Humming Bird Feeders

MARCH 29, 2023

HB Feeder

03/27/23 03:15 PM

Some of the neighbors mentioned that it is time to put out the humming bird feeders. And so, Patty took care of that job including one that is absolutely beautiful. In fact, she also snapped the beautiful picture of it seen above.


MARCH 28, 2023


03/27/23 08:20 AM

Well, we had more storms last night and what we saw is pictured above. I snapped this picture just before 10 PM.

I've also started dumping the rain gauge and keeping up with it on my phone. I dumped 1" of rain on 3/26 @ 1:45 PM and .75" of rain this morning (3/27) @ 8:00 AM.

Fortunately, everything outside (including the garden beds) weathered the storm just fine. That's a good thing. I honestly thought we received more rain than I found in the rain gauge this morning. Interesting.

Window Screens

MARCH 27, 2023


03/26/23 09:55 AM

Patty really likes it when we have outside air flowing through the house, especially when that takes the place of any control of the temperature from the inside of the house. I'm with her on that!

The previous homeowner took most of the screens down and packed them in the storage room downstairs. So, Patty decided it was time to install one of those back on the window in our bedroom since the windows and the door on the front of the house all have screens and would allow air flow.

Even with the opportunity to see how the screens were installed on the front of the house, neither of us could figure out how to install them. I gave up and went back at it a couple of times but with no success at any point.

After a lot of looking, I noticed two latches (one pictured above) and when I clicked them, it allowed for the entire window to pull away from the frame. And by doing that, it allowed me to insert the screen and then close things back up.

I couldn't believe it was that simple and I had somehow missed those latches. Still, I had never seen that type of approach before so I shouldn't be surprised.

Either way, it was good to figure it out. And that breeze that blew through the house yesterday was fabulous.

The Gym

MARCH 26, 2023

The Gym

03/24/23 11:20 AM

The picture above is our home gym which is actually nothing more than a modified storm shelter. We have a two level house and it's on the lower level directly beneath the front porch. I think that's supposed to make us easier to rescue in a worse-case scenario.

I've been pleasantly surprised at how easy it was to move from 2 miles per day up to 3 miles per day. As long as I have a good playlist (and I do!) the 3 milers are no problem - even on a treadmill in our home gym.

I've got a super long, running playlist and have several entry points where I get to enjoy different songs from different groups. I have an entry point up front that is all Chicago.

I have a second entry point that provides me with a good list of songs from Wilson Phillips. I have a third entry point that starts with a couple of good Steely Dan songs and, like the second entry point, takes me to some other songs from some other groups that I really enjoy.

All together, I have songs from 24 groups/albums on my running playlist with an average of 3 or 4 songs per group/album. I also have a large number of songs from each of several of those albums and still others that are one hit wonders and only provide me with one song. Kyrie from Mr. Mister is a good example. I know they have one or two other good songs but I still consider them a one hit wonder.

Antenna Rotor

MARCH 25, 2023

Antenna Rotor

03/24/23 07:10 AM

I've got handyman Mike coming by again today to do another ham radio antenna adjustment. This time it's different.

The rotor is damaged. I'm not sure if simple wear and tear was the cause or if I tried to move the antenna in sub-freezing weather and stripped whatever gears are inside due to a frozen rotor.

Either way, the rotor no longer holds the antenna's position. The antenna rotates freely in the wind and the rotor controller no longer provides any type of antenna rotation.

In fact, the rotor motor doesn't appear to provide any response to rotor controller actions. I knew I was using a less expensive rotor option and feared this might happen.

I just had no idea it might happen this quickly. And, since I don't know what caused the damage, I'm not prepared to do a simple replace with the same rotor. Worse yet, the next (more expensive) option is far more expensive and I'm simply not prepared to go there at this point.

I'm going to have Mike point the antenna toward Africa and then lock it down. That should provide me opportunities to earn the Master of Africa award and to make other contacts off the front and backside of the beam.

I've been pleasantly surprised at the contacts I can make off of the back and sides of the antenna. That may make a fixed antenna configuration work. Even as it currently sits, it does better than the fixed dipole antenna I also have installed.

One more adjustment after this one should 1) provide an opportunity to earn the Master of Oceania award and 2) point the antenna over enough of the USA to make it usable (in its fixed format) for some time to come. That's the plan and we'll see if it is going to work out as anticipated.

What Is God Doing?

MARCH 24, 2023

What God Is Doing

03/23/23 10:35 AM

Patty and I made a run up to Todd's Ohatchee Hardware Store. I had a couple of things I wanted to return and she needed some seeds.

Todd waved Patty off on planting anything and chimed in with his support of the idea that we don't need to do anything until after Good Friday. In fact, he said that he thought we had one more freeze before winter releases its grip on things, even if spring is already here in the formal sense.

That comment came as a big surprise to both of us, and I saw how well my wife handled the challenge to slow things down and delay planting. I could tell it went against everything in her and that she was wanting to do.

God sure is doing a lot these days to slow us both down. I had to confess to her what God was also having to do in me to release me from worry.

That was a tough thing to confess. But I had to share that now when Patty calls me from another place in the house, my first reaction tends to be a question about what's wrong now? and that's definitely not healthy.

I wasn't that way in the past, but I think I'm fearful that, with some of the issues I face as I'm growing older, something will come up that I can't handle. And boy is that a tough one to deal with for a guy who is used to being able to step in and correct any and all problems.

I'm really getting a big dose of that idea that things don't have to be perfect. There are some things that I need to realize I can live with. That's another tough one for this perfectionist type guy.

Lord, help us as we grow older to keep our focus where it needs to be. And help us to find an adequate amount of patience for the hurry up and wait game that so often comes our way. And Lord, help me with that worry game with which I tend to struggle.


MARCH 23, 2023


03/22/23 08:10 AM

As I think I have mentioned before, I'm reading a chapter a day in Romans, Psalms, and Proverbs. To make it easy, I'm reading the same chapter number in each book on any given day.

One of the things I noticed was that in the first five chapters of the book of Proverbs, the word discretion appears in four of those five books. It's a word with which I am familiar, but I doubt I would get a passing grade for the attention I have paid to that topic in my life.

That's the downside of being a black and white type of guy. Unlike some people, for me discretion has been a learned trait and it often took a back seat to the rule-based lifestyle that seemed wired in my DNA. I can't say it was a matter of ignoring it as much as it was a matter of not being aware of its importance in my life.

I went to see what the dictionary had to say about discretion and became captivated by its apparent importance - especially as it related to the topics in the first several chapters of the book of Proverbs. Here's the definition as taken from the Oxford Languages dictionary to which I was pointed by Google:

1. The quality of behaving or speaking in such a way as to avoid causing offense or revealing private information. 'She knew she could rely on his discretion.'

2. The freedom to decide what should be done in a particular situation. 'It is up to local authorities to use their discretion in setting the charges.'

I must admit that reading those definitions caused me to stop and take inventory of the importance of the use of discretion in all that I do. It's a concept that has received far too little attention from me and it seems critical that I make a change in my life and adopt its importance.

I believe the Lord has already been taking me down this road and preparing for this change, but now it has a label or a title upon which I can focus. For that, I am grateful!

Thank you, Lord for helping me to be a student of life and living. May I always make that my focus.

Ham Radio QSO Confirmations

MARCH 22, 2023


03/21/23 11:20 AM

One of the big challenges in the world of ham radio is confirmations. Or should I say the lack thereof. The lack of confirmations truly underscores the variety of priorities with which different ham radio operators approach the hobby.

It's quite possible to work very hard to finally connect with an entity that I hadn't been able to work, only to find that the operator has no intention of confirming. Or worse yet, the operator has created a technical maze too difficult to navigate for the confirmation and thus no confirmation is ultimately provided.

Admittedly, confirmations are not that simple to all operators. One has to go through a number of steps on a computer to provide confirmations and if an operator doesn't do it very often, it's easy to imagine some operators having a difficult time remembering those steps.

I can imagine that such difficulty might compel some operators to procrastinate and then ultimately decide never to confirm. That sounds a bit judgmental, but I've seen it happen, or some variation thereof. Most of us use and on that site one can 'advertise' whether or not one intends to confirm. I've seen many provide such 'ads' (of good intentions) and then never follow through.

On the other hand, I've seen some operators confirm months or even years after a QSO occurred. I scratch my head on those, but I also realize that such operators just don't place any priority on confirmations. This is especially true for those operators that have already received those awards that the rest of us are still pursuing. After all, a contact is not a contact until a confirmation is provided.

I try to be a good ham radio citizen and always provide confirmations for my QSO's. And I'm grateful for those who do the same, especially when it's apparent they don't need the confirmation.

I've been in this hobby long enough to remember when QSL cards sent by mail was the only way to confirm. That's almost a lost art these days with the cost of cards and postage, but I'm still in on that too.

Busy Day

MARCH 21, 2023

Busy Day

03/20/23 07:25 PM

Well the big event for the day was a visit from our son, Jonathan. It all started out around 11:45 AM with his arrival.

We promptly headed over to the Country Buffet at the Western Sizzlin in Rainbow City. It one of Patty's and my favorites and based on the evidence it looks like Jonathan also enjoyed it.

The rest of the day was spent talking at the house and solving all of the world's problems. What a great time we had with our son and what a wonderful opportunity to catch up.

He got away just before dark to ensure he could navigate the curvy 1.4 miles down from our house to Highway 77. From there it's a quick ride down to Lincoln and from there it's just over half an hour to Birmingham and a quick jaunt to his house in Homewood, Alabama.

We can't wait to do it again and it doesn't look like the wait is going to be very long since the plan is for all of us to get together on Easter weekend. And now to brace for another cold night with temps slated to drop just below freezing.

Hopefully this will be the end of winter.


MARCH 20, 2023

Cold 3

03/19/23 07:05 AM

Not much to say about today except it's too cold to snow!

Just got back from a run to Walmart for this weeks groceries. Went on Sunday instead of the usual Monday since Jonathan is coming for a lunch visit on Monday and since he's out this week for Spring Break.

Turned on my iPad last night and made my first trip to watch March Madness. I watched the first half of the Alabama(#1) and Maryland(#8) game and turned it off at 28 to 23 and the end of the first half with Alabama leading.

Defense was amazing and as a result it was a low scoring game. In fact, they went for several mintues at a time with no scoring taking place. Both teams had the shots but couldn't get them to drop in. Alabama won with a score of 73 to 51.

On the ham radio front, I sure am enjoying the update that was made to the antenna by Mike, our new handyman. For the record, I'm at 151 for the DXCC and number of countries/entities worked. I've worked 52% of my entities for Master of Oceania with 29 remaining, and 70% of my entities for Master of Africa with only 23 remaining.

It seems I've worked all of the low hanging fruit so things may slow down just a bit until I earn those two coveted awards. I guess that's what makes it fun and interesting.

More on Patty's Garden

MARCH 19, 2023


03/18/23 10:30 AM

I ran an errand today since I needed some pencil lead and erasers for my bible study. I'm headed to the book of Romans and on through the rest of the New Testament and plan to include some Old Testament reading in the books of Psalms and Proverbs and possibly some of the Old Testament Prophets as well.

I also picked up some stuff for Patty's garden from the Ohatchee Hardware store while I was out. Jordan waited on me at the hardware store and his father (Mike) is our new handyman. Nice to keep it in the family, LoL!

For Patty's garden, I picked up eight posts that are made to string runners up in the air upon which garden plants can climb. I also picked up some black wire that will be strung across the posts multiple times for the plants to have plenty of area for climbing.

It's going to have to get a bit warmer before I'm going to be able to install the plant climbing gear. And I'm sure it's going to need to be warmer before Patty is going to want to get out and plant things that will climb. As such, there's no big rush to get this project done.

Looks like we're headed for some very cold nights. The temps slated for the next three nights are 25, 22, and 25 respectively. That's brutal! In fact, I was quite unprepared for the temps I encountered out on my errands today.

What is it with me and short pants? Folks are going to think I have no long pants. I guess I need to start acting like I realize we don't live down on the Gulf of Mexico anymore.

I think I've shared this before, but I still find it funny when I wear shorts on a cold day and see the sign on the door at the Ohatchee Supermarket about not being allowed in if you are wearing inappropriate dress. I'm guessing that inappropriate for the wrong reasons doesn't count.


MARCH 18, 2023

Handy Man 3

03/17/23 11:15 AM

I've got a handyman coming by today and looking forward to 1) having him make adjustments to my ham antenna and 2) building a relationship with him to have him attend to some other needs.

It's raining today so his plan is to just drop by to meet us and to see what he's up against in terms of the roof climb and the antenna adjustment. He said if all looks good, he can probably do it tomorrow.

Of course, if it's not raining, I'm betting he will go ahead and make the climb while he's here today. It's a pretty safe looking part of the roof - not too high and no serious slope to contend with. We'll see.

I'm still pretty sore from all of the yard work we did yesterday in Patty's garden area. But it sure looks good and was well worth the effort.

I was pleasantly surprised that we were able to correct the raised beds problem we encountered. That was a lot of work, but the corrective measures we took should last indefinitely.

Speaking of yard work, it looks like it's getting close to time for Garrison and his team to come by and do a yard cut on the place. Hope all is well on his end and that they have no problem getting by to do the work.


03/17/23 06:35 PM

Well, our new handyan (Mike) came by this evening and, as I anticipated, was able to make the adjustments to the ham antenna for me and looked at some other things we want to get done and will send me a quote on those.

His price for tonight's work was more than fair, and I added some to it to make sure it was also fair in my mind based on his time and effort. Really looking forward to working with Mike as needs arise.

Jordan Peterson

MARCH 17, 2023

Jordan Peterson

03/16/23 11:10 AM

Patty shared a Jordan Peterson video with me. It was deep and at the same time it was profound. The video is located on YouTube under the title, 'Jordan Peterson's INCREDIBLE Journey To GOD | Heartbreaking Moments on His FAITH'

It seems to me that the big takeaway from the video was Jordan's opinion that we should be careful to claim Christianity unless we are fully living it out in our day-to-day.

That statement caused me to pause. Is that true, I asked myself. It's a big statement and a long way from anything I've ever considered. Why?

Well, my answer is that Jordan doesn't seem to have any concept of Grace in all of the things he's thinking and has shared. What he says truly appeals to something in each of us for it suggests we don't need Faith or Grace to walk this walk. We just need to live out what it is that we believe.

It really sounds good to me and appeals to something deep inside, but I fear it is wrong. We're all human. We repeatedly sin and repeatedly ask for forgiveness.

I'm not sure we are capable of living out what we believe. We can try, but even in our trying we are taking on a posture of Works and being good enough in our own strength. I think that misses Paul's point of grace.

I can see why there is a contingent of folks who don't buy in on what Paul had to offer. Minus what Paul says, we're all called to live out exactly what Jordan Peterson is speaking of. But can we really? That's my big question.

I'm not sure about everyone else but I often feel called to measure my goodness. It's an act that comes from the pride of doing what is right in one's mind and I have to believe that at it's root it comes from the sin of pride.

I have a lot still to chew on here, but that's where I stand at the moment.


MARCH 16, 2023


03/13/23 02:40 PM

Gabe-a-roo-skee is a master gamer. I had an opportunity to witness this up close and first hand during his visit to see us in Spanish Fort, Alabama. He took on 50 other players and beat them all. Amazing!

What I really enjoyed was watching him dance as he shot the other players. The excitement was mind-blowing.

Oh and Gabe is an amazing card player. He's almost unbeatable and if you plan to have money involved, you better plan on losing it because he is sure to win it from you. The picture above was taken during such a card playing episode with him and he was definitely the big winner. And don't let that big smile fool you either. Gabe is a winner.

I should also mention that Gabe is an amazing chef in the kitchen. He must have a keen eye for it and I'm told is a big help to anyone working on anything that involves food. One day I hope to sample some of his cuisine.

In keeping with his gaming skills, Gabe is an amazing Laser Tag player. When the guys all piled in the room, he went to taking people down one at a time and all I could hear was him screaming, 'Yeah baby!' It was way too funny!

Gabe is athletic and a true sportsman. I wouldn't be surprised to see him compete more and more at school as he gets older. And, he is a strong competitor and a sure bet for his competitive skills. I wouldn't want to face him for I'm sure he would be the winner in anything we played.

Last but not least, Gabe is a kind person who loves animals and all kinds of critters. At one point I think he had a white mouse and still catches things like lizards from his yard and crabs over at the ocean.

Way to go Gabe!


MARCH 15, 2023


03/13/23 02:15 PM

Noah is a fellow geek and I say that in the best way possible. His technical prowess is truly something to be admired.

He's a member of the robotics club at his school and a much sought-after expert on the computer. In fact, there's a rumor floating around that even his mom and dad seek his help from time to time, LoL!

Noah is also a musician and becoming an expert French Horn player as I'm told. It was told to me recently that he has a keen ear and can even get the right notes out of his horn with the wrong fingering. That's possible and it's quite an incredible accomplishment for those who can pull it off.

I would be quite remiss if I didn't mention that Noah is also a gentleman. I've witnessed this over and over again on video calls with the Snow family. He displays exceptional courtesy and it's a joy to see.

Oh, by the way, Noah is also a saver! He has saved up large sums of money over the years in an effort to purchase things like computers and cell phones.

And I'm told that when the snow family visits a hotel, he is able to set up an office on the table in the room and carry on his business just like he was at home. Now that's cool!

Oh, and speaking of his office at home, Noah has a big computer screen and gear attached to the ceiling so he can project his computer's image for anyone to see. That's also very cool.

Way to go Noah!

Pi Day!

MARCH 14, 2023

Pi Day 2

03/13/23 08:00 AM

It just wouldn't be right if I didn't stop and mention Pi Day. For us geeks it's an important day of the year.

I'm amazed and the number of people who celebrate it online. Seems there's a large contingent of serious geeks out there, LoL!

I also want to mention that Pi Day just happened to be my mom's birthday. Growing up I had no idea that this was the case. I guess my awareness of, and celebration of, Pi Day only took place after mom's passing.

She would have been celebrating her 94th birthday today if she had still been with us. Wow, that's 94 Pi Days. She was celebrating Pi Day before it was cool! Unfortunately, we lost her way too soon and at the young age of 69.

One other thing worth mentioning here is that last night I finally earned my Master of Asia award on the website. And now to turn my focus toward both the Master of Africa and the Master of Oceania. The Master of Oceania includes the locations in and around (and including) Australia and the Philippines.

Here's the chart I have been using to track my progress on those awards. The numbers represent contacts made to countries (actually entities - which include things like islands, etc.) associated with each area. The DXCC award is a much sought after award that recognizes contacts made with 100 countries/entities.

Master Awards

That new hexbeam has made all the difference with that effort. It's such a joy to be able to call a very distant station and have them respond to my call. In fact, it's just a plain joy to be able to even hear those stations. I never did before with my previous antenna configurations.

The news is also interesting these days. We've got a new and contending narrative for the January 6th story and we've got a Silicon Valley bank failure that seems to be up and coming along with now the possibility of other banks to follow suit.

Well, tomorrow I will start down the road to finish my series on family members with Noah on the 15th and then last, but certainly not least, Gabe on the 16th. I'm really looking forward to bragging on those two amazing grandsons.


03/14/23 03:35 PM

Just wrote some more code to track searches. I initially wrote code so that the system would send an email notification to me indicating a search had been performed, but it clearly took to long to send the email. So I changed the code to simply store the date of the search and the search string so that I can see when searches are performed and what is searched.


MARCH 13, 2023


03/12/23 08:20 AM

What an amazing addition to the DeLoach family Amy has turned out to be. We are so grateful for her and all that she brings to Jonathan and the family. Her father, Dennis, is just one more wonderful addition to the collection that Amy brings with her.

Amy is one smart cookie and has proven it over and over again with her job and her keen eye for adding that amazing and apparent touch to their house. Her artistic skills are just one more thing for which we are all amazed. It's clear that those skills are well grounded in an amazing layer of talent and artistic ability.

Amy's has a real love for people but also for animals as is evidenced by their two corgis and the former and beautiful cats they had (which have since grown old and passed away.)

Patty and I know what it's like to lose a pet and pray for Amy and Jonathan on that one. There's no way to describe or understand it except to say when you lose a pet that you love, you've lost a member of the family.

The story of how Amy and Jonathan met is far too long to share here, but suffice to say it's a beautiful story. It started out as a long-distance relationship with Amy located up in Nashua, NH and Jonathan down here in the southeast.

I wish I could have been a fly on the wall when Jonathan first flew up to meet her after a lengthy online courtship. From all that I've been told, it must have been a beautiful meeting. Just like out of a scene from a special Hallmark movie.

I'm so grateful that Amy and Jonathan met up, and I'm delighted with all that she brings to our family. She's a class act and we're all the better for it.


MARCH 12, 2023


03/10/23 07:05 PM

Josh was and still is a great addition to our family. I'm not good with the memorizing of details, but I think he and Allie met at a church down in the city of Savannah, Georgia. If memory serves me well (and it often does not) they were both at a church book table looking at the books when they met.

Speaking of my poor memory, I'm not much good with dates either. But I think Josh and Allie got married in 2008. I know it was May 10th only because that also happens to be Josh's birthday and I have that recorded on my cell phone calendar. Since May 10 falls on a Saturday in 2008, there's a good chance that I got that right. There's also a good chance I've botched this entire thing completely.

I had the wonderful privilege of meeting Josh in the Atlanta airport. He was passing through and came to ask for Allie's hand in marriage. What an honor that was and what a great job Allie did with finding a good man for her Mr. Right. I could tell quickly that Josh was going to be a great husband and a wonderful addition to our family, just as I mentioned earlier.

Josh runs deep and seems to have a close walk with the Lord. I'm so grateful for the wonderful example he has been to all of us. I'm particularly thankful to the Lord for providing someone so wise and special for Allie. He has proven himself an amazing husband, father, and did I mention an incredible son-in-law?

Josh is truly a man of adventure. And Allie and the boys seem to have enjoyed each and every moment of their incredible adventure with him. From the USA to Germany and on to the Marshall Islands.

Amazing! And the adventure seems to be far from over.

One day when we go to be with our Lord, I'm confident that Patty and I will rest easy knowing that Josh will be there to take care of Allie and to provide strong, wonderful, and amazing support for those awesome grandsons.

What a blessing he is to all of us!

Strengths and Weaknesses

MARCH 11, 2023

Strengths and Weaknesses

03/01/23 08:10 AM

I had planned to offer another blog post about one of the family members, but I had something on my heart that I wanted to share. And so, I will delay my previously shared plan for blog posts and offer this up.

One of the things for which I am grateful is that my parents did not have me labeled with trendy labels that try to explain why I am the way I am. They simply provided me time to discover that for myself.

One of the benefits of that approach was that I was able to discover for myself the strengths and weaknesses associated with whatever ailments I had. I wasn't part of a trend but was in a position to maximize my strengths and minimize my weaknesses. And that's exactly what I did.

I mention that because I pray it daily for my grandsons and have recently added it to my prayer list for everyone. God help us all to discover our strengths and weaknesses, no matter to what ailments they are related, and help us to maximize the strengths and minimize the weaknesses in our lives.

What a wonderful prayer and what a wonderful approach. It allows us to quietly turn our focus toward God and listen to his voice as he points out the things to which we need to give our attention. And it allows us to privately address matters and openly give God the glory for opening our eyes and helping us to see who we are and how God has wired us.

Lord, help each of us to discover our strengths and weaknesses and to maximize those strengths and minimize those weaknesses. Help us to bloom where we have been planted and to walk the walk for the journey that has been set before us.


MARCH 10, 2023

Jonathan Fishing

03/09/23 07:00 AM

What a joy and a blessing our son Jonathan has been in my life. He's been such an example to me of what I should have been to my parents. I don't believe a father could ask for more from a son.

As with Allie, it has been such a wonderful experience to watch him grow. His journey from childhood to manhood has truly been something to see. I can't imagine a father being more proud of all that a son has become or has accomplished including all of his marching band successes - especially winning the state title for the best 5A marching band in Alabama.

We took a few father and son fishing trips together and the memories that came from those outings will be with me forever. The long rides together and our interesting conversations were truly a joy to me.

And that goes for the quick trip up to Ohio for one of his indoor drumline competitions. That started a series of events that would ultimately lead to his move to Jacksonville State University. At the time, I couldn't even imagine that Patty and I would wind up living only a short distance from that school one day in our future.

The picture above is of one of our fishing jaunts across the street from where Patty and I lived at the time. We borrowed two of my neighbor's kayaks and went out in the marsh chasing the trout. I think Jonathan set the record that day with the one pictured above.

When he was very young, I could not have imagined that Jonathan would pass me and leave me in his dust as both a tennis player and a percussionist, not to mention other things that don't come to mind right now. He has become a student of life and living as can be seen in his hobbies and in his home and yard.

Whether it's a saltwater aquarium or the landscaping tools he has amassed, he shows a real zeal for understanding the nuances of all that he goes after.

I could not be more thankful for all that he has accomplished and all that I have learned from him. I'm grateful for all that God has done in him and in me through him.


MARCH 09, 2023

Allie 1a

03/08/23 10:55 AM

I couldn't be more proud of who Allie is, who she has become, and all that she has accomplished. I'm blown away at how well she has adopted and adapted to the new culture that she and Josh have developed.

To be honest, I'm also blown away at how much I have learned from her and the choices she has made. If you have a child who you think will marry but hasn't yet, prepare to have your horizons expanded and your eyes opened to new and refreshing ideas. Allie has been an amazing student of marriage.

Growing up, there was something very special about Allie. She was supportive in a way that's difficult to describe. She was loving beyond description. And she was a very determined young lady.

I can see that determination in so many things she has done and is doing including her rise to drum major in her high school and college bands, her current work on an MBA, and her plans to pursue a doctorate afterward.

Allie is also a doer and accomplishes anything to which she sets her mind including being a member of a professional Christian singing group and a member of the Dallas Symphony Chorus.

It is such a joy to see her when she sets out on a new adventure and takes on things (like moving to the Marshall Islands with kids in tow) that would scare this guy out of his mind.

Allie has had a real impact upon my life and the directions I have chosen for myself. I like the results that have come from that experience and I look forward to whatever God has in store to teach me through Allie's actions. I am indeed a proud dad of my beautiful, wonderful, and amazing daughter.

My Wife

MARCH 08, 2023

God and My Wife

03/07/23 04:20 PM

I'm amazed at some of the things God shows me. I'm even more amazed at the way he shows me so many things. How, you ask?

Patty has dropped little pearls of wisdom and I've let so many of them pass me by until I started realizing just how power-packed with wisdom so many of those tiny pearls really are. Tiny tidbits of wisdom delivered directly to me from God.

I used to think that her challenges were mostly things I would place in the Lady Stuff category. Boy, was I ever wrong!

And more interesting yet, the wisdom packed in those pearls more often escaped me because I just wasn't paying attention at the time. But some how or another, God helped me rewind her words at a later point and suddenly I was able to see the things upon which I've been missing out.

Yesterday's post was a good example. Being a perfectionist means I'm going to miss out on things until I get them to be perfect like I think they need to be.

Remember how I mentioned that I was going to have to wait until I hired a roof climber to get some much-needed antenna work done (so I could enjoy my radio?) Well, as I was doing what I could from the ground today the Lord brought Patty's words to mind. Things don't have to be perfect, she had told me.

When I pondered those words, I realized I could offer a repair on an item and delay any real need to hire a climber. I made the repair, it did what I needed it to do, and I was on the air using my good antenna.

As a result, I made 45 digital contacts, mostly in other countries, and including two new countries which I had never worked before. That's what I would call a really good ham radio day.

And all thanks to my wife's wisdom!


MARCH 07, 2023

Antenna and Me

03/07/23 06:25 AM

Well, I've decided to hold on to my hexbeam ham radio antenna. That means I'm going to need to find and hire a roof climber to do my much-needed antenna work.

My wonky state of affairs is not going to permit me to do that climbing as I used to do, so I'm going to have to hire a daring and dependable soul to take care of that need for me.

One cannot believe how much it grieves me not to be able to do that. But as my main man (my son) has often said, the juice is just not worth the squeeze.

It will be good to have a working and rotatable hexbeam once again but may take some time to get it back in working order. That's along with the other things we need to do to get this place in shape. The good news is that we're making great progress on those other things.

The Garden

MARCH 06, 2023


03/05/23 08:25 AM

Well, we've got the power outage behind us and are looking to see what we need to do moving forward. Looks like the garden is the next order of business.

Today we're going to put the six bags of garden soil in the last raised bed and then we need to plant some bushes along the fence line (closest to Bob and Pam's house) as well as some honeysuckle and rose vines.

I also need to pick up some things that the storm blew out into the yard and I think Patty has added some garden hose for the back yard to the Walmart order. She also wants to plant some of the raised beds with the seeds that she has been potting and starting in our garage.

They look very good and have grown like gangbusters so she's going to have the difficult job of thinning them out just a bit. I know that's going to be a tough one for her because she's not going to want to let go of anything that's been growing well. And I don't blame her.

More Winter?

MARCH 05, 2023

More Winter?

03/03/23 07:20 AM

A week from tomorrow, on Saturday February, 11th, Patty and I are meeting up with some of the neighbors to attend a house concert. The concert will be preceded by a potluck dinner and features guitarist, Shanna.

Oddly enough, later that night we're supposed to drop down below freezing again. Looks like winter has not finished doing its thing with us yet.


03/05/23 06:15 AM

Well, as usual the forecast has changed and there are no freezing or below freezing temperatures in the 10-day forecast. Maybe we really have said goodbye to those pesky freezing and below freezing temperatures!

We do however have a forecast for temperatures down in the upper 30's on several evenings. So I'm not sure we've really said goodbye to winter.


MARCH 04, 2023


03/04/23 05:20 PM

I guess we don't appreciate our power (electricity) until we don't have it. We had a big storm yesterday and it took our power for about 18 hours.

I was on the treadmill in our gym (which is actually a storm shelter) and I was holding my breath, as the storm moved in, that the treadmill wasn't going to stop and leave me in pitch black dark.

Got to the last tenth of a mile and then I finished and stepped off the treadmill to find myself in the darkest day. The lights came on just long enough for me to find my way out and then the power went out completely and stayed off.

Last night was a candle type of night with no TV, internet, computer, ham radios, or anything I would usually turn to for entertainment. It was a quiet night with a lot of thinking.

It's been an eventful day today including a trip over to Attalla to pick up some dirt and drop by a hotel to sneak in a shower. It's so nice to have power and internet back! Time to catch up on things!

More Weather

MARCH 03, 2023


03/02/23 10:40 AM

Well, it looks like the big event for today (Thursday) is the weather. We're staying tucked in and out of it since the rain seems to be all around us.

More rain tomorrow and then Saturday and Sunday look to be nice, sunny days. I suppose by the time they get here, I'll be ready.

Only one more garden raised bed to fill with garden soil and then on to the fence for bushes, border, landscape fabric, and some kind of mulch filler. We've got the bushes and need to get them in the ground, no matter what the upcoming weather looks like.


03/03/23 10:25 AM


Speaking of what the weather looks like, here's a shot (above) of what we're expecting later today (Friday) around 1:00 PM.

Looks like we're really in for it.

The Solution: A Coax Jumper Cable

MARCH 02, 2023

Coax Jumper Cable

03/01/23 01:30 PM

Well, that was a painful lesson.

I was so confident that I had isolated the problem to my IC 7600 radio that I sent it back to ICOM for repairs. And guess what? They sent it back to me indicating it was in good working order.

I had clearly proven the problem was not related to the antenna, but I had only made assumptions for the other things, believing those things could not possibly cause the problem I was facing. And now, I had to delve further into the debugging process.

I swapped out my external tuner in favor of the internal tuner. After doing that, I still had a problem. What I didn't know was I had a very different problem (and it would wind up proving to be a user problem.)

Well, in an effort to further debug the problem and before isolating my problem to my tuner I figured it would probably be wise to rule out the coax jumper cable that connected my IC 7600 and the external tuner.

As it turns out, that coax was the problem! A quick cable swap and all started working correctly as it had before.

What a shock and what a painful lesson learned. I was so sure that a cable that was always inside (and never touched or subject to the outside elements) could never develop a problem.

Wow, was I ever wrong.

New Month

MARCH 01, 2023

Dead Wood

03/01/23 08:50AM

Well, it's a new month and that means it's time to make the monthly changes to the blog. I've reduced some of the work-load so it's taking a bit of time to remember what I need to do and what I don't need to do. No big deal.

Today is also a big day because my ham radio is scheduled to arrilve today. It's being shipped via Fedex from Icom Repair and hopefully all is good now.

I also just heard back from Garrison and they are coming by this evening to finish the big job that they started a week ago. I hope they have room to tote off the extra leaves that Patty and I bagged up. Really looking forward to having that dead wood cleared away from the back lot. (Pictured above)


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