R.I.P. Davy Jones

More important people have died lately, including my friend Megan’s grandmother, but I didn’t think Davy Jones was that old. It doesn’t help that I’ve been almost sick lately and went to the gym and just kind of flopped around. Funny how tired a guy can get even without doing much of anything all week.

I’m getting excited about the DX contest on the radio this weekend. That just means a lot of people will be on the radio from all over the world. I participate in a weird branch of a weird hobby, trying to talk to as many countries as possible. Plus I’m a little hampered by the antenna I have, which is a 3-foot loop on the garage rather than some huge aluminum monstrosity on a tower. Oh, how I wish I could have a huge aluminum monstrosity on a tower sometimes. But this is like fishing and it’s only that much better when you get to do something a little out-of-the-ordinary. If the fish just jumped onto your hook, what fun would that be?

Feeling crap-diddly-doodly.

After I got home from work I started to feel kind of craptacular. I felt so puny that I decided to skip going to the gym and, like always, started wondering if I was just being lazy. But I didn’t even feel like turning on my radio and that, to me, meant I was probably might have been a little under the weather. I didn’t even feel like eating dinner. My sister thinks it’s hay fever and if I’m lucky that’s all it is.

Of course, even better, instead of going to sleep I’m having to figure out why Google Chrome is asking for permission to use all my passwords. Is it time to delete everything and start over? Argh.

Today I am a man.

This is the one day a year I can prove that I’m not gay: I’m not watching the Academy Awards and I’m not attending an Academy Awards party. I suppose that could also mean that I’m gay and unpopular, but I’m not having that, either. The other day there was an LGBT soirée next door to the gym and a friend who is “L” and I discussed whether the inclusiveness was proper there. I think it she told me LGBT wasn’t enough and the new proper term was LGBTQQ where the second “Q” stood for “questioning”. My question was who is doing the questioning; would it be me or is it the people around me?

Besides, I’m still on track to gain 130 pounds and get a combover for my hobby. I spoke to five countries (US, Alaska – it counts separately for radio, Japan, Korea, and France) and two new states including one new rare state (South Dakota) this weekend. That’s 40 out of 50 states I’ve talked to.

So what have we learned here? Most likely not gay and very, very dull.

My goofy loop antenna is working!

I’m not sure if there’s not that many people on the radio (most likely) or if the antenna doesn’t work that well (also likely) but I just talked to Troy, NY on 40M. That’s actually quite a rarity for me. I also was too chicken to send any Morse code but I heard a guy in Chicago and a guy in Hungary sending Morse code that I could barely decipher. My code speed is pretty slow.

Sounds like the antenna works and I need to wire up all the gizmos so I can send Morse code as well. Oh dear, this could be a huge time investment, couldn’t it? So much for getting any sleep.

Monday is not the day for Asian food.

I think it’s traditional for Chinese restaurants to be closed on Monday and it seems like Korean restaurants are following suit. I had the day off, as did my sister, and we took our mom on a Costco run. We figured we’d go to a Korean restaurant we like but it was closed, as were my second and third suggestions. We ended up at a Korean restaurant that was supposed to be good (and it was very good) but it took TWO HOURS to get out of there. We only saw one waiter and one busboy, and I wonder if they were both doing the cooking as well. The food was actually really fresh and if it weren’t for the wait I’d recommend it. I think it goes on my list of places that are too big a pain in the ass to eat at, like Apizza Scholls, Screen Door, and anywhere else I have to wait two hours to get a seat.

I will admit we were seated the whole time and were able to watch something called “Pop Star” that looked like “Korean Idol” and a dating show where the unlucky guys were thrown into a pool, but if someone told me how long it would be I would have found another place to eat.

Hooray ham radio.

I went to a ham radio swap meet for the first time in years today. For the past several years I’ve been choosing to go to the gym instead of driving to a dusty fairgrounds to see the same junk being sold by the same people. The junk tends to move from owner to owner, but it always seems like the same stuff. I really just go to talk to the “old-timers”, the friends I only see a few times a year at some excuse for a ham radio gathering. This time I spent several hundred dollars on power cabling and tools, but everything I bought was new though the big draw of the swap meet is the older pre-used stuff. In any case, it was fun and I did stay to say hello to a lot of people I know.

I guess the big news is that I did punt going to the gym today. It’s mainly because I realized that I’m not sure why I work so hard to say fit. My New Years resolution is to do more ham radio, and that means I have to gain several hundred pounds and get a comb-over to fit in. The gym is counter to those goals.

Stupid Valentimes day.

So, how romantic can I get? I read a comic book series that fell off the intarwebs onto my hard drive, I watched <b>Comic Book Men</b> on AMC, and then watched <b>How I Met Your Mother</b> ’cause it was on my DVR. Sorta romantical, innit?

I’m on a couple of dating sites. The more legitimate one keeps sending me women who don’t exist and are probably wanting me to send money to Nigeria. The other one has matched me up with lesbians in the past, but recently it matched me up with a woman who said, “I won’t date anyone shorter than me.” This made me think a bit. How nice to have one thing to be measured against and I wonder how I fare. She says she’s 5’10”, but is she rounding up? I’m sort of 5’9½”, but that’s just between what I probably am in the morning and what I probably am at night. And the last time the doctor measured me (the most official measurement, probably), I took my shoes off and it told me I was 5’8½”. (Of course I wasn’t having any of that and I got out a book and a tape measure when I got home and was just over 5’9″.)

But honestly, how nice to have something like linear me sure to use to weed me out before I get turned down because of some personal failings. She probably doesn’t like Asians either, but whatever.

Sticking with my old hobby.

Got some more things in today and while I should probably inventory the $500 of connectors I ordered to make sure everything is right, I decided to put together the kit that sends Morse code from a USB connection.At least it cheered me up a bit.

Not really sure why I’ve been so cranky for the last couple of weeks. Can’t be because of February 14th, the birthday of the great state of Oregon or the fake dating emails I’ve been getting which appear to originate in Nigeria. Come to think of it, I’m not sure I’ve ever talked to Nigeria on the radio. I wonder if I can somehow convince one of the fake prospective dates into talking to me on the radio and then sending me a card to confirm the contact? Probably not.

I need a new hobby.

Now I have two tripods, one rotator, three antennas, and nothing on the air. One tripod is on the garage roof, the other is in the backyard holding up an antenna. Two of the antennas are in the garage. I spent the weekend putting together the other one which turned out to be much larger than I was expecting. It’s taking up most of the backyard. I really just need to have SOMETHING up and connected to my radio, but nothing is “up” and I still don’t have enough cable to hook anything together.

So, lots of work done this weekend but nothing finished means I don’t get to play radio yet.

Crankity crank.

I’ve been feeling especially cranky this week and not quite sure why. I wonder if it’s low blood sugar. I honestly am not sure if it has to do with the itchiness and the stuffed head I have from what is possibly hay fever. It’s been nice and in the 50’s and plants are starting to bloom. Maybe it’s football withdrawal. I don’t know.

I just realized that my midlife crisis car could possibly be a Toyota Prius. How pathetic is that?

Water, water, everywhere.

I drink a bunch of water after I go to the gym which is kind of a bad idea because I go to the gym in the evening. This usually means I wake up in the middle of the night wanting to go to the bathroom. It’s not far, and it’s not uncomfortable, so most of the time I get up but not always. Last night, though, I was having dreams about going to the bathroom before I woke up having to go to the bathroom. I don’t remember this sort of thing happening since I was seven- or eight-years-old. Fortunately, the dream didn’t actually mean I was really going to the bathroom since that would have been the rubber-sheets sort of mess that I should have outgrown decades ago and shouldn’t have to revisit until I’m in my 80’s or something.

Wow, I’m pretty tired tonight. So tired that I don’t feel like getting up and going to bed. I just want to sit here and stare at the screen which won’t do me much good tomorrow. Bed time!

Yay, connectors!

My boss (also an old ham radio buddy if you haven’t been paying attention) came in with connectors for the cable he gave me, so now it’s time to get one of my antennas up and running! Unfortunately, I left the connectors at work. It’s just as well since I shouldn’t try getting it done before the weekend. Standing on the roof in the dark is something I should give up since I’m older and it’ll take me longer to heal than when I was starting out playing with radios THIRTY FOUR YEARS AGO.

And I made it in to the gym but that was kind of iffy at first. I didn’t sleep well because my stomach was churning all night and then it started grumbling again in the afternoon. Nothing odd happened at the gym, though, and I felt better running around the building than I usually do. Probably because it was close to 50°F outside. They had the heat cranked up to about 90°F in the gym for yoga and I was complaining until I realized this is the way it is in the summer only backwards (cold inside, hot outside). The worst part was I was standing under a vent when they cranked the heat up. Honestly, yoga is not my friend.