Another nice day, and one gone way too fast. Started early again (I’m going to try to go to sleep early tonight.. again.. yet it’s already ten forty nine, so we’ll see,) and that’s okay with me. I got used to rising with the sun this year and it’s as good of a schedule to keep as any other. I really do need to work on getting to bed sooner though, as I think an extra hour or two of sleep would do me good.
One really great thing about today, is that I was not tested. “I am a calm and patient person”, has been a been a manta of sorts for me this year and for good reason. Both are traits I desire to have more of, so I try to reinforce the amount of calm and patience that I do have. For me at least, it’s more effective than telling myself I need to “be” calm and patient, implying that I am not calm and patient. In any case, I did not need to try to be patient. I didn’t need to be patient at all.
After a lot of deliberation, I finally re-ordered Comcast Xfinity Internet service for the homestead yesterday, which was great- better of course would be receiving and using it, in one to three days. Also my replacement credit card was ordered yesterday and expedited in case an urgent need came up. Usually, this would leave me checking and rechecking tracking pages for days. I may be a touch better at this now than in years past, but not by much.
Up and downstairs by eight I went to work on the HF radio. Tuning the antennas for each band and setting up the software to control the digital modes. I logged back into my QRZ account and restarting my subscription status to download my previous contacts (almost ten thousand confirmed radio contacts,) and importing that data in WSJT-X. I try to be efficient with my radio power. Rather than contacting every station I can hear, the software filters stations from Countries I’ve already contacted.
Having confirmed contacts with one hundred and forty seven countries, my radio mostly monitors all day waiting to hear new traffic. Now, just because I can’t hear them doesn’t mean there aren’t thousands of hams on the other side of the the world. HF radio, which means High Frequency, is a misnomer as the bands were named a long time ago when these frequencies (one to fifty megahertz) were considered such, now we know they are relatively low. HF frequencies “can” travel all the way around the world though they don’t do that at all times.
These frequencies are low enough to be reflected off the ionosphere, which is what enables them to travel so far. The radio waves bounce back and forth sometimes many times before reaching the destination. Any changes in the ionosphere altering the height and density of charged particles, will affect how much, how far, and in which directions your radio waves may travel- and that same path (a mirrored reflection) will carry waves from that location exactly back to yours.
With some knowledge of key variables (mostly solar) and a selection of radio bands- it is said that if you have the right antenna’s it is alway possible to reach any location on earth (and some locations not on earth.) Of course “the right antennas” can easily get up to the hundreds of thousands of dollars. Similar to airplanes, a lot of rich old men like to play with radios. Three paragraphs already– that’s how three or four hours passed this morning. Quickly.
Last night I had gotten an email- a scheduled shipment so this morning I wasn’t very alerted by a Fedex text saying my package was out for delivery. Busy with the radios I didn’t pay it much attention at all. An hour or two later while in my inbox I noticed the UPS tracking email again. Wait.. UPS and Fedex, it threw me for a loop for a second as I checked back and forth. Both packages were coming today. While I waited, I went downstairs and fished the coax up through a vent behind the standing desk.
Fedex won the race and Comcast by extension. I had the wifi router installed and online within twenty four hours of ordering it on their website. Yesterday I’d also noticed they have very competitive cell plans too, if wrapped in their bundle. I have a feeling I’ll check that out more tomorrow. For now I am glad to have high speed. I’m glad to know I can standup with my laptop in one hand without being worried about a dangling tethered cell phone hanging from it.
Side note: If Mac’s are so cool with the mag mount power cord, why haven’t they made a “USB-M” yet? You know, just like a USB-C except magnetically detachable?
Where was I? Internet, it is good. I know my desktop is connected, and tomorrow I’ll get the solar monitor server back online. I’m also planning on documenting my process for a post or two. These tasks I do for myself can also be marketed and sold out to others. Maybe instead of computers and networks I can move on to solar systems? If I go back into IT, I could focus ONLY (I scream to myself, ONLY) on websites, hosting, servers and other remote tasks. Maybe that is the part of my old business I need to drop- the onsite part.
Another hour or two passed with the Internet and a Flex- my first time with one of those. Just like any Roku or Smart TV device, it plugs in with HDMI to very big yet very dumb TV. It was free after a one time fee, and having some free streaming movies would be a nice supplement to the free Digital OTA TV I get (about twenty channels.) I connected it last, not much excited about it. Once the remotes were paired I went about clicking through the menus. It’s got game.
Many games in fact, and the best kind too: Atari games, Breaker, Pong. People, this Flex device even has the game, the best console game to be, Tetris. A good original Tetris. For free. Time to sell the Xbox. I’ve seen these offered for years, I’m glad I tried it. Definitely worth the fifteen bucks. By then I was wondering where the next package was and went to look out the front door window. Looking down to the porch, there it was- the driver had snuck it up there.
Now what to do. Long last the options were open, with a CC in hand, I could do- nothing responsible. I halted my thoughts. They kept going. I ended up heading to the Paka Plaza (call it the Crossing if you want,) for a massage. Ha. I’m laughing. I went back and forth on the cane, having considered before walking out the door automatically. I left it and headed out. Once I parked and got there the massage place was closed, photo so I won’t forget the hours next time (or where I wrote them down.. ahh, see now the purpose of this site?)
I pondered. Obviously long enough to take a photo. Then decided to walk. Right down the pink line. (If you know you know.) I can’t remember the distance off hand and the slopes are gentle, yet long. It was a good walk. I didn’t track it, just trying to walk naturally, lifting my knee and trying to let my foot fall properly while trying to keep a steady cadence.
Maybe I shouldn’t be so self conscious and it is hard to go out in public. Walking down the corridor, I saw my reflection in the glass. My walking didn’t look as bad as I thought or as bad as it feels. The muscles are getting stronger and I’m using more of my foot- and the threads of muscles that are connected through my calf and thigh. It seems like– ahh, I’ll stop. Trying to draw some analogy to indicate my knowledge I guess.
Other news.. hmm getting into the second bedroom yesterday made me think about it. I have a whole second room. What do I need that for? So I’m thinking about renting it. Or at least using it for something. I could always start indoor gardening. And then I think and I think. Is that something I want to do and write about? If I don’t want to write about it, maybe I shouldn’t do it? Legal or not.
Let’s see what tomorrow brings.
Time to rest.