Sat Jun 19 2021 8:36PM - It seems days are either busy or boring here lately with boring dominating. Today was one. I did get in quite a bit of walking which is a good thing. I also sat in the park a couple times and did some thinking. It's a nice place to just sit and think and play some games on my phone.
Tonight I thought I'd get a QSO in the WV QSO Party, but didn't even hear any WV stations. Maybe I looked at the contest calendar wrong. HI I do a lot of things like that lately. Let's just check myself. Well, the WA7BNM calendar says the WV Party runs from 1600Z on the 19th through 0400Z on the 20th. According to my thinking, we should be in that time frame right now unless I've completely lost it. HI Anyway I did work W2CW on 40 for the streak. -30-
Fri Jun 18 2021 8:47PM - A very nice weather day. I went for several walks and sat in the park at least 3-4 times.
My QSO tonight was a mini rag chew with Ron SP8ARY on 20 meters. 20 was very good tonight both short and long skip. K3WW in East PA was well over S9 in the AA contest. I called CQ on 20 after the SP QSO and got an answer from a S9 station. Only thing was that after he sent a strong letter N, he stopped. Maybe he blew a power supply or something? I also heard a strong K2PHD on 17 meters, but he didn't hear me at all. -30-
Thu Jun 17 2021 9:06PM - It's late and not much to report anyway, so I'll just say my streak QSO tonight was with Tony N2ATB on 40. -30-
Wed Jun 16 2021 8:24PM - A nice cool sunny day today. My La Crosse weather remote shows a high of just 74 after a low of 47 early this morning. I went for a few walks and sat in the park a couple times. My friend Jasmine cut the grass in my backyard this morning. My garden friend Ange planted some peppers today. He's gotten a late start this year and is cutting back a lot in the number of plants. -30-
Tue Jun 15 2021 9:11PM - Thanks to my Apple Watch alarm for reminding me of our NAQCC mW sprint. I made 3 contacts as conditions were good enough to bring the mW signals above my noise level.
This was another good day. I had a short visit with Jasmine and that always brightens up an otherwise so-so day. The weather was nice - cool and breezy with low humidity. Great to sit in the park and feel good. -30-
Mon Jun 14 2021 9:02PM - As usual, a good day with Mike. We had fun on the sub although we only made 4 QSOs. It wasn't for lack of trying. We figured we called about 180 CQs per hour and we operated from about 1430 to 1900Z with one hour off while they cleaned the sub for any signs of Covid19. That's around 630 unanswered CQs. Where was everybody?
We took a nice walk during the hour long break over to the Pirates ballpark and also ate the sandwiches we brought. We had to shut down around 1900Z because of severe weather in the area. So we decided to just end our operation then, and head home. We stopped at Walmart and Dollar Tree to get some goods. Then at Wendy's for a meal. Home to eat the meal, watch an episode of Hitch Hiker's Guide to the Galaxy, and then we went to watch the Elks Flag Day Ceremony.
All in all, a busy enjoyable day. -30-
Sun Jun 13 2021 7:37PM - I'm writing this a bit early tonight because I got the info from Mike about our subpedition to the Requin tomorrow. He posted that we'll be operating from 1400-1800Z or later if activity warrants. We'll be on the usual QRP frequencies or close by on 40, 30, and 20, one band at a time as activity warrants. If it's like D-Day that will mean mostly on 20 meters. We'll use the sub call of NY3EC. Hope to work you. Remember don't give up if you don't hear us at first. Try later as conditions can change drastically in an hour or so.
It was a good day otherwise. My neighbors, Jasmine's aunts cooked an 11 pound ham for me as it was too big for my kitchen equipment. I said if they'd do it, I'd give them 2/3 or so of it and I'd take the rest. As a further "reward" for doing it, I'd fix a big bowl of sweet potatoes to go along with their share. I was sitting on the porch when Jasmine came out with the ham and brought it over. The arrangement got a bit confusing as she brought the whole ham over instead of just my 1/3. I said to her let's go over and figure this out. Krystal didn't know about my promising them 2/3 of the ham for cooking it. Jasmine meanwhile went out to help Donna set up a big picnic table. I went out and helped them with that. Then Jasmine and I went over and got the 2/3 ham and sweet potatoes and took them over to her home. When I came back home, I tried the ham and it was cooked to perfection. Much better than I could have done, I'm sure. Plus I got to spend a little time with my friend Jasmine.
Now I'm doing my laundry to get it out of the way so I won't have to do it tomorrow. Then at 0000Z I'll go and hopefully get a quick QSO in the SST sprint. -30-
Sat Jun 12 2021 8:46PM - A quiet pretty much nothing day today. Some walks and a couple sit in the parks. Not much else.
Well, I did get an email from my friend Lane offering me a noise canceller for the postage to send it here. Perhaps that will help with my noise problems here. Thanks Lane.
Also my neighbor and I made some french fries this afternoon. So it wasn't really a nothing day, just close. HI -30-
Fri Jun 11 2021 8:28PM - Nice to work old friend Dan KB6NU on 30 for my streak QSO tonight. We've worked many times, but it's been a while since the last QSO. We talked about getting ready for FD among other things.
Looking forward to Monday when Mike and I make another trip to the Requin. Looks like good weather. I'll see what Mike is going to post about the subpedition and repeat the info here tomorrow or Sunday.
It was a good day all around today. My friend Jasmine had her last half day of school for this year, and we had a mini party and a nice long visit on my front porch. That was nice because she is a very busy girl and we don't get all that much time to talk.
I just looked to see if we're going to have another nice sunset, but there aren't too many clouds so I don't think so. -30-
Thu Jun 10 2021 8:06PM - Another quiet day with nothing much happening. Just some walking, sitting in the park, and playing games on my smart phone sums up the day. I'm hoping for something better tomorrow if it comes to pass. I don't know though. Stay tuned for further developments. HI. -30-
Wed Jun 9 2021 9:16PM - Yes, 9:16PM. I was outside taking pictures of a beautiful sunset. It's too late to edit and post them tonight, but maybe tomorrow night.
This was a great day as many of them have been of late. This one was a little more special since I heard from a couple of my fellow WPIT workers from so long ago. Well about 30+ years to be more precise. Dick and Karen McGraw exchanged emails with me. It was just so great to hear from them and even greater to hear that they are doing well.
I am running late so I'll close here and continue tomorrow night. -30-
Tue Jun 8 2021 8:39PM - I'm just thinking as I'm typing. When I saw Jasmine after school today and asked her about her day, she thought a minute, gave a little laugh, and said she didn't remember. I'm the same way right now. It was a good day, but can't really remember anything specific. HI Two minds thinking (or not) alike.
I worked DX for the third evening in a row. Tonight it was OH0Z on 20M. He had quite a pileup, but I broke through after 4-5 minutes. I have a good path to that area on 20 late in the day. Then I got my one QSO in the NAQCC sprint later in WB9HFK on 40. -30-
Mon Jun 7 2021 8:41PM - I worked my Swiss friend Andy HB9CVQ on 20M for my streak QSO. I hadn't worked him in a while and maybe that's a sign that propagation is picking up again.
Other than that it was a pretty quiet day. One of the couple of highlights was a nice long phone call with Tom WY3H. We must have talked for 45-60 minutes about a wide variety of topics. It was good to talk like that again. Tom is recovering nicely from his latest health problems and may even be going back to work next week.
It was a warm humid day. Not oppressive, but not overly comfortable either. I did a couple good walks and sat in the park for a while. -30-
Sun Jun 6 2021 7:30PM - I hope you all had a good D-Day and celebrated it appropriately. Mike and I operated from the USS Requin in Pittsburgh for about 5 hours helping out Art of the ship with the Museum Ships Weekend Activity. After a very slow start the first hour with only 1 QSO on 40M, we went to 20 meters and activity picked up dramatically. For the last 4 hours with a 1 hour break to clean the sub of any possible Covid residue, those 3 hours provided 42 more QSOs for a total of 43 pretty much evenly divided between Mike and me. A rough count showed me with 21 and Mike with 22. We worked a nice variety of states plus Puerto Rico in our QSOs. Maybe I'll make a more accurate count later.
As always we had some great interaction with visitors to the sub. I remember one interesting coincidence. Mike had just worked a YL (Barb) from TX when a cute young girl came by and I told her in response to her question about what or how we were doing that we just worked a Barb from TX. She said she was from TX also and I asked her name. She was Caitlyn if I remember correctly in the noise from the crowds.
As usual, we had a lot of fun kibitzing with Art who spent a lot of time with us this time. Also with the helper tour hosts. One girl reminded me of someone from Kittanning whom I just couldn't place, and still can't. I told the girl this and she asked if she was a good girl. I said yes, and she said she'd consider it a compliment then.
On the way home for some reason I got hungry for a milkshake so we stopped and each got a large chocolate milkshake, my treat. Boy, was that good! I hadn't had a DQ milkshake in a very long time.
We ran QRO power from the sub since it wasn't a QRP activity and we were just helping Art out for the MSW Event. Next Monday we will be going back to the sub and doing our usual QRP subpedition. Mike is going to try to drum up some business for us by posting info to the NAQCC and maybe other places. Plus I'll have the schedule here in the diary also. Hope we can work you Monday. -30-
Sat Jun 5 2021 8:12PM - Still nothing much new here. That will change tomorrow though as Mike and I are going to operate from the Requin to help Art out in the Museum Ships on the Air Event.
I got all my LoTW matches logged today, so that is caught up now. I worked XE1CT for my streak QSO this evening. BTW if I figured right today, my streak will reach 10,000 days on December 20 this year. -30-
Fri Jun 4 2021 8:10PM - Again not much to write about. I guess I'm kinda in the doldrums here. I did get all my eQSLs logged that I got from my May eQSL logs. Maybe tomorrow I'll do the LoTW ones. I got some DX for my streak QSO tonight - TM6KJS on Iota EU-068 on 20 meters. Just took two calls to get him. Nice to be getting some DX again.
Probably if I would devote more time to chasing DX, I could get much more, but the desire is just not there like it used to be. Too many other interests in life and too much to think about. Getting my streak QSO each day is about the limit of my desire to get on the air. Unless Mike is here and we do a contest together. That fires up my interest for sure. -30-
Thu Jun 3 2021 8:27PM - I finally got my May logs uploaded to LoTW and eQSL today. Now I have the chore of checking and seeing how many matches they made. Probably quite a few from the CQWPX contest, I would imagine.
Today Jun 3 marked day # 9,800 in my streak, and I got my QSO for the 4th (UTC) so that means 199 days to go for 10,000 days. Whew, have I been doing it this long? Where does the time go???
It was a pretty good day today all around. The weather was pretty good although some showers now and then. It was a bit humid, but nice for walking and sitting on the porch. -30-
Wed Jun 2 2021 8:23PM - Kind of a quiet day today after a busy couple days, so not much to write about. Actually I could have uploaded my May logs to LoTW and eQSL, but I didn't even do that on this lazy day. HI. I worked Pierre VE2PID again tonight this time via a remote station down in GA. -30-
Tue Jun 1 2021 8:36PM - A busy day doing the end of month / first of month chores. I think I'm caught up now except for uploading my May QSOs to LoTW and eQSL which I'll do later tonight or tomorrow.
A special event station extended my streak this evening. It was VX31IGY. Look it up on QRZ to find out what the special event was. -30-
Mon May 31 2021 8:21PM - A down and up day this Memorial Day. Down early because my friend wasn't able to make it to see the parade with me. Good later because she came and sat on the porch with me for quite a while this evening. We had a nice long QSO. When she left, I thanked her for the QSO and explained the ham meaning of QSO.
The bands didn't seem all that good this evening, but 20 was open pretty good after 0000Z. I worked W8NIC in MI on rather short skip for 20 so late in the day.
Of course this is the end of the month day and I didn't get any of my EOM chores done at all. So tomorrow will be a doubly busy day with the added first of the month chores as well. -30-
Sun May 30 2021 9:17PM - I had some things (good) happen today that I could write about, but it's late now so I'll have to pass them by, for the most part. I will say that I've got things set up for going to the Memorial Day parade here in town tomorrow morning. I usually watch it alone, but a friend is going with me tomorrow which will make it even better.
As usual I used the SST for my QSO this Sunday evening. Tonight it was VE3NRT Chris.
OK, gotta run now. Maybe I'll have that report on the CQWPX Contest tomorrow. -30-
Sat May 29 2021 10:26PM - As usual a great day with Mike visiting. The main purpose of the visit was to do the CQWPX contest. It was a pleasure to find the bands in great shape. At first we had trouble working DX, but a little later things really opened up to Europe and we worked probably some 30 EU stations each as deep into EU as LY and UR. I was really surprised at working the UR station fairly easily. I have yet to analyze the results. When I do, I'll have a more accurate report here in the diary. We did work stations on all 3 higher bands 20, 15, and even 10 meters.
Otherwise we ran my train for a while, played some games on our smart phones, and of course had a meal from Wendy's. We also did some indoor walking for exercise. -30-
Fri May 28 2021 8:34PM - It was kind of a depressing day today with plenty of rain showers and a gloomy look. It may be that way tomorrow also, but at least Mike will be here and that will make things better. We plan to do a tag team effort in the CQWPX contest and those are always fun. Unless Mike got some QSOs this evening, I'll be one up on him as I worked KY4NA in the contest for my streak QSO. HI -30-
Thu May 27 2021 8:33PM- I talked to my friend Tom Mitchell WY3H today. I was delighted to hear his voice since he underwent a very serious operation a couple weeks ago and I hadn't been able to get any news about him. He is in a rehab center now and recovering well.
Another good day in the streak here. Weather was nice and I took a couple good walks and sat in the park for a while as well. My neighbor Donna (Jasmine's aunt) cut my grass for me today and I was talking with her for a while.
As I've been doing for several days now, I have been dog-sitting Roscoe while the Therapist/Nurse visits Bruce since Roscoe won't be quiet while she is there.
N9FGC was my streak QSO tonight on 40 meters. The bands condinue to be good and the QSO has been coming easily for some time now. -30-
Wed May 26 2021 8:23PM - Another pretty good day today despite some heat/humidity followed by rain. Now nice and cool and will remain so the next few days. Just waiting on delivery of a couple subs, not the marine vessel, but the sandwich. HI So I'll keep this short. Had another 0000Z streak QSO tonight from K2HYD down in VA. -30-
Tue May 25 2021 8:52PM - After yesterday, a following day pales by comparison, but today was still very good. It was quite warm and humid and a bit on the uncomfortable side, but..... It was really a Roscoe day. Bruce and I took him to the groomers early this afternoon then while he was there we drove to the vets to pick up his regular heartworm and flea/tick medicine. Just as we got home or shortly after, Jasmine was getting home from school so I visited with her for a few minutes befor she had to get to her chores.
Tonight I worked Wayne WA9VEE whom I hadn't worked in a few years. I used to work him regularly in our NAQCC sprints when I was more active in them. -30-
Mon May 24 2021 8:47PM - An absolutely great birthday for old John today. It really couldn't have turned out better. I could write a book, but I won't bore you with that. I just want to talk about the highlights and thank those responsible.
Mike arrived sometime around 9:45-10:00AM and we chatted a while waiting for the rain to stop. When it did, we walked down to the river to do some fishing. We didn't catch anything. I had a couple quick hard hits, but the fish were gone before they had a chance to be hooked. Then we came home and went to get something to eat from Wendy's. After that we went to pick up a half dozen cupcakes for a little something I had planned.
My birthminute is at 3:21PM and every year I try to have someone special with me at that time. This year I arranged it so both Mike and Jasmine were with me. We spent a great 15 minutes or so together.It was so nice to have them both there to share it with me this year.
Shortly after that My neighbor Bruce had an ice cream cake for me for a second following party. Before when Jasmine was here I told her to expect some cake later. The cupcakes were just interim goodies. So I took the remainder of the ice cream cake over to her, Donna, and Jasmine. After that hectic activity, Mike and I just sat in my parlor talking and playing with our smart phones till he had to head north to his home.
To close, thanks to Mike, Jasmine, Bruce, Jeff, Roscoe, Donna, and Krystal for making this birthday a very memorable one.
Ham radio? Yes, my streak QSO tonight was a repeat of a QSO from 4 days ago with VE2PID/W8. -30-
Sun May 23 2021 8:11PM - A real nothing day today. I pretty much just sat around and studied and played with my smart phone and smart watch. Well, I guess actually that is something. That watch is a pretty neat little device. Reminds me of the old Dick Tracy wrist radio in the comic strips except this one is thousands of times more advanced. HI. -30-
Sat May 22 2021 8:14PM - This was a great fun day. My smart watch got delivered sometime around noon. Whenever it was, I spent a half hour or so feeling stupid trying to figure it out. Things did become clear after a while though and I got a pretty decent grip on it. It's a really neat device and works well with my smart phone. My friend Jasmine was busy most of the day, but I finally did get to spend a nice session with her this evening comparing our smart watches and phones. We both learned a little from each other, but she is still ahead of me in knowledge. That pretty much occupied my whole day until just a little while ago.
My streak QSO was a rough one. It started out good with N1QWI on 30 meters, but the path quickly collapsed and we had to say a premature 73. But it was a legit QSO to extend the streak another day. -30-
Fri May 21 2021 8:29PM - Another good hot day today. The highlight was ordering an Apple Fitness Watch to go along with my Apple iPhone. It is supposed to be here tomorrow, but we'll see.
A quick streak QSO tonight from K4ABC at 0001Z on 40M. -30-
Thu May 20 2021 8:13PM - Yet another good day in the streak. A hot one though. My one remote shows a high of 91, another 87, and a glance at my main thermometer this afternoon showed 88 at that time. By far the hottest day of the year so far whichever one you believe. And my friend Jasmine doesn't like the heat, and said she was sweating when I saw her coming home from school. I went for a couple walks just to check out how my body is reacting to the heat this year. I've lost about 15 pounds since last October and I think that helped my tolerance to the heat so far this year.
I tried some CQs this evening with no results, so I worked N4E again whom I worked a couple days before also. -30-
Wed May 19 2021 8:53PM - A part busy day and a part lazy day is the best description of the day today. We teased the 90 degree mark at 86 or 88 depending on just where you were. It wasn't humid though so it didn't feel bad. I went for a couple pretty long walks. -30-
Tue May 18 2021 8:48PM - Hey, yet another good day today. I'm on a roll. This was probably our warmest day of the year so far. Let's see what my remote unit says. Well, maybe not. The high was 80 and if memory serves, we've been in the low 80s. My unit on the front porch shows 85, but with the sun setting further north and shining on the porch it does often show higher than the back yard unit. Too bad I don't have a site built to NWS specs for my instruments. But then my house is not ideal for astronomy and ham radio either. HI But I love it and wouldn't change it. Also over the 75 years I've lived here, the neighbors have been good for the most part, especially the present ones.
My streak QSO was with W4AUV Dale, in NC. That call has a nice ring to it. Sound it out in CW and you'll see what I mean. Kind of like my WWP.
OK, got to hurry along now. -30-
Mon May 17 2021 8:08PM - Another good day today. I talked with Jasmine a bit about going back to the museum next weekend to see the staged encampment there. She didn't know yet because it depends on her aunts who are her guardians. I hope we can do it because we both enjoyed yesterday so much, but.... I also got to talk with her a couple other times.
I worked a YL for my streak QSO tonite. Eliza was operating a special event station for national EMS week, N4E down in FL. -30-
Sun May 16 2021 10:43PM - Did you ever have a day you didn't want to end? Today was such a day for me. I had a wonderful day exploring our Armstrong County Historical Museum today with my friend Jasmine. There are so many wonderful exhibits there and both of us enjoyed exploring them equally well despite our age difference. So many in fact we are planning to go back again.
I'm late posting this because I was just watching two episodes of the Addams Family with my other neighbor Bruce.
I used the SST Sprint in the midst of everything else to get my streak QSO tonight. A quick one with Jim N7US whom I've now worked in several of the SSTs on Sunday evenings. -30-
Sat May 15 2021 8:51PM - A great day today. The weather was a contributor to some other good things. It was 73 and even a bit on the humid side like mid summer. It was quite hot in the sun actually.
We have an Armstrong County Historical Museum about a block from here, and I have never visited it for whatever reason, but I've got a date with a friend of mine to visit it tomorrow and I'm looking forward to that if nothing goes wrong.
There was some contest on tonight that gave me my streak QSO. I don't know which one it was. I'm going to look now out of curiousity. Looks like it was the King of Spain contest from the time frame and exchange of RST and serial number. Anyway it was a QSO to extend the streak. -30-
Fri May 14 2021 8:12PM - Today was more typical May than the past few days. A high of 74 under mostly sunny skies. A nice day for walking and sitting in the park.
My streak QSO came right at 0000Z tonite from KC9ERZ who finished his CQ right at 0000Z and answered my first call. -30-
Thu May 13 2021 8:32PM - It's always nice to run into someone you haven't worked in a while. That was the case tonight when I worked Jack WD4E on 40 meters. It must be several years now since we've worked and we worked a lot in NAQCC activities back then.
It was another good day today. Sunny and mild. I took advantage with a couple walks and "sits" in the park. I also got to talk with Jasmine for several minutes today. I was interested to find out that she has been on the USS Requin before among other things. She's a remarkable girl.
After my QSO tonight we had a beautiful sunset and I got maybe a couple dozen good pictures with my fairly new smart phone. -30-
Wed May 12 2021 8:30PM - Today was a great day all around. The weather was great with a high in the mid 60s under mostly sunny skies. The first day in a while it was nice enough to go for a walk and sit in the park. I got a chance to visit with Jasmine for a few minutes of her busy day. That's always nice. My neighbor Bruce got a good report from the doctor. So nothing to complain about today. I hope tomorrow doesn't try to make up for it. HI
Here are a couple more pix from Sunday.
Left is a view looking toward the Point in Pittsburgh and right part of the USS Requin. You can see it was a beautiful day typical of most May days. -30-
Tue May 11 2021 8:24PM - OK let's see how much I can remember from yesterday in this old memory. Mike arrived around 8:40AM or so and we headed to Pittsburgh just before 9AM. We made it all the way without getting lost and without even using the GPS. Actually I did sort of use mine just to get in a little more practice since I only got the smart phone a couple months ago. We arrived a little before 10AM and walked over to the sub. Art was there waiting for us. It was good to see him again and to operate from the sub again. We had to wear masks and instead of a steady stream of visitors, they set up tours of 8 people at a time every 20 minutes. Activity was also slow on the bands as well as the in person visitors. We did have some nice chats with some of the visitors. We only made 8 QSOs from UT CA MB NJ IN MI PA NY. We had to abandon ship for about an hour while a crew disinfected the sub and "sprayed" it with UV light to eliminate any possible germs. We hung around until almost 3 o'clock, then packed up and left.
On the way home we stopped at Wendy's to get our meal. At home, we worked on and played on the computer and checked the bands. 20 was good for DX and Mike worked one DX station. I forget who it was now. Then he headed home after another great day together.
Let's see if I can post a couple pictures.
Of course, that's Mike on the left and me on the right. And that's the end for now. I might add a couple more pictures in tomorrow's diary entry. We'll see. -30-
Mon May 10 2021 10:33PM - It was great getting back to the USS Requin today and also to see Art again. Mike and I had a great time as always when we do some ham radio stuff or railroad, etc. stuff as well. Only sometimes it throws off my normal daily schedule, but I don't mind at all. That's why this will be a short diary entry as I have things to get caught up on. I do want to talk more about the day and post a couple pictures, but that will have to wait till tomorrow's diary entry. -30-
Sun May 9 2021 8:11PM - Tomorrow Mike and I will be going to operate from the USS Requin. We'll use the sub call of NY3EC and operate very roughly from 10:00AM (1400Z) until 2:00PM (1800Z) or as long as activity warrants. We'll be near 7040 and 14060 depending on QRM and QRN. Look for us and give a call.
It's still winter here. When I went over briefly with Jasmine and her aunt Donna, I said I should not have put my winter coat away, and this cold weather can be blamed on me for that reason. HI The high was only 42 which it is right now, and we had well over an inch of rain, I believe. It will be interesting getting my readings at 9:00PM. We have a long way to go to reach the all time May low of 26 though. It was "only" about 36 for our low today.
The SST sprint gave me my streak QSO on 20M when I worked W7GTF in WA. -30-
Sat May 8 2021 8:08PM - Yet another rather nothing day today. I really wish we would get some weather to match up with the calendar. May is usually a beautiful month with nice mild weather and sunny skies, but so far this year it is more like late March or early April. It's getting more depressing every day.
I got my streak QSO in a contest this evening when I worked Phil KP2M in what I think was the CQM contest according to the exchange we used. -30-
Fri May 7 2021 8:35PM - Another average day today. It was chilly, barely getting out of the 40s so I only took one short walk for some groceries and the rest of the day was spent inside except for Roscoe's walks.
I did some more organizing of my my smart phone files plus a little cleaning of the house. I had another long streak QSO this evening, even longer than last night. Let's see, it was 31 minutes tonight with Mike AA4MC down in VA.
My plan to watch Field of Dreams didn't work out last night. It wouldn't play well on my neighbor's old VCR, so we watched some Our Gang videos instead. -30-
Thu May 6 2021 8:41PM - Kind of an average day today. I did plant out 3 tomato and 2 pepper plants today which will be the extent of my garden this year unless I add a couple bean plants. I also cleaned up the yard and sidewalk a bit. I had a nice rag chew contact for my streak QSO tonight with VA3ZB, Bruce, on 40M who answered my CQ.
I came up with another profound quotation (at least profound to me HI). I said in response to a question about another rig, that I hadn't looked at another rig since I started using the KX-3 back in 2012. I said it was like being married to a good woman. No need to look at any other. A couple weeks ago I came up with another one. I don't know if I mentioned it in the diary or not. I said falling in love is like falling into a deep hole - easy to do, but hard to get out of.
And that's it for the diary. I'm going to watch my favorite baseball movie tonight, or at least half of it with the other half tomorrow night. Oh, what is it? Field of Dreams. -30-
Wed May 5 2021 8:30PM - Another quiet day today. About the only out of the ordinary thing was arranging my photos on my smart phone. I've already got 272 of them there and am putting them into albums now to organize them. I had some DX for my streak QSO this evening when I worked KP2M on a single call on 20 meters. -30-
Tue May 4 2021 8:33PM - Yet another good day today despite the rather gloomy weather. I found some info on Jasmine's Hoverboard which is the correct name for it. Hopefully when we have time to work on it again, we can get it up and running or at least make sure what the problem is. We think it is the battery, and I know where to order one if so. But we want to make sure first before she has to spend the money. I watched for her school bus and gave her the info when I saw her.
Other than that I didn't do much of anything out of the ordinary except cut the grass in the back yard, or most of it anyway, with my new weed-eater which worked beautifully. I love the metal cutting blade instead of the usual annoying string cutter.
Oh yesterday Mike and I decided on a subpedition to the Requin next Monday and checked to see if it was OK with Art, and it was. Also today I got an email from Ray WA3PRR and emailed him back to see if he wants to join us, but haven't heard back from him yet.
Tonight's streak QSO was on 30M from WA4VVA down in FL. -30-
Mon May 3 2021 8:41PM - An impromptu visit from Mike was the highlight today. He texted me this morning asking if I wanted to go with him for a ride to Golf Galaxy near Pittsburgh. Of course I said yes, and he arrived and we left around 11AM or so. We had an error-free drive. It was interesting to use both our smart phones' GPS directions simultaneously. Sometimes the voice would coincide exactly, other times they were a second or so off. Mike did his shopping at GG, then we went to Best Buy. I bought an extra charger for my smart phone and looked at some computers for Bruce, then headed home.
On the way home we stopped at Walmart where I got some tomato and pepper plants. Then we stopped at Wendy's for a take home meal. We ate that, then fooled around a while before finding out I also needed an extra charging cable. So we went back to Walmart since he also wanted to get a fishing license. Getting the license was a joy as we got waited on by a very pretty young lady. Just before that I was saying to Mike that the masks made girl watching more interesting and mysterious as you couldn't tell what was under the mask. When the young lady showed up though, I said there was no mystery there. OK, enough of that.
We "recovered" from that and headed home. I checked out my new charger and cable and it worked good. Mike played some Sherlock Holmes, then headed home around 7PM or so. I'm now getting caught up on a few things before getting my weather data and walking Roscoe. My streak QSO came from Pierre VE2PID/W8 on 40 meters. -30-
Sun May 2 2021 8:08PM - Another of those days when I could write a very long entry, but don't really have the time to do it right now. I'm doing my laundry and waiting for a sub to be delivered among other little things.
The day was a very good one in addition to being busy. The highlights were two visits with Jasmine, a short 5-10 minute one then another two hour visit later in the day. She is just such a great friend and I enjoy her company so much. Just for the conclusion jumpers out there, it's just a friendship, nothing romantic involved. The long visit was working on her balance scooter and she was showing me some smart phone tricks. Then just talking about things.
The SST gave me a quick streak as per usual Sunday evenings. Now its time to put the clothes in the dryer, so 73 for now. -30-
Sat May 1 2021 8:15PM - A busy day here for a change. Most of the activity was last of month, first of month stuff as it is every time the month changes. A summary goes as follows: Paying bills, putting April weather in the computer, uploading my ham logs to eQSL and LoTW, doing some shopping, and so forth. I also enjoyed a nice if a bit cool day with some walks. Now I'm in the midst of logging the LoTW matches into my computer log.
I thought I'd use one of the several contests this weekend for my streak QSO, but when I turned the rig on, it was set to 30 and K1GC was calling CQ so I worked him instead. -30-
Fri Apr 30 2021 8:20PM - Looks like winter is taking a brief encore today and tomorrow. Except for a brief period today, it was mostly in the 40s and very windy which made it feel a lot colder. It's supposed to go down into the 30s tonight if the wind dies down and the skies remain clear. Brrrr!!!!
I started off May with some DX tonight, working XE1XR on 20 meters after a few tries. Both 20 and 30 were rather busy this evening. I heard a weak EA2 station on 30 among some other DX. -30-
Thu Apr 29 2021 8:33PM - This is a sad day and a glad day as well. Glad because I had a nice although short visit from my friend Jasmine. She's so busy I don't really get to see her all that often anymore. However it is sad because my dad died on this day back in 1964 which is let's see.... 57 years ago now. He's been gone just over 3 times as many years now as he was with me. Hard to believe. So the roller coaster went all the way from top to bottom for me today.
I've been having luck calling CQ on 40 lately and such was the case tonight again. My CQs netted me my streak QSO after just two minutes when KA2BKG in MD answered me. -30-
Wed Apr 28 2021 8:20PM - I said I'd talk about the QSO I had last evening with K4JDD Neale. As I said he is 22 years old and has been a ham for 7 years. He had been KN4JDD up until yesterday when he got the K4JDD call. The KN4 call had originally belonged to a his Great Grandad who became a SK and he got it as a vanity call when he got his license. I sent him a follow up email as follows to save me reinventing the wheel, I'll copy it here.
"Good to hear from you. I really enjoyed our QSO last night. It's always nice to work young hams on CW. Especially you since it seems we have other things in common besides ham radio.
I guess since you like to take pictures of the moon, you have at least somewhat of an interest in astronomy. That's one of my big interests here although as I get older I tend to get the scope out less often.
Also sunset pictures are one of my favorite subjects for photography.
Then there is railfanning. The Pennsylvania - Penn Central - Conrail main line ran just about 100-150 feet from my house with a siding just outside my back yard that ran up to a brick yard. That all left many years ago though and now the RR is a hiking/biking trail. Sad!!
I see QRZ has your call updated today. I'd like to exchange QSL cards with you. I'll get a card off to you tomorrow, and you can reply when you get a chance. You might not have cards with your new call yet???
Hope we can hook up again. I'm on every evening in the 0000Z hour mostly 40 in warm weather and 80 in cold."
The items I mentioned in the email are some of the subjects we discussed last night in our 32 minute QSO. -30-
Tue Apr 27 2021 8:55PM - A somewhat boring uninteresting day until my streak QSO tonight. Unfortunately I am rushed right now and can't describe it fully, but it was with a very interesting young ham, just 22 years old. I definitely will fill out the story tomorrow when I have more time. You won't want to miss it. I took notes so I should remember it all. -30-
Mon Apr 26 2021 8:32PM - Except that it was a little warmer and sunnier, today was much like the last couple days with nothing much going on. I did get caught up on logging my eQSLs. I was shocked when I saw how far behind I was in that. At least the number of eQSLs there was high, around 160, but looking closer, I saw that 57 or so of them were from Sam VE5SF whom I've worked a lot of times in contests. In fact he was my most worked VE station until VE3EJ took over. You can see my most worked stations in the Contest Honor Roll page in the Contesting section of my web site here via the menu above.
Tonight I had one aborted QSO before my real streak QSO. W4GNT called me, but I never heard him again after I sent my exchange. So I looked elsewhere and found and worked K3FEC up in MA on 40M. -30-
Sun Apr 25 2021 8:10PM - Same old story today. About the only minor excitement again today was Roscoe visiting and checking out my upstairs again.
Of course with the SST Sprint, my streak QSO came at 0001Z tonight thanks to N7US in IL again. -30-
Sat Apr 24 2021 8:08PM - Another quiet day today. As he has for the 4 or so days now, Roscoe has been visiting my house while the therapist or nurse visits Bruce to treat his toe. Today was the first day he has ever visited my upstairs. I don't know what he was looking at, but he was there a few minutes. Maybe he was looking at my shack. HI Maybe he made a couple contacts and didn't tell me about them or put them in the log. He didn't have any trouble with my slippery stairs so I suppose he could stay here a couple days if it was ever necessary.
A quick FLQP QSO took care of the streak tonight. I remember when I finished second overall despite categor but never even got a plaque or certificate for that as #1 overall was also from PA. I think I did get an overall QRP plaque though. -30-
Fri Apr 23 2021 8:15PM - An interesting today. I had a bit of a cold, but didn't let that interfere with too much. I went around my usual routine including a couple pretty long walks. It hit the low 60s today so it was not too bad out except for some breeze that made it seem chillier than it was.
Then this evening I actually worked two DX stations, both on the first call, or almost on the first call. I accidentally doubled on the second station and didn't get him until the clear second call. Both on 20 meters, one was 9Z4Y, the other 6D4A. It's been a long time since I worked 2 non contest DX stations in the same day. -30-
Thu Apr 22 2021 8:31PM - Another quiet day here with not much going on. With was a cold day with a high only in the 40s again and a trace of s#$w this morning.
I got a pretty quick streak QSO this evening for the first time in a couple days now at 0005Z when I got an answer to my CW on 40M from W0SUZ in MO. -30-
Wed Apr 21 2021 8:38PM - Not as good a day as yesterday, but not bad either except for the weather. Let's see if I can put a visual description here.
Those are not dust specks on the lens. At least it didn't stick to the warm ground and just a bit on car windshields.
Took a while to get my QSO again this evening, but K9CG eventually answered my 40M CQ. -30-
Tue Apr 20 2021 8:33PM - There have been a lot of good happenings for me lately. Some of them are private and I don't share them here in the on air diary, and I am sorry about that, but I think it is best in the long run. There were other good things I can talk about here though.
Bruce and I took Roscoe out to get his vitamins today, then stopped for an ice cream cone for Roscoe, and a milkshake for me. Thanks Bruce. I just now thought I should have taken a video of Roscoe eating his ice cream cone. That would be a treasured keepsake and you would have enjoyed seeing it. Hopefully I'll remember the next time he has a cone. It's so easy with my new smart phone too. I just love that thing. I'm sure glad my young friend Jasmine convinced me to get one. And I'm glad Mike took me to the Apple Store in Pittsburgh and helped out with the details of purchasing it.
Now it's time to order a couple subs from Vocelli's for Bruce and me after I get my weather data and finish updating a couple more web site pages. -30-
Mon Apr 19 2021 8:25PM - Thanks to Mike for writing yesterday's diary entry and for suggesting we do a tag team effort in the CQMM contest. I had a really great time. It was enjoyable getting into a bigger contest for a change, especially when the action got fast paced at times. Also it was nice to be able to take my mind off of other things for a while.
I was busy today with getting caught up on some things I put off because of the contest like my laundry. I also enjoyed the nice weather with some walks and a couple times sitting in the park.
Yesterday was the 45th anniversary of talking to one of my girlfriends for the first time. I think Mike was getting a bit tired of me playing one song over and over several times that reminded me of her.
I heard via post card (QSL) today from Art at the sub USS Requin. He says he is now at the sub a couple days a week and asked if we wanted to do some subpeditions. Of course we do. I contacted Mike and we're going to try for May 10 and maybe every 2nd Monday of a month after that. Of course I'll keep you up to date on that here in the diary and also wherever else we can publiccize it. -30-
Sun Apr 18 2021 8:19PM - Now here's Mike for the diary entry. Good evening everyone. It was a very good weekend for radio operations. We logged 132 (John) and 126 (Mike) QSO's during the CQMM DX contest. We worked Europe 9A5W on 80M (on 40 and 20M as well) rather easiliy. And a few on 20 and 40. 15M was virtualy dead. 10M was dead. It was slow going most of today. Things picked up when 40M opened up later this afternoon. I mentioned to John that it was a psuedo practice run for Field Day. No we did not forgo a decent meal. We had pasta dishes from Vocellis. During some down time today we took John's drone up to the Kittanning Park. It flies well. Unfortunately flying time is short due to the small battery. I was very impressed with it. Next on the radio calendar will be Field Day unless we have a impromtu parkpedition.
So until next time, de Mike KC2EGL 73 -30-
Sat Apr 17 2021 8:32PM - Mike and I had a long session in the CQMM contest. Conditions were fair, but not really good DX conditions. We each made about 60 QSOs, all but 3 or 4 were W/VE QSOs. We'll have a complete report on the test in tomorrow's diary entry. -30-
Fri Apr 16 2021 8:21PM - Well, as I said, it seems when I have little to write abbout in the diary, I have a lot of time to not write it. That's true again today. Nothing to write about an a lot of free time to kill.
The bands were busy tonight. Busier than I was today. HI. There must have been about 6-8 stations on 30 meters and more than that on the lower part of 40. I decided to call CQ and after a few minutes I got an answer from VE3HBH for a short QSO to keep the streak alive.
The next couple days should be better with Mike spending the weekend to do the CQMM Contest. That will be a welcome relief from the boredom here of late. -30-
Thu Apr 15 2021 8:43PM - Life is strange and has its little jokes it likes to play on people. For example the last few nights I had little to write about and had plenty of time to not do it. Tonight after a very good day, there is a lot I could write about, but have little time to do it. I just finished a long phone call from a cousin and then got my streak QSO. Now it's almost time for my weather readings, having a sub with my neighbor, walk Roscoe, etc.
Anyway, I got the lawn trimmer I ordered a few days ago, and had a bit of a time putting it together with a very minimal instruction booklet. At least I got it running and I'll try it out tomorrow in my back yard. While I was unpacking it, there was a knock on the door, and it was Jasmine. She forgot her key and needed to borrow mine to get in the house. I hadn't really been able to talk to her in a while, so I kind of stretched it out and I got to tell her some things I had been waiting to say for a while now. So there are two good things right there. There were more little things that also went just right like ordering a printer ink cartridge from Walmart for my neighbor, finding some info for him, and oh, some other little things I can't remember now, but they all went well.
Now I've got to run and order some subs, get my weather, etc. -30-
Wed Apr 14 2021 7:42PM - Didja ever have one of those days where you're not sure if it was a bad day, a good day, or what. I did today and I'm still trying to figure it out. And I don't drink. In fact I've had just one alcoholic beverage in my nearly 76 years of life. That was at a Greek Rood Festival back around 1976 or so. Hopefully I'll figure it all out later, but right now I'm not sure. Hopefully my streak QSO will be easy tonight. Apologies for being so vague and unsure for the past however long it's been now. -30-
Tue Apr 13 2021 8:21PM - Almost time for our NAQCC sprint so another short entry tonight. Not much to talk about anyway except it was a nice day and I spent quite a bit of time walking and sitting in the park. -30-
Mon Apr 12 2021 8:56PM - Just a quick entry tonight. I've got a couple of subs ordered to be delivered in a few minutes for a welcome home to my neighbor who came home from the hospital/rehab today. -30-
Sun Apr 11 2021 8:32PM - I honored Sunday in the traditional way today. I kept it as a day of rest, and didn't do much of anything. About the only real work I'm doing right now. My laundry is in the dryer. Otherwise I did some walking, some work/play on my smart phone, and that was about it. Of course I got my streak QSO this evening in the SST sprint from N7US in IL on 40M. -30-
Sat Apr 10 2021 7:52PM - Looks like with the GA, NE, and NM QSO Parties, it should be a quick streak QSO this evening.
Thanks to Tim Hayes and Dennis Doran (I don't have their calls handy) for pointing out some date errors in my diary which I have now fixed.
I was right about the GA QSO Party. I got a phone call and it's now 8:20PM so after the call I went and worked KM4DAY for the streak QSO. Only took a couple minute to find and work someone when I eventually got to the shack. -30-
Fri Apr 9 2021 8:27PM - Well, the weather was good again today with a high of 77 under mostly sunny skies. That's about all that was good today. Well, I did get a streak QSO on 30 meters again as that band is starting to open up after a long pretty inactive period. Who did I work? Roger KO5Q down in GA. -30-
Thu Apr 8 2021 8:27PM - In contrast to yesterday, most of today was good. The weather topped it off. It was sunny with some increasing clouds late in the day. The high was 82 again. So I spent a lot of time outside walking or sitting on the porch. I didn't really do a whole lot of things besides that.
The streak QSO came quicker this evening when I worked Ray K2HYD at 0006Z on 40M. I hadn't worked Ray in quite some time and it was good to hear him again. -30-
Wed Apr 7 2021 8:37PM - Today started off bad and never really got much better in many ways. First there was a hole in my pants pocket through which I might have lost my keys if I don't keep them attached to my belt. I had to sew that up. Then the battery in my pedometer went dead and I had to replace it. Don't leave, it doesn't get better. When I went next door to take Roscoe out, turned out he took a big dump right inside the door sometime during the night. I had to clean that up. I had to get away so I went and sat in the park for a while.
I did some work in the back yard a little later and got a cut on my finger from a piece of wire fencing. It did calm down a bit after that until I got on the air this evening. I had trouble working anyone for almost a half hour which is the longest it's taken in some time now. I finally did get N4OW in FL on 40 meters. I better be careful from now till midnight so nothing else happens.
I did enjoy sitting on the porch quite a bit in between the minor disasters listening to music on my new smart phone. I'm really becoming a smart phone addict - thanks Jasmine. HI I always wondered why so many folks are glued to their smart phones, and now I know. HI -30-
Tue Apr 6 2021 8:47PM - Here are some stats Tom WB3FAE compiled from our POTA op yesterday:
40 m contacts: 19
30 m contacts: 15
20 m contacts: 23
Total Contacts: 57
19 States: TN, NH, NC, IL, NY, IN, PA, WI, MA, FL, MO, ME, KS, SD, UT, OK, NM,IA,OR
1 US Territory: PR
2 Canadian Provinces: NL, BC
3 Countries: England, France, Azores
Not bad as I said yesterday.
Hey just got an email from Australia:
I'm copying you S1-2 on 10105.0kHz, long path, during your rag chew with AA4MB, who is 449.
Rig here IC-7610, ant 80m open wire fed flat top delta loop, up 20m.
Think you said ur antenna was in the attic? If so it's doing a great job.
Take care, stay well and 73, Phil VK6GX.
Those of you who follow my diary about my activity know I've worked VK6 several times on 30 meters. So I'm not really surprised by this email, but very glad to get it.
That pretty much covers the diary material about today. Except I just want to comment on the Baylor-Gonzaga game last night. I don't think I've ever seen one team dominate another like that in the March Madness final game. Baylor won by 16 points, but the game wasn't really that close. Gonzaga fell behind 9-0 at the start and never got closer than that the whole game if I recall correctly. Amazing especially since Gonzaga was undefeated going into the game. The first team to do that since Indiana State with Larry Bird back in 1989, I believe. ISU also lost the final for their first loss of the season. -30-
Mon Apr 5 2021 7:43PM - Pictures of the three ops at today's parkpedition from Moraine State Park.
Me - Upper Left, Mike - Upper right, Tom - Bottom
The weather was beautiful, conditions were good, and we made 50 some contacts. I'd call that a success.
OK, now off to get my streak QSO. -30-
Sun Apr 4 2021 8:11PM - I watched one of the best basketball games I've ever seen last night. It ranks up there with the Christian Laettner game in 1992. Of course I mean the OT game between Gonzaga and UCLA that Gonzaga won on a last second three point shot 93-90. Wow. And I watched most of it. The first time I've watched virtually a complete basketball game in a long time.
That got me thinking of the greatest football and baseball games I've seen. I'll talk more about that in a couple nights but I'm busy tonight and tomorrow night. Just a teaser though. Football: Oakland-Miami. Baseball: Pittsburgh-New York. Real sports fans will know the games I'm talking about.
I had a truly great Easter today. I haven't seen much of Jasmine lately, but I got to talk to her for several minutes today about smart phones mostly. Then a little later she brought me over two BIG dishes of Easter dinner food and also visited for several minutes more. It's always nice when friends get together after little contact for some time.
Tomorrow I'll be with a couple more friends, Mike KC2EGL and Tom WB3FAE. I saw Mike just a few days ago, but haven't seen Tom for several months, maybe close to a year. We'll be doing a POTA operation from Moraine Park near Butler, PA. -30-
Sat Apr 3 2021 8:07PM - It was kind of a strange and busy day today. I did so many different things, I can't even remember what most of them were. There weren't any out of the ordinary things. I do remember that. It was another chilly day until it did warm to the middle 50s by late afternoon/early evening.
Tonight I got one of those 0000Z streak QSOs thanks to the MS QSO Party when I worked KD5DD a few seconds after 0000Z. That also got my 59th year as a ham radio operator off to a quick start. -30-
Fri Apr 2 2021 8:49PM - Tomorrow April 3 2021 is a noteable day in my ham radio life as you see here:
Yep, it's been 58 years now that I've been a license ham. Whew! Where does the time go, and as I always add, why does it go faster when we get older. I sure would love to knock off a good deal of those years and go back to being young again, but that ain't going to happen.
Tonight I worked another ham who is a retired broadcast worker. Of course you know I am one also. That's another good sized span of time since I retired in the early 1990s, almost 30 years ago. Wow, I'm getting to feel really old as I type this entry. I think I'll just stop now before I feel any older. HI -30-
Thu Apr 1 2021 8:30PM - Happy April Fools Day from a FOOL to you out there. Sometimes I think I really do qualify.
Mike and I had a good day today and it was nice to have some company here for a change. Thanks Mike. I can sum up our day briefly although we did accomplish a lot. It started with me showing him my phone app for running my Lionel trains. Then for most of the rest of the day we exchanged a lot of info about smart phones. I learned a lot from Mike and I think he learned a few things from me. We closed out the day with some ham radio. It seemed most folks were engaged in rag chewing with each other so Mike didn't work anyone and it took me a while to get my streak QSO when I finally worked N2UU. That pretty much covers the day. -30-
Wed Mar 31 2021 8:36PM - A wet chilly rainy day today in contrast to the last few days. I didn't have anywhere to go or anything to do so it really didn't matter, I guess.
Another day of learning/playing with the smart phone. Also I uploaded my March QSOs to eQSL and LoTW as I do the end of each month. I had 34 QSOs in March. 31 streak QSOs and 3 extra ones. I sure have cut down on my number of QSOs the past couple years. I guess I just don't have the desire to get on the air as much. Probably due to old age. HI Anyway that's a good thing on which to blame a lot of things as the years roll by.
My QSO came quickly tonight at 0004Z when I worked W9XW on 40 meters. -30-
Tue Mar 30 2021 8:11PM - Another beautiful day with sunshine and mid-70s temperature. I was busy with other things though and didn't get out as much as I would have liked. I did sit on the porch both with Roscoe and by myself, and went for a walk and shopping downtown. I also did some yard work. So actually I guess I did get out more than it seemed. HI.
I did a lot with my smart phone also. I'm sure enjoying it, and even though I don't see her much lately, I have to thank Jasmine again for encouraging me to get one. Mike's coming down on Thursday and he'll be doing some things to help me with the phone even though without his or Jasmine's help I must say I've learned a lot on my own by just playing around with it.
A quick streak QSO from VE2CSI up in QC on 40 meters at 0001Z took care of that daily chore. -30-
Mon Mar 29 2021 8:18PM - A chilly but sunny day. It gave me a chance to fix a support on my thermometer shelter in the back yard which was broken in the big wind we had several days ago. I took a couple pixtures of the fix on my smart phone. If I can get them over here to my laptop, I'll post one here. OK, here we go.
Right in the center of the picture is a portion of a 2x4 with two nuts and bolts protruding from it. That is part of Mike's train platform support. We had to shorten the legs and wound up with many pieces like that. I said I'd take some since they might come in handy someday. Well today was someday. HI Never throw anything out, you might need it some day. I added bricks surrounding the 2x4 and support to hopefully keep it from swinging around and breaking again.
That's pretty much the only out of the usual activity here today. My streak QSO came quickly tonight on 40 meters from N9FGC in IN.
We're rapidly trimming the March Madness field. After tomorrow it will be down to the Final Four. It looks like Houston will be one of the Four. They are far ahead of Oregon State at the moment 42-27 with 15 minutes left. Not unsurmountable, but unlikely Oregon State can come back. We'll see. -30-
Sun Mar 28 2021 9:17PM - Yes it's late as I get around to writing this entry. I did my laundry and wanted to wait till it finished to do this entry. That and a long phone call are the reasons.
Fortunately(?) there's not much to write about anyway. It was a quiet rainy windy Sunday so I spent most of it on my new smart phone. That thing is a great companion although not as nice as a good lady would be, but....
I broke my string of LMS stations tonight and worked K4JAZ in the SST sprint. That's a great little thing to help me get a very quick streak QSO each Sunday evening when I have other things (usually) to do then. -30-
Sat Mar 27 2021 8:10PM - Another quiet day today. I spent most of it on my smart phone installing a couple new apps and continuing to learn more about it. My smart phone tutor Jasmine turned out to be busy all day with other things and never did get together with me. Sigh!.
The weather was nice again and I went for a fairly long walk. Other than that, I can't really think of anything out of the ordinary. This evening for the fourth night in a row I worked a LMS related station. Tonight it was K6S on 40M. He's listed as being in CA so that was pretty long skip just after sunset here, if so. -30-
Fri Mar 26 2021 1:48PM - AS you may or may not know, my on-line log is hosted on GoDaddy. They have recently made some changes to the php pages they host. As a result I have two choices, to modify the php pages or simply drop the on-line logs altogether. Probably I'll do a combination of the both and change the way my logs can be accessed to see if you ever worked me. I'll have to do some thinking about it before I decide on just what to do. -30-
Thu Mar 25 2021 8:28PM - A day pretty much like the last couple with a couple exceptions which I won't go into. I worked the same station for my streak QSO as last night - KA6LMS - except it was /4 tonight instead of /1 as last night and on 40 instead of 80 last night. It was 75 today so I sat on the porch quite a while with my smart phone, and also went for a fairly long walk. -30-
Wed Mar 24 2021 8:28PM - If the last couple days were good, today was great. Again no real details on the main reason it was great. Sorry! You'll have to take my word for it.
There were other good things to talk more about though. The weather again was outstanding with a high of... 73 on my remote weather station. I took a couple long walks down through the park and did some shopping on the second one.
I'm also continuing my learning on the smart phone. I marvel at how powerful a thing it is in such a small package. In many ways it puts my laptop to shame for the things it can do. I think the only complaint I have is that the print is so small for my old and ageing eyes, but that's no fault of it.
I got an astronomy app today and a game app to add to my collection of apps. I also tried out the GPS feature of the maps app when we went to Walmart to get some food for Roscoe, then again later on one of my walks. It works great. Also I'm more and more pleased with the pedometer app I got a few days ago.
This Saturday I have a tentative "date" with Jasmine for some more tutorials on the smart phone. I still have questions about this and that, and she can probably answer them for me.
I talked to Tom WY3H today for a few minutes, and I'm going to call him again tonight so we can talk longer. It's been a while now since we've had a long talk.
I think that gives a pretty good idea of why it was a good day for old John here.
Oh, in ham radio, I worked KA6LMS/1 who was turning over quick QSOs for whatever reason. Maybe it was a special event station. Let me check QRZ. Something about a Last Man Standing TV Show. I'm not familiar with that since I don't follow TV at all. See QRZ for more info if you're interested. -30-
Tue Mar 23 2021 4:27PM - I'm writing this early today. It's been a good day so far. Nice weather again today and a good dose of ambition to get some things done. I worked a little on my tulip bed today. Here's a picture, and you'll maybe see a hole in the pattern of plants at the third spot in the back row. There was a bulb missing there, and I noticed there was an isolated tulip plant a couple feet away outside the pattern. Perhaps some animal or bird dug it up and moved it. The bulb was right at the surface with about a 3 inch root into the ground. So I transplanted it where it should be. I'll see if it will grow there. I'll have some other pictures when the flower buds and later the flowers appear. The picture was taken with my new smart phone.
Mon Mar 22 2021 9:03PM - This was a good day pretty much all around today. The weather was great enough for a pretty long walk with sunny skies and a high of 71. It was also nice enough that I pretty much finished cleaning up my back yard except for a few leaves here and there. Also my rose bushes need pruned. Maybe I'll do that tomorrow. Also my grass is starting to grow pretty good and will need mowing before long.
I had a great QSO this evening with KD8BBK. We went about 25 WPM for 19 minutes. I haven't had a QSO at that speed outside of contests for a long time. I was pleased I only made about 5 sending errors in all that time at 25 WPM.
I also did a little spring house cleaning, but not that much.
It feels good to have the get up and go to do things like the past couple days or so. I hadn't had it for a while now for reasons I won't go into here.
I also of course played with the smart phone. It's nice to sit out on the porch and surf the Internet, etc. I want to thank Jasmine for her help in teaching me some of the ins and outs of a smart phone, and then suggesting which one to get and encouraging me to get one. Without her, I probably wouldn't have one today. I installed a train simulator app today and have been having fun with it.
There were some other things also today, but I can't remember them now. HI -30-
Sun Mar 21 2021 7:18PM - Mike KC2EGL, Tom WB3FAE, and I are planning our first parkpedition of 2021. I'm not sure about Tom and Mike, but I really need to get out somewhere and break this cabin fever. I have been walking more outside the past few weeks, but those walks are only for a short time. Anyway, we are shooting for going to Moraine State Park on April 5. More details as the time draws closer.
Other than that it was a smart phone learning day. I learned how to delete an app for one thing. I also installed a couple new apps, a pedometer and a bar/QR code reader. I checked out the pedometer app against my regular pedometer and they agreed within 4 steps for a walk of 1,500 steps. Not bad. The bar code reader worked fine on bar codes, but I couldn't find a QR code to check. Before I got the phone, it seems I saw QR codes everywhere. That's the way things go. HI
Then of course I have been keeping track of March Madness. An upset game just finished. OK, I got interrupted by a phone call and my laundry finishing in the washer. Now where was I? Oh yes, the upset was #11 Syracuse beating #3 West Virginia. There were 11 upsets so far in the tournament.
It's getting close to streak time. The SST should provide an easy QSO so I can get back to my laundry when it finishes in the dryer. -30-
Sat Mar 20 2021 8:12PM - Another day of March Madness, learning more about the smart phone, and a nice walk in the 60 degree weather for some shopping.
The Russian DX test helped with the streak tonight. It's an everybody works everybody test so I worked K1MM on 40 meters for my QSO. -30-
Fri Mar 19 2021 8:59PM - This was for the most part a very busy and good day. I can't even remember all that I got done, but it mainly dealt with the smart phone and March Madness. Actually they both kind of link together since I was following the tournament on the phone. HI I learned a lot about the phone today and am getting more and more comfortable with it each day now. It's a steep learning curve for an old man like me. However my 40 or so years of working with computers is helping quite a bit.
Let's see how MM is coming. There was one big upset today with Oral Roberts (15) beating Ohio State (2). A 12 Oregon St beat a 5 Tennessee also. I haven't checked the more recent games. Looks like with one exception, the rest of the games are going as seeded. North Texas is ahead of Purdue, but only by one point now. Well, 4 points. Guess NT made a 3 pointer.
OK, I've got too many things going here now. Let's wrap up this entry. I worked W9IK on 40, then decided I was going to check 30 and 20 before I shut down. I called CQ on 30 and after a few CQs, N0FUA in GA answered me and we had a 16 minute solid copy QSO. That was even with me forgetting to change antennas on the last round. I used the 20 meter dipole instead of the attic random wire. I was listening on the dipole because it had a better s/n ratio. -30-
Thu Mar 18 2021 8:32PM - Can it be anything but a good day when March Madness gets started? We're down to 67 teams already as Texas Southern beat Mount St. Mary's in one of the First Four games to become #16 seed in the East to go up against Michigan. Drake is beating Wichita St near the end of the game. Then there will be two more games a little later tonight. Love it! I'm watching on my smart phone as I type here on the computer.
There were other good things today also, mostly dealing with continuing to set up and learn the smart phone. I bought my first app (actually free) from the Apple store, a Lionel Lionchief app with which I can run my trains from the phone.
Oh Oh, 27 seconds to go in the Drake game with Drake up by 2. OK back to concentrating on the game now. -30-
Wed Mar 17 2021 6:46PM - Happy St. Patrick's Day everyone. It was an up and down day here which I won't bother describing because I want to get this diary entry done before Mike comes. We have a lot of things to do with the top of the list being hooking up the phone service to my new smart phone. I also have some other things to ask Mike about the phone. Also I have to get my streak QSO and get at least one QSO in our NAQCC sprint. I could combine those things. Of course we'll have to get something to eat. I'm sure there are other things as well, and he won't be here till 8:00 so we'll have to squeeze all that into a rather short time. -30-
Tue Mar 16 2021 9:05PM - This was a good day in several ways, but I don't have much time to write about it, so just some highlights. I received the SIM chip or card for my smart phone today, so when Mike comes tomorrow evening we can get it installed. I probably could do it myself, but he's done it before so might as well rely on his experience. Also I have some other things I need to ask him about the phone.
Then I had a visit from my second cousin whom I don't see all that often. I found some old pictures of her mother and a couple other relatives that I thought she would like to have, and she was glad to get them.
I found her pictures when I was looking for pictures of an old girlfriend whom I was thinking about recently for some reason. I also found them and decided to see if I could trace her via the Internet. I think I did find her and am going to drop her a letter just for the fun of it to see what happens. Stay tuned for further episodes of any soap opera that may develop. HI
I got a fairly quick QSO this evening from W2WJ/8 in not too far away Struthers, OH on 80 meters. -30-
Mon Mar 15 2021 8:17PM - Beware the Ides of March. Well, nothing really bad happened here today. I got my NCAA Basketball Tournament brackets set up in my Excel file and I'm ready for March Madness to start this Thursday. It's a bit different this year as they seem to be playing the games on Fri/Sat and Sun/Mon this year if the info I have is right. Also they are playing all the games in two brackets on Fri and all games in the two other brackets on Sat, and so on and so forth. Anyway it's good to have it back after missing last year due to the virus.
I also did my middle of the month bills today. Then I learned more about my smart phone. I'm really getting used to it now and liking it quite a bit.
A fairly quick streak QSO tonight on 40 meters at 0005Z when I worked K4ABC in NC. -30-
Sun Mar 14 2021 7:47PM - I think all went smoothly converting to DST last night. I usually find one clock somewhere that I forgot to update, but so far I haven't found any yet. It's kind of nice having that extra hour of light in the evening. Of course since the daylight is only shifted and not saved, the folks who need more light in the morning will have to suffer.
I learned quite a bit more about my smart phone today so when Mike comes down on Wednesday to help install the SIM card, we shouldn't have too much to do, which will be good since I believe he is coming down after his bike ride and we won't have too much time.
Right now I'm doing my laundry and waiting for 0000Z to get my streak QSO. That should be easy with the SST Sprint.
Another thing I did today was look through some old pictures mainly looking for a picture of an old girlfriend from 1976. There's an interesting story behind that, but I'm not going to tell it here. I did find 4 or 5 such pictures, and I think when Mike reads this, he'll be interested. Nuff said about that.
Almost time now either for the streak QSO or to put the laundry in the dryer. Oops, one more cycle to go in the washer yet, so it may be about a tie. -30-
Sat Mar 13 2021 7:44PM - A lot of today was spent fooling around learning about my new smart phone. I'm fairly well along, but still a lot to learn yet. Even though I really never used one except for a brief time on Jasmine's, I found things pretty well straightforward. Of course, Mike setting it up for me yesterday took care of a lot of things it would have taken me a couple days to do. Now I just have to wait for my SIM card to come in the mail to finish the setup. That should be Wednesday.
My streak QSO came in the Tesla Contest when I worked Dave K1ZZ on 80 meters.
Now I'm going to watch the movie Casablance with Bruce (and Roscoe). -30-
Fri Mar 12 2021 7:23PM - It was a good Mike day, so here he is to tell you about it. Well folks you know where is about to freeze over. John bit the modern technology bullet today and came into the age of mobile phones. We headed back to Pittsburgh to the Apple Store in Shadyside. One of the very few Pittsburgh neighborhoods that I actualy like. If it were not for the $3,000 a month rent for a one bedroom apartment I could easily live there. John decided on a plan from Straight Talk which I talked him into and the Apple Tech agreed that it was an excellent provider to go with. We did run into one issure when we stopped at Walmart to get a SIM card and a few accesories for his phone. They do not sell SIM cards. We had to order one directly from Straight Talk which went much easier than I had expected. They farm out their tech work to the Sub continent (or at least they used to). The gentleman who took the call spoke perfect english without an accent. And was more than helpful and very professional. I was quite pleased. John's SIM card will be here by Wednesday. Which means I will be back down that night after my first group bike ride of the season.
After our trip up to Walmart we headed over to the Kittanning TWP Volunteer Fire Hall to pick up our fish dinners that John ordered earlier in the week. Unfortunately they are still not allowed to have dine in service. It was still a fantastic meal. A good portion of fish with 3 Peirogies, Mac and Cheese, coleslaw, and a dinner role. All to help support a local Volunteer Fire Hall. John logged his streak QSO this evening as well K8MPH on 80M.
All in all it was another outstanding day hanging out with John. And for a change we did not make any wrong turns. Another reason why you know where is going to freeze over. Until next time de Mike KC2EGL. -30-
Thu Mar 11 2021 7:15PM - Nothing much in the way of news today that I feel worthy talking about in the diary. I do appreciate the feedback I get on the diary, especially from those who like the variety of topics I discuss here. Some things though I do like to keep private. I have another off-line diary for those things.
Tomorrow I hope that Mike will write my diary entry after our day getting me a smart phone followed by having a Lenten fish dinner. That will add a little more variety to the diary, I hope. -30-
Wed Mar 10 2021 7:28PM - Another run of the mill days today. There seem to be a lot of them of late. I sure will be glad when this virus thing is a thing of the past and we can get back to normal activities again. Maybe that will make a change in things.
I did some more back yard cleanup today in the 72 degree weather here. I've got the bulk of the leaf mulch removed from my garden beds now although I'm not sure I'll plant a garden this year. I haven't started tomatoes or peppers from seeds as I usually do in January. I might just buy a couple tomato and pepper plants from our garden center and go with them for this year.
It was yet another easy streak QSO this evening. I hope I don't jinx things by saying this, but it really isn't all that hard to do a streak like mine. Especially if you have the time available each and every day as I do here. Propagation conditions are virtually never the factor, nor is band activity. The 0000Z hour remains the hour for well over 90 percent of my QSOs, much closer to 98 or 99 percent for recent times going back a few years now. -30-
Tue Mar 9 2021 7:37PM - I guess this was a better day today. The temperature got up in the mid 60s, nice enough for a shirtsleeves walk downtown for some shopping. It's been nice to go outside for some good walks most days of late. Helps cure or at least ease the cabin fever which has been so prevalent of late. It was also nice today to start cleaning up my back yard. When I removed the leaf mulch from my tulip bed, I found most all the tulips have started to sprout. There are about 18 groups of them with each group now having split into at least 4-6 plants so I may have near to 100 flowers this spring. I'll post a picture here in the diary when they have all bloomed.
That's pretty much the story of the day today as far as things out of the ordinary go. I got a quick streak QSO this evening from W9IK on 80 meters at 0001Z.
Oh, I also ordered two fish dinners for Friday when Mike comes down to take me to get my smart phone (hopefully for real this time, unlike last Wednesday when the Apple store didn't have what I wanted). This time I decided to change the model to one they do have in stock. It doesn't have all the bells and whistles the other one would have had, but most of those had to do with the picture taking ability of the phone. This one should suit my needs perfectly, and is cheaper to boot. -30-
Mon Mar 8 2021 7:32PM - March 8 seems to stick in my mind for some reason. I believe it was March 8, 1960 when I recorded my first below zero temperature in my many long years of weather records. I can check on that and will do so now. Yep, that was it. It was -2 degrees on that date in the very unusual month of March 1960 when March was colder than January or February.
A quick and not so long streak QSO this evening from WB5RYB on 40 meters. My local QRN brought a premature ending to the QSO.
It took its good old time doing it, but it did get into the 50s today in late afternoon after a low this morning in the teens. -30-
Sun Mar 7 2021 7:33PM - Pretty much a usual day of late. I went for a walk downtown today to do some shopping, mostly for junk food. HI Nothing like junk food to brighten up a day. HI
This evening, once again the SST sprint took care of the streak QSO. That was good, because Bruce had a sub for both of us that I finished in time to do my laundry, which I'm doing right now. That pretty much sums up the day, I guess. -30-
Sat Mar 6 2021 7:20PM - A couple different things made this a better day today. We took Roscoe to the groomer for a hair cut, bath, and nail clipping. Now he looks like a different dog. HI Seems to feel better also.
Late this afternoon, I did something I haven't done for a while. I watched a full movie. Specifically my favorite movie of all time, probably. It is Casablanca with Humphrey Bogart and Ingrid Bergman along with several other great actors of that era. I think it is a great mixture of a love story between Bogart and Bergman and a World War II story as a background. They sure don't make movies like that any longer. Bogart is one of, if not my favorite actor(s). I've seen just about every one of his movies over the years except maybe some of his very early short features. Other favorites of his movies are The Maltese Falcon, The African Queen, We're No Angels, Key Largo, The Left Hand of God, Battle Circus, Deadline USA, The Treasure of Sierra Madre, Action in the North Atlantic, Passage To Marseilles, and The Petrified Forest. That last film was his first major movie after Leslie Howard "discovered" Bogart playing the villian Duke Mantee in a play.
My streak QSO this evening was a 2X QRP one with KA2CMA on 80 in NY. He had me run my power down to 100 mW to see if he could copy me at that level since I was so strong at 5 watts. He did copy me well. Must be nice to have a quiet location like he must have. I could never do that here with my high local noise. -30-
Fri Mar 5 2021 7:44PM - This was not a good day in many ways. I'm not going to bore you with any details. I did at least have a nice rag chew QSO this evening with Mike K1OV on 80 meters that lasted 35 minutes. He is in New London, CT which I visited many years ago on a trip through New England. We saw the naval base there and an old restored sailing ship. -30-
Thu Mar 4 2021 1:10PM - Just a picture entry today. I received this in the mail today for last year's Skeeter Hunt in which Mike KC2EGL and I operated from the Kittanning Community Park.
Wed Mar 3 2021 7:31PM - As usual, a good day when Mike visits. We did have one disappointment, but the rest of the day went great. Mike arrived around 10AM or so when I was out walking Roscoe.
We ran my trains quite a bit and just chatted. Mike played Sherlock Holmes till I got in from walking Roscoe. Then we headed to Pittsburgh to the Apple store to supposedly get my smart phone. That's when the disappointment came in. They were out of the model I wanted, and I had to put that on hold while I studied other models to find a substitute. So it was a trip to Pittsburgh for nothing. Well, as Mike said though, looking on the bright side, we did get to see the two houses where I lived while working at WPIT in Pittsburgh many years ago. The one looked pretty much the same while the other had a pretty much complete makeover.
Back home again after stopping at Wendy's for a take out order. Can't miss our food breaks. At home, some more computer games and running trains. We checked the bands and heard the CWT sprint, but not much more. We then took a pretty good sized walk enjoying the nice weather.
Later it was up to the shack to get my streak QSO, which I got on 80 meters from Dan KB6NU. Now I'm sitting here writing this, and Mike is looking up something on his smart phone. Wish I had mine here, but that will have to wait a while again. As Mike said though, I haven't had one for a long time, so a few more days or weeks won't hurt. -30-
Tue Mar 2 2021 8:08PM - A nice day today. A bit chilly with a high only in the low 30s or so, but the clear skies and bright sun made it not so bad. I took my longest walk in a while today and did some shopping along the way. In fact I'm eating some of the candy I bought right now as I type.
I had two QSOs tonight, both from my CQs and both solid copy for 18 and 23 minutes on 80 meters. -30-
Mon Mar 1 2021 8:05PM - Happy First Day of Spring! It was a good one here except on the windy side with a wind chill very noticeable. None of the white stuff though, although it did rain early in the day.
I had a great rag chew tonight with Greg W1GF who recently joined NAQCC. We chatted about a variety of things for 49 minutes at about 20WPM including keys and FISTS among other things. -30-
Sun Feb 28 2021 7:16PM - Well, winter ends in a little less than 5 hours. I'll have to disable my counter up above here. Of course March will still have some light s@#w and some cold snaps, but they never last at this time of year.
Today was a good day, weatherwise, and I got in another outside walk. I also finished up most of my end of the month work. One other good thing was Jasmine brought me over a big plate of lasagna. However she was too busy to stay and visit. She is about the busiest girl I've ever known.
As it has the past several Sunday evenings now, the SST sprint gave me a quick streak QSO, thanks to K1BG up in MA on 80M. -30-
Sat Feb 27 2021 7:19PM - Hey, tomorrow is the last day of winter. It looks like March will be coming in like a lamb. Today was sure a lamb like day in many ways. My remote unit shows a high of 52 and it felt like it. I took another good outside walk today and it felt great.
The SC QSO Party provided my streak QSOs this evening. I worked two stations because I wasn't positive if the first one had my call as WWP or WWW. I'm pretty sure it was right, but I wanted a 100% positive one just to be sure.
It looks like I'll have a new toy the middle of next week. Wednesday Mike and I go to the Apple store to get my first ever Smart Phone, an iPhone 11 Pro Max. Then to Walmart for a Straight Talk provider. Then Mike and/or Jasmine can tutor me on how to use it. HI -30-
Fri Feb 26 2021 8:18PM - Another nice day today although not as warm as predicted due to a persistent cloud cover. Still nice enough to run around outside with just a light jacket. I walked down to the river and met a fisherman coming back from fishing. I asked if he did any good, and he said it was still too early for the fish, maybe it would be better in a couple weeks. I haven't gone fishing for a couple years now. That encounter with the fisherman made me thinking I might like to get back to it this year. Maybe Mike and I can go sometime. We've been talking about it for a few years now, but never have made it yet. Or maybe Jasmine and I. She said she has done a little fishing before.
There was not a lot of activity on the bands tonight. I had to resort to a few CQs to finally work someone. It was Bob NR8M whom I have worked quite a few times before. We chatted for 37 minutes about this and that. -30-
Thu Feb 25 2021 7:41PM - A kind of a nothing day today. The weather was nice. Not as warm as yesterday but sunny. I only wore a lite jacket when I went outside to walk Roscoe or do a couple other things.
I made two QSOs this evening. I worked KD2UHF in NY and then called CQ and worked WB8BIL in MI, both on 80 meters. -30-
Wed Feb 24 2021 8:01PM - A great day today. We had a high of 64 under mostly sunny skies. That really took care of a lot of the remaining s#$w and ice. I'd guess the coverage would be down to 10% or less. I saw a graphic I think it was on Penn State's Weather World show where coverage in the whole USA is 32% vs. 73% a week ago. Yes, folks, spring is indeed almost here and I and many others are very glad of that.
There were other good things happening today also, but that is right near the top. I also did some rearranging of my train layout putting the American Flyer RR in the center of the Lionel RR. Before they were in separate rooms and I didn't really run the AF all that much. Now I hope to run it more. I also had a nice little chat with busy Jasmine after not seeing much of her the past 4 days or so.
There was a lot of activity on 80 meters, but hard to find a CQ nor to get an answer to mine until I found and worked Walt AC8RG in Dayton, OH on 80. -30-
Tue Feb 23 2021 8:02PM - A good day today. I engaged in one of my favorite activities this time of year. What is that, you might ask? S#$w melting mixed with ice melting as well. It rose into the mid-upper 40s today and probably reduced the s#$w cover to less than 50%, if not more. Tomorrow's predicted high in the low 50s should take care of even more of the cover. Ain't it great!!!!
My streak QSO came via my CQ tonight when Jim K8MPH answered me and we chatted for some 20 minutes with steady signals just about the whole time.
Not much else going on today worth mentioning. -30-
Mon Feb 22 2021 7:26PM - A bit hard getting a QSO this evening, but I made it after 9 minutes of searching. Actually, I guess 9 minutes can't be considered hard. Anyway, I worked an old FISTS member John K8JD. His FISTS number is 3853, and mine is 2002. So we've been FISTS members a long time now. I think I joined around 1995 if memory serves.
Not a lot happening again today. I did run my trains a little longer than usual. It was a nice weather day with a high in the 40s and quite a bit of s#$w melting along the way. -30-
Sun Feb 21 2021 7:11PM - Of course, once again the SST gave me a quick streak QSO from VE2FK on 40 meters. I never did get in the ARRL DX Contest beyond working IR2Q for the streak last evening. -30-
Sat Feb 20 2021 6:46PM - One of those days when little went right. Not only did I pass up a chance to do a tag team event in the ARRL DX Contest, but Jasmine was away with her family all day so I didn't get a chance to spend time with her. Oh well, there are days like that which sneak in from time to time. What's that saying, "The best laid plans of mice and men gang aft a-gley" Or in a little more detail, the full quote is "The best laid schemes of mice and men. Gang aft a-gley". Or to translate, the best laid plans of mice and men can still go wrong. No matter how well you plan, there is no guarantee of success. By the way "Gang aft-a-gley" means "goes wrong".
I wonder how my plans to get a DX QSO for my streak will go tonight. Maybe I'll just wind up with a rag chew like I did last night. I'll know in about 7 minutes.
One good thing today is that it is February 20. What's good about that, you ask. To my way of figuring from years of observations, this is the day or around the day when the altitude of the sun in the sky is high enough to produce enough heating of the ground to melt s#$w more readily, and when that happens, it is a great thing. -30-
Fri Feb 19 2021 7:49PM - I thought I'd get an easy DX streak QSO this evening, but none of the DX I called were hearing me. So, I found another station on 20 calling a regular CQ and called him and had a nice rag chew with Allan in OR on 20 meters. Probably the first rag chew I've had with someone in Oregon in many a moon.
Another good day today. I actually thought kindly of snow today when I was out helping Jasmine shovel it and some ice off her sidewalk.
To close today, here's an excerpt from the email I talked about in yesterday's diary entry:
Writing to compliment you on your website.
I was into CW simply because at the time I did a lot of HF operating I
was licensed as a Technician and that was the only way to go AND I did
not have power/high-long antenna capability.
10 meters was memorable because of the contacts out of Europe using a
1/2 wave horizontal dipole during the sunspot maximum. You could tell
the Eastern Europe operators at times because of the instability of the
signal (warble) when they keyed code. But, it was all about making the
contact that counted.
Steve Lapinskas KA1JJA
Nashua, New Hampshire
And that's it for another diary entry. -30-
Thu Feb 18 2021 7:32PM - A good day, but quiet compared to the busy day yesterday. My streak QSO this evening was from a DX station on 40 meters. I worked ZF9CW fairly easily. He worked a couple other stations before getting me on a single call. I imagine he is setting up for the ARRL DX Contest this weekend. I won't be doing much in the contest here as I have some other things planned which hopefully will work out. I will try to get in some QSOs though just to keep in practice working DX. HI
I got a nice email about the diary and the web site from Steve KA1JJA. I emailed him back to ask if he wouldn't mind if I used the email in the diary, but I haven't heard back from him yet. If he does give permission, I will post it as soon as I hear from him. -30-
Wed Feb 17 2021 6:10PM - Now here's Mike! Good evening everyone. This is a makeup day for John and I. We were scheduled to get together on Monday, but postponed it due to the winter storm that never arrived. Our plan was to visit the Best Buy in Monroeville, Pa. to see if my old Toshiba laptop could be repaired. Unfortunately it can't. I am impressed with the honesty of the Geek Squad mmember that helped me. She could have said yes we can fix it. But instead she gave me the option of installing a new hard drive and maybe having to come back because it may fail due to the age of the rest of the system. So I went to plan B. I only used this laptop for a interactive virtual cycling program called Zwift (check them out on YouTube). Plan B was to purchase a Apple TV Box. There is a app for Zwift on Apples App Store. I have been using my iPad Mini to run the program. The small screen makes for difficult veiwing. The Apple TV box will be conected to the 20" flat screen tv that I had connected to the old laptop via a HDMI cable. This will make my indoor cycle training much more enjoyable. Plus the gentleman who helped me find where the Apple TV box was located was very professional well. He helped John find the Apple iPhone display. Yes John is working on getting a cell phone. Oh the horror. Our QRP guru is coming of age mobile phone wise. Hi-Hi!!! I had asked the young man who helped John and I with our Apple questions if I needed a particular type of cable to connect to my tv. He said nope, any HDMI cable will work. He could have said yes I needed a particular cable. I am very impressed with the professionalism and honesty of the employees at the Monroeville Best Buy.
We also did some maintenance on Johns model railroad, tried our hand at a few computer games, and tried to find some DX just a while ago. And yes, we had a bite to eat. We both had he Pesto Vegetarian Sub from Vocelli's, only because it's Ash Wednesday. Thats all for me. CU next time. 73 de Mike KC2EGL.
Thanks for writing that, Mike. As far as the smart phone goes, I finally relented when Jasmine told me she thought I should get one a few weeks ago. She tutored me on hers and gave me a good idea of what I need to get, and then Mike pretty much fleshed out the items that she wasn't sure about during our visit today. I figure within a couple weeks I'll have one and then have to learn the finer points of using one. At least I'll have a close-by tutor. HI -30-
Tue Feb 16 2021 7:29PM - We really lucked out on the storm last night. The temperature rose to 32, then 33, then 34 just as the rain started to fall so we didn't get much freezing rain. There was some on things like railings and other objects in the air like that which were out in the open. It was only a glaze though. Some places in PA had up to almost an inch of ice, but strangely (fortunately) there wasn't much in the way of power outages like they got and are getting in TX. I heard one news story that said some 4 million homes are without power there.
Now we're getting ready for another round Thursday night. It looks like a snow only event here as of now. I hope so.
It should be a good day tomorrow with some sun and a temp in the mid 20s. Good for some running around with Mike to Best Buy and maybe elsewhere.
The bands were kind of cold tonight in conjunction with the weather, I guess. HI I heard very little activity outside the usual nets, but I did work W8VLN over in OH for the streak after about 10 minutes of looking. -30-
Mon Feb 15 2021 2:43PM - When Jasmine was here yesterday, we paused in our jigsaw work to take a picture of me in the shack to update the one on my home page from 2019 to 2021. Considering the old man she had as a subject, I think it came out very good, and I told her the exact same thing.
That's probably my entry for the day if nothing else exciting happens the rest of the day. We are under a winter storm warning tonight that includes some freezing rain with the prediction varying from 0.1 or less to 0.4 inches. Right now it's for around 0.1 inch. I guess we won't really know until it happens. -30-
Sun Feb 14 2021 7:42PM - I had a great Valentine's Day. I hope you did also. I could write a very long diary entry about today, but I'm not going to do that. Let's just say Jasmine and I had a good time working a jigsaw puzzle for a couple hours.
Of course the SST Sprint gave me a quick streak QSO from NJ8M out in KS on 80M.
It looks like yet another couple days of bad weather are coming. Hopefully after that, things will start to calm down again. -30-
Sat Feb 13 2021 7:48PM - A good day for a change here. The weather wasn't too bad. They were predicting some snow and maybe freezing drizzle which never materialized as far as I know. The temperature stayed in a very narrow range, 24 to 26 degrees. I think that's the narrowest range I've seen in my records. I don't think we ever had a one degree range in the some 22,600 days on which I've kept records. Wow, has it been that long!
I had a 36 minute rag chew with K4EJQ in TN for my streak QSO. I enjoyed that. We chatted about various subjects.
I gave a box of Valentine candy to my friend Jasmine today. I'm glad I have her to keep me young after reading my first paragraph above. HI. I also gave a box to the other ladies in the house. Hopefully tomorrow will be a jigsaw puzzle day with Jasmine. She seemed pretty sure about it today.
Hmmm, have you noticed that my good days are days that have something to do with Jasmine? Could that be more than a coincidence? HI. -30-
Fri Feb 12 2021 7:40PM - Even the weather is getting in a rut and depressing. At least it's not too bad, but the sameness is bad. And according to Penn State and other sources, it's going to continue for at least another week.
I worked my friend Jim K4WOP on 80 for my streak QSO. We discussed school and related matters for about 22 minutes. Copy was about 95 percent or so solid both ways. -30-
Thu Feb 11 2021 7:31PM - I had a nice chat with Michel VE2CW on 80M this evening for the streak QSO. There wasn't a lot heard on 80, but I caught Michel just as he was starting up at 0000Z. It was pretty much solid copy both ways for the whole 20 minute QSO. -30-
Wed Feb 10 2021 7:19PM - Yet another of those dull nothing days. When will they end? I hate having nothing to write about in the diary only slightly less than I hate having nothing actually happen. Sorry for being so depressing.
I got two QSOs this evening, both rather poor due to QSB and QRN, but good enough to keep the streak going anyway. -30-
Tue Feb 9 2021 7:32PM - Again not a lot going on today. I've got a little note here to remind me of our NAQCC sprint coming up in about an hour. I want to get on just long enough to get one QSO unless conditions are good enough to allow a lot of QRP signals to break through my noise. Meanwhile I had no trouble with Bill W9ZN breaking through as he was running a KW to an inverted L for my streak QSO a little while ago. -30-
Mon Feb 8 2021 7:50PM - A good day today. A quick QSO. Good weather. What more can you ask for? I'm feeling really up tonight after some down days.
Strangely I found a station calling CQ SST. He was either a day late, or there is a second SST. Let me see the WA7BNM Contest Calendar. There is a second one each week, but at 2000Z on Fridays if I read the listing correctly. So I guess the fellow I worked was confused. Anyway it was a QSO for the streak.
It was cold today, but still a nice day. A low of 10 and high of 28. Maybe it just felt good because we're getting nearer and nearer to that magic end of winter day on March 1. Also because it is now fairly bright as late as 6:00PM and beyond. Yes!
Also because I'll be seeing Mike next Monday for a trip to Best Buy. More about that later.
Last but not least, after a couple days of not seeing much of Jasmine because she was not feeling well, then being busy with chores, we had a brief time together today, and set up a tentative jigsaw working get together for Sunday the 14th. -30-
Sun Feb 7 2021 7:38PM - Another day with little happening. With the SST sprint or contest this evening it was a quick QSO even though I was watching the Super Bowl at the neighbors and didn't get to the shack till about quarter past seven. I called one station who didn't hear me, then called and worked K1BG in MA on 40. I still think I will get in the SST for the full hour some time and see what I can do. It reminds me of the old CD parties and the current NA QSO Parties which I liked very much. I just don't have the concentration or attention span to stick with contests now that I'm older. Well, except for the ARRL and CQ DX tests, that is. Mike and I plan to do a tag team effort in the ARRL DX later this month.
It was another fairly nice weather day today as have the majority of days this winter. It's going to be cold tonight though, dropping into the upper single digits above zero.
I'm just waiting for my laundry to finish as I'm typing. I kind of like getting it done on Sunday evening instead of Monday morning.
I forgot (I do that a lot now) to mention that Sirius is now rising right around 6:00PM which is another sign that winter is drawing to a close, thank goodness. -30-
Sat Feb 6 2021 7:24PM - I used the FOC QSO Party for my QSO this evening working N3RS on 80 meters.
Well, tomorrow marks the end of the first week of February which means only 3 weeks left in winter. Of course some years that has been when we had a very bad spell of winter weather. I don't have the figures at hand, but a few years ago in that period we had temperatures around -17 F on a couple occasions. And this coming weekend of the 13th we are supposed to have our first spell of below zero readings this winter. -30-
Fri Feb 5 2021 7:32PM - It took just a couple minutes to get my streak QSO tonight from AA9IK Joe in WI on 80 meters. Then we chatted 26 minutes with pretty much solid copy both ways.
It was cold up in WI at 8 degrees and going below zero overnight. Not so bad here as it's 29 now and maybe going down around 20. Best of all, no s#$w to speak of. However it looks like that Canadian freezer door is going to be opened next weekend and left open for a few days according to Penn State weather. It doesn't look like any accompanying s#$w to speak of though, and that's good. That should take us to and past mid-February which is good also. -30-
Thu Feb 4 2021 7:28PM - Another mid-winter doldrums days today. At least there was some Sun to keep it from being totally gloomy. I worked on indexing my digital photographs more today, and played some computer games. That really about sums it up, unfortunately.
It took about 10 minutes for my streak QSO this evening although the bands were pretty good. I worked N5JED in OH on 80 meters. -30-
Wed Feb 3 2021 8:11PM - I had a nice chat with W8VLN tonight for my streak QSO. Otherwise not a lot to talk about today. It was a nice day weatherwise with bright sunny skies to match my disposition today. Actually I did do something I've been putting off for a while. I shredded a lot of old bills that are no longer needed. Anybody need three bags of confetti? HI I also did some other cleaning up here and there. -30-
Tue Feb 2 2021 7:56PM - Punxsutawney Phil was not kind today, predicting 6 more weeks of winter, but I don't really care all that much. There's nothing I can personally do about it. I said that February would probably be cold since all that Arctic air up in Canada has just been sitting there getting colder and colder, and sometime Canada is going to release it and let it flow down here. The first flow is due this weekend with a low near zero Sunday night.
I was a little late getting to the shack, but still got a quick QSO from Steve W9IK on 80 meters.
Not a great overall day, but a good ending. Jasmine was busy with on-line school today and then some other chores until about 6:00 when we did get together for about 20 minutes and made some plans for some future projects like working a double-sided jigsaw puzzle, and taking a picture for my web site here to replace the one from 2019. -30-
Mon Feb 1 2021 7:27PM - Congratulations to W4DUK who is the winner of the ARRL Gift Certificate "raffle" drawing. The certificate will be in the mail as soon as weather permits getting to the PO.
This was pretty much a nothing day today. I did some sidewalk cleaning this morning with Jasmine. There wasn't school today after a s#$wfall during the night. But she was busy most of the day and that was the only time we got to spend together.
We might get another snowfall during the night and we'll see what that brings for tomorrow. We'll also have to see what the groundhog brings for tomorrow, if anything at all. Hopefully an early end to winter.
I had a nice chat tonight with W3ZT up in NY who was using an old vintage homebrew rig. I think he said it used a 47 osc and a 210 final if I remember the numbers correctly. It sounded good with just a tad of unstability. The osc ran all the time and only the final was keyed so that helped keep it stable. -30-