2022-03-01 00:00:00 GMT-05:00TILL SPRING ARRIVES!!
Fri Jan 21 7:53PM - As easy as it was last night getting QSOs is how hard it was tonight, a 180 degree reversal. I did finally manage to work old friend Paul KB4GYT finally, but it wasn't easy, and the QSO kind of crumbled in QSB and QRN after the first round completed.
Nothing else worth noting happened today. About the only good thing to say about it was that it was a bright sunny day, although cold with a high only a little above 20. No s@#w though, and that's another good thing, for sure. -30-
Thu Jan 20 7:49PM - An interesting evening getting my streak QSO just 1 month after hitting the 10,000 day mark. That has nothing to do with the interesting part. Just thought I'd throw it in. HI.
I got on a little late as I was over at my neighbor's house till about 0010Z or so. Tuned in to 40 and found PJ2ND calling CQ and operating split up 1. I set the KX3 for split and called. He sent K3?, I sent K3WWP and we had a quick QSO. Then I heard KP4JRS calling CQ. Zeroed in on him and got him with just sending K3WWP once. Two quick easy DX QSOs with 2 calls and a repeat. So with the streak QSO(s) out of the way, I went to 80 and tuned around. Found K4LXY and we had a 24 minute solid rag chew till the end when QSB set in. I sometimes kid about having a hidden KW amplifier when conditions are good like tonite and my 5 watts works so well. It doesn't really take a KW when conditions are good and they certainly were tonight.
Looks like a cold night coming up here and tomorrow night as well. The low predicted to be near 0 both nights. But none of the ugly s#$w predicted outside a few flurries, so the cold won't be so bad. -30-
Wed Jan 19 8:15PM - This was a busy day today, but I don't have all that much time to talk about it here in the diary as our NAQCC sprint is coming up in a few minutes. So here's sort of a Reader's Digest version. I got an indoor vent for my clothes dryer and finished installing it today. It was venting out my kitchen window, and now I think I can seal up the window better against the cold weather, although it was pretty good already. It got up to 50 today so I went out to my weather shelter to get caught up on my readings. We lost all but about 3-4 inches of our s#$w today. So I also took a walk to Sprankle's to pick up a couple of items and also got the chance to see a couple of my girls there. I got a DX station for my QSO tonight in FM/F6BWJ. Got him on 40M with just a single call. I also did some other small things around the house which I won't go into since I probably can't remember them anyway. HI. OK, that's it. -30-
Tue Jan 18 8:36PM - Things are getting back to normal today after the big s#$w, but there is a lot left over that is going to be an unwelcome guest for a while yet. Sigh!
I made 4 QSOs this evening, the most in one day outside of contests in quite some time. One was on 40M with KU4E. That ended prematurely when the band just changed suddenly. Then I went to 80 and called CQ. W8KM in MI answered me before too long. After a 14 minute QSO, K9UT gave me a tail-end call. He's one of our early NAQCC members at #66. After that, I called CQ again and W3HIZ answered me from Baltimore MD. -30-
Mon Jan 17 7:57PM - Not a good day overall. We got about 10 inches of the ugly white stuff overnight and early today. I'd post a picture of it, but I don't post obscene pictures in my diary. There was some good in it though. There was no freezing rain mixed in, nor any sleet. At least I didn't see any, and there were no traces of any left if there was any.
Not much else to write about except my streak QSO that came from Mike KB0HXL on 40 meters. It was about as "mild" up in MN as it was here, 27 vs 28. -30-
Sun Jan 16 7:34PM - Well, tonight we're under a winter weather advisory because of heavy s#$w with a possibility of some freezing rain and sleet mixed in.
I said I'd have more info about the tag team event in the NAQP on Saturday with me and Mike. I wound up with 130 QSOs, some 40 more than Mike mainly because he left a bit early to take care of his dog Jayden. In my log, I see 42 sections overall from all 5 bands 80, 40, 20, 15, 10. If you count sections or multipliers per band, it adds up to 15 15 14 11 6 = 61. QSOs per band 28 25 27 35 15 = 130. I was in a good mood, and was really up for the contest. You probably know why, so I won't mention it here. I think I only made about 5 sending errors the whole contest and I was dupe checking mostly in my head instead of in GenLog. It really felt good and I'm looking forward to another tag team effort come the ARRL DX contest next month. It was nice to have 15 and even 10 open on Saturday. I hope they are open again regularly from now on for the next couple years at least.
My streak QSO tonight of course was in the SST Sprint when I worked N8AA on 80. Right now I'm doing my laundry which like the SST is a Sunday night tradition. HI. -30-
Sat Jan 15 9:07PM - Busy day. More info in tomorrow's diary entry. Fun in the NAQP with Mike preceded by shopping this morning. -30-
Fri Jan 14 8:23PM - I was surprised to find 40 busy and 20 had a few signals this evening. Hope that bodes well for tomorrow when Mike and I will be doing a tag team event in the NAQP. I called CQ on 40 tonight and got an answer from KC2KWA in NC.
I took care of my second half of the month bills today. I think the 14th is the earliest I've ever gotten them done. They were all here and I was ambitious for a change so.....
Except for two trips to the post office, I didn't do any walking today. It was a bit on the cold side in the low 30s most of the day. Not much else going on to talk about. -30-
Thu Jan 13 7:51PM - Rainy today, but still a good one for a couple reasons. First it was rain, not s@#w and that's always good. Second I got to see Jasmine after school today for the first time in a while and it was a good visit albeit a short one.
Otherwise I did some more house cleaning. I'm trying to do a little bit each day and maybe by December 31, 2022 I'll have it in pretty good shape. HI
The bands seemed good tonight, but when they are good, sometimes it makes it hard to find a QSO since everyone is already working everyone else and CQs are hard to find, and no one seems to answer my CQs. However that didn't really hold true tonight as I found and worked W9YY near Chicago who was calling CQ on 80M. -30-
Wed Jan 12 8:20PM - A little busier today which is good. My neighbor and I went shopping this morning to Family Dollar and Sprankle's. We got stocked up on some things, and more important to me, I got to chat a bit with a couple of my young girl....friends at Sprankle's.
The bands were better tonight, or I should say busier, I guess. For the third night in a row now, I've had solid 58/99 rag chews with hams in Ohio. Tonight it was KD8BBK in Louisville, OH on 80 meters.
Actually I guess except for the shopping, it really wasn't all that busy a day. Well, the weather wasn't bad with a high in the mid 40s and I got in a nice walk and a sitting in the park for some phone games and thinking. -30-
Tue Jan 11 4:06PM - A couple entries ago I said I wish I had taken a before and after picture of some s@#wmelt. I hadn't then, but I did today and here are the pictures taken 1H 58M apart. The first at 11:21AM, the second at 1:19PM. They were taken out my kitchen window. Note how much of the s@#w melted, especially on the concrete pads left over from an old lumberyard that used to be there many years ago. The air temperature was in the low 20s, well below freezing. The melt was mostly from the sun beating down on the ground. Once it opened up some breaks in the s@#w on the concrete, the melt went fast after that.
Mon Jan 10 8:52PM - Late getting to the shack, but I made up for it by finding a QSO almost immediately like last night. When I turned on the PX3 I saw 3 or 4 strong peaks and the 4th one I checked turned out to be NR8M calling CQ. Got him, and we had a very solid 2x599 QSO for 32 minutes. Bob is in Ohio and the QSO was on 80 meters.
Otherwise as usual not much to report on. I was going to report on my fitness activity, but I'll have to analyze the fitness statistics more before I can do an accurate report. Very basically, I walk between 9 and 10 miles daily in 20 to 22,000 steps at a rate of 2.5 to 3 mph. Those are very basic stats, as a said and bear more analysis to be more meaningful. -30-
Sun Jan 9 7:16PM - SOSE - Same Old Sunday Evening. My QSO came almost immediately when I sat down at the rig thanks to the SST Sprint. I worked Anne N1YL on 80M.
I enjoyed one of my (maybe my only) favorite winter activities today. Watching s#$w/ice melting. Temperature in the mid 40s made short work of the approximate 1.5 inches of s#$w and a glaze coating of ice. Good riddance! It will be back though, unfortunately.
It was even nice enough to go on a couple of the Roscoe walks in shirtsleeves. Although later in the day, I needed a light jacket to go shopping to Family Dollar.
I wish I'd taken a before and after photo of the s@#w yesterday and then the green lawns and bare sidewalks today. Oh well, maybe next time. Maybe a time lapse photo would be nice. I have an app for my iPhone that takes time lapse photos very nicely. Maybe I'll post one of my better cloud / sunset photos. -30-
Sat Jan 8 8:31PM - The bands sounded pretty good tonight as the SF climbed over 100 again. It took a little while to find a QSO as everyone seemed already occupied in a QSO of their own. I finally did find and work W3ZT in NY on 80 meters.
Other than that, it was mainly just watching the weather forecasts keep changing as the forecasters couldn't decide if there was going to be freezing rain or just rain tonight. They're still not certain, but all forecasts predict only a trace or glaze of freezing rain if it does happen. It's just a wait and see situation. Then tomorrow will be an all rain event with up to 0.5 inches of rain and temps in the low to maybe mid 40s. -30-
Fri Jan 7 8:49PM - We wound up with about 1.5 inches of the ugly white stuff last night. Sure looks ugly outside compared to a couple days ago. Not as bad as it is where the ham I worked tonight lives though. By far. It was -5F right when we worked and the low in the morning was -35F along with 3 feet of s@#w on the ground. I don't even like to type that or think about it. That's in Cass County, MN if you're wondering.
Otherwise not much to talk about. I did some house cleaning again today and organized some things as well. Of course no going outside except for brief walks with Roscoe.
Waiting for a sub from Vocelli's right now, so I'll close. -30-
Thu Jan 6 7:26PM - It's s#$ing right now and that pretty much fits in with how the rest of the day has been going, to sum things up quickly. Even the bands were not that good tonight. I finally managed to find Chuck WS1L and worked him on 80 meters to keep the streak alive. It wasn't much of a QSO, but good enough to count as one. That's about all I can think is worth writing about. Hopefully tomorrow will be better and provide more material for the diary. -30-
Wed Jan 5 8:40PM - I ran into another old ham friend like I did last night with NR8M. Tonight it was Dan KB6NU. Unfortunately conditions weren't as favorable tonight and we struggled to copy each other and finally had to quit after about 7 minutes of trying. That's life on the ham bands.
Otherwise it was a great day or evening actually. My neighbor Bruce needed something at Sprankle's. I told him I might be going there, and that cinched it as I really didn't need anything right away and probably wouldn't have gone without his needing something. Well things worked out great because my young friend Haylee was working. She had cut way back on her hours because of school work, and this was the first time I'd seen her in just about a month. She was quite busy, but we did manage to talk for several minutes around the work. It was good to hear that all is going well with her.
Otherwise we had an even nicer sunset tonight than last night, and I did the same routine, taking pictures and sending them to Jasmine who immediately thanked me for them.
Let's see, what else happened today. It was a nice day and even mild enough to sit in the park for a while for a thinking and iPhone game session. Very unusual for January. We might get an end to the nice weather in a couple days though with some s#$w predicted. We're on the edge of the storm and how much we get depends on the track. Right now it looks good with around an inch or maybe just a little more. That could change one way or the other though. OK, waiting for a sub sandwich now, so I'll close here. -30-
Tue Jan 4 7:47PM - The rut continues in 2022, but it's a good rut. Decent weather, no major problems, not a lot to do, etc. plus contact with friends in person and on the radio. It would not be bad to have things continue this way until spring, and then pick up with warm weather, gardening, more walking, maybe some fishing, astronomy, train rides..... John, wake up, stop dreaming. Why? There's nothing wrong with dreaming, let me continue, OK?
I'll get back to that later, I guess. After getting to the shack a few minutes late, it only took a minute to find my friend Bob NR8M calling CQ. We had a nice long 32 minute rag chew, actually talking about the same stuff I talked about above plus other ham related things.
I did some more updating on the web site today. I added a QRP rig review of the Icom IC-705 written by Charles KW6G. It is very well written and informative and the first review submitted to me in several years. You know, there are several places you can contribute info to my web site. Take a good look around the site and see what I mean. You don't have to be a great writer with perfect grammar by any means.
We had a nice sunset tonight. I took several pictures and sent some to Jasmine who thought they were very nice. Think I'll post one here and also a picture of Roscoe I took earlier today. Back in a couple minutes.
The sunset viewed from back of my house. Roscoe on my neighbor's couch AKA Roscoe's bed. -30-
Mon Jan 3 7:56PM - OK, I got the date right tonight. This New Year's Day on a Saturday has me all out of sync with dates. However at least I haven't written 2021 here in 2022...yet. Probably will when I get to dating some important document.
It was a good day today. I went downtown to the bank, PO, and Sprankle's to get some things done and things bought. I saw a couple friends in the bank and Sprankle's. Had a good chat about the holidays with a bank teller friend. She and I had similar quiet holidays.
A bit of a tough go to get my QSO tonight. One of those nights when the only good signals were in nets, rag chews, or some kind of contest. I also called a lot of unanswered CQs till finally I got an answer from Bill W1KX up in ME on 80 meters.
I did some more work on the web site today. Thanks to a couple of you who pointed out some things that needed fixing or something that could be added. Feel free to speak up via email if you see anything on the web site that needs updating or any additions. -30-
Sun Jan 2 7:34PM - The string of quiet days continues. My main activity today continues to be work on updates to my web site. I updated my QSL stats page in the QSL section and the yearly stats page in the QRP section. I also updated the visitors list listing of guestbook signers and a few other minor things like adding a picture of my portable setup in the pictures page here in the Home section.
Of course being Sunday, I got a quick QSO in the SST Sprint. Hard to believe it's already 14 days past day 10,000. Time does fly. -30-
Sat Jan 1 9:21PM - As you see from the time stamp, I'm running late tonight. I think I finished up all my End of Year/First of Year work today. I just a little while ago wrapped up putting last year's weather data into the computer and I still have to put the printouts in my weather folder so I guess I'm not really done as I said. HI. Anyway, got to run now, so 73 and Happy New Year. -30-
Fri Dec 31 7:35PM - This is the last diary entry. I've decided to close it out with a picture, a description of the picture, and some remembrances of the diary history.
I don't think I ever talked about this before in the diary, and this final diary entry will be a good place to do it. I don't know the precise origin of the custom of putting coins out on a window sill overnight between December 31 and January 1. I think it was my late cousin Virginia who told me about it if memory serves. Anyway, I always do it every year. Supposedly it ensures that prosperity will be with you during the coming year. I'm maybe one of the most non-superstitious persons in the world, but hey, it has worked for me every year so who am I to dispute it? The picture shows the three quarters that I use each year on the window sill which needs some sanding and painting. The wire is the lead in from the ten meters dipole on the porch roof. Of course the shingles are on the porch roof. If the coins are still there and the spirit of anti-prosperity hasn't taken them, I'll bring them inside in the morning if I remember.
Sort of like the streak, when I started the diary I had no idea it would last this long. Let's see, my first diary entry which was actually not an organized diary entry, but just some comments on something or other which I will check in a moment. It wasn't an every day feature by any means and didn't become one for some time after the first comments.
The first comments were about updates to the web site and were posted on April 23, 2006 so the diary lasted about 15 years and 8 months until today. The next comments were on May 11, 2006 again about site updates. On May 15, 2006 the actual diary was born with this posting:
"Monday, May 15, 2006 - On other sites you'll hear them called blogs. Well I don't like that term. It sounds something like a contraction or nickname for the Balrog in "The Lord of the Rings." Those of you who have read this wonderful trilogy by J.R.R. Tolkien know that the Balrog is the embodiment of pure evil. Since LOTR is perhaps my favorite book of all time, I'll avoid any reference (even though it is imagined) to Balrogs or blogs and call my blog simply my Diary. Incidentally I will probably never watch the LOTR movies as I see no way they could ever come up to the high standards of the book.
Since this is the first entry in my diary, I'd like to tell you what I have in mind for it. First of all it is a place to talk about current news of my site and the NAQCC. Therefore I'm leaving the news items below on this page for a while. Speaking of retaining items, I plan to keep only the latest 30 days or so of items on this page. So if you should somehow find this interesting, keep that in mind when you check in here. If you don't check in regularly you'll miss some classic items. Whoa, back to reality, John. Probably nothing ever posted here will come close to being 'classic' in any respect, but a few hams here and there may find something of interest in my comments.
Here you'll also find random thoughts mostly about CW and QRP, but I may also stray afield and even comment on some non-ham radio matters.
This is an experiment for now, and I'd like to know how it is received by you, my visitors. When I first started this web site many moons ago, I had some daily propagation comments as I'm sure those of you who have been regular visitors (thanks) for a long time now will remember. When I dropped those, I received a lot of email saying how they were missed. So perhaps you (for some reason) enjoy my comments on things. Email me and let me know how you feel about this Diary idea.
Here's an example of the kind of things you'll be reading here. Tonight my QSO to continue my streak turned into an enjoyable rag chew with a 91 year old ham. Along with much other interesting info we exchanged, he mentioned how glad he was to have ham radio and especially CW. He told me he is losing his hearing and has trouble copying SSB transmissions, but he can still copy CW perfectly. That immediately struck me and made me wonder how those hams today who for whatever reason dislike CW will do if their hearing goes as they get older. Something to think about. I'm even more glad now that I'm a KNOW CODE ham. -30-"
Oh, I have watched the LOTR movies and they do come up to the standards of the book, in my opinion.
Other changes in the above story are that of course, I have archived past diary entries every once in a while to keep this page small but still retain the old info. I would say I have strayed quite far afield in diary content. Note that the -30- to close entries started with the very first diary entry. The origin is a little vague, but in the newspaper business, -30- means end of copy. It's also related to the American Morse signal 30 which was sent as ...-. - or in the International Code SK. That's a bit hard to explain without hearing the actual code, but I think you should get the picture.
I'm getting very long winded in this final diary entry so I'll close with thanks to all of you for being steady or part time readers over the years and all your interaction with the diary content over the years.
Oh maybe you got the wrong impression from "last diary entry". I meant for 2021 because like the streak, I intend to continue the diary until something way out of the ordinary causes me to end it. HAPPY NEW YEAR 2022 - MAY IT BE YOUR BEST AND HAPPIEST YEAR EVER. I am thinking of texting that to Jasmine right at midnight if it all works out. -30-
Thu Dec 30 8:36PM - I guess Thursdays are my good days. Last Thursday was great, and several good things happened today. I'm not going to go into them in detail. Let's just say that days when you get to spend a little time with friends are good ones. The more time, the better.
I also did some catching up on my web site updates getting ready for the new year. I eliminated some things I thought weren't really useful any longer. I also updated my guestbook archives. I still have a lot of things to check to see if they need any updating. If you ever see anything that looks hopelessly out of date, don't be afraid to let me know. It won't hurt my feelings any. I know I'm getting old plus I have a lot of other things that use up my grey matter these days and hamper my multi-tasking abilities.
I got a quick streak QSO tonight which I appreciated since I wanted to go to Sprankle's to see a couple of my young friends there. It was W3ZT in NY on 80M whom I worked a little earlier this month also.
I'm getting ready for a couple of busy days. Not only do I have all the usual EOM/FOM chores, but a collection of EOY/FOY ones also. Whew! -30-
Wed Dec 29 7:10PM - Although I was a couple minutes late getting to the shack, I got a very quick QSO. As soon as I turned on the rig, it was set right where W2T was calling CQ. I called but lost out to W1PID, then I was the next station he worked. Let's see what the special event was for. The Battle of Trenton.
Otherwise again not much news today. I guess everyone is just waiting for 2021 to run its course and hoping for a better year in 2022. Wouldn't that be great? Well, there is one thing, the weather was nice again and I got to sit in the park for a thinking session. It was around 50 and cloudy with no rain.
I heard from NAQCC and Skyview who are going to publish my streak news release. Still waiting from a couple others and a few I have yet to send the report to. -30-
Tue Dec 28 7:36PM - Ditto yesterday for the most part. I did get in an outside walk though. I went to Sprankle's to pick up a couple items and see if any of my young friends were there. They weren't. Really nothing much to talk about so I think I'll post a news release I wrote about the 10,000 days of the streak. I'm going to send it to organizations like FISTS, NAQCC, Our WPA SCM, and a few others like that to see if they will publish it and get a little more publicity for CW and QRP.
Here it is:
"August 5, 1994 through December 20, 2021 is a span of 10,000 days. On each and every one of those 10,000 days, John K3WWP made at least one QSO using CW, QRP power of 5 watts or less, and simple wire antennas including an end-fed random wire, most of which is in the attic and used on 160 through 30 meters, a 20 meters flat top inverted vee in the attic, a 15 meters vertical dipole on the side of the house also used for 17 and 12 meters, a 10 meters slanted dipole on the front porch roof, and a 6 meters rotatable dipole in the attic.
The rigs included a homebrew transmitter, a Kenwood TS-570, a Kenwood TS-480, an Elecraft K2, KX1, and KX3. All set at a power level of 5 watts or less output and only used on CW.
Here are some stats about the streak, all of which involved only the equipment listed above. John made a total of 72,190 QSOs during the 10,000 days. Involved were 20,098 different stations. Whether you worked John on one day or 100 days, you made it possible to have such a 10,000 day streak and John thanks you.
At least 2,099 QSOs were 1,000 or more miles per watt. 24,098 QSOs were DX (non W/VE) from 224 countries. All 50 states were each worked many times over, from 3,819 in Pennsylvania to 63 in Wyoming. Most worked DX country was Germany with 1,934 QSOs. Contacts by continent ranged from 52,639 in North America to 325 in Oceania plus 18 in Antarctica. 36 of the 40 CQ Zones were worked with 4 in Southeast Asia (22, 24, 26, 28) not worked. QSOs by band ranged from 19,279 on 40 and 15,459 on 20 down to just 28 on 60 and 39 on 6.
On 7,256 of the 10,000 days, the first QSO of the day came in the 0000Z hour. The latest time to log the daily first QSO was 2311Z on February 14, 1995 when John worked EA8/DJ1OT on 30 meters. 13 other days it took until the 2200Z hour to get the QSO. Most all of those late QSOs came in the early days of the streak when it was not all that well established.
John also had a DX streak within the 10,000 days. On 1,980 days from March 1, 2013 through August 1, 2018, John worked at least one DX station. Of course with the same equipment listed above. The DX station was also the QSO for the main streak that day or in addition to another main streak QSO.
The greatest satisfaction John got from the streak was the input from other hams who said the streak got them interested in operating CW and/or QRP and finding it gave them a lot of pleasure also, as it did to John. In that way it helped to preserve the wonderful mode of CW or Morse Code. Oh and John says it is not over by any means and it will continue on to 11,000, 12,000..... or when something beyond his control ends it. You can see much more info about the streak and other aspects of CW and QRP on John's web site at k3wwp.com."
Tom WY3H taught me that such articles should be written in third person. Being as he was a newspaper reporter, I believed him and did it that way.
The streak QSO tonight for day 10,009 was with KG5GID on 30 meters. Yes, 30 meters. I'd have to look back a long way in my log to see when the last streak QSO took place on 30. -30-
Mon Dec 27 7:48PM - Yet another quiet day, but a very rainy one this time. I couldn't even go out for a walk. Had to do all the walking inside, but I reached all my Apple Watch fitness goals anyway including 8.7 miles, 20,781 steps, 771 cal, 143 exersize mins, 10 hours with at least 1 min standing each hour. That's something like 219 straight days (yet another streak) of reaching the fitness goals.
A couple of QSOs tonight. First AA0YY in MO answered my CQ. He was running 400W on 80M. Then I got a tail end call from Chris N3MLB and he was running all of one watt. I'm surprised I heard him at all with my noise, but I managed to copy about half of what he was sending. -30-
Sun Dec 26 7:20PM - A quiet Boxing Day today. I watched "Miracle on 34th Street" this afternoon. I sat in the park for about a half hour thinking and playing word games on my iPhone. I went to Walmart with Bruce's brother Jeff to get some dog food for Roscoe. I did a bit of shopping later at Sprankle's. I guess it was not all that quiet after reading that list. HI.
Now I'm doing my laundry, so forget the opening sentence of this entry. Oh, there's more also. Mike gave me a set of wireless headphones for Christmas, and I was trying them out today connected wirelessly to the music on my iPhone. Then this evening I got my streak QSO from old friend John K4BAI in the SST Sprint. -30-
Sat Dec 25 9:16PM - Hope you all had a great Christmas. Mine was quiet. Mike and I did our usual Christmas lights tour this evening. It seems decorations were down this year from the past 3 or 4 years.
It took a little while to get my QSO after we got home, but I finally worked WB2FQL on 80M. -30-
Fri Dec 24 9:14AM - Now as I do each year:
For unto us a child is born,
unto us a son is given:
and the government shall be upon his shoulder:
and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counseller,
The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace.
Thu Dec 23 8:23PM - Hello gang. Where does the time go, and why does it accelerate when a person gets older? I'm sure that it does. It was just yesterday it seems that it was Thanksgiving, then December started, day 10,000 came along, and now it's almost Christmas. Whew! Actually I sort of celebrated Christmas today with my friend Jasmine. Kind of nice to do it without all the crowds of people. Just like a one on one CW QSO. HI
Anyway a Merry Christmas to all of my friends out there in Internet and ham radio land. I'll say that now because tomorrow's entry will be my standard Christmas Eve diary entry if I remember. HI
I've received a couple QSL cards from hams I worked on day 10,000, K3JZD K3SWZ and NA0F, and responded with kind of a cobbled together somewhat special QSL card. If you worked me that day and would like a card, just let me know by sending me your card, and I'll get one back to you. It's not fancy but it does point out the significance of the day. Thanks.
The video seems to work OK now for several different folks and several tries. See the link in the entry below. -30-
Wed Dec 22 9:05AM - I've been having problems with the video of my first QSO on day 10,000 of the streak. It works a while, then quits. I am trying one last thing here, then probably will give up for today. Try this link which should take you to a page of video thumbnails. Click on the one labelled Video3.mov and you should see the video playing. Email me and let me know. Thanks to KW6G, KC2EGL and N1EAV for earlier help. More info added to the diary later today.
Just got a text message from Mike who said, "I took the photo of you at your desk just after you sat down and just before I took the video." So that clears up exactly when the photo below was taken. It also makes it clear that the QSO with VE3FP came exactly at 0000Z As I sat down right at 0000Z.
I have now updated the streak story in the QRP section of the web site to 10,000 days. Just one addition I want to make and that is a list of the 24 hours of a day and the number of first daily QSOs of the 10,000 days that came in that hour. That is now done. -30-
Tue Dec 21 1:34PM - Today a picture and video. See the above entry for a link to the video on my OneDrive site. It was made by Mike KC2EGL and shows me making my first QSO on day # 10,000 with VE3FP on 40 meters in the SST Sprint.
For those who prefer still photos, here's one. I'm not sure just when Mike took this picture. I'm guessing it was taken as I'm looking for that first QSO.
Now to close this entry a list of all (I hope) those who sent along guestbook or email comments on day 10,000. I got a lot of emails on other topics also and may have accidentally deleted a pertinent email or two. Here's the list. Thanks to all of you. I tried to answer all personally, but I may have missed someone.
KW6G N5XE AJ5P VA7UNX W5GQ K5MO N4VBV WB4JJJ ON6KE K3JZD NX8Y WA2JSG N0MRK. Plus many of those I worked on the 20th added their congratualtions. Thanks. -30-
Mon Dec 20 8:03PM - I wrote part of this earlier in the day. Here's that part: I only got 2 QSOs in an hour on 20 meters, and then a DX pileup started near 14026 so I gave up on 20 meters after one hour. Sorry. Next up is 40 meters at 2100-2300Z on 7026.6. Hope to work you there. More in this entry later today so check every once in a while. Perhaps I'll try another 20 meters effort later today.
OK now I pick up from there. I didn't get around to another 20 meters session, but I did put in virtually a full 2 hour effort from 2100-2300Z on 40 meters. It wasn't as fruitful as the 80 meters session last night, but did provide 10 more QSOs to make the three band total 28 QSOs from 27 different hams. The only ham I worked on two bands was Jock N1JI on 80 and 40. Let me add to and include the list I posted last night. PA NH IL NJ WI MN CT VA NY NC OK LA OH MI ON VT IN FL. 16 states and 1 VE province. Not bad for 5 hours using a little setup like mine. Just another indication that QRP CW and simple wire antennas work, and work well.
Now I've got a lot more work planned in conjunction with the 10,000 days. I want to completely finish updating my stats in the QRP Main Streak story page in the QRP section of the web site. Basically I just have to incorporate the QSOs for December 20 into the stats already there up through December 19. That shouldn't take too long, but it will take a little effort. I also want to have you tell me what you would like to commemorate your 10,000 day QSO with me, if anything at all. Either a special QSL card or maybe a small certificate. It's up to you to let me know if you want something or not, and I'll take care of it.
Thanks go out to all of you, whether you're someone who worked me on any day from day 1 through day 10,000. Without you we wouldn't be talking about 10,000 days at all. Special thanks to those 27 of you who worked me on December 20. Not to forget VE3FP who was actually the first QSO on day 10,000 when I worked him in the SST Sprint. I'm sure he wasn't even aware of the streak. HI Thanks to all those who emailed me with their congratulations. I replied to all of them and will list them here in the diary in a day or few.
A couple of interesting events of day 10,000. I worked W2XS John whom I had worked a few days earlier when we talked about 10,000. He said he definitely wanted to work me to make it 10,000. Well, he wasn't the first, but we did work. He was number 13 and immediately asked if he made it. I said to him he was one of 13 hams I worked so far today.
And then there was another QSO that was not quite long enough for a 1000 MPW QSO, but had some human interest anyway. Mike and I were talking and somehow the conversation went to CO8LY whom we both have worked many times and who was my QSO of the day many times in the streak when the bands were kind of iffy, but he'd always be there on the N-S path between us. We said it would be a great honor to have him in the log for 10,000. We agreed the odds of that happening were slim and none and slim left town as a friend of mine from WPIT used to say all the time. I then said I think it would be nice to have one other ham in the log, KC2EGL. That we could do. I said my old KX-1 was right there over on a cabinet and the dummy load was in a shoebox right above it. Mike hooked it up as I kept working stations, and when he was ready, he answered my CQ and he was in the log. Less than 1 Foot per Watt, I'd estimate.
All in all, it was a fun day and mixed in with an after school visit with Jasmine made it even better.
I think I'll cut it off for this entry, but more to come in the next few entries, I hope.
Oh, almost forgot. Day # 10,001 got the next 10,000 started tonight with a nice chat with WA7WKY, Barry in Ohio on 80 meters. -30-
Sun Dec 19 9:16PM - Well, there weren't any last minute details so I didn't need or do an afternoon update today. Things went just as planned tonight. Mike arrived around 5PM and we had a pizza, then passed time till 7PM or 0000Z came along. I got my streak QSO for day # 10,000 a few seconds after 0000Z in the SST Sprint. Then I went to my plan of CQing as outlined in recent diary entries. I made 16 more QSOs on 80 meters from PA NH IL NJ WI MN CT VA NY NC. Conditions were pretty good and even the weaker signals were readable with a little effort. We'll do it all over again tomorrow. Over the next few days I will be posting more info about the 10,000 days. I've already updated the main streak report in the QRP section, QRP Streaks page except for adding the QSOs of 12/20/2021 to the stats. More coming tomorrow and the next few days. Now QRT for tonight's entry. -30-
Sat Dec 18 5:54PM - The two contests, Croatian and SP 160 should make quick work of day 9,999 of the streak and set things up for day 10,000 on Sunday evening at 0000Z in the SST Sprint. Then on to the following schedule to which I've now added specific frequencies:
12/20 80M - 3526.6 or 3525.6 depending on QRM after the SST QSO shortly after 0000Z until 0200Z
12/20 20M - 14026.6 or 14025.6 depending on QRM 1500-1700Z
12/20 40M - 7026.6 or 7025.6 depending on QRM 2100-2300Z
Remember I have strong local QRN here, and you may have to use QRO power for me to hear you.
I'll call simple short CQs like CQ CQ DE K3WWP K3WWP K. If it is busy, please keep the QSOs short.
Questions? Just ask via email and I'll answer in the diary tomorrow afternoon along with any other needed last minute details. -30-
Fri Dec 17 4:17PM - Now that it is pretty sure the streak will make it to 10,000 days, barring some major unforseen disaster, I can think about finalizing my plans for that day.
First of all, my plans for calling CQ after I get the QSO in the SST Sprint:
12/20 80M - after the SST QSO shortly after 0000Z until 0200Z
12/20 20M - 1500-1700Z
12/20 40M - 2100-2300Z
Frequencies to be announced here in the diary later.
Mike has said he will also announce info in the CW Clubs to which he belongs.
More info in the next diary entries on Sat and early Sun.
Questions? Just ask. -30-
Thu Dec 16 5:39PM - Not much going on today and I'm a bit bored right now, so I thought I'd pass a little time and write the diary now.
I was doing some thinking today about the streak among other things including my girl....friends. It was so nice today with a high in the low 60s, I even went for a walk in my shirtsleeves (Def:The state of wearing no coat, jacket, or other outer garment over one's shirt). Always wondered if that term was correct in going without a jacket, etc., so I looked it up and it is just what I always thought. It seems like it should mean wearing just the sleeves of a shirt without the rest of the shirt, but..... I digress, sorry. I also sat in my shirtsleeves on a park bench and did a lot of thinking there. I didn't really arrive at any decisions about anything except the streak.
I think if I get my QSO tonight, the rest of the way to 10,000 will be the proverbial piece of cake. Have to look up that expression. From the Idiom Dictionary: "Something easily accomplished, as in I had no trouble finding your house-a piece of cake. This expression originated in the Royal Air Force in the late 1930s for an easy mission, and the precise reference is as mysterious as that of the simile easy as pie. Possibly it evokes the easy accomplishment of swallowing a slice of sweet dessert." Got that? There will be a pop quiz in a few days. Now where did "pop quiz" originate? No John, enough of that!
Why will the rest of the streak be easy? Because there are contests spanning the 18th, 19th, and 20th. The RAC Winter, Croatian CW, Stew Perry 160, and the SST Sprint in that order. If I can't get QSOs in at least 3 of those 4 contests, I don't deserve to reach 10,000. Now if I can just get past the 17th in about an hour or so. Check the streak table on my web site home page later to see if I made it, if you're curious. -30-
Wed Dec 15 7:32PM - It didn't take too long to get a QSO tonight even though conditions are still not all that good. I found W3ZT calling CQ and worked him through the QSB and QRN on 80 meters, leaving just three days before the big day #10,000 in the streak. I've pretty much decided on getting my day 10,000 QSO in the SST Sprint, and then calling CQ on a yet to be decided frequency, probably on 80 meters as long as I can or as long as there are stations calling. Mike thinks there should be a lot of callers, but I'm not as sure. I do know that my local QRN is going to prohibit me from hearing weak stations calling, so if you're not a dedicated QRP operator like me, feel free to run up your power when calling.
Then during the day on Monday the 20th, I hope to operate on 40 and 20 meters depending on conditions. All the times and frequencies will be decided upon and posted here in the diary probably in the entry for the 18th.
Today was a damp dreary day typical of our December weather unlike the past few great weather days. I did get in one walk with a stop at Family Dollar for some "junk" snacks, but that was about it for being outside except for the normal short Roscoe walks.
Inside, I did some computer cleaning and upgrading to pass the time. -30-
Tue Dec 14 7:34PM - Kind of a busy day although I didn't really do much, if that makes sense. I guess a lot of little somewhat time consuming things might be a better description. HI
Just got off the air after a QSO with my friend Lane N8AFT on 80. I've talked about him in the diary several times so long time readers should know of him.
Just before that, I got back from a walk around town taking pictures of Christmas lights. There don't seem to be as many this year as in the previous 3 or 4 years. Not surprising, really. Still some pretty nice ones.
It was a nice weather day again and I went for a couple other walks in additions to the "lights" one. Our Sprankle's store has one of about 50 small Christmas trees in our park that are set up to promote business in town or to honor some individuals. Anyway, the Sprankle's signs around the tree have blown down a couple times, so I took some wire with me today and fastened them more securely. Maybe I'll post a picture of that and one of Roscoe at the end of this entry. I told Laura in the office about the tree, and she thanked me, and I said you all are always nice to me, and I was glad to do this in return. The other day I gave her a card for all the workers, and signed it something like "Been a customer of this store for many many years going back to when it was A&P (Atlantic and Pacific Tea Company), then Kroger, IGA before it became Sprankle's. She said that was a long time ago, and I said well, I come from a long time ago. She laughed at that. It was true. I would guess that goes back to the 1950s at least. There may have been a couple other owners in there also. I can't remember. It's located in the same building and is only about 3-4 blocks from my home here, about a 5 minute walk. Since I don't drive, I go there a lot to pick up just a few items at a time. That makes it nice since I get to see my young girl...friends more often. HI
OK, let me prepare the pictures now. Be back, but of course you won't even know I'm gone. Gee, I'm wound up and wordy tonight.
The tree picture is washed out because the sun was right behind it. Roscoe was sitting on the chair right next to me. That's my blue coat at the right edge.
Our NAQCC Sprint is coming up shortly, so I'll close here. -30-
Mon Dec 13 7:41PM - The count of days is getting pretty small now to reach 10,000 days in the QRP/CW streak. For a change tonight, conditions were good and the QSO came easily. Outside of contests, it was about the earliest QSO this month. Thanks to John W2XS on 80 meters out on Long Island. We chatted pretty solidly for 25 minutes. Hope conditions continue good for the next week now, at least.
Today was a pretty nice day with sunshine and temperatures in the low 50s. Good enough to spend some time sitting on a bench in the park for a half hour or so. I love to sit there and watch the water in the river flowing by. It's very relaxing and allows me to do some serious thinking about my life and the events in it and the friends I have.
No more news or info about the big day coming up. I am going to announce some times and frequencies for when I get on the air to try to get a lot of QSOs on the big day. I won't do that till the day gets closer though. So if you're interested, keep checking here in the diary. -30-
Sun Dec 12 6:47PM - I just put my laundry in the dryer after the wash cycle in the washer ended. In a few minutes I'll head to the shack to get my QSO. In theory it should be quick since the SST Sprint will be going on. But you never can tell, especially with the horrid conditions of late. After that, there will be only 7 more days to 10,000. However, they may be among the most difficult days of the streak if the past few days are any indication. We'll have to wait and see.
Otherwise it was a very nice sunny day although only in the 40s which in reality is not that bad for mid-December. I took a couple of walks and stopped in Sprankle's along the way to visit my young friends and to deliver A Christmas card to one whom I didn't see yesterday. I consider myself very lucky to have young friends like that. It keeps me thinking and feeling young. Most of the time I feel like I'm only in the 50s or even 40s rather than an old man in his 70s. Of course the old man aches and pains show up now and then, but fortunately not often. OK, off to the shack now. -30-
Sat Dec 11 8:22PM - The usual tonight. Poor conditions and lots of usual noise made for getting a QSO difficult, but I made it for the 9,992nd day in a row. Only 8 more days till 10,000. I have decided to wait to decide about making a special award or QSL card for those who work me that day. I'll see if anyone actually wants one or how many want one before I do anything.
I took care of some of my Christmas gifts and cards today. Only a couple more to go now. Compared to usual, that's a pretty fast pace for me. I tend to procrastinate when it comes to Christmas for whatever reason. Probably because I'm picky about gifts and cards, especially for close friends.
I can't think of anything more to write, except there was a beautiful sunset tonight. I took a lot of pictures and sent some to Jasmine. Here are a couple low res samples:
Nice? Huh? Jasmine liked them.
I guess tomorrow evening will be an easy QSO in the SST Sprint as it will be on day 10,000 also. Barring disaster between now and then, that is. -30-
Fri Dec 10 7:47PM - Tonite was an encore presentation of, let's see when that was, oh on Wednesday evening, with strong signals when I turned on the rig that quickly disappeared, then came back around 0030 or so. I tail ended WA0USA and we had a pretty solid 13 minute QSO with his KW and my 5 watts. I guess the path between here and Florida was good at the time. Anyway I'm relieved again that I made another day in the streak, putting it down into single digits now to reach 10,000 days.
As far as the rest of the day, the weather was nice and I got a chance to sit in the park one more day for my thinking session and some games on my iPhone. When I got home or maybe it was before I left, I gave my sink and refrigerator a good very needed cleaning. I also raked up the last (?) leaves from my back yard. I also did some other little chores as my ambition level was up for some reason today. HI
I'm thinking about making QSOs on day 10,000. I think it may have to be during the afternoon of the 20th, possibly on 20 meters, especially for those who want a two way QRP QSO. I just can't hear weak signals in the evenings. Even KW signals like that of WA0USA tonight were barely above my local noise level. We'll see when the day draws nearer. -30-
Thu Dec 9 7:55PM - I did some checking this afternoon to see what conditions are like in the daytime in case they get so bad in the evening that I can't get a QSO then. That is becoming a real worry with only 10 days left to go until day 10,000. I think it will be possible to use 20 meters in the afternoon if it becomes necessary. There were quite a few good signals there when I checked. I didn't try to work anyone, but I figure most of them would have been workable.
I did some Christmas shopping on-line today. Do you know about the Shannon Christmas Law? Probably not, since I only formulated it recently. It goes like this: The more you like someone and the more you care about them, the harder it is to think of a present for them. I do have presents ordered or at least decided upon for most on my list, but at least one will require more planning. That plus thinking about the 10,000 day mark is occupying a lot of my time and I'll kind of be glad when 10,000 and Christmas are both past.
The streak QSO was tough again tonight. It took about 20 minutes to find a (barely) workable CQ in the form of John AA5KV in LA on 80 meters for a 5 minute QSO fighting QSB and QRN, but yet another day is complete with 10 to go now. -30-
Wed Dec 8 8:18PM - Strange conditions tonight. So what else is new? HI When I turned on the rig, I saw quite a few decent signals on the panadapter screen, and thought it might be an easy QSO night. Wrong. After a few minutes the signals retreated back into the noise, and it was the same old story of being hard to find a QSO. However, the signals picked up again just before 0030Z and I heard WS1L calling CQ, answered him, and had a great 23 minute almost solid QSO with him.
These conditions are making me wonder about my plans for day 10,000. Since it's a Sunday evening Local Time, I should be able to get an SST Sprint QSO easily. However, then I hope to get as many more QSOs with you folks as possible, but I don't know if conditions and my local noise will cooperate. As I said before, you may have to operate with higher power than QRP for me to be able to hear you. I will do some thinking about just what band(s) and frequencies I'll use to have the best shot at QSOs. I'll announce it here in the diary during the day on Sunday the 19th, and we'll take it from there.
I also need to design some sort of certificate or QSL or both in case anyone who works me would like that.
Mike confirmed that he is coming to visit that day and stay through the evening to help out and to take some pictures to commemorate the event. And we'll have a pizza or subs, of course.
I'll have more info probably in each diary entry through day 10,000 to keep things updated. I'm getting a little more anxious and excited about it. I sure hope nothing happens to keep me from getting to 10,000.
Otherwise today I helped my neighbor with a couple projects and he took me to the food bank to get my monthly box of goodies. I also did some thinking and preparing some Christmas things for my friends at Sprankle's and my neighbors.
That about covers it all for now. -30-
Tue Dec 7 7:40PM - I think the propagation gods are mad at me for something. Once again tonight it was very difficult finding any stations to work. I only heard a few very weak stations and two stronger ones, but those two were involved in very very long QSOs, and never did sign off till after I did get a QSO finally. I did something I don't like to do. I answered a USA station who was calling CQ DX on 40, and he was kind and patient enough to give me an RST, QTH, and Name. W5QG, TX, Gary for a legit QSO and another day in the streak closer to 10,000. I'll see if I can get an email for him and explain and thank him. Whew! It's getting desperate now.
Not much happened today out of the ordinary. The closest was going to Family Dollar for some shopping, I guess.
So how about some pictures of my Christmas decorations.
Of course that's the tree at top. It's been around for a good many years now since I gave up real trees for artificial. I guess that was back in the 1990s somewhere. In the middle the most important symbol of Christmas, a manger scene. At the bottom a choir of angels that were made probably back in the 1950s when I was in cub scouting and my mother was a denmaster. They've dwindled in number over the years as I give one away each Christmas to a friend. This year I hope it will be Haylee from Sprankle's. -30-
Mon Dec 6 8:43PM - Whew! One hour and 15 minutes trying to get my QSO tonight. The bands were horrible with poor propagation and my usual high noise level. I thought for a while of a couple things. First would I be the Sam Rice of ham radio. Second would another December 7 be another day of infamy, at least for me. I'm talking about the streak possibly ending. Of course you know about December 7 and Pearl Harbor and also the date my neighbor and I lost his dog Joe back about 11 years ago if memory serves. But who is Sam Rice, you may wonder unless you're a pretty good baseball fan. Sam Rice is famous or infamous for coming very close to the important baseball milestone of making 3,000 base hits. He came up 13 short, finishing at 2,987. I thought I might come up just short of 10,000 days in the streak. But thanks to VA2XZA on 80 meters, that worry is past for another day. Thanks Jonathan.
Not much else to talk about in the diary. Some things did happen today, like completing my Christmas decorating and a few other things, but after that long ordeal getting the QSO, I just don't feel like talking about them now. -30-
Sun Dec 5 7:11PM - Of course an easy SST Sprint QSO tonight from N3QE on 80 meters.
A lot of you know or know about my friend Tom WY3H. As I mentioned in yesterday's diary entry, he was going to call me. He did and we talked for 20 minutes or so. He is doing well and will be out of the nursing home tomorrow. He was suffering from a fall and high blood sugar. Both problems are under control now. He is going to call later this week when he gets settled back into his home, and we'll talk more.
I did my Christmas decorating today sans my helper Jasmine who was either away for the weekend or busy at home or maybe something else. Anyway I had to go it alone and it took longer and doesn't look quite as good as last year when she helped. Actually I'm not done yet. I still have to put the ormanents on the tree tomorrow. That's not a typo. The term ormanents came from somewhere probably back in the 1950s or maybe 1960s. Do you have any idea where? I know but will let you think about it. You may be able to look up ormanents on the Bing search engine to find out. I don't know and am not going to check. If you do "cheat" that way, let me know. If you outright know the answer, let me know and I will be duly impressed. I'll give the answer in a few days down the diary. That's a trivia question probably no one will answer honestly. I did have the answer in this entry but changed my mind and took it out so you could think about it. Sorry. HI
Some bad/good news this evening. I learned that one of my Sprankle's young friends is "dropping out" of work for a while to concentrate on her school work. She's a very intelligent girl and is taking special "honor" classes that will take some extra study at least for a while. I hope she comes back to work sometime but as I told the girl who told me that tonight, I think it is a good idea for her to do that. She wants to become a vet and I guess that does take a lot of special training and study even starting now as a sophomore in high school. -30-
Sat Dec 4 7:10PM - Got to make this quick although there is a lot that could be written. I'm waiting for a call from Tom WY3H. I haven't heard from him in about a month or so till I got a message from him on my iPhone that he is in a nursing home and would call me between 7:15 and 7:45 which is almost here now.
My QSO was K8AJS in the 160M Contest. -30-
Fri Dec 3 7:11PM - Of course with the 160M Contest, that meant an easy quick QSO, and it panned out. I worked WF2W in WNY with a single call and no repeats needed.
It was a good day all around, but a bit contingent on how things go tomorrow. Jasmine and I are going to take another shot at doing my Christmas decorating if nothing comes up.
There were other good things also, but I have some other things yet to do, and instead of writing about what happened earlier, I'm going to get to the other things. HI -30-
Thu Dec 2 8:19PM - Seems we're in some sort of pattern with propagation alternating from good to bad every other day. Tonight it was bad again. If it weren't for Bob NR8M, I might still be searching for my QSO. He was a loud station calling CQ on 80M and an easy QSO. We've worked several times before. Even our signals went up and down with QSB, but the QSO is in the books with 17 more days till 10,000 DAYS.
I thought it would be a bad day when the first thing that happened was the cord on my drapes rod broke or actually stuck when I tried to open the drapes. That wound up throwing off my whole schedule for the day as I had to take the drapes and rod down to try to repair the problem. I didn't have enough good cord around to do the job. So when my neighbor went to work he took me to Ace Hardware where I got a 48 foot package of new cord. When I got back home, it took an hour or so with my old eyes and fingers to get the cord strung through the rod correctly. Then I had to wait another hour to get some help getting the drapes hung again. I mainly wanted to have someone there to spot for me while I was up on the ladder. Many years ago, I used to run up the ladder, but no longer. Now I even feel a bit uncertain when I do get up there.
In the midst of all that, the fellow who cleans my gutters came and took care of that. So it was kind of a hectic day, and I fell behind on my exercise regimen, but I did close all three rings on my Apple watch. I still need some 2,500 steps to reach my unofficial goal of 20,000 steps a day, but I'll make it. I've only missed one day in I don't know how long, and that was the day of the CQWW DX Test when Mike and I were on the air most of the day. I did make the three watch goals, but only made around 13,000 or so steps.
So after all that today, I needed to go to Sprankle's to see if any of my young friends were there. They or Jasmine can always make things better with their youth. I don't understand how it works, but it does. Maybe the youth they have radiates into me somehow??? Anyway Haylee was there with her usual friendly greeting as I entered the store. When I got my groceries, she wasn't at the counter so I made a couple laps through the store, and finally she was there and we got to chat a bit before the next customer showed up. I showed Haylee some of the pictures of Christmas lights and some sunset pictures and she enjoyed looking at them and saying they were very nice. Time was all too short though, and I had to leave and let her do her work. I'll never selfishly disturb her in her work and get her in trouble, no matter how much I'd like to stay. -30-
Wed Dec 1 7:38PM - Well, it's here. The first day of winter. Now we have to struggle through 89 more days till spring arrives. After I reach the 10,000 day mark of my streak, I'll change the counter above to count down to spring. Or I might be able to rig up two counters to run at the same time. I'll play with that although I have a lot of things going at the present time.
I've been thinking about the 10,000 days and mulling over some ideas you've sent for a 'celebration' of sorts. The 20th is a Monday which means the mark will be reached on a Sunday evening. So I'll get the memorable QSO in the SST Sprint. Then I plan to get on a specific frequency announced here in the diary a few days before and call CQ for anyone who wants to share in the event. Better run QRO though as it's tough hearing QRP signals for the most part because of my high local noise level.
Then I'll post some sort of special QSL or certificate for download by anyone who wants one and requests one. Mike has said he would like to be here with me for the event to take pictures, etc. There are some other details and suggestions to be worked on yet, as well.
I think too much is being made of the whole thing, but it is fun, I must say. So now where do I go after 10,000? I won't live long enough to make it to 20,000 or 25,000 for sure. Should I quit at 10,000 or just keep going till something comes along to end it? Some more to think about.
My QSO came a little quicker this evening. I worked N7GBH in NJ at 0006Z on 80 meters. It was a bit rough, but good enough for day # 9,982.
I had a short after school chat with Jasmine today which always brightens up my day here. It was raining this evening though, so I didn't get to go to Sprankle's.
When I put the November weather in the computer today, it was interesting to see how close to normal the temperature was. It was warm the first half of the month, then cold the last half and they balanced out. The average daily high was right on the normal and the low and average were very close to normal. The low was -1.2 degrees below normal, and the average -0.6. It was a dry month with just 1.24 inches of precipitation including not a drop the first 11 days of the month. -30-
Tue Nov 30 8:41PM - Just finished uploading my November QSOs (136) to eQSL and LoTW. A fitting end to the day so far since I spent a good part of the day adding LoTW confirmations to my K3WWP Excel log. Whew, what a job since I hadn't done it since July it looked like. Anyway my total confirmed in my log matches that exactly on the LoTW web site. How that happened with all I did today, I'll never know, but they match exactly. I think the total was 23,907 if I remember correctly. Must be close as after the upload a few minutes ago, the total is 23,955. I still have to work on the eQSLs. I may do that tomorrow. However I have other End of Month - First of Month things to do, so may postpone that a day or two.
The bands were better tonight with a lot of signals popping out of my noise. I first worked C6AGU on 40, then decided to do some CQ calling and worked N3MLB and AA4WW on 80. I think I found a slight intermittent connection in the coax going from the KX3 to my antenna switch. I'm not sure, but I replaced it anyway. I'll check it out more when I have time. It just seems a bit more solid now.
Not a lot of non-ham radio stuff today which is unusual of late. I did replace a bad switch in my upstairs hall light. I did some shopping early today, then went back to Sprankle's tonite to see who was working and to get some bread. It was Teela working tonight. I hadn't seen her for a while.
While I was out walking I took some more Christmas lights pictures. When Teela gave me my change, she said my hands were cold and she was right. I'm going to have to try using my iPhone camera with gloves, I guess. HI Guess that's it for now till tomorrow evening. Only 19 more days to get to 10,000 now. I'm getting excited and a bit nervous. Soon, I'll be announcing here in the diary how I plan to celebrate if I make it. -30-
Mon Nov 29 8:44PM - Another up and down day as quite a few have been lately. And I'll dwell on the ups, and ignore the downs here in the diary.
This evening not long after it got dark, I went down to Sprankle's to see if any of my young friends were working. Haylee greeted me at the door where she was sweeping up the floor. She is a really hard worker and is good at whatever she does. It will be interesting to follow her as she grows up. She wants to become a vet for a career. I hope I can live long enough to see how she turns out.
I then came home with my groceries and put them away before going to the shack for my QSO. It was one of the roughest nights in quite a while. The few stations I heard were way down in my noise or involved in rag chew type QSOs. I thought there might be some leftover DX from the contest, but I only heard one station and he wasn't hearing me. Finally I caught my friend Carl WB0CFF just winding down a QSO, so I tail ended him and we talked about a dozen minutes making my streak secure for another day and closing out November. Now just 20 days to go until 10,000 DAYS in a row.
After that I went out and walked around town and took some pictures of Christmas lights. As soon as I finish my site updating, I'm going to check them out.
Finally I got a lot of text messages today. Probably the most I've gotten in one day since I got my iPhone early in the year. I still have a couple to check out. -30-
Sun Nov 28 8:31PM - I think this is one of the most intense tag team contests Mike and I have ever done. We were on continuously from when Mike arrived at 9:30AM until the contest ended at 7:00PM except for an hour off for dinner from about 5:00PM to 6:00PM. I had just about everything set up when Mike arrived except a couple minor things. In a few minutes we were off and running. Since we started fairly early, we hit 15 meters knowing it would probably be the first band to close in the afternoon. We figured it would be in good shape and we were right. Our first QSO came at 1441Z in the form of IR4X. It was easy and that was a sign on things to come.
Our third QSO was another sign. We both worked somewhat rare TK0C with a single call. There were many QSOs that took but a single call. I kidded Mike that I now had a KW amp hidden in my room and it was hooked up today. Well, it did seem that way with the ease of working stations. For the rest of the contest until the last half hour, we just alternated between 15 and 20. We stuck mostly with DX stations, but did mix in some W/VE stations when the DX slowed a bit. Most of the DX was a mix of EU, Caribbean, and some SA and a couple AF stations. I don't have any totals by continent or country yet. I made just over 100 contacts, and Mike had somewhere in the 90s. As we got near the end of the contest, I stopped working stations and tried to help Mike get to 100, but I think he came up short. However he did reach a milestone when after the contest he worked two stations in the SST Sprint. If I recall, that made his 8,000th overall QSO. If needed, he can correct me when he reads this later.
On other comment on the contest. For the time # I don't know how many, I again worked Scandinavian stations on 20 after the rest of EU pretty much died out. Those stations are weak and fluttery, but I get them on the first call most every time with my 5 watts vs. their several hundred to 1,000 watts. Hard to understand.
That's it for today. Mike left shortly after the contest ended. Right now it's time to work on my laundry. -30-
Sat Nov 27 6:47PM - Another quiet day with a couple highlights. I learned from Mike that he found a dog sitter for tomorrow so he'll be coming down for a tag team contest effort tomorrow in the CQWW DX Contest. I checked the bands around 1930-2000Z today and found them in pretty good shape, especially 20 and 15 which were still open, but mostly NA, Caribbean, and SA. I did work OH8X on 20, but that is not unusual. I often work him and other OH stations after the rest of EU has faded out. I only worked one other station, VP9I, as I was just listening for the most part to size things up for tomorrow.
Other than that, I was mostly on the computer and my iPhone watching some TV on Pluto TV on the phone. I like the old show "Facts of Life" and watched an episode of that. I also listened to some more WABC airchecks.
Late in the afternoon or early evening, I was getting a little lonely and decided to go to Sprankle's and see if any of my young friends were working. Nakoma was there and wasn't too busy and no one was in line behind me so we had a chance to chat a little bit about Thanksgiving and a couple othe things. That brightened up my day. I'm glad I decided to go.
Time now to get my streak QSO. Hopefully a quick one in the CQWW DX Contest. -30-
Fri Nov 26 8:02PM - Today was even quieter than yesterday. I don't think I communicated with anyone today except the usual daily text message exchange with Jasmine and my brief contest QSOs this evening. It was very cold today, not getting out of the low-mid 30s and quite windy so I stayed inside all day except to get the mail. Oh, and to replace the bulb in my porch light which burned out last night.
In case you wonder about no mention of any Roscoe walks, Bruce is now able to walk Roscoe without my help.
Pretty much like yesterday, I was on the computer and iPhone a lot listening to music, airchecks, and playing games. I also decided to edit my diary entries to cut down the size in the Diary Archives by taking out a lot of the personal non-ham stuff. Not all of it because you say you enjoy reading it for whatever reason. Besides all that, I did some house cleaning.
Conditions in the contest were horrible this evening. I wasn't heard at all by any of the Caribbean and Central American stations I usually work easily. However 20 was dead and that pushed a lot of stations onto 40, so the DX stations all had huge pileups, plus unlike the ARRL DX test, the DX can work each other also instead of just W/VE stations in this CQWW test. I did manage a couple QSOs for the streak though, working K5WA and K5TR on 40. I may get on during the day tomorrow and check things out to see what it might be like for Sunday if Mike can come down for a one-day tag team effort.
I guess that sums up the day except to add that there was some (shhhh) s#$w today that stuck just a little in some places. If you're new to the diary, and may not know (although I think it's pretty obvious) what s#$w is, it's a placeholder for an obscene word I don't use in the diary or anywhere else if I can help it. Just replace the symbols with an N and an O and you'll see what I mean if you didn't know already. -30-
Thu Nov 25 7:37PM - Thanksgiving Day in the USA. It was a very quiet day for me. I only had contact with one person and that was via text messaging. It was Jasmine (tnx). We exchanged brief Thanksgiving Day greetings. Well, also an email from Mike N4VBV with some Thanksgiving wishes. Tnx also.
I never left the house at all. I spent most of my time on the computer and my iPhone. I did have turkey. I made myself two turkey sandwiches from the sliced turkey I bought at Sprankle's Tuesday evening when I went to see Haylee. I told her that would probably be my Thanksgiving meal. Also a pretty big bowl of mashed potatoes. I was going to go to Sprankle's again and get some stovetop stuffing, but they were closed and I didn't feel like walking a couple blocks further to Family Dollar.
If that sounds pretty dull, in a way it was. However it gave me a chance to honor the holiday in the way it was meant to be honored. I thought of all the things I have to be thankful for from the past couple years. I think my friendship with Jasmine tops the list. Despite the big age gap, we spent a lot of good times together. Also helped each other out with some things along the way. Also my friendship with Mike ranks right up there too. I really enjoy it when he gets a chance to visit and do ham radio and train stuff along with a lot of other things as well. Also Roscoe and his owner Bruce are someone to be thankful for.
There are some things besides people also. My new iPhone has given me countless hours of use and pleasure from the use. Thanks Jasmine for urging me to get it. Also my Apple watch really keeps me on my toes with my exercise regimen along with other things. I got it because Jasmine has one and I saw how neat it was.
My young friends at Sprankle's are some other folks to be thankful for. It's nice to go in a store and get a warm greeting from the employees. I think they enjoy my greeting to them also from the big smile they give me. Then it's nice to chat with them a bit although we can't do much chatting since they are almost always busy ringing up orders, etc.
I'm also thankful for my health. Most of the time, I don't feel my 76 years, but instead maybe in the 50s or so.
There's more but those are the highlights. I hope you have a lot of things to be thankful for also, and were able to take a little time (or a lot of time like me) to dwell on them today. You'll feel better for it. Now I've got to put a proper closing here so the day's entries don't run together like they did yesterday. Thanks to Mike for pointing it out. Speaking of Mike, we took a couple of different picture poses at the sub yesterday. Let me fix and post them.
Before all that, let me comment on the streak QSO. It was tough tonight. I thought I'd quickly grab a DX station setting up for the weekend test, but they weren't hearing me till finally PJ2/WI9WI worked his pile down after going to split and I got him easily after just a few tries. That was on 40M.
One more note, then the pictures. My cousin Judy just left a Thanksgiving greeting on my voice mail. So that's one more contact. HI
Now the pictures in this almost endless diary entry.
Of course, Mike on the left and me on the right. I was also wearing a mask, but took it off for vanity's sake. HI. Is that grey hair I see under those caps? And I wonder what I was thinking about in that pose? I'm sure Mike knows.(inside joke)
OK, now the closing tag. -30-
Wed Nov 24 8:07PM - Mike and I as usual had a good time. Today it was on the USS Requin in Pittsburgh. We arrived there about 20 after 10AM (1520Z) and got set up quickly. Activity seemed good, and we started working stations quickly. Activity ebbed and flowed diring the 5 1/2 hours (minus an hour for disinfecting the sub) or so we were there. We made 23 QSOs all in all. I made 9 and Mike made the rest. Along with that we had a large crowd of people taking the sub tours. I didn't count, but must have been at least 100 folks passing through. All of them friendly, and many surprised to see real live people in the radio room. A lot recognized Morse Code and we got a nice variety of questions about this and that. When it got close to time to go, we reluctantly shut down and headed to the Pittsburgh Mills. During the 1 hour time we had to leave the ship, we spent most of the time in the Science Center gift shop. Mike was looking for a Requin patch, but they didn't have them any longer. We were also looking for a Requin tee shirt. They had some, but we thought a bit pricey and weren't sure of the sizes they had. I also looked for a present for Jasmine, but didn't know what would be suitable so I didn't get anything.
After we left the sub, we stopped at Lowe's in the Mills to get a couple things or in my case, finding out they didn't have what I needed. Then off to Chili's for a big meal. Mike had a salmon dish and I had a chicken salad. Then on to home and a bit of fooling with my phone and TV which didn't accomplish anything at the time, but suggested a couple things. Then to the shack for my streak QSO (with C6AGU), after which Mike had to head home to check on his dog Jayden. -30-
Tue Nov 23 8:08PM - The bands were much more active or propagation was better than last night. There were a lot of strong signals on 80 meters especially and a few on 40 including some DX getting ready for the CQWW DX test. I didn't work any DX but did have a 14 minute rag chew with N3JJT on 80 meters.
Not a lot going on today. I did do a couple outside walks and some shopping as the weather wasn't too bad although not very warm either. I went to Sprankle's this evening just to see if any of my young friends were working as I wanted to wish them a Happy Thanksgiving. Haylee was working, but very busy. We did get to exchange greetings and chat a bit though. I confessed to her that I really didn't need anything and just wanted to wish her a happy holiday, but I thought I'd better buy something anyway. I got a smile as she seemed to get a kick out of that. Kind of brightened up my day.
Tomorrow should be a bright day as Mike and I will be going subpeditioning to the Requin as I detailed in last night's entry. I hope conditions are good and we can get there on time this round. HI. I think we've decided to eat at Chili's in the Pittsburgh Mills on the way home. Then we're going to see about hooking my iPhone to my Vizio TV so I can watch my phone screen on a big screen. Should be a fun day.
I also got ambitious today and raked the leaves around my house. I don't have any trees except a little pine tree but the neighbors' trees kindly(?) donate their leaves to my yard. At least it gives me some mulch for my garden area over the winter. -30-
Mon Nov 22 8:05PM - The bands tonight were horrible up to a certain point. I found very few signals on 80 or 40. Just a couple of Net stations on 80 and virtually nothing on 40. I thought for sure I was going to strike out in the 0000Z hour and would have to try again later tonight or during the day tomorrow. However, finally after almost a half hour of trying this certain station every several minutes, I finally connected solidly on 80 meters, and I exclaimed to myself, "How about that? How about that?" You see, the station was LZ3ND, the very first time I've ever worked Bulgaria on 80 meters, and the first new band-country since December 24, 2017. Wow!! Hard to believe, but I copied 3WWP perfectly and was certain of the K because he has worked me several times on other bands and didn't ask for a repeat. Nick is a very good operator and I wasn't totally surprised he did work me although it took a while with the previous tries. I did get several AGN ? the previous times I called him, so propagation must have increased just enough to boost my signal enough for him to finally get it. That's the most exciting ham radio moment I've had in a long time, maybe going back to that December 24, 2017 date when I worked SM4OTI on 80 meters for country # 61 on that band.
That kind of blocked out anything else interesting that may have happened today.
It was confirmed tonight that Mike and I will be going to the Requin in Pittsburgh for our annual day before Thanksgiving subpedition. Barring delays, we should be on the air with QRO power at 10A (1500Z) using the sub call of NY3EC. Bands and frequencies will depend on QRM, QRN, QSB, etc. Probably mostly 40 and 20 with a check of 30 now and then. Frequencies will be 7040, 10117, 14060 +/- 2 or 3 kHz as needed. We'll stick it out as long as activity warrants, but at least until 1:30P (1830Z). Why QRO, you may ask? Because it has now become an activity to use ham radio to promote the submarine for Art and the Science Center instead of promoting QRP. -30-
Sun Nov 21 8:18PM - Another kind of up and down day today like a couple days ago. I'll only dwell on the ups again.
I actually got on the air this afternoon for the first time in a while. I wanted to fool around with the noise limiter on 40, 30, and 20 and it was better to do that during the day. I works pretty much like it did on 80 last night. The noise gets knocked down a couple of S units which helps, but still the S/N ratio doesn't change much. It seems as we thought all along that it can only handle one of my several noise sources since they all have different waveforms. Bottom line is it helps, but not as much as I would like.
I went out this evening looking for some Christmas lights to photograph, but only found a few. It is a bit early. I'll have to go out again after December first. Still it was more practice using the camera in the dark to photograph bright lights. I also played with the camera/phone today learning more about editing photos and videos. I learned quite a bit, and didn't even have my tutor Jasmine around to help. HI I hope to see her tomorrow and show off my efforts to her.
The usual stories on Sunday evening. I'm doing the laundry now. I got my QSO quickly in the SST Sprint, this time from John N0TA out in CO on 40 meters. I also did a bit of shopping this evening at Family Dollar while I was walking around town. Save on shoe leather that way, I guess. Or whatever soles are made from these days. -30-
Sat Nov 20 8:47PM - A very busy day today. Let's see how much I can remember of what I did to make it busy. HI
The busiest thing was helping Ange in his garden burying his fig trees for the winter. I retired from doing the fig tree work a few years ago for the most part, the hardest parts, that is. I still helped him by standing on them to weigh them down while he threw leaves and dirt on them. However today since I was feeling really good after a great week, I did a little more than that. I guess that took about 2 1/2 hours or so.
Next up I did some more work putting my iPhone pictures into albums. After some more various things, I then added more pictures to the iPhone walking around town a bit photographing Christmas decorations.
I came home a little before 7 (0000Z) and went to get my streak QSO. I figured it would be an easy one from the LZ Contest and it was. I worked S52AW on 40 meters. I had to send many repeats, but he stuck with me. That says conditions are still not the best on the bands as I usually work him easily on 40 and higher bands.
After that, I decided to fool around with my noise limiter, and got it working a bit better. Still far from perfect, but it does cut the noise down by about 3-4 S units. Still the noise is around S5-6, but every little bit helps. I still am not sure about how it affects the S/N ratio. I think it does help pop the signals out of the noise, but not all that much. I need some more tinkering with that. I do have it where I can transmit by powering it down to transmit, then switching it back on to receive.
Next to last, there was a fireworks display for something, and I went out and took about 3 dozen pictures of them. Maybe about 2 dozen turned out good. I didn't do any fooling with settings on the iPhone or I may have been able to do better. I'm still learning things about it after some 8 months. HI. Jasmine helps me a lot.
Finally before typing this, I made a couple quarts of milk from powdered milk of which I have a lot from the food bank I go to each month. And that's it for a busy day. -30-
Fri Nov 19 7:49PM - An up and down day today. I won't talk about the downs. Jasmine and I exchanged some pictures of the beautiful sunset last night taken from two different locations. Tonight I was either a bit late checking or there wasn't a nice sunset this evening.
Tonight was our town's light up night. I had forgotten about it until I heard the fire engine sirens. Then I decided to go for a walk and mail my checks I wrote for some utility bills today. The post office is right next to Sprankle's so I thought I'd stop in there and see if any of my young friends were working. Haylee was there and I got a nice greeting from her after we hadn't seen each other for a while. She wasn't busy so we got to chat for a little bit. The parade was just going by there as I arrived. I tried to take some pictures but they didn't turn out good. As I told Haylee, there was too much conrast between the bright fire truck lights and the dark background.
I worked some DX this evening for the streak. It was LZ3ND probably getting set up for the LZ DX Contest tomorrow and Sunday. Maybe I can work him again tomorrow evening for another streak QSO. It was on 40 meters BTW. I only had to wait through a couple other stations before I got him with a couple repeats of my call.
I wonder what tomorrow will bring, good, bad, or in between. -30-
Thu Nov 18 6:48PM - Thought I'd write this early for whatever reason. HI It was another good day like the past several have been now.
Not as warm as yesterday, but still nice with a high in the 50s early in the day, then falling the rest of the day till it's 42 right now. It wasn't all that windy and that helped it feel not that cold. I wasn't outside all that much. I did some in the house cleaning. Something I should do more often as Mike pointed out a few diary entries ago. HI HI
It was nice to visit with Jasmine for a bit after school today. I showed her a time lapse movie of last night's sunset and a couple other pictures including the one of the lights around the door. She was a little chilly so I let her head inside. We usually do our chats out on our front porches.
This evening we had another nice sunset, better than last night. I took some still pictures and another time lapse movie. I was wishing Jasmine had been there. We could have double teamed the sunset with one taking still pictures and the other time lapse. However about a half hour or 45 minutes later I was surprised to get a text message with 4 beautiful sunset pictures from Jasmine taken wherever she was with her aunt. So we did sort of double team the sunset. It made me feel good to know she was thinking of me. I sent her a couple of my stills and said I'd show her the time lapse tomorrow since it was a big file and would take too long to text to her.
Time for my QSO now. Maybe I'll post a couple sunset pictures, but probably not. Stay tuned later to see. HI.
For those who tuned in later, here are two pictures:
On the left is Jasmine's picture taken from one of our local malls it looks like. The other is my picture taken from in front of my house. I love the color in Jasmine's picture. The original shows it as an even more vivid red. -30-
Wed Nov 17 7:42PM - A beautiful day today in many ways. It was partly cloudy and mild weatherwise with a high of almost 70 (69 on my remote unit pending a check of my outside mercury in glass max/min thermometer at 9:00).
It was a nice day Jasminewise also. When she got home from school we spent some time together putting my Christmas lights around my front door. I enjoyed that a lot and she helped make the job easier by holding the lights as I put them up plus just with her company. Here's how the door looks now that it's dark.
Pretty nice, huh? I used to meticulously line up the lights, but quit that a few years ago to give it a more "natural" look. Thanks, Jasmine.
After quite a bit of looking around, I had a fairly easy DX QSO with NP2J on 40 meters. Probably a station getting ready for the CQWW DX Test coming up before too long now. That will be a busy weekend. I might see what I can do in the Test on Saturday, then Mike will come down on Sunday for a tag team effort. After all that on Monday I hope Jasmine will be able to help me finish my Christmas trimming like she did last year. -30-
Tue Nov 16 8:23PM - It was a cold day today, but not as cold as yesterday in any way. The sun came out in the afternoon and the wind died down to make it pretty comfortable. Tomorrow we go back to early fall with a high in the mid 60s or maybe a bit higher. I had a very nice visit with Jasmine today after school. I'm going to put up my outdoor lights tomorrow and take advantage of the nice weather. Jasmine said she would help me after school if nothing comes up.
I had a couple good QSOs this evening. First with Tom W1PKX in MA whom I don't think I've worked before. Next a tail end call from Bob K8FN led to a 32 minute QSO. Bob and I have had many QSOs over the years, but not for a while now and it was good to get caught up on things. This was a good-feeling day for me. I'm going to celebrate with my neighbor with a sub sandwich from Vocelli's Pizza which I'll be ordering in a few minutes after I get my web site updates done. -30-
Mon Nov 15 7:46PM - Remember the old bit on the Tonight Show with Johnny Carson and Ed McMahon that went something like this if memory serves. Anyway it's close, if not exact. Johnny would say something like it was a cold day today in New York. Ed would then sneak in with the question how cold was it? Johnny would reply with something like this - it was so cold that I saw the statue of (somebody) in Central Park shivering. Or some other ridiculous thing like that. I think they also did it in summer with jokes about the heat.
OK, my version now. It was a very cold day today here in Kittanning. How cold was it? It was so cold that I didn't wait for Jasmine coming home from school. Not funny, but true and those who know me know how much I missed that.
Enough of that. Otherwise, the bands were decent this evening although not a lot of activity. I easily worked KP4YO Armando in PR on 40 meters. During the day I worked on organizing and editing some pictures on the computer. I only went outside to get the mail, put the garbage out, and walk Roscoe his usual 4 times (with one more yet to come). It's supposed to be a bit warmer tomorrow, then in the 60s on Wednesday. Hopefully I can see Jasmine and maybe go to Sprankle's to see if any of my young friends are working. We shall see what we shall see, as the old saying goes. -30-
Sun Nov 14 7:28PM - As usual on a Sunday evening, the SST Sprint provides me with an easy quick streak QSO and tonight was no exception, except I don't think I've worked this particular station in the SST previously. It was W8FN Randy in NC on 40M at 0002Z.
It was a quiet cold day today. I never even got out for a walk (except the brief Roscoe walks), probably the first time since back in spring unless it was a day when Mike was visiting and I didn't get out. I spent a lot of time on the computer and/or iPhone. A lot of it listening to WABC airchecks from the 60s and 70s. It's interesting how similar the WABC DJs sound to each other. I don't mean in content since they all have (or had) their own style. I mean in the tone of their voices. Perhaps the mikes were all equalized or it was in the recording of the checks. Nonetheless it has been, is, and will continue to be a great experience going back in time. I think I mentioned it previously that I'm sad that I didn't get to hear the daytime jocks live back then because the NY, Chicago, etc. stations didn't make it here in daylight or I didn't stay up for the all night jocks. I especially would have liked to hear Dan Ingram on WABC, or Chuck Greer also. As I check out different jocks, there are others too. I was able to hear Cousin Brucie WABC, Art Roberts WLS, Dick Biondi a few diff stations, Jack Armstrong mostly WKBW, Chuck Brinkman KQV, and others that don't come to mind right away after almost 60 years. Oh, there were also the KDKA jocks although KDKA wasn't a strict Top 40 style station. I speak of Rege Cordic, Art Pallan, Jack Bogut, Bob Tracey (think that was his last name?). Gee, I guess I could go on and on with a little more digging into my memory, but I won't do that now.
I hate to mention it which is why I didn't do it yesterday, I guess. However we had our first s#$w flurries of the season yesterday and today. No accumulation though, although we might get some the next couple days, before the mild weather returns on Wednesday (and hangs around for a long time, I hope.) -30-
Sat Nov 13 7:36PM - Tonight's streak QSO was DX for the first time in a while. I worked G6XX in some sort of contest on 40 meters. A fairly easy QSO with a couple repeats of my call.
I was busy and a little late with the diary entry last night. I wanted to post a picture of my flag which I was flying for Veterans Day. Here it is tonight one day late, but no less meaningful.
Of course as most of you know, that's the flag that draped my father's coffin back in 1964. I only fly it on special occasions like Veterans Day and the like. That's why it is in such good shape. I keep it folded properly and stored in a drawer when I'm not flying it. I have three very good friends who help do the folding, Bruce, Jasmine, or Mike. You also know those three from frequent mentions in the diary, so I needn't identify them further here.
It's getting closer and closer as you see from the countdown above. I'm talking about DAY # 10,000 in my streak of making a QRP/CW QSO each and every day. I'm getting more and more excited each day. Sure hope nothing unforseen happens to end it prematurely. That would be an ultimate disappointment in my life. At least tied with some other disappointments. -30-
Fri Nov 12 8:21PM - Another good day today. The weather was pretty nice although a bit windy which brought the wind chill down to a level that did seem chilly. In fact in late afternoon, I thought the wind would blow me off my park bench. HI
I had a nice hour long visit with Jasmine today. She's been so busy lately that I think that's the longest visit we've had since before school started in late August. School was closed today for a teacher's conference or something like that. Whatever it was, I took advantage of it. HI
Although I was late getting to the shack due to watching an old "Leave it to Beaver" episode with my neighbor Bruce, I got a quick QSO with K4QS in VA. I actually got a S9+20 report from him. He was +25-30 so I guess conditions were about perfect between us. However after about 12-13 minutes, he faded down into my noise in the matter of a minute or so and never came back up again.
I'm still doing a lot of listening to airchecks from old Top 40 stations and the Top 40 Jocks who worked there. Lately it's been mostly 77 WABC (if Mike were here, we'd both sing out the 77 WABC jingle right now. HI). It's so great to hear those jocks again or to hear some of them for the first time since originally they were on during the day when I couldn't get the NY, Chicago, etc. stations regularly. -30-
Thu Nov 11 7:58PM - It was a beautiful day today, perhaps the next to last one for a while. After an overnight rain, it's supposed to be sunny tomorrow before another mix of bad weather shows up for the weekend as an uninvited and unwelcome guest.
I went for several walks and sits in the park today to enjoy the nice weather. I guess that took up a large portion of my time today with no time for anything else except for my daily chores.
I had another little visit with Jasmine after school today. I always enjoy that and it helps me to keep feeling young hearing about her "exploits" as a teenager.
I had a nice ragchew with W8VLN in OH tonight. He was running 700 watts to a loop antenna and was at S9+20 for the entire QSO which lasted 27 minutes. He also copied me solid at S9 for the whole time. -30-
Wed Nov 10 7:46PM - It was rough again getting that streak QSO, but I persisted and finally found K4BSK on 80 and worked him to add another day to the streak. I got another good suggestion today about what to do when the streak reaches 10,000 days (if it does) on December 20. That's 3 or 4 now and I'm still mulling over which one (or more) to use. Stay tuned to see.
I've noticed an increase in the number of visitors to my web site lately. I don't really know why. Perhaps it has something to do with day 10,000 approaching, although if so, I would think it's a bit early for that. After all, there's no guarantee of the streak continuing that long. I sure hope it does, because I've put a lot of work and time into it and would hate to come up short. It's my only chance at a 10,000 day streak.
In other news, I've been cleaning house and getting rid of some "junk" that I'll never use again. I'm also finding some interesting items I thought were lost. One example is a phone number of an old girlfriend I haven't talked to in many years. The number is still active, but the voicemail I got didn't identify if it was her or not. I guess I'll see.
I was rewarded in a way today. Jasmine has helped me in many ways with my Apple iPhone. Today when I talked with her I was able to tell her about a trick I stumbled across and that she wasn't familiar with. It dealt with a way of activating the Apple watch we both have, without having to type in the passcode when putting it on the wrist. And that's about it for today.
Well, almost. I just want to close with some weather. It was another beautiful day today for sitting in the park in a tee shirt and feeling comfortable. We may have two more of those nice days, but then a preview of winter is scheduled for the weekend. Oh well, it is that time of year.
Oh, remember to honor our wonderful Veterans on their day tomorrow. Not many, if any, events here in this small town, but I plan to fly my flag. Diary readers know I'm speaking of the flag that was draped over my dad's coffin way back in 1964. -30-
Tue Nov 9 7:57PM - Again nothing much to talk about. Interestingly we haven't had a drop of rain in November so far, and the vast majority of the time we've had clear sunny skies or at worst partly cloudy skies. Very rare for what is usually the gloomiest month of the year. It might be interesting to do an analog forecast and check for similar starts to Novembers in the past and see if there is any correlation to how the following winters turned out. Even with computer records though that is a little more time consuming than I would like, but.....
I worked ND for my streak QSO tonight. Maybe my first ND QSO this year? Unless I got one in a contest. Maybe I'll check. It's my second ND this year. I worked AC9EZ/0 on a POTA outing back on June 22. Before that though, I have to go back to August 20, 2014 to find another ND QSO. My Excel log shows a total of 112 ND QSOs from my home QTH here. Maybe there are others in my portable logs, but they are separate and I'm not going to check now.
Back to weather for a moment. It looks like the nice weather will end this weekend with cold and s#$w mentioned on Sat and Sun. Brrrrr. No more sitting in the park for a while. And just when I had a nice talk with a young girl walking her dog today. Probably won't see her again. Oh well, that's life for me. -30-
Mon Nov 8 7:37PM - My noise was really bad tonight plus conditions seemed poor on top of that. I struggled to work VE3WH on 80M, but wasn't 100% positive of his call although the name and QTH matched QRZ as near as I could tell. I wasn't completely satisfied with the QSO though so I found and worked N9MM on 40M for a solid QSO. -30-
Sun Nov 7 6:39PM - Mike was here today, so you know it was a good day. He arrived around 9:45AM. For the first couple hours, we sat around listening to Dan Ingram, Ron Lundy, and Cousin Brucie. Ingram and Lundy were closing out an era of WABC on May 10, 1982 when WABC dropped its Top 40 format and went to Talk Radio. It was sad to hear real radio ending in NYC. As part of that broadcast from 39 years ago, there was a wonderful montage of the sounds of WABC featuring the music and jingles of the era. It was immaculately put together by several engineers and board operators and lasted some 36 minutes. All I could say at the end of it was a big "WOW". Having been in radio, I appreciated the amount of work that had to go into putting that montage together.
Mike adds: I wish I would have still been living in NYC at the time because hearing it live instead of recorded on the Internet would have been much sadder as it marked the end of an era. I grew up listening to them when I was a kid.
After that, we did something I wanted to do for some time, but really needed some help with it. That is cleaning my train layout. If dust is really for the most part human cells, we could easily have made a new person. Removing all the equipment, buildings, railroad signals, etc. took a lot of time, then we used my shop vac to pick up all the dust, etc. before putting all the objects back into place. We took pictures of the layout beforehand so we could know where everything went. It really looks nice and clean now.
Mike adds: John recreated the Dust Bowl from the 1930's in miniature. He needs to fire the maid he has now and hire a whole squad of maids because his dusting skills are horrendous. I had to go and dust myself after all that. I brushed off a miniature Sahara Desert from myself.
Next up we did some research on my noise problem. We took an old transistor radio and checked for noise in my house somewhere, and didn't find any. Then we went out and walked around the neighborhood and found several (16 Mike says) transformers making noise. We're certain that's where most of my noise, if not all, is coming from. We didn't check all 16 poles, but several of them did have broken ground wires which may contribute to the noise problem.
Next one of our favorite activities, eating. We went to Ponderosa in Butler and stuffed ourselves to the limit.
On the way back home we stopped at Walmart and Dollar Tree to pick up some things. Now here at home I'm sitting here typing while Mike takes life easy in a chair across the room and comes up with an occasional comment or funny insult for me to insert here in the diary. Next it's to the shack for a quick streak QSO from the SST sprint. -30-
Sat Nov 6 9:08PM - If your area observes Daylight Savings (Shifting) Time, remember to go back to Standard Time tonight. You know that I consider Daylight Savings Time a misnomer because no daylight time is saved it is only shifted from the morning to the evening. I like the old Indian thought on the subject. They say it is like cutting a foot off the end of a blanket and sewing it on the other end to make the blanket longer. So true. End of soapbox comments on that till next time we change the times in the spring.
My good week continued today as I saw another of my young friends at Sprankle's that I hadn't seen in a couple weeks. It was nice to see her again and she seemed happy to see me also. She has a Native American name that means roughly "Great Warrior" so I have to be good to her or else. HI
Of course the Sweepstakes provided an easy and quick streak QSO from KI9A at 0001Z. After that I changed all my clocks. Of course there will be at least one I'll find in the morning that I forgot. However I think all the ones I didn't change now change themselves automatically. We'll see. HI -30-
Fri Nov 5 9:08PM - I had a fun day today. Every year around this time I get a big dividend check for $1.00. I like to make a joke of it when I cash it at the bank. Some times the teller gets a kick out of it when I tell them I have a huge check to cash and I hope they have enough cash on hand to take care of it. I say that in all seriousness, then hand them the check. I got a good reaction from the pretty young teller today. She was wearing a CoVid mask, but I could read her thoughts in her eyes. I could see her laughing at it. We joked about it a bit more, then she asked if I wanted it in 100 pennies. That was the first time anyone came back to me with that. Too bad she had the mask on. Although what I could see of her face looked like she was a very pretty girl.
After that, Bruce and I went to Walmart to get some food for Roscoe and a couple things for me. I had trouble finding what I was looking for and I noticed a pretty girl doing some stocking work, and I waited for a pause in her work and asked if she could help me, and she said sure, she would see me at the section in just a minute. I went and waited, and she did come and help me out. Unfortunately(?) she was wearing a big diamond wedding ring, but we had a nice chat anyway while she was helping me look for the right size (36x29) jeans. She couldn't find a pair either and I said I'm jinxed with hard to find sizes like my 8 1/2 wide shoes. She said her husband is the same way. Anyway I settled for a 36x30 which should work as I have a pair like that which does work although comes down over my shoes a bit more than I would like. OK enough of that far afield story. HI
I got a quick QSO tonight as 80 meters was pretty good after the geomagnetic storm yesterday. Copy wasn't great but the QSO with WA4NLF in NC lasted 18 minutes. It seemed he copied me easier than I was copying him. -30-
Thu Nov 4 8:47PM - With an A index of 69 today, you would expect conditions to be poor this evening, and they were. However there was one strong signal on 80, and the owner found and answered my CQ, thank goodness. It was my friend whom I've met in person at various hamfests, Tom KA2KGP from Forestville, NY. So thanks Tom for extending the streak another day. Otherwise it would have been a real struggle with bands mostly dead.
It was a beautiful day, if on the cold side. I did get in a couple good walks and took some fall foliage pictures. The leaves weren't all that nice this year mainly because of the warm October. It was nice enough to sit in the park for a while, but not for very long at a time. I also got to see Jasmine again today for a few minutes after school. I showed her the foliage pix, and she gave me a tip on accessing the camera quickly on my iPhone.
All in all, I'd rate it a good day. Tomorrow I hope to do some shopping with my neighbor Bruce for various things for us and for Roscoe. -30-
Wed Nov 3 8:28PM - Conditions weren't all that good this evening, but I managed a nice QSO with Joe K3JN from Cresson, PA. Turns out he goes through Kittanning here on his way to the Butler Hamfest. So Mike and I may have seen him there sometime although I don't recall his call. That doesn't mean anything though the way my memory is at times. He agreed about the new location of the Butler Hamfest not being as good as the old one.
It was a cold day again today. I did go out for a walk, but didn't stop to sit in the park as I usually do.
I saw another of my young friends today whom I hadn't seen in a while. I'm talking about Jasmine who has been very busy of late with her senior year of high school among other things. It's so great to have young friends. It really makes an old timer like me feel young again. A ham friend of mine made a great point some time ago when we were talking about having young friends. He said he totally disagrees with the "Sun City" type of retirement villages where a bunch of old people live together. He said it is more beneficial to old folks to have young friends instead. Right On!! Other folks may disagree with that, but that's their problem. Perhaps they don't have young friends so they don't know how great it is. I'm just very thankful for my situation here no matter what other folks may think of it. So there! HI HI. -30-
Tue Nov 2 7:59PM - Ooops, time to go off to the shack. Back with a report of my streak QSO shortly (I hope).
Back with two QSOs, one on 80 from N9BSO in MO and one on 40 from K5WK in MS.
That's pretty much the story for today. I'm looking forward to Sunday now when Mike will be visiting. We were planning on going to a hamfest, but it has been cancelled. So we're going to have a "goofing off" day instead. The diary that evening may be interesting, so plan on checking it out. -30-
Mon Nov 1 7:41PM - A good day today and an interesting one. I did my October weather report and it turned up some interesting stats. It was the warmest October in my records going back to 1960. The mean temperature was 60.8 or 7.6 degrees above normal.
The average daily low was 51.0 or 8.7 degrees above normal. Only the very unusual October of 1963 kept this years average daily high of 70.6 from being a record. It was 76.5 in 1963. In that year, we had only .29 inches of rain, and with mostly clear weather most of the month, the daily temperature range average was 35.9 degrees from 76.5 to 40.6 degrees. The normal daily range for October is now 22.5 degrees. The monthly low this year was 40 degrees, the first October in my records it never dipped below 40 degrees. The average October low is 28 degrees.
The good part was seeing one of my young friends in Sprankle's for the first time in a while. I decided to head there shortly after 5PM to see if any of them were working. It turned out Haylee was there in her usual check out line, so we got to chat for a bit till someone else got in line behind me. OK, now it's streak QSO time. Hope I can get a quick one. -30-