Saturday, January 12, 2013

Wotta Day!

0700: Arise.

0715: This time, I mean it.

0730: Really!

 0730 - 0745: Prepare coffee, toast

0745 - 0845: Blog, news, etc.

0845 - 0945: Ablutions, agonize over hair, give up, find hat.

0945 - 1000: Load range bag

1000 - 1030: Travel with Tam and Shootin' Buddy

1030 - 1045: 15 minute wait (Yes, a range with 20 lanes -- and full up!)

1045 - 1145: SHOOTY! (Colt Police Positive .22, S&W K-22 Combat Masterpiece .22, High-Standard 9-shooter, Savage 101 single-shot and, of course, my Ruger Mk. II.  Why so many?  Let's see, I need more trigger time on the Colt, I want more trigger time on the Smith, the High-Standard was just in there and, for better or worse, it's my standard of comparison for .22 revolvers, the Savage still needs the sights lined up -- and is going on the bench tonight or tomorrow, little tippy-taps with a plastic knife handle at the range aren't doing it -- and the Ruger goes with me every time to start and end the session, 'cos I know I can shoot it middlin' well.  Still, that's a lot of guns and with a decently-available indoor range, I hope to carry fewer and shoot more in the future.)

1145 - 1215 Clean-up and socializing.  Have I mentioned how nice the range is?  It is and so's the staff.  The bays are nice and deep, with plenty of space and a stout wall on each side.  Every few bays (5 or so), there's a block wall about 15' long, too.  The sound lock is a little small and they're going to tweak that during their next shut-down.

1215 - 1245: We Try To Find Used-Book Stores.  Nope -- looks like they're both gone.  :(

1245 - 1315: Return to Roseholme Cottage.

1315 - 1330:  Tam and SB depart to see a movie.  I unpack my range bag, wash up and--

1330 - 1415:  Ride my pennyfarthing bike to Taste.  Enjoy the "chipotle pulled pork and eggs" (and mashed avocado and potatoes and cilantro and some home-fried chips of some sort) and a cuppa good coffee.  Almost took a spill making a U-turn in a tight space, but managed to keep the wheel turning. (It's easy to get your foot off the inside pedal in a tight turn, not so easy to find the pedal again!)  Asked, "Is that thing hard to ride?"  Answered: "No, but it's tricky to start."
1415 - 1430: New double-front work jeans arrived!  The others are all ready for the wash, so I start the Maytag up, then go try to start my motorscooter.  No dice.

1430 - 1530:  Realize the oops-too-late leafpiles are all exposed and we've got plenty of leaf bags.  Fill up seven (7!) from heaps in tiny side yard.  While so doing, it dawns that I had not opened up the fuel valve on my scooter.  Derka-derka!

1530 - 1545: Start scooter.  Hooray!  The Flying Percolator perks right up! While it idles, move jeans from washer to dryer, gather supplies and ladder for--

1545 - 1615 Repair of the larger ham antenna, a 102' G5RV that runs nearly full length of my long and narrow lot.  The rope holding the front yard end broke several days ago; this would be the end Jim "Tree Machine," our occasional arborist, had anchored for me about 30' up, after the (climbable!) half of the tree I had been using kneeled gracefully over into the street.  I can't get to the screweyes he used but my 25' extension ladder gets me up higher than the peak of the house, which the antenna has to clear, so voila! I'm back in the big wire antenna business.  Sure, there was some scary waving around of a big hand-cranked drill to make a pilot hole and passing traffic was slowing way down to look at the crazy lady way, way up in the air, but I got it done without any rapid trips to the ground. And yes, I shut off the scooter before commencing to risk my precious self on the ladder, I'd've hated to leave it running while being sirened away to the nearest ER.

1615 - 1730: Garb up, get scooter out, check tires and oil and off to the store I go!  It ran nicely, though the damp and muddy streets up in Broad Ripple Village proper give me pause.  Not as slick as they look, though I eschew the humongous puddle at the southernmost entrance to the Kroger lot.  No "$100 Hamburger" trip this, I'm out of important supplies: cranberry juice (it ain't breakfast without it) and Reese's Cups.

1730: Zippity-buzz back home in time to find Tam, who's actually been there quite some while.  Folded jeans.  Put away tools and cycling attire. Made coffee, got on the Internet and yakked with Tam about the movie, etc.

     Pretty darned good day.  If I can manage to get on my ham rig a little before it starts raining and raining and raining (so it is forecasted), I'll've hit about all the bases.


Turk Turon said...

And watch an episode of "Archer".

homebru said...

You get extra points if you play with all the toys.

The Freeholder said...

So, what is your rig?



Roberta X said...

It is fun!

Freeholder: My main rig is a Ten-Tec "Triton" 540, of which I have a main, a spare and a parts rig. Run CW only.

Plus a supernice RME-45 for listening to the AM phone guys. If ever I can get an AM rig working, I'll run 'phone, too, but I'm darned if my first HF QSO with a mic is gonna be SSB.

...It started raining before I could get on the air. So maybe I'll watch UFO and/or Archer.

BGMiller said...

SO is the no keying in the rain because of the risk of lightening strike on the antenna and subsequent zorching of the magic talking box?

Or is it an issue of the weather just making for crappy radio propagation?

Or do the bugs not know how to swim? :)


Roberta X said...

No keying in the rain because I'm not interested in what happened when the antenna insulators flash over when I transmit -- and yeah, the lightning thing. I've known more hams who lost equipment because they didn't disconnect the antenna(s) when not in use. It's a pain to do it, but most of my ham gear is no longer made.

BGMiller said...

A follow up question if I may be indulged....

So if you are disconnecting the antenna from the system when not in use do you just leave the ends looped over a hook on the wall or do you clip them into some form of ground? Just wondering what happens if you should experience a strike.

Also, I presume that some form of fuse between the antenna and transceiver would plug up the works too much for a useable signal to pass?


Roberta X said...

A typical fuse is not fast enough, and not enough of a gap.

I connect the antenna to ground. Plus it's not the highest thing around -- that'd be the top wire in the power distribution, overtopped itself by trees.

At work, we have to keep equipment connected 24/7; we use transient suppressors designed for RF service and mostly, they work. Every 5 - 10 years, we have to replace a radio.

However -- what the suppressors do is protect from current induced by nearby strikes. From, in fact, the small-scale EMP. A full-on lighting strike is thousands of amperes and up; it will blow up woven-wire ground straps and melt coax and #12 wire. It'll melt the parts of the gear closest to the the antenna on its way to ground. All you can do with a hit like that is not be there when it comes hammering in.

Roberta X said...

P.S.: In the old days, home antennas had an "Underwriter's Switch," a nice heavy knife switch outside that connected antenna and ground when the antenna was not in use. Not 100% effective, but better than nothing.

BGMiller said...

Amen to being elsewhere when a bolt comes in. I've had one experience with Zeus dropping one danger close and that was enough. A vehicle will in fact protect you from getting zapped by the way. Your ears will ring and you'll be seeing spots for a bit though. And that was just from the yellow pine twenty feet away offending the gods.


Chaplain Tim said...

If you're close to any of these, I love this chain of used-book stores. The inventory is eclectic, and random. When they open a new store, the existing stores just go through the aisles and grab every 20th book to send to the new store.

Roberta X said...

Oh, we have them, and they're fun, too; but they're "Category Killers," like Staples or Office Depot are for office supplies: when they come to town, all the little independent outfits start to fade away.

Chalkie said...

That's a full day! You've earned some rest!

Ed Skinner said...

Old style printed QSL cards?

Roberta X said...


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