My ‘back to basics’ approach to the hobby in this New Year has already manifested itself with the order of several ARRL MINILOG books. I haven’t maintained a paper logbook in at least twenty years but still believe in the utility of paper and pencil.

Ritual is defined as a solemn ceremony consisting of a series of actions performed according to a prescribed order. For me, that’s time in the shack with cans clamped to my head while exploring the aether. A hot drink, warm light, paper logbook and a well-engineered key are adjuncts that convert the mundane into ritual.

It’s not a reasonable work-flow for those who log thousands of contacts annually, but I’m a casual operator who averages just five-hundred CW contacts a year. It also permits me to remove the computer, a source of frequent distraction and interference, from the center of the operating position.

I can transfer data from the MINILOG into the computer later when it doesn’t interrupt the ceremony I’m trying to cultivate.