Low expectations and little effort resulted in meager results in the ARRL DX CW contest this weekend, but I enjoyed every minute of it. Nothing new and notable in the log this time, it was mostly the usual suspects.

Still, it was a lot more fun that one should expect for five watts, a wire antenna, and manually sent Morse code. All search and pounce and I was only pouncing on the big signals.

I ended up working just 32 stations on 40, 20, and 15 meters, seven of those contacts with stations in Hawaii. If CR3W on Madeira Island confirms our contact that would be an ATNO for me. My log shows I’ve worked six other operators there but none have ever confirmed.

Nearly all replied on the first call but a few sent “AGN” a time or two and I truly appreciate that in the heat of battle, with my peanut whistle no doubt ruining their rate, they stuck with me until the contact was made.

Serious contesters are the very best radiomen that our hobby has to offer and it’s easy to overlook their prowess. These guys and gals are simply the best.

Another Trip Around the Sun

Today is my 59th birthday and I’d like to hang around for a few more.

Some years ago I took up the habit of reading Thoreau’s ‘Walden’ to mark the occasion. It’s message of minimalism resonates deeply and usually brings course corrections in my life. The fact that you’re reading this tells me you’d probably like it too. Download it here.

“I went to the woods because I wished to live deliberately, to front only the essential facts of life, and see if I could not learn what it had to teach, and not, when I came to die, discover that I had not lived. I did not wish to live what was not life, living is so dear; nor did I wish to practice resignation, unless it was quite necessary. I wanted to live deep and suck out all the marrow of life, to live so sturdily and Spartan-like as to put to rout all that was not life, to cut a broad swath and shave close, to drive life into a corner, and reduce it to its lowest terms, and, if it proved to be mean, why then to get the whole and genuine meanness of it, and publish its meanness to the world; or if it were sublime, to know it by experience, and be able to give a true account of it in my next excursion.”