Weekend Update

Now this is the way it’s supposed to be. I dropped the XYL off at work a few minutes ago and am sipping a steaming brew at Starbucks as I assemble these few words to share with you. Today is my first regular “working” day spent at home in a long, long time and I’m hoping it’s the first day of a month or two hiatus from work.

But before we get to this week, I need to wrap up the last one.

Work ended as planned and as scheduled on Friday afternoon and I started for home. With that one stop at R&L Electronics to pick up a couple of Hamvention tickets. It’s a five dollar savings per ticket versus buying them at Hara Arena. I arrived home at 5pm that evening, with 90 minutes to spare before we needed to be in Farmland, Indiana.

Farmland is a cozy community about 13 miles east of town. It’s primary claim to fame comes from the fact that Ansel Toney, the kite man hailed from there. We like it because it’s a friendly, small farming town that schedules events every other Friday evening at the community center. On Friday evening, it was sloppy joe’s, baked beans, cole slaw and lemonade — along with live entertainment — folk and bluegrass music.

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I’ll be back there in a few weeks to listen to Robert Pursley, a lieutenant general in the United States Air Force who served as commander of U.S. Forces Japan and Fifth Air Force, with headquarters at Fuchu Air Station, Japan. As commander of U.S. Forces Japan, he was the senior U.S. military representative in Japan. As commander of Fifth Air Force, he was responsible for the conduct of U.S. air operations in Japan and the Republic of Korea.

On Saturday morning I intended to make a 60 mile run up the road to the North Central Indiana Hamfest in Peru. But the schedule was tight, I needed to be back in town by noon for a meeting with the ECI-QRP group in Muncie. I ended up skipping the hamfest but I did make the QRP club meeting, always a good time. I think there were 12-15 in attendance including Richard Meiss, WB9LPU and he always brings interesting bugs and keys brewed in his shop.

After the meeting, the sun was shining and the temperature was climbing and we couldn’t pass on that opportunity to spend four hours working in the yard. Winter clean-up, first mowing of the season, application of the Spring weed and feed. It was nice to be working outdoors again in such good conditions but we may have overdone it a bit. My head is still smarting from sunburn.

Fed, showered and in need of some rest, I plopped down in the shack and spent a couple hours doing the search and pounce thing in the Michigan QSO Party. I mixed up phone and CW, all on 40 meters, for 35 contacts that was good for 1,400 points and finally pulled the plug and called it a long day.

Kudos to the operators in Michigan. The event was great fun and friendly — a dynamite combination!

Sunday was a rain day. It rained gently from the time I woke up until the time I went to bed. I read that we received over an inch of precipitation yesterday, and it was nice. Unable to do anything outdoors, I made a few contacts on 20 meter phone in the North Dakota QSO Party. I would like to have spent more time chasing ND stations but then came the thunder and I thought it best to unplug the antenna and shutdown the shack.

With nothing left to do but nap, I put the finishing touches on CALLING CQ, the letter for active radio enthusiasts that I publish (almost) weekly. This one was special, the fifty-second edition. With one entire year of personal letter publishing under my belt, I like to think it is evolving into a more useful publication today than it was the the day it was launched.

I’ve learned few things about letter writing along the way, but I’ll save that for tomorrow.

Author: Jeff Davis