Autumnal Twaddle

The last entry in my ham radio logbook is dated September 13. Time has been in short supply these last few months. Work has demanded lots of hours and travel which has me longing for a return to normalcy. The good news — the holiday season should provide a bit of a respite.

On that note, you know how we all complain about the Christmas decorations that appear in retail stores long before the actual holiday? I’m probably aiding and abetting that bad practice this season as my shopping is nearly complete and it’s not yet Halloween! I just hope I can remember where I hid the presents when the time comes…

I plan to attend the Ft. Wayne (Indiana) Hamfest next month, as usual. It’s the largest in the state and marks the traditional end of the hamfest year in these parts. It’s held in a fantastic facility though like most other hamfests, it has been slowly declining in number of vendors and attendance. I wonder what will be in store this time around? I think we may ultimately lose the “fest” as a ham radio tradition. Conventions on the other hand, where the focus is more on technology transfer and pressing the flesh of DX and Contesting rock stars, are likely to proliferate in the decades that follow.

We’ve been adding gadgets at an alarming rate. The latest is a Keurig single-cup coffee maker. We discussed this purchase at length beforehand and concluded it will save us money. Eventually. We’re in a 37 year routine of making a pot of coffee first thing in the morning and that never goes wasted. But often times, later in the day, we crave a single cup — and end up making a full pot — eventually tossing the unused portion out. The notion here being that the ability to make a single, decent Cup of Joe will be beneficial. I’m skeptical, but was in on the decision making pre-purchase and I suppose the buck stops here. If we’re still using it a month from now, that will be a good sign.

I’m probably the last human on Earth to have (just) finished reading The Martian by Andy Weir (now we can finally go see the movie). In addition, several interesting online articles tickled my fancy this week. Yes, the CIA Director Was Part of the JFK Assassination Cover-Up. John McCone was long suspected of withholding information from the Warren Commission. Now even the CIA says he did. And this one will make you think, The Ethics of Killing Baby Hitler. It’s based on a New York Times Magazine poll that asked whether its readers could kill an infant Adolf Hitler. And then there was this, The Tech Model Railroad Club – the first computer wizards who called themselves hackers started underneath a toy train layout at MIT’s Building 20. All excellent bathroom reading material.

The furnace guy is scheduled out later this week to perform the annual maintenance ritual. It’s time. Though we have been enjoying the warm days and cool evenings immensely, the extended forecast for East Central Indiana doesn’t show the mercury rising again to 70F for as far into the future as they dare to guess. I marvel at the majestic colors of autumn but eventually, someone is going to have to start raking all these leaves off the lawn and I have a bad feeling that “someone” is going to be me.

Author: Jeff Davis