The search for a new place to live continues. We’ve seen a few homes that were nice, but not perfect. Today is yet another that will be spent touring homes and evaluating different places to live in this area. It’s weird to think whatever we decide upon might be the last place we live — and last time we ever move. That realization may be adding some pressure to an already difficult process. It’s obvious this moment is one for home sellers and not buyers. The local inventory is low and sales move so quickly it makes my head spin.

I’ve tried to keep amateur radio in whatever decision we make though it’s difficult. The nicest places available so far have even smaller yards than where I currently live. Still, when first approaching these places I’m already imagining how and what kind of antenna I could install there. Anything with an HOA is obviously unacceptable, but places with tall trees are getting second and third looks. A ham has got to ham!

Who Needs More Power?

I passed the one year mark a few days ago in the long wait to purchase a mercury IIIs amplifier without being contacted. The deal was you put your name on a waiting list and in less than a year they offer to sell you an amplifier. I did my part. It’s been more than a year and given everything that has transpired recently, if they ever do offer me a chance to purchase the amp I might decline. I’ve never had an HF amplifier in my 46 years as a ham and now uncertain where we will live or if I’ll have room for antennas, maybe I don’t need one?

Long Hot Summer Ahead?

I’ve been showing some deference to those homes that already have alternate forms of heating. This based on our recent discussion about the need to not freeze to death during a harsh winter when the power goes out. For the record, I’m a firm believer that we will experience more frequent and longer power outages along with increasingly extreme weather on the road ahead.

My dark winter scenario obviously depends on where you live. In this region it seems more likely that a power outage during a very cold winter presents the highest risk. But desert areas are much more at risk during hot seasons when the power goes out.

A recent article in the New York Times says the combination of a heat wave and blackout might send half of Phoenix to the emergency room. The research cited in the article warns that nearly 800,000 residents would need emergency medical care for heat stroke and other illnesses in an extended power failure.

While Phoenix was the most extreme example, the study warned that other cities are also at risk.

This summer, two-thirds of North America, including the Southwest, could experience shortfalls in the electrical grid, particularly during periods of extreme heat when demand for air-conditioning spikes, straining resources, according to an analysis released this month.

While I’m busy looking for a new home with a fireplace or wood burning stove as a way to keep warm during a winter power outage, maybe I should be looking for a place with a large natural gas powered generator for all seasons, just in case?