Today is my 65th birthday. It’s a major milestone given that not everyone makes it this far in the journey of life. I’m grateful to still be kicking of course, and will celebrate the occasion quietly, with family. No ticker-tape parade or tearful inebriated sessions wondering “where did my life go?” It’s just another birthday, and after you’ve had as many of them as I have, it’s less of a big deal.

I’m also using the occasion to re-launch the blog. The timing seems right given this more or less official transition into the third act of my life. I’m on Medicare now for crying out loud! There’s also a palpable urgency to begin wrapping things up and leave nothing undone.

Thankfully, my health remains good. So far. Sure, I’ve got a few aches and pains associated with aging, though not many, I don’t feel “old” just yet. I’ll let you know when I do. In the meantime, I’m walking 10,000 steps a day when the weather is reasonable, and swallowing a fistful of vitamins and supplements every morning. No prescribed meds for me right now, but next week, next month, next year, who knows?

Since retiring two years ago my ham radio focus has been on select goals related to DXCC and I’ve enjoyed some success with that. Cycle 25 has provided good HF propagation especially coming on the heels of a long stretch of lousy band conditions. Oddly enough, this one seems to be peaking at nearly the same time that global travel and DXpeditions are resuming after the pandemic shutdown. Taken together, right now probably isn’t the smartest time to give up chasing DX at HF as there are at least a few good years of propagation remaining along with several interesting DXpeditions planned before this cycle begins its decline.

But, did I mention turning 65?

I’m keenly aware that cognitive acuity is a perishable resource and forays into things best served by GNU Radio, SDRs, and similar tools come with a steep learning curve. If I’m ever going to bounce radio signals off the moon, chase meteor trails, build that DATV repeater, experiment with mesh networks, use microwaves for rain scatter, or any of the other eclectic projects on my bucket list, now might be the last best chance I have to get on it.

Putting these activities off while trying to wring a few more HF contacts out of what remains of this solar cycle could result in never getting to them, and that’s completely unacceptable. Given that, I’ve decided my focus will turn to the bucket list.

This is season 65, episode 1 for me. The clock is ticking and there are no timeouts left. Having determined to change goals, this fresh-start blog can also serve as the journal of record for successes and failures in these new (to me) radio endeavors. This isn’t the end of one thing, it’s simply an alternate avenue for exploration and discovery and is the continuation of my lifelong fascination with radio and electronics.

The journey continues, the work limited only by imagination. And time…