Saturday, June 25, 2022

Busy Week, Beautiful Weather, Amateur Radio Field Day

 Having gorgeous weather the last few days, and got some (more!) yard work done, and enjoyed evening strolls around the 'hood with SLW, and Pebbles.

We're headed to the CSU Flower Trial Gardens tomorrow where various types of flowers are grown to evaluate how well they do here in this environment. Some things grow here very well, and others croak rather quickly. Then it's off to Freddy's Frozen Custard and Steakburgers for some chow. Very good Patty Melts, burgers and fries, and their shakes and root beer floats are excellent.

  Thursday night I cleaned out one corner of the garage so the drywall guys could fix the damage from the plumbing leaks caused by the Incompetent Floor Guy.

The got here on-time at 0830, cut out the damaged drywall, trimmed new fire-rated drywall to fit the area, and had the tape and mud finished by 1130. They came back after lunch, put the final coat of mud on it, and cleaned up the area they worked in.

Very nice job:

They were a guy a some younger than me, and his 20-something son. who wants to go into business with his Dad, and Dad's teaching him the ropes. Great to see somebody doing that "live, and in-person". I wish them both well.

And I dove into the Pioneer cassette deck I bought a week or so ago. 

Pulled the knobs:

Then the front panel:


Then pulled the tape Transport mechanism out so I could do a full service on it. New belts, idlers, and pinch rollers, along with cleaning out all the 40 year old lubricant, and replacing it with synthetic lube and grease, and where required, "Light Machine Oil", a.k.a. "Sewing Machine Oil", "Honing Oil", "Gun Oil", and all its other names. You NEVER use products like WD-40 or 3-In-One Oil on a mechanism like this. Well, you can, but you'll be working on it again "Soon", to "Very Soon" if you do.

Trust me, as this is the level of disassembly involved in doing a rebuild of the transport mechanism:


In the picture below, you'll probably notice  a crack in part of the "Supply Reel Assembly" at about the 4-o-clock position. They're only replaceable as a complete assembly, and somewhat hard to find New or New-Old-Stock parts, so I'm going to rebuild them. The idler tire is mounted on the yellowed plastic wheel for it, and will require care in replacing so I don't damage the wheel.


These are the heads, capstans, pinch rollers, and tape guides before disassembly. This all has to be taken apart, cleaned, properly re-lubed, and the rubber rollers replaced. Then the spring tension has to be checked and adjusted as necessary using a spring scale. You can't see it here, but one of the rubber "Brake Pads" is missing from the Brake Lever Assembly. Since they both get replaced it's no big deal, except for the fact that they're getting very close to be NLA. I'll probably just fabricate some from a bit of neoprene tubing, or a couple of layers of heat-shrink insulation. They're not like the "Brake Pads" on an Indy Car of Formula 1 Car, at all. so there's quite a bit of latitude in replacement material.

And this all has to be properly reassembled.

Since I needed a few cassettes to test with, I found these at the local used records and books store:


I'll keep stopping in there to buy these whenever they have them, as they're much more reasonably priced there than on eBay and Amazon. The first two, left to right, are a "Type II", or CrO2 tape. The third one is a "Type IV" METAL tape, which this machine can use. It can also use the "FerriChrome" "Type III" tapes, but they're pretty much unobtainium, and are insanely priced.

And it's "The Last Full Weekend In June", so that means it's Amateur Radio Field Day, and the bands are wall-to-wall signals. 

So enjoy your weekend, be safe, and Viya con Dios.





Saturday, June 18, 2022

Friday, June 17, 2022

Drywall Damage Repair "In Work", and Scratch One Pergola For Now

 Happy Father's Day to all the Dads out there! 


 Had some quotes to repair this damage from the botched flooring install:

$500 for Labor, and $250 for materials. SLW is waiting for other bids to come in before she cuts the P.O.

Several places called back about building a pergola over the concrete back patio. Every One Of Them told us to hold off, as the price on cedar is through the roof right now, as in $60 each for the size posts, and the other lumber is equally expen$ive.

So, no pergola/antenna support for now. I'll go ahead and install the other two 4x4x8 posts I have for my 20 Meter and 6 Meter verticals, and I'll site them in place to clear the eventual pergola. Even after we get the pergola installed, they'll be in better positions than they are now. I've been soaking the soil where the posts and ground rods will go, using my "Deep Root Watering"  spikes. These can wet the soil thoroughly down to about 30", which is deeper than the posts get set, and deep enough to get the ground rods easily started down far enough to really wail on them with a Demolition Hammer and adapter to drive them down the remaining 6 feet.


Enjoy the weekend, Happy Father's Day to all the Dads out there, and be safe.


Monday, June 13, 2022

100 Degrees, 8%, RH and a 10 MPH Breeze. I'm Headed to the Basement!

 Where's always a comfortable 72* +/- 2*, year-round.

I put the RH in italics because I know SiG gets amazed by it.

So, back to the basement. I finally got around to swapping out the "Two Sawhorses and a Door" worktables I'd thrown together a few years ago (that long?) for the new folding leg tables I ordered. I kept the doors to put on the new tables as a pound-the-snot-out-of-it work surface, and been getting the "Electronics Lab" back together and recommissioned again.

 Gives me more elbow room, and gets a lot of things off the floor. I'm already regretting getting 4' long table for the side table, so I'll get a 6' long one, and keep this one for the other side.

I'll rearrange things on the left side of this worktable, and put the 4' table there.

When I get to it.....

Have to make a dump run tomorrow, and run some errands. 

Which means I'll get BillB's package to FedEx, finally! It's sitting in the truck as I type this, Bill, so it'll be outta here tomorrow afternoon!


Saturday, June 11, 2022

99 Degrees, 12% RH, 8 MPH Breeze......

 Yup....Summer arrived today with a vengeance. So warm even the Sacred Windmills wilted!



Gonna be HOT most of the week, with a slight chance of thunderstorms late in the afternoon. Glad I got our portable A/C units installed yesterday, and spent some extra time correct some of the installation issues all sorted out. Had to trim one of the plastic panels where the exhaust duct goes out the window, and now the filler panel/duct fit nice and snug in the windows without rattling or leaking air in/out of the room.

I had a drip system all planned out for the front garden, and SLW keeps planting more stuff, so now I have to layout the system again. From what I've been reading, installing a drip system is pretty easy, like building something with Legos. Lay out the tubing, cut it, add taps and smaller line, and install the drippers.

BUT....I'm sure it will be another "Adventure" in home owner stuff before I get the hang of it.

Have the new work tables set up in the basement shop, and slowly getting all the test gear recommissioned in it's new spot, along with another new item, an HP 8903B Audio Analyzer.

This will replace the two old Heathkit instruments I rebuilt, an IM-5248 IM Analyzer, and an IM-5258 THD Analyzer, and do what they did with greater accuracy and repeatability.


Stay hydrated, and be safe out there!


Tuesday, June 7, 2022

Sweet Little Wife's Front Yard Garden.

 She's been toiling over this since we first moved in, when it looked like this:

There had been junipers growing in the "red bark" area, and the previous owners had them removed. For a weed barrier under the bark, they used the bags it came in! That was a preview of coming attractions as far as the quality of workmanship we found elsewhere. 

We had the junipers by the tree removed, and it looked pretty desolate and messy:


We hooked up with a cracker-jack A-1 True Handyman (God bless you, Mr. Berkley!) who removed the red bark, set the concrete pavers for steps, and installed metal edging:

And SLW immediately set about getting some nice flowers planted:

Things have changed some in the last several years, as she learned the hard way to 1) ONLY plant perennials, and 2) DO NOT plant anything before Mother's Day.

So after the rains yesterday, I thought it looked so pretty that I'd post some "After" pictures showing the progress she's worked at.


Had to use the flash on this one, so the colors are a bit off....

 

It's still a Work In Progress, and always will be, kinda like a "Project Car". It's never done, just in between upgrades!


Oh...Note to BillB....Your packaged rotor was put in the car after I took this, and will be dropped off at FedEx in the morning. I'll send you the tracking number....



Monday, June 6, 2022

YOW! Look At The Rain!!

 Big thunderboomer is currently cruising through the area. Been raining heavily for the last 20 minutes or so.

So, no radioactivity for now. If I hear thunder, I disconnect the antennas!


Friday, June 3, 2022

Welcome To The Weekend!

 And I have yard work out the gazoo to do. Glad my son is here to help, as some of this stuff is getting hard for me to do.

We're doing hand-to-hand combat on the weeds this year, and are attempting to reseed and regrow the backyard ourselves. Our "Landscaping Service", basically a lawn care service, came and reseeded it, and then a few days later, a different guy came and sprayed Preemergent weed killer, which kills the weed seeds before they can germinate.

And gee, guess what? It killed the new grass seed, too.

So, profuse apologies were offered, and they took the cost of seeding and the weedkiller off our bill.

We've spent the last week getting rid of the last of the dead junipers (stuff cuts like it's steel!), and raking out the HUGE pile of sawdust the tree carver left. We figured it would decompose and make some decent mulch, but Mother Nature had different ideas, as in a mushroom infestation. I've NEVER seen as many mushrooms come up, repeatedly, as that pile of sawdust produced this year. HUNDREDS of the little bastiges at a crack, in several clumps. I bought some 30% "Vinegar" and cut it back and sprayed everywhere they came up, but now I know how Michael Caine felt in Zulu. "They Just Kept Coming...." SO....we raked and dug the pile of sawdust out of there and bagged it. I'm still spraying vinegar almost daily, but I think we broke it's back. For now....

Got another 100' hose, and put it on the rear faucet with a "Y" connector. This lets me leave one hose in place, running to our "South Forty" (the large front yard to the South of the garage) to water it, and one hose for the backyard that has a sprinkler we move about. We looked into getting a sprinkler system "Pre-Covid", and they wanted $5k~$6k to install a system. I'll bet it'd double that these days.

The front yard I can nicely cover with one sprinkler head and a hose thanks to SLW's garden area in the front. I have soaker hoses for the plants now, but I'm gathering up the stuff to install a drip system. Looks pretty easy, as it all snaps together.

Meanwhile, down in the basement, I've been reorganizing things, and (finally!) getting rid of the two-sawhorses-and-a-door "workbenches" I've been using. Really bugs me that a hollow-core door would sage when supported by the ends, and loaded up with 100 pounds of test gear!

I went and ordered two eight foot, folding leg, utility tables and one four foot version of the table. I've got the "mechanical" bench replaced, and I'm surprised how much floor space getting rid of the two sawhorses made. Geez....now I can store things under the benches, and not have to worry about tripping over a box of electrolytic capacitors.

These tables are also 6" deeper than the doors, so large pieces of equipment fit nicely, and leave 6" of table sticking out so I have some maneuvering room for what I'm working on.

The four foot "side table" will be great to keep my hand tools, soldering gear, and variac readily at hand.

That's it here. Have a great weekend, and be safe out there!

Sunday, May 29, 2022

Friday, May 27, 2022

Friday Already.....Again?......

 And we're going into our Summer weather pattern. We only got some sprinkles today, but the areas to the East, out on the Plains, are getting pounded. Haven't seen any lightning yet this year, but I've heard some thunder, which is "Pull The Antennas!" to me. Time to get off my keister and get my new support posts planted, the ground rods driven and bonded together, the Surge Supressors installed, and the 20 Meter vertical antenna moved off it's "temporary" tripod. I also have a new 6 Meter, 5/8's wavelength, vertical to mount. And in a month or so, we're getting a pergola installed over the back patio/concrete area, which will allow me to get my Big Stick back up in the air, like I had in Long Beach.

It's a Shakespeare AT-1011(U) military antenna, and when properly installed, is a real flame thrower. Many people look down on vertical antennas as a "Radiates Equally Poorly In All Directions" device, but I can guarantee you that if they perform poorly, you have a faulty installation. I use it with an SGC AutoCoupler with four, elevated radials, and it works extremely well.

We had both Little Guys over yesterday for about 4 hours, and it's interesting to watch how the NLG is exploring things. His Big Brother adores him, and they had fun playing in TLG's "Avengers Room" (aka Bedroom #2), which is where all his Super Hero figures, Paw Patrol stuff, craft stuff, and wood building block sets are. It was pretty funny to watch how fixated he became on the drawers in craft storage rack. DOZENS of brightly colored toys are scattered around on the floor, and what does he want to do? Open the drawers and take all the stuff out! His Big Brother did the same thing, and I remember opening the kitchen cabinets and dragging out my Mom's pots and pans, so I guess it's a Guy Thing. And they'll be appearing here again Saturday morning for a few hours while their Momma has some things done, and then SLW is taking the daughter-in-law out for a birthday breakfast at a local French restaurant.

And besides doing yard work and attempting to get and keep the garage clean, I finally bought some new tables to replace the two-sawhorses-and-a-door workbench I've been using. Hollow core doors have a tendency to sag a bit when propped up by their ends and used as a work surface! These should give me a better surface to work on, and extra space under the table, as the sawhorses will go into storage.

Enjoy the weekend, rock on, and be safe out there!


Sunday, May 22, 2022

If You Like Rhapsody in Blue, You Have To Watch This

 Rhapsody in Blue is one of my favorite compositions. It's too complex to call just a "song". I've heard dozens of recordings of it, watched it live at the Hollywood Bowl, and recorded it for the high-school orchestra way back when. I've known some very talented people who could play the piano part, and they all agreed it was very challenging to play correctly.

The young lady pianist in the video, Khatia Buniatishvili, is astoundingly good. She doesn't miss a single note, and puts a lot of emotion into a piece that most pianists are  struggling to play correctly.

This is also an excellent recording, and I think it's worth the 15 minutes to watch it.



Saturday, May 21, 2022

Annnnnnd....We Got *ZERO* Snow

 It snowed a bit, but it didn't stick. From looking at how the storm formed up and progressed South, it looks like the heavy precip started about 10 miles South of here, and proceeded to dump a LOT of snow on the Denver/Boulder Metro area. Like up to thirty inches in some areas.

EDIT: Forgot to add that we received about .2" of rain, which pushed the monthly rain total to 1.07".

So it's 50* and sunny today, with more rain forecast for the coming week, and we ducked a BIG one...

Thursday, May 19, 2022

Batten Down The Hatches!

 'Cuz here it comes.....

The Winter Storm Advisory went to a Winter Storm Watch, to a Winter Storm Warning, in the last 24hrs.

The temperature dropped about 30* in 20 minutes, along with a rise in humidity, and a change of wind direction, indicating the leading edge of the front came through.

And we did our best to cover up all the pretty little plants that SLW has been nursing along in the front garden area.

Friday will be rain changing to snow, and a Very Good night to stay in. I reloaded the wood holder alongside the fireplace with some apple and ash, along with some "pallet wood" which burns really hot, and gets the hardwood going. Friday evening/night we get clobbered with between 3" and 9" of snow, so we're going to watch a movie, and enjoy the fire.

Heavy, WET snow, that causes damage. One year we came out here the day after a late Spring snow like this, and the National Guard was out helping to collect all the broken trees and limbs. The homestead up in the canyon is expecting 10~12" total, based on past experience.

Promises to be an interesting weekend...


Y'all be safe out there!

Wednesday, May 18, 2022

Ruh-Roh! Winter Storm Advisory, and a Damn Good Knife Sharpener

 Yowie.....We have a major cold front coming through, bringing COLD temps for the season, and SNOW!

Per the NWS:


URGENT - WINTER WEATHER MESSAGE National Weather Service Denver/Boulder CO 257 PM MDT Wed May 18 2022 ...LATE SPRING STORM MAY BRING HEAVY SNOW TO THE FRONT RANGE MOUNTAINS AND FOOTHILLS THIS FRIDAY AND SATURDAY... .Confidence is increasing in moderate to heavy snowfall in the Front Range mountains, Foothills and along the Urban Corridor starting late Thursday for the mountains and higher foothills and late Friday for elsewhere through Saturday afternoon. There is still a lot of uncertainty in snowfall totals but significant impacts seem likely, especially for broken trees that could lead to power interruptions or outages.

Larimer County Below 6000 Feet/Northwest Weld County- Boulder And Jefferson Counties Below 6000 Feet

* WHAT...Heavy snow possible. Total snow accumulations of 4 to 10 inches possible. Winds could gust as high as 35 mph. 

* WHERE...Portions of central, north central and northeast Colorado. 

* WHEN...From Friday afternoon through Saturday morning. 

* IMPACTS...Travel could be very difficult. The hazardous conditions could impact the evening commute. Heavy snow could break tree limbs that could lead to power outages.

 

I don't expect us to get that much snow, and the full synopsis of the advisory calls for almost immediate melting, but still, we'll be running around covering up all the new plants SLW has put in the front garden area. Friday night sounds like a nice evening for the last fireplace session of the season, a pizza, and a movie or two!

I've never been particularly good at sharpening knives.  I can get a decent edge, but it never seems to last. Some years ago I bought a "Chef's Choice" from Cabella's, and I could at least get consistent results out of it compared to other methods.

About the time I was asking for recommendations for one, Kenny, over at KnuckleDraggin My Life Away, popped up and said the best one he'd ever used was a "Work Sharp" unit, so I bought one of those and tucked it away. Fast forward six or seven years to yesterday, and I dug it out to try it.

It put a perfect edge on my beat up hand axe, the shovel we've been using in the newest backyard projects, and resharpened my EDC knife to like new. Well....almost like new. I now know what happens when you put the serrated edge through the wrong side of the sharpener. It Wipes Out The Serrated Edge.... Oh, well, it was an old knife, anyway.

These things:

Are fabulous, and get my 5-Star approval.

Monday, May 16, 2022

Must Be Some "Big Wigs" Coming In...

 As witnessed by all the air traffic just circling around...


OOPS....Scratch that. It's a WIND delay, first I've seen for DIA.

Friday, May 13, 2022

KRFC Increases Power From 3,000 Watts to 50,000 Watts

 YAY! My favorite local radio stations, KRFC, has flipped the switch on their new transmitter and antenna. They're still tweaking the audio settings a bit, but their signal went up 13dB here.

13dB is a factor of twenty in strength, and should make a big difference in their coverage area.

Before:


After:

If you look at the upper right corner of the spectrum analyzer display, you'll see the center frequency of 88.9 MHz, and directly under that you'll see the signal level in dBuV, or "Decibels Referenced to 1 microvolt".

Some of the increase is due to the increased power level, and the remainder is due to the new antenna. 

This will expand their coverage all along the Front Range, from Denver to Wyoming.

Well done, and now I can listen to them all the way to the Denver airport and back.


Wednesday, May 11, 2022

What A Beautiful Day.....

 For a Colonoscopy!


Well, at least the weather was nice. Everything checked out A-OK, and other than being a little more spaced out than usual from the Propofol, I'm back home and waking up.


Be back on-line tomorrow...

Friday, May 6, 2022

The Awakening....

 Has begun for the season. It hit 82* here today, and supposed to be really nice through the coming week.

So besides my yard duties, I'll be cleaning up the garage so I can start waking this baby up.....

 If I had the viewership that Phil at Bustednuckles has, we'd have an unending series of memes and jokes about Jim's Supra, vis-a-vis Phil's Sprite....

 

But not tonight. The son and I are "helping" The Little Guy with a new Lego set I got him.


Have a good weekend, and be safe!


Monday, May 2, 2022

RAIN! First in Six Weeks...

 We received .16" last night, and another .23" after midnight, for a total of .39" and big YAY from everybody around here.


Still coughing and sneezing like crazy, even with the Flonase and a prescription, so I might see if my Doctor can see me if it doesn't clear up soon. SLW has been hacking for a week, too, so it ain't jes me!

Perhaps this is the "Long Covid" Jules or someone else spoke of sometime back? I've had three "tests" over the last six months, and they all showed NO exposure to The Plague. The woke would be screaming I need to get ALL my shots, not-a-vax, boosters, etc, etc, etc, but I think not......

Saturday, April 30, 2022

Saturday Already??

 Well, having a case of the cruds can make time almost irrelevant.

Since I'm feeling better, I swapped out the wife's snow tires for her summer tires. Should have done it a while back, but one year I did it 'early", and she had some trouble when we got clobbered with a late spring snowstorm. Oh, well.....

And watering and weeding season is upon us. The grass is starting to green, but the "nuked" backyard is having some trouble. The weeds, of course, don't mind the bare dirt; they see it as an opportunity to spread. So I mixed up some Weed-B-Gon, and spot treated all the things that are growing that we don't want. Tomorrow I'll mix up some Round-Up 360 and spray the gravel beds. Damn cottonwood seeds are starting to sprout, and if you don't hit em with a brick, they'll take over.

And on a happier note, the USS The Sullivans has been partially refloated.



Hope y'all have a great weekend, and  be safe this coming week.

Tuesday, April 26, 2022

Ah, Crud......Sinuses Are Killing Me Today

 Work up this morning with a head full of slime, and a mouth as dry as the Sahara from having a plugged nose all night and mouth breathing. Never been accused of being a "Mouth Breather", so it must be a hidden talent.

Had a bunch of TODOS to-do to-day, but it doesn't look like much will happen on that front until to-morrow....


Apologies to BillB for not getting your rotor to FedEx to-day.

Friday, April 22, 2022

Welcome To The Weekend

 Nice weather here, up to 87* today, but there's a front coming through, so it's cooling down and hopefully we'll get some rain. There's a winter storm warning for the Rocky Mountain Nat'l Park, extending up through the Medicine Bow Range, which starts at the Northern end of the Never Summer Mountains. 6~12" of snow forecast, with winds up to 65MPH. Over on The Plains, they're having winds of ~40+ PH, with gusts going to 75MPH. And NOAA has issued a severe blowing dust warning fo most of the Eastern part of the state.

Tried my hand at just monitoring 6 Meter Meteor Scatter last night for the April Lyrids, and was rewarded with this:

 

The highlighted entries in the log are people calling "CQ", and from the recorded signal strength levels, I could have worked most of them. But not being the Night Owl I used to be, I was fast asleep. Still, that's a whole lot more than I expected to receive just using my 20 Meter vertical antenna. I have a 6 Meter dipole I'm planning on putting back up, and a 5/8ths wave 6 Meter vertical that will be going up as soon as my son and I dig the holes and set the poles. I had a very similar 6 Meter antenna back in SoCal that a friend had loaned me, and when the band was open, it was really, really, really good.


Have a good weekend, and be safe out there!

Tuesday, April 19, 2022

80 Degrees Today!

 Warmest so far this year. Should be like this all week, and then drop down into the 50's/60's for a few days.

Trees are full of buds, lawn is greening up, and all the flowers have come back from the dead in the front garden area.

Time to bust out my Ross Root Feeder and give the trees and shrubs a Spring boost.


Y'all be safe out there!

Saturday, April 16, 2022

Thursday, April 14, 2022

Looks Like He Got His Wish

 Ukrainian stamp honoring the solders who were captured on Snake Island.

Sometimes Karma's a bitch....



Sunday, April 10, 2022

Audio Dummy Loads Finished

 Between the botched flooring, and the delays, and then the plumbing leaks and plumbing repair, I've been a tad busy. It's also the start of the Spring Lawn Care Season, so there's been a lot of that going on. Hoses to lay, newly seeded areas to be kept moist, and trees and shrubs to feed.

And The Little guy was over Thursday night and all day Friday, then The Kids came by for dinner with the New Little Guy, who's taken quite a shine to me and my funny noises and faces.


ANYWAY..... I had most of the parts and a sketch, so I sat myself down and built these up.

The resistors are 8 Ohm, 100 Watt, Non-Inductive resistors in a series/parallel connection. It gives me 8 Ohms at 400 Watts, bigger than any amplifier I'll most likely encounter. I also tapped the point between the two 4 Ohm sections, which also gives me 4 Ohms at 200 Watts, also more than any amp I'm likely to encounter.

So now that I have these, and all my Test Equipment appears to be squared away, I can finally get back on the big Pioneer SX-980 receiver that's been a doorstop the last few months.

Rock On!


 




Wednesday, April 6, 2022

YAY! Plumbing All Squared Away

 Well, the plumber was back today to reseal the two downstairs toilets. The one off the laundry room wasn't screwed down to the floor securely, which means it will rock back-and-forth, and eventually break the wax seal. It showed no sign of leakage....yet.

The basement toilet was just sitting on the floor...NO bolts, with the decorative caps just sitting where they're supposed to be covering a bolt. It didn't show any signs of leakage, either, but he said it was an accident waiting to happen. I made a crack about it "Not Even Being A Home-Owner Grade Repair", and agreed with me, saying even a home owner knows enough to go get the missing parts.

The drywall guy came and inspected the garage ceiling, complemented me on ripping the soggy stuff out, and said it would be about $175 to replace the drywall and fiberglass insulation, tape it, and paint it.

I estimate the plumber's bill will be about $600, labor and materials.

Oh, well...save $1k on the flooring install, and give $800 to other contractors to fix the mistakes the "flooring guy" made.

And the Ham Radio bands have been very good this week. While Mike The Plumber was here, I talked to several Japanese stations, some South/Central American stations,  heard some Europeans, and several stations from "Down Under", all on 12 Meters/24MHz, which hasn't had any activity since the peak of the last Solar Cycle.

Nice to see Cycle 25 off to a roaring start.

Monday, April 4, 2022

66 Awesome Dance Moves

 From a friend of mine. Quite fun to watch and pick out which movies they took the clips from.



Friday, April 1, 2022

This Is NOT How You Seal A Toilet To The Floor!

 GROOOOAN.....

We had a local plumbing firm come out to repair the leaks caused by the :handyman" guy who put in the flooring and new steps. That fiasco could be a post all it's own. Suffice to say I would have given him a "C-" for the work he did, until the leak started.

This is what the plumber found under the toilet in SLW's bathroom:


I don't know what the heck he used in place of a proper wax ring, but it looks like it was squeezed out of a tube. The plumber said he'd never seen anything like this, as even "Home Owner Level" repairs he'd seen at least had the correct sealing rings used. She was gone for the week after the work was "finished", so her toilet wasn't used, but mine was in daily use.

The one in my bathroom was worse, as the floor flange was loose, caused by using too small hardware to hold it down. The heads of the flat-head bolts holding the flange to the floor were small enough to pull through the dimple in the flange, causing the flange to loosen up, and combined with the wrong size wax sealing ring, allowed water to leak down the outside of the drain pipe, and run along to the lowest spot, where it dripped off and soaked the drywall.

I ripped all the soggy drywall and insulation out of the garage ceiling, and put a fan on it do dry it out, which is easy to do this time of year as it's so dry here.

The aftermath in the garage:


Aggie Plumbing, who I can't say enough good things about, will be back on Monday at noon to pull and reseal the two downstairs toilets. Considering the "quality" of the work the handyman did on the upstairs toilets, we think it's a wise decision to pay the man, and have the other two toilets checked, and most likely resealed.

And they gave use a referral to a guy who does drywall repair, so he'll be out here on Tuesday to repair my  Damage Control activities from when the leak started.

ANNNND SLW had a "talk" with the handyman, who politely told us to cancel the balance owed on the contract, keep the remaining materials, and it was nice meeting us. He's a good guy, but his skills are lacking in a lot of areas.....


Thursday, March 31, 2022

30 Years Ago Today....


The USS Missouri was decommissioned for the last time.

So "Happy Retirement" to the ship and her caretakers. We spent some time on the Mighty Mo when we went to Hawaii a few years ago. Being part of the USS Iowa family, we were treated like royalty, and got to see some Behind The Scenes things that aren't normally open to the public.


And of course, we went to the USS Arizona Memorial, where I was doing OK until I saw the oil bubbling up...

Busy Week, Beautiful Weather, Amateur Radio Field Day

 Having gorgeous weather the last few days, and got some (more!) yard work done, and enjoyed evening strolls around the 'hood with SLW, ...