Saturday, December 31, 2022

Happy New Year!

 SLW is down with what I had a day or two ago, so tonight's plans have changed. She'll be sleeping, and I'll be down in the workshop tinkering.

Good riddance to 2022. As for 2023? Who knows.....

Wednesday, December 28, 2022

Christmas "Bug" Hit Me

 So I was pretty much off-line all day Tuesday. Nothing major, just aches, pains, nasal congestion, and being really tired feeling.

Sitting here listening to the various street departs and County agencies who are out spreading "materiel" and reporting the road conditions. It started as rain, got everything soaked, and then changed to light snow as the temps dropped. Which means icy roads under a thin coating of snow. I've already heard of multiple spin-outs on the traffic circles here, and people are sliding off the roads.

An inch is forecast, but the ice under it changes things from minot annoyance, to Watch Your Step!

Be safe out there!

Saturday, December 24, 2022

Merry Christmas To All!


 Hope you all have a joyous Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. The Kids are all coming over tonight, then the Full Clan descends on us Christmas Day to feast in celebration of His arrival.

And for those who can't be home for the holidays....Thank You For Your Service, Sacrifice, and Dedication.

Wednesday, December 21, 2022

Here Comes The COLD Front!

 Just arrived about 1600 local.

At 1545 is was 46*, and here it is 15 minutes later at 1600:

5 minutes later:

A 5* drop in 5 minutes!

Local forecast at 1600:

 Definitely going to be unpleasant out there!

Be safe, keep warm!

Tuesday, December 20, 2022

BRRRRR! Gird Yor Grid For a Big One, Mac!



Got a serious Arctic Cold Front coming in tomorrow (Wednesday) afternoon. Temps are expected to peak at 40something, and then start dropping as the front moves in bring snow at approx 1400. Then the front really slams in here, and temps are expected to drop to -15 or so, with winds of 20~30MPH, making the wind chill around -30 or lower.


My heart goes out to those who have to work outside in this, like ranchers, farmers, utility workers and such. I've worked in mind-numbing cold before (-40, Montana, February), but we were sheltered from the wind. My flashlight froze and went out, and my 20 Watt pencil-type soldering iron needed the assistance of a propane torch to get it hot enough to solder with. I can just imagine what it's like to be out in -20 weather with a 35MPH wind blowing.

The basement clean-up is proceeding quite well, and The Little Ones will have much more room-to-roam now. Yes, it's all properly kid-safed, as are the more delicate items I have down there.

Be safe out there, and I'll have a Christmas post or two coming up shortly for all six of my regulars here!

Friday, December 16, 2022

Been Busy, Proper Post "In Work"

 Been busier than a one-armed paper hanger doing house stuff, and getting things squared away for Christmas, which we're hosting this year. Should be about 25 people, and SLW is gathering all the fixin's to feed that many. Wood's been cut, split, and stacked in case we want a fire, but with 20+ people in the house, it won't be cold. a real post in work, and I'll get it up....whenever?

Have a safe weekend, keep your head on a swivel, and always be in Condition Yellow outside!

Ciao -

Friday, December 9, 2022

Minor Upgrade Issues With Kubuntu

 Not fatal, but very annoying. I have a Netgear "Nighthawk" USB WiFi adapter plugged into it, and while it supports Mac, and by extension Linux, it's cranky to get set up. I should have plugged an Ethernet cable directly into the router and ran that to this PC, as I think it may have borked the drivers for the WiFi adapter last night, losing connectivity.

Running things on Good Old Ethernet for now until I get the driver issues sorted out. I like the new menu layouts, but as with all "upgrades" a few things got moved (simplified, really) so it'll take me a few days to get used to it.

And it definitely borked all the user info in my Ham Radio programs, so now I have to go back and set them up again for my station, Again, annoying but not fatal, and I now have all the newest versions of the software I run.

Wednesday, December 7, 2022

December 7th

  I don't usually do posts on historical dates, as others do them much better than I do. Suffice to say, December 7th is an important date to remember, as is September 11th. There are similarities and differences, but both have immense historical relevance to the United States.

Never Forget. Never Give Up. Never Surrender..... 


On a lighter note, I was able to make contact with NEPM today, even though conditions weren't very good. I was using the 14 MHz frequency instead of the 18 MHz frequency, and while my noise level is very low there, in the "S1~S2" range, the propagation was mediocre. Their signals were in the "S5" range, but there was slow fading up and down.

The RFI issue with the keyboard turned out to be a short USB cable plugged into it that I use to charge my phone. I plugged the cable into a USB port on the PC, and that problem went away. The RaspberryPI I use to decode ADSB transmissions has been given the full Snap On Ferrite Core Treatment, and seemed to tolerate transmitting 200 Watts on 14 MHz without getting wonky. It remains to be seen if it will tolerate 200 Watts on other bands, but for now it seems OK.

Tuesday, December 6, 2022

Had A Little Self-Inflicted RFI Today....

Just noticed this today when I was trying to contact the lads on the Iowa. The Iowa  received a special waiver from the FCC to allow them to contact Amateur Radio stations on December 6th and 7th this year for Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day using their NEPM callsign, and transmitting on military frequencies.

Normally, Amateur and "Federal" radio stations are not allowed to contact each other. The one exception is for the Armed Forces Day Military/Amateur Radio Communications Test, which I've mentioned here before.

I couldn't hear them today on 14 MHz, so I went up to 18 Mhz. They were there, but very weak, so try as we might, we just couldn't cut it.

In the process, I noticed that transmitting on 18 MHz caused my PC keyboard to lock-up, and the RaspberryPI I have for ADSB would also lock-up. This is *most* annoying, so I'll have to look into it. That means digging out my collection of snap-on ferrite cores to put in a few places, rechecking all my outdoor connections, verifying all my ground connections, and sweeping the coax for the frequencies I use. No big deal, but it "didn't used to" act up like this. I'll probably add some cores under the heading of "Good Amateur Practice", but I prefer not to do that. Some consider ferrite cores "band-aids", and I'm on the fence about that. If they work, and I don't see anything else abnormal, then it'll be one of those times when "They Really Do Work".

We shall see.....

Sunday, December 4, 2022

All Put Up For Her "Long Winter's Nap"....

 Today was just gorgeous. Sunny, little wind, and FIFTY DEGREES! It was a painful decision to make, but instead of taking her out, I spent the day cleaning things up, moving things around, sweeping out the garage, and getting her up on stands, and covered.


Shhhhh.....She's sleeping....

 And as a bonus, I was able to give SLW another 12" of room where she parks her car. Still have some things to pick up and organize, but the bulk of Winter Prep in the garage is finished. It also gives me more room to maneuver the snowblower in and out of it's parking spot.

And I split a bunch more wood, and played around with putting an edge on the Harbor Freight hand axe I've had for quite a few years. The as-supplied edge wasn't very good on it, but I didn't know much about sharpening anything other than a pocket of kitchen knife, and I was mediocre at even doing that. Anywhoo......I examined my Estwing "Camp Axe" to see what a good edge looked like, read a bit, and went at it. I used an 80-grit flap wheel in my Dremel to even things out, then the 80-grit belt for my Work Sharp sharpener. I then switched to the 220-grit, and finished with an Extra Fine 6000-grit honing belt.

Came out OK, and works WAY better than it did. I'm still a Novice at sharpening things, but I'm getting the hang of it.

Hope you all had a Blessed Sunday, and have a safe week!

Friday, December 2, 2022

Fast Moving Front, and Hi There, 63-9792!

 Had a really fast-moving front go through shortly after 0900, and it brought about 30 minutes of the "little snowballs", which I'm sure there's a meteorological term for.

Look at the timeline of the graphs, and you can see the humidity spike, the temperature drop, and the wind shift from SW to NW. The little step up in the barometer is the front coming through.


 Almost all the snow we got earlier this week has gone, and it was very windy. My winds speeds don't record as high as officially reported because of where and how high my anemometer is mounted. It's in the clearest spot I could use, but it's not 10 Meters high, and is shielded by the trees and houses here. As a result, my "Gust Speeds" are closer to the NWS sustained speeds, and the gusts here would most likely be 40~50% higher than indicated. So, we had gusts of up to 60 MPH or so. It was howling pretty good last night! And the new double gate came through unscathed, although it did pop open. I didn't have a lock or anything through the holes in the hasps, and from the battering it got, the hasps turned, and the gate opened. BUT....the Big Wheels out handyman put on the front kept it from rolling all the way open and beating itself itself to death like the original one did. I closed it, and put a 3/8" x 2" bolt through the hasps, and using two nuts to keep them from loosening. Should be good for the rest of the year, I hope.

And our old friend 63-9792 from Offut swing by for about 6 hours. Didn't screenshot the flight track, but this is what she looks like all cleaned up. Hard to believe the airframe was built in 1963! Wonder how may times she's been rebuilt/reengined?

They also made several touch-and-goes on their return to Offut, so most likely another training flight.

Hope y'all have a safe and Blessed Sunday!

Been Busy....Follow-Up Post Coming Soon To A Browser Near <i>YOU</i>!

 Been a week since last post. Been busy herding grandkids, playing with the dog, yard work, house items, and working on all manner of stuff....