Sunday, September 13, 2009

First Things, First...

when i started to work at apple, back in 1995, i remember the engineers joking, "first you come up with a code name, then you make the t-shirts, then you figure out what the project is actually all about."

so this blog feels a little bit like that... like i'm doing things a bit backwards... but i just got back mountain topping at Mt. Unumhum in Los Gatos, California, in the Santa Cruz Mountains, where my car's GPS says i was at 2260 ft (37° 09' 33" N, 121° 52' 32" W, if you feel like looking it up on google) and where spent about an hour and a half working 20m from my car, with my K3/100 sitting on the front seat plugged into a gell cell kristen (K6WX) lent me, and an MP1 SuperAntenna c-clamped to a heavy duty video tripod, with four thin radials splayed out on the side of the road, and a MFJ telescoping 10ft whip screwed into the MP1 coil. and i'm total crap at keeping a log, so instead i have this beautiful french bloc rhodia #16 quadrule pad that i used to scribble calls and names like mad (i know i spoke with KI6JD, Jim, in San Jose, and WA0IIH, Shawn, in St. Louis and KL7SB, Steve, in Anchorage and i'm pretty sure it was KE5ZWD, Mark, in Mississippi and maybe a few others... i should have been a doctor, my handwriting is so poor!)

anyway, after a couple of park rangers and a santa clara county sheriff deputy very kindly let me know they were getting ready to start closing things up for the night, i packed up all my 'every day is field day' kit and headed back down into Los Gatos to pick up some dinner, and was talking with the young girl at the checkout, who i recognize and we tend to chat, and i told her i had just come down from Mt. Unumhum and had talked on my 'short wave' radio to a fellow in Alaska and one in Mississippi and one in St. Louis and she was all like "really... wow..." and her eyes got wide and i recognized the wonder that i feel every time i shout into my microphone and a voice comes out of the ether.


so i hopped over to to snag a cheap domain (code 'gdr0837x' snagged me a the domain and free private registration for about $8.00) and then over here to blogger to set up a blog ('cause i don't feel like having to deal with hosting a blog on my own site) and voila! i now have a place to write about my QSO's and crashing antennas with the help of Budd "Buddipole" Drummond at 6 o'clock in the morning and barking into the mic when XE2JA couldn't understand the "D" in RDG, and i started shouting, "DOG... DOG... WOOF... WOOF..." and when he keyed his mic i could hear him still laughing and realized i had little future as an international diplomat and on and on and on...

so there you go... a repository for all thing amateur radio...

and when i parked the car and was unloading the groceries i realized that i had just had a of fun, and that after almost 38 years (on and off) of being a 'ham', i still liked doing it.

ignore the jerks
be kind to the newbies
and listen, with great attention, to other people's stories.

that's a good hobby (and a pretty decent philosophy of life!)

de Robin (W6RDG)

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