Progress of sorts...

Sep. 24th, 2017 06:09 pm
hrrunka: My garden in the summer (garden)
[personal profile] hrrunka
Most of the rest of Saturday was more of the same.

It's been a fine sunny day, if not especially warm. This morning I joined the usual radio club Net on 160 metres for an hour or so, and then spent a while trying to sort out some family and radio club loose ends. After lunch I tackled the trimming of the hedge on the western side of the garden. It needed a lot of trimming, and it would probably have been better if it had been done a while back, but the folk next door had also decided to tackle their side of it, and the weather meant it wasn't an unpleasant task. It did take a while, though. Inevitably the garden bin, which was emptied on Friday morning, is now full again, and won't be emptied for almost a fortnight, but that's OK.

Now, time to try to deal with some of the other loose ends that need it. Ingress is done. Duolingo next.

Of The Same...

Sep. 23rd, 2017 10:51 am
hrrunka: A small radio transceiver (morse)
[personal profile] hrrunka
On Wednesday evening I listened a bit to Morse on the 80 metre band, which was busier than usual thanks to a short contest. Then I joined the local radio club VHF Net for an hour or so of chat.

On Thursday morning I was up in good time for the GB2CW Morse practice broadcast, and didn't do too badly. I did get one word of the 8wpm passage and one digit in the numbers wrong, when usually I copy everything just fine in those, but I also only got one word wrong in the 12wpm passage, which is a few fewer than usual.

The weather on Friday was fine and warm. I did quite a bit of Ingress in addition to my normal walk to the shops. There was no gaming in the evening, but I managed to tie up a few travel loose ends in the course of the evening.

This morning's started rather grey, weather-wise. I hope it will improve. There's stuff I need to get done, and some of it demands dry conditions. The forecast for tomorrow is, at the moment, brighter, so I guess some of that may wait.

Curate's Egg...

Sep. 20th, 2017 06:58 pm
hrrunka: A small radio transceiver (radio)
[personal profile] hrrunka
The radio club meeting on Monday evening was a busy informal fix-it evening. A number of strange bits of kit were being worked on. I just went for the chat, and was feeling tired enough that I didn't stay all that long.

On Tuesday the weather was slightly lees grey and damp. I finally got round to doing a bit of work in the garden. I gave about ten feet of hedge a bit of a trim, and that left the garden waste ben almost completely full. In the evening there was another radio club meeting, but this involved a couple of short talks. They seemed to generate a fair bit of interest. I got home a bit later than usual, and discovered that my home *DSL was not performing. A bit of research using the mobile's data eventually revealed a notice about "Planned Maintenance" affecting about 150 exchanges including the one I'm on. As the maintenance was scheduled to run from 10pm to 6am I decided I'd have an early night. I think the network actually came back sometime around 2am...

This morning I decided I needed to get out of the house, so I packed some radio and geocache kit into the car and headed off. First stop was a geocache I hid back in 2002 which was in need of a fresh logbook. I took the opportunity to clean it out a little, removing the rubbish and adding a few new swaps. The weather was a bit grey and the path a little muddy, but the walk wasn't a bad one.

After that I headed back to a view point car park which is a good starting point for the nearby SOTA summit. I'd taken a packed lunch, so I ate that while looking at the (rather grey) view, then grabbed my radio kit and walked to the summit. Now, this particular summit is one I'd normally not have considered bothering to re-visit, but it is the one nearest my home. There's a large water tank and a couple of communication towers at the summit. Today there were four work vans at the summit, and work going on. If I'd taken a hand-held and a suitable antenna I could have considered activating the summit on VHF or UHF, but there was nowhere accessible I could set up my HF antenna sensibly, so I decided to abandon the SOTA idea and come home. Frustrating...

Muddling...

Sep. 18th, 2017 02:34 pm
hrrunka: Frowning face from a character sheet by Keihound (kei frown)
[personal profile] hrrunka
I did, eventually, sweep up the conkers late on Wednesday afternoon, and went to a radio club committee meeting in the evening.

Thursday morning's Morse practice was a bit more of a struggle than usual, partly because I wasn't particularly awake, and partly because of the odd HF propagation. The rest of the day mostly followed a similar pattern. I managed to get a little preparation done, but not much else.

Friday followed the same sort of muddled path, mostly, and I got less done than I'd have liked. On Friday evening I went over to Gravesend for gaming, and we spent the evening chatting.

There was the first day of a Foundation radio licence course on Sunday, so I had some preparation to do on Saturday. I managed to get it done, well enough, but other things I might have done fell by the wayside.

The course day on Sunday seemed to go well enough. The clubhouse we use is no longer being used by a pre-school, which meant we didn't have to work around piles of stuff. Just as well, as the course was full. Also just as well we didn't need my laptop, as I managed to take it but leave its mains adapter behind, so it would only have run for about half the day. I was thoroughly exhausted by the end of the day.

This morning's been another slow one. I've spent some of it trying to get FC preparation done. It's yet another day of sunshine and random heavy showers.

I still havn't managed to get out to that geocache or the nearby SOTA summit. I have, somehow, managed to keep Duolingo and Ingress streaks alive, but yesterday was a close call...

Boy, is it quiet in here ...

Sep. 17th, 2017 09:32 am
ysengrin: Yep, that's me. (Default)
[personal profile] ysengrin
Got through a trilogy of books yesterday that I'd been reading for a while. That they were technically well written and reasonably entertaining kept me going. That they involved vampires with none of the usual limitations aside from a faint need for occasional blood (from any source) and bad tempers almost had me putting them down. 700-year old vampires wandering around in broad daylight reminiscing about Marlowe and Shakespeare just didn't work for me. That the main character treads a very thin path around being a Mary Sue in the first two books didn't help, either. Still, decent world building and storytelling, with some nice character arcs through the three books. Squarely in the realm of paranormal romance.

A Discovery of Witches, Shadow of Night, and The Book of Life by Debroah Harkness. If you can overlook the very overpowered vampires and scientific hand-waving - and enjoy Elizabethen London references - the trilogy is a pretty good read.

NGC 6334: The Cats Paw Nebula

Sep. 14th, 2017 04:19 am
[syndicated profile] apod_feed

Nebulas are perhaps as famous for being identified with familiar shapes as perhaps Nebulas are perhaps as famous for being identified with familiar shapes as perhaps


Dropped...

Sep. 13th, 2017 11:35 am
hrrunka: Frowning face from a character sheet by Keihound (good idea)
[personal profile] hrrunka
There are days and days...

I've not slept that well the last few nights, for a variety of reasons including lack of sufficient exercise during the day, and the weather. Last night's sleep suffered from both of those. It was another blustery night, sufficiently so that I felt the need (around 03:30) to get up and go around the house making sure all the windows were firmly closed, and then making sure there were no gaps in the bedroom curtains through which the neighbours' wretched motion-triggered lights could shine. In windy weather they turn themselves on and off frequently and erratically. (I have spoken to the neighbours concerned, but they've not done anything useful as a result.)

I had planned a local outing for this morning, primarily to attend to a geocache of mine, but also, possibly, to activate my nearest SOTA summit. However, the late slow start to my day and a deterioration of the day's weather forecast have put paid to that. I should get to walk as far as the shops, and I have to go out this evening on radio club business, but that's about all I have energy for. If I can, I'll find the energy to sweep up all the conkers the wind has brought down, but I'll do that after the afternoon schools exodus, as there's a fair chance I'll end up with quite a bit less to sweep up...

Juggling...

Sep. 12th, 2017 01:51 pm
hrrunka: Frowning face from a character sheet by Keihound (good idea)
[personal profile] hrrunka
About lunch-time on Saturday I decided to experiment on the new antenna with the mast only partially raised. I put just two sections up. That meant I had to do a little fiddling with the guys, and I'll have to figure out something less fiddly if I repeat the exercise. HF conditions were not great.

On Sunday morning after the radio club Net I took a look at the weather forecast and lowered the mast. Then I headed for Epping for an NMC rehearsal. I chose the Blackwall Tunnel route because traffic reports indicated sever problems on the M25. I arrived a little later than planned, but it could have been worse. The rehearsal was quite hard work, but usefully so. By the time I headed home the weather had turned wet, but the M25 (or at least the part of it I needed to use) was in better shape, so the drive, though somewhat longer, was also somewhat quicker. It seems there had been another fairly large X-class flare from the Sun early in the afternoon. The HF bands were not exactly humming in the evening. That and the wet weather made me doubly glad I'd lowered the mast in the morning.

On Monday I tried to fit a walk to the shops in between the rain, and mostly succeeded. Most of the rest of the day went into preparing a radio club newsletter. In the evening I managed to catch the Morse practice broadcast from Essex. Unusually, it was a mostly good clear signal, and I didn't do too badly.

I was awake in the middle of the night, and ended up spending awhile kicking my weather system back into action. Sometimes problems seem to be because the computer's USB has got itself into a strange state. Other times it's because the weather system's console is in a muddle. On this occasion it seems both problems were evident. Power down and reboot computer? No change. Reset weather system console? No apparent difference. Power down and reboot computer again. Communication re-established. Go back to bed.

I was awake a little later than planned this morning. The weather's fine but windy. There's laundry on the line outside getting dry. I, however, don't have much energy...

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