Long time no blog

It’s been very long since I last posted something here. I haven’t done anything radio related since the third week of August. Summer holidays ended and so did my radio holidays.

It was a nice summer with the right balance between radio and ‘civilian life’. The right balance between contest and casual DX. The right balance between doing work outside and tossing and turning meat on the grill. The nice WX certainly helped. But unfortunately  all good things come to an end and so we’re back to business as usual. For over a month already.

Two months ago I reported that I bought some extra land. A lot of work went into that. It’s almost done now. Which is about time because from neck to toes, my whole body is aching. It should have been finished sooner and with less sweat from my part but the fencing company kept me waiting. They came almost four weeks later than what they initially said. Typical contractor behaviour! We try to do most projects ourselves or sometimes with a few helping hands, but this time the difference between 100% DIY or hiring a professional did not justify torturing my body and spending the time on it. Ever seen a soil drill on a tractor make a hole in the ground? I’ve done this many times with a shovel and a manual drill. There is no competition. Anyway no new fence means that I couldn’t tear down the old rusted mesh wire fence or the dog would run away. And I could only level the terrain when the fencing people left. So that’s what I did lately, together with sawing about 200 m² of new lawn.

At the start of the summer I had planned to have the trenches for extra coax dug (digged? ) with a backhoe. But the excavator owner/operator let me down. Typical contractor behaviour part 2! And now that the new fencing is in place, it’s hard to drive heavy machinery over there without messing up the rest of the garden. We’ve had our share of rain too in September so the lawn is very soft and easily turned into a pool of mud. Too bad because July and August were dry and the soil was rock hard and accessible from two sides without driving over the lawn. So no excavator. Maybe I’ll rent a small trench digger after winter. I guess I won’t have time to put up new antennas anyway.

In the mean time it’s half way October and I have been missing out on some events that I planned to do like WAE SSB, or usually do: SAC CW in September, CQP and Oceania SSB. I just couldn’t care less for the moment. Strange feeling. Something like ‘been there, done that’. That’s why I suffer a small WRTC-hangover. I really want to do something ‘new’ but still be contesting or DXing. After twelve years in the business and the 200 000 QSO mark in sight, some new impulse is welcomed. Too bad my  @#{@{%$   job does not allow me to take time off whenever I want. So going DX for a major CW contest is impossible. Except WAECW which I really want to do from within EU for obvious reasons. With all the contemplating about WRTC I think I’m ready to pack my bags and open the wallet to go to some nice DX station that is ready to operate. But when finally there I’m pretty sure with all the luck I have, SFI will dip to 70 and A/K index will be at ‘total black out’ values.

CQ WW SSB is approaching. Little over two weeks to go and I don’t have a clue what to do. For an ‘all band’ effort I need to find a way to get the elevated radials back up in the air. And to use the low band RX loop I still need to make a box that opens the antenna line from the loop when transmitting. A problem that came up last year. I’m pretty sure I ordered the parts for this but never made the device.

Talking about parts: all over the shack I find little plastic bags and small carton boxes full with all sorts of parts. Last year (summer 2012) I ordered a lot of parts for various projects (here and here). I never built one of those. I think I was making more plans at that time than one full time working man raising two kids and co-running a four head household can ever manage to complete.

Next up: replying to some direct QSL cards and answering a stack of bureau cards before it gets out of hand again.

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