Week Ending 8/18/18

Wow, a very bizarre week…………………………..

As always, first the chronology:

8/12/18 – Sunday – Up early and out to pick up Gary for church. Home and another coffee and bagel while reading the paper. Kathy came home and we had lunch. I went out and took inventory in the Morton building for various chemicals. Had to go to auto parts store, bank, Lowes and gas station. Back to the house and put things away. Then out to help Kathy with the pool. Heard a noise from the road and looked up in time to see a guy on a motorcycle head for the ditch. Inside and had dinner. Downstairs to do the blog. Back upstairs and chores around the house. To bed, some TV and sleep.

8/13/18 – Monday – Up early and out to get blood drawn. Have a doctor’s appointment next week and he likes to have the results back from blood work. Home and changed clothes and out to mow the lawn. Finished up around 3:30. Inside and took a nap while I cooled down. Then a shower. Cooked dinner on the grill. Down stairs to chat with the guys on 2 meters. Did computer updates. Upstairs to bed, TV and sleep.

8/14/18 – Tuesday – Up late. Didn’t sleep for shit last night and got awake repeatedly by Kathy and the dog. Kathy was up early and off to watch the grand children. I did usual morning routine and went out on the motorcycle around 10AM. Rode a couple hours and put around 60 miles on the bike. Heated up a couple dogs for lunch and played radio in the afternoon. Kathy came over with the grand kids and Mike came over to pick them up. Went out for dinner with Mike, Julie and the grand kids. Home, dessert, bed, computer updates, Big Bang and sleep.

8/15/18 – Wednesday – Up usual time and usual morning routine. Kathy already up and out to take grand kids to their first day of school. I did some banking and scheduling work this morning. Upstairs for lunch and chores around the house. Downstairs and played radio. Upstairs and chatted with Kathy when she came home. Had dinner. Downstairs to gather some things. Upstairs for chores. Then bed, Big Bang and sleep.

8/16/18 – Thursday – Up late and usual morning routine. Downstairs and started cleaning up some paperwork. Broke for lunch and went outside to check mail. Saw car off the road a little way up so came back and got wallet and keys and drove up to see what was up. Back in the house and made myself lunch. Back downstairs and finished up some paperwork. Broke for dinner. Back down and met the guys on 2 meters. Ran the ARTS club net on 2 meters at 8:30. Made the 9:05 SSB net. Upstairs to bed, computer updates, TV and sleep.

8/17/18 – Friday – Up early and usual morning routine. Cleaned up and out to the bank. Home and took Kathy to the Mexican restaurant for lunch. Home and changed clothes and over to Gary’s to help him with his tractor. Had a blown fuse and he didn’t have a spare so we had to go after one. Home and downstairs to get things organized again after the meeting at the bank. Kathy came home and we had a light dinner. Back down stairs to chat with the guys on the radio. Tried to get my Linux system restored. Upstairs to bed, computer updates and sleep.

8/18/18 – Saturday – Up early and usual morning routine. Then downstairs to reload my HAM radio computer. Got it reloaded restored from backups. Then continued cleaning the office. Took a break for lunch and dinner. By the end of the day it was all cleaned up including the junk off my bulletin boards. Upstairs to bed. Computer updates, Big Bang and listened to a little music then sleep.

Now the specifics:

Kathy and I were out tending to the pool on Sunday afternoon and I heard a motorcycle approach.  My ears always perk up at that.  It didn’t get to our section of the road before I heard a bang.  I looked up to see the guy trying to get it out of the ditch across the road.  I started walking over to make sure he was OK and before I got there he had it out of the ditch.  He was OK but the rear tire was destroyed.  He managed to get it up to my driveway.  I got the trailer hitched to the truck, loaded the bike on my trailer and took them both home.  One very scared young man.  And of course no protective gear.

Thursday I went out to the mail box to check for mail and looked up the road and saw a car pulled over with about 1/3 of the car sticking out in the travel lane.  It was on the other side of our field and I didn’t want to walk through the field with just slippers and shorts on so I went back to the house, dropped off the mail, got my keys and wallet and drove up past the car.  Didn’t see anything so turned around and came back.  Then I thought I saw some red hair low in the driver’s side window near the bottom of the steering wheel.  So, I turned around and went back up and parked then walked down to the car.  Sure enough, an older female slumped over the wheel of the car and unresponsive to my knocking on the window.  I could see she was breathing so I called 911 and reported it.  In the mean time a young lady stopped and tried to rouse her and was finally successful.  The young lady got her to roll down her window and one sniff told me what the problem was.  Long story short, the ambulance came and cleared her for any trauma and she was taken away in hand cuffs for DUI by the sheriff’s department.  I really felt bad for her husband who arrived around the time the ambulance got there.  But I feel like he had been through this before.

I guess I’m getting heavily involved in the HAM community here.  I volunteered last Friday night to do the Thursday evening club net this past Thursday.  I was also asked to fill in and do the retiree’s net this coming Wednesday morning as the guy that usually does it will be out of town.  I enjoy it and was told I sound very professional on the air.  I haven’t told anyone I used to be on the air of a commercial radio station.

Had a meeting with the bank folks this week.  Guess I learned a tough lesson.  I guess they do what they think is good for the client but the client really does need to be knowledgeable about what’s going on.  Anyway, no major damage but cost me a couple hundred dollars a month for awhile that I didn’t need to lose.  Got things in the works to fix it Friday and will keep a closer eye on things in the future.

My buddy Gary is always harping on our mutual friend Mike about playing with things.  Mike will take sealed boxes apart just to see what’s in them.  Usually destroying what they were designed to do.  And he always has to play with things trying to tweak them to make them better.  Again, usually messing them up.  Well, my friend Gary had just gotten his lawn tractor running and it didn’t start again.  He was convinced it was the carburetor.  I went over and pulled the spark plugs and they were very wet.  So I had him crank it while I had the plugs out and no spark.  Only common denominator was the ignition module that fired the plugs.  So he ordered one but continued to play with it.  In the process he blew a fuse.  He couldn’t find the fuse so he asked for my help again.  I remembered working on one of these and the ignition switch where you insert the key has a circuit board on it.  So I unscrewed the retaining ring from the ignition switch and sure enough, the circuit board along with the ignition switch came out and there was the fuses.  Of course he didn’t have a spare fuse so off to the auto parts store.  They only came in a tin of 5 so I bought them and pointed out to Gary that he only had 4 more times to screw it up before he ran out of fuses again.  The guy behind the parts counter cracked up.  So, I’m going to mount the blown fuse on a nice piece of finished wood and attach the saying that people in glass houses shouldn’t throw rocks.

Well last Thursday my HAM computer told me it was time for updates.  So I told it to go ahead.  Then it told me there was a new upgraded version of Linux available.  So I backed it up and told it to go ahead.  The upgrade stalled while trying to configure the dialer.  Not many people use that feature anymore but they leave it in for the few that do.  Anyway, I left it till Friday morning and it was still stalled at the same place.  So, I aborted it and tried to load the system again.  Same results.  Pulled it out of the cabinet it was in, put it on the bench and ran hardware diagnostics.  All good.  Ran the system load again and it worked.  So, I did some decoding of the progress logs and apparently it didn’t like having a modem on the serial port when it tried to load the new operating system.  Note to self: disconnect modem before next upgrade.  Had everything back and working by noon on Saturday.

That was my exciting week.  Hope I didn’t bore you too badly.  Everyone have  a great week to come.  I’ll blog at you again next week.

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