Ahh, but my mind is always on the brink. At least that’s what I’m told.
So let’s see, what’s new in the world today [steps in front of large screen ala Dennis Miller]. I drove to the state EOC Monday evening, after finally finding the right entrance to the State Police HQ I made my way into the building. Watched Dennis (K2DCD), Glenn (N2RPM) and Bob (N2HX) run the various nets for the state, which connect the counties of NJ to the state EOC. Kinda neat, I’ve never been in a EMP shielded room before :>
Chatted with a few folks on my way in too, like Jenn (KC2MEI), Mark (N2KIV), Glenn, Bob, and Gary (K2GW). And if Jenn reads this and I should be spelling it with one ‘n’, let me know. Chatted with Glenn on the way home as well. The rest of the day was mostly uneventful.
Yesterday, we had to shutdown the beowulf cluster so the new air conditioner could be finished. See, when someone measured it for the room, they … well, must’ve been smoking something, because the plenum for the top was about 12″ too tall for the ceiling. So they had to make up a new plenum to bolt on to the top of the unit, and in the mean time we had a full sheet of plywood bolted up there on top of some struts, to keep the drop ceiling tiles from flying up into the air. Only nobody had planned the shutdown with us (you know, only the people who have to RUN the silly computers that are being kept cool by that air conditioner). Apparently last week someone came in and at one point said, “So it’s okay to turn this off now?” *sigh* That went pretty smooth, I had the cluster set to shut itself off at 10:00 and by 10:30 when they were ready to kill the A/C it was already quite chilly in the room. Once finished I powered everything on again and it’s been working like a champ. At some point I’ll have to get down there and adjust the vents on the unit now, to make sure the air is going in the directions I want it to go. But even without adjustment, it’s still keeping the room quite cool, which is good enough for me. Much better than the system we had up until a month ago, which mainly relied on a few fans, a wing and no hope of even a prayer.
Last night was the county ARES/RACES net, and it was quite short. I asked about any drills that might go on, and the answer was that there aren’t really any in the area, nor in the state. A little disappointing, but if it’s not deemed necessary I guess I don’t mind. A while after the net, Kip (KB2EGI) sent an email to the list with some information, including message passing “practice nets” that go on, the fact that they’d like to start one for the county, and that some of the municipalities also have RACES equipment in their own local EOCs that is largely untested because of a lack of operators. I mailed him back tonight about how I could hit anything between Princeton and Ewing, and apparently nobody has volunteered for Ewing yet. So I might be heading down the street for the next net (or some other predetermined time) to make sure the hardware is operational. Works for me, I could just about walk to the building from home.
Tonight was the DVRA club net, and I think it ran much smoother than last time (no offence to the previous net control station, but I prefer a “round-table” type net than a straight directed net where every station hands off to net control when they’re done — the latter tend to, in my opinion, not be as friendly for general conversation and chatter). Mick (W2YNO), Furman (N3OBY/MM), Gary, Pam (W1PAM) and Jill (K2JIL) were there, with Dave (KC2LCF) running the show. We passed it around a little, and it ended up being just Dave and I. Since we live so close together, we hopped off the repeater and picked a simplex frequency that was open and chatted for awhile after the net was officially closed, mostly about radios and possible plans to get together at the club station this weekend (Stephanie has a lot of work to get done for her classes, so I’ll be doing the nice thing and staying the hell out of her way :> ) All in all, the club net is, I think, a great idea for people to get together and just BS about whatever’s going on. Keeping it restricted to topics related to just the club is a good way to run out of topics, if you ask me, so just having it be a place for members and prospective members to jump in and talk about whatever seems like a good thing to do.
Along the lines of radios, I’m thinking one of two things for getting a station in the apartment. One is to get the antenna and power supply that I’ll need anyway, and then pick up a quick disconnect mount for the radio in the truck which I could then bring inside with me to use here. The other, a suggestion from Dave, is to just pick up an el-cheapo 2m rig since that’s most of what I’ll want to be able to do for now. I kinda like this idea, because I don’t have to move the radio from the truck every time I want to use it in the house, and .. well, he’s right, I’m not licensed on HF yet, so why worry about getting something that can receive it and all? 2m is where I’d want to talk most of the time, so if I get something that can handle that I’d be set for awhile. Plus, a 2m rig should be pretty cheap, compared to a dual band or more radio when I’d probably not use the other bands much anyway.
Oh well, just opened some windows and put a fan in the kitchen, apparently whatever Steph’s baking has a lot of sugar in it, and some got on the floor of the oven. No wonder my eyesight was getting foggy, it was the room. Oops :> Now that I’ve finished typing this, I see that Hump Day is over. Time to roll down the calendar and head towards the weekend. Sounds good to me, I don’t remember when the last time was that I had a chance to really relax and have some fun.