Eight Days a Week

As in, how long it’s been since I wrote something here :>

So last night sucked. Well, kinda. I worked fairly late, and then headed up to the Sarnoff club meeting at 19:30. Ended up staying there until almost 22:00 chatting with a few people, including David (N0YMV) and a few others I had met before, a couple I’d talked to on the air but not yet seen in person like Dave (K2ULF). Finally got home around 22:30, had dinner, hung out a bit, and around 00:30 saw an email about a possible problem at work. I headed back up to work and got there around 01:00, hung out with the guys who were observing remotely (connected from Princeton to a telescope at Apache Point, NM) and worked on a couple issues that were going on there, and ended up getting home around 04:00 after getting gas and taking my time — as well as calling out for anyone else who was awake on the repeaters at that hour. Nobody was. Talked with Bruce WA2ZST on my way in to work, he was chatting with someone else about roads and towns in South Jersey where I grew up and taking me back to my old stomping grounds. Pretty funny when you hear someone up here talking about Bridgeboro Road and how it cuts a straight line from Moorestown to 5-points in Beverly, and I know exactly where that is.

Anyway, since I was in so late and got home so early, I left an email saying I wouldn’t be in today, and I wasn’t. Woke up around 10:30 to someone banging around in the parking lot, and went back to sleep until Steph came home around 15:30 from her class. Realized what time it was so I got showerd and dressed right quick, loaded the bike onto the back of the truck and we headed out to Princeton to go to the N2ARC station at the American Red Cross on Alexander Road. Met up with Gerry (N2GJ) and a couple other folks I hadn’t really met before, we checked into a net that was taking place in Connecticut I think, and then Gerry showed us the station setup and the equipment. Was very nice, because I think this is the first time that someone’s shown me a station setup and actually made sure I knew what I was looking at and how to work it. Granted I already know how to work a 2m rig, and a bit about APRS and how it works, but to have someone show you how to change antennas and retune the radio is a lot nicer than pointing at a black box and saying, “That there’s a HF rig,” and that be the end of it. While I’m saying good things about him, let me point you to his website – n2gj.org. Check out his list of famous hams too!

After that, we headed over to Pep Boys and picked up a new lock for my hitch (so I wouldn’t have to keep putting the bike rack in the bed of the truck, or leave it hanging off of there for anyone to pull the hitch pin and walk away with it) and then shot up to Dick’s Sporting Goods for Steph to pick up her bike, and me to drop mine off. We got all the accessories we’d need for hers, and Jay looked over mine and said an overhaul was in order. Clean up the cables a bit, regrease things and make sure everything is in adjustment. Also I’m getting a kickstand and a new seat, the one I have on there currently is … well, not too kind to the posterior. Picked up a new water bottle for each of us too, an insulated one that will keep the cold stuff cold. Woo, flashbacks to an old McDonald’s commercial. She tried out the bike in the parking lot there and then later when we got home, and she likes it a lot. Originally was looking at road bikes (the old-style “10-speed” kind with the curved down handlebars and such) but ended up getting a “comfort bike”. Wider tires like a mountain bike, but less aggressive tread; shocks on the front fork and I think on the back as well; spring seat that’s a little wider also; and adjustable in multiple ways for making your ride more pleasurable but still able to go from the asphalt to a dirt road like the ones that parallel the D&R canal around here. All good.

After that we headed over to Town & Country for dinner, and what a dinner tonight! Usually I’m just happy with an order of chicken fingers and fries, but tonight we were both in the mood for a real dinner. Chicken fingers were the appetizer, then I had a sliced london broil with mushroom sauce (wasn’t bad, just brush off the vegetation) and baked potato(e), Steph had this seafood sampler platter that was huge. And everything came out in courses that were well spaced, I had time to let each part settle before the next plate came out. It wasn’t our normal cheap diner run, but it was definitely good. Hell, I’m still full from it all now, and that was a couple hours ago :>

Well, this oughta make up for not writing in awhile. Anniversary is tomorrow, and Steph is going to stay in her class until it’s over (summer course, only meets three times – she doesn’t want to cut out early, and I don’t blame her in the least) so we’ll have our nice dinner out this weekend. And, I talked with someone at Universal Radio this morning, I think my order is going out today or tomorrow. Meaning, with any luck, I’ll be able to get on the local repeaters from the apartment with the HT on a bigger and better antenna, instead of having to go out front on the HT or (as I have been doing) sit in the truck on the mobile rig. That’ll be kinda nice.

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