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Carbs

DECEMBER 31, 2021


Carbs

I'm relearning a lesson that I've learned umpteen times! Trying to get fit and minimizing carbs is a bad combination. I had hopes of moving my 2 mile runs up to 3 miles today, but my carb reduction efforts put a stop to that.

I'm not sure what to make of the stats I collected versus the results, other than to say that they didn't align. I ran the slowest two miles I've run all month and still was dead tired afterward, not to mention the high AHR and MHR.

The only possibility I can pull out of the hat on this one is simple. The punishment my body imposed upon me was due to the carb reduction over the past few days.

Starting out today's run, I felt like I had just finished a run. I knew that was not good and was not going to take me that third mile that contained the more serious hills.

I haven't given up yet, but will need to continue my focus on reduced carbs to drop four more pounds before moving to more carbs and that third mile I want to add.




Running Races

DECEMBER 30, 2021


Marching Chiefs 5k

Several years ago I ran the (FSU) Inaugural Marching Chiefs 5k. It was the one and only race I had run in quite awhile. About that same time, I also ran a 5k sponsored by First Baptist Church in Thomasville, GA. That was a fun race and I took first place in my age group, much to my surprise.

I have since run a couple of virtual 5k's, but the 30+ distance races I ran years ago are a distant memory for me. Gone are the days where I was doing long training runs to work up to those distances.

Most recently, as a senior runner, I've been running daily 2 mile training runs here in the neighborhood. I must admit that the slopes have been a new experience for me. I've been used to running training runs and races on relatively flat courses and running in an upward direction on just the smallest of slopes has been a real challenge.

I encountered Heartbreak Hill in Atlanta, Georgia on the Peachtree 10k, the Atlanta Half Marathon, and my one and only (Atlanta) Marathon. Funny how these gentle slopes remind me of that grueling three tenths of a mile steep uphill experience!

I've got to add 1.1 miles to my daily training regimen in order to prepare for the upcoming 5k's I'm considering. However, I've run out of flat land in the neighborhood, so it will be interesting to see what training course adjustments I can come up with. I've reviewed several online race calendars, but haven't made up my mind as to when I want to start running races again and which races I want to run.

I guess we'll see.

SIDE NOTE

Okay, I just jumped in the car to see if there were any reasonable routes in the neighborhood where I could add another mile to my current two mile run. I've got a couple of choices and the bad news is that they all lead to steep and lengthy hills.

And, no matter which direction I take them, I've got a long downhill and an equally long uphill. Actually, one road has an incredibly steep decline and then a more lengthy incline that, while not quite as steep, would humble me to say the least. And, there's no way I could take it from the other direction and finish my 3 mile run with a relatively short but massively steep incline. The picture that comes to mind looks pretty bad!

I already double up on a good portion of the 2 mile route so I'm not interested in hitting some of it three times. This problem may be bit more challenging than I had initially anticipated!

Hmmm...




Old Dog, New Tricks

DECEMBER 29, 2021


Old Dog, New Tricks

I've said it so many times before, but I'm still amazed at how much there is to learn here in my senior years. I'm by nature a pretty serious person and being a student of life seems to be wrapped up in my DNA. It's a concept that seems to be further reinforced by my journey as a Christian and perhaps an undiagnosed but seemingly evident high functioning place on the autism scale.

On the other hand, I'd be less than honest if I didn't admit that trying to get this old dog to learn new tricks can often be a difficult task. Difficult just for the simple reason that after a certain point, learning becomes work. And, who likes work?!

Even after years of running, and all of the physical, mental, and emotional benefits it has provided, there are days when I have to drag myself out to get it done and even the rare day when I am able to talk myself completely out it.

Too bad we can't just make one simple decision for the long term. Unfortunately, too many things in life require a daily decision to stay with them or, in other cases, to avoid them completely. And, there's always that side of me that can easily and quickly become legalistic and ritualistic with those things to the point that I almost forget why I'm doing (or not doing) them.

But, I wonder...

For fitness and other health related activities, is that really a bad thing?




Still More on Bad Blood

DECEMBER 28, 2021


Bad Blood 3

Well, I made it through the rest of the audiobook and had to pause to reflect on the real situation upon which the trial is based. Of all the terrible things that went on in this story, the trial is solely focused upon the alleged defrauding of investors. After all, lawsuits are not usually based on things like one person not being nice to another.

Many employees were fired in this story and some lawsuits may still be on the horizon for illegal termination of employment. However, those areas are much more difficult to address (in my personal opinion anyway) and as a result those lawsuits may never materialize.

Because investors are often so willing to take on great risks for great returns, it's not far-fetched to ask why investors were so anxious and willing to assume such risks without visual confirmation of what the technology was supposed to be able to accomplish.

As was mentioned in the book, it's the FoMO factor or Fear of Missing Out that might have been the true cause for so many of the investments that were being made as opposed to visual verification of how the technology was expected to perform and confirmation of when such performance was supposed to happen.

It is with all of that in mind that I can see the real (but still unlikely) possibility of a not guilty verdict. As the jury enters the 5th day of deliberations, one thing is for sure. The longer they take to deliberate, the greater the chance of a not guilty verdict or even perhaps a hung jury.




More on Bad Blood

DECEMBER 27, 2021


Bad Blood 2

Last night, I found an audio copy of the Bad Blood book on youtube and started listening to all 11+ hours. I had already put a hold on one at the local library but it doesn't look like I'll need it after all.

Listening to this audiobook only takes me on a deeper dive into the story. It's interesting to hear more of the back story on the players and some of the facts that I haven't come across elsewhere.

Even though I'm not far into the audiobook, what I've listened to so far has only reinforced the conclusions I've already drawn about her guilt. In fact, not only her guilt, but I'm getting a clear picture of her apparent narcissistic behaviors and hyper-attentiveness to her personal image.

The jury just entered day four of deliberations about half an hour ago. It will be interesting to see what verdict they bring back to the courtroom and how long it takes them to reach it.

SIDE NOTE

We're moving into the evening hours and I'm half way through the audiobook, Bad Blood, that I mentioned above. I had to jump online and add an addendum to my previous post after considering all that I've heard and am hearing in the audiobook.

Oh my! The enormity of the deception perpetrated by Elizabeth Holmes and Sunny Balwani is unbelievable. After all that I've now been exposed to via the book, I will be absolutely shocked if the verdict is anything except guilty. Of course, there's always the question as to what the judge is going to allow. I hope the attorneys for the prosecution have not had their hands tied!




Bad Blood

DECEMBER 26, 2021


Bad Blood

I had an opportunity to watch a Youtube video featuring Wallstreet columnist and author John Carreyrou as he shared with an audience some of the points of interest behind his book Bad Blood. The book was published in May of 2018 and provides a behind the scenes view into the highly interesting and multifaceted Elizabeth Holmes story that I've been blogging about recently.

Mr. Carreyrou provided an in-depth view of things to the crowd and then shifted to a highly interesting Q&A. Having heard him speak about his book, I'm even more amazed at the wide-reaching effects that Elizabeth Holmes and her company, Theranos, had on so many people. It's an amazing tale with layer upon layer of a story that comes across like a thrilling high tech novel.

Theranos is now defunct and Miss Holmes faces a number of fraud charges based on the alleged operations of the company. The jury is out for deliberations in her trial and the more I learn about her story, the more convinced I've become that the Jury will find Miss Holmes guilty of fraud. I can't imagine how a jury might see and hear all that I have seen and heard and come back with anything other than a guilty verdict.

I feel bad for Miss Holmes, but I feel much, much worse for her victims - especially those whose lives might have depended upon her failed blood testing technology.




Merry Christmas

DECEMBER 25, 2021


Christmas Watch

Well, just before we crashed last night I did the math and at 11:15 PM on Christmas Eve where we live, it was 6:15 AM on Christmas day over in Germany where Allie and Josh and the grandsons are located. I remember mentioning that to Patty and we both guessed that they were probably all just getting up to start their Christmas.

We did a whatsapp video with them just a short while ago and discovered that they were indeed just getting up for Christmas when we were going to bed on Christmas Eve. I remember well what it was like as a kid waiting on some pre-agreed upon (reasonable?) time to get up and open the gifts and apparently the apple didn't fall far from the grandfather's tree LOL!!!

The family has heard my story too many times, but I remember getting to open one gift on Christmas Eve (when I was in the third grade) and, as it turned out, I got a watch that glowed in the dark. I watched that thing most of the night waiting for whatever time it was that we agreed upon for getting up.

I remember checking the time once when it was 2:30 AM. I know I checked the watch often for the rest of the night, but for some reason that particular time vividly sticks out in my mind. My mom and dad took a nap on Christmas day, but with presents in hand there was no nap to be had by this guy LOL!!!

SIDE NOTE

Christmas Eve

Well, I mentioned in yesterday's blog post that we might be doing Chinese takeout for our Christmas meal.

Wrong!

My first mistake was Googling today to make sure things were open on Christmas. Google said everything was open, no warnings about Christmas or anything like that. Honestly, I should have known better!

My second mistake was waiting until I got hungry to go after some food for supper. Don't we all know better than to do that? Apparently this guy doesn't.

Everything was closed! I went to several locations where I knew I could find food and those places were all shut down and locked up tight. The streets looked like a ghost town!

It's a good thing my smart wife had a Plan B!




Christmas Eve

DECEMBER 24, 2021


Christmas Ever

We're doing an empty nest Christmas this year. We had plans to travel to Germany to visit with Josh and Allie and the grandsons, but Covid and its variants led us to cancel our travel plans and pray for a better opportunity to get together.

Unlike others who may be out there, an empty nest Christmas promises to be a real treat. I suppose that's the benefit of being deeply in love with my soul mate and the way we enjoy our time together.

This is a season of life that we always looked forward to and now that it's here we cherish the season and especially the time together. I don't think I've ever met two people who more enjoy each other, and each other's company, than we do. It's a real blessing to be in that position, and especially at this time of year.

My lovely bride's time in the kitchen this year was dedicated to candy treats that we've both dearly enjoyed. We're doing the takeout thing for everything else today and tomorrow on Christmas. In fact, we're seriously considering Chinese takeout for Christmas.

I can't help but chuckle when I think of the movies where the Christmas meal went wrong and everyone landed at the Chinese restaurant. With a variation of doing it takeout (and intentionally) that might be our Christmas meal this year!

LOL!!!




More on the Elizabeth Holmes Trial

DECEMBER 23, 2021


EH 2

It's always interesting to look beyond an online article and read the comments in the comment section of the article to see what the thoughts are out in the public space. I know the primary perspective will not necessarily reflect the general population (since it's a specific breed that writes comments in the comment section of an article) but those comments often make for interesting discussion and may introduce worthy ideas I had not considered.

In reading the many comments of a recent article about the Elizabeth Homes trial, it appears I have a lot of company in my perspective that the jury will (and should) come back with a guilty verdict. Of course, I'm operating on limited information and the jury has all of the details and is likely in a better place to make an informed decision.

Still, if this decision is the mystery that I make it out to be (in other words, there is no clear and easy answer) then there may be no such thing as an informed decision. If that is the case, and I fear it may be, then it's anyone's guess as to what the final verdict may be.

The thing that concerns me about this case is the precedent that will be generated should the jury come back with a not guilty verdict. Of equal concern is that the jury is not suppose to consider that possibility in reaching a verdict. This means that the jury could come back with a not guilty verdict and be wrong. And, this could provide a lot of unintended damage in terms of the outcomes of future cases that may lean heavily on this one.

SIDE NOTE

Running Data

I just finished my daily run and decided to do a couple of things differently. I had intended to take an easy run and then see how that would work out time-wise when I reached my two mile finish. The goal was to see what my overall pace would be for an easy two mile run.

Well, true to form I wasn't able to make it very far before peeking at my watch. I took three peeks before mile one and was on an exact 10 minute mile pace for each of them. I peeked at 3/10, 6/10, and 8/10 before crossing mile one at 9:52.87 according to a post-run Garmin review.

Mile two is a much more down-hill run on my course and I always push a bit harder as well. Garmin said mile two was 9:08.43, for an overall pace of 9:31 and a total runtime of 19:01.30. That's about a minute extra for two miles compared to yesterday's pushed per mile pace of 9:04.




Computer Hacking

DECEMBER 22, 2021


Computer Hacker

My first computer was purchased back in the late 70's. I've seen a lot of firsts in the technology sector since that time.

I saw laptops show up on the scene. The first of the heap were very clunky. I saw dial-up modems and ram memory starting at 4k. When 32k hit the scene we couldn't imagine anyone needing that much, other than maybe a business.

I saw the internet and the world wide web become popular. I saw client/server when it arrived. Oh my, I could write a book about all of the firsts that came along. But, there's one arena that showed up with little fanfare and shocked all of us. It was the world of computer viruses, worms, Trojan horses, etc., and hackers!

I built a very simple virus at my office, way back when, just to see if I could do it and to see what I would do to protect against it. The level of sophistication in that world that has now taken hold came in quickly and has taken off without me. In other words, there's no way that I (or anyone else for that matter) can keep up with all that has happened in a very short time.

Fortunately, I don't need any sophisticated protection. Even this blog, which is not well protected, has no real intrinsic value to me. If someone wants to hack it, I'll start over.

In fact, I used to keep a log of all my website visitors with a PHP program that I wrote, and someone hacked it. They didn't actually hack the PHP program, they inserted their malicious code in my log. And, when I went to use the other PHP program I wrote to view the log, it of course executed the code the hacker had inserted into the log and sent me to a website where I didn't want to be.

I exited the site quickly, and fortunately without incident.

Finding the hack was not so fast... Or easy...




Christmas Candy

DECEMBER 21, 2021


Christmas Candy

My beautifully wife and soul mate has entered her seasonal candy making festivities and I am the beneficiary! Pictured above are the first fruits of her labors which include homemade Reese's Peanut Butter Cups and homemade chocolate dipped orange jelly pieces.

The latter of the two is my personal favorite, but she also has some new (experimental) treats coming out next. Who knows, I may find a new personal favorite!

We are both trying to be better about our sugar consumption, but with the season that's upon us, I'm going to go ahead and justify blowing sugar management out of the water. After all, it's not like I've been doing that well anyway.

I suppose there's always New Year's resolutions after the feasting is over. LOL!!!




Gaming Systems

DECEMBER 20, 2021


Gaming

I've been researching gaming systems for a family member and am amazed at how much has and has not changed over the years. Gaming systems are all about system performance, and that is an incredibly complex area in which to become an expert. There are so many dependencies in that arena.

I spent a lot of years dabbling with system performance across a wide variety of environments including mainframe and client/server, not to mention desktops and laptops. At the end of the day, performance means one of two things.

Either you have a bar you have to reach in terms of performance requirements or you are trying to determine the limiting factor in a specific architectural scenario. Once the limiting factor has been determined, more resources can be added. At that point, performance requirements have been met or the search continues for a new limiting factor.

In the gaming world, the application can also be a limiting factor. Is the application smart enough to use all of the hardware? For example, can the application use multiple cores and multiple threads?

It will be interesting to watch this scenario unfold and discover the results.


.

Elizabeth Holmes

DECEMBER 19, 2021


Inventor

I really enjoy good movies and particularly enjoy good documentaries as well. My favorite documentarian is Alex Gibney and I own several of his documentaries. Last night I also purchased The Inventor: Out for Blood in Silicon Valley.

I remember coming across the story of Elizabeth Holmes and her proposed blood testing machine a few years ago. It was quite a perplexing story and I noticed that her trial is going on now. The jury just went out on Friday to begin deliberations.

Even through the documentary was published a couple of years ago, Alex always does a great job of digging deep and presenting a lot of new material. I can't wait to see it and also to see what the jury decides.

Elizabeth Holmes looks pretty guilty from my perspective, but I can also imagine that her optimism could have blinded her to what she was communicating versus what she might have intended to communicate.

From all I have read, this could be a tough one for the jury. There may be enough doubt to come back with a not guilty verdict despite whatever might be the real truth. On the other hand, a guilty verdict would suggest in my mind that there was enough evidence presented to the jury to compel them beyond any shadow of a doubt, and thus suggest she very likely was guilty.

Her efforts to dress like Steve Jobs is troublesome to me. On one hand it could suggest that she was very image-aware which, in turn, might also suggest that she was too savvy to be innocent of misleading so many. On the other hand, it might suggest that she is incredibly naive which, inn turn, might cast doubt on her ability to operate with malicious intent.

Like I said, this could be a tough one for the jury.

SIDE NOTE

Inventor 3

Well, I just finished watching the aforementioned documentary. All I can say is, wow! And, as for my take on things, I would have to offer a guilty verdict with what I have since learned from the documentary.

The verdict doesn't come from the strong evidence of her guilt as much as it comes from her being in charge of, and responsible for, everything whether she liked it or not. Too much damage has occurred on her watch for her not to be held responsible and accountable. She was playing the fake it 'till you make it game, and she got caught!

I guess we'll see soon enough whether or not the jury agrees with my verdict on this one.




Weather

DECEMBER 18, 2021


Weather 12/18/21

One of the things on my geeky list that I truly enjoy is tracking the weather. I got up around 7 AM this morning and took a look at the weather map on my phone since the forecast had been calling for a day full of rain.

Sure enough, it looked like the rain would be moving in around 9 AM. So, I hurried around the house to start my morning list and was out for my run by 7:30. By the time I got back, everything had changed and it looked like the weather would be all around us but not on top of us.

Funny how weather does that! And, as can be seen on the map, it still looks like we're in for something big later in the day if it doesn't fade out before it arrives, as is so often the case around here.

I suspect we've already had enough rain to activate that mole cricket bait about which I wrote and that I put out recently. If not, and if today's forecast holds together, I suspect the mole cricket bait should be easily activated before the day is over.

SIDE NOTE

Run Map 2

My watch did an update and now tracks relative speed with my two mile runs. In other words, it's not reporting actual speeds during the run, but is color indicating the faster and slower portions of the run on a relative basis.

Pretty cool!

Of course, the data dump is done from my watch to my phone via bluetooth and the track is displayed on my phone, which I can then capture and share.




Running Ham

DECEMBER 17, 2021


Handy Talkie

I was thinking about posting stuff from yesterday's ham radio activities and today's run that I just finished. But, the two different topics made for a challenge when thinking about a title for this blog entry.

Running Ham really didn't make sense until I remembered the number of times I ran in races with my 2 meter ham radio (handy-talkie) and passed along reports for the security and first aide volunteers.

In fact, when dad earned his ham license to get on the air with me, he decided to work a few of the races since I was already there and running in them. It was fun to know that he could hear my reports as he worked and I ran those races. And what a blessing to have my father and my wife earn their ham licenses purely out of their love for me. Amazing! IC 7600

Yesterday's FT8 ham radio activity included a contact with a new country in Africa and one that I'd never come across before. Burkina Faso is not a country or name that you come across that often, I suppose unless you live over there. But it sure was fun to get that one in the logbook.

I have to admit there's always a bit of a heart flutter when I see a CQ show up on my screen for one of these countries I don't have in my logbook. The excitement and intensity of effort to secure a contact is almost palpable.

A bit of hand shaking and a rapid heartbeat always seem to be involved. I guess it's just one of those things that really does add fun and excitement to the hobby. Garmin

Today's run was a good and strong one and I recorded a new record time on just my fifth day back at it. In fact, as I looked at my daily times in my running log, I noticed that each one was better than the one before it. Wonder how long that will last?

I started my run at 9:00 AM and logged an 18:14.1 two miler. Mile one was 9:19.44 and mile two was 8:54.67. Average pace came in at 9:07 and calories burned was reported at 244 from my Garmin Vivo Active smartwatch.

AHR was a high 151 and MHR came in at 183. Both of those are way too high and tell me I'm pushing my pace too hard for the point I'm at trying to build up my endurance. That's always been my problem and one that I absolutely must address. If health is to come first I need to make sure it comes first!




Mole Crickets

DECEMBER 16, 2021


Mole Cricket

I've decided with this post to get in sync so that I'm writing and publishing new posts on the same day. As such, I'll have two posts with this date, one written yesterday and one written today.

Back when we lived north of Pensacola, I had the unfortunate experience of a mole cricket infestation in our yard. And I'm sad to admit that I never conquered them. We moved away from that location before I ever got rid of them.

Well, here we are in a new location and they're back!

I walked around treating the burrows (that actually, because of their size, looked more like mole burrows than burrows created by mole crickets.) I read that they dig in deep when it's dry and then come to the surface in heavy rains. I also read that this provides an opportunity to deal with them by placing a mole cricket killer out on the lawn right before an expected rain.

I did just that and there were dead mole crickets everywhere. Unfortunately, I'm not sure I got all of them since I treated locations instead of doing a wide distribution with the pesticide, like I was later told I should have done.

So, here goes with another round and a wide distribution.

Unfortunately, I treated the back yard and the front yard, but ran out of the good stuff before treating the side yard. I had to use a different pesticide and it didn't behave well with my dispenser. I wound up scattering it by hand and am not confident that I did what I needed to do. I hope my hardware store restocks the good stuff so I can treat the side yard before the rains arrive tomorrow. We'll see...

SIDE NOTE

Well, since I posted the above I have been to Ace Hardware, picked up and distributed the mole cricket bait for the rain that is expected tomorrow and on into the weekend, and I ran my two miles. I was shocked to see that the pesticide had just about doubled in price since only a week ago. Wow!

Bio Advanced

As for tracking my running information, I did the two miles in 18:34 with a 9:32 on the first mile and a 9:02 on the second mile. I really thought I had intentionally run slower than yesterday, but wound up shaving 7 seconds off of yesterday's total time. I'm not quite sure how to account for that, but even today's reduced heart rate seems to substantiate the easier run I thought I had experienced today.




Cool Runnings

DECEMBER 16, 2021


Cool Runnings

I'm going to miss these cool temps when spring and summer roll in. The online thermometer says it's 66°F here in Spanish Fort. How about that for mid-December weather!

Unlike yesterday, there was almost zero breeze today, but the cool air more than made up for the difference. I need to enjoy these runs for I know how I will long for this weather (and comfort) with warmer days ahead.

The legs were a bit weary after yesterday's run, but I did make it the entire two miles as planned. I've learned over the years that when I take a break from running, the third day back is always the toughest. I suppose I have that to look forward to when tomorrow roles around.

Total time for the two miles was 18:41 with mile one's pace at 9:47 and mile two coming in at 8:54. My Garmin calculates 252 calories burned with an AHR of 143 and a MHR of 160. That should drop down significantly as I get back in shape although there's very little level ground on the course so AHR and MHR are always going to be higher than they used to be when I was running a very flat and level course.

Part of the high heart rate was due to my pushing the pace a bit, which I probably did to excess considering it was only day two of being back to running. That's one lesson I don't seem to learn, although I am very careful on those down-hill stretches after learning a very hard lesson decades ago.

Per yesterday's post, I did Google the local races and it appears I have one to look forward to in each of the first three months of 2022. This will also make for an interesting 2022 in terms of total miles run since I'm back at it again.






Stubborn Runner

DECEMBER 15, 2021


Running Legs 1

I'm on a schedule of writing one day ahead of publication. As such, the things I'm writing about are already a day old by the time they're published.

So, today's actually the 14th as I write and I just finished my first run after being off for probably a month or more. I've done some walks with Patty but even that hasn't been very consistent.

Today, I decided to move a bunch of stuff from the garage up to the attic and by the time I went to run I was already beat. Patty set out on her brisk walk while I finished moving stuff and then I set out on my run (stubborn runner!) and caught up with her at 1.45 miles according to my smartwatch. I had already made up my mind that I was going to join her and finish up my 2 miles with a brisk walk.

My Garmin Vivo Active smartwatch said 23:33 when I hit the two mile point. Mile one was a 9:25 pace (all running) and mile two was a 14:08 pace (which included just over half a mile of walking.)

I'm looking forward to googling local 5k races to see what's coming up on the calendar in the new year in our area. That should help me determine what I'm up against in training and positioning myself for the 5k distance.

We'll see...




Running

DECEMBER 14, 2021


Varnell

One of the most difficult things I've done in recent times is to switch from running to walking. In fact, and to be honest, I still struggle with whether or not I should continue running until I simply can't do it anymore.

The threat of tripping and taking a spill is as real as ever and at this age the potential results from such a fall are worrisome to say the least. Plus, I really enjoy walking with Patty and the workout, while never as good as a run, can still be challenging if we put in a strong pace.

Despite trying to move toward walking, I still tend to run and at a pace that's probably not good for my health at this ripe old age. And, the stronger pace also puts me more at risk for a spill which can't be a good thing either.

But, at the end of the day it is what it is and I've simply run too many years and developed a strong habit that is proving very hard to break - especially with all of the physical, mental, and emotional benefits that come with running.

I think I may have just answered my own question. I've always used races, and training for those races, to maintain my focus on running. I'm definitely done with distance running and distance races but the 5k season is just around the corner and it may be time to give that some serious thought.




High Speed Internet

DECEMBER 13, 2021


internet

There are a number of benefits to the new place including access to high speed internet and streaming services to go along with it. We had little of either in the old place since we were out in the sticks. Needless to say, being away from everyone and on the ocean came with a stiff price for a lot of things.

When we first moved to the old place, I was still with IBM and used a cantenna from Verizon to access all of the internet I needed for the job, even with video and the strong online focus. The cantenna was destroyed during hurricane Michael and had to be replaced due to the surge.

Interesting that just after I retired in July of 2018, Verizon did away with support for the cantenna I had been using and so I pretty much did away with internet, except for what I could get with my laptop tethered to my phone. Basically, it was just enough for things like email and blogging. Plus, I no longer had IBM to pay for my very expensive internet, so it just made sense.

Well, now we're enjoying affordable high speeds and all of the bandwidth we need for streaming, not to mention pretty much anything else we may want to do in the future. With the more demanding needs I picked up a powerful new laptop at a surprisingly good price and have been delighted with its performance. I forgot how nice it was to have a fast laptop that no longer required me to wait on things.




Ham Radio

DECEMBER 12, 2021


Icom 7600

One of the things my Twitter profile claims is all things geek and, in fact, my Twitter account (@K4SQL) is pretty much focused on the geeky world of Ham Radio.

I posted my ham radio story back on October 19, 2020 and it can be found in my October 2020 blog archive on that date. I also posted a story about FT4 and FT8 (digital modes) which can be found in my February 2021 archive on February 18th.

I still spend most of my time on HF and most of my HF is centered on the FT4 and FT8 digital modes. These modes, which don't require much power, have been a particular benefit with the attic-mounted dipole I'm using here in the new location. I'm not under any covenant restrictions for an outside antenna, but just don't think I can make it stealth enough to suit my own preferences. Thus, the attic option.

I'm already up to 235 contacts here in the new location just using FT4 and FT8 and am particularly pleased with the great DX I've already enjoyed including Cuba, Mexico, Australia, Peru, Spain, Italy, Canada, Portugal, Lithuania, Estonia, Belgium Finland, France, Argentina, England, Slovenia, and the Canary Islands where the La Palma Volcano still remains active after so many weeks.

That DX is not bad for low power with an attic-mounted 20 meter dipole!




45th Anniversary

DECEMBER 11, 2021


Anniversary 45

If it was for no other reason, in my mind celebrating our 45th would be worth starting up the blog again. I'm so grateful for the years I have enjoyed with my soul mate and literally thank God daily for placing her in my life.

She has made such a difference in my life and I'm thankful for all I have learned from her, the time with her, and the many blessings that God has set out for us on this wonderful and amazing journey together.

Thank you my love and Happy Anniversary!




Back to Blogging

DECEMBER 10, 2021


Blogging

Well, it was bound to happen. I just enjoy the technology far too much to stay away from it for very long.

We put our house up for sale in June of 2020 and I dropped out of the blogosphere. We sold the house on August 12, 2021 and purchased the new house on August 13, 2021. And now, several months later, I've tailored the blog to suit our new lives and brought it online again.

I've left some of the old stories, pictures, and posts from our time on the water in Florida and look forward to sharing our stories of the adventures yet to come on our journey.

I started to put a title on this blog entry of Blog 2.0 but the truth is the version is much higher than two by the time you count all the years I've been blogging and the number of times I've restarted.

Once again, this blog is more a journal or scrapbook than anything written with the expectation of a readership. Still, if you have dropped by, I welcome you and hope you enjoy your visit.

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