Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Wow!  It has been a year and a half since I posted anything here!  What has happened in my life since then?  The biggest change is that I retired at the end of January, this year.  That means, among other things, that I am for the most part getting adequate sleep.  Also, I wear shorts, a T-shirt & zoris most days, which is very positive.

I am even more heavily involved in amateur radio than I was, especially the “note passing” aspect known as the the ARRL National Traffic System (NTS).  That refers to message traffic, not to cars & cones.  Since the rise of the Internet, interest in NTS has been on the decline.  Our emphasis these days is on emergency preparedness (when Gore’s marvelous invention might not work) & helping to train hams interested in emergency communications, as opposed to sending birthday radiograms to Aunt May back east.  I would not be surprised, however, if hams didn’t see an upswing in NTS activity in the not so distant future.  We got a nibble of interest from high places (FEMA) for us to participate in an upcoming drill, precisely because we are (understaffed but) organized & can move messages around the US without the power grid, the phone system, or the internet.  A nibble is just that, a nibble, but it has spurred somewhat of a self-start to let ourselves be known again & recruit more hams to participate.  There will be more of this on my blog.

Some articles from the NTS newsletter “QNI” may also be reprinted here.  QNI, by the way, is the call for operators to check into a CW (Morse code) net.  The newsletter is distributed by forwarding on various yahoogroups & other lists; the web site ( does not seem to be keeping the archive up.  I’ll need to look into that.

I also still live with a small pack of two dogs.  The eldest is Lopo (officially Dublin, but affectionately named after a sci-fi character Lopo the Lupecko), the world’s dumbest but definitely most affectionate Border Collie.

The more recent addition to the pack is Jansky (because she has very big ears).  She is Queensland Heeler (AKA Blue Heeler AKA Australian Cattle Dog).  She is smaller & lighter than her breed standard, but definitely up there in the brains department.

That’s it for now.  I hope to keep my readers informed & entertained.

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