I come from the land of the ice and snow, from the midnight sun where the big bucks grow.
OK, I tortured a bit of Plant and Page for that one but it eludes to the reasons of my absence of late. For several weeks from late September through early November the day job demands my full attention. Ten hour days, seven days a week are the norm. That leads up to the very day I start my 2 week vacation to the frozen north to chase the trophy deer. This year was succesful, not a huge buck this year, frankly I am more happy with the shot I made than the size of the rack. Perfect placement at 75 yd, off hand and on a trot (deer not me lol). I’d like to say that was all skill, but I know there was some providence intertwined in that moment.
Now I sit here two days home. The whirlwind of laundry, butchering, unpacking and countless little errands finally complete, I can finally take a quiet breath with a fresh cup of java in hand. To my surprise I find this to be Sunday morning. For a decade this was the traditional time I would be producing the piratesweek. In the predawn darkness a few hours prior I did consider putting in the five or six hours in behind this glowing screen required to upload another show. I slowly decided against it. I haven’t turned on a radio, or logged into a pirate website in weeks. Frankly I am out of touch with the community and have no idea of the state of the hobby at this time. Perhaps after the Thanksgiving holiday I will be able to return.
I did listen to a bit of radio at deer camp. I only had my little portable and a ten feet of wire but Radio Australia was always there as well as China Drive on CRI. Perhaps I will boot up the SDR today, log into the chat rooms and start to immerse myself once again into the world of the stray frequency. Yes, dear listener the Piratesweek will return. I do have several trips planned this winter that will prevent me from producing shows. (Christmas, Winterfest, etc.) But the audio documentation of my exposure and education of the audio and electronic arts will continue.
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This used to be, and I still wish it to be, my favorite time of the year. The sweatshirts and flannel once again sees daylight from behind the closet door as the scattergun and blaze orange takes their tour through the hardwoods and jackpine. Though to be truthful I am starting to dread this time of year. For the last decade the draining of the chlorophyll also signals the increased activity in my chosen profession. October, November and yes sadly even an occasional December day sees me working out in the elements from dawn till the setting sun. These 14 hour days often stretch through the weekend and continues through the following week and continue till the cold rain falls signaling a brief reprieve.
Yes I love the autumn. Its when I try to take my vacations. Its also when the day job is the most demanding. I’m either traveling to far flung woods or working dark to dark for days without end. It does begin to wear. Personal life, hobbies, such as the radio, podcasting, and decent meals tend to suffer.
It is within this forced march whirlwind of days I sit here amazed that I have stumbled upon some new auditorial mana. For those of you who pay close attention; I do tend to look for the different, the unexpected in musical genes. Perhaps if you continue to pay close attention you may one day soon share in the appreciation of what can only be described as a herd of musical goats. So keep tuned to the wild rodeo of the hobby we most undoubtedly share dear reader. For one of the few true inspirations of the year may have found me, caught my attention within the whirlwind of autumnal color.
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It appears to be another Sunday sans a piratesweek. This tends to happen most summers. Between low propagation, summer static and the demands of warm weather chores is keeping me from more sedimentary pastimes. But this year has presented additional deterrents to my radio hobby. Several long awaited personal milestones have arrived this year. I will not use this space to detail each occurrence but on balance these things have been positive. I now find myself no longer tied to hearth and home. After more than a decade I now am able to travel, and find that I have some limited financial means to do so. As such I have several small trips planned over the next few months including the Florida keys during the holiday season and Vegas later this winter. And yes, a trip to the greater Philadelphia area is planned for early March. In fact, I am pecking this post out on a 10″ tablet from somewhere along north america’s northern “third coast” on a extended holiday weekend drive. Camping and some radio listening among the cedar and white pine. Later this week when I return home I will start to put my thoughts in order. Though If I remember my schedule, back in the land where such things exist, I believe the next few weekends have similar events penciled in. I’ll do another Piratesweek the next free weekend I have. Although I fear the cold driven snow may be dancing across the yard before that occurs. It has been said that freedom is just another term for nothing left to loose. I have found this to be not entirely true. Freedom, at least in my own case, is not the absence of all means but rather the careful cultivation of what means are made available paired with the severing of personal responsibilities. I do not know how long this phase of my life will continue, but I plan to explore the possibilities that are now available. Radio, as a hobby, has long been a part of my life and I expect that to continue. The podcast is just one outlet for that hobby. The show requires at least four hours every Sunday to produce, and if I were to be honest requires another four hours throughout the week gathering and arranging material. My lifestyle for the last decade has been very compatible for the shows production. I was home almost every weekend, almost every evening for that matter with a lot of free time to produce the show. I am proud of what I was able to achieve with it and had a lot of fun doing it. I now can smell the change in the wind. Perhaps today it is the surrounding I find myself in that I am questioning the continuation of the show. But is not that what we do on holiday? To take a breath, a pause and evaluate where we have been and where we are heading? I sit here at a remote campsite, a small fire burning, alone with my thoughts. Several days from home and thirty days sober I can smell the approaching rain in the air. hmmm. Before I go to far down the path of public naval gazing I think I should wrap up this post. I’ll do a quick band scan of 43 meters and stir the fire a bit and prepare for dinner. I wish I can say this trip has given me an epiphany. No zen lessons have been learned, no motorcycle maintenance performed. I have learned one thing on this trip though, touch typing on a tablet is no way to write anything more than a tweet.
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Paul Waldman lays out a list of significant U.S. military actions over the past 50 years, and it adds up to 15 separate episodes, ranging from full-scale wars (Vietnam, Iraq, Afghanistan) to smaller incursions (Grenada, Haiti, Panama). For those of you who are math challenged, this means we’ve launched a significant overseas assault every 40 months since 1963. Continue reading
My personal, slightly cynical view is that for good or bad we have ignored president Eisenhower’s parting words and now one of this this country’s main industries is the making, distribution and usage of military hardware. Aside from any major conspiracy theory; market forces and military planning (to maintain a honed edge for the tip of the spear) leads us to to these military endeavors on a semi regular basis.
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The Gulch has come out of the closet and found a new home.
What a gnarly mess of wires and gear, yep its the Gulch, living quietly in its new basement home. A new Netgear GS105, 4 port switch splits the internet between the Lenovo low power computer and the NetSDR. The Lenovo runs the FTP, streams the Gulch shoutcast and teamspeak streams as well as runs the Gulch’s ICOM PCR-1000 receiver software that allows access to anyone who wishes to tune around the band.
The newest addition is the RF splitter from mini-circuits that splits the signal coming in from the back yard dipole between the two receivers. Works great!
So both receivers have a full dipole feeding them, the Gulch has its own internet controlled radio with two audio streams, one which is no latency. Best of all I have the NetSDR all to my greedy little self. All tucked away out of site in the basement run by a VERY low power computer. (No computer needed for the NetSDR) Wildest of all, no ground loop hum. Which is a miracle considering the haphazard mess of wires. A liberal amount of RF chokes was used on anything resembling a cable within 50′ !
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