Yes! I’m Still Here

This has been a strange month if you ask me, at least in my head. I’ve really not felt like posting on here.  I’ve not been too busy but just haven’t felt like posting. This month, both my wife and I joined the American Radio Relay League (ARRL).  We thought it was time to represent the ham radio community since it had done so much for us.  I’ve been off the air for quite some time because my radio, Kenwood TS-2000, had quit working many months ago.  It would transmit but no audio would go through.  A few weeks ago I decided to send it back for repair.  It has not returned yet but I have received an email from them estimating the cost for repair and a request to know if I wanted to go ahead and repair it.  I told them to go ahead and fix it.

I have also decided that I am going to get another ham radio tower. It may take some months to save up for it but I really miss having a tower.  I’ve not had one for four years, almost five.  I’ve been trying to get active in ham radio again after being off the air for several years.  Part of what got me motivated was knowing that my brother is studying to get his license.  I will be so excited when he gets his license.  That will be four people in the family that are licensed.  The annual ham radio convention named Ham Holiday was this weekend in Oklahoma City.  I did not make this year because we had other things going on.

The lawn has been a lot of work this summer and getting some rain has really been a blessing.  Yesterday, July 26th was the first 100 degree day for the year.  It has been nice not being as hot as it has been in recent years.  I really hope the moisture and cooler weather continue for many months to come.  There is not much more going on that is newsworthy but I wanted to go ahead and post something before August moved in. :)

Sent In For Repair

Kenwood TS-2000


I sent my Kenwood TS-2000 multi-band, multi-mode ham radio in for repair this weekend for transmitting a carrier with no audio.  This has been a good radio. I received this radio from Ham Radio Outlet on August 5, 2004.  I was so excited to receive it and it lived up to the hype.  The most distant contact that I have made with this radio is from Lithuania. About seven or eight months ago I noticed that when I would transmit, no one would ever come back to me.  Then I noticed that when I was using single side band (SSB) that my VU meter was not bouncing.  Then I started to do some testing and found that no audio was going through the microphone on any band.  I changed the microphone several times and had the same results.

I was very frustrated and just turned the radio off for several months. Finally this weekend, I decided that it was time to send in to be repaired.  I am very anxious to see what the bill will end up being.  It cost $60.00 just for postage and packing to send it in.  I had to send it to City of Industry, California.  Hopefully it will not take that long to fix and not cost $500.00.  In any case, I am looking forward to getting it back on the air.


Baofeng UV-5RB

Baofeng UV-5RB Handie Talkie


I have been out of radio for the most part for nearly three years. Since we moved, life has been more demanding of my time and so ham radio has had to take a back burner.  My HF rig is broke and doesn’t work and since it has my two meter and 70 cm rig built in, I have been off the air completely.  Since I moved, I’ve just not had the discretionary cash to buy radios like I use to.

I was at my dad’s house last week when he had the repeater hooked up to the WIN System.  I heard someone on there talking on a Baofeng radio and they sounded pretty good. They told of how incredibly cheap they were so I bought one on Amazon for $43.00.  Compare that to the nearly $400.00 that I spent on the last Kenwood.  Honestly for that price, I was not expecting much.  I thought it would have all sorts of hang ups with it but I was surprised.

While the programming was a challenge, I eventually figured it out and after that, I discovered there was software to make it easier the next time.  This radio is pretty good.  I have to admit, that I’ve been out of radio so long that I have never even heard of Baofeng.  I am still not sure I know how to pronounce it.  It worked so good that my wife got one and my brother bought one as well.  It operates on both the two meter and 70 cm band as well as many adjacent frequencies, such as FRS and GMRS.  Of course the radio is not type accepted for those bands so it is not legal to operate though it physically will.

I am very pleased with this radio and has actually re-energized my enthusiasm for ham radio.  There is a new repeater, 444.000 MHz that is close to my house and makes communicating via an H.T. easier.  The owners of this repeater seem to be nice people.  I went to their Field Day event last weekend and while I didn’t participate, it was pretty fun.  Well, I better get this sent since it is getting late. I just wanted to share what a great radio this is and the price makes it even better.  I would recommend it for anyone.

Lawn Mower Damage

It is only June and I am on my third set of lawn mower blades on the riding mower. I’ll call it laziness on my part that has resulted in damaging these blades. My backyard is about 60% wooded area but there is still grass in those areas that I have to mow. Over the last couple of years we’ve had drought that has killed about 50 or 60 trees. Over time, they have either fallen down on their own or I have cut them down. I am not able to cut them low enough so as to not have a small stump sticking up. Well, I do cut them flush with the ground but the ground is so soft that my lawn mower wheels sink in the ground and the end result is that I end up hitting these stumps. There are just too many of them to have them removed without putting myself into bankruptcy. :)

I just need to make sure that I only mow the wooded areas with the push mower where I can be sure that I see the stumps before hitting them. What usually happens is that I try to get as much as I can with the riding mower so that I don’t have as much to mow with the push mower. Without fail, I always hit a stump and bend the blade. Well, I am not doing that anymore. I have a line that I mow around with the riding mower and then I get the push mower to mow the rest. The reason that I am so lazy about this is because my yard has steep hills and it is really tough mowing with a push mower without needing an oxygen tank to catch my breath :). I guess that I just need to get off my lazy back side and mow. Who knows… I may actually lose a couple pounds in the process. I’ve gained back nearly half of the weight that I lost last year. It is easy to stop by a drive through and get some food on the way home from work. I have some more mowing to do this morning so I guess I better get this posted and get busy.

Busted Lawn Mower

Lawn mower broken.

Yikes!  I was mowing the backyard when I ran into a short tree stump.  The mower started making some strange noises and so I killed it and raised the blade to find that the spindle or mandrel housing was snapped in two.

Lawn mower broken.

As you can see in this image, it is broken on all four bolts.  The timing was really bad but thank God that I did manage to get the lawn finished using the push mower.  I priced the part online and it doesn’t look to be that expensive so I guess this weekend I will get this fixed.  I can’t wait because I just put fertilizer down two weeks ago and the lawn is requiring mowing twice a week.  If I wait too long, the lawn will get out of control.

I mowed yesterday and it was very humid and unbearable heat. It was not a very pleasant experience at all but it looks good now that it is done.

Wonderful Rain This Morning

Wow! 1.44 inch of rain 6/2/2014

This morning we were up around 4:00 AM and shortly after that it started to rain really hard where it was blowing in sideways.  It lasted about 40 minutes or so and we ended up with 1.44 inch of rain in our gauge.  This was a huge blessing in combating our drought. My lawn is starting to look very good.  It was a good start to the morning despite not being able to sleep very well.  I was awake long before the alarm came on at 4:00. Of course I am paying the price with being drowsy tonight but at least I’ll sleep okay.  I am hearing that we have a pretty good chance of some more heavy rain this weekend. I sure hope we do and that it lasts a long time.

Duck Pond at OU

Duck pond at OU 6/1/2014

This morning my wife and I went to the University of Oklahoma’s duck pond and really had a good time.  I took this picture while I was there among others.  It is always great when I have some time to spend with my wife.  She is a true blessing and I am very thankful for her.

Duck pond at OU 6/1/2014

This is another picture that I took while I was there. Just in case you have never been here, it is just East of the football stadium. We have been going there off and on for years. It is really peaceful with ducks, geese and squirrels that come right up to you and let you feed them by hand.  It is really nice as it is in most parks.  By far the best part is being able to spend time with my wife.  There is no amount of money that is more valuable than that.

Sunday Playing in the Kitchen

Crockpot Whole Chicken 5/27/2014

There are few things that are as good as a person’s wife’s cooking. The same applies to my wife.  This wasn’t all of it but it was very good.  I’ve never had a whole chicken cooked in a crock pot but I have to say this was very good.  My wife is a very good cook and baker.  Unfortunately with my being over weight these days, I don’t get to enjoy too many of her deserts :).  She loves to cook and it clearly shows in the amazing dishes that she makes.  I am not sure what you call this but it sure was good.

%d bloggers like this: