Welcome to Jay in VA

This is my spot in the blogworld to rant and rave and ramble - three things I do extremely well - and to just talk about my life in general. My blog has opened up a whole new world to me, and I hope you enjoy reading and commenting! Please feel free to do both. I appreciate your feedback.

Monday, August 18, 2014

I Thought This Was Pretty Much...

...right on the money!

This is 2 minutes worth watching. I loved Robin Williams. I will miss his characters. I loved Dead Poets Society, Good Will Hunting, and all the funny characters he came up with in his way too short life. When I heard that the f^<kh3@ds at Westboro Baptist Church (at least two oxymorons in that name), my blood boiled. Here's the best response yet:

Friday, August 15, 2014

The Last One (Updated)

Ten hour, four day weeks, and sadly, my three day weekends, are at an end for this summer. Mixed feelings to be sure. I like the extra day off, but ten hour days get LONG (and my evenings tend to be shot). Not to mention the loss of two hours of your day, and at least an hour of sleep. Usually, Fridays are like today. I went to bed at a decent hour (sometime between 10 and 11), and slept until nearly noon today. So half the day gone just catching up on sleep!

It was a good week. Work was busy, and Thursday beat all! There's still a lot of work to do to get ready for the opening of school, but we'll get it done one way or another.

Radio club meeting tonight. Should be fun! Nothing much else happening this weekend. I want to go on walkabout with a new lens. I bought an 8mm Fisheye. It's totally manual, so I'll need to learn to set the exposure manually. I can cope with that!
 Short post, so I'll leave you with an out of focus, bedheaded, scraggly bearded selfie! WOOT!
I hope y'all have a great weekend!

Update: So MAC likes the selfies! Here's a couple more, taken after a 45 minute bout with the weedeater. It's a little hard to tell that I am dripping wet (note the sweat dripping off my nose), and covered with grass clippings. But that grass you can barely see behind me in the second picture was knee-high (and I don't mean to a grasshopper) before my scalping attack!

Sunday, August 10, 2014

Could a Long Weekend be ANY BETTER?

It doesn't matter what happens today (laundry, dishes, trash detail, need to clean out the truck), this weekend has been BEYOND awesome!

Friday: Spent from noon to 4:30PM with RB building the antenna shown here... Total fun. There is little to be said when helping a new ham radio operator build a new antenna from scratch. It only took 2 trips to Lowe's.

About 3:00PM, RB's boyfriend AB showed up. Besides building a new antenna with a new(ish) ham, I wanted to meet RB's boyfriend whom I had only "met" via SMS. RB and I were approaching the point where he would have to finish up his antenna on his own. So shortly thereafter, the three of us headed out to get a celebratory dinner for the two rising freshmen at VCU!!!

We went here:
 This is what greeted us.
Around 10 or so years ago when this was placed outside the restaurant, it made front page news! Not surprising in good ol' conservative central Virginia. Needless to say, the county said "nothing we can do, it's art, it's free speech, and it's not obscene". The clamor died down. I enjoyed the view, actually!

Dinner was superb. I had The Khristos Sampler, with Pork Souvlaki, Pastichio, Gyro, Dolmades, Spanakopita, and Tiropita. Oh my! I was in heaven! And they feed you like you're never going to eat again!
This was just part of the sampler. I sort of forgot to take a picture of the whole thing.
The view as we left! Not a bad butt, either.
I brought home leftovers from all three of us! Afterwards, I drove us downtown to show RB and AB some of the sights. Neither have been downtown much, so it was fun for them to see places they could visit while at school. I also found their dorms so when RB needs a ride to meetings or something, I know where he is. We killed about 4 hours after dinner, visiting the floodwall, checking out Pipeline Rapids (from the shore), and finally getting Dairy Queen for dessert. I dropped them off about 11PM.

Saturday was iffy. Weather forecasts were all over the place, predicting anywhere from 2 to 6 inches of rain, or nothing at all. The ROSMY Pool Party was scheduled for 12-3. Plan B was games in the host's (fully finished, ultra modern, home entertainment center style) basement. But the weather was great, and I relaxed in the heated salt water pool for 3 hours, in between snacking on burgers and dogs, chips with fresh guacamole dip, drinks, and cookies while making sure the youth didn't drown. It was a lot of fun, everyone seemed to have a ball. I didn't get too sunburned. Not really at all.

I think this is what he saw, which, when cropped
down as my cover picture, only shows the
RainbowRVA, HRC, and EV stickers!
Got in about 4:30, then last night had a long conversation with RB, whose father confronted him with "Did you know Jay was gay?" (There is, of course, the assumption {presumption?} that I know RB is gay, and I'm not sure dad has made the connection that it doesn't matter.) Apparently he stalked my Facebook page, and there was just enough there for him to make the connection. RB's response was "yeah, and?" He also asked if it was a coincidence that of the four of us who went to Berryville last weekend, three of us are gay. (He stalked the other guy, too, apparently. And the 4th knows all of us are, and couldn't care less.) I am hoping that as dad gets to know me over time (we've met once for a few minutes at Field Day, and the talk was mostly technical except that I made sure to throw in a "we're really glad RB is out here, active, and really enjoying this" line), he'll realize that some of his so far unspoken, but obvious to RB, stereotypes might be broken down a bit.

In any case, I have been recovering today, lounging about, doing some dishes and laundry, continuing the cleaning project (I can almost see my workbench/radio workspace now). Now I think it's time to hit "publish", and finish the laundry I started while deciding what to fix for dinner. Can't decide if I want easy to fix, or something more complicated. Hmmmmm...have to see what's in the frig and the cupboards! I hope you had a grand weekend like I did! Peace <3

Thursday, August 7, 2014

More Ham Radio!

And no pigs involved!

After last weekend, I am stoked on ham radio. So tomorrow, I will spend the afternoon with RB building an "inverted V" antenna. He purchased 30' of military surplus fiberglass mast, with 2 bases, guy rings, and stakes. We can make SOOOO many antennas out of this combination. Our goal is an antenna that will function on 40 Meter Wavelength (~7.0Megahertz) through 10 Meter (~27MHz) frequencies.

Here is an inverted V antenna (copper colored lines), and a horizontal dipole (blue lines).
RB needs a versatile antenna, portable, and something that doesn't need end supports way up in the air (horizontal dipole). So we are headed to Lowe's to buy some PVC pipe for the Insulators. Then we will measure twice, add a couple of feet, and cut once, two pieces of wire to create this antenna. Here is a calculator we use to get our dimensions:
This is gonna be fun.

Saturday looks like a wash out. I was supposed to chaperone the ROSMY Pool Party, but the weather forecast is for 2-6" of rain between Friday night and Sunday morning, so we shall see.

The rain means my Sunday project of more ham radio will merely be bushier, since I haven't mowed down the WILD backyard in weeks! I intend to re-hang a 40 Meter Full Wave Delta Loop.
This will also be fun. It will require "shooting" fishing weights into trees, pulling rope up into those trees, and stretching 47'2" worth of wire per leg. Oh, and I have a brand new 4:1 current balun, 2 new insulators for the top corners, new Dacron rope and new coax! WOOHOO! Back on HF!

I can't wait!!! Almost too much fun!!!