Monthly Archives: May 2017

One Hand, No Other

I almost made a contact today on 40-meters. I set up my rig and my vertical antenna on the bleachers at Brentwood Park and got everything tuned and warmed up. Listened all over the band and decided to actually key down and try to make contacts.I tromped right into a silent pause of a regular net and got a quick, terse reply when I asked if the frequency was in use. So, at least the SnowbirdNet controller in Mississippi heard me, but no proper 2-way contact was established.

Later, I heard a CQ from a station W4UDX in Kentucky; had a lot of static on my end, but I tried to answer anyway at 100 watts. He wasn’t able to get all of my callsign due to the interference of a nearby shortwave music broadcast station, so the contact didn’t complete.

Radio is hard.

Also, today I learned: even if you have plenty of waiting time at the auto dealership to do so, if you set up your rig at the edge of the parking lot next to the train tracks that run parallel to a massive haul of high-tension power lines from the nearby substation, you will get swamped with power-induced noise all over any band you try. So don’t bother. Just stay away from power lines. Not even moving my counterpoise to be perpendicular to the lines helped.

This is starting to look like work; difficult, solitary work. I’m afraid I’ll lose interest if I can’t get any of those rewarding dopamine dumps from having things go right. I’m done with only talking about it; I want to actually do it, but doing it isn’t easy.

Radio is hard.

Space Black

You should probably know this: I secretly adore this band Black Mountain. Their Vancouver-meets-high-desert-rock sound hits me in the yes-yes place every time.

Space to Bakersfield” is the closing track on their latest album, “IV” (2016), and is arguably the best god-damned soul jam I’ve heard in a long, long time.

This live session recording in the KEXP studio in Seattle is remarkably close to their studio album. That’s quality, y’all. God, just listen to that open space, that sizzling air, the baleful riffs, that wayback Hammond B3, that Mellotron, that fluted vocal warble, that passion.

The stars are singing for you to join them. Are you listening?

Burn Fuel

It’s almost 1AM and I’m more or less feeling my oats. I have to wake up in 5 hours. It’s not surprising that I turn to the liquid pleasures to make my life feel like it’s worth it. Really, though, it burns through my reserves of serotonin so the rest of my day is an emotional flatline. That’s a good and a bad thing. But whatever.

I’m courting a change in my life, a massive change, and getting cold feet. Eventually, anger will override trepidation and I will burn hot coals to fuel my engine of self-preservation. Change is necessary.

It’s one thing to say, “What I would give for a new life,” and a totally different thing to actually give for a new life.