Fourty-Six and Two

Started my birthday on a conference call, waiting to unplug a rack of servers and move them to another corner of town. Four hours later, the project was a success. Wrapped up the event by driving a pair of customers to their hotel, dropping off a coworker at the office, and heading home to consume the last inch of my bottle of vodka.

Four hours later, I woke up again. Circadian rhythm can’t be beat. Made breakfast, cleared the cobwebs, put on some Tool, Sepultura, King’s X, whatever. Far cry from the electronica of late. Shaved, showered, found clean clothes. Went out.

10-meter Net went up at 3; band was noisy due to contesting. Station in central America was sitting on the net’s usual frequency, so there was a lot of interference. Still managed to log 10 stations in the Austin area, which is usual. Not bad.

Spent some time up on the parking garage to try out the 2-meter flexible J-Pole antenna I built Friday night. The damn thing works well. With my handie-talkie I was able to reach a repeater in Georgetown (30 miles north) on 7 Watts. Scratchy, but readable. That’s a massive success. Punched in my new amplifier and was Full Quieting. This makes me happy.

Reached a repeater in Marble Falls / Dripping Springs to the southwest with the amp and J-pole. Either nobody was on frequency or I was too noisy to read, so no signal report. Anyway, the repeater itself responded with its station ID and squelch tail, so I know I got in.

Bummed around, took myself out to Ramen Tatsu-Ya for a solo meal. Terrible line and noisy joint with zero personal space. Food was good, but everything around it was not what I needed that day. My birthdays are usually spent alone; space and solitude are the best gift. I blame the over-the-top birthday parties of my childhood. Now I’d rather just be left alone. For once, Austin denies solitude when I actually want it.

However, my buddy Doug did take me up the street to Workhorse for a beer, gratis. We had a decent time hanging with other Epochians on the back patio. I spied a lady sitting along the wall alone with a book, something from Vonnegut. I thought I was the only one who read in bars; glad to know there’s still others.

Got home tired and bleary-eyed. Lack of sleep keeps me mute sometimes (today especially so). Otherwise, it was an OK day. 46 is going to be more fresh Hell. Here’s hoping it’s not that terrible.