Saturday, January 31, 2009

Can someone explain this to me?

Can someone explain this to me? A while back I talked with my ex-wife about getting my son licensed for Ham Radio. She basically said, "I don’t know anything about it and I don’t want it in my house!". My response was "Is Dakota a prisoner in your home!". I didn’t ask her to put out any money. I would pay for the license and the radio. The radio I had in mind is the Vertex (a division of Yeasu) VX 150. I am not sure what the problem here was.

Just before Christmas I had the opportunity to buy a Vertex VX 150 used on Ebay. The person had it listed with FREE shipping at that time and I had a 10% off coupon from Ebay. I thought, why not, lets put a bid on it. I didn’t really think I would win the radio, but I did. I wanted it as a replacement for my Radio Shack Pro 79 scanner. What I got was the Vertext VX 150 radio, the AA cell holder , and an extra rechargeable battery for just a little over $85. I just check Universal Radio’s website and this radio with the options listed is running $166.85 new with those options. So, I got a good deal on it. In the picture above the Vertex VX 150 is the radio on the left. The PRO 83 hand held scanner on the right is my son’s that I got him for Christmas. As you can see they are nearly the same size. The VX150 has a slightly longer antenna on it.

The good news hear is the radio is in perfect condition, the reception is great, and it was engineered to military standards so it is a tough little radio. I can talk on the 2 meter ham band if I want and it picks up the railroad (which is why I bought this in the first place). I wanted it to replace that Pro 79 because this radio is small enough to fit in my shirt pocked and had the top LCD viewing area (nice if it is hanging on my belt). The use would be standing trackside I could hear trains calling signals and know what was coming at me next.

The radio so far has exceeded my expectations. I think if I could get my son licensed this would be a great little radio for him. He might just get the one I purchased before Christmas if I can’t find another deal on one. This radio would allow him to talk into the repeater in Decatur Indiana (A system of two radio’s one takes input audio on one frequency and the other broadcasts out the message that was received on an output frequency). I can talk to the repeater from my house (which is about 25 miles away or so). I would also give my daughter the same opportunity in the future I am giving him if she wanted it. Every time I have mentioned it to him she says "Me too". We will see how she feels when she is 8 or 9 years old.

Friday, January 30, 2009

Things that make you go "HUM!"

On Tuesday this week, I went out and bought a new pair of boots. I went into the store and told the sales person that I needed a size 10. They started to go to the back and get some boots for me to try on, when they turned and said "Let's measure your feet". So off came my shoes and they said put your right foot in and let's see what size it is. They said "Ok. you need a 10 1/2." I said a 10 1/2? Yes, this foot needs a 10 1/2. Let's measure the other foot. Ok this foot needs a size 10 that would be ok. So at this point I am thinking, what are they going to do sell me two different size shoes? LOL!

The sales person then went to the back and brought out a size 10 1/2 boots and had me try on about three different pairs. After trying on a few I decided on the ones shown above. The sales person said, always fit the bigger foot. He was looking at my right foot through the sock and he said see your shoes are too small. See how the second toe on your right foot the knuckle is turning up!

It is amazing the things we learn sometimes. Here I have been buying the wrong size show for who knows how long. Someone told me that your feet continue to grow even after you are older. Don't know if it is true or not. I noticed today when I had dress shoes on for the first time in a while how much tighter the right shoe was than the left. Needless to say I have worn boots all day for the last three days with no problems with them hurting my feet. Before this pair of boots I dreaded putting them on they always seemed to rub my toes raw. I would commend the sales person on a job well done.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

The passing of a friend

Seems like over the years I have lost too many friends and yet another one. People who have been in your life for a while and you have talked to whom you seem to think will be around then they are gone. Art was one of the friends that I made about eight or so years ago through my model railroad hobby. For me I don’t do model railroading much anymore due to lack of money. I do; however, continue to attend the meetings from time to time.

Art would call me asking for help with his computer. I would make a time and go to his house and help with his computer issues. He would then take me to his basement and show me the work he was doing. His specialty when it came to model railroading was scenery. He was really good at doing scenery and was awarded one of the master model railroad awards from the National Model Railroad Association. More or less it was time to catch up and talk about things including trains and model railroading. I was always greeting enthusiastically and with a smile.

A week ago Monday I went to the hospital to see how he was doing. His wife and a couple of friends were there. We talked and I told them how there were these two locomotives in town that I tried to get pictures of. They were painted in Art’s favorite paint scheme "Denver and Rio Grande". I told them how I thought about Art when I was out knowing that these two locomotives were in town. At one point one of the friends said it appeared that he had a smile on his face. I went back on Thursday to see how he was doing. From the looks of things it didn’t look like it would be long.

On Monday at 3:45pm Art left this world for better things. Art will be missed by all that knew him. Art’s viewing will be at D.O. McComb and Sons at 1320 Dupont Rd on Friday between 5pm-8pm. The funeral is to follow.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Switch to DTV delayed in Senate!

The senate has voted to delay the switch to DTV according to an article on the Fort Wayne Journal Gazette's web site. According to this article Neilsons has estimated that tv's in 6.5 million households Tv's will go dark on February 17, 2009. The senate now wants to move that date back to June 12, 2009. It is expected that the house will also vote and pass this measure tomorrow.

First off, I would like to know where the 6.5 million cave dwellers live? The government has been pushing for this switch for a over two years. I know this has been talked about for more than two years. I bet if we check it has been nearly ten years since they started the buzz about this. I thought I was the only person who was out of touch, but there must be people out there who are more lost than I am. WOW! I know there is some miss-understandings about this, but it should be up to each individual to get the information they need and proactively make sure their household is ready.

The next thing I find interesting is that this is so important that our government has to work on it. I think we have more pressing issues to work on than watching TV. Those people who are unemployed are most likely trying to figure out how to pay there bills and TV doesn't seem that important to them at the moment. I know I am facing the unemployment possibility again and most things I thought were important don't seem to be at the moment.

Let's examine this coupon thing for a minute. Couldn't the government have issued us a coupon via a website that we could print and take to the retailer? The retailer could then take and send these coupons to the government for a refund? Why is it we have to have a credit card type thing to take in? Why have a coupon at all. Why not just subsidize the boxes directly with the retailers? Oh wait, a friend of mine said it all too well, it is another way of BIG BROTHER checking up on us. The problem I have here is that the boxes most likely have an inflated price. My bet is the box will sell for around $15 after the rebate program ends and will most likely be around $20 tax and all. I paid after coupon about $15 for each of the ones I have.

The last thing I will mention here is that the analog signals that TV is currently using is slated to be used for PUBLIC SAFTEY issues. Those signals travel farther than the current digital signal. In the vent of a disaster of some sort those frequencies could be used by govement, local, and state for communications purpose. This is the main reason for the govement is doing this. In my humble opinion the govement should just say "Tough. You didn't do anything when you were warned now deal with it". The change should happen as planned.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Early Spring and Summer?

If I haven't said it before, I hate winter. I hate the snow, the ice, and the cold! Yesterday while I was out and about I got into a conversation with an elderly woman. She said the words that are music to my ears. She said: "I think we will have an early spring and summer.". She went on to say that her wools were shedding and her dogs were already sheding. She didn't seem to think we would have much more bad weather. She said that she based this on when the wools and her dogs grew their coats on how bad the winter would be. Evidently the wools and dogs got their coats early. She indicated that the ice storm would be the worst of the winter for us.

Now, I have found that most of the time the ederly people are correct when they say something like this. They have experienced these things and know how to read signs that most of us can't seem to figure out or maybe it is that we just don't pay attention to the signs. Needless to say I will be interested to see if she is correct. I guess on Tuesday February 2nd we will get to see what the ground hog has to say about this.

Puxatony Phil your up buddy!

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Can things get any worse?

Can things get any worse? Most likely we have all asked this question. The answer always is "YES". Yes, it can get worse. Today was my 44th birthday. I had a good day. It started early as I made my self-breakfast before work. My ex-wife let the kids call and they sang happy birthday to me. I was blessed with a beautiful sunny day to work in. After work I went to dinner with my sister and ended the day by eating cake with my parents and sister that my mother baked for my birthday.

My heart goes out to one of my co-workers today. This morning I was asked to sign a card for him. On Monday his wife who was only 32 years old passed away unexpectedly. This guy was always up beat and jolly. He seemed to be happy when I saw him. I can’t imagine what he is going though. Please pray for my co-worker John and his family.

Friday, January 2, 2009

New Years Resolutions

Well, we now have two days of 2009 in the books and how did you fair with those new years resolutions? Yes, I too have a New Years resolution. One of my resolutions is to drop the 47 pounds that I need to loose to be at my ideal weight. So far I haven’t had much luck at getting started on loosing that weight. On the bright side there is always day three to start. For me loosing weight is a tough challenge. I like to eat. I also have a tendency to eat when I am depressed or upset (you have heard the term "Comfort Food" used).

One of my other resolutions is to be a better dad. I have done my best in the past, but I want to do even better in 2009. I won’t get a chance to work much on this until a week from today. I did call them just a few minutes ago and they seemed happy. My kids are first priority for me and seeing them happy makes me happy.

If you are like me most of my resolutions are not completed. This year I didn’t make the list of resolutions long. I have all year to see how these turn out. If I had to pick only one to complete the 2nd one ("To be a better dad") would be the one I would pick. Hopefully if you made resolutions for New Years they go well for you this year. Next up: Day Three!