Been a while since we’ve had the morning cuppa Joe and just “went over a few things…”

The Best Anti-Aging Medicine:   It may be your self-image.  Elaine and I don’t spend much time with people our age.  With a few notable exceptions, when most people hit their 70’s they “couch out” and turn into frankly boring people.  We don’t want to go there.

One of the problems is there are few role models for successful aging.  One example (if you leave her politics out of the discussion) is Jane Fonda.  Another is Tina Turner.  By the way, Tina was born in 1939, so that makes her 79.  Jane Fonda is 81-ish, being born in ’37.

We’ve come to think there are two major reasons why most people don’t have grand and robust later years.  One is the crap on television about seniors.  The so-called sitcom Golden Girls, for example, cast three man-less women who were bound up for economic reasons so it seemed.  Not a happy state to look forward to.

The other reason is – lacking positive inputs from media about aging – that people “fall into” aging.  Lacking some real energy (so they think, again that’s a control game) they “age into a role they don’t consciously question.

Elaine’s got her eye on Joan Collins, as a role model.  Born in 1933, she’s still going strong and looking great.  Elaine’s got that in mind.

My self-image runs more to “Doc” in Back to the Future.  Energetic, smart, and oh yeah, fit and not overweight.  Always doing interesting things.

So as you begin to scale the aging wall, remember once in a while to sit back with a cup and review what your “little voice in the head” is offering in the way of pointers and then tell it to STFU.  You can, if you choose, re-invent yourself every morning when your feet hit the floor.

What Happened to “Figuring?”  An indicating of how our mental models of daily conduct are changing may be glimpsed in the virtual disappearance of people “figuring things.”

When I was growing up – 70-years back – Pappy and all the guys at the fire house used the expression all the time.  “Figuring” was a general-purpose “getting to answers.”  Sometimes, you “figured it this way” in politics, or you “figured a door should be 26-5/8ths inches high.”

I occasionally try to use the word “reckon” which has its roots in navigation.  As in “dead reckoning” and “reckon our position” and such.  Again, technology has done us in.  The high art of “reckoning” has been displaced by a lat-lon on the GPS.

Oh, and figuring?  That’s now calculating and no one “figures in their head much” anymore.  Computers and phones being ubiquitous, we’ve offloaded an important skill.  This related to aging how?  Use it or lose it.

Planning to Move: My buddy Gaye suggested prior to moving that we hire a building inspector to come out and do a once-over of the property so we’d know in advance what the issues would be for a buyer.

Being too cheap to spend the $300 bucks, or so, I know most of the gotchas so I did it myself.  .Just on the outside of the house, I came up with 22-items on the “punch list” and that will take most of the summer (and maybe into fall) to knock out.

Slow Mail:  One of the cities on our “possible future homes” – Payson, Arizona – has moved down a couple of notches again.  Not just because it doesn’t make sense to us to pill a big chuck of our life savings into ground that close to Mexico.

The new problem – which came to light when we mailed something to one of Elaine’s boys there – was that mail from Texas to Arizona can take up to 11 business days.  And that’s “first class.”  (God help 2nd class users!)

The other thing we keep eyeing is proximity to a major airport.  Payson doesn’t seem to have scheduled service, so if we move there, guests would need to rent a car down at Sky Harbor (Phoenix) and drive 2-hours up into the mountains.  The other choice would be us driving down.  But that’d be 4-hours on arrival and another 4-hours to handle the departure and sometimes you just pay the money and take the time back.

Grappling Hooks:  Here’s another one of those farmerly implements you don’t see much of, anymore.  But we happen to need one in a few weeks time.,

Due to all the heavy rain, a fair bit of “dead-fall” from the forest has come down the creek and started to jam up the 4′ culvert under the county road.  So the choices are:L  a) weld one up out of some 3/8th’s rebar and a foot of 1″ steel rod.  b) go to Amazon and buy the solution for $20-bucks.  c) Ignore the problem, hoping the county will fix it – but then there’s the matter of whether they’d put the fencing back up proper.  Such is life in the woods.

Dream Time:  Still having amazing dreams almost every night. Last night, for example, I spent 3-whole days in dreams.  One involved working in “other side broadcasting” while the second one involved doing a welding instruction film.  In that one, the lead character was a huge diesel-powered 30-kW welder.  Called a “Big John 600” it would deliver 600 amps at 50-volts for welding really thick material.  In the dream, I figured it up without looking where I’d put “the stinger” and there ware sparks all over the place.  Some of the other people in the shop we frightened it might torch the whole place, but I explained “Ya’ll are woodworkers…what do you know compared to welders?”

Third dream (and another full day) was I another degree was got appointed to the economics department of the major university in the afterlife.  The takeaway is that economics there really focuses on the human-transactions, not the dollars and cents kind which I found interesting.

Anyone can have such adventures.  But, you have to give yourself permission to dream, then permission to recall in explicit detail.  Oh, and if you’re “mean” on this side of the veils, then that will come after you on the other side.  One of the lessons in afterlife economics is that there’s balance and symmetry across all Realms.  Again, interesting stuff, especially in IMAX plus wind, taste,, sound and super-powers.

Ham Radio Update:  That Yaesu FT-920 that I picked up on eBay for a song and got back on their air is playing great.  The repairs consisted of a new microphone and replacing the silver CR-2032 memory battery.  Apparently, the radio gets “iffy” when the battery nears end-of-service.

The Wireman:  Which is a dandy source of high quality wire (ask for Debra) finally got me the 275-feet of copper-clad steel needed to complete the Beverage array.  I had hoped to get it while the Major was still here since we have been hanging antennas for almost 60-years, now.

The first leg runs northeast to southwest which gives up dandy reception of Europe and South America.  The next leg will be going northwest to southeast which will bring up[ Washington state, Alaska, and over into Asia while switching directions will bring up Florida and the eastern Caribbean.

The Latest Super-Antenna:  I assume, by now, every general class (and up) ham knows about “horse fence antennas” – there are reviews on eHam over here..

They work very well, but since I run fairly high power levels (~1,2000 watts out) ]“Life’s too short for QRP!”  – low power] and I knew from my days back at SGC long-ago that antennas that can handle more current actually do transmit better.  (That’s why the SGC-303 mobile antenna is so “hot.” – it uses edge-wound copper instreat of chintzy wire…)

I looked at the relatively thin wires of the horse fence and remembered that despite overblown claims the “cage” type antennas (multiple strands of #14 in a 12″ diameter long pipe configuration) really did “talk well.”

About 6-months back while surfing eBay, I noticed a roll of 14-conduct #16 wire.  It was heavy-duty printer cable ribbon wire.  Unlike the horse fence tape, it was insulated, so a bit less prone to noise and thanks to 14 decent sized conductors it is great on transmit.

One afternoon recently, I was able to talk to a couple of hams down in the Beaumont area (one was mobile) with only 10-watts. That’s about 200 miles on 10-watts during the day…so no gripes.

There is one problem with it:  It’s heavy.  So it’s a serious effort to raise it up and down but since the power has a converted/repurposed ATV winch running the tower up to 60 feet, it’s not too bad.  Sags a good bit and I don’t know if we get an ice storm next winter how it will fare.  But, for now, back to having one of those “big gun” signals at night on 75 is nice.

Now, if I didn’t get to bed at 7:30 or 8 in order to get up and write…I have decided starting next month to attend the local ham club meetings; though I could use the beauty sleep.

Ordered a radio sound card for the FT-920 this week.  I’ve done a fair bit of PSK-31 and slow-scan TV on HF, but that part of the sport/hobby is getting more complicated by the day so to keep up, I ordered ($10-bucks on Kindle) “Get on the Air with HF Digital”.

When you’ve been a ham for almost more than 55-years, keeping abreast current technology can be a bit of work.  When the Major and I were putting up antennas and working DX (distant stations) the personal computer was still 22-years in the future, the Internet almost 35….  Let alone radio interfacing.  Always something to learn and maybe that helps keep us young.

Zeus the Cat: Has gone rogue – nearly feral on us.  Reason?  Well, despite his vasectomy to keep the local cat pop down, Zeus has a girlfriend. He comes in the house for all of 10-20 minutes a day and then meows at the door to get back to the love of his life.

Elaine’s been putting food out for her – not a lot – but she’s skitterish which most feral cats are.

Anniversary Looms:   Elaine and I will hit 19-years married shortly – two weeks.

Talking about it at cocktail hour last night, we agreed it sure doesn’t seem like that long.  But, when we counted up all our adventures…Seattle, San Francisco, San Diego, Boca Raton, ranch, airplane, goats…yeah, there’s a lot of ’em.  Still has the “feel” of newly-wed too, which in today’s world verges on miraculous. ONly feels like a year, ormaybe three.

OK, off to finish Peoplenomics for this morning….come back often and bring a few million friends…

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