Oh my. This blog is usually a quiet little backwater, ticking along on a few hundred hits a day. And I’m okay with that. But yesterday, my astonishingly impractical QR code clock hit the front page of RaspberryPi.org, and blammo! More visitors than I thought possible. Are there really over 4000 people who read that? Cor, to use a good British comic-ism.
I’ve been blogging for nearly ten years, filed under what could only charitably be called “miscellaneous”. Yesterday, I got 2% of all the hits I’ve ever had. See the tiny little bar just to the left of the big one? Yeah, that was my previous best ever, with nearly 600 hits.
Looks like this amateur radio thing is going to get expensive.
The rig I was looking at — the Yaesu FT-8900R — appeared to be considerably cheaper than all the other multi-band units. It appears that it’s FM only, which is rarely used on the HF bands. The considerably more expensive FT-857D is the cheapest unit that will do 10m/6m/2m/70cm, which I reckon is pretty much where my interest lies.
Then there’s power supplies. Yeah, these beasts need external power supplies. Great big honkin’ 13.8V DC power supplies; about $200 for a rig of this size. Yet more desk space taken up; more cables, more clutter.
If that weren’t enough, there’s the antenna issue. I appear to live in a Faraday cage surrounded by overhead TX lines. Something’s going to have to go on the roof. Well, actually two somethings, as the chance of getting an antenna to work even roughly well on HF and VHF (unless I splash on the expensive and fiddly looking Maldol HVU-8) is close to nil.
So basically, I’m looking to drop a couple of grand on this. Eep.
In better ham news, last night I received my first radiogram, welcoming me to the hobby. Thanks, Paul (VA3PB)!
I nearly fainted at the guitar store; they had a Vega Folklore long neck banjo on consignment — eep! After playing it a bit, I asked how much they wanted for it. Seems that the seller thinks it’s the Pete Seeger model, and is asking about what I can get a new Vega Woodsongs for. No thank you!
(anyway, two new banjos in a week would not be fiscally sound.)
What I really need is social metanetworking software. I can’t keep up with what’s the right network to be on …
Leo Marks, on hearing of an old couple who died within days of one another, and were buried together:
It will feel strange
Not to nudge you
Or to talk to you
Or keep you warm
When you’re lying there
Only a few feet away
Or perhaps even less
But we shall get used to it in time
Of which we’ll have plenty
We always treasured silences
In which we said everything
We shall continue to treasure them
And to say everything
Throughout the longest silence of all.
— from Between Silk and Cyanide: A Codemaker’s Story 1941-1945.
I’m upgrading Gallery right now, so many of my pictures will be unavailable for a bit. I suspect (but I hope not) that my old deep links into Gallery from the blog will be broken by the upgrade.
Now playing: A Wolf in Sheep’s Clothing, by Josephine Foster. Classical German lieder, with overlaid psych guitar. Good and weird, but weird and good.
eBay.ca: music tapes 2nd imaginary symphony: one of Julian’s original CD-Rs is up for sale. Looks like it’ll go for over $100; eep!
Noticed that this morning was the first time that the street lights were on when I got up. Yes, those nights are drawing in.
I just had a deep fried strawberry jam sandwich (with ice cream) at St Andrews Fish & Chip restaurant at Ellesmere & McCowan — and survived!
(it was good, incidentally)
Our server also had Bishopbriggs connections, so it’s a wee world.
We now have fish; some scissortail rasboras and a few threestripe corydoras. Not the most challenging of fish to keep, but entertaining and hardy enough (I hope) to survive this impractical fishkeeper.
I’m emphatically not naming them individually, but as groups: the corys are the Feldmans (though may yet become the Doctorows, since the spelling is closer), while the scissortails have to make do with being the Edwards.
Called in at Finatics Aquarium (599 Kennedy Rd, Scarborough, ON, M1K 2B2 – 416-265-2026) yesterday. The owner, Mike Bandura, was very helpful for the complete novice fishkeeper. I think we’ll be stocking our new aquarium from there.
Switched ISPs from Sympatico to Teksavvy today. Couldn’t keep paying Bell $46 a month for something I could get for less elsewhere. I’m not (yet?) getting faster service, but the Speedtouch modem has all the admin stuff I’d need.
Must remember to copy over my old Sympatico web pages …
There was one thing I hated about Rumo, and that was finishing it. Walter Moers creates such a complex — yet never serious — fantasy world that leaving it is always hard.
I like the way he’s not afraid to revisit characters from The 13½ Lives of Captain Bluebear. Most fantasy authors are slavish in keeping their characters’ lives consistent across the volumes. Since Bluebear was the most celebrated liar in Atlantis, what do you expect?
Serendipity: took a wrong turn coming out of the
federal building, and found ourselves in Scottish culinary heaven (which is not an oxymoron, I assure you). At the corner of Ellesmere & McCowan is The But ‘n’ Ben Butchers; they sell all sort of quality Scottish foods. So far, we’ve sampled and can approve their butcher’s pies, plain bread and empire biscuits. They’ve also got a supply of UK Heinz Beans, which knock the gummy North American beans into a cocked hat.
Next door but one is St Andrews Fish & Chips. They’re amazing. I think the chips (hand cut, of course) are deep fried in some unhealthy, but tasty, animal byproduct. And they have Irn Bru, too …
Jet lag, lack of sleep, and a whole day of company orientation isn’t doing much for my clarity of thought right now. What I need is steak and beer.
Last night’s flight was supposed to get in at 10:30, but what with WestJet‘s faffing around, we got in well after midnight. It was about 1am (or 03:00, Toronto time) before I got settled in the hotel room.
I’ve never been in a city with trolley buses before. Guess I can’t say that any more. It’s also the furthest west I’ve ever been.
I wonder if the snow drawing below (as seen from my hotel window) is supposed to be a hometown homage to Bob The Angry Flower?
Clean coal seems to be in vogue, but when I read about it, I thought — hang on, isn’t this just the old town gas technology?
I’m guessing the new clean coal guys don’t want us to know about the old town gasworks in the UK, most of which still have toxic wastes lurking deep down.