Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Robin and I were at a local wireless phone store last week so she could replace her semi-working RAZR. This is a good reason to get another phone, as opposed to many people I know that change phones like they change underwear. There are several reasons for this: Some have to own the latest and greatest technology (whether they'll even use it or not), call it "Bragging Rights". Others do it because someone they know got the newest phone on the market, and so they had to "Keep up with the Joneses".
As I perused the various selections I wondered if we really needed a phone to watch movies, music videos, or browse the Internet on. I could see some reason for "MIFI" feature, allowing up to 5 computers access the Internet via the phone, but many other bells and whistles seemed overkill. When I replaced my phone several years back, it gave me the option to store MP3 music on it. I've never used that feature - I like my "Classic" IPOD.
Phones aren't the only target in this post as the same applies to computers, software, and yes...HAM Radio. As an IT person, it's hard to get an end-user to believe he or she really doesn't need to get a new PC, just because a co-worker in the next cube did. Sure, it was .4GHz faster, but unless they were a power user, most people use their work computers for E-Mail, Web Surfing, Instant Messaging, Word, and....an occasional spreadsheet. Nonetheless, the end result would be another new computer and of course, "Bragging Rights". Servers are another example. If your server is used for storage, and user accounts only, it doesn't make sense to buy the biggest, fastest box on the market. Software? Microsoft is up to Office 2010, yet I have no issues with Office 2003, and if truth be told (ed. - it's about to), I've always preferred Wordperfect. I could bend your ear with other examples but I've picked on computers enough.
HAM radios. They get smaller, thus the knobs or buttons decrease in size - and quantity, while menu's get deeper and deeper with a steep learning curve. They're also built to die off faster (and this isn't just an Amateur Radio issue - it's an issue with most electronics and Chinese quality control). Parts become obsolete in 4 or 5 years, whereas you can find what you need to repair rigs that are half a century old. To bad there weren't as many HAMS as computer users because I have a dandy of an idea for a business - something along the lines of a "HAM GEEK SQUAD", ready to be dispatched to your QTH and program your new radio for you. They'd pull into your driveway with a sleek black SUV, with so many antennas mounted on it the vehicle would look like a shrimp boat on wheels. Impressive.
It's not that I woke up in a foul mood this morning and decided to write this post, it's just a thought, born from a visit to a cell phone store that's been circling around my brain ever since. It was merely coincidence that I woke up early in a foul mood...
'Nuff Said, Woody

Wednesday, August 25, 2010


"Buddy", was Robin's Aunt Argie's cat. Argie asked Robin to take care of him after she passed away, and now he's here - complete with half a mustache, and a very interesting personality......

Friday, August 13, 2010


It's been so busy in the last month I've hardly had time to make a post, so I bit the bullet this morning and got my pictures and thoughts together to fill you in. I'm pretty sure this is mostly in chronological order, except for the very beginning (this part). I'll start with a couple weeks ago: Robin and I were at one of those Japanese grill-while-you-watch places and we'd just sat down when I looked across the room and suddenly my neck rotor came to an abrupt halt. There, some twenty feet away, appeared to be a slightly older version of a friend of mine (and also a former co-worker from back in the 90's). I told Robin that I thought that guy was him, and instantly came up with a brilliant plan - I'd walk slowly down the aisle towards his table, then stop behind him and in a calm voice repeat "Calling Mr. Fink, come in Finkto", and if, after ten minutes of talking behind his back didn't work I would slink away and back to our table. But he saw me when I was about ten feet away and began to stand up - Yep! It was Todd. I now have his contact info so I can keep in touch with him, and I also found out that he's been a faithful reader of this blog for many years!

On another occasion, Robin and I were out at a club (you'll read about it later) when she pointed out the woman in front of me, and the tag hanging out of the back. We couldn't understand why her husband hadn't told her about it, but the bugger for me was that I just couldn't ignore it. Once it was pointed out to me, my eyes were constantly drawn to it as if it were a giant ZIT. I spent the rest of the night wondering if I should discreetly tell her about it, or not.

Okay, now on to the catch up part of the Blog. I've tried to keep the pictures down to a minimum so as not to bore you with non-radio stuff. We start our journey at the Church where Robin's Aunt had her service. We thought the church looked cool and took a few pictures:

From there we travel to my Dad's house where we made a long overdo visit. We combined general visits with a late Father's Day trip. My brother Glenn, in the first picture was getting ready to take a picture of Dad, Robin, and myself.

We also went to the Houston Dog Show and I saw more dogs than I ever thought I would. We had a great time (I liked those Frizbee catching dogs the best), and I think we'll be going every year from now on.

I had to get a picture of this poor fellow because he had a look on his face that just said "OH GOD, SOMEONE GET ME OUTTA HERE".

I found a scruffy looking fella in the "Meet the Breeds" section.....

(I think Robin liked "Scruffy" too.....)

About a week from Robin's Birthday, Glenn took us downtown to see the Broadway-across-America version of "Wicked", a humorous musical about the "TRUE" story behind the wicked witch of OZ. The sets were great, the costumes were great - and we had a great time.

Afterwards, we went to a really nice steak house, that had a great view of an outside garden. Mario, our waiter, was the one manning the camera.

And here a quick shot that Robin took of the great view from the dining room!

Thanks "Bro".....

YEP!! That's Pauly Shore on stage at a local comedy club. Robin surprised me with tickets to see him, and I guess I didn't really look that happy, but I've never been much for surprises, and the tickets were for that very night. Robin likes to surprise me, and by golly, I'm going to try my best to change, because she's so wonderful.

Oh - and yes, Pauly was pretty darn funny that night!

Her Birthday arrived, and she picked a popular Jazz cafe with live music to go to. It wasn't quite what we expected ($20 just to get in), and had a limited menu, but I can tell ya - those red beans'n rice were excellent (I got a second helping). The band was a bit late starting but once they did, all was well, EXCEPT, the stupid tag (mentioned earlier) on the back of the woman's dress in front of me.

Not quite last, nor least, we went out one Saturday night to see a Pink Floyd cover band. The place was crowded, but Robin got a great table and seats right at the edge of the dance floor. Like any amateur band, some guys in the group play really well, and others...just get by. We had a lot of food to put away and somewhere along the line I guess I went into a food coma.

Robin's Birthday week ended on a Sunday at her folks house, where everyone got together and sing off-key a rousing chorus of "HAPPY BIRTHDAY".

Robin met her friend Angie for the traditional Birthday lunch get together, and catch up on things that may have happened in the last six months or so.

And that's where my "What have you been up to lately Woody" ends. Liner Notes: We did see the movie "Inception" and recommend it to anyone who would like to see an originally conceived, intelligent movie that is a lot of fun, and keeps you thinking about it for sometimes afterwards. I'm working with the Publisher on my book, and it's going at a nice slow pace which allows time to think various options over. My Son Chris and his wife Ada came by for a visit during this busy period as well, and they're "expecting". If you haven't noticed, Sunspot numbers have been climbing (several days into the high 50's), so dust off those rigs you have stored in the closet - it's almost time!

WHEW!! The only thing left to say is 'NUFF SAID...