Month: July 2018

Getting ones Amateur Radio License in the United States

I got my first amateur radio license in 1992 – it was the no-code Technician class. I’d studied the Gordon West books found at Radio Shack back then. In fact my Tech and General I used those books.

For my advanced class license I used the ARRL Study books. The one I used took a deep dive into theory which I loved. Loved it until a buddy pointed out the pattern in phase angles.

For my Extra class license I drilled on the question pool. You can download them for free if you search on the web.

Dinner Al Fresco on a Friday Night

So this evening we went with friends to Roger Williams Park. We sat at one of the picnic tables and had some cuban sandwiches. It was nice.

For your edification here’s a map of the park. It’s the biggest park in the City Of Providence.


It was only marred by assholes on an ATV ripping through the park. But I called the cops on them so the majority was peaceful.

And if you want to reach Providence Police without dialing 9-1-1 dial 401-272-3121.

America’s Cheating problem

Interesting article about how incentives actually seem to increase cheating. The example they use is interesting. Say there’s a big vat and everyone who attends has to pour in a bottle of wine. And somebody decides that nobody would know if he/she just dumped water in the vat.

You can probably guess what will happen. At the end when they tap the vat they get clear water not wine.

Now here’s the thing. I’ve been told I’m highly moral and maybe it shows. I’d put wine in the vat. The key question is do you have to do the right thing when nobody is looking or watching? The answer to that should be yes. If it isn’t you need to check yourself.

Sunday Dinner: Angus Chuck Steak and salad

So the steaks – I seasoned with salt, pepper and garlic powder. Into a 140F sous vide bath for 1.5 hours.

When it got down to 30 minutes I washed some romaine lettuce and tomatoes, then chopped them up and cut some black olives in half. The dressing for the salad was Russian – all it is is mayonaise, ketchup, sweet relish, and a teaspoon of so of horseradish. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Now when you sous vide one thing you get is about 1 cup of juices from the steaks. So I put a little avocado oil and 2 or 3 tbsp of unsalted butter in the pan over medium heat and seared off the steaks. When that was done I added a tablespoon of flour to the pan for about 30 seconds and then theĀ  juices from the bag plus whatever ran off onto the plate where the finished steaks were resting. Makes a nice sauce for the steak.

Plate the steaks, spoon a little of that sauce on the steaks. Put the salad on the plate and top with the Russian dressing. It was fantastic. The dressing was even good on the steaks.

Here’s an image of the steaks after 1.5 hours at 140F. They’re a little odd looking but searing them in the oil and butter did the trick.


House Music

Oh this is good – I recognize a lot of the songs they used in this set.

I’ve followed the channel for some time. It usually has a playlist attached

Adventures in Baking

So when it comes down to cooking my favorites are to bake or roast things. Something about applying several hundred degrees of heat to cook things.

So lately I’ve baked 3 loaves of Amish Bread. Here’s the latest with some changes.

  1. Instead of granulated sugar I used the same amount of Agave. The yeast doesn’t seem to mind at all in fact I think it prefers the Agava syrup to the granulated sugar.
  2. Instead of baking it in the big oven – I brought the convection toaster oven up to 350F and slid the loaf pan in there. When I baked in the big oven I had to brown it with a Searzall tool. Not so in the toaster oven:20180709_214824

    That’s a beauty right there. It’s cooling in the pan right now.

    Big difference using the convection oven though. That’ll be my go-to for breads from this point on. Speaking of which need to get more bread flour.

Programming a TYT MD-380 from the keypad

It can be done. You just need to know the passcode to get into programming.

Press the green key on the left. Press the down arrow twice to get to Utilities.

Press the green key again to Confirm.

Press down arrow twice to get to Program Radio.

Press the green key again to Confirm

The passcode is 00000000 – that’s eight zeroes.

Now keep in mind you’re modifying the memory channel you were on when you first went to program the radio. Everything is pretty self explanatory. Just know that CTC is CTCSS codes for non-digital repeaters.



Glorious – 20:08 Hours and it’s 79F outside

I love warm nights. I don’t know what it is, some of my fondest memories are of warm nights with friends, out camping and the like.

Time was I loved going camping. Call me nature boy if you dare or must. And I’d love to do it again. But most of my travel these days is in hotels and that’s not camping by a long shot. Plus I need to purchase a new tent and sleeping bags.

And my version of camping – a tent, sleeping bags a fire area or pit with grill. You know, roughing it. I love that. It’s not that I wouldn’t mind an RV with full out beds and stuff but there’s something about communing with nature that appeals to me.

And I’ve camped all over New England, in Rhode Island, New Hampshire, Maine. It’s all beautiful country even if it is the land of many big rocks.

I recall one New Hampshire trip when I was a teenager. Let’s just say four guys, 11 cases of beer. The major crisis was when we ran out of beer by the 3rd day. But the joy of it – behind the camp site was an ice cold stream. Following that stream we found a bunch of huge rocks where the water would pool up. By noon the Sun would warm that water right up. It was awesome.

I better stop – memories like that stir up the motivation to go out into the wilds again.