Sunday, June 12, 2005

No Farmer's Market for me

the first day of the summer Farmer's Market in Old Colorado City but I was in my car and on the road headed for Monument, Colorado for my first experience as a Volunteer Examiner (VE) for a hamfest (Ham Radio Amateur Swap Meet). I remember the first time (who never updates his journal) told me he was going to a hamfest near me and wanted to come to the cabin to visit. "Hamfest?" I asked. "At 8:00 in the morning? I thought actors didn't get up until after noon." He laughed and explained it was for amateur radio -- hams. Okay, I get it, but the only other thing that came to mind before he explained was a celebration of pigs. I know differently now.

A hamfest is a gathering of geeks, nerds and technophiles devoted to buying, selling, trading and talking about radios, computers and everything that goes with it. It was interesting and fun.

We wandered around together and separately, caught in the tides and eddies and whirlpools of people and equipment and talk until we both needed to sit down and just talk to each other for a while. When it was nearly time to get set up for the examinees, we made our way back into the building and to the room to set it up for testing. The rest of the morning and the first part of the afternoon were a blur of activity, explanations, instructions and people as we handed out, took back, graded and informed people of their scores. The whole examination process is fairly simple, but the grading, checking, rechecking and formalizing of the paperwork is a bit of work, work that I thoroughly enjoyed. He called it my baptism by fire and said I did very well for my first exam. I caught a few mistakes (his) and clarified some rules and regulations and it was a lot of fun. I enjoyed myself thoroughly.

We had a long walk back to our cars and the rest of the afternoon was taken up with lunch at Bear Creek (where they have the most decadent and scrumptious raspberry cheesecake and Reubens and an okay, but limp, Caesar salad) and the dollar movie theater where Sahara with Matthew McConnaughey, Penelope Cruz, William H. Macy and Steve Zahn was playing. The movie is based on Clive Cussler's Sahara, which is the only one of Cussler's books I was ever able to get all the way through, and it is a funny, adventurous and wry tale that is a whopping good tale. However, at the end the playful romance between Dirk and Eva is contrived and heavily staged and Ms. Cruz is definitely not up to the task. She was a lot more convincing as a dedicated WHO doctor than as a woman who has fallen in lust/like with Dirk Pitt. It didn't play well at all. The movie is still a good time for a Saturday afternoon or any evening when you need to laugh and sit on the edge of your seat.

After the movie it was home for me where my pale moss green sweater was folded neatly atop the newel post at the top of the landing outside my door. The landlady found it between the wall and the dryer where it had fallen and was invisibly camouflaged with the bags.

Once inside, I unpacked my bags, kicked off my shoes, made a bowl of granola and milk and settled in with Dorothy Parker until I dozed off on the love seat in the living room. All in all, it was a really good day.

This morning I'm a little sore and my left heel cord is tight, but I'm happy and looking forward to finally getting a call through to the friend whose call I missed by one ring and whose phone was busy for quite some time afterward. I did go to bed early with Stephen King and a bottle of Colorado Spring's finest water to the sound of a long soaking rain storm that sang me to sleep with its gentle lullaby.

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