Monday, July 31, 2006

Notice and nodding

First of all, anyone who needs to get in touch with me, please either call or comment on here because otherwise I will not get your messages. My ISP has not allowed me into my email since Friday morning and they have promised to find and fix the problem but have yet to do so. Needless to say, I have been checking LJ where I have made comments to keep up. It's time consuming and frustrating especially in this heat. Hopefully, it will be fixed today and I'll have the pleasure of deleting hundreds of messages and responding late to others. Hope this hasn't caused anyone any problems -- other than me, of course.

I did get some writing done but most of yesterday when I returned from our country drive was spent in getting the ham radio club newsletter together and out. I admit that I thought I had to have it done this morning as I have set the arbitrary deadline (for me) of the first of every month and it wasn't until I talked to Mike last night that I realized the first was on Tuesday and not Monday. Too late. The newsletter was nearly finished so I decided to finish it all the way. I did. I finished at 11 PM last night and I was beat, not to mention sweaty, cranky, hot and cramped from sitting too long. I sent it out to the various people and the printer through another email service (Yahell) and I'm hoping for the best. I'll call and check up on the printer to make sure he received it as he is not very good about calling or emailing to let me know even when I specifically ask him to do so. No big. I'm getting used to following along behind people to make sure they do their jobs. It's not fun but it keeps me busy with silly tasks that I shouldn't have to do. But that's another story.

Against my better judgment I went back to eBay and checked out some ham radio equipment. I found a dealer who sells crystal radio kits. I decided to buy a couple (one AM and one FM) and put them together to help me understand the theory currently knocking around in my head. They have been here for a week and it suddenly occurred to me that what I should do with the kits is donate them to either a scout troop or school or somewhere there are curious kids and let them put the radios together. The idea is to get them interested in radio, and ham radio specifically.

When I talked to Mike last night we discussed ways to get some new blood into the field of amateur radio because so many hams are dying. George WØGHL finally succumbed to cancer on the 23rd and I got an email that Dr. Chuck Brady died last week. He was only 54 and an amateur radio operator who made contacts (QSOs) from the space shuttle and from the ISS (International Space Station). It had been said Dr. Brady spent a little too much time making contacts from space to earth, but I don't think any ham would agree. We're only happy when we're building radios to operate or simply operating, sending out signals all over the world and into space and receiving a return signal. It's magic plain and simple.

We take so much for granted. We are so used to the conveniences and the technology that permeates every single aspect of our lives that we forget what it took, and often who it took, to create what we use so often. It's as if we can no longer understand the dreams that became radio, television, telephone, cell phones, computers and the appliances we use without thinking twice. Even at our worst, humans are marvelous creatures who create so much out of nothing more than an idea. It takes so little to dream and not much more to reach and and take hold of a dream. All it takes is passion, desire, curiosity and a disregard for opinions other than our own. Can't and shouldn't aren't deterrents but goads to fire our imaginations and walk into the unknown. So much has been accomplished, and is still being accomplished, simply because humans refuse to be told they can't or shouldn't do something. For sheer cussedness, humans take the cake every time.

Sitting here with the ceiling fan rattling overhead as the temperature rises with the sun boiling and basting in my own sweat, all I can think of is how to keep cool. Showers and spritzing myself with water or flower water only lasts for a few rapid seconds. Climbing into the refrigerator isn't an option and I can't stay in the shower forever. Being outside is nearly as bad because there is no shade that blocks out the pervasive heat that forces more sweat to the surface, a surface covered by clothing that keeps the sweat from evaporating as nature intended. Yet it is at this moment that I experience what it must have been like for the person who invented air conditioning. That person was tired of broiling in summer's heat, most likely a creature of the cold who wished to be cool and comfortable instead of sweltering, making every movement, every task, every moment misery. Instead of praying for rain or a summer blizzard, looking forward to another ice age, that person did something about his misery and, sweating and toiling in the heat, gave us air conditioning. We complain about the fuel and electric bills when we get them in the mail or online but how many of those complainants would give up the A/C?

Dreams and the desire to walk into the undiscovered country of the future without a guarantee that what we want will be worth the effort and the sacrifice deter only the faint of heart. Nothing deters anyone whose dreams and desires will not be stilled by the voice of reason or the cannot and should not they hear from the people around them, and even from the haunting voice of fear inside them. They know somewhere inside that scary as it is they must walk out along the path and take what comes because what they leave behind may be worse. Without our dreams, without our desire to see what's over the next mountain or around the next curve we only exist; we do not live. Without our dreams we die.

Good thing I'm addicted to dreams and whatever setbacks and missteps I've known, I will still keep going -- with rest stops every now and again. I still have so much to see and learn and do and be. "Life is a banquet and most poor suckers are starving to death." Not me.

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