December 22, 2017

I need more slack

I didn't wake up until 10:30 this morning, which is unusual for me. I've had insomnia for so long that three or four AM solitute is an old friend. I had set the alarm for nine AM yesterday, but today my wife didn't need to go anywhere and she was up looking at real estate when I stumbled in and said "mawnin!"

Grits and coffee for breakfast. One-third of a cup of grits, and one and one-third cups of water. No salt. Two minutes on "high," and then I stirred it and gave it another two, and then even though it was a little soupy, I put milk in it and settled in in front of the TV to see if anything has changed in the world. I made the coffee strong: I had gorged myself on pizza two nights ago, and my digestion needed the help.

I went out to get something from the car, and was pleasantly surprised to find that the air felt good. I got my hoody and told her "I have to work on the tower again." I took the 5/16 nut driver and some extra U-Bolts, and cranked the tower down a few turns: I had noticed that the dipole was touching the North guy wire, and realized I had made the South guy too tight yesterday. I loosened the South guy wire, just enough to keep it sort-of slipping, and then I cranked the tower up to full height, with both the North and West guys both taut, and then I went and tightened the South wire down so that it is "just a little" bit on the safe side of tight.

The antenna was fine: at least a couple of feet away from the North guy wire. I went down to the cellar, and turned on the HF rig, but I was greeted by so much noise on 80 Meters that I didn't even try to join the traffic net tonight. I listened around a bit instead, and got a phone call from someone that I'm helping to sell off some boatanchors - that's what hams call old radios with vacum tubes in them - and we traded anecdotes about which potential buyers might or might not be for real, and what she'll need to do when the game-players see the new ad on Craigslist. I told her about how any free or low-cost resource is always abused, and explained that it's called "The Tragedy of the Commons." I don't know why, but I told her about this telegraph company that started a low-cost telegram around the start of the last century, and then had to apply to revoke the tariff, after they were inundated with unsolicited commercial telegrams, sent to advertise things. The first spam, as far as I know, but I'm not sure why I mentioned it.

It was getting late, and I still had to fix the East guy wire, so I took a ladder out of the shed and tried to use it to bridge the pile of tree limbs which are stack up in front of the tree-that-guys-the-tower-on-that-side. I got about halfway across, after picking up the remains of an empty sack of potting soil which had gotten stuck in the branches, and then I decided I was setting myself up to fail and that I had to admit my limitations and take account of the brace on my leg and my age and I pulled the ladder back and put it away and went inside.

I've been looking for a job, but the only ones I can take are those that don't require me to stand for eight hours a day, and so I started getting frustrated and a little angry. I need to cut myself some slack.