Saturday, September 7, 2013

Projects - a series of half starts

Another busy week.   I have been slacking in my sewing projects, so I never seem to get to link to the 'unfinished object' blogs lately, but I have plenty of my own style of UFOs!    I don't know why I feel like I have nothing to do so often when it always sounds like I'm doing plenty.   On the other hand, so much of what I 'do' doesn't quite get done.  

This week a friend began the messy process of power-washing my peeling front porch. Of course, it didn't go smoothly.   The machine broke, requiring unexpected runs to the hardware store and occasional warnings to cover my ears to avoid hearing Language.  Once he got it started, I helped for about 3 minutes but mostly stayed inside and made iced tea.   We eventually ran out of time to finish -- in fact, we didn't even have time to eat the supper I'd prepared.   We/He got quite a bit done -- there is still more to do, but I've been putting this project off for three years so I think I've made good progress (no thanks to me), and it looks like this item on my To-Do list is going to get done this year!    I have the new stain/paint purchased and ready to go as soon as we can finish peeling off the rest of the old paint from the railings and I get the porch area sanded.

We also started, and ran out out of time to finish, my 2 meter antenna.   Again, I mostly watched and poured tea.   Actually, I did try to help.   First I tried to throw the line up over the limb in my tree but it turns out I can't throw worth beans, even though my friend made a beautiful weighted monkey's fist that can soar like an eagle in the right hands.
The antenna project was another comedy of errors -- the ladder line I purchased was the wrong stuff --- I will never buy again from Palmetto Antennas in Louisiana!  If you are looking for amateur radio equipment, AVOID THEM!!!   I only used them because the reputable dealers were out of the line I needed.   The invoice claimed to be exactly what I ordered, but they sent me an inferior and cheaper product, and did not respond to my complaints in any way, shape or form.   We are using the inferior line for now because it's been hard to schedule help and I need to get something up, but it will need to be replaced, likely before winter.   Frustrating.    The crummy line broke several times and had to be stripped and resoldered, making a fairly simple project a lot longer and more tedious than it should have been.   I guess the good news is that I found a distributor that I will NEVER use again.    All data is good data.    And then the angle from the tree branch to the house was tight enough to pull my loop of copper wire into a column, so we improvised by building it into a frame.    My friend denies all knowledge of it and absolutely refused to sign his work, but I thought it was a pretty nifty fix.    
Anyway, we again ran out of time, so the antenna is up but needs some tweaking before I can set up my station, and it will be a little while before my helper or I have any free time.    Work sure gets in the way! 

This is one of my Wedding Weekends, and I was privileged to act as the wedding officiant yesterday for a lovely couple.   As with all my couples, I wish them great joy together.    They had the prettiest flower girls and cutest little ring bearer!   THIS project was actually completed, and their wedding went off without a hitch.  :)
Today was the occasion of my first Search and Rescue field training.   I was scared to death but also eager to go, because we had a Call Out for a missing person a few days earlier and my team leader suggested that I not come because I hadn't been trained and would only be in the way.    That hurt, but I knew it was true so I stayed home.   The last things any command structure needs is to be diverted from its task by someone who needs to be coddled through the process.    So field training was my chance to prove myself ready to participate.    We were advised that the search drill would take place in a wilderness area where there is a lot of water, and that we would be out for at least 4 hours.   This was my first time out so I had to pretty much guess what to pack and how to dress.   I knew that long sleeves were in order, and my boots, and I treated all my clothing with bug-stuff because I am a Big Bug Sissy.    I packed water and my compass and a hat, my radio, pencil and paper and other sundries,  and - most of all - I left my whiny inner self behind as best I could.    I hoped I wouldn't end up being too high maintenance as I packed up and drove to our staging area.    When I arrived, we did a little training on GPS before we were told that field work had been cancelled because of thunderstorms in the area.    Everyone else was glad to have their Saturday back, but I was BUMMED!   Even more bummed after I drove the 30 miles home and the skies had completely cleared up.   

But the good news is that now my weekend has gained a few unexpected hours.     I hope I use them to full advantage!  :)   I already spent one of them listening to my grandchildren, so it's been another good start.


Kim@Snug Harbor said...

If that company sent you the wrong product and you paid for it by credit card, then call the credit card company and dispute it. You'll finally get a response from that company and possibly a credit.

Too bad about the search and rescue training getting cancelled. That sounds really cool and I can't wait to hear more about it.

Unknown said...

Next time try AES ( We use them for a lot of our ham equipment needs and they're superb, plus they have a Cleveland location, so stuff gets to you pretty quickly.