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July 6th, 2008

qst de w1aw - now 5 wpm

This morning, I am spending some time with W1AW. Well, with W1AW's online code practice files. It's time to practice copying code at 5 wpm!

I was surprised to find that it was harder than I expected at first. 5 wpm is the slowest you can get, but I was still caught up on a couple letters and punctuation. Since I've been practicing the past three days, it has been getting easier. Most of the time, I am right on track with the message, but every so often a wrench gets thrown in the gears and I hit something that trips me up. But I will persevere. It is just one of those things that requires time and devotion (in other words, practice). No doubt, soon I will breeze through the 5 wpm files and wonder why they were ever so hard.

This experience makes me wonder how the brain actually works in acquiring new knowledge. Suddenly, there is new information there and that information needs to associate and translate from sound to character recognition to written letters on paper. It's weird, because a few years ago when I was poking at code, I tried copying directly to the keyboard and I found it much easier. At the same time, when I tried to write the letters down on paper, I found that I couldn't do it nearly as fast. I found that the association I was making was straight from the sound to the location of the key. I wasn't really aware of what letter it was. Maybe this is why video games are easier for me than this. In any case, I've been copying to paper to be sure that I am actually connecting the concept of the letter to the sound. It makes the process slower and harder, but I think that means that my mind is processing more.

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God of Art and Science

I was reading the end of Job this morning and verses 38:24-32 really struck me. The Psalms are often filled with this kind of imagery, but it was surprising to hear God speak directly about His Creation in this way. Not only that, but the imagery was vibrant, colorful, and intense. It's a different tone than what I am used to hearing. It is the voice of an artist.

'By what way is light diffused,
Or the east wind scattered over the earth? ...

Has the rain a father?
Or who has begotten the drops of dew?

From whose womb comes the ice?
And the frost of heaven, who gives it birth?

The waters harden like stone,
And the surface of the deep is frozen.

“Can you bind the cluster of the Pleiades,
Or loose the belt of Orion?'

Can you bring out Constellations in its season?
Or can you guide the Great Bear with its cubs?'

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Dreams

Yesterday my fortune cookie said: "Your dreams are never silly"
Thank you, fortune cookie, for that affirmation! :p

My dreams in life:
1. Become like Apollos of Alexandria, who was "mighty in the Scriptures" (Acts 18:24)
2. Become a skillful CW operator and ready Emergency Communications volunteer
3. Learn Braille and transcribe reading materials for the Blind
4. Learn more Art History, visit more museums, watch more silent films, attend more Ballet performances, see some live Noh dramas, travel to lots of Civil War battlefields
5. Sail on a tall ship for an extended amount of time
6. Finish writing the stories I have started but never finished
7. Visit Iceland
8. Design more web pages
9. Get work designing usable information resources for an interesting organization/company, but with more focus on the document design and technical sides of things rather than the taxonomy end of the process (But it doesn't look like ARRL, Yaesu, or Gettysburg College needs an Information Architect at this time)
10. Enjoy whatever it is that I happen to be doing at any given time
11. Become the person I was created to be (Genesis 1:27, Romans 8:29) by fulfilling the Great Commandment ('Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind' and 'Love your neighbor as yourself' Matthew 22:35-39)

I am sure that I am missing something...

How about you guys?

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night station

One more post for today, and then I will stop.
This is a scrap of poetry I was saving from Field Day...

night station

hum of the fan
lost amid the fray
warmth of the night
melts in the battle
the late night cw challenge

three pair of smudged glasses
and a white plexiglas line
cut the darkness
break the stillness
stir the voice to life

eager watcher responds to the nod
shining under the trouble light
concentration of the operator not to be broken
a hand hushes the chatter
listen-

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