The radio has finally been shipped and got as far as Maryland today. It will be delivered on Monday. I can't wait! In the meantime, I was invited to help do some post-Field Day clean up work tomorrow and will get to play with radios in the process. I also have an official Operating Manual to read to prepare for my new station, thanks to my Elmer. I would have probably given up hope of ever getting an HF radio or operating CW if it weren't for him. Now I am about to get on the air as a new voice in CW and it's going to be great! Someday, I'm going to be one of those people that the CW contesters recognize. They won't even have to listen for my region information because they will have already heard it a thousand times! That's my goal. And it all starts here in Silver Spring with a QRP rig, a Bencher paddle, and a 33-foot long antenna.
The J-Pole antenna is also here and waiting for the rig, thanks to my friend Tom. There's SkyWarn nets to assist! I need to find something to clip the antenna to so it will have a nice view out the window... The HF antenna parts and tools are still sitting in the box and waiting for assembly. The Bencher paddle has been getting more exercise recently. I am determined to get my code speed at an even 20 wpm for on the air activity. I just need to reduce the spacing a little more so I can copy at true speed without delays. I am still working with a 5 wpm lag because I just can't keep up with a straight 20 wpm rate for a series of words in a row. Once I get to the point where I can copy 20 wpm, though, I have all of Moby Dick to listen to for copying practice! And then it will be on to faster speeds... Code sounds so much nicer around 40 wpm.
Work is going well. For the part-time job, we are dividing up the labor in a new way that will hopefully take some of the burden off me. For the full-time job, I've been devising networking diagrams to analyze the citation structure of a certain body of documents. I represent each document as a box that includes the title and outline information inside. The citations are lines connecting the boxes to one another - and specifically to/from certain parts of the outlines. The color of the box tells you the category of that document and the color of the line tells you the type of citation. It's fascinating to see what documents are tightly knit and what ones are totally isolated.
Finally, I got my free mp3 from Quiznos. Bjork's All Neon Like. I almost missed it, since I would never have thought to look under the rolled up rim of the soda cup for the code.