Work is going fine and I am enjoying it. The one hour commute in either direction is also nice now that the weather is slowly getting cooler. It's quite pleasant to walk along the sidewalk that runs between the Supreme Court and the Capitol Building on my way to work. It's so surreal. I sometimes forget where I am after sitting for hours in my window-less cubical.
Evenings I grab food along the way home, then set up the computers for the other job. It takes some time to get all the files open and in order. I've been working on creating three 1000+ line spreadsheets that are compiled from a number of other files and tests, so my screen gets pretty cluttered. The Expose feature on the mac is pretty handy for that, though. I only have two more months left working two jobs. I am looking forward to having my evenings and weekends free again. In the meantime, the evening work schedule is broken up with a little radio fun every night - either a CW QSO or a MARC (Montgomery Amateur Radio Club) net.
CW is going better with every contact. I learn something new each time and my copying and sending are getting stronger. It's been pretty challenging because there are a lot of abbreviations and procedures that are all totally new to me, but I'm learning about them a couple at a time. Bill is a great CW practice partner - he can always think of something fun to talk about and helps me to fix the things that I do wrong without making me feel bad. That's easier said than done when dealing with a sensitive perfectionist! I think I am about ready to confidently answer some CQ calls now. I just need to find the time for it!
The MARC nets are also fun and informative. At the Tuesday EmComm nets, I've been learning how to prepare my station to run if the power goes out for an extended time. There were a lot of details that I hadn't considered before. For example, if I had no power for a few days, would I have enough "substantial" food that would 1. keep up my strength, 2. not require much effort to prepare, and 3. could be eaten while working at the station? Hmmm... Probably not.
In general, I feel like I am staying caught up with my daily schedule, but I am so far behind in a thousand things. I have another full weekend coming up. I think laundry will need to be done at some point again. Funny how it seems to pile up so fast! Then, there's all sorts of radio things that I have been putting off until later. I need to order some extra cables and a fuse for the battery and work on getting my laptop set up with Windows so I can run software. I'm trying to get set up to use my laptop as my station computer for logging and other work. I also need to get ready for the PA QSO Party! One of my VE's (volunteer examiners who gave me my amateur radio license exam in May) now knows that I will be coming home and will be looking for me on the air :) There's also digital communications and EmComm lessons to study. My QSL card paper should be arriving tomorrow and then I need to make up my cards so I will be ready to contact people and exchange QSL postcards with them.
I was also supposed to do some other things: web work, notes about software, trouble-shooting the amplifier, checking the J-pole, fixing taxonomy glitches, cleaning out old food in the refrigerator, organizing my desktop icons which have gotten out of control, getting more sleep, catching up on Bible studies that I am eager to hear, calling my grandparents, and all kinds of other things that I just never got around to. Whew, I need another 24 hours in the day!
I think that when I look back on this year I will wonder how in the world I ever managed to keep up with everything. The answer: work was required, radio was too fun to miss out on, and the Lord gave the strength :)
I wonder what adventures there will be tomorrow and what new things I will learn?