Report from the OP, June 27, 2022

It’s been a week of dragging around the injured ankle/leg, which really crimps your style. However, the new brace is far more comfortable, and I can wear it inside most of my shoes. The ankle does get sore at times, but the popping has reduced to a more normal frequency. I think that exercise, following the notes from Doc Ortho, is starting to show some return. The knee still protests, but maybe not quite as much as it did. Maybe. Hard to tell for sure when you’re trying to not do the things that make it hurt.

I’ve tried driving, and I can do it. I have to brake with my left foot, but heck, when I had to drag a cast around for 8 weeks in my 20s I had to totally drive with my left foot, and I drove a stick back then. I got good at slip shifting, I’ll tell you. I do feel that I have to keep a larger than usual bubble around me for safety.

Field Day, amateur radio’s big day in the sun, was this past weekend. I wasn’t able to be out with my old and geeky friends, what with me making a desperate attempt to be a good boy, along with saving up my misbehavior points for something else. But the ARRL still has the rule changes made for Wuflu in place, so I could operate from home and make points for my contacts. So, operate I did, running my radio off of a large battery pack, making me a 1E station. I made 174 contacts using FT4 and FT8. That wasn’t nearly as many as I had hoped to make, but according to the Solar Alert app on Ye Olde iThing, we were getting hit with “Minor Solar Events” fairly often. I’m not sure what this event actually is; I’m still learning the app. But whatever they were, they appeared to wipe out voice contacts. I took a troll through several bands and all I got was S6 noise and garbled transmissions. So, I stuck to the weak-signal digital modes and did OK.

From a prepping standpoint, I’m now sure that I have the power to run my ham gear in a power out scenario. I have a dedicated folding solar panel to charge that battery pack and could charge it with other solar panels I have on hand. It also means I can run scanners and my big general coverage receiver if the grid is unavailable. And fans, lights, CB/GMRS radios and so on. There’s even a backup pack, although it’s considerably less capable than the big one I used.

Preparations for the arrival of The Twins continue. Daughter is doing fine as are The Twins. She sent us a video of them kicking her stomach. That was fun to see, but it does feel strange knowing that your daughter is at the point in her life where kids are going to show up. Mrs. Freeholder has helped plan a baby shower, to which I am thankfully not invited. Yes, there is a trend toward inviting the males to baby showers. Unclean, unclean!

We are also starting to empty out the small bedroom so it can be remade into a nursery. That’s being fun. I didn’t know it had accumulated so much crap in it.

Father’s Day netted me a number of gift cards, mostly from Amazon, and I’ve finally put them to use. I got a 10 watt solar battery maintainer, a nice Starett 18A automatic center punch and a couple of other smaller items. I still have a Kindle-specific card to use.

Since I’ve been able to get out on my own, I’ve noted that gas prices have dropped a bit, now ranging from $4.39-4.49 for the most part, with a high of $4.69. Diesel is $5.39-5.89. I’m curious about the wide range in prices. I wonder if some stations set their price when their tanks are filled and keep them there until the next delivery.

Grocery stores continue to be hit and miss in terms of stock. What they have seems to be in some reasonable quantity for now. Price increases may be slowing down, but it’s hard to tell for sure. As with fuel prices, all it takes is anyone in the world sneezing and we have the flu in terms of prices. Life in a failing empire, I suppose.

As far as food goes, I’d like to lay in a lot more, but we’ve reached the twin inflection points of “and put it where?” and the need use funds for other projects. We’re trying to get things like medical needs, auto maintenance needs and various things around the house done. So far, they aren’t sucking up a lot of money, but I’m concerned that the Toyota Hybrid repairs may wind up being a large bill since my abilities to work on it are pretty limited for a while longer. And of course, there’s expenses related to gearing up for The Twins.

I’m starting to hear more about crime increasing. I can’t hear the local LEOs being dispatched any longer since they have encrypted their traffic. However, some of it’s making its way into the news, and it sounds like the criminally inclined element is getting more active. We are being more cautious about being armed and where we go. The no-go areas are slowly expanding. This isn’t a good trend.

We’re supposed to get some needed rain today and maybe tomorrow. I think it’s been 2 weeks +/- since we’ve had a soaking rain. We could get as much as an inch. I know this would do our local agriculture some good. A lot of the fields that I thought were being allowed to go fallow were instead planted late, and they’re starting to hurt. The corn isn’t gone yet, but another few days and it will be. Soybeans are just sort of holding in place, waiting. The hay fields have been getting their first cutting for the past month-plus. Those who cut at the end of May seem to have gotten more hay than those who waited, but they had to wait a lot longer for it to dry. If we don’t start getting regular rain again, there won’t be a second cutting. Winter wheat is also mature and ready to be cut if it hasn’t been cut already. The fields that are left look like they’re half the height they should be. Maybe it’s a new variety of wheat.

The Southeast Old Threshers Reunion starts Thursday, 6/30 and runs until 7/4. Due to the #@%$ ankle/leg I won’t be able to work on the boilers this year. Neighbor Across the Street has kindly offered up his golf cart so Son can drive me around for a look at things. I’m considering the wisdom of going.

I believe I’ve tested your patience with my rambling long enough. Out here.

1 thought on “Report from the OP, June 27, 2022

  1. I enjoy your ramblings and musings and observations. Its valuable intel from another part of this once great nation. Stay healthy and aware sir.

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