My 10th year
This past month you voted me into my 10th term as your Club President. That is a remarkable testament to your trust in my leadership (and perhaps my lunacy?), but I want to thank you for your support. This would not have been possible without the incredible team that I have enjoyed working with over the years. While I look forward to tackling the many projects, we strive to complete this next year, I am also mindful that this cannot last forever. For any organization to remain vital, we need new blood, new leaders with vision and energy. This is my not so veiled attempt to encourage others to join us on the Board. Meanwhile, I will continue to do my best to serve our members.
This past month, my old trusty Toyota finally died. Only 179,000 miles. It didn’t really die, but it required so many repairs it might as well have died. The list of things that needed immediate repair were long and pricey…so, on my way home, I walked past a Chevy dealer and bought a new minivan. I don’t typically agonize over these decisions – and now I am paying the price for being a little impetuous (plus, I had a business road trip I had to do later in the week and needed a car immediately.). Among other things, I did not even think about the problem of installing a radio or placement of an antenna. Well, it turns out these are both rather formidable problems. These modern cars are loaded with electronic sensors and anything foreign (like a ham radio) is consider an intruder. That does not even to address the issue of space! Where the heck am I going to put my radios? Fortunately, we had this terrific show and tell tutorial last summer and could see the many clever ways we have found to install radios into our modern cars. I have done more researching these issues than I spent looking for the car. I am now ready to take the installation plunge. One fun problem…the battery compartment is under the rear passenger seat! Now that’s a new one. I have yet to crack the housing but that explains why I couldn’t immediately find the battery! Then I found a GM website site with some very practical tips: put the transceiver as far away from the front of the car as possible (like into the trunk) and use mag mount antennas to find the sweet spot (where the radio will least likely interfere with the car’s operation.) All sound advice. No question this will require remote mounts as there is virtually no space on the front panel to hang a radio. I have been pondering this problem at the same time trying to discern what all these international short hand symbols mean for the more basic operations (like seat warmers, radio, odometer, wheel pressure etc., etc.) (Remember when cars had an engine you could service yourself, a steering wheel, an accelerator and brakes.) Times have changed and along with all of the new comforts comes the warning: “danger to not fiddle with all these strange buttons while driving!” Meanwhile, I also just discovered that I don’t have a hitch on this rig…and that is critical for my bike club work and my remote antenna mounts. So, I am plowing through the aftermarket catalogs! So, don’t buy cars like I do!! Or, go ahead and just buy a car and then enjoy doing the research. And no, I am not willing to just hand the car over to a professional shop to do all the installations. That’s my peculiar weakness. So, I am not complaining here, just sharing my journey to the dark side of buying a car if you are a serious mobile ham radio op. I am sure there will be more to come on this subject
Meanwhile, both the Bike Club and the Marathon had appreciation events for the volunteers. I could not go to the Marathon event because we had our club meeting that night, but it is great to see how much both organizations appreciate our service. Again, thank you to all who volunteered to work these or any service projects.
Happy Holidays to all. See you at the auction in December.