No Smoking

Didn’t notice, but a few days ago my No Smoking Counter (Thanks to JW for writing the PHP) passed the 2 YEARS mark.

OK, I guess this is the time to confess to having about 10 cigars at Birthday parties, New Year and Christmas celebrations, but 10 Cigars compared to 6200+ cigarettes can’t be as bad.

There have been times I have wanted a cigarette and the urge to have once is still there, it more than likely always will be. Hopefully (except for occasional cigars) I won’t go back to smoking.

My tips for giving up:-

  • YOU must be ready to give up! You will know when!
  • Give up Cold Turkey (No Patches, or Cigarette replacements)
  • Keep Busy (early on when I wanted a Cigarette, I made a coffee)
  • Try not to convert others to Non-Smoking (I still try without thinking – Am I Bad)
  • Don’t Change your habits (If you for example go to pubs when smoking, don’t give that up. If you have to stop going places are you ready???)

Warlingham Ridge

Today, James (M0BOV) and myself went up to a car park out side Purley in Warlingham.

What a Day. Didn’t get many contacts, but Tried a few on a 2m Halo, then put up a Long-Wire. My Yaesu FT-897D was set-up on a bench after a small bit of gardening.

The Weather was another Story. To say was changeable was understating it. I had 3 attempts at using the set-up. In between the rig was (hastily) put into the car boot.

After a QSO into Italy on attempt 3, the heavens opened again and I finally admitted defeat. Below are some photos taken when the Sun was out.

Car Park Bench is Where?Bench is Buried2m Halo

FT-897 connected to 2m HaloFT-897 Connected to Long-Wire AntennaRain in Distance
Lessons Learned:-

  • Check Weather before Operating /m or /p
  • Make sure if others are with you operating Have Handhelds ready in case weather sets in
    • 1st attempt we didn’t have the handheld
  • Remember Wire Strippers (forgot those) or even a full tool-kit
  • A WaterProof Log would have helped
  • To take a umbrella that didn’t leak
  • A few other things I can’t remember now

XPeriencing XP

So, I have finally upgrade my old laptop (can’t afford to upgrade the machine) to Windows XP from Windows ME. For those interested, it’s a Sony Vaio QR-10 sporting a Celeron 650 MHz, 64 (now 192) MB RAM, 10 GB hard drive, 13.3 in. TFT Active Matrix, CD-ROM, Microsoft Windows ME, 6.62 lb.

And what a Headache.

First, backed everything up on my 80Gb drive. Then (eventually after 2 hour seach as was looking for green coloured, but was silver) I setup my laptop back to machine default installation and removed the partitions back to a single drive.

Once back to Base ME installation, I then installed XP. I started about 7pm with backups and finished Base XP install by 3am. As I write this, have most main programs I need installed, with some minor apps still to go. Most of the day was taken up getting my Hauppauge (pronounced Hop-Pog) WinTV USB card going.

I fear I still many more hours to go. But at moment enjoying a chat with some Ham Friends on eQSO.

Waiting for Post

In earlier posting I mentioned I ordered a Battery for my Yaesu FT-897 from an eBay store. The parcel still hadn’t arrived from 9th August so emailed to query this.

Got a very quick reply, and was posted via USPS on 10th August, but from my past dealings with USPS I know they aren’t the quickest. It would be nice to have for the upcoming Bank Holiday Weekend, although I am not holding my breath.

I have solved the earlier problem with my Solar Charger and the Battery I take out /p or /m. It seems the Jump-start leads have a charge protection, but I found a lead to charge from a car lighter socket I had buried in my shack and have modified so can now charge the pack.

Site Info update:- I have updated the site to enable me to run the lastest (alpha / beta) versions of WordPress and the K2 theme. If there are any problems please let me know so I can feedback, but so far all seems well.

What's pissing me off – Update

My latest annoyance is people not giving me long enough to answer the house phone.

Over weekend the landline phone (which is in my sisters room) rang 4 times with people only giving about 4/5 rings. This is not long enough. It’s not a loud phone and by the time I realise the phone is ringing, and got to the phone, the person has rung off.

Please let it ring Longer. I will talk to you!

Another thing is (and this is a rare moment for me to talk about work, cherish it) is people asking “Are you Point 1 (or whatever)”? NO, I have an Enquiries sign on my desk. Please learn to Read. End moan for Today!