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Ham Radio Vanity Callsign Quest

Amateur Callsign Regions

Image: Amateur Radio Callsign Regions - Click to enlarge.

Since we have escaped from California and now live in the 7th call area (the free state of Arizona), I am trying to dump the 2×1 6th area (California) callsign in favor of a K/N/W7×2 vanity call. As of today, I’m 0 for 19 tries with one vanity application still pending. I am hoping to have a new 7th area callsign by the end of 2018.

This post is actually a continuation of a series started on the Minstrel a while back. Those posts are currently inaccessible via HTTP but somewhat accessible to me via FTP. More on that as things progress.

The process of getting a Vanity Callsign is fairly simple. You apply for an account sign-in on the FCC ULS (Universal Licensing System) and apply for your vanity callsign there. A couple of sources to see what calls are available are Radio QTH Vanity Calls and AE7Q Query Tools. Either of these sites provide which calls are available and much more.

The competition is quite intense when applying for these popular callsigns, hence the lack of success as mentioned in the first paragraph. I have seen the odds vary from 68:1 down to 4:1 over the nineteen unsuccessful tries. The probability for success of my current application for W7EC is 5.56% with seventeen other competitors. All applications received for a given vanity call are electronically tossed into a hat and a random winner selected.

I will post updates to this effort as time progresses. Wish me luck.

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Classic Cars, Aircraft and the Weather

Classic Cars on Display

Damsel and I attended the 24th Wickenburg Annual Classic Car Show and Fly-In today. The remnants of Tropical Cyclone Sergio, however, were to cut the festivities short after about two hours into the four hour event. We got there ahead of the rain, though, and scored a souvenir T-shirt and got some pictures. The impending rain caused many of the previous fly-ins to stay at home, so the exhibits were limited today.

Air Medical Helicopter Maule M6 STOL Airplane

The helicopter (above left) is normally parked at the Wickenburg Hospital Helipad when it isn’t airborne in an air ambulance capacity. On the right with the oversized tundra tires is a Maule M6 short takeoff and landing (STOL) airplane. With a 235 HP Lycoming engine, this plane is capable of lifting off before you pass the first set of runway lights, and will land in rather confined areas with an approach speed of 45 MPH with 50° flaps deployed.

Classic 56 Chevy Wagon Arizona Rangers Pontiac Convertible

Here we see a clean classic 1956 Chevy Station Wagon which was one of the better nostalgia inducing displays. The Arizona Rangers were on hand to provide security and traffic control. They brought this lovely Pontiac Bonneville Convertible along with them.

Flooded Roadway View from the Courtyard

We were home and parked in the garage before the heavy rainfall began. I took the photo on the left during an interlude in the rain when we were out walking the dogs and Damsel took the one on the right from the courtyard. This is our usual flash flooding we get when there is a cloudburst.

Click on any image avove to enlarge.

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Retirement Milestone Nine

nine.pngIt’s hard to believe that another year of retirement has passed, for which we’re very grateful. We had a good year with some travel to visit family and see the sights of the great American Southwest. We have had a good health year, only suffering some of the usual senior aches and pains, but nothing too serious.

We still love living here in the Sonoran High Desert of Arizona. We currently are experiencing some light rainfall with a promise of heavier showers overnight. That should break the drought in this area good and proper.

During the coming year, we are planning a vacation in the springtime to visit the grave of my great grandmother Emma in Montrose, Colorado. She was buried there in 1960 and until just a few weeks ago had no marker on her grave. Damsel and I changed that and ordered a slant from a monument company in nearby Delta. We would like to visit the cemetery again to view the marker in person and decorate it with a wreath. My great great grandmother Adeline is also in that cemetery so we will place wreaths on her marker which she shares with her son, my great uncle Ulysis.

We don’t have a lot of other plans for the coming year and are playing it by ear, so to speak. We have plans to do some home improvement; painting the house exterior and walls plus new furniture for the inside. It should be a good year until the tenth retirement anniversary next fall.

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Viking Rider

Viking Rider

Damsel captured this photo as we pulled into the grocery store parking lot yesterday. The rider’s helmet made me think of what I imagine the Vikings might have worn for headgear. The motorcycle and sidecar are an unusual sight in this part of the world; it is a classic Russian IMZ-Ural.

From Wikipedia:

IMZ-Ural is a Russian maker of heavy sidecar motorcycles.

In 1940, the Soviet Union acquired the design and production techniques for BMW R71 motorcycles and sidecars.The first M-72 model was finished in 1941. Originally, factories were to be located in Moscow, Leningrad (now Saint Petersburg), and Kharkov, but due to the approach of Nazi German troops, the Moscow facilities were moved to Irbit, and the Leningrad and Kharkov facilities to Gorkiy (now called Nizhny Novgorod).

The origins of the IMZ-Ural are linked to developments in the Eastern Front during World War II. The Soviet Union was preparing for possible military action by Nazi Germany. Joseph Stalin ordered the Soviet military to prepare in all possible areas, including the ground forces that would be defending the Soviet Union against invading German tanks and infantry. Mobility was especially stressed after the Soviet Union had witnessed the effect of the blitzkrieg on Poland.

[more]

Other than the headgear on the rider, the man’s vest is also interesting. The patch on his right side is the combat service identification badge of the US Army’s 1st Cavalry Division. On the left side of the vest are more patches and decorations, most of which I can’t make out from the photo. However, there are also military service ribbons. I can’t tell if one of them is a Vietnam service ribbon, again due to resolution issues.

The Viking Rider mounted his unique vehicle and was gone before I could ask about the motorcycle and thank him for his service. Maybe we will see him again. He won’t be hard to notice.

Click on the image to enlarge.

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Thirteenth Blogaversary

thirteen.gifWell, here we are at another year milestone for the Cap’n Bob & the Damsel Blog. Thirteen years ago in September, we began posting about our Perspectives on Life and Politics. I’m not sure about the exact date we started, since some early posts were lost, but the first day of fall should be close enough.

We started this back in 2005 prior to retirement. I seemed to have a lot more time to blog back then before becoming ‘busy’ in the after work life.

We might have slowed down in posting, but the world and it’s myriad of fake news, political asshattery, and steady stream Constitutional abuse has not. We may not post often about those things, but we notice and are otherwise politically active behind the scenes.

We will continue posting when we feel the need for it and because The Wandering Minstrel is now permanently offline, all the posts about classics, firearms, notions and otherwise will be posted here, probably resulting in more activity on this site. Stay tuned for the next thirteen years.

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Palo Verde Tree Rescue

Small Palo Verde Startup In its new spot

During an afternoon walk, I noticed a small palo verde tree growing on the shoulder of the road out front. I made a mental note to remove the tree from that location due to proximity to road traffic. In a couple of years it would likely have grown out into the roadway.

In discussions with Damsel, we decided to relocate the tiny tree to our rock and cactus garden on the west side away from the RV drive. If the little tree survives the transplant, we will be able to prune it into a nice addition to the garden. It can be made to look like an attractive tree, like so many in Arizona xeriscapes managed by homeowners and landscapers.

I took my spade and carefully loosened the dirt around the little tree, trying to preserve most of the roots. I dug a hole in the west garden and lowered the tree into it. I brushed the soil from the hole over the roots and the lower part of the trunk. We doused it with a gallon of water, hoping that would ease the shock to the transplanted tree.

The two images above are the before and after. Click on either image to enlarge.

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Grumpy Veteran T-Shirt

Grumpy Veteran T-Shirt

I have a new acquisition to my T-Shirt collection. The words and images on the back of it say it all from my perspective. And, it’s true that I was born in July. Click on the image to enlarge.

I found it in an ad on the FecesBook™ website and Damsel said I NEEDED to get it. So I did. It was a little spendy, but it is now mine to be worn on whatever occasions for which it may be suitable. I’m not trying to pick a fight, but won’t back down from one either.

Most of the time I am not actually grumpy, but that mood gets set into motion when really stupid people do stupid stuff. It could be in traffic, in the supermarket aisle, or practically anywhere else. As we have said in the past, “STUPID SHOULD HURT.”

Image courtesy of The Damsel.

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