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<My Diary Archive 2011 My Diary Archive>

- Up around 8:45am again . . walked. Grey and dull with a chilly easterly breeze . . PCd messing with video as heavy rain fell. Headachey. Mum and Sis2 called in with the paper and food donations. Much discussion of the royal wedding thing. Even let them both have a read of the bit from my bible. ("YOU have a bible???" lolol Yeah - bit embarassing that! Hard to explain why. lolol Don't worry - I'm sure I'll be burning it as soon as I get my garden waste incinerator working. lolol). . ate crisps, mini pork pies and a whole packet of jammy dodgers! . . napped until around 6pm . . walked in the odd spot of rain. I've heard an amateur calling 'portable' on various frequencies on 2mtrs over the last couple of days - from Brixham - down here on a holiday apparantly. Sadly he didn't seem to ever get anyone local come back to him. I'd intended to on a couple of occasions after doing the ball throwing thing, but every time I was all ready to call him back he'd already gone. Well - would you believe it - this evening as I approached BGdns listening to the scanner in one ear, I heard him talking with someone on one of the Echolink gateways, and he said he was in BGdns stood on top of one of the gun emplacements! Speeded up my walk and sure enough, there he was on the gun emplacement just in front of where I always sit to play ball with Bella. lolol Reverting back to CB days - I couldn't resist tongue in cheek calling out 'eyebal eyeball' on the radio!! I don't think he quite understood what was going on. lol I eventually took my usual seat and waved and indicated I was listening to him. He then DID come over and start to make a bit of conversation, but I felt real uneasy about doing so and kinda waved my hand to indicate I'd wait - because the guy he'd been speaking with on the radio was in full flow of an over, and it seemed awful rude to just suddenly ignore him like that! All of a sudden he noticed the ladies he was apparantly with had carried on walking, and off he went after them, and was gone - just like that!?? Oh well - cheers then. Weird bunch these amateurs - aren't we!!! . . chatted to a dog walker for ages and sat around at length until dark before returning. . . TVd the evening away watching an excellent 'journey to the edge of the universe' program until around midnight. . ate four garlic slice rolls and chocolate . . to bed around 12:30am. aa
29 - Up late around 8:45am. I don't recall being aware of it happening in the night, but somehow Bella had tipped over the old cane chair in the bedroom! It was laying on its side against the side of the bed! I suspect she ended up laying under it, as is often her habit, and somehow pushed it over when moving. No harm done (to her or anything else). . down in the living room I was presented with lots of screwed and torn up silver foil all over the living room carpet. Little devil!! THAT was what that noise was I heard just after I'd gone to bed last night. She'd climbed up over the sofa into 'my' corner of the room and had helped herself to the half eaten mum donated chocolate easter egg I'd left there on top of the box in the alcove. Grrrr. First time she's done anything like that. I HAVE become complacent about leaving stuff (half eaten chocolate bars etc) in that corner like that. Sally would NEVER help herself to anything like that, and Bella hasn't done so up until now. Point taken - guess I'll have to be more careful and not leave anything laying around from now on. . walked. Chilly easterly breeze. . .TVd the whole morning away watching the royal wedding. I'd somehow (always out walking the dog?) managed to really completely avoid all the build up and hype in the media, and wasn't really 'particularly' interested up until now. Extraordinary theater. Really quite remarkable. When I first saw on the news a couple of days ago that trees were being wheeled into the abbey for the ceremony, I was scathing of the seemingly preposterous and costly idea. Well - I was wrong. They really added something. Seemed to change the whole feel of the place in a very good way. . Found the actual ceremony, and all the addresses in the abbey in particular, really quite moving - and I admit to having got a bit emotional at times (although admittedly some of that WAS self-indulgent, 'poor me' type sadness! It seems to be taken for granted and appears SO easy for most - that they will find a loving partner (or several!) with whom to share their life, or at the very least a substantial part of it. THE most fundamental and vital part of being human? Quite simply, I will die never having experienced that. As some stand-up comedian on TV recently suggested - I am SUCH a failure when it comes to relationships, I end up having to form one with a member of a whole nother species!! :o| ) I think I was moved because of the historical significance, but also because the whole thing was being watched by SO many people all around the world - and therefor - um - the 'ideological' significance? Seemed to me, the choice of reading and the address seemed to have been very carefully designed to send out a broader message - to the world. Peace and love and all that? I was even moved to go dig out an old bible I'd been meaning to throw away (in increasing disgust at religion in general), so I could re-read the brides brother's reading. At first hearing, but for the 'god' nonsense, it seemed like a pretty good formula for 'living' - that the watching world would benefit from attempting to adhere to!! . Romans Chapter 12 . Yeah - pretty neat - shame about the god bit. lolol . . At the end of the day - I mostly ended up just feeling extremely relieved that it had all gone off without some horrible terrorist or nutter incident. And what IS it exactly about a 'flypast' (particularly of the 'memorial flight') which can SO stir me? lol . . ate corned beef, mayo, grated cheese and lettuce sandwiches followed by biscuits . . napped until the alarm at 6pm . . walked with coffee and radios. Sat in Bgdns for absolutely ages listening to the radios (some activity on the local repeater but otherwise actually rather quiet) and then was treated to a big firework display over Paignton as darkness fell. Hazy with thunder and lightning in the distant south. . had a brief couple of words with a local amateur on the way home (using the acoustic tube earpice and mic). He had some sort of lightning detector in his 'shack', and it was weird to hear it ping in the background while he was speaking, whilst actually seeing the lightning flash in the sky as I walked home. Home after 10pm! . TVd . .PCd a bit of this until early. . .briefly monitored a couple of the HF bands somewhere around 3am! Suprisingly to me, there was much CQ calling from many Marconi event stations all over the country! I gather today is the day, so I guess they were doing their operating in shifts to make the most of it for the whole 24hours! There was also some nutter on 80mtrs singing the sex pistols God Save The Queen and Anarchy In The Uk - at length - and generally being deliberately obnoxious!!! He didn't sound drunk to me - more like he was out of it on drugs!! Very bizarre. To have gone to all the expense and hassle of setting up an amateur radio station somewhere - just to behave in such an 'anarchistic' way. Pointless. Nutcase! I'm gonna HAVE to look into hooking the 767 up to the PC in some way, so I can quickly record stuff, like I can from the scanner.. . ate bowls of cornflakes before eventually to bed around 4am.. a
28 - Up around 8:25am. . . walked. Started off uncomfortably cold in the North Easterly breeze then warmed up in the sun by the time we returned . . the postman delivered my new Dell speaker bar for the bottom of the LCd monitor. Happily fitted it no problem (after having wiped away the layers of mud dust!!) and then messed around for ages mostly monitoring radios etc. I'm quite pleased with those speakers. Taking its power directly from a socket on the back of the monitor, with an on/off volume control, two headphone sockets, and even a blue lamp inside the speaker grill to show it's on, it tidies up the desk nicely and seems to give a perfectly adequate audio for my needs. With the monitor height-adjuster pushed right down so the speaker bar gently rests on the mount feet, it also sorts out that almost imperceptible 'tilt' which bugged me too. AT LAST, I can put that old 'salvaged from a skip' set of speakers in the back of a cupboard. 'So far' - for £12.50, I'm VERY happy with it. . messed around for the whole rest of the day monitoring the scanners, really doing absolutely nothing - again! :o( I DID dabble (at absurd length!) with recording a little bit of the goings on, with a view to just 'maybe' seeing if a video could come of it, but I was let down by crashing software and ended up with less than I needed to make something of it, so all that investment of time and effort was for nothing. . walked with coffee and scanners. Quiet and chilly in the breeze . . TVd/guitarred the evening away . . ate a whole packet of sausages with four pieces of bread and butter, buttered golden syrup cake and chocolate . . to bed around 1am, leaving Bella to join me in the bedroom later or not as she now chooses. I DID become aware of a brief gentle bang noise from downstairs before I fell asleep, but eventually assumed it was from the neighbours or some such. s
27 - Woke earlier, snoozed on then up around 7:25am. A lightest hint of rain. . walked . . PCd a bit of this . . the postman delivered the acoustic tube earpiece for the VX-2 from Hong Kong. Experimented with that for a while. Seems to do the job remarkably well. . ate a microwaved curry with four pieces of bread and butter followed by chocolate . . napped . . walked. . the neighbour called out and let me know he was taking his trailer to the scrap yard tomorrow and offered to take the two big radiators from the living room, which have been propped up against the garage for ages. Yayyy. Helped him move them both just out into the lane and he said he'd deal with them. Excellent. No way could I shift those even with the car. That's jolly good of him. . TVd. . did a little paperwork/PCd/radiod the evening away. .ate corned beef sandwiches, banana and golden syrup cake before to bed after 3am!
26 - Up around 7:15am. .PCd a bit of this . . walked the beach and bluebell woods. Returned with a small handful of campanula from K for the garden. He was clearing a border or some such, and found a small bit growing in it, and remembered I was eager to get my hands on any I could get, to populate various parts of my garden. Popped it temporarily in a bit of bare earth just out back near the conservatory, to see if it survives and bring it on. . pottered around tidying up just a little. . trimmed my beard/hair . . vacuumed. Usual lengthy nightmare of clouds of dust and blocked hose every couple of minutes - just 'stirring' the mud dust all around the place and putting new layers on everything!. .PCd. . ate a pastry slice, crisps and some lettuce with mayo followed by many biscuits . . napped late briefly . . walked. . TVd . . drank a glass of wine and ate chips and pate and then a little chocolate. . TVd until bed around 1am. d
25 - Up around 8:35am. . PCd a bit and ended up looking at cheap mechanical watches!! . . walked late with the VX-2. Would you believe it - that same AX2LAW station was STILL talking with people on Echolink. His voice sounded gruff! lol . couldn't resist - headed straight for the roof of the Number 1 gun battery, because that seemed kinda appropriate, and gave him a shout through the Torbay gateway. Had a brief QSO. :o) . hot and sunny again. Played ball and sat around lots again. Not back home until around 11am. . . PCd a bit of this monitoring stuff as usual - and getting all distracted as soon as I heard the coastguard helicopter being tasked to help search for a missing person over Seaton way. . wow - and there went the day - just monitoring the coastguard pretty much. Missing person search; faller on the rocks bleeding badly over by Portland; boat full of people broken down off Paignton requiring a tow; young boy swimmer too far out off Torquay in difficulties (his mother had phoned 999!), needing rescue by a passing ferry; etc, etc, etc. Blimey - busy day for them all. . at some point I DID have another go at my watch, (and with nothing to lose!) unscrewed the back again, dropped the entire innards out and had a bit of a gentle prod at the battery with a jewellers screwdriver. I STILL didn't manage to figure out how the battery is removed, but somewhere along the way, the LCD display went blank and the hands stopped moving - which believe it or not was a GOOD thing. THAT was how the guy who changed the battery SHOULD have presented it back to me, according to the instruction sheet. I am now firmly conviced he 'tried to do good' by pressing various buttons before he gave it back to me, just so he could prove there was life in it from his new battery. Sadly, whatever it was he did, screwed things up for me and absolutely should NOT have been done. Anyway - suffice it so say, I quickly put it all back together, followed the initialisation instructions and yayyy - this time it went exactly as it should do, as sweet as a nut, and it is now all working again. Phew. Thank goodness for that. . . walked with coffee. A guy was on the beach with his partner, dog, and trio of children. He was throwing rocks from the beach at a triangular metal, road-type warning sign which has been installed by the council, warning of the danger of falling rocks beneath a particular section of the cliffs. I watched (unseen) in disbelief for a short while, as he actively encouraged all his young children to follow his lead and bombard the sign with stones. Well - they're all gonna grow up to be little anti-social shits aren't they! I trust that guy will never complain about how high his council tax is! (that sign has already been replaced at least once since I've been here!) People!?!! . .Still very much struggling with my down mood. Sat around for ages - actually mostly with the radios off, because I was just tired of the noise - and struggling with feelings of the overwhelming pointlessness of it all. To cap it all, Bella gave me a hard time on her lead this evening, NOT walking to heel and being difficult to control much of the time on the way back. :o( . TVd . . ate a trio of ham, mayo, grated cheese and lettuce rolls, a large bag of crisps, a banana and a mini chocolate egg . . TVd until bed around 11:30pm. a
24 - . . walked late. Cloudy and a bit of a NW breeze, and actually felt a bit chilly setting off. Even ended up wearing my hooded fleece and fingerless gloves! . old small cast iron fire grate with brass finials dumped in the undergrowth next to the path!?? . sat in BGdns for AGES again as the cloud cleared to warm and sunny. Overdressed again! Sat listening to the radios for a long time, eavesdropping on conversations on the local repeater. . a nearby group were taking photos of themselves so I did my usual of asking if they'd like me to take one of them all together. They gratefully accepted. Blow me if the guy with the two ladies wasn't a radio amateur (from North Devon)! lolol . . Finally headed home with most of the morning gone, dreadfully overheating in too many layers. . guitarred . . drank a glass of red wine . . PCd a bit of this feeling real tipsy after only a couple of mouthsfull . . ate a trio of ham, cheese, mayo, lettuce and spring onion rolls . . napped until the alarm at 6pm . .walked with coffee, played ball and sat around in BGdns for a couple of hours until after dark listening to the scanner . . TVd . . ate a Mum donated tin of hot dog 'sausages' with four pieces of bread and butter and two buttered hot cross buns . . the local repeater appears to be back to normal and I'm getting into it ok again . . PCd/radiod until early, actually just listening to the Exmouth echolink gateway for ages (without talking). The 'Kris' guy (5A/G8AUU/P) was on from Tripoli in Libya again (it appears he works as a cameraman for the BBC), chatting to amongst others, a guy called Jason from Australia with an AX2LAW 'special' callsign. Apparantly the special AX callsign is allowed to be used for just three days a year by all Australian amateurs, in commemoration of Anzac day. Ended up having a quick surf and read-up on all that. . finally to bed (under just a couple of sheets it was so hot) around 2:30am.
23 - Woke earlier, failed to snooze on then up around 7:30am. . PCd a bit of this . . walked. Carried on down town and popped in the jewellers to have my watch battery changed (for under £5). They made it clear they'd happily replace the battery but wouldn't be able to set it for me, because these new types of radio watch are all different and they wouldn't know how. That suited me fine (I HAD brought the instructions with me and it WAS complicated and something I'd rather do myself). In very quick time the guy presented me with the wathc back - and proved to me it was working by showing me the flashing LCD screen. (Hmm? The instructions were explicite that the screen should have been blank after a battery change!?) . Sat outside on a seat for ages with the watch instructions, trying to set the damn thing, but inexplicably failed, over and over again!?? The watch (ridiculously!) has no means to actually manually alter the position of the hands - it has to somehow be done electronically by a complicated sequence of button presses.

Eventually gave up and headed home via the local store . ate four mini custard doughnuts . . . wasted the next several hours just trying to set the bloody watch.

I ended up strongly suspecting that buttons had been inappropriately pressed after the battery was fitted by the guy in the store, and that the only way to be sure would be to briefly disconnect the battery and start again. Actually ended up unscrewing the back and having a look to see if I could drop the battery out, but unfortunately it wasn't clear how that was done and I just put it all back together again. On close examination it also appears the strap is partially broken!!!!? Is that just a coincedence or did that watch guy do something stupid? Hmm!. . Eventually in desperation I ended up on-line doing a search for ANY mention of the watch (despite me having no makers name for it). Pretty much the ONLY entry I found was for one advertised on e-bay as for spares or repairs - because it hadn't worked since having the battery replaced!! Uhuh. Well that's just bloody marvellous isn't it! Is THAT why it was such a bargain price - because you throw it away once the battery wears out? I really could f***ing spit. AGAIN!

. . Mum and Sis2 called in only to be exposed to me in a filthy and increasingly down mood . . ate pork pies, crisps and chocolate. . retreated from my down mood to sleep . . didn't set the alarm and slept through until almost 7pm!!! . . walked and sat around in Bgdns listening to radios etc for absolutely ages until after dark fighting an awful down mood, desperately trying to force my mind above the darkness, but failing of course. Always the bloody same isn't it! Beautiful weather - long bank holiday weekend - everyone out having a good time - 'I' end up feeling seriously down! FFS! :o( At least it really does look as though plenty of people other than just me have recently been having trouble getting into the local repeater - so fingers crossed on that. . . TVd . . ate the last two mini doughnuts and a banana . . TVd/PCd the night away, not feeling particularly tired. I DID at some point test access into the local repeater from the 767 - and it worked fine, like 'normal'! So - I guess it WAS something to do with the repeater and not my radio. Didn't go to bed until around 3:30am or later!! Couldn't sleep (should have eaten) and just kinda snoozed with much dreaming for hours. 'Woke' around 5:30am before snoozing on the same until around 8:45am!!
22 - Up around 7am. . walked with the scanner. Hmmm. Heard yet more people having trouble getting into the local repeater!? I guess I'm gonna just have to sit tight with the 767 for a while and see what becomes of all that. . exchanged words with a dogwalker. They had a genuine GSD 'blue' dog. At first glance, he was VERY like Bella - but on closer examination and after a bit of stroking and feeling of how he was built, it was obvious Bella is a VERY different animal. Her body mass and bone structure is FAR lighter overall (skull especially). No way is she a blue - but understandable people would think so. They WERE identical in colouring. Bella was very good again this morning. Usual struggle to get her to walk close to heel, but no 'incidents' to mention with any other dogs. I guess I have to admit she really IS improving. .in the front door in warm sunshine - through the house - and out into the back garden to find it was raining! lol That'll be a bank holiday then. It was only the briefest of sprinkles before returning to hot and sunny. . PCd the day away (brief bit of radio here and there) and eventually polished off the 'shudder' video, and got it uploaded to youtube for what it's worth. .Image of Bella amidst the early bluebells a couple of to and fro calls with Sis2/Mum about maybe all walking later. . PCd this . . walked early up Mums to meet up with Mum and Sis2 and then all walked down to the busy beach and then up through the woods, to give Mum the opportunity to see the bluebells. Seems to have become something of an annual pilgrimage. Wonder how many more times (if any!) Mum'll be able to manage it. :o/ Bit early really because plenty still hadn't yet come out, but there were enough to make it worthwhile. Beautiful time of year in the woods. Plenty of ball play for Bella along the way . stopped at BGdns for yet more ball play before all carrying on down into the harbour as the sun was setting and the temperature dropped to a little too chilly for comfort. .Sat on a seat on the harbourside waiting, while Mum and Sis2 went into the busy chip shop for Mum bought food. Long wait. A woman from an extended family group nearby, came and sat on the seat for a bit wanting to say hello to Bella etc. Bella was very good. At some point, a very young child from the group came over to join the woman. Trouble with that was, the child had a jumbo sausage clutched in its hand. Bella assumed it was for her, and despite being tied to my belt as usual, successfully lunged and briefly managed to get her lips around the end of it! Scary moment - but luckily the child's hand wasn't caught in any way. Bella ended up having the end of the sausage she'd slobbered on. lolol . . all sat and ate our Mum bought fish and chips before then letting Bella have her little share AND the jumbo sausage Mum had bought for her. . ended up feeling pretty cold. Left Mum and Sis2 to find their own (shorter) way back, and headed back with Bella via Bgdns. Briefest of sits before heading back feeling really cold. Well - it must be said - this has to be about the best day I've had with Bella so far, in terms of her behaviour. Strange but she seems to behave really quite differently when we are part of a 'larger' group. I think it may be good for her. . . briefly PCd then TVd/guitarred the evening away. . ate huge amounts of biscuits and just a little chocolate . . to bed somewhere after midnight. s
21 - Up around 7am. Messed around with the radios over breakfast coffee and cigs more than I'd intended. After much messing around (using the two local echolink gateways as a test - because they require different CTCSS tones etc) it appears to me it's only ONE of the tones that's not working on the 767!?? The 94.8hz one for the local repeater! How is that possible? That doesn't make sense or seem likely to me! Can it really be that the repeater that has 'changed' in some way all of a sudden - particularly 'locally'?. . battery in my watch has died. . walked late feeling real down, as all else gears up for a sunny long bank holiday weekend . As I passed the main gun emplacements, somone from 'the battery group' was just opening it up and setting up a generator prior to getting on doing more work inside. Had my first chance to have a look inside. Just kinda derelict empty rooms mostly. Interesting to have finally seen inside, nonetheless. . Accessed the local repeater with the handie from BGdns no problem. Just doesn't make sense!??. . sat around feeling down and directionless and absolutely NOT in the mood to waste ANY more time messing about with ANY of the radio 'rubbish'. . .guitarred - desperately fighting my increasing darkness of mood. Ended up guitarring into the PC before deciding to try and 'make' something of the twiddle - but really because it was the only way I could easily throw myself into something, to avoid languishing and descending further into the 'darkness'!. . PCd for hours on a silly bit of 'music' and video . .walked with Sis2. Returned with a frozen sack of dog-food left overs from K. Just up the road from home, stranded on the path, was a huge grass snake. Had to be at least 15" long! Anything falling down from the gardens above like that, likely isn't gonna make-it, so I put the sack of food down, restrained Bella and picked it up and popped it back up on the neighbour's garden. It promptly slithered straight towards me and fell the five foot or so, back onto the pavement!! It appeared none the worse for its fall so I ended up scooping it up again and running home to put it in the undergrowth at the bottom of MY garden! . . TVd . .ate tuna, mayo and spring onion sandwiches (six slices of bread!), a large bag of crisps and chocolate . . to bed around midnight.
20 - Up around 8:10am. Yet another sunny day. Weather really has been fantastic for what seems like ages already. Put laundry on before PCing a bit of this . .walked. . . pottered around before eventually heading up onto the radio to have a play. After much hair pulling trying to access the local repeater like normal, it would appear that the 767 is no longer transmitting the appropriate CTCSS tone (if any! How the hell can I tell?). I really feel as though that is just about the final f***ing straw with all this radio nonsense. It just isn't gonna happen for me is it. God knows - fate has given me enough hints along the way hasn't it. I've no choice. I haven't the money to play the game I've been trying to play. All I've succeeded in doing is throwing away all my savings and ending up with a load of faulty junk worth a fraction of what I've invested. I hate to accept it and look like a complete failure - but I really don't feel I've any choice. I gave it my best shot. I'm giving up. I really can't afford to do otherwise. I'm gonna pause for a bit - then figure out how to best get rid of everything and see how much the attempt has cost me and what little I may be left with. I feel totally beaten. Just beaten right down with it all. Totally and utterly pissed off. I've tried to get up - I just keep falling back down. T'is ever thus. :o( ate bowls of cornflakes . . napped . . walked. Lots of people around. Lots of local amateurs on various channels plotting going mobile up onto Dartmoor over the bank holiday weekend etc. It's the 'Marconi anniversary' aroundabout now apparantly. Humph! .One thing that DID make me all ears, was a local who'd driven down to the breakwater with his radio for a bit, because he'd had trouble accessing the local repeater! Hummmm? Intriguing. So - 'maybe' it isn't my radio which is actually at fault? Having said that, how come some people/radios are getting into the repeater ok, and yet all of a sudden others aren't? Doesn't make sense does it? Where's the logic in that?. A couple having a picnic near my usual ball playing seat were struggling to take a picture of themselves, with their camera perched on a seat with the self timer on. Butted in and took a few for them. . Image of a Brixham sunset - againa video cameraman accompanied by an assistant had an expensive 'professional' looking video camera set up on a tripod atop the lower gun emplacement, filming the sunset for a timelapse sequence. It really WAS a good sunset - blood red with just a couple of clouds to make it really spectacular - and even a couple of aircraft con-trails crossing the sky at intervals. It 'would' have been a super sequence - except he hadn't thought it right the way through (been there, seen that, done that) and the sun eventually dipped behind the trees and jutting out headland before it had fully set. Made me snigger. He had to stop filming, got his 'lacky' to pick up the camera and tripod, and they both raced off to the lower vantage point on the rocks (where I've learned to film such things) to get the last bit of their 'broken' footage. lol . On the way home in the increasing dark, a hedgehog ambled straight across the path and road a few yards in front of us. :o). . TVd/guitarred the evening away . . cooked and ate four sausages, mushrooms in cheese sauce with extra grated cheese and four pieces of bread and butter followed by chocolate and biscuits . . to bed around 1:30am. s
19 - Up around 8:30am. . walked . . mowed/strimmed the lawns. . .PCd and spent yet more money on e-bay, although on stuff I'd been eventually meaning to get for quite a while now! Finally got round to ordering an 'Acoustic Tube Earpiece' for the VX-2 for £5 including delivery, from one of the Hong Kong suppliers. One of those types that goes IN the ear, with a curly tube coming out and then a press to talk button further down, that can be clipped onto clothing. Not sure I'll be able to get on with it, but worth a try for that money to save the embarassment of having the thing blaring-out like I often seem to! (the 'problem' I've had recently with the VX-2 appears to have been a 'hickup' with the charger not charging the batteries (after having 'forced' it to charge Sis2s camera battery!). A gentle 'bash' on the desk today appears to have rectified it!! ). . also finally got round to ordering a 'Dell AX510 Soundbar' for £12.50 including postage. Basically that is a pair of speakers that fits to the bottom of the LCD monitor (and actually powered from a socket on the back of the monitor). If they are any good, that'll replace the ugly cumbersome old ones I've been using for years (salvaged from someones skip in Bristol I seem to recall), and greatly tidy up the increasingly cluttered desk. I'm not interested in 'hi-fi' or good quality etc. I often have the speakers barely audible. Just need a bit of sound and good enough to play the scanner audio out etc. Unfortunately after I'd paid, the seller e-mailed saying he was on holiday for a bit, so both of those purchases are liable to be a couple of weeks in arriving. :o( . . ate ham. mayo, cheese and onion sandwiches, crisps and chocolate . . napped . . walked the woods with Sis2. Large bunch of swearing, drinking youths all camping out just behind the beach (using the woods for firewood and as a toilet). Unpleasant. . sat in BGdns with coffee . . TVd . . cooked and ate four sausages, mushrooms, an egg and fried potatoe followed by chocolate . . PCd briefly before to bed around 1am.
18 - Up around 7:45am after almost no sleep again. Feel awful. . 'breakfast' of coffee and cigs at the PC/scanner as usual. The scanner suddenly stopped on an unusual frequency on 2mtrs (145.325MHz!?). French voices!? Oh my goodness. There must be a 'lift' on. Sounded like French amateurs chatting on a French repeater!! Quickly checked on the input (which I could ALSO hear!?!!) and managed to confirm that whatever the repeater was, (surprisingly to me) it didn't appear to require CTCSS tones to activate it. (The UBC3500XLT automatically indicates the frequency on its screen when CTCSS tones are in use on a received signal. Very cool and useful for just such an occasion.) I just couldn't resist having a bash at it. Fired up the FT-767 and after listening for quite a while (miserably failing to translate much of what was being said - and NOT hearing a morse callsign from the repeater to give me a clue as to what and where it was) eventually just jumped right in and gave a couple of calls in suitable breaks in the conversation. "Bonjour d'Angleterre" etc. lololol It eventually worked, and although my signal was apparently pretty poor and scratchy, and the guy who answered had a bit of a struggle to hear what I was saying, we had a very brief exchange of conversation at around 8:50am. When he finally heard me calling, he immediately reverted to fluent English thank goodness. lol His callsign was F2WW - Pierre (can't find that on QRZ.COM?) and he was talking on the Caen repeater! Amazing! That's a distance of something like 160 miles - on only around 10watts and on my homemade slim-jim inside my attic!!! :o) Suffice it to say, I was pretty chuffed to have made that brief contact. Bon matin. Nice start to the day. :o) . . . walked. Sat around in the sun for ages listening to radios, but all was rather quiet (and I AM starting to worry the VX-2 isn't 'behaving correctly'!). Eventually back via the store for a few supplies . . defrosted and treated Bella to a bone in the garden. . had intended to just eat and then go back to sleep, but ended up battling with the vacuum, attempting to clean up just a little. I'm losing the battle against all the mud dust Bella keeps bringing into the house! Neither of the vacuums I now have can cope with it at all. Everything everywhere is just constantly covered in a thick layer of it in EVERY room! . Any attempt to vacuum (with the 'new' one especially) pretty immediately results in the thing getting blocked with her hair, and just throwing the smoke-like dust into the air in clouds to re-settle on everything again. Just blowing my nose after the vacuuming attempt results in a brown muddy handkerchief!! I'm not exaggerating. I really AM in a bit of trouble with all this daily replenished dust on everything everywhere! :o( . eventually gave up and ate a trio of mayo, grated cheese, spring onion, ham and lettuce rolls, crisps and chocolate . . napped until around 6pm . . walked and sat around for ages listening to the radios as the daylight faded. More 'lift' conditions on 2mtres for a bit - I could hear the GB3WR repeater on the Mendips coming through on the VX-2 handie, with only the miniature rubber-duck antenna attached!! . . PCd and then PCd a bit of this while monitoring the scanners etc, and supping on a tin of redbull in a desperate attempt to not feel SO exhausted all the time. All seems pretty quiet on the scanner again except for the damned French 'Cherbourg Traffic' (marine) stations I now almost constantly seem to be picking up (because of that strange, flukish progation over the nearby hills!). Actually - a brief bit of the Channel Islands too at one point. I wouldn't mind but it isn't really of any particular 'local' interest to me, they appear to require/record data on almost EVERY ship that goes anywhere near them up the channel (La manche), and all it does is constantly stop the scanner on the channels they are using, meaning I miss perhaps more interesting transmissions on the other frequencies I monitor. I can't 'lock them out' because they use the same frequencies as the local shipping/coastguard. :o/ . .not sure if it was the weird propogation conditions or something else, but the local echolink gateways appeared to be largely off-air for part of today. What with that and the local repeater shutting down for its daily routine maintenance around 1am, being in the mood to 'play' in the early hours was largely thwarted. .TVd briefly and ate a pastry slice, crisps, banana and chocolate before to bed around 3am.
17 - Up just before 7am. . things were real quiet on 2mtrs locally again, and with a bee in my bonnet about this IRLP business (and after having so far consistently failed (I think) to ACTUALLY talk to anyone at the other end of a node connection) I dared to have another go, at a time when maybe more people would be around to call me back. Checked the IRLP website nodes status, and eventually arbitrarily settled on an Australian node that had apparently recently been in use. At around 7:50am I did my usual ‘verbose’ description of what I was doing on the local repeater (just in case anyone was listening and being ‘inconvenienced’) and eventually connected up the GB3TR repeater with my awkwardly transmitted DTMF tones to node number 6040 – VK2RTZ, Newcastle, NSW. Australia, and then gave a CQ call. YAYYYYY! I had a call back. VK2NDY mobile – driving home from work in his car I think he said. We didn’t have a long ‘chat’ – but it was more than enough for me. FINALLY I’ve done a proper IRLP contact, and proven to myself what I’ve been doing DOES work – and it’s just that I’ve been doing it when people aren’t around for calling back. Well – that’ll be something to play with some more if/when I’m in the mood. Playing around on ‘just’ VHF really DOES seem to have a lot going for it these days. :o) . . walked the woods - past the three tents behind the beach, surrounded by beer cans, and with loud snoring audible from within. Beautiful summer-like day, with the early bluebells already on display beneath the trees. Too warm for wearing my hoody! . Plenty of ball playing along the way. Bella's cut paw (toe tip) IS gradually healing and knitting back together, DESPITE her regularly opening it back up during her frantic ball chasing. She was very good this morning. Despite all the real hard times I've had with her, this morning in particular, it DID seem as though we ARE starting to have a better understanding of each other and some PROPER two way communication. If only she can calm down a bit and become more confidant about stuff and never nip! - she WILL be a VERY cool friend. One of these days I'll have to figure out a way of filming us sat on the seat when she decides to climb up and sit next to me for a lengthy, full 'arms around her' cuddle. VERY cute. Sat in BGdns in the sun for AGES!!! Eventually home after 11am after a good three hours out! . . guitarred in the conservatory for ages. . Felt 'relatively' ok about things today. A noteably pleasant feel about the day. . TVd and ate corned beef rolls, crisps and MANY chocolate biscuits. . napped. Woke with the earlier feelgood feeling having too soon, predictably slipped away . . walked with Sis2 . . TVd/guitarred . . ate a banana and cake. . mostly PCd until around 4am before bed!! ss
16 - Up around 8:40am! That's a long sleep for a change. Don't feel much better for it! Feel 'spaced out' and 'dull of thought'!!? . . PCd a bit of this before walking late again. Oh dear - actually ended up feeling bloody awful! Positively not all there - dizzy, unsteady on my feet and kinda confused!!!!!!!???? What the hell is THIS? Felt almost as though I'd had a mini stroke! REAL unpleasant. Just sat in the sun in BGdns for ages, hoping it would pass. It didn't. . couldn't really do anything else under the circumstances, so ended up just plonked in front of the PC! . PCd/radiod and after I'd eventually become just a little more myself, and because it was all so quiet on the local repeater again, ended up doing a couple more IRLP experiments. Connected up to a couple of nodes and even had someone come back to me when I was connected up to GB3ZB on Dundry, so I thought I'd finally proved what I was doing was getting there. Sadly, after I'd disconnected, I looked up the station who'd called me on QRZ.COM and had my doubts about what had ACTUALLY occurred. Looked to me as though he was 'fairly' local so I probably HADN'T actually worked him through the remote node as I'd thought. Back to square one! . .locals appearing on the repeater saw me halt my experiments. Ended up chatting to locals a little. All of a sudden, right in the middle of me actually transmitting, the power went off!!!! That was a scary moment. Thought the radio had blown up and tripped the fuse-box breaker! Raced down to the fusebox and found to my enormous relief, all the breakers were in place as they should be, and it was actually a power cut! . only a few minutes later the power was restored and I got back on the air to find the local across town was also NOT on the air. Town wide power cut? Bizarrely, very soon after the local came back on to confirm he too had suffered a power cut, my phone rang. It was an automated text message converted to voice!? The message turned out to be from the power company! Utterly bizzare. They'd sent a messaage apologising for the power cut and suggesting it would soon be restored - and then a while later another saying the power had been restored. Weird. .An electricians van appeared in the street a while later. Just coincedence? It appeared he'd been called out by the old lady opposite. Couldn't resist shouting out to him to let him know there had been a region wide power cut and that the power was back on now. I trust the old lady wasn't charged much if that WAS why he'd been called out by her!. . eventually Sis2 called announcing her and Mum were on the bus returning from her hospital visit and would see me down town as arranged. . . made a coffee for my thermos and then walked with Bella to meet them down on the harbourside. . all sat out on the harbour and ate Mum bought fish and chips - and a jumbo sausage for Bella (as well as a huge amount of fish and chips left for her by softy Mum)! . . all walked back via BGdns for long sits and ball play. .Just as we were leaving, the scanner picked up a coastguard shout. Someone had fallen from a small vessel and was apparantly in the water hanging on to some mooring bouy somewhere (Exmouth way I think). Incredibly, within just a handful of minutes, the guy had apparantly been rescued and didn't even need hospital treatment because he'd been wearing a wetsuit. VERY quick rescue. . . just TVd the evening away taking it easy. .ate bowls of co-co pops before eventually to bed in the early hours.
15 - Up after 8:30am after a dreadful night of almost no sleep . . walked. An oar was laying on top of the lower gun emplacement in BGdns! Presumably stolen from somewhere and dumped there by youths, given the amount of litter also laying around. Ended up clearing up a little and then carrying the oar all the way down to the yacht club. Some guy was down there working on something, so I lumbered him with the oar and the hassle of trying to find the owner of whichever tender it belonged to.(It WAS engraved with a name.) . briefly toured a couple of charity shops before returning home. . PCd a bit of this. God I'm tired again! . . . did some of the mountain of dish-washing chores I've had piled up for ages . . Mum and Sis2 called in with food donations for chats in the garden . . ate crisps, pork pies, banana and chocolate biscuits. . napped for almost a couple of hours. Woke headachey. . .walked accompanied by Sis2. Detoured on the way home so Sis2 could look down over the harbour and see the 'Stavros S Niarchos' tall masted sailing ship, part of the 'Tall Ships Youth Trust' fleet, moored up alongside the new quay. She sailed into the bay (over from the coast of France according to the AIS) the other day. Always an impressive sight. I believe it is pretty much an annual visit here around this time of year. . TVd/guitarred-briefly. . ate corned beef rolls, crisps and chocolate. . PCd/radiod for just a few minutes before finding I was just too tired to keep my eyes open. To bed around 12:30am. a
14 - Up around 8:30am again. . walked late, with the scanner again. . BUGGER! Ok - strike all that then - WHAT a waste of typing. The damned scanner is STILL exhibiting it's intermittent 'fault' behaviour. :o( It did it here and there along the walk and in particular locked into its 'oscillation' noise for the whole final few hundred metres of the walk home - only stopping when I pulled it out of my pocket. I give up. I have to don't I. What else can I try? :o( Removed the batteries and put it back connected to the PC, where it will HAVE to remain as a 'base only' unit. I could spit - again! :o( . . . it may not have been obvious from my writings here, but believe it or not, I haven't yet actually called CQ on the 767 on HF for a contact yet (40meters being the only band I dare to transmit on, because of my faulty internal ATu etc). I've been - um - 'nervous' about calling out and potentially getting into a QSO I 'couldn't handle' (with a foreign speaker particularly) and ending up looking a pratt. ('Avoidant' stuff ain't it!) With my poor antenna, ME calling on an EMPTY frequency for people to come back to ME, seems a far better idea than me trying to call those I can hear (and probably makes me feel just a little more 'in control' of my feelings of panic!). Anyway - I've been 'building up' to having a go. It's taken a while. I was in the mood this morning. Settled down on an empty frequency (7.1740Mhz) amidst all the usual dreadful band noise, and started calling CQ - for the first time in decades! Anyway - to cut a long story short, around midday I eventually had someone come back to me and had my first, proper, self initiated QSO in many years. F5VIG, Mike in Brittany. The bizarrest thing about it was - he was an ex Bristolian, ex CBer, and spoke about some of the local pubs I used to frequent back in the 80s in Downend!! WHAT a small world! Bizarre. Whatever I do, I always seem to end up talking to Bristolians! lol Something to do with my (awful) accent? lolol Anyway - it was ok. :o) . . cooked and ate sausages eggs and chips followed by a couple of squares of chocolate. . napped until the alarm . . walked . . touched base with Mum . . TVd/guitarred a little . . back onto the radios to have a play. I'd been intrigued by the local 2m repeater being 'IRLP' connected, and had tried to read up on it a bit to better understand what it's all about. (http://www.irlp.net/. I'd also e-mailed the local GB3TR repeater 'sysop' for more info, and had recieved a reply about how suprisingly simple it is to do.) (Didn't exist the last time I used radios!) In essence, as I now understand it, in its simplest form, apparantly its a way of temporarily linking different VHF/UHF repeaters around the world via the internet, to enable long distance communication - very similar to the 'Echolink' thing I've already played with. Lists of the IRLP able repeaters or 'nodes' are available on the net. It's just a matter of calling into your local repeater, sending 'DTMF' tones to 'dial up' the node number you are after, and hey presto, it 'should' be possible to talk to people in range of the node you've connected to, wherever that may be in the world. Anyway - the ability to do that had intrigued me, and I wanted to experiment to see how it worked. (someone fairly local has a regular 'sched' on a Saturday morning with someone in Australia by doing that I think). I'd downloaded a free DTMF tone generator from the net the other day, and already confirmed that it WAS possible to just play the tones out of the PC speakers into the microphone to do stuff - albeit a bit of a fiddly hassle to do it like that..laboriously checked the local repeater was free, so as not to monopolise it and irritate people wanting to use it (it's usually dead silent and unused from really quite early in the evening down here!), and then had a go at my experiments - all the while trying to give a running commentary, just so anyone listening locally (or otherwise!!) would know what was going on and that I wasn't doing anything malicious or stupid. Suffice it to say, I DID indeed successfully connect the local repeater (node) to others here and there around the world, as proven by the automated connect messages being echod back to me. Pretty much chose a handful at random and called CQ, but sadly consistantly failed to get anyone to come back to me. It IS of course possible there was simply no-one monitoring those nodes at that time, or if they were, they simply didn't want to get bogged down in an international chat. Bit disappointing. Until I actually get to talk to someone like that, I won't really know I got it working right. Although a bit disappointing, the whole process of experimenting like that WAS quite fun - especially hearing the customised automated connect messages coming back at me from those foreign nodes. Plenty of different accents and even sounds of the bush and a digeree-doo from one Autralian one! Had me laughing out loud. lololol I'll have to experiment some more in the future with all that (when there's no one around/awake). . . ended up chatting to a local across town for quite a while until deep into early. . ate a banana . . had one more go at IRLPing (same results - successfully linked to a node but got no calls back) before finally to bed somewhere after 3am.
13 - Up around 8:30am feeling real blah and headachey through lack of sleep. Annadin tablet for breakfast . . walked. Back via the store in a hint of drizzle. . another annadin tablet! :o( . . PCd/radiod until afternoon. Feel woozy. I need more sleep. Today's a wash! . .ate a tin of sausages in beans, grated cheese and four pieces of bread and butter followed by a couple of chocolate biscuits . . napped until the alarm at 6pm . .rain. Delayed walking and checked the rain radar website on the PC, and then hung around for a bit hoping to miss the worst of it. Used the time to charge up the nimh scanner batteries in my battery charger while reading through the UBC3500XLT scanner manual. I'm not yet finished with trying to get to the bottom of the 'fault'. On page 40 (of 95) in the manual was the bit I was interested in. "Initializing the Scanner's Memory. 1. Turn off the scanner. 2. Press 2, 9, and Hold while turning on the scanner. All Memory Clear Please Wait appears." In essence - that would appear to be a full 're-boot' as it were, clearing out ALL previously entered data and kinda 're-formatting' the memory and returning it to a 'blank slate' (although strangely doesn't alter the chosen 'Band Plan' setting?). I should have tried this long ago. Fiddly pressing so many buttons all at once, but eventually managed it and then, with the scanner completely cleared of all data, re-loaded all my frequencies using bcTool as normal. Fitted the batteries and standard rubber duck antenna, set it scanning and popped it in my breast pocket as usual, and eventually set off on the evenings walk (in a light rain) around 7:30pm, (wearing my D earpiece) to give it a PROPER test. On BOTH UBC3500XLT scanners, the 'fault' has (I think!) ALWAYS become evident under such circumstances WITHIN an hour. . . Oh MYYYY god! Can it be true? It's hard to be certain at the moment, because of the intermittent nature of the 'fault' behavior (and its occasional 'similarity' to simply recieving poor/intermittent signals breaking through the squelch ), but I AM daring to start believing that having done that 'reset' HAS had a beneficial effect!!!!!!! I'm kicking myself I didn't try it earlier! The jury's still out - but oh my god, I do SO hope so. Let me put it round this way - as I PC this (around 10pm) with the scanner still running 'on test' in my shirt pocket, I have NOT yet DEFINITELY experienced the fault! I think that's a first!! Suffice it to say, over the next day or so, this scanner is gonna be used pretty intensively with both portable antennas etc, in an attempt to simply be sure. IF - IF the 'reset' IS the answer - it's sure gonna make me look more than a bit stupid ain't it (what with the Youtube video and having returned one!!)! It would however leave the question as to why it would be required/make a difference - PARTICULARLY with regard to the brand-new-out-of-the-box scanner I recently returned as faulty! Is it possible the memory on both could have become somehow corrupt in transit, in the post??? Logically, I can't think of ANY other possible cause for what I've experienced, and yet how come no-one else has experienced it?!!???). Anyway - fingers VERY VERY crossed - wishing away some days! :o/ . . . according to the local paper website, the police helicopter which woke me the other day, was hovering over a local tw*t who was up on a roof throwing tiles down at police and parked cars and the like! After causing loads of damage and aggravation to everyone in the locality, he eventually climbed down to be arrested. Tw*t! . .TVd/guitarred with the scanner still scanning. . ate corned beef sandwiches, banana, cake and chocolate in the early hours . .briefly PCd/listened to radios before bed around 2:30am. aaa
12 - Up around 8:30am . .walked late . . sat in the conservatory with my post walk coffee, monitoring the VX-2, an amateur ( /G8AUU? ) came on the local echolink node from Tripoli in Libya!!!! He was chatting to someone else but made reference to the local Torbay node and wondered if he was getting out on it - so I just couldn't resist very briefly sitting on a seat at the top of the garden and going back to him to confirm he was. Heaven only knows who he was and what the hell he was doing in Tripoli, but once again as it always is for ME, it was a bizarre experience. To be just sat in my garden in the sun, under the cherry blossom in full bloom - talking to someone in Tripoli of all places under the current circumstances, on my little one and a half watt, 3"x2"x1" 'handie' VX-2! Bizarre. I think I've been won over by this 'echolink' thing. I'm in danger of becoming a fan! It IS a nice little interesting addition to the range of what you can do with amateur radio ESPECIALLY when you walk about with a handie/portable. It's where 'I' am when doing it which always gives me a bit of a 'thrill'. . . PCd this while monitoring lots. Around 11:48am (on the USC230-E just monitoring the marine band) the Teignmouth coastguard was called out to Dawlish Warren - a 12/13 year old girl was stuck in the mud apparantly. At the same time an aircraft (Navy?) was about somewhere doing some sort of series of antenna/transmission checks, talking back to someone unheard on one of the marine band channels(this time). There's been LOTS of chatter from all the bay ferries and other boats in the bay of late, what with the good weather and start of the visitor season.One even appears to be using CBs for some of their comms! Other bits and pieces of military airband traffic also popped up from time to time (on the UBC3500XLT simultaneously monitoring VHF/UHF amateur, PMR ('Shopwatch', etc) and military air frequencies - with the 767 on ALSO monitoring the local Echolink node - ready to talk if I so chose.). I have 'lots of ears' - and HAVE become rather quickly addicted to just listening to it all, and keeping abreast of what's going on out there all over the place. It's real easy to have the hours just drift by and get absolutely NOTHING done - AGAIN!!. . . drank a glass of wine and ate four sausages, two eggs and chips followed by just a little chocolate.(Actually heard a 'mayday' on channel 16 whilst peeling my potatoes. Engine failure on something. Towed into Dartmouth by the Dart ILB eventually I think.) . . . . napped until the alarm at 6pm. . walked. Ended up sat on my usual seat for AGES listening to mainly the coastguard on the radios again. A woman was apparantly threatening suicide over by Exmouth somewhere, and all their local 'troops' and ILB had been mobilised. Sadly, direct reception was only just partially within my recieve range. I always get kinda 'emotionally involved' when hearing such stuff (because I've been on occasions, pretty 'near the edge' myself so to speak) and I always find it hard to just head home before hearing they've been safely talked down. I guess I sat there listening for around an hour, somewhere around 8pm, as daylight faded to darkness. Got pretty damned cold and eventually just HAD to give up and head home without knowing the outcome. The outdoor thermometer at home suggested it was only around 6 degrees celcius . . TVd for an hour or so . . PCd monitoring the scanner as ever. Oh my god! Around 11pm I overheard little snippets from the coastguard suggesting the poor suicidal woman (and of course all the police and coastguard troops) was STILL on her perch! They were tasking an ambulance to attend because she was so cold. Bloody hell - I bet!! Hypothermia after all that time!!!! :o( I wonder - the 'negotiator', the person trying to talk her down - I wonder what THEIR life is like? (I overheard the coastguard teams sending up the masses of appropriate equipment to make sure they were securely 'tied on'.) Hard to imagine - SO many hours! Only two possible outcomes. Whichever - how on earth would they 'come down' afterwards and where on earth in their heads would they put it all?! . . sadly because it was all happening out of range of home, I'm not sure what actually happened - but since the ambulance was tasked to attend, and because I heard the coastguard thanking someone as they returned to base around 11:40pm, I shall presume she WAS talked down and taken away to be warmed up. :o/. . PCd/monitored stuff until early. . ate pate sandwiches, crisps, banana and biscuits immediately before to bed at 3am.d
11 - Up around 8am . . PCd a bit of this . . walked under cloud with occasional sunny spells. . PCd this at length while monitoring radios, instead of doing all I need to be doing!!. . .ate ham sandwiches with mushroom soup followed by chocolate . . napped until around 5:45pm when woken by the police helicopter hovering across town for ages.. .walked. A group of rowdy drinking youths beneath the roof spoiled my evening sit. . . guitarred/TVd/PCd . . BB called briefly . .PCd/radiod until deep into early. . ate a banana, half a golden syrup cake and biscuits before eventually to bed after 4am! s
10 - Up around 8:30am walked. Sat around in the sun for ages. Dunno what was up with Bella. She got all cute and cuddly and ended up climbing up on the seat next to me and just sitting there for ages, effectively cuddling into me whilst looking around!! Yeah - like butter wouldn't melt in her mouth! lolol . . . spent the majority of the day finally messing around with the Yaesu VX-2 and the new USB programming lead I got from that Hong Kong supplier - whilst monitoring two scanners and the 767 on various frequencies all at the same time!! lol . Turns out that cable came with a mini CD containing not only all the drivers needed for the VX and various other radios, but ALSO a copy of the VX-2 Commander Software (which I'd already downloaded off the net) - AND a free two colour biro!!!? £8 including postage for all that seems amazing! . .eventually at length I had the software installed and the cable communicating with the radio, and after eventually making sense of everything-ish, finally did a test write to the radio of a few memory alterations. It worked fine. That means I'm now able to put in some time getting serious with setting up frequencies in memories and different memory banks etc. I reckon if I'm careful, and just plumb in a 'short set' of the most commonly used frequencies I listen to, despite it's 'relatively' slow scan rate, it really could, just maybe, be all I'd want to pop in a pocket and carry with me at times (although it can't really compete with a fast scanner for what I do).. The more I mess around with that TINY little radio, the more respect I have for it - despite its drawbacks and faults - and can fully understand why they were/are so popular and why the modern (even better?) replacements can command such a high price tag. . . ate a trio of ham and mayo rolls, crisps, banana and a little chocolate . . napped until almost 7pm . . walked late. Sat around listening to the scanner and playing with the VX-2 after ball play for ages. Things were SO quiet on the bands (as usual on 2m!), I actually ended up listening to a bit of BBC Radio 3 (!!! Actually - given the view out across the bay at night, a bit of appropriate classical music is quite fitting.) and then BBC radio 4 on the VX-2 for a while. lol . It was a 'money matters' type program and they were discussing perscription charges. A news article of late suggested that the number of people on anti depressants had doubled in recent times! You know - that really doesn't suprise me. The draconian cuts which are being made to everything - the apparantly gleeful whittling away of everything which marks us out as a 'civilised' society (public toilets, libraries, disabled/elderly care, the police (of ALL things!!), etc, etc - ad infinitem) - speaking for myself, it all seems to have increased the stress and worry I feel about everything - but of course mostly because of my financial situation! And yes - 'I' AM lucky. Others must be in far worse shape and feeling that same stress FAR worse. And yet - all I have to do is walk down town and glance at the marina and some of the car parks and restraunts to see how SO many people are SO wealthy, they are in real terms, completely untouched by it all and couldn't care less. Ruthless greed feeding off the weak? Hard physical labour commands the lowest wage!? There surely IS something awfully wrong with capitalism isn't there? I mean - there IS isn't there? Can't help admiring the Icelandic people, who in their latest referendum on austerity measures aimed at repaying the £billions lost by the UK when the icelandic bank went bust, have effectively just given 'us' the finger - again! Don't blaim them. Just imagine how much of 'a finger' WE would have shown THEM if the situation was reversed. Hang on though - we NEVER have 'referendums' on anything as important as that do we! Rant rant rant! Anyway - back to pescription charges. Members of the government INSIST on repeating their favourite statistic during debates on such matters, that allegedly only one in ten ACTUALLY have to pay for their perscriptions! How on earth can that possibly be true? And yes - 'I' am one of those 'ones'! But that isn't the whole story. Not only has the government just increased the charges yet again by 20p or so, they have simultaneously issued a directive to health authorities, reducing the amounts of medication etc, which can be issued in any one perscription. In effect - at a stroke that has for many people DOUBLED the charges they pay! Just like that! OVER 100% increase in costs, aimed directly at people who are ill and have no choice! These are NOT the actions of a 'civilised' society! I'm really horrified at what's going on. Horrified and increasingly angry. Yes - I think all this has much to do with the strange 'angryness' I've been experiencing in recent times. :o( . Actually - on the subject of income and austerity - I've just recieved notification that THIS year (after it having been frozen for a couple!), my 'pension' IS increasing (by £14.49 a month) to £481.97. Of course I mustn't complain, I AM VERY lucky to have it, BUT - given how much all my bills have gone up, in real terms I'm still very much worse off than a couple of years ago. The bill that irritates and outtrages me the most (aside from the council tax of course - which actually HAS been frozen this year at around £89 per month after the single occupier discount) is my water bill. It's the highest in the country still apparantly. Some recent nonsense in the news has suggested the government is stepping in to reduce it - but even AFTER that, it will REMAIN the highest in the country! WHY is such 'unfairness' tolerated by society? I'm on a meter. I scrimp and save on it - have adjusted the float in the toilet cistern to minimise the flush - hardly ever shower - do massive single loads of laundry and dishes - never wash the car - use a rain butt on bits of the garden, etc, etc and yet I'm paying in excess of £17.50 per month! (It actually needs to go up - because I'm noticably using more, now I have Bella drinking a bowlful per day.) For WATER!!!!! We hear all this nonsense about 'human rights' on the news, where mass murders must be kept in the lap of luxury in prison and have the right to a TV and a vote and date for early release and all that sort of obscenity - and yet we don't even have a society in which we have the right to water! We can only have water if we can 'afford' it!!!??? I just don't get what's going on. I just don't understand this way of life. Never will.. TVd/guitarred/PCd/radiod the evening away until gone 2am!!! ate four pieces of toast with pate, a banana, and a square or two of chocolate before to bed around 3:30am.
9 - Up at 7am again. Seems to have become around about my 'usual time' for some reason. .Ended up having a quick QSO on TR with a trio of Bristolians hooked into the local repeater using 'IRLP' (whatever that is!! lol) Yet more reading up to do to learn whow THAT's done! Funny thing was - one of them used to live VERY near me in Bristol! Eeek! walked in the hazy sun . . mowed the lawns. .the neighbour 'downstream' had a blockage to the drains and had called the water board to come rod that bit!! Lifted my manhole again but all 'apperaed' ok my end. I really live in fear of those drains now! There really is a terrible problem with them and it can only be a matter of time before something goes horribly wrong and everything has to be dug up! ££££!!!!! . .did laundry . . The whole garden is still full of the previous owners pots, of now largely dead whatever was in them. Slowly very slowly I intend to get rid of them all. Pottered for just a while in the back garden emptying out pots, mostly into the compost bin, and stacking up the resultant empties in my dumping ground by the garage. . Mum and Sis2 called in with food donations for lengthy chats in the garden etc. As they were leaving, Bella apparantly decided to nip Sis2s knee!?? I wasn't aware until too late after the event to scold her appropriately. It wasn't an agressive nip - more I think just a bit of excitement/nervousness and a result of where everyone ended up standing in relation to her. It didn't actually hurt Sis2 - but she wasn't happy, and it hasn't helped her understandable nervousness around Bella!! That behaviour is gonna be a hard one to combat, given I never have visitors.. One of the empty birds nests (much of it being neatly woven dog hair) from the trees I recently cut down, I left in my ashtray on the garden table. It's pretty much all gone! Been torn apart, carried away and 're-cycled' by other nesting birds. A pair of sparrows are nesting inside the soffit of next door's extension, just above my conservatory. :o) Best NOT to mention it I think. Hope they make it. .. the waterboard guys somehow cleared next doors blockage in no time by rodding down a manhole in their front garden. How come they don't have to pay for that I wonder?. . ate mini pork pies, crisps, banana and multiple biscuits. . napped for just over an hour. . walked with Mum and Sis2. Despite the good weather, it felt colder this evening sitting around there.. I mentioned to Mum and Sis2 how the evening before, I'd actually had a bit of a go at 'counting seagulls'. Just as the sun goes down, there is a mass exodus of seagulls out of Brixham. They all take to the skies with much hollaring, and head off along the coast and across the bay in the direction of Paignton/Torquay. There appear to be some cliffs over there (the 'dark' bit of coastline between the lights of Paignton and Torquay) which seem to have become their main nightime roost. Later when it is fully dark, the noise of them calling is HIGHLY audible, even at four+ miles distance! (Wouldn't want to live near that lot!!) The exodus from Brixham has become something of a specatacle - particularly on a clear warm evening with a ruddy sunset. Last night, I dabbled just for interest with attempting to estimate how many there were. I only bothered for a minute or so, but had easily reached over 100 in that time!! Turned out that this evening whilst Mum and I chatted, Sis2 was also having a bit of a go at counting. She gave up after having counted 500! They are big noisy birds. It IS quite an impressive spectacle. . . TVd/guitarred/PCd/listened-to-radios . . ate a pastry slice, crisps, banana and cake slice. . to bed, asleep on my feet after 1:30am.

8 - Up at 7am again. Bella stayed on her sofa overnight and didn't join me in the bedroom. Another 'summers day' by the look of it. PCd a bit of this. .walked in the sun. Played ball despite the danger to aggravating Bella's paw wound still further - although she'd have it no other way! . Apparantly some guy had been camping in a tent somewhere off the path above. By the time I walked past, he'd just gone - leaving a duvet and all manner of other debris laying around all over the place in the bushes. Looks like 'the season' has started then! :o( . . .eventually carried on down town and checked out just a couple of charity shops before going to the post office and picking up my package. The 70cms antenna. . PCd and did a couple of e-mail replies, including one to the scanner vendor letting him know it's in the post, etc - tidying up a few loose ends from the last couple of days. . .cooked and ate four burgers in buttered bread rolls while watching the TV news. Breaking news was someone had gone nuts on board a nuclear submarine in Portsmouth and had killed and wounded a couple of his shipmates!! Good grief. :o( . napped until woken by Sis2 calling on the mobile from BGdns. Told her to carry on, 'cause it would take too long for me to come-to, to get down there to join them right away. . . . . PCd this. . walked and sat around for ages until after dark listening to a search by coastguards and rescue helicopter for 'an object' over by Beer. . TVd . .ate bowls of co-co pops . . PCd and listened to radios. The local Torbay echolink node is apparantly turned off at some point overnight preventing me from doing anything with echolink in the early hours. I can however also pick up the Exmouth node which is 24hrs, so although it's a bit 'scratchy' and a low signal, I finally got round to testing to see if I could access that one too. I was suprised to find I could (using my homemade slimjim antenna in the attic). Even given a good audio report from a guy - in New York. I'm definitely forming the impression, I 'get out' on average, better than I can recieve stuff from here, no matter what band I use. . joined the bcTool yahoo group and immediately posted to the list about faulty scanners etc. . to bed around 2am.
7 - Up at 7am . . walked. Beautiful summery morning. First time I've been out without my hooded fleece on for months! Despite Bella's cut paw, I couldn't stop her racing around like normal, and even couldn't resist her demands for me to throw her ball for a bit. Before ball play I DID encourage her to at least dip her feet in the sea briefly, in the hope the salt water may clean the wound and encourage healing a bit. Any good that may have done was immediately undone by the muddy ball play, which once again saw the wound 'weeping'. . PCd a bit of this while charging the scanner batteries and starting to package it up ready for return. I've had no reply from the seller about whether or not I should reset it, so I think I'm gonna send it back loaded up with my system and groups of frequencies - so someone COULD test it EXACTLY as I've used it if they so desired. Apart from that give-away (and if you look closely at one of the plastic bags, which has a bit of cellotape over a cut I made to extract the BNC antenna adapter), it really could potentially be immediately sold 'as brand new' to some poor unsuspecting soul!! I trust that WON'T happen - but in todays cut throat world, it really wouldn't suprise me if it did, somehow, somewhere along the line! :o( eventually had it all packaged back up like new, and even managed to print out a return letter and an address to stick on it. . surfed and eventually put out a couple of messages to people trying to get to the bottom of the faulty scanner thing.

Early afternoon I finally got a reply from the seller, thankfully suggesting I leave my groups etc on it - so I didn't have to undo it all to reset it. . SH e-mailed and we VERY briefly had a short QSO via echolink before suddenly getting 'stamped all over' by a couple of other stations in the middle of our conversation!? I assume there was something weird going on with the nodes and perhaps the connection to 'the Ireland conference' had dropped out somewhere along the line, before suddenly coming back on? SH ended up phoning me and we continued the conversation on the phone! lolol . . . walked with Bella up Mums. Left Bella with Mum and Sis2 in their garden and popped up to post the radio back. Just under £10 to return (with sign-for and appropriate insurance cover etc)! Ouch! :o( . . sat around in the sun in Mums garden for ages and played ball with Bella lots, despite her bad paw - which HAS made her occcasionaly limpy!! . . ate Mum-made cheese and onion sandwiches with crisps while chatting etc. . briefly dabbled with just a little clearing and cutting of stuff in her garden with Sis2 . . briefly returned home (Would you believe it. I'd missed a delivery. Back down the post office tomorrow again then!) and then walked (with coffee). Beautiful evening. All in all, it felt like the first day of summer. People were water skiing and sail boats were 'racing' etc. Dared to let Bella play ball as usual before eventually both ending up sat atop my favourite gun emplacement for ages. Bella was VERY well behaved and just lay there next to me for a long time without complaint, as though she too was enjoying the view below us. Unheard of for her to sit still for so long without complaining and starting to leap about and want to get going. Pretty much had time for a couple of cigarettes AND my coffee before she showed signs of restlessness and wanting to go. Very pleasant end to not a bad day. . TVd/guitared the evening away. Bella seemed utterly exhausted by not having slept as much as usual during the day. . ate a mum donated pasty , cake and chocolate. . to bed around midnight.
6 - Up around 6:30am . . PCd a bit of this- for hours! . . . walked. Uhoh! Bella cut a chunk out of the front of one of the pads on her right front paw during her frantic ball chasing! MUST have been on a piece of broken glass, as smashed by some idiot yob. The whole place is just covered in little pieces of the stuff everywhere you look closely. Although not on the underside on which she directly walks, it's a nasty little cut which has effectively sliced away the whole rounded tip of one of her pads!! Kinda like when I sliced the top of my finger off with the electric plane once. Full of frantic energy, she didn't appear to even notice she'd done it!. . had a closer look at Bellas paw when we returned, and temporarily cleaned it up with just a little water to see things better. It's nasty, but I don't think warrants any emergency vet visit. I'll just keep an eye on it for a few days - and maybe try to get her to take it easy and not be SO frantic about chasing her ball etc.. . . PCd and after a lot of due consideration and indecision, eventually did a mail to the scanner seller ."If acceptable, I will get the scanner back to you in the post tomorrow. Under the circumstances, regrettably, I would prefer a refund. I don't know if you just sell them or if someone your end actually uses them? Should I 'reset it' or shall I leave it loaded with MY system and groups so that someone your end can take a look to see if I've done something 'unusual' and it is 'I' who am somehow (!??) at fault?
Remember - I already have one with the same fault! I'd be utterly delighted to be shown that it is 'I' who have done something inappropriate, and that a simple change in configuration would resolve it! IF that could be proven to my satisfaction (by duplicating the remedy on the one I already have) - I'd feel honour bound and be more than willing, to keep them both and pay you return postage costs and even perhaps a nominal sum for your inconvenience - and my embarrassment! Please let me know re the 'reset' asap."
I think I'm being more than reasonable - although that IS liable to cloud the issue with regard to me getting my money back!!!. . . .Sis2s camera battery charger arrived in the post . . Sis2 called and then popped down to use the PC and open her charger package, familiarise herself with it and do a first charge of her camera battery etc. . Pottered on the PC with Sis2 for ages before all sitting in the garden for a bit . horrendous headache ALL day yet again - despite a diet of annadin tablets!! Seem to have had this same headache for several days now!. . .. PCd briefly attempting to do an overdue e-mail reply, but soon aborted yet again when interrupted by BB calling to touch base . . walked with Sis2. As we approached to pass the small front, open-plan type garden of a house, a bit of a commotion on the floor caught our attention. Glancing over, all I saw at first was a big ball of fluttering feathers on the floor. But then I realised it was in fact a pigeon, struggling to escape from a brown plumaged hawk which was sat right on top of it (presumably in the process of de-feathering it, given the downy feathers blowing all around)!!! Amazing sight. Our approach somehow changed the dynamic of what was occurring, and somehow the pigeon suddenly managed to free itself and took to flight past us. The hawk took off in hot pursuit! As we stood rooted to the spot watching, the chase did a big arc in the sky above with the hawk gradually gaining - until a bunch of seagulls intervened and started having a go at the hawk as they always do. It all happened in an instant. Remarkable - particularly there, in someones garden next to the road like that. It was of course upsetting to see a pigeon in such a suffering state (I'm sure it must have died from its injuries later, despite having escaped), but I also ended up feeling all sorry for the poor hawk. Who knows - it could be starving to death now! Nature really IS utterly brutal!! . . . As we sat playing ball, a couple of 'young men' were stood atop the lower gun emplacement drinking beer from glass bottles (and of course using inside the gun emplacement as a toilet!). Probably only because of the number of people sat around nearby, when they did eventually leave, they took all their bottles in a carrier bag with them. Bloody good job. Given Bella's sliced up paw on broken glass, I was in a dangerous mood and WELL up for having a bloody good shout at them if they hadn't cleared up! . . . . drank a glass of wine and ate a pizza .. to bed around 10:50pm! aaa
5 - Up around 7:20am apparantly still in my latest 'down mood episode' together with the more recent 'anger' side as a feature!. . . PCd a bit of this just waiting for the worst of the rain to clear - before this mornings inevitable miserable muddy walk from hell with the hyperactive/ADHD devil dog.I just don't want to bother. I just want to go back to sleep (Why? Just exactly why on earth do I still bother to do this? I really don't know any more - other than I've simply done it for SO long now, it almost 'seems a shame' to just stop. I guess I also see it as the very last bit of my life which in any way attempts to passively be a part of the outside world kinda. Having said that - I'm probably a decade past doing it with a view to perhaps wanting to invoke a response to any of it from anyone. Although it may appear otherwise, that is absolutely NOT what it's about at all. On those occasions when I make the mistake of uploading it in the middle of 'an episode'- when it is all full of nauseating 'poor me', self indulgent whining about my lot, and references to 's ideation' etc - I'm NOT seeking 'pity' or expecting understanding or making a pathetic 'cry for help' and hoping someone can rush in and save me from myself or some such. I'm not that. It's simply an account of what's going on with me at any moment in time. Just a pebble picked up from the beach and thrown into the sea. Given my overall circumstances (which I CAN acknowledge aren't half bad - and many would envy), when I DO leave this sort of stuff on my journal, surely it just goes to give an indication of how something within-me just doesn't make sense and IS horribly faulty? I SHOULD be able to thank my lucky stars things have worked out as they are, and find happiness and enjoyment in a simple existance. Jeeze - I KNOW that! But the trouble is - I can't can I!!!??? THERE'S the thing! Blah blah blah - anyway - this is all a part of the 'tidy up' of my journal entry - the day after the worst of the episode has passed!) . . .walked in the strong gusts of cold wind and drizzle, and played ball in the mud as usual. . . .somehow mustered what it took (a lot - for me!) and messaged the scanner seller via e-bay "I am VERY sorry to have to report that there is a fault with the new UBC 3500 XLT scanner (s/N 08000498 - Vietnam) you recently supplied! (It was delivered on 2nd April 2011) The fault renders the scanner unusable for its intended purpose when carried portable! Sadly as a result, I reluctantly wish to return it for a full refund. Please let me know if this is acceptable and if you have any specific requirements in connection with the return. You may be interested to know that this scanner was bought in desperation as a replacement for a faulty one I already own (s/N 04000237 - P.R.C.). The fault is IDENTICAL - which raises the possibility of a there being a so far unreported design/manufacturing fault in these units!!! I am more than happy to give further details about the nature of the fault if you require. Telephone Terry on 01803 ****** I HAVE even managed to capture a brief snippet of it occurring, on video! I await your response. Yours sincerely" . . . . the VX-2 programming cable arrived in the mail (from Hong Kong). It actually had proper Hong Kong pictorial stamps on the little padded envelope. :o). .flushed away the WHOLE day knocking up a video about the scanner(s) for upload to youtube!!! Done and dusted by around 6pm. So THERE! Oh boy - do I have mother of a headache!! :o( . .Ok - yes, yes, yes - I need to go back over my journal and tidy up/rewrite the nauseatingly self-indulgent depressive mess I uploaded it in earlier. I DO apologise for that. For what it's worth - I AM ALWAYS painfully aware there are plenty FAR worse off than I. Unfortunately, that knowledge never seems to be able to help me combat the 'darkness' when it descends upon me. Indeed - that very knowledge and inability to change how I feel based on it, always makes me feel even worse about myself!! Its a loop ain't it. :o( . . walked late. Should have eaten something earlier - felt all wobbly/woozy and headachey and had trouble walking in a straight line. Cold strong gusts of wind blowing. Bella was well behaved. Sat in BGdns for ages, thinking about an e-mail someone had sent me as a result of my self indulgent 'poor me' journal entries of earlier, detailing something of their current difficulties. It DID feel a bit like getting slapped across the face with a wet fish. I felt deeply sorry for their predicament. Sat there thinking about it all 'trying to get a grip' on myself for ages, as the bats flew close about. .I ALSO recieved an e-mail from someone commenting on the Bella thing, suggesting I gave it my best shot - I could send her back. No, no. That'll never happen. 'A dog's for life, not just for Christmas' and all that? I could never just 'throw her away' because I'm having a tough time. People I pass in the street say how she's come on well. I can't easily see that - but then I just remember all the bad stuff about everything don't I. And certainly - my judgement on EVERYTHING is totally unreliable when I'm 'fighting with my inner demons' like now. The only thing wrong with Bella and her 'inappropriate behaviours' is her owner! I just need to sort ME out and do what's required to make it work for us both! I so, SO hate using the halti on her - hence having stopped perhaps too early - but it DOES completely transform the 'walking to heal' battles I've been having of late. With the halti on - theer isn't much of a problem at all. With regard to her having a go at other dogs (which HAS 'reduced') - I just need to be MORE careful - and keep her on a lead a bit more than I desire. I just want her to be as 'free' as possible - but sadly she simply isn't ready for that. I HAVE even had occassions to wonder from her bahiour, if she isn't actually happier when she has LESS freedom - because she doesn't have to try to work stuff out for herself, which she is ill equipped to do. Mum and Sis2 have both remarked how Bella and I ARE so alike and well suited. Skinny, all in black - and damaged goods! :o/ back after 9pm . .TVd . . ate a trio of salami and mayo bread rolls with a tin of oxtail soup . . to bed around 11pm. aaa

4 - Up around 6:50am . after yesterdays nightmarish day-long battle with Bella - I walked today with her normal lead AND the halti back on, both tied short to my belt. She WAS actually not too bad this morning. TOTALLY different to how she'd been all of yesterday! It seemed like just the presence of the halti over her nose made an immediate difference, or perhaps she was picking up on my 'I'll take absolutely NO messing from you today' stern, largely unspeaking, dangerous, miserable mood! :o( . Cleared up two carrier bags of litter and a crabbing bucket and kit from the rocks. Left the bucket on top of the bin . .Carried on down town for burgers and a bone. Gave 'undeserving' Bella the bone out in the garden as part of her breakfast.Feel VERY down - could easily have returned to bed! . . PCd . . spent a long time clearing old video files off the camcorder before ending up messing with the new scanner again, desperately trying to capture the fault on video. Because of the intermittant nature of the fault (and the fact that the camcorder actually produces its own RF when operating, which of course gets picked up by the scanner at close range), that wasn't easy or very succcessful. Spent hours running BOTH scanners side by side, set up identically in terms of attenuator/squelch, etc etc etc. Each exibited the 'fault' behaviour at different times - entirely independantly. Sadly I failed to get it to exhibit the fault when connected to a dummy load. The batteries ran out whilst absurdly walking around the house carrying the scanner in one pocket and the big bulky dummy load in another!! . the whole lengthy frustrating process just made me feel more and more down. . ate a trio of ham and mayo rolls and chocolate biscuits before retreating from my despair to sleep . . walked, wrestling with uncontrolable dark thoughts of personal failure and despair. I've acheived absolutely nothing with my life. Every single thing I've done or tried to do has turned sour and been for nothing. Every single step of the way has been a painful struggle. Every hope and dream I've ever had has just turned to dust. Hell - I can't even buy something without it all turning to shit! . . With me distracted talking to another dog walker (and not wanting to!), Bella ran over and had a go at a passing small dog. :o( The owner was understandably clearly not happy and 'made a show' of checking his dog was alright. Felt pretty tearful by the time I got home! I wish I'd never got her. If I'd known it'd be like this I absolutely wouldn't have. This is just ongoing hell EVERY-SINGLE-TIME we leave the house!. . just sat in front the TV all evening watching nothing. Wrestling with a full-on down mood, complete with S ideation!! With Sally, when I got in such moods, I would always have to wrestle with how I could ensure she'd be ok and find a new home if 'I went', because it absolutely wouldn't have been fair to 'take the poor innocent with me'. The whole concept of her potential distress and confusion at having to start life with a new owner etc, was always a 'hinderence' to the S ideation fantasies. Not so with Bella. She is SUCH a nightmare - she'd absolutely have to go with me!! Another good reason not to actually sell the car, and to make sure it keeps running even if it doesn't move. :o( . . cooked and ate a six pack of Mum donated sausages with four pieces of bread and butter . . to bed around 1am.
3 - Woke earlier, snoozed on then up late around 8:40am! . walked. . sat around for ages. Singing man joined me and I ended up having to walk back with him! . . guitarred. . Mum called to say Sis1/K/I had arrived. . popped up with Bella to say hello. Sat out in Mums garden for a bit . . returned home to sit around with Sis2 for a bit before eventually heading down town to meet up with Mum etc. . . sat on Breakwater beach. and perhaps unwisely threw it out into the water for her to swim for lots. When I finbally called it quits and leashe dher back up, she was almost completely uncontrollable and shaking and quivering! Not with the cold - more with the huge amounts of adrenalin that were pumping through her! For the entire rest of the day (as if the walk down there hadn't been hard enough) she was all over the place on her lead having to be CONSTANTLY checked and brought back to heel. The awful trapped-nerve, permanent stabbing pain in my back was much aggravated. I ended up in an awful FOUL mood - not helped by the intermittent and yet almost constant scratchy interference noise which kept eminating from the faulty new scanner. Useless piece of absolute junk I've ended up with again. Came VERY close to just throwing in the harbour! Frequently had to just turn it off to escape the noise. . . brief snippet on the scanner about a rocket booster pod before intereference/fault had me just turn the fucking thing back off. . . back to the harbour with Sis2 for fish and chips and sausage for Bella . . BGdns for ball play . . home in a foul, down mood. . TVd the night away . ate cake . to bed around 11:30pm.
2 - Up around 7:30am . . surfed e-bay etc over coffee and cigs. Slow getting going. STILL all aching - my back mostly, although some of that could well be trapped nerves from where I'm constantly having to pull Bella back on her lead (STILL!)! . . walked. A couple of kids were playing around and throwing a tennis ball for someones elses dog, and briefly Bella. Apparantly they'd found the ball. They eventually walked off leaving it behind - so I had it. It's the same make, so I reckon that was the one we lost there the other day. lol :o) . . the neighbour spotted me sat in the conservatory for my post walk coffee and announced they'd recieved a parcel for me while I was out. Yayyyyyyyyyyy. The scanner!! . . PCd just a bit wrestling with the printer YET again, but absolutely nothing I can do will get the damn thing to print a decent picture of anything. It's a dead loss. I've gotten through a whole wadd of paper and several brand new ink cartridges just trying and consistently failing!! ££!!!! :o( . . briefly did a buy-it-now on an e-bay listing for a small, couple of feet long, homebase colinear antenna for the 70cm band. I've no doubt it won't perform very well, but for a mere £13.50 including postage, I couldn't resist. Seemed like a cheap easy way to quickly have a dedicated antenna to attach the 70cms module in the 767 to, without having to get all bogged down in trying to make one right away. (Having said all that, even with a bunch of frequencies long ago plumbed into the scanner, I've yet to hear a single peep from anything/anyone on that band!??). . . hooked up the new scanner to my existing power supply/PC cable etc and started the initial charge of the batteries, and also quickly loaded it up with all my frequencies using the 'bcTool+' software. Boy, that software makes doing that a breeze - especially since I'm now using two scanners the same and can upload exactly the same frequencies database into them both. . .Mum and Sis2 called in with the paper and food donations for chats and a bit of sitting in the garden during some sunny spells. . Sis2 produced her camera for me to have a look at (a Kodak Easyshare v1003). She's never used it but HAD at least brought it with her this time (LESS the instructions/battery charger/PC lead etc!!!!). fitted the memory card and battery and found there was 'just' enough charge in the battery to run it for long enough to prove it was all working and capable of taking photos. Agreed to have a look on-line to see how much the battery chargers are. If they are cheap enough (which I'm sure they are) it'll be worth her buying one whilst she's here, to enable her to take some snaps to return home with (or even e-mail via MY PC maybe using one of my memory card readers?) . . ate Mum donated pork pies, crisps and chocolate biscuits after they'd gone. . PCd and ended up ordering a cheap £7.97 inc postage, charger for Sis2s camera battery from e-bay. I went for the one I finally ordered because it allegedly comes with a range of mains plugs and wide voltage input, so should be fully useable when she returns to the US with it. . as a very temporary measure, I dared to attempt to charge her camera battery by cramming it into the battery charger I bought for my VX-2 radio batteries!! The voltages are the same so I assumed it'd be ok. Even though the batteries are very different in size, there was enough 'slop' in the charger contacts, to make them just make contact with the battery terminals - and all held in place to charge, with a couple of postman discarded rubber bands (I pick them up in the street when I see them), wrapped tightly around it all. Fingers crossed! . . The new scanner works fine on the desk - the real test will be later when it goes walking with me for the first time! lay down snoozing for just an hour. Just coming-to when next door called at the door wanting me to check my drains to see if mine were backed up too!!
walked up Mums to get Sis2 . . The new scanner is doing the same thing!!!!!!I don't FUCKING believe it! How is that possible? Is there a design/manufacturing fault in these things? How come theer is NO mention on the internet anywhere of such a problem? I've just thrown my money away - again. EXACTLY the same intermittent interference type thing - with the fault temporarily silenced by applying finger pressure to the side of the radio in the vicinity of the power/mini usb sockets!!!????? ?. . walked the woods . . sat around. Poor guy shouting for his dog
listened to radios until early. Bloody contest! . . ate a pastry slice, crisps and half a coffee sponge cake . . to bed around 2am.

1 - Up around 7:15am . checked e-bay listings and then PCd a bit of this. .walked. Half way to BGdns there was a big dead ginger cat laying on the pavement on top of a couple of carrier bags! Kept Bella well away from it as we passed, but made the mistake of hesitating and having a good look at it as we did. Eeeeewww!!! Obviously been killed by a heavy impact with a car. In a HELL of a mess - with one eye hanging out all over the place!!! Actually wished I'd not looked! Preyed on my mind a bit that, for quite a while. Schoolkids must have passed that earlier - and god help the owner if they came across it in that state!! :o( Headed home after ball play with left overs for Bella from K. . couldn't help myself as I passed the dead cat on the way home - I called at the door of a nearby house (spoken to the people many times in passing - they seemed 'nice') intending to ask if they knew what was just outside their garden, and if they'd mind calling the council to have them come and remove it. Apparantly they'd already done so. . Feel very sorry for the owner. No knowing who they are to let them know. I guess they'll just end up agonising over their missing pet, and never know what became of it. I couldn't bear that! It'd send me crazy. :o( . . .had another serious bash at getting the printer to print out pictures, but hour after hour it was having none of it, despite throwing away loads of ink and paper doing nozzle-clean and test-print after nozzle-clean and test-print etc!!!! Tearing my hair out! :o( Not wanting to throw away all that ink for nothing, in sheer desperation I eventually decided to at least make use of some of the black I was wasting, and I went ahead and at length, laboriously printed out the FT-767 instruction manual from the downloaded PDF file - one page at a time, back to back double sided, some 36 pages! That took a while!. . . SH called (from Bristol) to touch base in response to various e-mails I've sent him of late, suggesting we should try to hook up on the radios either on HF or perhaps more easily via echolink. Lots of to and froing on the phone and via e-mails throughout much of the day. Eventually both gave each other a shout on 40mtrs but to no avail. Nothing heard. I wasn't suprised. Propogation was pretty bad, and even when it's better, I always seem to pick up people from further away than him - always from further north and 'over his head' kinda. . after much messing around, later in the day we FINALLY managed a short QSO when he succeeded in getting into his local 'Ireland Conference' connected node, on his handie whilst mobile in his car. lolol Ha - I thought it should be do-able, without a PC, simplex like that. :o) . . . mid afternoon the postman delivered a package. I assumed/hoped it was the scanner, but it actually turned out to be the 767 ATU - rattling around poorly packaged in a cardboard box. For something listed as brand new - it bloody didn't look it to me! Various marks and scratches on the metalwork of the unit! Oh well. I'm NOT gonna start kicking up a fuss and send it back and all that. I'm pretty much past caring any more. In fact - just coincedentally perhaps, all of a sudden around that time (perhaps just because of lack of food and tiredness - and frustration with the printer thing) my mood suddenly wobbled downward quite dramatically! :o( . . checked the expected delivery time on the e-bay listing for the new scanner I won, and confirmed it SHOULD have been here by now! Mailed the seller via e-bay "I have yet to receive the scanner or any communication from you regarding it. I await your response." Their reply was "Sorry, we do show a 3-4 day despatch time on these generally, but I can confirm that it has been sent. Please do let me know if I can be of any further assistance. Kind regards". Guess I sit (up) tight for a while longer. :o( . .turned everything off and happily walked away from all things PC/radio for a while. Been stuck in that little room ALL day - and I'm sick of it ALL! . ate corned beef etc sandwiches and biscuits. Struggled to stay awake and may actually have 'slept' sitting on the sofa for a few minutes. . . walked. Sat listening to radios through sundown. Suprisingly chilly! . . TVd/guitarred the evening away. . ate corned beef sandwiches and chocolate . . to bed around 1:30am. s