Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Conclusions of MIssissippi Travel

The adventure to Mississippi that me and the three kids took concluded yesterday with a drive from Monroe County to Memphis in a rented minivan, a short shuttle bus ride to the airport, a four-hour plane ride to LAX, and a long ride home in our own minivan with a diversionary visit to grandparents and Giovanni's pizza in Fullerton.


Here is baby in her carseat on the airplane, about to land back home in San Diego.

The visit to Smithville was quite enjoyable, although the heat made for cabin fever. An editorial in the paper compared the situation, where one cannot go outdoors for more than a few minutes after the sun is up, and the evening cools down only slightly, to being snowed in. The comparison is quite apt. Keeping three small children entertained indoors without their own toys and away from all the Big People Stuff was very tiring. It was like some sort of parental boot camp.

I think I learned multiple new Mommy Skills on this trip, but so far I have not been able to form them from the murk of wrong-time-zone sleepiness. Maybe after a few days back here in the paradigm-schedule-shift of the new school year, the bones of the lessons will be revealed.

With this school year, the two oldest will be going to the same school, which is very nice, while the baby is still here at the house with me. I am very much looking forward to some increase in uninterrupted time. My resolution is to take full advantage of it while continuing to provide as much "homeschool style" interaction as possible with the children.

I'm happy the summer is over, and that feeling somewhat surprises me, since I did enjoy it. Being quite comfortable with ambiguity, I've been giving this sort of dichotomy a somewhat mistrustful look out of the corner of my mental eye.

Sunday, July 22, 2007

Up with the Vertical, Out with the Dancing, Down with the Solar

I have a grid-tie solar system here at Silver Home, and the household had noticed an increase in our very small electrical bills and a decrease of the power being created by the solar panels on one of the two inverters. The inverter was suspected as source of the problem, but with a bit of assistance from someone that works with solar power all the time and a voltmeter, the problem was narrowed down to one of the four strings of daisy-chained solar panels.

There are 40 panels up on the roof. They're divided into 4 strings of 10. The bad string was removed at the inverter, so 30 are now in use. Unfortunately, none of my records easily show which 10 are connected to that particular pair of wires! The only way to find out is to go up on the roof.

Speaking of the roof, a ladder was climbed by a very helpful someone who assisted me in getting the 2m vertical installed on the solar panel side of the house. The antenna is as-yet-to-be tested, however, so I can't declare victory quite yet. In order to test it, I need to connect a radio up to it and give it a spin. That will happen today.

Finally, I went out dancing at Club Montage last night. I'm none the worse for wear, but I did experience an interesting effect which was due either to eating a whole bag of carrots the afternoon prior or my innards getting reverberated with the exact wrong frequency of bass from the speakers-taller-than-I. Regardless of the cause, a fun time was had by the both of us that went out dancing. San Diego Pride is going on this weekend, so the place was festive and gay and the energy quite enjoyable.

A highlight of the evening was an exotic dancer (male) who performed on a pair of long red diaphanous curtains suspended from the ceiling. It was quite acrobatic and dramatic.

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Quote of the Day

"damn, I should have bought that hundredweight of unclaimed canary yellow cardstock."

Thursday, May 03, 2007

Mexican Primrose Watercolor

Getting back into painting. Paul & Paul inspired me. Here is today's study.


Sunday, March 18, 2007

Hale Telescope Art Competition

QSL Card Design Competition

For the Hale Telescope Special Event Station June 2-3, 2007

The Palomar Amateur Radio Club invites you to participate in an Art Competition, organized on behalf of the amateur radio special event station celebrating the 59th anniversary of the dedication of the 200 inch Hale Telescope at Palomar Mountain.

Entries will be judged for their artistic appeal as well as which one is best suited for use as a QSL card.

A QSL card is confirmation of a communication between two amateur radio stations. A QSL card is the same size and made from the same material as a postcard (3.5 x 5.5 inches).

Artists may submit up to 5 works of art in the following mediums: Paintings and drawings (oil, watercolor, acrylic, pencil, charcoal, etc.), fine art prints (lithographs, etching, intaglio, wood cuts, etc.), giclees (Iris prints), photography, graphics, digitally generated art, sculpture, ceramics, glass, mosaics, textiles, crafts, functional art and other mixed media.

Winning three-dimensional entries will be photographed for the QSL card. Winning two-dimensional entries that are not of the correct proportions will be reproduced and then cropped for the QSL card.

The 200-inch (5.1 m) Hale Telescope (f/3.3) was one of the world's largest telescopes for 45 years (1948 - 1993). It is still an important scientific instrument and is used almost every night of the year in a wide variety of astronomical studies.

The entries that best capture the artist's feeling toward, or relationship with, the Hale Telescope, or best portray the history of or an aspect of the history of the Hale Telescope, will be enthusiastically accepted for judging as well as displayed on the weekend of the special event station operation.

Submitted artwork may be featured on the Palomar Amateur Radio Club website and newsletter and exhibited on Palomar Mountain at various venues open to the public.

The Board of Directors of the Palomar Amateur Radio Club will judge the entries. Prizes will be awarded to the winner and two runners-up.

Submission address:

W6P QSL ART 2007
5379 Carmel Knolls Drive
San Diego, CA 92130

For complete and updated rules on the design competition, please visit