I got the repair estimate on the Explorer today; and it was pretty bad. But not bad enough to justify buying a new vehicle at this time. We're going to suck it up and have it repaired. For the time being Marianne and I don't want to start making car payments again; and we don't want to face having our auto insurance premiums skyrocket for having to have full coverage on a brand new car. As a result, however, FDIM for 2010 will probably be out of the question once again, as we will have to start saving up for something new within the next year.
Sam K5OAI made a pretty good follow up post on QRP-L regarding CW on 40 Meters and the RTTY conditions that occur during a RTTY contest. Go up, young man ...... go up! There IS plenty of space from about 7.100 to 7.125 MHz that is vastly underused! A lot of SKCCers hang out up there as well as some other folks. We would do well to use that space and not let it go unused.
Lastly, there was another post on QRP-L recently that was made by Tom Clifton KC0VSJ. There is a neat book that he narrated on Librivox, which is entitled "The Brighton Boys in the Radio Service". It's in the public domain, so you are free to go to the site and download and make a "book on tape" for yourself. According to Tom, the story is set during WWI and it is about "three college chums who join the military and face the perils of spies, submarines and enemy soldiers". Kind of reminds me of the ol' Tom Swift stories in a way.
The link is: http://www.archive.org/details/brighton_boys_radio_service_tc_librivox
I downloaded the zip file (which is about 100 MB) and have burned it onto some CDs; so that I can listen to it in the CD player in the car while I drive back and forth from work. It's a nice change of pace from code practice and either broadcast AM or FM radio.
Speaking of Tom Swift ..... I grew up loving to read! I have my Mom to thank for that. She instilled in my sister and I a love for reading that holds true to this day. A trip to the library was a special treat for us. I grew up reading all the Tom Swift books as well as the Hardy Boys mysteries. From the school library, I was always bringing home biographies of famous inventors and other historical figures (especially those from the Revolutionary War period).
If you like to read, the world is your oyster. You can teach yourself a lot of things by doing some reading. In addition, it's a great escape! A good mystery or techno-thriller (or whatever) is still a really economical form of entertainment - especially if you make use of your local public library.
73 de Larry W2LJ