I listened to a long interview of Andrew Yang and liked him a lot. He is plain spoken, not like a politician & what he says makes sense. We already followed his advice to move to higher ground back in 2017, from 59 feet ASL to 676 feet ASL with a MUCH nicer way of life.

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More Great Buys, This Time at an Estate Sale --

Living Large
We’re gradually upgrading things at our forever US home. I think it was @bradenslen who first alerted me to the fact that most new TV’s these days are “smart” TV’s. Smart as in hooked to the Internet to make it easy to spy on you 24/7, many with built-in apps, such as Alexa, Siri and such. Clever naming by the spy industry. I certainly didn’t want one of those.

I immediately thought, “Time to buy up some pre-Smart TV’s while they’re still available and maybe cheap.” I can’t remember ever buying a new TV. I was gonna look for ads on Craig’s list. Instead, we went to two successive estate sales nearby. The first had a nice TV on in the living room for $45. These sales are always full price on Saturday and 25% to 50% off on Sunday. I decided I’d get the TV on Sunday, if still available. It wasn’t. It sold on Saturday while we were still upstairs getting a nice $8 box fan. No problem.

A week or two later there was another estate sale. This one had a TV in the den/TV room, but they had disconnected the cable service, so it was off. Cosmetically it looked nice and new for $60, a Sylvania 26” LCD TV with three HDMI inputs, but the remote was missing. I didn’t want it for that high price, so we decided to come back on Sunday at 1 pm, when the price would drop to $30, more like it. We got there a few minutes before 1:00 and were surprised to find a looooong line in the back yard of people waiting to get in. They were letting four people in at a time, very gradually. We stood in a pretty hot sun for a while, my wife wanting to go home again after a few minutes. No, I wanted to wait a while, mainly because they also had three really nice Shure and Electro-Voice microphones which would be good with my ham radios. I was pretty sure the TV would be gone, but I thought I might still be able to grab the microphones.

We got in after a long 40 mins. in the heat. I checked the mics first and was shocked to see that two were already gone. But the E-V Model 664 was still there, a 1960’s classic, perfect for my vintage 60’s AM ham transmitters, now $24 including a tall stand. The mics alone are plentiful on eBay for $75-$100. Okay, that made the wait worth it to me.

I had my wife watch the mic while I went to check on the TV. I was sure it would be gone. But it was not!! Maybe the fact that the quality of its picture couldn’t be seen was enough to scare people off. And of course everyone has a TV and mostly much larger ones than this little 26” model, maybe even smart ones! I turned it on and could see it run through channel setup, I saw the options section with menu and all that. What the hell, for $30 it was worth taking a chance on it. They threw in a brand new universal remote in shrink wrap, we paid and headed home.

Yesterday I called AT&T to get them to walk me through getting it working with their U-Verse box and remote. It took about 30 mins and a manual reset of the TV, but then it came alive with all features working and the U-Verse remote does everything, the original remote not needed. It turns out the picture on it is FANTASTIC, perfect for a bedroom TV. Hey, not bad for $30! I got that little rush from confirming that I had found a great deal.

We had been using an H-P flat panel monitor, not a TV, before, so we had no control over the volume on it. That monitor will now go to my ham station to be used with my H-P Win 10 laptop for easy real time logging of contacts. Life is good!

X-rays negative. Used it normally for 2+ mos. 2nd x-rays. Ooops, the bone is cracked! Nurse: “Broken bones heal in 9-12 wks. Don’t lift more than 5 lbs.” I was lifting that & more, as not broken! Remember? So 6 mos to heal.
Photo by Kyndall Ramirez

Great thrift store find from yesterday: Sony ICF-36 4 Band portable radio in brand new condition, $7.00. It has nice sound with a 4” speaker and lots of volume! Now rocking to music on the local college FM station a mile away. A great way to see what kids like these days.

 ”A purpose of human life, no matter who is controlling it, is to love whoever is around to be loved.”

Kurt Vonnegut …
Sirens of Titan

Mueller is the Same as I Am! Y'all Gotta Problem With That?!! --

The ONLY unscripted moment in the hearings today was when Mueller couldn’t think of the legal term for the non-legal term “collusion.” As he stumbled about with his words, hoping the word would come to him soon, the questioner finally told him the word was “conspiracy.” Relief from Mueller & then they laughed about it! I have experienced this same problem of not being able to grab the right word at times. Mueller is the same as I am!! AND we are the same age!! Y’all gotta problem with that?!!

BUT I don’t try to fake it, while I’m waiting for the word to come to me. I state flat out that the word isn’t coming to me, but I know it will soon and I’ll say it as soon as it does, while going on with my next thought. And as predicted, the word always comes to me soon enough. By the way, I looked it up, this is NOT a warning sign of Alzheimer’s or Dementia.

But while I’m on the subject, I’ll add that I didn’t appreciate the frequent suggestion by many so-called experts on TV today that maybe Mueller is just beyond his prime and so didn’t do so well today. Like we shouldn’t worry and can be glad that soon he will disappear into oblivion. I still prepare the same kinds of tax returns that are accurate, thorough and comprehensive that I’ve been producing for 35 years. I don’t appreciate any denigration of my abilities based upon age and neither should Mueller.

Today I booked plane tickets for our next trip to Thailand. We will also be hosting my brother & two best friends of many decades. There will be regular pictures from Thailand here starting in late October. Gorgeous image is from Wikipedia, used without change & not endorsed.

How to Restore Vintage Tube Radios --

There’s a ham in Israel who records a podcast every week with a different ham from around the world about his/her life in radio. It’s a lot like Jean’s Micro Monday episodes, except much longer. This week he published Episode #257 which I listened to. He talked with Ray Heffer, G4NSJ, in the UK, who got interested in radio at age 5 and started repairing radios at age 10. He has made his living for decades repairing radios. He’s 68 and now only works on radios from the 1940’s. That seems like a pretty narrow focus, but he gets in 3-4 radios of that vintage to repair every week and it’s all he can do to keep up with them. No one told him he had to retire at age 65 and he is quite self sufficient, which is not unusual for hams around the world.

He says there are actually three people in the UK repairing radios of that vintage from around the UK and Continental Europe. Customers ask him what will happen when he is gone. Will there still be people who know how to repair them? To preserve what he knows, he started to record videos for beginners, showing them everything about how to restore vintage tube radios. His focus is on making the videos for beginners, using layman’s language.

For years I’ve been wanting to learn how to do such work. I have finally discovered a gradient that should work well for me. For a one time fee of 25 pounds, I will become a member of his website, with access to his videos, including all those from the past, as well as a new one every week, and also hundreds of service manuals for vintage tube radios. I already own one radio from that vintage and another one about one decade newer that need to be restored. They will be the first two I will practice on. And then I will start to keep my eyes open for other radios of this vintage in need of repair.

Driving home from fireworks at the lake, a wrong turn had us driving through neighborhoods, like through a war zone; with bottle rockets, Roman candles, & loud explosions in front yards & on streets all around us. Our state is one of four where all fireworks are banned.

Ever since Manton made those recent server updates, I’ve been noticing very slooooow Timeline refreshing when clicking on Reload. Meanwhile some are lobbying for complicated added features. Myself, I’d much rather have a comprehensive user manual, but know my vote is irrelevant.

1966-99 William F. Buckley ran Firing Line. He used big words & interviewed everyone. Civilized discussion was always the hallmark of the show, rare these days. Now the great grand-daughter of Herbert Hoover is reviving the show. It (and she) are good!

Harris has what Hilary never had, she’s easy to like. I don’t think Trump could easily dismiss her. In fact, I think there’s a good chance she could shred him in a debate. She showed a lot of gravitas, which surprised me. And she has charisma, which always helps.

I think it’s been the same since I was in grade school. People vote for the candidate they like. When I watch Sanders, I’m hoping he doesn’t have a massive stroke or heart attack mid sentence. So far it looks like Harris has the best chance of becoming the first woman president.

I think the two candidates who improved their chances the most in the election from their debate performance tonight were Mayor Pete and Sen. Kamala Harris. Harris surprised me the most. I didn’t expect her to be as likable as she was. 🇺🇸