Hi, well first off I guess, I am an HAM. This is sort of a way of saying I love Ham radio, have my license from the FCC and my handle is my FCC Call Sign. I am getting on in age, having reached the milestone of my 65th Birthday back in May. Over those 65 years, I went from the barefoot farm-boy who lived on a small dirt farm in South Western North Dakota, we were so far in the sticks that REA only just reached our area, and since dad didn't have the money to wire our old 1910 model farm house, the pole sat there, in the middle of our yard, wires lead to the pole but the electricity had no way of getting to us. Thus we relied on kerosene lamps for light. Dad had an old radio that took a rectangular battery, that I now recognize as about the size of the battery for an ANPRC-25 Army Radio. Another thing lacking on the farm was the convience of running water so we had to carry drinking water from the well that sat beneath a tall windmill, and our regular daily business was conducted in an outhouse, you know the kind, made of unpainted lumber that sat out back behind the house far enough that the smell didn't infiltrate the home, yet close enough that you could make it in an emergency. When winter came, we had a piss pot that sat in a corner of the kitchen, as well as a slop pail that could be used in an emergency. Instead of a sink, we had a washpan, and for drinking water there was the water pail sitting on the wash stand that sat beside the front door so you could 'wash up' when you came in from chores.
Enough reminiscing, When I was in high school, 3 years wasted because instead of studying the subjects assigned, I spent my time studying the beautiful young farm girls, mostly of Scandinavian extraction, and my books served as a shield as I walked down those hallowed halls to my locker, and off to the next class, and the next bevvy of beauties. In my Jr. year, I met a young lady who was done with school and worked at a local bank, in the bookkeeping section. It was a whirl-wind romance, and after 2 quick and very HOT months, we were wed. I had some strange thoughts that once a man was wed, despite his age, it was his duty to support the family, so I dropped out of High School in my Senior year, and we moved to Minnesota, where jobs were easy to find, and we both went to work at a truck stop, I pumped the fuel, while my wonderful wife waited on tables, and flirted with the truck drivers for bigger tips. We moved around Mn a bit seeking better wages, but after a year, we moved back home to the Dakota's. You see back then we had the lottery for the draft, and my number was up. My wife wanted to be near her family while I went to war in Nam, thus the return home. Well the Army taught me about electricity, and keeping their promise to teach me about radios, and telephones, they sent me to Field Wire-man School at Fort Leonard Wood Mo. Yep, I learned how to strap a heavy old radio on my back and hump it through the jungle, and when we had posts, how to use field phones and filed switchboards. Good old Uncle Sam
Anyhow, I ramble on like the old man that I am, over the years, I managed to work my way up in the army, and learned more about radios, gaining the MOS first of a land line teletype specialist, then radio teletype specialist, and finally as a communications Chief. When my kids got to be of school age, I decided I wanted them to have the great education that the Dakota's offered, so I took my discharge after 8 years, and we moved back home. I became a cop, and served the next 24 years of my life looking out the windshield of a patrol car. I worked my way up the ladder to the office of Chief of Police, twice in two different departments. As you may well know anything after Sgt on the PD is political, thus the reason for moving from one Department to another. New mayor, new Chief of Police. Old Chief usually resigns rather then accept a demotion, and that is why I moved on. During all those years, I developed a deep love of two things, Guns, and Electronics, especially computers. I ended up with a degree in Gunsmithing, as well as one in paralegal studies, with a minor in computer science. An accident in 1993 left me classed as permanently totally disabled, and since then, I was forced to sell off all my gunsmithing tools, as well as my rather large collection of firearms, keeping only the .45 that I carried my last ten years on the PD. This left me with my love for computers to keep me going, so I have been deeply involved in that hobby now for many years. I took the dive into micro controllers a few years back, just for something new, and have kept the learning doors open, studying these little devices, and building projects that I find on Youtube. I was also the only "computer guy" in our small town for a few years, maintaining machines for everyone from the old lady down the street, to the local hospital that was so small that they had no budget for an IT guy. That, of course has all changed now. I no longer work on computers for anyone but our family, and that leaves me with quite a collection to keep running anyhow. My wife and daughter, who lives with us in our small ranch home, each have 3 computers, each a desktop, and each a couple of laptops, as well as nooks, kindles, Archos tablets, and I myself have no less then ten machines that I play with from day to day. To top that off, we are snow birds, beginning last year, when we took off, planning on going full time in our newly purchased 35 foot Rexair Class A Motor home. She is an old rig but in great shape. Sadly health problems brought us back to the Dakota's last spring, and the Doctors are having us come back time after time, sort of keeping us here. Our last set of appointments is in November, then we head back South to avoid the harsh winters that blast through the Dakota's. Last year we found a small campground in Arizona, in a very small town, isolated from the crime and terror that haunts much of the South West, and fell in love with it. So we are heading back down there, we already have our reservations made, and our spot will be there when we get down there. See now that is an introduction, is it not?