October Wrapup

November 1, 2018

The Blue Jackets are 6-5 going into tonight’s game at San Jose. Goaltending has been split between Jonas Korpisalo and Sergei Bobrovsky. Bob has not looked good so far this season. He is in the last year of his contract, and doesn’t seem to want to stay in Columbus. So, this is the first year in recent memory that the CBJ can’t rely on its netminding to win games. They will need a lot of offense, and so far they have gotten a good bit.

In my September wrapup I talked about the schedule getting easier for the Buckeyes after the win at Penn State. After struggling with Indiana and Minnesota, OSU was routed at Purdue 49-20. So, the Bucks are one game behind Michigan in the Big Ten as we enter November. I’m not about to say the schedule is “easy”. After Saturday’s game hosting Nebraska, the Bucks have Michigan State, Nebraska, and Michigan, all three of whom have winning records. The Wolverines are for real for the first time in awhile.

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Playing For The SEC East Championship

November 1, 2018

This is another post I never expected to make. Kentucky is 7-1 (5-1 in the SEC) and will play Georgia (also 7-1, 5-1) Saturday in Lexington to decide who takes the SEC East. If UK wins, they could still lose their remaining SEC game at Tennessee and still go to the SEC title game as they would hold the tie-breakers against both Florida and Georgia (having beaten both of them).

Getting to this point hasn’t been easy for the Cats. After my last post here, Kentucky lost an overtime heartbreaker at Texas A&M, came from behind to beat Vanderbilt in Lexington, then scored a touchdown as time expired at Missouri for a 15-14 win.

What are UK’s chances Saturday? The defense is impeccable and leads the SEC with fewest points-against. There are many bright spots in the offense, but it has struggled at times. Although Saturday’s game will be emotional for fans and players, the offense will have to be better than it has been in October for the Cats to pull off the win.

Also on Saturday, Alabama plays LSU in a game that will almost certainly decide the SEC West.

Still Undefeated

October 2, 2018

It’s early October, and Ohio State and Kentucky are still undefeated at 5-0. That in and of itself is a big story for the Wildcats. But the headline would be the win at Florida which ended a 31-game losing streak to the Gators. “Nobody beats us 32 years in-a-row”. With wins over Mississippi State and South Carolina, the Cats are 3-0 in the SEC with a trip to College Station coming up Saturday.

Ohio State was behind 26-14 in Happy Valley Saturday night before rallying for a 27-26 win. Penn State is always a tough out. The schedule gets a lot easier from here, until the usual meeting with Michigan in late November.

I don’t follow baseball much but I did attend a couple minor league games this year. Our team is the Lexington Legends, a class-A team in the Kansas City Royals’ organization. They ended up winning the South Atlantic League championship this season.

We have had a couple days of nice autumn weather after a very wet September.

Last, but certainly no least, hockey season begins Thursday as Columbus visits Detroit. The home opener is on my birthday Friday against Carolina.

Off To A Good Start

September 5, 2018

Ohio State and Kentucky both won their football openers. Urban Meyer is serving a 3-game suspension but the Bucks beat visiting Oregon State 77-31. I saw some defensive lapses but it’s hard to complain about 11 touchdowns. Kentucky beat visiting Central Michigan 35-20. Next up for the Cats is a visit to Gainesville where they will try to break a multi-decade losing streak to the Gators.

August here was hot and rainy so the grass is green. But mowing grass in this weather is not much fun. Even in the first week of September we’re seeing above-average temperatures. In Ohio, some schools are closed due to the heat.

July Wrapup

July 31, 2018

Six meters has continued to amaze and amuse with frequent openings throughout July. The summer season shows signs of winding down as expected for late July, but there are still stations to work.

I operated the North American QSO Party – RTTY for the first time in awhile. I organized the teams for the Kentucky Contest Group and we had a good showing. We had a Top Ten finish in this contest within the last year or so, and I’m hoping we can duplicate that feat again soon.

The most popular contest logging software is N1MM+. I have never used it, but have installed it and have been plowing through the 800+ page manual. I think I’m getting familiar enough to be able to use it soon, possibly in the NAQP CW contest this Saturday.,

June Wrapup

July 3, 2018

My primary antenna for 20, 15 and 10 meters broke during Field Day last June. I finally found somebody willing to climb up the tower and fix it for me and he did a good job. So I am able to operate those bands once more. For 2018 I operated Field Day from home as I commonly do, using battery power and 5 watts of output. In 9 hours I made 234 contacts, of which 199 were on CW.

We are in a hot spell right now and expect a heat index of 100 on the Fourth of July. I am not planning on any cookouts or fireworks displays so will be happy to stay in the air conditioning.

Six meters has continued good, and I’ve been able to work a lot of new grid squares using the FT8 digital mode. FT8 was designed with six meters in mind, and it works great.

With the antenna fixed I was able to operate the 13 Colonies special event for the first time in a couple years. I got 12 of the 13 in two hours Sunday. After a lunch break, a nap and a break for passing storms, I caught South Carolina to complete the sweep of all 13 colonies.

April/May Wrapup

June 5, 2018

There has been quite a change in the weather since my last post. We had a lot of snow in early April, then we had the warmest May on record. I love Spring, but we didn’t have much of one this year.

The Blue Jackets once again exited the NHL playoffs in the first round, after taking a 2-0 lead in the series against Washington. As I type this, the Caps are up 3-1 in the Cup series against Las Vegas. So they could well win it all.

There is not much else going on for me sports-wise at this time of year in the “off season”. I continue engage in a lot of ham radio activities, especially the FT8 digital mode. The six-meter band (50MHz) sees some nice band openings this time of year, and the 2018 summer season has been good so far.

Two-Out-Of-Three Ain’t Bad For Villanova

April 5, 2018

The Villanova Wildcats looked mighty impressive in winning their second NCAA basketball championship in three years. I am always suspicious of a team that relies so much on the three-point shot. But Villanova was skilled in all phases of the game and Michigan’s vaunted defense was unable to stop them.

The Ohio State women won the Big Ten tournament and had the first two rounds of the NCAA on their home floor. But a solid MAC team, Central Michigan, blew out the Buckeyes in the second round.

The Kentucky men were also conference tournament winners but lost to Kansas State in the regional semifinals of the NCAA. Ohio State lost to Gonzaga in the second round.

The Blue Jackets have two games to go but still haven’t clinched a playoff bid, due to the tightness in the Eastern Conference standings. Tonight Columbus plays host to Pittsburgh, with whom they are tied with identical 45-29-6 records. The CBJ could end up second in the Metropolitan division, or could actually miss the playoffs depending on how several teams do as the regular season ends.

For those of you familiar with the GlobalTuners web site: I recently replaced Lexington #2’s equipment (an Icom IC-706) with an ICOM PCR-1500. This allows tuning over a broader range of frequencies. The PCR-1500 also features DSP noise reduction and an automatic notch filter. Check it out at http://www.globaltuners.com/receiver/406-Lexington-Kentucky-2

Tourney Time

March 2, 2018

The Kentucky men started out February with a rare 4-game losing streak. But suddenly, the Cats righted the ship, and finished the month on a 4-game winning streak. The final regular season game is tomorrow at Florida. The Cats, Gators and Arkansas are tied for third place in the league with 10-7 records. So, tomorrow’s CBS-televised game will go a long way toward breaking that tie. The SEC tournament is next week.

The season is over for the Kentucky women as they lost to undefeated Mississippi State this afternoon in the SEC tournament in Nashville. The Cats finished 15-17, the first losing season in awhile.

The surprising Ohio State men just missed a share of the Big Ten title. Michigan State won the crown with a 16-2 conference record. The Buckeyes inexplicably lost twice to Penn State, and finished the season 15-3. OSU takes on Penn State for a third time tonight in the Big Ten tournament.

The Ohio State women wrapped up the Big Ten regular season with a 13-3 record, one game ahead of second place Maryland at 12-4. Today, the Buckeyes had no trouble with Rutgers in the Big Ten tournament. OSU will be hoping for a #4 seed or better in the NCAA, which would allow them to host their first and second round games.

The Blue Jackets are currently holding on to the second wild card spot in the east, with 69 points. They are currently out west, where they lost to Los Angeles 5-2 last night. Tonight they will take on Anaheim. In February, the Jackets had a streak of 3 games with over 50 shots-on-goal in each.

During February I upload a bunch more old videos to YouTube. See them at https://www.youtube.com/KU4A

January Wrapup

February 1, 2018

I hope all readers have had a good start to 2018.

The new year didn’t bring much relief for the Kentucky women’s team. The 4-game losing streak I mentioned in my last post extended to 8 in-a-row before the Cats picked up a road win at Florida. Since then, UK is 2-2 heading into tonight’s game with Auburn. Kentucky has looked much better recently, and may be able to finish above .500 for the season.

I had a good seat in Rupp Arena on December 29 for the UK men’s 90-61 win over arch rival Louisville. As the new year began, Kentucky is 6-3 in the SEC, tied with two other teams for second place behind 8-1 Auburn. January also saw the Cats pull off a big road win at West Virginia which was, quite frankly, an upset.

Up north, the biggest surprise of the season has been the Ohio State men, who stand at 10-1 in the Big Ten, just one game behind 11-0 Purdue. The Bucks were unbeaten until last week’s 3-point home loss to Penn State. The Lions hit a 35-footer at the buzzer for the win.

The OSU women are fourth in the Big Ten at 7-3 after three losses in-a-row mid-month.

With 58 points, the Blue Jackets are hanging on to a wild card spot for the playoffs. 32 regular season games remain.

I have gotten to spend a good bit of time repairing some of the antique radios sitting around here.

We had some bitterly cold weather in the first half of January. But things have moderated some.