September Wrapup

October 1, 2019

I’ve seen some hot Septembers, but I think this has probably been the hottest of them all. We’ve had well above average temperatures except for just a few days at the beginning of the month. There was no measurable rain during the month, and we are close to setting a record for the most consecutive days without rain. There is much cooler air to the north and west of us, and by the weekend we’ve been promised cooler weather.

Ohio State continues to roll along in football with lopsided wins over all opponents. Not so for Kentucky. After entering the fourth quarter with a 21-10 lead over #9 Florida, the Cats lost 29-21 and then subsequently lost two games to lesser opponents, Mississippi State and South Carolina. Injuries at the quarterback position have been huge, but I think the team is still underperforming based on its talent level. This team is young and can probably get a lot better.

Propagation on the ham bands has continued to be very poor as we approach a sunspot cycle minimum. I still operate the FT8 digital mode now and then.

Advertisements

A Good Start to Football

September 1, 2019

August 6th saw a very good sporadic-E opening, probably the last good one of the season. I had the good fortune to catch it, and worked a bunch of new grid squares. The next morning, I had 400 grids confirmed on six meters in Logbook of the World, achieving a goal I’ve been working on for decades.

Ohio State and Kentucky started the season yesterday. The Bucks beat Florida Atlantic 45-21. I did not watch the whole game, and I am sure if I wanted to nitpick I could find some issues. But it wasn’t a bad start for new head coach Ryan Day.

I expected Toledo and Kentucky to have a close game, as I was suspicious of UK’s defensive secondary. The Cats started slow but won 38-24. Kentucky ran the ball more than I expected. There are several decent running backs looking to fill the shoes of Benny Snell. I still think it will be a tall order to equal last year’s 10 wins, but I’m prepared to be pleasantly surprised.

September has started out hot and humid, but nice autumn weather is right around the corner.

July Wrapup

August 1, 2019

I finished up the “13 Colonies” operating event in just a few hours on July 1st. Thanks to everyone who makes that such a fun event every year.

The Blue Jackets did indeed lose a lot of players to free agency. The team will look quite a bit different this fall.

Ohio State football will open up August 31st with first-year coach Ryan Day at the helm.

Kentucky had a Top-10 defense last year, but will likely be weak this year especially in the secondary. On the offensive side, look for the Cats to throw the ball a lot more. UK also opens on August 31 with a Toledo team that likes to throw as well.

I worked a bunch of new grids on the six-meter ham band this summer, despite the fact that the band was generally poor. The summer sporadic-E season will wind down quickly as we enter August.

Bidding June Goodbye and Saying “Hi” to July

July 1, 2019

Hot and humid summer weather has arrived as June comes to an end. After a rainy Spring, there is always a lot of yard work to do.

June is the month for ARRL Field Day. As usual, I operated from home in class “1E”, which means one transmitter running on emergency power. In my case, I have a set of batteries that run my radio all weekend long. I also transmit at a maximum of 5 watts. It’s challenging, but I get a multiplier for that which increased my final score dramatically.

I made a third trip around Lexington to photograph and shoot video of Little Free Libraries around town. Most of the ones I saw are fairly new. If you go to https:/www.youtube.com/user/ku4a/playlists and select the Little Free Libraries playlist, you can see the new video and all the other library videos I’ve produced.

July 1 is the first day of free agency in the NHL. I would say at least 4 Blue Jackets will be finding new homes. So the team will look a lot different this season.

Finally, July 1 is the beginning of the amateur radio “13 Colonies” special event. As of this writing I have worked 12 of the colonies and only lack Rhode Island. Go here for details: http://www.13colonies.net

May Wrap-Up

June 4, 2019

The Boston Bruins beat the Columbus Blue Jackets 4 games to two in their Stanley Cup second-round series. I quit following hockey after that, but I understand that the Stanley Cup finals are Boston against St. Louis. Columbus has some players becoming free agents. It will be interesting to see who is on the team when the 2019-2020 season starts.

Long-time readers know that I operate Little Free Library #45857 in my front yard. I also like to visit other libraries and shoot pictures and video of them. A friend of mine and I have recently visited some communities west of here to see their little libraries.

I have over 300 videos posted on YouTube. I’ve recently done a better job of organizing them, grouping them into “playlists”. If you go to http://www.youtube.com/KU4A/playlists and look under “created playlists” you will see what I’ve assembled. If you choose the “Little Free Libraries” playlist you can watch videos of the libraries I have visited.

I hope all readers have a great summer!

Watching Hockey in May

May 2, 2019

For the first time in my life I’ll be watching hockey in May tonight as the Columbus Blue Jackets will be playing Game 4 of their second round series with the Boston Bruins.

The Blue Jackets earned the second and last wild-card slot in the East by one point over Montreal. They had to win seven of their last eight regular-season games to make it after struggling in mid-March.

The Jackets won a playoff series for the first time in franchise history as they swept the Tampa Bay Lightning . This was considered by most (me included) as a major upset as TB was easily the best team in the NHL in the regular season.

Columbus currently leads Boston 2 games to 1 entering tonight’s action. The teams split the first two games of the series in Beantown, both of them 3-2 overtime games. The two teams are very evenly matched and play very similar hockey.

How far can Columbus go? For sure, it is looking like the trades made before the deadline were a perfect fit. Even more importantly, goaltender Sergei Bobrovsky is playing well despite a history of poor play in the playoffs. If that keeps up, the Jackets can stick around for quite awhile

Basketball Wrapup

April 2, 2019

I didn’t think the Ohio State men were good enough to make the NCAA tournament, but they were invited as an 11-seed. In the first round, the Bucks upset a very good Iowa State team. In the second round, OSU was no match for a Houston team that had only lost three games all year.

The UK women were a #6 seed in the NCAA, and beat Princeton in the first round in a game played in Raleigh. That pit the Cats against home-standing North Carolina State who ended UK’s season.

A lot of us around here were optimistic about the UK men’s chances. The Cats made it all the way to the Elite Eight before losing to a newly resurgent Auburn team they had beaten twice in the regular season.

There is no such thing as a “bad” NCAA tournament and I enjoy it every year. Auburn and Texas Tech each are making their first-ever visits to the Final Four. To have them meet in the final game would be a great thing for college basketball. But Michigan State and Virginia are great teams as well. I can’t wait for the action in Minneapolis to get started.

Hockey Winding Down

April 2, 2019

Since my last post, Columbus went on a seven-game stretch in which they won three games. But beginning in Vancouver on March 24th, the Jackets have won 5 in-a-row, which includes three shutouts. So, the CBJ is still in the playoff hunt. There are three teams battling for two wild-card positions in the east: Columbus with 94 points, Carolina with 93 points, and Montreal with 92 points. All three of these teams have three games remaining in the regular season. Columbus hosts Boston tonight, then finishes at the Rangers and Ottawa.

I have added some new sports channels on my TV and was able to watch Ohio State hockey starting back in February. The Buckeyes won the regular season Big Ten Championship, but lost in the semifinals of the conference tournament. In the NCAA tournament, the Bucks lost to Denver.

Dark Days in Columbus

March 8, 2019

The Blue Jackets made a bunch of trades before the trade deadline but they have lost three of the last four including last night’s 3-0 shutout in Pittsburgh. The lone win was over New Jersey which is a very inexperienced team. Columbus is now “below the line” (out of the playoffs if the season were to end today).

The Ohio State women beat Wisconsin twice during the regular season but lost to the resurgent Badgers yesterday in the second round of the Big Ten Tournament. Wisconsin was worst in the league in 3-point shooting but made 11 of 16 to bury the Buckeyes. At 14-14, I don’t know if OSU will be eligible for any kind of post-season tournament such as the Women’s NIT. A good recruiting class comes in next year.

Kaleb Wesson continues on suspension and the OSU men lost at Northwestern earlier this week. Barring a good performance Sunday against Wisconsin and in the Big Ten Tournament, I would say the Buckeyes are out of the NCAA picture.

Sucky Saturday

March 2, 2019

Today was a real stinker as far as sports go.

The agony started at 1 PM as the Edmonton Oilers came into Nationwide Arena and beat the Blue Jackets 4-0. Columbus made a bunch of trades right before the NHL trade deadline. But it remains to be seen if the “new team” will really be a contender down the stretch. The CBJ played .500 hockey since my last post and are six points behind the Islanders and Capitals in the Metropolitan division.

Ohio State suspended Kaleb Wesson for a violation of athletic department policy. So, the Buckeyes were no match for league-leading Purdue in West Lafayette this afternoon, losing by 35 points. OSU is a bubble team for the NCAA tournament. I have not heard when Kaleb Wesson will be back.

Purdue has the lead in the Big Ten after some help from cross-state rival Indiana, who today beat Michigan State for the second time this season.

Kentucky fans were optimistic about this afternoon’s trip to Knoxville after having beaten the Vols in Rupp Arena two weeks ago. But with Reid Travis still out with an injury, Tennessee dominated the game and won by 19. With two games to go in the regular season, UK is one game behind league-leading Tennessee and LSU.

The UK women have a good chance at a #4 seed in the upcoming SEC tournament, which gives them a double-bye. One regular-season game remains, at Georgia tomorrow.

For the NCAA women’s tournament, the Wildcats seem to be on the bubble for a coveted #4 seed, as teams seeded 4th and above play the first two rounds on their home floor.

Despite being two games above .500 overall, the Ohio State women are in a two-way tie with Michigan for fourth place in the Big Ten. The Bucks play third-place Rutgers tomorrow in Columbus, a team that OSU beat handily in Piscataway a couple weeks ago.

I recently got a Roku for my TV, and subscribed to YouTube TV, which is now available nationwide. This has allowed me to watch the Big Ten Network. Ohio State won the regular-season Big Ten Championship, the first conference championship for the Buckeyes since 1972 when they were in the Central Collegiate Hockey Association.

We have had a couple nice days here, but in general cold winter weather continues. We’ve not had enough snow for me to get out the snow blower, but significant accumulation is possible starting tomorrow morning.