Archive for March, 2007

Final Four!

March 26, 2007

Ohio State made the Final Four by breaking open a close game and beating Memphis 92-76 on Saturday. I thought it was the Buckeyes’ best effort of the year by far. I now know they are capable of playing at an even higher level than I thought. Whether that level will be enough to advance farther is hard to say. The Bucks play Georgetown Saturday afternoon at 6:07 in the first national semifinal.

In UK speculation that I have heard, it would appear that Billy Donovan is the front runner. It is rumored that UK is offering him a package worth $5 million per year. Of course, nothing will happen on this until after the Final Four is complete.

We had temperatures in the 80s over the weekend, and I fired up my air conditioners for awhile.

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Entry for March 23, 2007 part 2

March 23, 2007

While the Blue Jackets are out of the playoff picture, they are still playing some excellent hockey at times, and still fun to watch.

Last night Columbus won in Detroit 2-1 after a shootout that went 6 rounds. Ironically, former Red Wing Sergei Federov scored the winning goal for the Jackets.

I made my first contact on the amateur 60-meter band this week. Hams were given a new allocation there a couple of years back. It is an unusual allocation – 5 “channels”. Hams have to be sure they are exactly on one of the five frequencies. The only permissible mode is upper-sideband, with a limit of 50 watts.

The only equipment I own that is capable of operation on that band is my Yaesu FT-817, which runs a maximum of 5 watts. I happened to hear N4QDE, an old friend of mine in Camden, Tennessee. He heard my QRP (low power) signal just fine.

Thanks to the efforts of KE4MAI, we have restarted our local QRP group, called “KY-QRP”. It is open to any Kentucky ham with an interest in low-power operations. For KY-QRP, I am administering a “miles-per-watt” contest. The winner is the ham with the farthest contact with the lowest power (miles divided by watts).

I have finally joined the “MP3 generation”, by purchasing an iPod. I have it fully loaded with music from CDs in my collection. Next up is to get things set up so that I can use it with my car audio systems.

Entry for March 23, 2007

March 23, 2007

Ohio State once again survived a scare in the NCAA tournament. Hot shooting by Tennessee put the Volunteers up 49-29 in the first half. But the Buckeyes quickly closed the gap in the second half and took the lead. Tennessee got hot again, and kept it close down the stretch. Greg Oden blocked a last-second shot by the Vols and preserved an 85-84 victory.

Oden was on the bench with foul trouble much of the game. I swear, sometimes I think the Buckeyes play better with him out of the lineup.

Obviously the big news around here is that Tubby Smith has taken the head coaching job at Minnesota, and has left Kentucky. The speculation about who will be the next UK coach will be fun to watch.

The UK women ended their season last night with a loss at Wisconsin in the Women’s NIT.

My friend from Germany, DD6VSF, will be flying over in May to attend the Dayton Hamvention. Having attended high school in Pennsylvania, he has already spent a lot of time in the US.

The first of Bonnie’s daughters to get married will be doing so a week from tomorrow. Lots of stress for Anita and Bonnie, but it sounds as if things are coming together. I had dinner with the ladies in Shelbyville Wednesday night. Anita wants me to be an “informal” photographer for the proceedings, and I took some time to get familiar with her camera.

Warm weather is here, with temperatures in the 70s. I’ve had the top down on the Miata several times.

Entry for March 19, 2007

March 19, 2007

I had a great time in Rupp Arena Thursday night and Saturday afternoon. Met some great fans from the other schools. Three of the teams were from nearby, and Texas A&M had several thousand folks there. It was a great atmosphere.

Ohio State got lucky. A Xavier missed free throw allowed the Bucks to come down the court behind by 3 as regulation time ran out. Ron Lewis hit a 3-pointer with 2 seconds left to send the game into overtime. Even though Greg Oden was on the bench with five fouls, the Bucks dominated the overtime.

I was glad to see Louisville get knocked out.

The tournament has seen fewer upsets than normal, which is going to make for a lot of regional matchups between traditional powers.

The OSU women continued to flounder in losing to Marist in the first round of the NCAA tournament.

The UK men lost to Kansas 88-76 yesterday. The speculation about Tubby’s future will now shift into high gear.

Entry for March 12, 2007

March 12, 2007

The Cats lost to Mississippi State in overtime Friday afternoon in the SEC. In a strange play that won’t be forgotten anytime soon, UK was called for a lane violation while leading by 3 with just a few seconds left in regulation. MSU came down and tied the score with a 3-pointer right before the buzzer.

Ohio State won the Big 10 tournament in impressive fashion over Wisconsin. The Bucks are a number one seed, and will play Central Connecticut Thursday night in Rupp Arena. I’ll be there.

Entry for March 09, 2007

March 9, 2007

Purdue jumped out to a 21-0 lead over the Ohio State women Monday night. The Buckeyes came back, but still lost the tournament championship. The injury to Brandie Hoskins has been rough for this team.

The UK men started slowly against Alabama in the SEC first round yesterday, but ended up winning in one of the best efforts of the season. The Cats have a good shot at winning today’s quarterfinal game against Mississippi State.

Sunspot cycle predictions

March 5, 2007

This web page from NOAA indicates that they predict that the current solar cycle will bottom out very soon. The lowest sunspot number is expected in March, and the lowest solar flux in July.

Shortwave propagation occurs at higher frequencies as the solar flux increases, and is also somewhat corelated to the sunspot number. Before scientists were able to measure the solar flux, they used the sunspot number for propagation prediction purposes. So, both figures are commonly used, even though solar flux is a somewhat more accurate predictor.

Entry for March 05, 2007 part 2

March 5, 2007

The Ohio State women have beaten Indiana and Penn State in the Big 10 tournament, and will play Purdue tonight for the championship.

The OSU men went to Ann Arbor Saturday and had to come from behind to win 65-61. The Wolves held a 61-55 lead late, but the Bucks scored the last 10 points.

Austin Peay won the Ohio Valley conference regular season title, but lost the tournament championship to Eastern Kentucky (a school just down the road from me) Saturday night in Nashville.

Entry for March 05, 2007

March 5, 2007

Bonnie and I have had another round of sickness. She had a bad cold, but seems mostly recovered from it. I went to the doctor Friday and found out that I have a sinus infection. I got a prescription for an antibiotic filled for FREE at Meijer, and it seems to be working.

I will have a colonoscopy sometime this summer. Something to look forward to :-).

Kentucky beat Georgia on Senior Night last week, but then lost in Gainesville yesterday on Florida’s Senior Day. The Cats finished fourth in the SEC East.

The UK women opened the SEC tournament Thursday against Arkansas, and routed the Lady Razorbacks much as they did in the regular season. But after taking Georgia into overtime in Rupp Arena a couple weeks ago, the Kats lost to the Lady Bulldogs by 32 Friday in the tournament.

Both the UK men and women are “bubble” teams for the NCAA tournament, but have an excellent chance of making it.