Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

Big Wins and Strange Losses

December 2, 2019

Ohio State sits atop the college football world, having once again routed the Michigan Wolverines (that’s eight wins in a row over the team up north). OSU finished the regular season undefeated. On Saturday night, the Bucks will face Wisconsin in the Big Ten Championship game. Wisconsin wrapped up the Big Ten West with a big win at Minnesota last Saturday.

If Ohio State and Clemson win their conference championships, they are in the playoffs. Georgia faces LSU for the SEC title. LSU finishes the season undefeated if they win. Otherwise both teams may make the playoffs with one loss. Utah, Oklahoma and Baylor are still in the mix (the last two play each other in the Big 12 title game). Alabama lost at Auburn Saturday and is out of the picture with two losses this season.

In men’s basketball, Kentucky has had a strange season. After opening night’s win over Michigan State, the Cats came back home and handled Eastern Kentucky before dropping a strange one to Evansville 67-64. E J Montgomery missed that game due to injury. Since that the time, UK is back on track although the schedule has been somewhat easy. That will change in the last half of December.

Ohio State is still undefeated and currently ranked #6 in the country. The Bucks routed Villanova in November which gave them some serious national attention. Wednesday OSU will be in Chapel Hill in the Big Ten/ACC Challenge.

The UK women are also unbeaten. The schedule has been somewhat light although a nice win at Virginia boosts the resume. Poor free throw shooting is a worry as the Cats enter conference play.

Kentucky football won its last three games to finish the season 7-5. With all kinds of injuries at the quarterback position, wide receiver Lynn Bowden was anointed QB and has run the offense well. The Cats seldom throw the ball, and have found the rushing game to be more than adequate to win games. When Woody Hayes coached at Ohio State, everyone knew he was going to run the ball but nobody could stop him. It has been that way for UK lately. Sunday we’ll know UK’s bowl opponent.

The Blue Jackets won 6 and lost 6 since my last post, which puts them second to last in the Metropolitan division. The goaltending has gotten somewhat better. But some of last year’s goal scorers are not producing this year, and Columbus ranks 29th in the league in “goals for”. The Jackets have a little more time to get things turned around if they want another playoff appearance this year.

I now have two nephews playing hockey for Bishop Watterson High School in Columbus. They combined for four goals (one had a hat trick) Saturday in a win over arch rival DeSales.

First Day of Basketball

November 5, 2019

The college basketball season starts today. The current top 4 teams are in New York City to kick things off. Duke plays Kansas and Michigan State plays Kentucky. I’ve always said that these early-season games “don’t count for much”, but they do give us a chance to see who the “teams to beat” are.

The UK women start with Mount St. Mary’s tonight. The Ohio State men have Cincinnati tomorrow and the OSU women have Valparaiso on Sunday.

Of course, there is a lot of football yet to be played. In October, Kentucky picked up home wins against Arkansas and Missouri, but lost to Georgia as expected. At 4-4, the Cats need two more wins to become bowl eligible. The rest of the schedule shows three teams in the state of Tennessee (UT, Vanderbilt and UT-Martin) and also Louisville.

Tonight will see the first announcement of the college football playoff rankings. It will be interesting to see where the unbeaten Ohio State Buckeyes rank. The Bucks have started slowly in most games but end up winning impressively. There are several other unbeatens out there including Alabama, LSU, Clemson and Penn State.

The Blue Jackets started the season OK but have now lost four in-a-row. Goaltending is a problem as I had suspected.

In amateur radio, I still operate a lot of FT8 when the bands are good. I recently acquired a used but like-new Yaesu FT-891 which I will someday use mobile to replace an aging FT-857D. For those of you who use the Yaesu System Fusion digital voice mode: I hang out on a YSF reflector with several friends of mine. If you have a fairly recent reflector list, it is listed as “US AK4LT”. The number is YSF57882. You can connect to it with a hot spot.

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.

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:/ 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:

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 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.